The Western Los Angeles County Council of Scouts (WLACC) stated today that it feels the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has proposed an inadequate policy for including gay members. The BSA's proposal, which would only allow gay youth to join until the age of 18 and would continue the organization's ban on gay leadership, is up for an internal vote at the end of May.
The WLACC, one of 285 Boy Scouts Councils across the country, represents over 14,000 Scouts. The WLACC's President, Nick Thomas, stated that they represent over 5,000 adult volunteers as well, whom he feels "should be judged on the basis of their character, not their sexual preference."
The WLACC suggests the the national BSA should amend their proposed documents to state that "No youth or adult shall be denied membership or a position in the Boys Scouts, whether as a leader, volunteer, or staff member, solely on the basis of their sexual orientation or preference."
Alan Snyder, the WLACC's chairman of the board, added "Inclusion must be all-inclusive."
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 original 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.