Boy Scouts Uphold Ban on Gay Adult Leaders, Allow Gay Youths (Updated)

Seems like the media is making this a big victory for gay rights in the Boy Scouts vote but it seems to me it's at least a mixed bag for "gay rights" as defined by the media.

CNN reports while openly gay youths can join the scouts, the BSA will maintain its ban on gay adult leaders. It seems to me the adult leadership issue was the golden ticket, wasn't it?

But Austin Ruse, president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute in Washington, D.C., seems pretty worked up about the decision so I could be wrong. He was quoted in USA Today saying the shift "would utterly change Scouting and dramatically reduce their ranks. The Catholic and Mormon groups would simply have to walk away."

About 70% of all Scout troops are run by faith-based organizations, according to the Boy Scouts of America. About 37% are Mormon, 10% Methodist and 8% Catholic.

Months before the vote, the National Catholic Committee on Scouting said, "We would hope that the Boy Scouts of America will continue to provide young people a formative experience grounded in virtue and directed by service to God and others," the National Catholic Committee on Scouting said in February.

I hope those who know more about this will offer their two cents in the combox but I just figured I'd pass on the news.

Update: The National Catholic Committee on Scouting released this statement that pretty much says it's not a sin to be inclined towards homosexuality but it is a sin to have sex outside marriage.

That's where the issue could be because as the NCCS says "Individuals who are open and avowed homosexuals promoting and engaging in homosexual conduct are not living lives consistent with Catholic teaching."

In the end they say they're going to review this policy in the coming months before it goes into effect in January of next year.

Here's their short statement in full:

For over 100 years, thousands of children in Catholic parishes, schools and fraternal organizations have benefited from chartering Scouting units. The Catholic Church has maintained a strong relationship with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) through the National Catholic Committee on Scouting (NCCS) for many years and we hope to maintain that relationship.

Today, the voting members of the BSA voted to change the membership standards for its youth members. The BSA proposed in its resolution that "no youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone." Its membership standards for adult leaders remain unchanged.

The Catholic Church teaches that people who experience a homosexual inclination or a same sex attraction are to be treated with respect recognizing the dignity of all persons. The Church's teaching is clear that engaging in sexual activity outside of marriage is immoral. Individuals who are open and avowed homosexuals promoting and engaging in homosexual conduct are not living lives consistent with Catholic teaching.

Since the change in policy will not take effect until January 1, 2014, the National Catholic Committee on Scouting has adequate time to study its effects. The NCCS will determine how it may impact Catholic chartered Scout units and activities. In doing so, we will work within the teachings of our Catholic Faith and with the various local bishops and their diocesan scouting committees.
Ed Martin- National Chair
Father Michael Hanifin-National Chaplain



  1. Now that the Boy Scouts of America have waved the white flag to the post-Christian culture, this may be the future of Scouting for faithful Catholics -- the Federation of North American Explorers.

  2. Our pastor promised not to recharter our parish's troop if this became a reality. I guess our parish boys will have to shift to Explorers or to find other troops to join... It's a sad day for Christian Scouts.

  3. Allowing avowed homosexual youth is but the camel's nose in the tent. The scouts have esentially forfeited any moral argument against the adults. Once that step for "progress" has been established, the next step of allowing openly homosexual adults will be much easier to achieve. You can hear some of the arguments already, "The 'gay' youth should have adult leaders who truly understand them." "It makes no sense to ban gay adults when you already allow gay youth. What, do you believe that homophobic stereotype that homosexual adults prey on boys? You homophobe you!" Etc., etc., etc. Also, "youth" includes up to at least 17 year-old scouts who often take on leadership roles.

    1. Totally agree. The activists say they won't stop until gay adults are allowed.

  4. I am sickened by this. Do they think for a minute that the left is going to be appeased by this move?

  5. This is the last year our boys will be scouting. We have a faithful troop and none of the leaders want to deal with a lawsuit if an "openly homosexual" kid wants to join. And I'm not sending my boys to a week long camp with "openly homosexual" boys. Too bad. It was good while it lasted.

  6. It really puts the religious troops in a no-win situation: admit the openly-gay kid, who's necessarily going to be an activist and cut against the grain of the sponsoring church. Or try to bar him and lose your charter. And I can easily envision some guerilla theatre targeting of religious troops just to prove a point. Also, don't forget--the scouts also have peer leaders with considerable authority. So it won't be the case that there will be no gay leaders--just no adult gay leaders.

    The compromise is unstable--a case can even be made that it's deliberately so. They know they're going to lose troops--the presentation made to the voters pointed that out.

    Plus, logically--wha? The kid's ok until he turns 18, at which point he's persona non grata? Designed or not, it will be a brief interlude until they bleed out enough religious troops and gin up enough soft-focus human interest stories about the meanie BSA to permit gay adult leaders. And the organization is dissembling on that very point:

    "The Boy Scouts of America will not sacrifice its mission, or the youth served by the movement, by allowing the organization to be consumed by a single, divisive, and unresolved societal issue. As the National Executive Committee just completed a lengthy review process, there are no plans for further review on this matter."

    "There are no plans..." Well, plans change. Especially when you know you're losing the people most likely to resist change.

  7. So who twisted their arms to shove down this perversion? The lap dogs of Obama. Destroying all this is decent and wholesome and replacing it will Islam, homosexuality, beastiality, pedophilia, graft, corruption, illegal aliens, free condoms etc... And we all sit and wonder what the hell happened.

  8. But you CAN be expelled from scouts for not being 'morally straight."

    So, basically, if a guy has SSA and doesn't act on it, he can join. If he engages in a sexual relationship, he's out.

    Not sure how this is a change... they never interviewed the 9 year olds about their sexual preferences.....

  9. The change is in the culture that normalizes what is abominable to God. By their acts, the group is saying it is OK to be gay. It is not something to fight and struggle with and that is a direct contradiction to the truth.

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. This is a big deal because the Supreme Court victory was based on the premise that morally straight = no homosexual activity and that it was a core value of the organization. By allowing openly homosexual boys, the BSA is forfeiting its legal defense. When a lawsuit to allow that poor openly homosexual kid and his lover to become leaders goes to court, the BSA will lose.

  12. It'll be interesting to see how long the BSA will remain as strong and vibrant after this decision. Activist will rail against any organization that attempts to regulate its own membership based on faith and morals. If the activists got what what they fully wanted, they would say mission accomplished and move on and you would not see a big explosion of "gay" kids.

  13. If this decision were about providing a safe haven for a timid, bullied child--a child who gets called "fag" or "gay" at school--then it would be very much in line with Catholic teaching. But it is not about that, as the word "openly" in "openly gay" indicates. Already the AP has a photo accompanying this story of a rainbow-colored-knot merit badge labeled "Inclusive Scouting." The lesson to the bullied young kid: "Your fate is to strip to your underpants and ride in a float down Main Street in some future Pride Parade." Evil. Just evil.

  14. The American Heritage Girls, the only female organization that the BSA had official ties to, has severed all partnerships effective today.

  15. The Federation of North American Explorers is an affiliate of the International Union of Guides and Scouts of Europe, also known as the Federation of European Scouts, or UIGSE-FSE. They were founded in 1956 by a group of Catholic Scoutmasters from Germany and France seeking a faith-based use of Scouting for reconciliation between the two countries in the postwar era. They have 24 associations in 20 countries, including Canada and (lately) the USA.

    In 2003, the Holy See granted them canonical status as an "association of the faithful of pontifical right."

    Not too shabby.

  16. From last night:

    Scout's Honor Reconsidered

    "The truly sad thing is, that boys who struggle with issues of gender identity will be the biggest losers if the resolution passes. There will be no presumption of the need for guidance if the product of any amount of confusion in adolescent development is immediately dismissed as 'normal,' despite the bulk of civilized history speaking to the contrary. A seventeen-year-old candidate for Eagle Scout who believes he is gay can be handled one way, while the eleven-year-old girl who 'self-identifies' as a boy and wants to join a Boy Scout troop can be handled another way. The point is, there is presently the potential for options. If the resolution passes, there is only one."

  17. "Allowing avowed homosexual youth is but the camel's nose in the tent." agreed the BSA are just another victim of homosexual bullying. but think about this will homosexual youths be flocking to the join the Scouts? I doubt it. It is much like the states where SSM is legal. there was an initial demand but I suspect that SSM marriages have dropped dramatically. the press hasn't done that sort of research because if they demand is not there well....

  18. Really? Let's not play stupid here people! This vote on gay scouts is JUST the prerequisite vote on gay scout masters. Just as the push for Civil Union is the prerequisite before full Gay Marriage.

    Saints do not compromise on virtue; neither does Satan compromise on evil. The boy scouts WILL have adult gay leaders.

  19. I have two sons in Boy Scouting. I was a den leader and my husband has helped in our older son's troop. I'm just not sure right now what we are going to do. This decision has left chartering organizations who choose to hold to their moral beliefs with no protection from the National Council. I have no problem with chaste, same sex attracted kids joining scouting. I think the scouting program is good for boys who are struggling with SSA and who are trying to remain chaste. Indeed, a new policy is unnecessary if all the boys, straight or gay, follow the Scout law.

    Regarding camping, There are already Venturing Crews within troops that are co-ed. The girls camp in separate tents from the boys, but not in separate campsites. I imagine that there would have to be a troop-level policy that no boys should share tents.

    Just seeing a lot of unintended consequences here...

  20. I am the mother of two Eagle Scouts - now men.
    Where is a *heterosexual* young mand to go to learn to be a man?
    Straight males are unique and have their own needs and concerns. They should be allowed to associate and learn in THAT context!
    Scouting was never uniquely Catholic but its mission was ALWAYS to teach a boy to be a man - now what?!

  21. Deirdra, by the time a scout can be kicked out for not being "morally straight" damage has already been done. I have a big problem with a teenage boy (with all the associated hormonal influences) who is already self-identifying as gay sharing a tent with other boys. We would never justify allowing boys and girls to share a tent with the stipulation that it's OK as long as their is no hanky panky. A good rule of thumb ought to be that kids shouldn't share a tent with someone they are sexually attracted to.

    I am not so naive as to believe that there haven't been boys with SSA in the BSA before this policy change, but I do believe that the boys in the program were safer when those attractions had to be kept secret.

  22. When I was a Scout (long ago), *any* sexual activity on the part of Scouts or their leaders at any meeting or event would have been grounds for dismissal. Has that changed?

    There are significant data to support the notion that in males, sexual development is not complete until the mid-twenties. The mere notion of asking a boy his sexual orientation is absurd. Much like asking an art instructor for a definitive statement on global warming.

  23. A new rule for the BSA: never turn your back on anyone!

  24. I am a supporter of Traditional Marriage and Scouting and respectfully, I think most of you are flat wrong on this.

    Allowing same-sex attracted boys to be involved in Scouting is NOT "caving to political pressure". It is an acknowledgement of the fundamental truth that Scouting Youth are NOT to be sexually active in ANY sense and that sexuality has no bearing on what Scouting aims to achieve.

    Some of you are making this out to seem like the BSA is permitting sexual activity among youths and that is simply not the case.

  25. No, it's introducing the idea to young kids that there is nothing wrong with being "gay". If someone who is "confused" does not see and read the message that progressing beyond SSA in the future is morally wrong then that child has been done a disservice. I do not advocate bullying to spread that message however.
    The Catholic Male identity, and female for the Girl scouts, is the best way to spread that message.

  26. I'm not so ignorant that I think all Scouts follow the Scouting rules concerning chastity or that boys with homosexual leanings have never been involved in Scouting. I was a Scout for many years, and I know better. Still, that very admission makes this move by the BSA totally asinine.

    It was largely unnecessary if the existing rules concerning chastity were followed and enforced. It leaves a puzzling paradox concerning gay adults completely unanswered, and you can be sure that this will have legal ramifications. It also opens the door to a wide variety of difficult situations that are essentially no-win for anyone except the liberal activists.

    It's important to remember that these are teenage boys we are talking about here. Putting a 17 year old teenage boy in a position of authority over a group of 15 and 16 year old girls would be seen as grossly irresponsible (regardless of how sternly they were all lectured about chastity), and yet the BSA has now sent a message that it is not only ok for a 17 year old teenage boy who openly identifies as homosexual to have authority over a group of 15 and 16 year old boys but we should applaud this progressive decision.

  27. As per usual, the official Catholic response is weak and evasive. "It is not a sin to be inclined towards homosexuality," they say. Oh, really? When did all this happen? You mean we don't sin by "thought, word and deed" anymore? What do they mean by "inclined"? Would they have the same tolerant view if a boy was "inclined" towards arson?

    When the Protestants and the Mormons issue fearless, clear-cut and understandable responses to this outrage, as opposed to the namby-pamby official Catholic response I know the Faith is in a serious crisis.

  28. Aged Parent, using your logic it makes no sense for anyone to refrain from temptation since they're already damned by just thinking about it. Might as well just throw in the towel on trying to become less sinful and go for the gusto!

  29. Regarding the sins of thought, to be tempted at all involves such thought. A good confessor asks: "Did you entertain these thoughts?" for a reason, to determine whether one succumbed to the temptation, even by thought. There is nothing overly scrupulous here, and if there was, the confessional is the opportunity to find out. I have written extensively on this subject, and a perusal of my piece listed above will reveal not only the moral issues involved, but a glimpse of how an overwhelming majority opinion of the BSA's membership became a lost cause in the space of less than one year.

  30. Lawyer Ed Peters has ticked me off again. Lawyers seem so capable of saying what we can do but rarely stick their pencil necks out to say what we should do. The boy scouts have basically said that "gay is ok". This is false and it attacks the foundational stones of what we believe as Christians: that God created male and female. There is no catagory of "gay". Homosexual is not a legitimate identity. It is a real temptation for many young men in our hypersexualized, gay affirming culture, just as masterbation and use of porn. The scouts don't ban boys who struggle with masterbation no matter what type of porn they respond to, but a scout can't say I'm a Masterbater Scout. He can't come in and make that his identity, whether he actually does the act or not. The change accepts and places side by side as an identity "gay" with the term "BOY". As far as I am concerned it is no longer the boy scouts, but the gay scouts. The change has now redefined the term boy to mean something other than God's design and the original purpose of the scouts. A boy is a young man. A man's identity is male, masculine, and like Christ. A man is not a homosexual or gay, period.

  31. I should have written masturbation. My wife read this and all she could see were the misspelled words. Sorry.

  32. All persons pass through same sex attraction at puberty. Some persons mature sexually and become adults. Some persons refuse to mature and others simply cannot. At puberty the human family branches out to individual traits. The evil involved with this ruling is that at one time the American Psychiatric Association diagnosed same sex attraction as arrested development but was forced by the North American Man Boy Love Association to change their diagnosis to “NORMAL” The force involved is mob mentality and mob rule. Cast as civil rights, the same sex attraction is being framed as freedom from coercion. The sticking point is that coerced to be free is not freedom. Coerced to call arrested development “NORMAL”, arrested development is still arrested development. Legalizing a LIE is perjury in a court of law and changes nothing but allows the law to deteriorate any semblance of truth this issue may have. Same sex attraction needs to be recognized for what it is. Persons are entitled to truth for Justice to be served. Citizens must treat homosexuals with courtesy but not with disillusions. With God’s help all persons are to be normal.


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