Boy Scouts President: End Gay Scout Leaders Ban

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by Church Militant  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  May 25, 2015   

"We must deal with the world as it is"

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Last week, the President for the Boy Scouts of America called for an end to the much-contested ban on gay scout leaders.

Speaking at the Scouts' national annual meeting in Atlanta last Thursday, Robert M. Gates, former Secretary of Defense and the man who helped repeal “Don't Ask, Don't Tell,” told people in attendance that the Boy Scouts must stop the ban on gay scout leaders to avoid potential lawsuits — which essentially boils down to “give in to their demands or else.”

Though Gates has supported an end to the ban on gay scout leaders since he became the organization's president in 2014, he has not been so forthright about it, saying that he respected the decision of the policymakers after they upheld the ban back in 2013 when they decided to allow openly gay youth to enter. He attributes this recent push on account of recent events such as the fast rise of same-sex “marriage” acceptance, backlash against religious freedom bills, and the general animus towards those who view homosexuality with a less than favorable eye.

“The status quo in our movement's membership standards cannot be sustained,” he said.

“I remind you of the recent debates we have seen in places like Indiana and Arkansas over discrimination based on sexual orientation, not to mention the impending U.S. Supreme Court decision this summer on gay marriage,” he continued. “We must deal with the world as it is, not as we might wish it to be.”

Gates warned the BSA that if they don't change their policy, then there will be more disobedience and defiance, such as what took place in the BSA's New York chapter this past April when they hired an openly gay camp counselor. Though the BSA has the power to revoke their charters, Gates felt such action would only harm innocent young boys. He also noted that multiple states now have laws on the books protecting LGBT people from employment discrimination, saying the BSA could face insurmountable legal trouble if they don't switch.

“Thus, between internal challenges and potential legal conflicts, the BSA finds itself in an unsustainable position, a position that makes us vulnerable to the possibility the courts simply will order us at some point to change our membership policy,” Gates said. “Waiting for the courts is a gamble with huge stakes. Alternatively, we can move at some future date — but sooner rather than later — to seize control of our own future, set our own course and change our policy in order to allow charter partners — unit-sponsoring organizations — to determine the standards for their Scout leaders.”

Considering that religious organizations provide the bulk of support for the already dwindling BSA, including the Church of Jesus Christ for Latter Day Saints and the Roman Catholic Church, Gates did say that they should be allowed to set their own guidlines for their own local scout troops — which is leftist code speak for “isolate religious groups so we can bully them later.”

“I support a policy that accepts and respects our different perspectives and beliefs,” he said, adding, “I truly fear that any other alternative will be the end of us as a national movement.”

Zach Wahls, leader of the pro-gay Scouts for Equality, said he appreciated Gates' remarks and feels this shows signs of change to come.

“Dr. Gates has built his reputation on straight talk and tough decisions,” said Wahls. “It seems like the Boy Scouts will continue an internal dialogue about the subject and that a change within the next year or two is imminent.”

As of now, the ban on gay scout leaders still stands.

 

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