Boy Scouts Anti-Gay Policy: Will St. Louis Organizations End Discrimination?

And has there been support or efforts locally to advocate for a policy change that would allow local charter organizations to select leaders without sexual orientation restrictions?

"I can say that our council, our community...our executive board, our volunteers have continued just to focus on providing a good program for the kids," Mueller tells us in response. "We are aware of this issue. We are aware that there is tremendous debate going on and has been going on.... Our time and focus has been on continuing to do everything we can to provide a program for young people throughout our community."

There doesn't seem to be any specific timeline nationally for possible changes.

Here's the full statement from the national organization.

For more than 100 years, Scouting's focus has been on working together to deliver the nation's foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training. Scouting has always been in an ongoing dialogue with the Scouting family to determine what is in the best interest of the organization and the young people we serve.

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.

And the full statement from St. Louis:

The National Council of the Boy Scouts of America announced on Monday, Jan. 28, 2013, that it was discussing removing the membership restriction regarding sexual orientation. This national policy change would allow religious, civic or educational organizations that oversee and deliver Scouting programs to determine how to address the issue.

Any changes or updates to the National Council's policies will be communicated by the Greater St. Louis Area Council to its chartering organizations, volunteer leaders, parents, youth members and the general public. Our council will continue to focus on working with a wide range of organizations to deliver a program of character development and values-based leadership training to more than 57,000 young people.

More from our LGBT archive: "St. Louis is One of Nation's "Gayest" Cities"

Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin. E-mail the author at Sam.Levin@RiverfrontTimes.com.

My Voice Nation Help
9 comments
Michael Allen
Michael Allen

Yeah, it's such a cop out that they're allowing it to be decided at the local level. Nothing's going to change.

12judges
12judges

I'm happy to see that there is serious discussion going on at the national BSA regarding this issue.  As a gay man my 8 years as a boy scout were some of the best and most formative of my life and I hope that if the policy is changed St. Louis chapters will lead the way in becoming more inclusive.  It would be another postitive mark for pro-diversity St. Louis.

Ryan Stufft
Ryan Stufft

No because they are not mandating the chapters follow the rule.

Kelli C Raven
Kelli C Raven

If you're not saying he's a pedophile, why on EARTH did you even mention the word???? It's so sad, such a crying shame that those two concepts are even associated AT ALL that you would have to distinguish them, but by bringing them together like that, you are just perpetuating it. Choose your words carefully!

Kenneth Lee M
Kenneth Lee M

I never understood how the boy scouts EVER discriminated against gays ... Wben their founder was frankly a total flaming gay! Not saying he was a pedophile but he clearly liked men.

ScoutMom
ScoutMom

According to the Boy Scout Oath, a Boy Scout is "morally straight", not "morally strong" like your article states.

Steve Dixon
Steve Dixon

It's not stated in a biased way at all Laura. Well, I guess it would come off that way if you like to discriminate based on sexual orientation.

Now Trending

St. Louis Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...