Scouts to allow gay members, not leaders

2013-04-20 14:38
(AP, File)

(AP, File)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Los Angeles - Leaders of the Boy Scouts of America agreed on Friday to admit gay youth members while maintaining a ban on adult leaders, drawing criticism from both homosexual groups and conservatives.

The executive committee of the organisation - which launched a review of the contentious issue in February - passed a resolution that must be approved at a national meeting in Texas next month to come into force.

"No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone," said the text to update the BSA's "membership standards", seen as symbolising traditional US values.

But it reaffirmed existing rules for adult leaders of the movement.

The changes would go into effect from 1 January.

"While the BSA does not proactively inquire about sexual orientation of employees, volunteers, or members, we do not grant membership to individuals who are open or avowed homosexuals or who engage in behaviour that would become a distraction to the mission of the BSA," it said.

No one happy


The 103-year-old institution, famed for its outdoor training programmes and preaching of simple virtues, has close links to the country's conservative and religious heartlands.

However, the group, which is separate from the Girl Scouts of the USA and counts 2.6 million boys in its membership, has become increasingly unsure of its position in wider society.

Reaction to the resolution was swift, and not entirely positive.

The founder of conservative scouting body OnMyHonor.Net slammed what he said tried "to dodge criticism from gay activists but still creates a myriad of problems for managing scouting activities".

"When it comes to young boys, parents should still have the final say on the issues of sexuality and politics. Allowing open homosexuality in the BSA injects both those topics right into the programme," said John Stemberger.

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Discrimination (GLAAD) said BSA had "failed its members, corporate sponsors, donors and the millions of Americans who agree that the time to end discrimination throughout scouting is now".

Outpouring of feedback

"By refusing to consider an end to its ban on gay and lesbian parents, the Boy Scouts have missed an opportunity to exercise leadership and usher the organisation back to relevancy, said GLAAD vice president Richard Ferraro.

A BSA statement issued with the resolution noted that in February, the movement "embarked on the most comprehensive listening exercise in its history to consider the impact of potential changes to its membership standards policy.

"This review created an outpouring of feedback from the Scouting family and the American public, from both those who agree with the current policy and those who support a change," it said.

The resolution will be considered at the BSA'S National Annual Meeting, scheduled for 22-24 May at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Centre in Grapevine, Texas.

A Quinnipiac University poll released in February found that voters across the country are 55% in favour of an end to the Scouts' ban, with only 33% against.

The Supreme Court ruled in 2000 in favour of the Boy Scouts, saying that the prohibition against openly homosexual members was part of its right as a private organisation to free association.

- SAPA
Read more on:    us  |  gay rights
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
9 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
5 crucial questions to ask before you take that job 2014-10-30 08:00

You choose your employer just as much as they choose you. Here are 5 of the most important things you should find out about a company before you sign up.

/News
 

LOL! Best outdoor girl fails

It’s not only guys who have FAIL moments! Here are some of the funniest outdoor fails where girls are the victims!

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

90-year-old's incredible travels
10 facts about swimming you didn't know
Halloween night run
Exciting new zipline for Cape Town!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R2100 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Hot offer: Up to 50% off irons

Save up to 50% on all Philips irons. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There may be some tension that is caused through social conflicts -- personal interests versus obligations. You may feel an...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.