By Michael Geer
Thursday evening, the Boy Scouts of America gave into more than two decades of attacks and challenges, and announced that it was changing its policy to now allow openly homosexual boys to participate in the Scouts. The decision was the result of months of debate and a secret ballot vote of roughly 1,400 voting members of the Boy Scout’s National Council. And it ends a more than 100 year legacy of promoting virtue and morality for a “compromise” that will actually only invite more attacks.
The Boy Scouts faced enormous outside pressure from homosexual advocacy organizations and from major corporations, some of which, like UPS and Merck, had stopped financially supporting the Scouts because of its longstanding policy not to permit openly homosexual Scouts or Scout leaders. It is clear that this economic pressure played a big role in yesterday’s change. But this compromise clearly will not work.
Moments after the change was announced, homosexual groups vowed to be unrelenting in their pressure against the Boy Scouts until they permit homosexual Scout leaders. Richard Zimmerman, spokesman for GLAAD (“Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation”) stated, “We’ll continue urging corporate donors and public officials to withhold their support.”
Those, who like the Pennsylvania Family Institute, supported the historic policy of the Boy Scouts, were very clear what this “compromise” would mean. Said John Stemberger of the Florida Family Council, who led a national effort to resist this latest change,
It is with great sadness and deep disappointment that we recognize on this day that the most influential youth program in America has turned a tragic corner. The vote today to allow open and avowed homosexuality into Scouting will completely transform it into an unprincipled and risky proposition for parents. It is truly a sad day for Scouting.
The Boy Scouts of America has a logo that bears the phrase ‘Timeless Values.’ Today, the BSA can no longer use this phrase in good faith. It has demonstrated by its actions that the organization’s values are not timeless, and instead they are governed by changing tides of polls, politics and public opinion.
And the Family Research Council in Washington noted:
It took strong-arm tactics, political sharks, and corporate harassment, but the national leadership of the BSA finally succeeded in forcing through a piece of policy that robs the Scouts of its innocence. And now, by opening the door to gay young people, legal experts say it’s only a matter of time before the rule on homosexuality extends to everyone–including adults. Almost immediately, BSA councils, Scouting parents, and leaders of the faith-based organizations that charter more than two-thirds of the packs and troops will have to decide how to respond to this decision, which obligates every unit “regardless of their religious convictions” to comply. In the last 12 months, BSA’s official estimates show as many as 400,000 boys will leave the BSA as a result, devastating the Scouts financially and leaving them very few options legally.
We will continue to monitor this situation, and provide updates and action steps in this space as needed.