Boy Scouts Have Every Right To Exclude Gays

President Obama says that the Boy Scouts should drop their national ban on allowing gay members. In an interview on Sunday, he was asked about his opinion regarding the recent announcement that the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) are considering allowing gays to participate in the organization.

The president said that the Scouts are "a great institution that are promoting young people and exposing them to opportunities and leadership that will serve people for the rest of their lives. And I think nobody should be barred from that."

There have been several protests over the group’s anti-gay policy following an incident last summer in which an openly lesbian den mother was forced to resign her post over her sexuality.

In a statement issued last week, BSA said that it is considering lifting the national ban on disallowing gay members, and leaving it to local chapters to decide on their own inclusion policies. Critics of this move, including former presidential candidate Rick Santorum, say that it would be devastating to troops, since they would no longer be legally protected against civil lawsuits. “Many will simply leave,” the former senator wrote, “… leaving the Scouts hollowed out at its core.”

On one side of the coin, this seems like the perfect compromise. About 70 percent of BSA groups are church-sponsored, and the majority of them do not want to allow practicing gay people to become members. But what about the rest that don’t mind or care? Should they be allowed to embrace members of the homosexual community?

On the other side is the concern raised by Santorum and others: Will the local chapters that choose not to allow gay members be left legally vulnerable to civil lawsuits? Without the protection of a national ban, will they feel coerced or intimidated to abandon their principles and allow a practice that does not align with their religious beliefs?

I think it’s very possible that local groups will feel bullied into accepting gay members -- and that’s not cool.

We have freedom of religion in this country, even if we don’t agree with what someone else constitutes as sin. If a private, religiously affiliated group wants to put restrictions on membership based on lifestyle choices, then so be it.

What do you think the Boy Scouts will decide?


Image via stevendepolo/Flickr

barack obama, discrimination, human rights, in the news, politics, protests, religion

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peanu... peanutsmommy1

I wont allow my ds to join the scouts until they change their policy

Flori... Floridamom96

I am anxiously awaiting the decision. It is my fervent hope that they stand strong on their convictions.

Pinkmani Pinkmani

Ah! Another rare article where I agree with Jenny!

TAG_u... TAG_ur_it

my son will not be allowed to join unless all little boys can join and all parents are welcome.  also, who the hell buys that much overpriced, stale popcorn anyway?  

Mamab... MamabearC

I agree with both ideas that yes, they should be allowed to have whatever membership requirements they want as a private organization but I also agree that I won't let my son join until they make the nation-wide ban  into a natio- wide tolerance.This plan of letting them choose on their own seems like the safe "chickenshit" way out to me; they can no longer be help accountable/liable for discriminating while still actually being discriminatory.Not to mention that in my opinion it is somewhat insulting  that they would think that this half-assed attempt at pacifingy the LGTB community and get good PR will make them look good and show how "progressive"&"accepting" they are...yeah, I call bs on the BS. lol.Again though,they have the right to do what they want and shouldn't be forced or bullied to do anything as long as they are following the law...

nonmember avatar 3_girlsmama

I am 100% for freedom of religion. I agree that each religion should be able to practice whatever beliefs they are accustomed to. That being said, I feel like all boys should be included in that organization. It's called BOY scouts. If they are male they should be included. Should the sons of gay parents have to start a group called GAY scouts? Being homosexual refers to sexual behavior, and nothing else. Its ridiculous to label or exclude anyone based on sexual orientation. And I just want to point how ridiculous you came across writing "practicing gays" like being gay is a choice and a person can decide whether or not to participate. its an innate characteristic, there from birth. what an uneducated statement to make! I agree that private organizations should be able to make up their own rules for membership, but to call itself boy scouts, is to include males. All males. Regardless of what they do in their spare time, when they are outside of the group.

nonmember avatar 3_girlsmama

I am 100% for freedom of religion. I agree that each religion should be able to practice whatever beliefs they are accustomed to. That being said, I feel like all boys should be included in that organization. It's called BOY scouts. If they are male they should be included. Should the sons of gay parents have to start a group called GAY scouts? Being homosexual refers to sexual behavior, and nothing else. Its ridiculous to label or exclude anyone based on sexual orientation. And I just want to point how ridiculous you came across writing "practicing gays" like being gay is a choice and a person can decide whether or not to participate. its an innate characteristic, there from birth. what an uneducated statement to make! I agree that private organizations should be able to make up their own rules for membership, but to call itself boy scouts, is to include males. All males. Regardless of what they do in their spare time, when they are outside of the group.

nonmember avatar morgan

My son is a tiger cub scout and my husband is his den leader. We both feel that the ban of homosexual's should be lifted because scouts is a great thing for young kids to get into.

Flori... Floridamom96

Seriously, why don't people start their own organization that does meet their needs rather than seeking to change and e siting one that doesn't meet their needs?

Flori... Floridamom96

Existing not whatever stupid crap autocorrect changed it to say. Good grief!

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