Boy Scouts Policy Allowing Gay Youth Takes Effect January 1

A new policy allowing openly gay youth in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) takes effect January 1.

Brad Haddock, a BSA national executive board member who chairs the policy implementation committee, told the AP that he hopes implementation will be a non-event.

“My hope is there will be the same effect this Jan. 1 as the Y2K scare,” Haddock said. “It’s business as usual, nothing happens and we move forward.”

Haddock added that fallout over the policy has been minimal.

“There hasn’t been a whole lot of fallout. If a church said they wouldn’t work with us, we’d have a church right down the street say, ‘We’ll take the troop,’” Haddock said.

The policy change only affects gay Scouts; openly gay adults remain banned from the program.

Scouts are not allowed to engage in sexual conduct and BSA policy prohibits members from using “Scouting to promote or advance any social or political position or agenda, including on the matter of sexual orientation.”

The policy change prompted a Florida man to launch Trail Life USA, a Boy Scouts alternative.

John Stemberger formed to lobby BSA officials against allowing gay Scouts. He announced that he was working on the faith-based alternative following passage of the policy in May.

Stemberger is quoted as saying by NBC News that Trail Life would be open to gay youths and adults who don’t “carry a rainbow flag.”

“If a young man has a same-sex attraction he would not be turned away in the program, but he’s not going to be allowed to kind of openly flaunt it and carry a rainbow flag,” Stemberger said. “There is not going to be any kind of witch hunt in our organization for people and what their sexual orientations are. We’re going to focus on sexual purity, not sexual orientation.”

by On Top Magazine Staff
Source – On Top Magazine