Boy Scouts of America Asks Troop to Remove Non-Discrimination Policy on Their Website
Pack 442 of Cloverly, Maryland almost lost their charter, member insurance, rank badges, and scout camps last week over its gay-friendly policy. The troop had until January 26th to remove their non-discrimination policy statement or face expulsion from The Boy Scouts of America.
Boy Scouts’ Longstanding Ban on Openly Gay Scouts or Leaders
Confirmed to NBC News, Les Baron, Scout Executive of the National Capital Area Council (NCAC), told the Troop that it had until Friday, January 25, at 8 p.m. to decide if they will keep the gay-inclusive policy and risk not being rechartered, or return to a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Baron said “ all I’m trying to do is maintain the quality and integrity of the Boy Scouts of America and its policies.”
Pack’s Gay-Friendly Policy Voted on Last August
Member families voted and “overwhelmingly approved” Pack’s 442 non-discrimination policy last August and its chartering organization supported the decision. From August through October 2012, district leaders and the council discussed the policy in detail.
The policy read: “Pack 442 will NOT discriminate against any individual or family based on race, religion, national origin, ability, or sexual orientation.”
Substitute Policy In-Place
Just recently, the NCAC contacted Pack 442 leaders to have the Troop rescind its policy on their website. Rather than lose its charter, the Pack replaced its statement to read:
“Due to pressure from the National Capital Area Council (NCAC) of BSA, Pack 442 was forced to remove its Non-Discrimination statement in order to keep our Charter (set to expire Jan 31st). This Non-Discrimination statement, previously posted here, welcomed ALL families.”
Boy Scout Anti-Gay Ban Unfavorable to Many
The Boy Scouts of America is facing increasing pressure from dissatisfied scouts, present and former, to rescind their ban. Former Boy Scouts have mailed in their badges in protest of the BSA’s current policy of excluding gay scouts and leaders. A scout in California who completed all his merit badges and was eligible for the Eagle Award in scouting has been denied the honor because he is gay. The organization has lost funding from the Intel Corporation and United Parcel Service, among others, because of their opposition to be inclusive.