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Boy Scouts of America rethinks anti-gay policy

Organization may lax conservative membership policies

The Boy Scouts of America have signaled a willingness to end their anti-gay membership rule after countless protests and criticisms. Finally. The motion could be approved by the Boy Scouts’ national executive board as soon as next week, which would represent another large step forward for the LGBTQ community. Chad Griffin, head of the Human Rights Campaign – a major ally in the gay community – had this to say: “The pulse of equality is strong in America, and today it beats a bit faster with news that the Boy Scouts may finally put an end to its long history of discrimination.”

To be clear – the proposed change by the Boy Scouts doesn’t totally open the floodgates for LGBTQ membership. Rather, what would happen, as outlined by the Boy Scouts on Monday, is that religious and civic groups that sponsor the Scouts will be able to decide themselves whether sexual orientation plays a role in membership consideration – meaning that some groups could still choose to discriminate if they so wish. But it’s a step forward in any case. 

The Boy Scouts drew the most opposition to the possible policy change from Southern Baptist leaders – the Scouts’ largest sponsors – who obsoletely consider homosexuality to be a sin. In a perfect world, their opinion wouldn’t matter, but since 2000, when anti-Boy Scout protests began to start in earnest in response to their discriminatory practices, the Southern Baptists have leveraged their position of power to their ideological benefit. 

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