The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) have banned Scouts and leaders from wearing their Scout uniforms at LGBT Pride events, BuzzFeed first reported today.
In an official BSA memo obtained by BuzzFeed, Assistant Chief Scout Executive Gary Butler writes:
It is not Scouting's role to participate in any political or social discussion and such participation by a BSA member in Scouting uniform is a violation of BSA longstanding policy [...] Participation in a Gay Pride parade or other similarly sponsored event would fall under this policy. (Read full memo below)
“It is worrisome that after the Boy Scouts’ membership voted to allow gay Scouts just last month, one of the organization’s first actions is an attempt to dissociate the BSA with celebrations for the gay community. The Boy Scouts should not force the countless number of allies who support gay Americans and are proud BSA Members to be silent about their Scouting identity,” GLAAD's Vice President of Communications Rich Ferraro told BuzzFeed.
Earlier this month, a group of Utah Scouts stirred controversy after they wore their Scouting uniforms to a Salt Lake City Pride march.
Just last month the BSA National Council voted to allow gay youth to participate. The organization still bans gay parents and leaders, however. The landmark move came after a more than yearlong campaign by GLAAD urging the Scouts to end its discriminatory ban.
GLAAD first started calls for the Boy Scouts of America to end its ban on gay Scouts and Scout leaders in April 2012 after Jennifer Tyrrell, a mom and den leader from Ohio was removed from her 7-year-old’s Cub Scout Pack for being gay. Tyrrell’s orginal Change.org petition has attracted more than 343,000 signatures in support of ending the Boy Scouts’ ban on gay Scouts and leaders. Tyrrell, together with GLAAD, has launched a new petition to urge the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to completely lift its anti-gay ban on both youth members and adult employees and volunteers. To take action on this issue please visit www.glaad.org/denmother. For more on GLAAD's work on this campaign, including a timeline of key events, visit www.glaad.org/scouts.