The Boy Scouts of America, who for years have upheld a ban on both gay scouts and scout leaders, are reportedly very close to ending that ban. According to NBC News, the scouts are “actively considering an end” to the policy that made many consider them both a laughing stock and a hate group (and full of pedophiles).
The scouts have a long history of dealings that we’ve covered here, including last year when a local, openly gay former scout returned his medals with a letter to the BSA. When we interviewed said scout, Cameron Kline, about the possibility of the policy being changed, he told us:
I’m hopeful and excited … and I think scouts and LGBTQ across the U.S. are just watching with our fingers crossed and hoping they’ll do the right thing. There is never a bad time for change, and it’s unfortunate that we have to have these conversations but I’m hopeful they’ll make the change and I’ll applaud them when they do.”
Well it looks like Kline and others can start clapping soon, but not too heartily: “The new policy, now under discussion, would eliminate the ban from the national organization’s rules, leaving local sponsoring organizations free to decide for themselves whether to admit gay scouts.” So the national policy would be “Welcome All,” but individual organizations would be free to ignore that if they’d like. It’s an easy compromise for the organization to make, but a big one nonetheless, and it’s about damn time.