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Exclusive: Tulsa scout leaders issue statement on gays in scouting
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Exclusive: Tulsa scout leaders issue statement on gays in scouting

Exclusive: Tulsa scout leaders issue statement on gays in scouting
Photo Credit: AP

Exclusive: Tulsa scout leaders issue statement on gays in scouting

 The question of sexual orientation isonce again at the forefront for the  Boy Scouts of America.  The national organization decided to reconsider the rule banning openly gay scouts and scout leaders but won’t make a decision until at least May.

The scouts have already dealt with this issue several times including the landmark case decided by the United States Supreme Court said in 2000. That was when it was decided that it was legal free speech by a private organization in the decision noted as Boy Scouts of America et al. v. Dale 530 US 640.

There are supporters of the ban who tell KRMG they are afraid many faith based charter organizations could pull out as sponsors but supporters have a different take.

They say a change could bring new blood into scouting at a time when fewer boys are joining and working for merit badges and higher level scout activities.

The Indian Nations Council of scouts in Tulsa released the following letter yesterday explaining where they stand on the issue as of now.

Please leave your remarks in the comments section below and vote on our poll as well before you leave the story.

 

February 6, 2013
 
Dear Volunteers, Supporters and Friends of Scouting,
 
This week we will celebrate Scouting’s 103rd anniversary, and our focus has remained the same, working together to deliver the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training. 
 
Sexual orientation is one of the most complex and divisive issues in society today.  The BSA does not have an agenda on the matter, and discussing this issue is not the role of Scouting or the focus of the organization.  However, the BSA has become one of the focal points in society’s ongoing debate on the issue.
 
It is clear that no single policy will accommodate all viewpoints within the Scouting family on the issue.  Nor can Scouting be the place to resolve divergent viewpoints in society.
 
For 103 years, the Boy Scouts of America has been a part of the fabric of this nation, providing its youth program of character development and values-based leadership training.  In the past two weeks, Scouting has received an outpouring of feedback from the American public.  It reinforces how deeply people care about Scouting and how passionate they are about the organization. 
 
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.
 
To that end, the executive board of the National BSA directed its committees to further engage representatives of Scouting’s membership and listen to their perspectives and concerns.  This will assist the officers’ work on a resolution on membership standards.  The approximately 1,400 voting members of the national council will take action on the resolution at the national meeting in May 2013.    
 
America needs Scouting, and our policies must be based on what is in the best interest of our nation’s children.  We believe good people can disagree and still work together to accomplish great things for youth.
 
Going forward, I’m asking all of you in our Scouting family to work with us and to stay focused on that which unites us, reaching and serving young people to help them grow into good, strong citizens.
 
With your help, we can accomplish incredible things for the young people and the communities we serve.
 
Thank you,


Bill Haines
Scout Executive/CEO

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