Tags: gay | scout | leader | ban | lifted | membership

Gay Scout Leader Ban Lifted, but Religious Orgs Can Still Choose

Image: Gay Scout Leader Ban Lifted, but Religious Orgs Can Still Choose
Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts prepare to lead marchers while waving flags at the 41st annual Pride Parade Sunday, June 28, 2015, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

By    |   Monday, 27 Jul 2015 02:16 PM

The gay Boy Scout leader ban is expected to dissolve on Monday as the organization seeks to reverse its long-term decline in membership that has increasingly engulfed it over the last two decades.

The proposal from the Boy Scouts of America’s governing board to end its blanket ban on allowing openly gay leaders to participate in the organization arose after Robert M. Gates, the Scout’s volunteer president, issued a warning in May that the ban “cannot be sustained,” according to The New York Times. During a contentious and divisive 2013 meeting, the Scouts had previously decided to allow openly gay youths to participate while still barring openly gay adults to do so.

This new resolution, however, does allow for troops that are chartered by religious organizations — which make up 70 percent of Boy Scout troops — to discriminate in their hiring practices in order to allow them to “continue to choose adult leaders whose beliefs are consistent with their own,” according to The Washington Post.

“The BSA national policy that prohibits gay adults from serving as leaders is no longer legally defensible,” the Boy Scouts said in statement earlier this month, according to Reuters. “However, the BSA’s commitment to duty to God and the rights of religious chartered organizations to select their leaders is unwavering.”

These new changes seek to toe the line between mollifying the liberal-leaning troop members who seek full inclusion rights while still respecting the moral values of those conservative-leaning religious organizations who believe that catering to a homosexual lifestyle is immoral and should not be forced upon any church.

But whenever the Boy Scouts changes a policy pertaining to gay bans on membership or on leaders from one position to another, corporate donors remove their funding and lawsuits arise, according to The New York Times. The Scouts suffered a 7 percent membership drop after the gay youth ban was lifted in 2014, according to The Washington Post.

Roger Oldham, a spokesman for the Southern Baptist Convention, said that the lifting of the ban puts traditional groups “into a situation where they have to either compromise their conviction or choose to leave. And for those for whom Biblical sexual morality is a conviction they have no alternative,” according to The Post.

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The gay Boy Scout leader ban is expected to dissolve on Monday as the organization seeks to reverse its long-term decline in membership that has increasingly engulfed it over the last two decades.
gay, scout, leader, ban, lifted, membership
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2015-16-27
Monday, 27 Jul 2015 02:16 PM
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