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Boy Scouts: Baby gays are cool

Boy Scouts Move to Lift Ban on Gay Members By ERIK ECKHOLM Officials of the Boy Scouts of America said Friday that they propose ending their ban on openly gay scouts but continuing to bar gay adults from serving as leaders. The decision, which follows years of heated controversy within the organization and growing outside criticism, must be approved by the roughly 1,400 voting members of the Scouts’ National Council at a meeting in Texas the week of May 20. “No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone,” the proposed policy states, but the organization “will maintain the current membership policy for all adult leaders.” The proposed resolution also emphasizes that “scouting is a youth program, and any sexual conduct, whether homosexual or heterosexual, by youth of scouting age is contrary to the virtues of scouting.” The resolution continues, “The Boy Scouts of America does not have an agenda on the matter of sexual orientation, and resolving this complex issue is not the role of the organization, nor may any member use scouting to promote or advance any social or political position or agenda.” The issue of gay members and leaders has tormented the Boy Scouts over the last year. The dismissal of a lesbian Cub Scout den mother received wide publicity, and gay rights groups started a campaign for change. Conservative politicians and religious leaders urged the Boy Scouts to continue with the policy of not questioning members or leaders about their sexuality but ejecting any who were openly gay. In private, Boy Scout officials also received pressure from religious groups to keep their longstanding policy. Groups including the Mormon Church and the Roman Catholic Church sponsor a large and growing share of scout troops around the country.


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