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Boy Scouts close to ending ban on gay members, leaders NBC

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Took a quick look round at the nearest 20 troops/crews.


Half are LDS or Catholic, with a few Baptist on top of that. 13 out of 20 chartered orgs will likely be disturbed by this if not more. I see the first effect that the Catholics will be less likely to attend district or council events, just like the LDS units. These are generally the more healthy units. The school based units are dying or dead.


Another nail in the coffin of a failing semi-rural council. Soon to be absorbed by the neighboring big city council.


BSA would be wiser to stay with the "don't ask, don't policy", which is what we locally observe. If you don't rub in our face and don't make a big deal out of it then we let it be. (Yes even as a Catholic, we have compassion for gays etc. We just don't think it should be put up as a "postive" example)


I wonder if this is all a PR head fake..make a big announcement to force unwilling people to look bad on the record....


Or come back with a more mild statement, like "don't ask, don't tell".



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In December, the LDS made a big move to welcome the LGBT community into their church where before members were banished. http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/06/us/mormon-lgbt-website/index.html


This pending decision appears to be a direct result of the LDS last month. Perhaps nobody wants to be on the wrong side of history.


I don't think this I&P forum will ever be quiet. I would like to see the BSA adopt a non-discrimination policy that welcomes all people regardless of sexual orientation, gender, religious beliefs, etc. and not just kick it own to the CO.



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DigitalScout - BSA kicks alot of decisions like this down to the CO.. That makes sense considering they want the CO to feel it is Their program, they are just supplying the organized "How To guidebook", and other materials to support them in running a successful program.


Telling a CO that they MUST, is as bad as telling a CO that they can't..


A family who wants to join scouting, then has a choice also.. If they don't care, they will join the unit closest to them. If they do care, they may choose to travel 20 or 30 minutes to the unit that is closest to their family values.


If LDS is becoming more accepting to homosexuals, I would say this is the reason for the change. As many people have said before, it was their money (and fear of it's loss) that drove the issue before.. Catholics maybe feel homosexuality is a sin, but I have never heard of them barring a homosexual from their worship services.. They may be a CO, that chooses not to accept openly homosexual leaders, but I doubt the Catholics will get their panties in a bind, over what their neighboring BSA unit is or is not doing.


I do foresee a notable mass exodus up front from some very conservative groups.. Maybe alot of evangelicals, maybe some of the churches having civil war inside their churchs on the issue, those fighting for the conservative side, may already be hyper-sensitive on this issue.


I foresee the influx of new members and units also, but not in a mass entrance, but a slow gradual build.. I doubt there are hundreds and thousands waiting in the wing to flood into BSA if this policy is removed.. It will be simply people when given the option to join, will not say "no" due to this policy.. And a new charter will be formed, by someone slowly over time, if no CO in the area has an open door policy on the issue, and parents would like their son in the scouting program, and have strong liberal feelings on this issue.


So for a few years I do expect the walk-outs will out number the walk-ins, but in about 5 years, the program will be healthier for it.

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I read the NY Times article



Mr. Smith, the Scouts spokesman, said that under the proposed policy, the B.S.A. would not require any chartered organization to act in ways inconsistent with that organizations mission, principles, or religious beliefs. He said that members and parents would be able to choose a local unit that best met the needs of their families.


So will we need to re-charter a month after chartering to update the CO agreement?


The Times article suggested that upcoming National Geographic Channel show called Are You Tougher Than a Boy Scout? may have been the last straw as a disclaimer was added to it denouncing the Boy Scouts for discriminating against gay candidates for membership.


I asked earlier about Eagle candidates, still under eighteen, who admitted they were gay and subsequently got the boot from National/council. If this change goes through, I think a "kind" and "courteous" gesture would be for National to send them a letter welcoming those scouts back and encouraging scouts to resume the Eagle path. National would waive the joining fee.


Another $0.02(This message has been edited by RememberSchiff)

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So will we need to re-charter a month after chartering to update the CO agreement?


No. Did your agreement say that you promised not to choose gays as leaders? The charter agreement is pretty broad and these policy changes will not affect it.

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My understnding is the topic of allowing Gays in Scouting was on the agenda of the upcomming meeting. It got leaked not by BSA but by someone who had a copy of the agenda.


So, I don't know what it means, I can only think if it was on the agenda, LDS knew about it and we wait to see if they say something. Maybe it was a ploy by the leaker, to cause a stir and have the public opinion be positive or negative to make the choice easier



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A few news outlets are reporting this:



The organization, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2010, has long excluded both gays and atheists as its national policy. [Deron] Smith, the Scouts spokesman, said a change in the policy toward atheists was not being considered, and that the Scouts continued to view Duty to God as one of its basic principles.


So no atheists or public school charters.

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The headline in the local paper noted that the 'local' decision would be left to THE COUNCIL. Good luck with that. Once the CO's smell freedom they'll TAKE it.


There was half an entire page on this later on page 2 (is today a really slow news day?). Anyway, about half of that was devoted to discussion of the response by the Southern Baptist Convention, predictably and strongly opposed to this policy change. They predict that this will be "nothing less than disastrous for the Boy Scouts of America."


While I remain skeptical, I agree with Trevorum...the inertia of this news is going to make it nearly impossible to stop. But I guess I wouldn't put it past them to at least try to stop it. For now I'll just hope for the best.

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