Today was supposed to be the day that gay families find out if the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) would allow LGBT individuals to join the BSA. However, the BSA’s long standing policy still remains unresolved, the vote now delayed until May 2013.
Why the delay?
“After careful consideration and extensive dialogue within the Scouting family, along with comments from those outside the organization, the volunteer officers of the Boy Scouts of America’s National Executive Board concluded that due to the complexity of this issue, the organization needs time for a more deliberate review of its membership policy,” said the BSA, as stated on www.cnn.com.
The organization feels that it needs more time to listen to BSA member’s thoughts and ideas about the possibility of lifting the BSA ban prohibiting the LGBT community from joining its organization.
The BSA’s anti-gay values have been challenged. Last year, Jennifer Tyrell of Ohio was forced to leave her and her son’s BSA troop due to her lesbian sexual orientation.
With the help of Zach Wahls, the son of two lesbian mothers and author of “My Two Moms: Lessons of Love, Strength, and What makes a family,” Tyrell collected almost over a million signed petitions against the BSA’s ban. However, their efforts prove futile, the BSA sticking to their traditional anti-gay policy.
While President Obama has asked the BSA to lift the ban and allow all LGBT people as members, the pressure of religious groups and other conservative leader is making an impact on the BSA’s final decision. In the event of a May BSA vote that eradicates the anti-gay ban, some churches have threatened to pull out of the BSA.
LGBT parents and their families
What does the four month vote delay mean for LGBT parents and their families? It means that gay parents who want to serve as BSA leaders are still prohibited from the BSA. It means that LGBT parents will have to tell their sons, who want to be Cub or Boy Scouts, why they will probably be excluded from the BSA. Heterosexual and LGBT parents with gay sons will also have to explain why they cannot be part of the BSA.
Whether the BSA wants to describe its anti-LGBT policy as core convictions, Christian beliefs, or a 100 year-old traditional viewpoint, no matter how you slice and dice it, it still fits the definition of discrimination: prejudiced or prejudicial outlook, action, or treatment. Gay discriminaton has created problems for LGBT parents raising children.
In Megan DeMarco’s article “For gay and lesbian parents, unique challenges,” gay parents Joe and Michael Vitale discussed the impact of the BSA’s policy on them and their young son Nicholas.
“We’ve talked about this so many times. If they do change the policy (BSA), then we probably would let up,” said Joe Vitale, as stated on www.democratandchronicle.com.
Relaying his hopes for Nicholas from a parental standpoint, Vitale told Demarco, “I don’t think there’s a whole lot of difference. I just think we want the best for him, like anybody else would.”
Gay parents, what do you want for your kids? How do you feel about the BSA’s current anti-gay policy? Please leave a comment below.