PFLAG National has issued the following statement regarding today’s vote which has officially changed the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) policy and will now allow openly gay youth to become Boy Scouts:
PFLAG National believes that, while the BSA has today taken a step in the right direction, the new policy is still, at its heart, discriminatory against our gay and lesbian loved ones.
Inclusion, by its very nature, cannot be selective: either you are a welcoming organization or you are not. In going halfway with this policy, the BSA suggests that their members are only capable of being trustworthy, loyal, helpful, courteous and kind until their 18th birthdays. Once taught, do these traits diminish or disappear once a child comes of age? Shouldn’t being a scout serve as the best training to then lead other scouts in the future? And for same-sex parents who want to participate as leaders in their children’s troops, should the message be that their commitment to their child’s scouting activities is suspect?
At PFLAG National, we are troubled by the message this sends to ALL youth and adults about what it means to be a truly inclusive organization. We hope that the BSA will quickly realize that the organization is still on the wrong side of history, and take the necessary step to do the right thing by ALL of its members, denying no person membership or a position in the scouts based solely on their sexual orientation.