The Boy Scouts of America, one of the nation’s largest private youth organizations, is actively considering an end to its decades-long policy of banning gay scouts or scout leaders, according to scouting officials and outsiders familiar with internal discussions.
If adopted by the organization’s board of directors, it would represent a profound change on an issue that has been highly controversial — one that even went to the US Supreme Court. The new policy, now under discussion, would eliminate the ban from the national organization’s rules, leaving local sponsoring organizations free to decide for themselves whether to admit gay scouts.
Good for them to finally realize something that has been true as long as there has been boys and scouts: some of them are gay.
I’m sure the howls of outrage from the homophobic community will be loud and histrionic, projecting their own lurid fantasies about how Scout jamborees will now be nothing but one big orgy. (It will also be interesting to see what the take is from the Catholic Church, seeing as how they’re experts on boys in uniform.)
The idea of leaving it up to each individual chapter to decide whether or not they want to admit or exclude gay scouts or leaders is a bit of a cop-out. That means that there will still be places where a kid could still be kicked out just because he’s gay. They should simply say that the Boy Scouts does not tolerate discrimination of any kind and march forward from there.