Wow. I just read this article that says the national Boy Scouts of America organization is considering ending its ban on gay Boy Scouts and gay leaders. This would be huge–especially since they appeared to be digging in their heels on this just last summer.
According to this article:
The new policy, now under discussion, would eliminate the ban from the national organization’s rules, leaving local sponsoring organizations free to decide for themselves whether to admit gay scouts . . .
“The chartered organizations that oversee and deliver scouting would accept membership and select leaders consistent with their organization’s mission, principles or religious beliefs,” according to Deron Smith, a spokesman for the Boy Scouts’ national organization.
I am anxious to see how this plays out. Stuart participates in Scouts with our local church group and loves it. I explained the policy to him last summer and he was, to be frank, totally baffled and confused.
And, if the BSA does reverse its position on this, I am perhaps even more anxious (and yes, scared) to see how the Mormon church handles it. Although the article says each unit would be able to decide how to handle this issue, I’m quite sure the Mormon church would come up with a churchwide policy (allowing for individual decision-making isn’t really a strong suit for the Mormon church) with which all the Mormon church-sponsored Boy Scouts units would have to comply.
This is an opportunity for my church–the church wherein I learned, from a very early age, to love others as God loves me–to show that love and acceptance through word and deed. I hope and pray that my church will stand in holy places and be not moved.
(Whispering now: I need this.)
Edited to add the following:
BSA has announced they may be close to announcing an end to their official ban on gay members and leaders. National headquarters is being inundated with calls opposing this announcement. Mormons Building Bridges is inviting (encouraging) all 2,372 of our members and this group to send an email and/or phone call to BSA headquarters expressing your support and thanks. Let’s overwhelm them with positive reinforcement! When I called to get contact info the man I spoke with said they had never been so busy and nearly all the callers were unhappy about lifting the ban. Let’s give BSA overwhelming support!
1. Letters should be short and respectful and positive.
2. Clearly state that you support them removing the official ban.
3. Include your experience with scouting (former scout, eagle scout, parent of eagle scout, etc.)
4. If you feel comfortable, sign Mormons Building Bridges, or Mormon, after your name.
email: firstname.lastname@example.org (Subject line: Opinion on Sexual Orientation Policy)
phone: 972-580-2000 (Be prepared to wait a very long time. Say you are calling to have your opinion be recorded regarding the ban on their Sexual Orientation Policy.