Since its foundation in 1910, the Boy Scouts of America have made it their mission to, “prepare every eligible youth in America to become a responsible, participating, citizen and leader who is guided by the Scout Oath and Law.” Number 4 of the 12 Boy Scout laws requires a scout to be, “Friendly. A Scout is a friend to all. He seeks to understand others. He respects those with ideas and customs other than his own.” However, most ambivalently, the Boy Scouts of America have actively enforced a ban on gay Scouts and Scout Leaders for the past 103 years.
Recently, the Boy Scouts of America have been challenged by the Youth Equality Act which entails that youth groups who discriminate on the basis of gender identity, race, sexual orientation, nationality, religion or religious affiliation will no longer be exempt from taxes. The publicity the Boy Scouts’ membership policies has placed them under righteous scrutiny for their blatant discrimination. The culmination of a push for change, a huge loss of sponsors, and the threat of imposed taxes, has resulted in an adverse compromise that states “No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone,” but the organization, “will maintain the current membership policy for all adult leaders.”
The resolution fails to make either side happy. Conservative Christians, some of which believe homosexuality is a sin, argue that the Boy Scouts caved into political pressure. In fact, many of these churches are generous patrons to BSA. On the other hand, gay rights groups argue that the resolution was still terribly discriminatory.
Although the ban on gay Scouts was lifted, the remaining prohibition of gay Scout Leaders only further affirms BSA’s prejudice against homosexuals. It is a hypocritical act of bigotry coming from an organization that claims to, “be a friend to all,” “[seeks] to understand others,” and respect differing…