The national board of directors for the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) met on February 6, 2013 with intentions of voting on whether to allow homosexuals to have supervisory roles over boys. The board declined to make a decision at that time and decided to allow 1,400 scout officials around the country to make this important decision at the 2013 National Annual Meeting scheduled for May 22–24 in Grapevine, Texas.
The Boys Scouts of America will consider a compromise on May 22, 2013 that would drop the organization’s ban on admitting youth who are open or avowed homosexuals. National officials tentatively plans to keep the ban on homosexual scoutmasters. A Tampa BSA leader notes that delegates to the convention are required to vote in accordance with the position of their regional members. A recent poll of BSA members indicated that 61% are against this change in policy.
The Associated Baptist Press reports “The head of the SBC Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission wrote Scout officials on May 15 to reiterate the denomination’s “strident opposition” to dropping the organization’s ban on admitting youth “who are open or avowed homosexuals.” Southern Baptist churches presently comprise a large number of the Scouting units chartered by the faith community. The Southern Baptist Convention holds that:
- The proposed policy change is “a serious departure from the BSA’s moral foundation and traditional values.”
- Including gays would be inconsistent with the Scout Oath “to keep myself … morally straight.”
- By introducing homosexual identification into Scouting, the Boy Scouts would effectively require church-sponsored Scouting units to endorse that which they consider incompatible with Scripture.” Southern Baptists do not believe embracing same-sex orientation is biblically acceptable.
- Allowing openly homosexual youth into Scouting would cause many Southern Baptist churches, as well as many churches from other denominations, to withdraw their sponsorship rather than compromise their convictions. Already, numerous churches have told us of their intent to do so.
According to the Florida Family Association, “Changing the policy to allow open homosexual scouts erroneously validates the lifestyle before millions of boys. Changing the policy in effect deletes the principle and oath commitment to ‘keep myself … morally straight’. It is inappropriate and irrational to change the Boy Scouts century old values and standards that millions of boys follow just to accommodate the very few who are demanding the change.”