In a closely watched historic vote, 1,400 leaders from the nation’s local Boy Scouts of America Councils ended the long ban on equal participation for gay youth. But the BSA will continue excluding adult Eagle Scouts, scout leaders and parents. The resolution passed today reads in part, “no youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone,” according to the Human Rights Campaign.
“Today is a historic day for Boy Scouts across the country who want to be a part of this great American institution,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “But the new policy doesn’t go far enough. Parents and adults of good moral character, regardless of sexual orientation, should be able to volunteer their time to mentor the next generation of Americans.”
“The Boy Scouts of America can do better,” said Zach Wahls, an Eagle Scout and Executive Director of Scouts for Equality. “We welcome the news that the ban on gay Scouts is history, but our work isn’t over until we honor the Scout Law by making this American institution open and affirming to all.”
“While they took an important first step today, the failure of the Boy Scouts of America to move fully into the 21st Century proves the necessity of the Youth Equality Act, showing organizations like the BSA that any form of discrimination has a real cost,” said Equality California Executive Director John O’Connor.