Boy Scouts of America’s (BSA) executive board moved its vote on whether to allow gay members, which was originally supposed to be Feb. 6, to May.
BSA has existed since 1910 and has never allowed homosexuals in the organization. This vote could allow groups the opportunity to let homosexual scouts and leaders into their chapters. Last July, BSA said it would be best to not allow homosexuals, causing several corporations including Intel Corp. and Merck & Co. to withdraw their funding from the group.
“After careful consideration and extensive dialogue within the Scouting family, along with comments from those outside the organization, the volunteer officers of the Boy Scouts of America’s National Executive Board concluded that due to the complexity of this issue, the organization needs time for a more deliberate review of its membership policy,” the executive board said in a statement.
Last year at Avery Elementary School, the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) decided to reconsider chartering Cub Scouts due to the ban.
“The PTO put the decision to a vote and decided it would not charter the Cub Scouts. The Cubs have since gotten chartered by a local church, and they still meet at Avery School. In addition, a parent here has formed an Explorers club that is open to all,” said Cindy Neu, the assistant principal at Avery.
“I think it’s (removing the ban) great,” said Eagle Scout and senior Sean Bailey. “Gays are to be active (in BSA) just as any other straight person.”
Bailey has been part of BSA since sixth grade and on Dec. 11 became an Eagle Scout. He believes if they get rid of the ban, the organization will go through a big change. He said BSA has been this way so long some of the older people might not like it, but people will have to get used to it.
Several religious leaders in the organization, however, believe that allowing gays to be open in BSA would destroy the organization.
However CNN.com columnist LZ Granderson pointed out that Girls Scouts of America, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and 4-H Club all allow their gay members and leaders to be open, yet none of them have completely failed after allowing that openness.