The Daily Dose Blog The Daily Dose Blog Home

Boy Scouts gay policy: What would really change?

A delayed vote on the merits of tolerance.

By Rich_Maloof Feb 6, 2013 6:40PM

As the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) celebrates its 103rd anniversary, board members have been meeting to decide whether to sustain the organization’s longstanding ban on gay membership. The BSA was expected to announce its decision today. However, the vote on membership policy has now been pushed to May “due to the complexity of the issue,” according to a BSA statement.

A 5–4 ruling in 2000 by the Supreme Court upheld the BSA’s right to ban gay scouts and leaders, and just last year the BSA board voted again to reaffirm its position. But faced with increasing criticism, with some proud but pained Eagle Scouts among the critics, the board had appeared to be more seriously considering a move toward acceptance.

Boy scouts to vote on gay ban / Stewart Cohen/Getty Images

A vote to remove the ban wouldn’t exactly throw open the doors to gay membership. Describing the board of directors’ meetings around the ban, BSA spokesman Deron Smith said in a statement that the board “is discussing potentially removing the national membership restriction regarding sexual orientation. This would mean there would no longer be any national policy regarding sexual orientation.”

Removing the national ban is what rights organizations want — but it would still be left to local troops to decide who can or can’t join the Scouts. A change to national policy would lift the national ban but not necessarily prevent local organizations from instituting their own.

Bing: What's going on with the Girl Scouts?

The BSA turns 103 on Friday, having been incorporated on Feb. 8, 1910. Scouting first began in England around the turn of the 20th century, when principals of military scouting described in a book by a British vet of the Boer War were used by young boys in peaceful outdoor activities. According to legend, scouting made its way stateside after an American newspaper man, W.D. Boyce, was impressed by a young scout in London who helped him cross a street.

More from MSN Living: Think outside the lunch box

The mission of the Boy Scouts of America — to build character and teach boys to lead responsible lives — is honorable, and there’s no shortage of distinguished Scouts past and present. Hank Aaron, Charles Lindbergh, Vince Lombardi, and Neil Armstrong have all received high honors by the BSA. More than half of all US astronauts, a third of all West point cadets, and a third of Air Force Academy cadets have all been involved in scouting.

More from MSN Living: What every new mom should know

To reach the highest rank of Eagle Scout, a scout today must earn the merit badge for Citizenship In The World. The virtues and leadership qualities the BSA demands of its members should reflect the values of our world in 2013 rather than those of 1910.

More from Daily Dose:
Girl Scout, 99, recalls traditions, values of 100-year-old group
Life found above Earth
Facebook can’t get you fired

Love content like this? Friend us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and find us on Pinterest

Subscribe to the Daily Dose

Photo: Boy scouts to vote on gay ban / Stewart Cohen/Getty Images

Jun 13, 2013 7:16PM
I wouldn't want my boy sleeping in a tent where he might get sodomized...
Feb 6, 2013 7:55PM
Stop calling the BSA a Gay Issue.  This is nonsense spurred on by Right's Activists that have no group of their own. 
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?

inspire: live a better life

  • 13 ways to improve your life this spring

    13 ways to improve your life this spring

    No one looks forward to washing windows or storing the ski gear or the other chores associated with spring-cleaning. But this annual ritual does not have to be a drag, if you approach it in a slightly different way. "You've been cooped up with this cave-like mentality all winter; now it's time to break free and play," says R.D. Chin, a feng shui architect and consultant in New York City. "It's time to follow the cycle of nature, get rid of the clutter, and free up your mind." Here's our idea of what a truly effective spring-cleaning can look like.

  •  David Paul Morris, Bloomberg via Getty Images //  David Paul Morris, Bloomberg via Getty Images ( David Paul Morris, Bloomberg via Getty Images)

    Top Americans of all time named

    American presidents garner most votes over celebrities in a poll ranking the 100 most significant citizens.

  • The 10 coldest travel destinations on Earth

    The 10 coldest travel destinations on Earth

    Heading to a world-class beach town is always a safe bet for a great vacation, but if you want something that tests your limits, consider a more extreme spot. Here are 10 places around the world that require a winter coat year-round and offer spectacular glaciers, ice features, and the best snow anywhere.

  • 50 hidden gems in the US

    51 hidden gems in the US

    From the Grand Canyon to the Statue of Liberty, the U.S. boasts world-famous national parks, historical sites and landmarks. Beyond the well-known locations, there's a wealth of undiscovered destinations stretching from coast to coast worth visiting. From scenic sand dunes to wild mountains, here's 51 places within America that you've probably never heard of.

  • Hudson Bay has old earth rocks

    10 interesting facts about the Earth

    How much do you really know about the Earth? In honor of Earth Day, April 22, we explore some interesting and fun facts about the fifth-largest planet of our solar system.

  • stress and happiness

    Beat stress and boost happiness

    Most of the stuff we worry about never happens.

  • How to end an email

    You've written an email, and need to wrap it up. You could end with a simple "Sincerely," tack on your name, and then shoot it out the door, proving definitively that you suck at communication.

  • Go where few have gone

    Craziest places to visit on the planet

    Here are nine of the most extreme trips on the planet -- and the outfitters that take adventurers over the edge and back again.

  • 10 serious adventures anyone can conquer

    10 serious adventures anyone can conquer

    A true challenge is within your reach. All it takes is a few months to get in shape and a few days off work.

  • How to set a world record

    How to set a world record

    Think you got what it takes to be included in the pages of the Guinness Book of World Records? We consult one of the judges to help you on your quest.

  • User-friendly home automation

    8 ways to smarten up your home

    Just a few years ago, the term "home automation" meant a bunch of blinking lights and a headache. But thanks to simpler interfaces and the rise of smartphones, new tech can transform your house into a safer, more comfortable, less wasteful place.

  • The 13 most annoying people on the airplane

    The 13 most annoying people on the airplane

    If you're like most people, flying around in a big metal tube in the sky isn't your idea of a fun time. From the terrible food to the cramped space, flying can be a miserable experience. Don't make the flight even more soul-sucking by breaking airplane etiquette. We've compiled a list of the worst-inflight offenders. by Rebecca Pattee

about rich maloof
buzzing now on msn living
inspire videos
editor's picks