Michael Foust of Baptist Press does a good job in presenting the true imbalance of those opposing Boy Scouts being expanded to Gay Scouts! However, while the nation’s attention was turned to Boston on Friday morning, the Boy Scouts of America announced that it intends to end its ban on gay members, as long as its board approves the change. The organization would still, however, prohibit gay adults from serving as troop leaders or volunteers.
The proposed new policy states, “No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.” The proposed policy also reinforces the organization’s position that “Scouting is a youth program, and any sexual conduct, whether homosexual or heterosexual, by youth of Scouting age is contrary to the virtues of Scouting.”
The change would apply only to members; it does not change the policy regarding gay troop leaders or other volunteers. “The BSA will maintain the current membership policy for all adults,” said Deron Smith, the group’s spokesman.
Scouts propose allowing gay-identifying youth
IRVING, Texas (BP) — Members at the Boy Scouts national convention in May will consider a proposal that would leave in place the prohibition on homosexual Scout leaders but would allow youth who identify as gay to join, it was announced Friday (Ap
The proposed policy, unanimously approved by the Boy Scouts executive committee, differs significantly from a proposal that was discussed in February that would have allowed openly gay leaders and youth to join. That policy would have made it a “local option,” whereby each sponsoring organization would decide the policy. Under the new proposal, there is a national standard and no local option.
“No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone,” the proposed resolution states in part.
The resolution criticizes sexual activity by youth, saying Scouting “is a youth program, and any sexual conduct, whether homosexual or heterosexual, by youth of Scouting age is contrary to the virtues of Scouting.” Two paragraphs later it further says that “youth are still developing, learning about themselves and who they are, developing their sense of right and wrong, and understanding their duty to God to live a moral life.”
The Boy Scouts leadership appeared poised in early February to lift its prohibition on gay Scout leaders and youth but — facing pressure from its base — decided to put the matter before its 1,400 voting members at the national convention, which will be in May.
Frank Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee, was outspoken earlier this year in urging the Boy Scouts to keep their current policy.
“We said in January we wished the Scouts would listen to the whole scouting family, not just a few,” Page said Friday. “The leadership listened. Chief among the concerns they heard is the influence of adult leaders on impressionable youth. Though this resolution is more acceptable to those who hold a biblical form of morality than what was being considered before, we would still prefer no change in the policy. A No vote keeps the current policy in place, an outcome we would overwhelmingly support.”
Also on Friday, the Boy Scouts released the results of a series of surveys it conducted.
Among the findings:
– 61 percent of adult Scout members favor the current policy, while 34 percent oppose it.
– 61 percent of Boy Scout parents support the current policy, while 50 percent of Cub Scout parents back it (45 percent of Cub Scout parents oppose it).
– 51 percent of major donors support the current policy while 33 percent oppose it. But a majority of Fortune 500 companies want to see the policy changed.
– A majority of teens ages 16-18 in the Boy Scouts program oppose the current policy. A percentage was not given.
Michael Foust is associate editor of Baptist Press. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress ) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).
About Dr. HL Champion
Dr. H.L. Champion has pastored churches in Texas, Iowa, Missouri, Virginia, and in Tennessee. He has also served as Youth minister and Staff Evangelist in the earlier years of his ministry. Both he and Pat attended Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, Oklahoma. Pat attended Liberty University and Bro Champion attended Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary there. Brother Champion received his Masters and Doctors degrees from Bethel Bible College and Seminary in Greensboro, N.C. Dr. Champion loves to witness everywhere he goes. One of his favorite experiences other than winning a soul to Christ is to find someone who has never heard of John 3:16. He says, " It is a very great privilege to share the Gospel with some one for the very first time in their life." Here is another quote of his; "To plant the Gospel in the heart of a lost soul for his very first time is to truly experience, "For God so loved the world. . .'" As the owner and Chief Editor of Baptist.org, Brother Champion provides a platform for Baptists and Christians all over the world to present their Gospel message. He and Pat are a part of a Mission Start in Nashville, TN. Contact him at [email protected] - 615-944-0348