Reporting Kai Jackson
WASHINGTON (WJZ) — The Boy Scouts’ anti-gay policy has been under fire for years–and may soon be reversed. The national organization is reconsidering its controversial ban on gay Scouts and leaders.
Kai Jackson has details of the proposed change.
The Boy Scouts may be changing with the times but the change may be as controversial as their original stance.
The Boy Scouts of America has more than a century’s worth of history. Now the organization that instills leadership in young men by teaching them to be good citizens and stewards of the environment is facing a major change.
“We were all excited and just thrilled,” said Troop Leader Richard Meyerdirk.
On Monday, the Boy Scouts announced that it was considering replacing its ban on gays with a policy that would let troop sponsors at the local level make their own decisions.
“Finally the leadership is starting to listen to the voices of its members,” said attorney Evan Wolfson.
It’s good news to Meyerdirk, a den leader of Pack 442 in Montgomery County. When 442 posted a message on its website saying it would not discriminate based on sexual orientation, the Boy Scouts ordered it removed.
“We just want to stand up and keep the momentum going so that they do the right thing here and change their membership policy,” Meyerdirk said.
More than a million people have signed petitions protesting the Scouts’ anti-gay policy but the conservative Family Research Council warned the organization was in danger of becoming a casualty of what it called “moral compromise.”
The Boy Scouts issued a statement saying, “The Boy Scouts would not under any circumstances dictate a position to units, members or parents.”
“The military used to discriminate against gay people serving our country. The military no longer discriminates,” Wolfson said.
There are more than 110,000 scouting units across the country. Most are associated with religious organizations.