Boy Scouts of America Votes To Allow Gay Members, Retains Ban On Gay Leaders

Jim Burroway

May 23rd, 2013

The Boy Scouts of America’s National Council this afternoon passed a resolution to allow gay youth to become Boy Scout members. The resolution passed with a 61% to 38% margin. According to a BSA press release:

“Based on growing input from within the Scouting family, the BSA leadership chose to conduct an additional review of the organization’s long-standing membership policy and its impact on Scouting’s mission. This review created an outpouring of feedback from the Scouting family and the American public, from both those who agree with the current policy and those who support a change.

“Today, following this review, the most comprehensive listening exercise in Scouting’s history  the approximate 1,400 voting members of the Boy Scouts of America’s National Council approved a resolution to remove the restriction denying membership to youth on the basis of sexual orientation alone. The resolution also reinforces that Scouting is a youth program, and any sexual conduct, whether heterosexual or homosexual, by youth of Scouting age is contrary to the virtues of Scouting. A change to the current membership policy for adult leaders was not under consideration; thus, the policy for adults remains in place. The BSA thanks all the national voting members who participated in this process and vote.”

The BSA’s retention of the ban on gay adult leaders means that as soon as a gay Boy Scout turns 18  — even if he is an Eagle Scout in the Order of the Arrow (the Scout’s national honor society) — that Scout will suddenly become a pariah in his troop instead of a young adult leader.

The Boy Scout’s new policy goes into effect January 1, 2014.

Priya Lynn

May 23rd, 2013

I’m surprised there was such a big margin in favour. I don’t think it’ll be very long and they’ll realize they now look absurd banning adult gays and change that as well.


May 23rd, 2013

As much as I dislike the details of this decision, I can’t help but think this will usher in the next step of accepting gay leadership as well. Once fellow scouts begin to see their fellow Eagle Scouts being cast out, the injustice of it will be undeniable.

Timothy Kincaid

May 23rd, 2013

I hope you are right, Priya Lynn. I think it’s eventual, but I hope it’s sooner rather than later.

Richard Rush

May 23rd, 2013

“The Boy Scout’s new policy goes into effect January 1, 2014.”

I assume that until 12/31/2013 Scouts discovered to be gay will be thrown out, right? So, will they be allowed back in on 1/1/2014?


May 23rd, 2013

People tend to overlook that from 2004 (it was a bit vague before then) until sometime in the last couple of years, lgbt youth were not banned though they could not hold youth leadership positions (e.g., patrol leader) which effectively banned boys from becoming Eagle scouts (they have to lead other scouts in doing their project).

So the BSA has moved possibly an increment in the last few years, one step backwards in banning gay youth, one step forward in unbanning them and presumably dropping the ban on them holding youth leadership positions.

This is probably too late for Ryan Andresen since he is over 18 though it would be nice if they considered special circumstances and gave him the Eagle he earned. Anyway the BSA claimed he was an atheist (a charge he denies) and the ban on atheists has not changed.


May 23rd, 2013

Question to people who’ve been following this: What was the result expected to be? Is the margin larger or smaller than expected?

Timothy Kincaid

May 23rd, 2013

Marcus, I wasn’t exactly sure what I thought would happen so the margin was a bit of a surprise. But it probably shouldn’t have been – it was the ‘compromise’ decided on beforehand.


May 24th, 2013

So, according to the BSA, I and everyone like me is still a bad role model for kids. Forget my Master’s degree, my membership in Phi Beta Kappa or my moral beliefs, because I have TEH GAY children should not be around me. How lovely. As far as I am concerned, the organization remains anti-American their policies and should be shunned by all right-thinking people.

Richard Rush

May 24th, 2013

This new split policy is simply incoherent, and I predict it won’t last very long. As time goes on and gay boys are thrown out on their 18th birthday, the magnitude of incoherence will become glaringly obvious and offensive to everyone except the intractable bigots.

Imagine how an out gay scout (and the people who love him) will feel as he approaches his 18th birthday knowing that he will instantly become a toxic dangerous threat who must be removed from proximity to all his slightly younger scouting friends so he can’t harm them.


May 24th, 2013

I will cast my vote with Cpt_Doom. As long as gay adults and atheists are portrayed as inferior beings, the organization is not one I would support or want to be a member.

Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.


Latest Posts

The Things You Learn from the Internet

"The Intel On This Wasn't 100 Percent"

From Fake News To Real Bullets: This Is The New Normal

NC Gov McCrory Throws In The Towel

Colorado Store Manager Verbally Attacks "Faggot That Voted For Hillary" In Front of 4-Year-Old Son

Associated Press Updates "Alt-Right" Usage Guide

A Challenge for Blue Bubble Democrats

Baptist Churches in Dallas, Austin Expelled Over LGBT-Affirming Stance

Featured Reports

What Are Little Boys Made Of?

In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.

Slouching Towards Kampala: Uganda’s Deadly Embrace of Hate

When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.

Paul Cameron’s World

In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.

From the Inside: Focus on the Family’s “Love Won Out”

On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.

Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"

The Heterosexual Agenda: Exposing The Myths

At last, the truth can now be told.

Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!

And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.

Testing The Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?

Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.

Straight From The Source: What the “Dutch Study” Really Says About Gay Couples

Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.

The FRC’s Briefs Are Showing

Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.

Daniel Fetty Doesn’t Count

Daniel FettyThe FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.