Why Won’t The Boys Scouts Of America Allow Gay Parents To Serve As Troop Leaders?
Next month, the Boys Scouts of America may be undergoing a historic change. For years and years now, the Boy Scouts have not permitted gay youth to participate in their organization. However, the organization is set to hold a nationwide vote next month that would put a new resolution into place in their bylaws. That resolution will say that “no youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.” However, there is a key word in that resolution that has a lot of people out there upset: youth. While the Boy Scouts will allow gay youth to participate in the organization, gay and lesbian troop leaders will still not be permitted.
The Boy Scouts say that they will continue to enforce a ban on gay Boy Scout leaders because there are religious groups with close ties to the Boy Scouts that don’t want gay leaders to be allowed to lead groups of young boys. And that doesn’t sit well with a lot of gay rights groups out there.
“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 organization back to relevancy,” Rich Ferraro, the Vice President of Communications at GLAAD, said late last week.
Ferraro’s opinion is obviously biased due to his affiliation. But it’s a valid one. Why won’t the Boy Scouts allow gay troop leaders? When you consider the change they’re putting into place by allowing gay youth, it would make perfect sense for them to allow gay troop leaders as well. After all, those youth are going to grow up one day. So, why should they be able to participate in Boy Scouts when they’re young but not once they grow up? It seems counterintuitive.
Over time, we hope that the Boy Scouts will continue to debate amongst themselves about the issue of allowing gay troop leaders. We’re confident that, one day down the road, they will come around to the idea and install another change to their bylaws by allowing gay troop leaders. But, until then, groups like GLAAD have to continue to fight for the rights of the adults who serve in the Boy Scouts. In 2013, it seems silly that such a ban on gay people still exists in an organization that strives to teach young boys how to grow up to be good men. But that’s the way it is right now.
We just hope it doesn’t stay this way forever. Because the Boy Scouts are missing out on the opportunity to change the way that the organization is run. They need to use it.