Will the longstanding and controversial ban finally be lifted?
It’s been a controversy for years. It’s led successful scouts to give up their honors. It’s even gone to the Supreme Court.
And now, it may be close to changing.
The Boy Scouts of America, the national organization that oversees all individual Boy Scout troops nationwide, is meeting to decide on whether to drop its policy against gay scouts and scoutmasters. If the national policy is dropped, then individual local scouting organizations will be able to set their own policy on the matter. Many will, no doubt, retain the ban, but many others will drop it and openly welcome gay members
This represents a major change from even very recent policy. NBC reports:
The discussion of a potential change in policy is nearing its final stages, according to outside scouting supporters. If approved, the change could be announced as early as next week, after the BSA’s national board holds a regularly scheduled meeting.
Only seven months ago, the Boy Scouts affirmed a policy of banning gay members, after a nearly two-year examination of the issue by a committee of volunteers convened by national leaders of the Boy Scouts of America, known as the BSA.
The tide does appear to be turning in favor of equality, and while it may be long overdue, better late than never. If the BSA chooses to change this policy, they will have opened up opportunity for untold numbers of boys, and helped take a stand against intolerance, prejudice, and homophobia. It’s still too early for kudos, but there is reason to be hopeful.
For other voices at the Good Men Project talking about their own experiences with this issue, read “This Is Why I Withdrew My Son From Cub Scouts” and “Eagle Scouts Returning Their Badges for LGBT Equality“.