Target: Robert Gates, Boy Scouts of America President
Goal: Praise Boy Scouts of America for eliminating the ban on gay leaders and volunteers in the organization.
Thanks to those at ForceChange who protested the ban on gay leaders in the Boy Scouts, an executive committee for Boy Scouts of America (BSA) voted unanimously to allow gay or bisexual adults to work and volunteer in the organization.
The executive committee of the Boy Scouts of America is made up of 17 members and the approved resolution will become official policy if it is ratified by the BSA’s 80-member National Executive Board in an upcoming meeting.
The voting took place after a heartfelt speech in May by BSA president and former Defense Secretary Robert Gates gave supporting a ban on openly gay adults in the Boy Scouts. In 2013, the BSA reluctantly decided to allow gay youth members to be scouts, but still banned gay adults as leaders. This new resolution will finally change that and local scout units will be able to choose adult leaders regardless of sexual orientation. Many scout councils have already chosen this stance as a way to defy the previous official ban.
In addition to those at ForceChange, the advocacy group known as Scouts for Equality has also been pushing to end the ban on gay adult leaders in the BSA. Zach Wahls, an Eagle Scout raised by two lesbian moms, is head of Scouts of Equality and said that, “…the Boy Scouts of America’s ban on gay adults has stood as a towering example of explicit, institutional homophobia in one of America’s most important and recognizable civic organizations.”
Walhs said that he recognizes that this policy change isn’t perfect and it could still allow for discrimination, but that it is a huge step in the right direction. Please sign the petition below to thank the Boy Scouts of America President Robert Gates for also recognizing that this ban is not helping anyone and that we need to end discrimination for good.
Dear Mr. Robert Gates,
I would like to thank you for your role in ending the ban on gay adults serving as leaders and volunteers in the Boy Scouts of America. After a unanimous vote by a 17-member executive committee, it is clear that the BSA is moving in the right direction.
We need to no longer shame or discriminate those who are openly gay and ending this ban will help move the BSA in the right direction. No one deserves to be ostracized because of their sexual orientation and I am hopeful that the BSA’s 80-member National Executive Board will ratify the policy change in the next meeting.
Thank you for realizing that people should be allowed to serve as leaders, scouts, and volunteers in the BSA, no matter their sexual orientation. This policy change will only benefit your organization and I hope to see the BSA make even larger strides in the future.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Steven Depolo