The Boy Scouts of America have proposed to partially lift the ban that excludes gay members from service. The proposal would admit gay youth, but would still continue to bar adult troop leaders. It is a revision to a BSA proposal made in January that would have allowed local troops to decide whether to accept gay members. Unveiled last Friday, the new proposal must go before roughly 1,400 voting members of the BSA’s National Council. The council will vote over the week of May 20th during its annual meeting in Texas.
Gay-rights advocacy groups are criticizing the current proposal as incomplete. Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign asked “What message does this resolution send to the gay Eagle Scout who, as an adult, wants to continue a lifetime of Scouting by becoming a troop leader?”
Some conservative groups went on the defensive saying that the ban should remain in its entirety. “The policy is incoherent,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council. “The proposal says, in essence, that homosexuality is morally acceptable until a boy turns 18 – then, when he comes of age, he’s removed from the Scouts.”
The BSA anticipates backlash from many long-term members of the organization and estimate that between 100,000 and 350,000 members would leave the organization should the proposal pass.