Boy Scouts Staunchly Assert Termination of Ban on Gay Adults
At the annual national meeting of the Boy Scouts in Atlanta, Robert M. Gates, President of Boy Scouts of America and former Secretary of defence, warned group executives that they must deal with the world as it existed and not the way they wished it to be while urging for an end to the blanket ban on gay adult leaders by Scout leaders.
Lately, the treatment meted to gay boys and men has sparked major debates as the conservative religious groups sponsoring the scout groups have opposed the participation of gay members.
Gates listed the events that compelled him to come to a conclusion that the current rules are not sustainable. He stressed that the employment discrimination lawsuit along with the impending decision of the Supreme Court on same sex marriage and also the internal exclusionary policy disagreement, necessitate that they should be free to set their own guidelines for the leaders.
Gates added that if the Boy Scouts do not change their policy themselves, the courts could probably force them to and this would happen any day soon.
Gates asserted that he supports a policy which is respectful and can comfortably adjust different beliefs and perspectives or else a stubborn policy could lead to the end of the movement itself.
Gates then recalled his experiences as defence secretary and compared the discriminating policy towards Scout leaders, lesbians and gay men to the military policy of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’.
He stated that the military’s policy was declared illegal by the federal judge in 2010 but eventually a stay was granted because a change in the law itself was under process. Thus, Gates cautioned that if they waited for the courts to act, they should be prepared to adhere to a broader ruling that may forbid any form of membership standard currently practised like the belief in a duty to god and serving the needs of boys.
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