Boy Scouts Of America May Be Changing Their Position On Including Gay Members
It's a debate that's been raging for years now: should gay members be allowed in the Boy Scouts?
KPEL News was able to obtain a statement from BSA spokesperson Deron Smith, who said:
The BSA is discussing potentially removing the national membership restriction regarding sexual orientation. This would mean there would no longer be any national policy regarding sexual orientation, but that the chartered organizations that oversee and deliver Scouting would accept membership and select leaders consistent with their organization’s mission, principles or religious beliefs.
Smith went on to say they have been in contact with families to determine its best interests, so that "BSA members and parents would be able to choose a local unit which best meets the needs of their families."
KPEL News reached out to the Evangeline Area Council of the Boy Scouts and got a clarification on what that specifically means. Art Hawkins with the Scouts shared with KPEL the definition of chartering organization to mean those that sponsor a scouting group. Hawkins noted that could include churches, schools and other groups that provide the group as a service to the community.
You may remember in 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a 5-4 ruling in favor of the ban held by BSA, a 103-year-old organization. But, as this article pointed out, there are gay parents that have had their own children in the youth development organization, one of which who held positions in the organization, but was kicked out after it was found out she was gay.
According to this site, the organization was founded in 1910 in Washington, D.C. Boys as young as 10-years-old are involved in BSA, as well as teenagers who are not yet 18-years-old.