Boy Scouts of America officially end ban on gay leaders

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SALT LAKE CITY -- The Boy Scouts of America officially ended its ban on gay scout leaders Monday, a move that many had long anticipated.

The national executive board formally passed a resolution that removes national restrictions on openly gay adult leaders and employees. Of those present and voting, 79 percent voted in favor of the resolution, which took effect immediately.

However, the decision did not find support from leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which expressed its disappointment in the vote.  In a statement, which can be read in full below, the church stated it would reevaluate its longstanding relationship with BSA, hinting at a possible alternative to the program in the future.

According to BSA, chartered organizations, such as the LDS church, will be able to continue to select their adult leaders and religious chartered groups may continue to use religious beliefs as a criteria for selecting adult leaders, including matters on sexuality.

The rule comes just a couple months after BSA President Robert Gates advocated for the change, calling the ban unsustainable.

“This change allows Scouting’s members and parents to select local units, chartered to organizations with similar beliefs, that best meet the needs of their families,” stated the release. “This change also respects the right of religious chartered organizations to choose adult volunteer leaders whose beliefs are consistent with their own.”

In response to the decision, Utah’s scouting councils pointed to the LDS church.

“This is an issue for those religious organizations. In many respects, the new policy reinforces the long standing policy of Boy Scouts to let the chartered organizations, the chartered partners, decide who the leaders will be in these youth programs,” said Stan Lockhart, president of the Utah National Parks Council.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released the following statement about Monday's vote:

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is deeply troubled by today’s vote by the Boy Scouts of America National Executive Board. In spite of a request to delay the vote, it was scheduled at a time in July when members of the Church’s governing councils are out of their offices and do not meet. When the leadership of the Church resumes its regular schedule of meetings in August, the century-long association with Scouting will need to be examined. The Church has always welcomed all boys to its Scouting units regardless of sexual orientation. However, the admission of openly gay leaders is inconsistent with the doctrines of the Church and what have traditionally been the values of the Boy Scouts of America.

As a global organization with members in 170 countries, the Church has long been evaluating the limitations that fully one-half of its youth face where Scouting is not available. Those worldwide needs combined with this vote by the BSA National Executive Board will be carefully reviewed by the leaders of the Church in the weeks ahead.”

29 comments

  • Bob

    Look how many boys have been molested in the scouts over the decades. So many. Even though all leaders identified as straight. Do some research – most child molesters are middle-aged white men with wives – most of whom pray to some version of the thumper gawd and believe they will be forgiven. Scout leaders of different orientations are going to be scrutinized and observed more stringently than the supposedly “straight” ones who have been harming children with impunity for decades – these kids will be safer with openly g@y leaders than openly straight ones with closet desires for little boys.

    • bob

      Your hate is showing.

      Please direct us to the published, peer-reviewed research from which you derive your claims.

      I’ll wait, and listen to the crickets chirp.

      • bob

        I have a feeling we’ll be waiting a while. Liberals believe that reality is created by their own imaginations. Whether his claims are correct or not he doesn’t have an evidence to back them up, and had no intention of looking for any. He said it, therefore it’s true.

        Liberal Reality is created by the Liberal Narrative. No evidence, proof or logic is required.

      • Mikee

        RE: Bob

        Bob’s anti-gayness isn’t a result of his liberal persuasion, because Bob isn’t liberal, at all. Not sure how you’re arriving at that conclusion in regards to this situation anyway. Conservatives passed the bans on gays based on their religious desires, conservatives still support banning gays from many public activities, and conservatives threw (and are still throwing) a fit because the courts undid a lot of those bans because of the lack of any credible evidence or scientific studies supporting the bans. Despite all of that, you still think Liberals are the ones that make up reality and ignore evidence in this situation?

        Your prejudice is overriding your rational and critical thinking skills.

      • BOB

        At the end of the day MIKEE normal masculine men understand what Mother Nature intended. The Boy Scouts don’t need deviates as leaders.

    • bob

      “Identifying as straight” doesn’t mean anything more than “identifying as black.” If you like to mess with boys then you are a h o m o s e x u a l, by definition. Pretending otherwise doesn’t make you straight.

      The men who do that PRETEND to be straight, and PRETEND to be Christian, in order to gain the trust of their targets and their guardians. That should be obvious, Bob. What kind of idiot would a molester have to be to go to a Church congregation and say, “I want to be the Scoutmaster because I want to molest your kids”? Duh. They have to conceal their intentions and true natures or they’d never get any.

      I feel like I shouldn’t have to explain this to you. OF COURSE the men who perpetrated those crimes pretended to be something they’re not. But, in fact, they ARE exactly the sort of people whom you and other liberals champion. They’re YOUR crowd, not ours. They just infiltrated our crowd.

      The lesson is that we’re TOO trusting of them.

      OBVIOUSLY the vast majority of child molesters “identify as straight.” OBVIOUSLY they’ll pretend to be “Christian.”

      So I’ll save you the trouble, Bob. You’re right. Most of them are exactly as you describe. Now please keep them on your side of the fence. We don’t want them.

  • LouAnn

    As an avid person highly involved in scouting I am saddened that I know have to resign my position due to the act the scouting leaders have chosen. I do not or shall not support gays in scouting. this is my stand here and now and forever. I love my scouting and what I have done and learned I have been in scouting for over 30 years and am saddened that I have to now leave, but I have many other fellow scouters doing the same as we have been waiting for the news and now its hear, we shall see a great number leave the scouting community.

    • NathanDaSkate

      If you choose to leave the Scouting because of this, then that is your choice. From the sounds of it your Hatred of others and their lifestyle is good enough cause to leave. Hatred breeds hatred, and your comment shows both Hatred and Ignorance. Good Riddance to that

      • BOB

        Isn’t it time you you took your blushing boyfriend down the aisle and made him your husband? Until that happens he’s just another shack up.

  • joe schmoe

    and I have officially stopped supporting the BSA, sad to see a once great organization die.. I am not a religious man, but I will not support this direction..

  • Finny Wiggen

    This is really sad. I have always been proud of my Eagle. It is one of the most important accomplishments of my life. I have not walked away from the values I learned in scouting. It is heartbreaking to watch The Boy Scouts walk away from those values.

    I will not return my Eagle. I earned it.
    I do however think that the Boy Scouts should stop issuing Eagles. They are no longer living the values that represent what the Eagle stands for!

    I was taught to be morally straight, to have courage, to be brave, etc.

    Cowering to public opinion and giving in to the lowest common moral denominator does not demonstrate courage, bravery, or any other of the principals of scouting.

    I will hold my Eagle proudly, because I earned it.
    The Boy Scouts no longer represent those values, but I will continue to walk that path.

  • mom of an Eagle scout

    The world is lowering standards at such a fearful rate. What will “morally straight” mean now?

    • Mikee

      Being morally straight means to live your life with honesty, to be clean in your speech and actions, and to be a person of strong character. ‘Morally straight’ has NEVER had anything to do with sexual preference until recently, so it shouldn’t be that hard to go back to its original, hateless meaning.

      • JACK JOHNSON

        MIKEE – Now you and your husband can organize your own boy scout troup. We wish you success.

      • NathanDaSkate

        Jack Johnson, you spew hatred and ignorance. This also shows intolerance to anybody different than you are. Grow up and let people live their lives. I feel sorry for the people who can’t leave well enough alone, if someone living a lifestyle you don’t agree with doesn’t actually impact your life, why do you care. Leave it alone.

      • BOB

        Since when is expressing an opinion deemed to be hatred? You need to show a little tolerance for the viewpoints of others NATHANDASKATE.

  • bob

    The LDS church is the single largest supporter of the BSA.
    Liberals have been howling for years that the Church should end its sponsorship.

    What do you think liberals would say if the Church pulled its sponsorship NOW?

    But they should. They can easily start their own organization modeled on the Boy Scouts ideal. Nobody needs the BSA.

  • mormonsarechristian

    Father Benedict Groeschel, the Catholic Church’s expert on priest abuse, reports 90 percent of the abuse of children was done by the 10 percent of Catholic Priests who are homosexual. And Catholic priests don’t camp overnight with young teens. Conservative Churches are right to resist this change in policy.

  • Mikee

    Since KSTU has gone the way of KSL and decided that moderation and suppressing free speech is more important than giving people a play to voice their opinions I’m now adding KSTU to my Chrome’s blocksite app. Goodbye, KSTU.

  • Matt

    Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell is crying in Heaven because political correctness (idiocy) has destroyed a once exceptional program for young boys and men. I used to serve as an Assistant Council Commissioner in the Utah National Parks Council years ago. It is beyond sad to see such a program destroyed by foolish people demanding that the rest of us accept their unholy unions. The LDS Church is under the Lord’s guidance and will emerge with an excellent program such as Duty to God or other such program. The BSA will wish they never decided to take the path they did but they have agency and they will discover that it was a bad decision in the end.

  • BOB

    Why is it that the LGBTQQ Community always links hate to any comment they don’t agree with? I never eat escargot but I certainly don’t hate snails.

Comments are closed.