Major News Means Gay Boy Scout Leaders Are Only a Matter of Time Now

The Boy Scouts have long banned gay leaders from their ranks, but all of that may change, and sooner than we think. Robert M. Gates, the president of the Boy Scouts of America (and former secretary of defense), called for the end of the Scouts' blanket ban on gay adult leaders. "We must deal with the world as it is, not as we might wish it to be," he told the group's executives.

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Gates pleaded with those in attendance at the Boy Scouts' annual national meeting in Atlanta to consider changing times and cascading events when it comes to rules that "cannot be sustained" in our current society. Given the impending Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage, as well as potential employment discrimination lawsuits, Gates warned, "We must all understand that this will probably happen sooner rather than later."

The Boy Scouts have allowed gay youths to join the organization since 2013, when 60 percent of the leaders voted to allow them in, but there is still a ban on gay leaders.

Many of the Scout troops across the country are sponsored by religious group that oppose a homosexual lifestyle, including the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Roman Catholic Church, and many evangelical churches.

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Gates asked that in the name of religious freedom, local troops funded by religious organizations should be able "to determine the standards for their Scout leaders."

He continued, "Such an approach would allow all churches, which sponsor some 70 percent of our Scout units, to establish leadership standards consistent with their faith ... We must, at all costs, preserve the religious freedom of our church partners to do this."

You know what? As long as local groups are allowed to set their own standards and qualifications for their leaders, this might be the perfect solution. Gay men who want to participate in the organization will certainly be allowed to -- and churches that sponsor troops will be able to continue adhering to their own values within their units. Can everybody please be happy for a solution like this?

What do you think of Gates' suggestion for gay leaders within the Boy Scouts?

 

Image via © NOAH BERGER/Reuters/Corbis

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