Concluding that their policy was “no longer legally defensible,” the governing body of the Boy Scouts of America voted on Monday to end its ban on including gay adults. Approved by 79% of its National Executive Board, the decision does away with the national ban. Under the onslaught of lawsuits and an investigation by New York’s Attorney General, the Board was forced to reassess its policy. In its announcement, however, it states that local Scouting organizations are still free to reject gay applicants if “hiring them would violate the unit’s religious beliefs.”
Wait a minute. We’ve heard these words before — and in Texas, too. Did the Boy Scouts of America’s Executive Board take a page from Texas Governor Gregg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton in crafting their decision? Frankly, we smell a rat here, and so does Peter McGraith, gay leader of the Transatlantic Council of Boy Scouts of America. He called the called the vote:
an expedient move to preempt legal action against BSA national, rather than a genuine attempt to make BSA inclusive.
Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Scouting’s current president, shared the following in May of this year:
We must deal with the world as it is, not as we might wish it to be. The status quo in our movement’s membership standards cannot be sustained.
How noble of them! They deserve a cookie! Any Girl Scouts around?
Today’s decision is ironic, to say the least, considering the founder of the Boy Scouts, one Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell was, in all probability, a closeted gay man. We only hope that maybe the spin that he’s been in for these many years has slowed a bit.
Featured image courtesy of fstdt.com.