“The vast majority of the parents of youth we serve value their right to address issues of same-sex orientation within their family, with spiritual advisers and at the appropriate time and in the right setting,” Scouts’ chief executive Bob Mazzuca said. “We fully understand that no single policy will accommodate the many diverse views among our membership or society.”
Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, responded to the news by saying; “With the country moving toward inclusion, the leaders of the Boy Scouts of America have instead sent a message to young people that only some of them are valued. They’ve chosen to teach division and intolerance.”
In 2000, the Supreme Court ruled that the Boy Scouts of America could bar homosexuals from being group leaders, as being forced to accept them would violate its constitutional right of freedom of association. This new decision falls in line with the ruling, but changes may be coming as two members of the national executive board, CEO of Ernst & Young John Turley and AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, have both previously stated they would work to change the policy. Stephenson is on track to become the president of the board in 2014.
By comparison, the Girl Scouts of the USA has a policy that allows for all members, regardless of sexuality, but does not condone or permit sexual displays. Furthermore, in 2011 the Girl Scouts of Colorado allowed a 7-year-old transgender child to join the scouts, saying; “If a child identifies as a girl and the child’s family presents her as a girl, Girl Scouts of Colorado welcomes her as a Girl Scout.”
The Boy Scouts of America currently has 2.7 million youth members and over 1 million adult volunteers.