Boy Scouts threaten to remove pack for supporting gay scouts
The National Capital Area Council (NCAC) of the Boy Scouts has threatened to remove a Maryland Cub Scout pack for posting a statement on its website saying it won’t discriminate against gay members. Mother Jones reports that the pack, which has members ranging from ages 7-10, has to decide by tomorrow whether it will remove the statement, which it voted to approve in September.
Theresa Phillips, committee chair of Pack 442, told Mother Jones that after the pack voted to appove the NCAC said “they would ‘allow’ us to leave it up based on our right to freedom of speech. Now they are doing a 180 and basically asking us to either conform to BSA's discriminatory policy or get out.”
NCAC CEO Les Baron told Mother Jones that if the pack doesn’t remove the statement "they will not be recognized as an organization, although that's our last resort […] That's a message that's against our policy, and we don't want it continue to be out in our community." The pack will lose access to many benefits involved with being a part of the Boy Scouts of America.
GLAAD President Herndon Graddick told Mother Jones:
"To think that the Boy Scouts would rather cast out elementary school children than accept a parent-approved policy allowing gay children and parents to participate is just unconscionable. How many young Scouts is the BSA willing to sacrifice in order to preserve its harmful and discriminatory policies? This despicable act of bullying and intimidation is yet another reminder that the BSA is out of touch with its members and the American public at large.”
A Change.org petition was started urging scouts and community members of National Capital Area Council to reject the Boy Scouts of America's anti-gay policy.
This week , GLAAD joined Scouts for Equality and 20 year-old Eagle Scout Will Oliver to urge National Geographic Channel, which will begin airing a reality show about the Boy Scouts of America, to speak out against discrimination in the scouts.
In April, GLAAD first shared the story of Ohio mom Jennifer Tyrrell, who was ousted as leader of her son's Boy Scouts troop because she's gay. Since then, GLAAD has been working to get the Boy Scouts of America to end its long history of discrimination against LGBT youth and parents. Join us and take action!