Los Angeles, California — The Los Angeles branch of the Boy Scouts of America is calling for the organization to allow homosexual men to lead and train scouts.
Alan Snyder of the Los Angeles County Council wrote in a news release this week that while the national headquarters of the organization is currently considering allowing boys with same-sex attraction to serve as members, the proposed change to the scouting policy needs to go further.
“The resolution is a step in the right direction, but does not go far enough and must be extended to all adult scout volunteers and staff,” he wrote. “Inclusion must be all-inclusive.”
Snyder said that homosexual men should be allowed to train the boys just like any other leader.
Council President Nick Thomas agreed.
“Volunteers in our council log approximately 840,000 hours of service each year and should be judged on the basis of their character, not their sexual preference,” he said.
The men suggest that the current scouting policy should be amended to read, “No youth or adult shall be denied membership or a position in the Boys Scouts, whether as a leader, volunteer, or staff member, solely on the basis of their sexual orientation or preference.”
Current scouting policies prohibit homosexual men from serving as leaders over the children.
In the 2000 Supreme Court decision of case of Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, the nation’s highest court outlined that the organization “teach[es] that homosexual conduct is not morally straight,” and that it does “not want to promote homosexual conduct as a legitimate form of behavior.” It then affirmed the Boy Scouts’ right to freedom of association, which means excluding homosexual members as they do not comport with the mission of the organization.
Rob Schwarzwalder, senior vice president of Family Research Council, told reporters that it is dangerous to place men that have sexual attraction toward those of the same gender in charge of juvenile boys.
“As a father, I wouldn’t want my sons to go on a camping trip with a teenage girl and stay in the same tent. Similarly, I think it’s unwise to put boys or young men in a tent with boys or young men who are homosexual,” he outlined.
As previously reported, last October, the Oregon Supreme Court ordered thousands of documents outlining widespread sexual abuse in the Boy Scouts of America to be released to the public. Wayne Perry, president of the Boy Scouts of America acknowledged that there was concern with the the organization’s failure to protect young boys from harm.
“There have been instances where people misused their positions in scouting to abuse children, and in certain cases, our response to these incidents and our efforts to protect youth were plainly insufficient, inappropriate, or wrong,” he said. “Where those involved in scouting failed to protect, or worse, inflicted harm on children, we extend our deepest and sincere apologies to victims and their families.”
“These guys basically were in a candy store, the way they thought about it,” attorney Paul Mones told reporters.
The organization has yet to respond to the Los Angeles Council’s request. It is set to vote on permitting homosexual members on May 23rd.