Jan 28

News on BSA’s Proposed Policy Change

The Business Of Scouting And A Crisis Of Our Own Making – A contributor at Forbes talks about his experience with scouting and how the BSA’s administration has hurt the movement:

It may be a difficult nuance to understand the difference between the movement of Scouting, which grows in more than 140 countries and still shines brightly with millions of kids in local neighborhoods throughout this country, and the organization of the Boy Scouts of America, especially the national corporation that established this policy.

The movement of Scouting continues to be one of the great opportunities for light and goodness in the world. But in my opinion, and one shared by millions of parents with kids who could benefit from Scouting, the corporation that administers Scouting in America lost its moral compass a long time ago.

Man kicked out of Boy Scouts for being gay reacts to ban possibly ending – Local news in North Carolina interviews ISN’s Matt Comer.

Scouts considering retreat from no-gays policy – Includes another interview with Matt Comer.

Boy Scouts reconsiders policy against gay membership (CNN)

Boy Scouts Re-Considers Gay Policy: Religious Groups To Decide For Themselves (Huffington Post)

Jan 28

BSA Press Release on Potential Policy Change

Today’s press release on BSA’s web site announces that a policy change regarding sexual orientation is currently “under discussion.”

“Currently, 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, and the chartered organizations that oversee and deliver Scouting would accept membership and select leaders consistent with each organization’s mission, principles, or religious beliefs. BSA members and parents would be able to choose a local unit that best meets the needs of their families.

“The policy change under discussion would allow the religious, civic, or educational organizations that oversee and deliver Scouting to determine how to address this issue. The Boy Scouts would not, under any circumstances, dictate a position to units, members, or parents. Under this proposed policy, the BSA would not require any chartered organization to act in ways inconsistent with that organization’s mission, principles, or religious beliefs.”

Jan 28

Change in BSA Membership Policy in the Works?

MSNBC is reporting today that the BSA may soon drop its mandatory discrimination policy in favor of a “local option” allowing each individual unit and chartering organization to choose leaders and allow members as it sees fit:

Boy Scouts close to ending ban on gay members, leaders

The new policy, now under discussion, would eliminate the ban from the national organization’s rules, leaving local sponsoring organizations free to decide for themselves whether to admit gay scouts.

“The chartered organizations that oversee and deliver scouting would accept membership and select leaders consistent with their organization’s mission, principles or religious beliefs,” according to Deron Smith, a spokesman for the Boy Scouts’ national organization.

Individual sponsors and parents “would be able to choose a local unit which best meets the needs of their families,” Smith said.

There is no specific mention whether this policy would also allow some local units to accept atheist, agnostic, or other non-theist members and leaders, or whether it would only apply to the gay ban.

Jan 25

BSA Threatens Maryland Cub Scout Pack

The National Capital Area Council of the BSA has threatened to revoke the charter of Pack 442 in Cloverly, Maryland over the non-discrimination policy posted on the pack’s web site:

Boy Scouts Threaten to Kick Out Troop For Supporting Gay Members

Les Baron, CEO and Scout Executive of NCAC, confirms to Mother Jones that if the pack doesn’t erase the declaration, “they will not be recognized as an organization, although that’s our last resort.” That means that the troop will lose access to member insurance, rank badges, and scout camps. The only problem with the statement, Baron acknowledges, is the reference to sexual orientation. “That’s a message that’s against our policy, and we don’t want it continue to be out in our community,” Baron says.

According to the article, the pack has until tomorrow to decide whether to comply or lose its charter.