Target: National Council of the Boy Scouts of America
Goal: Allow openly gay Boy Scouts members at all levels of the organization
The Boy Scouts of America will soon vote at its National Annual Meeting to change the current membership policy of denying openly gay Scouts to possibly allowing them. However, the proposed policy will still allow the BSA to exclude openly gay Scout leaders and other adult members. Urge the BSA to allow openly gay members at all levels.
The current policy at the BSA is as follows: “While the BSA does not proactively inquire about the sexual orientation of employees, volunteers, or members, we do not grant membership to individuals who are open or avowed homosexuals or who engage in behavior that would become a distraction to the mission of the BSA.” This is similar to the military’s former “don’t ask, don’t tell” rule.
After re-affirming its current policy in 2012, the BSA has responded to public opinion and has decided to propose a change during the May National Council meeting.
The proposed change would allow gay youth to join the Scouts, but would still disallow openly gay adult members. The policy will affect the nearly 2.7 million youth and 1 million adult Boy Scouts members, according to the BSA. While the BSA should be commended for recognizing that its current policy is in need of change, it is not enough. Encourage the BSA to vote to change its membership policy to allow all openly gay members.
Dear National Council of the Boy Scouts,
I commend you for recognizing that your current policy of disallowing openly gay Scouts needs a change. I urge you to vote to change that policy to allow all Scouts equally regardless of their sexual orientation. However, I believe that the proposed policy change is not enough to promote tolerance and acceptance among members of the Boy Scouts of America. The BSA should accept openly gay adult members as well.
One of the strongest lessons we can teach our youth is the value of tolerance in a increasingly diverse society. The BSA is the perfect vehicle to reach them with this lesson, among the many other values it instills in its members. I believe that sexuality is not a choice, and that discriminating against people of different sexualities within your organization is contrary to your mission of providing the best for the nation’s children. Discrimination is not conscientious, responsible, or productive: it is exclusionary, bigoted, and archaic.
Allowing openly gay leaders in your organization would show your young members that their own sexualities have no bearing on the strong and able citizens they will become.
Please vote to change the Boy Scouts of America member policy to include members of all sexualities.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Richard Elzey via Flickr