Yesterday, I wrote about how the BSA national council was voting to determine whether to allow non-straight boys to serve openly in the organization. Well, I have good news. 61% of the executives voted in favor of the measure. This means Boy Scouts will no longer be kicked out simply for their sexual orientation. Now, LGBT adults are still not permitted to join the organization, and there are several other steps I would like to see them take next.
I wrote about this measure a month ago, when this change was first proposed. I would like to repeat what I wrote back then, as I think it still applies:
This is a pretty important first step. It’s not a big first step, but it shows that the BSA is at least willing to consider a policy change. At the very least, this will make it much harder for the BSA to ban gay scouts, as now they’ll have to find some sort of other reason to kick them out. I fully expect the BSA to move further on this issue in the next few years. It may take a while, but eventually we’ll have equality.
Here’s what I’d like to see next:
- Similar protections for LGBT adults
- Mandatory diversity training, with a focus on being respectful and inclusive toward LGBT people
- Anti-harassment policies in place to prevent bullying of LGBT members
- Serious consequences (like charter revoking) for scout troops that don’t follow the rules
I think those rules would go a long way toward making LGBT people feel safe and accepted in the BSA. If you’re interested in supporting efforts to make these sorts of changes, you can donate to the Inclusive Scouting Network, an organization that works to further equality in the BSA.
Other posts I’ve written about the Boy Scouts: