Next Thursday, 1400 members of the Boy Scouts' National Council will converge in Dallas to vote on a resolution critical to the Boy Scouts' longstanding ban on gay members. Many people are speaking out, and GLAAD is making sure that the voices of fair-minded people are heard, including people of faith.
70% of Scout troops are sponsored by churches, synagogues, and faith-based organizations. That is an accurate figure that has been widely touted by Tony Perkins and John Stemberger. However, Perkins and Stemberger want you to believe that people of faith oppose inclusive scouting. The fact is that they are wrong; people of faith support equality in Scouting.
To give a representation of where major denominations stand on inclusive Scouting, GLAAD has created a handy graphic that shows which denominations support inclusive scouting for all.
If you want some more detail, we'll break it down for you.
The Mormon Church sponsors the most Boy Scout troops in the country. They have released a statement that supports lifting the ban on gay scouts.
The Roman Catholic Church is the second largest sponsor of troops in the country. The National Catholic Committee on Scouting has issued a statement that doesn't urge Catholics to vote in any particular way. However, they stated that they will respond after the vote is taken. GLAAD has been working with LGBT and allied Catholics to speak out about inclusive Scouting.
The United Methodist Church is the third largest sponsor of troops. While the denomination has not issued a statement on the proposed policy, several United Methodist groups and individuals have spoken out. The United Methodist Board of Church and Society has called for the discriminatory policy to be dropped, as have countless congregations, clergy, and United Methodist members.
The United Church of Christ has been working with GLAAD for months, activating congregations to speak out for policy change in the Boy Scouts. In February, several United Church of Christ congregations posted signs on the church that read "We Welcome ALL Boy Scouts." Executives of the United Church of Christ will be with GLAAD on the ground in Dallas next week as 1400 members of the BSA National Council converge to vote on whether or not the Boy Scouts should allow gay youth to participate.
The National Jewish Committee on Scouting supports lifting the ban on gay scouts and leaders. The Unitarian Universalist Association has endorsed Scouts for Equality's work to overturn the ban. And all the way back in 2000, The Episcopal Church passed a resolution, calling on the Scouts to drop their ban on gay scouts and leaders.
Several high profile Lutheran and Presbyterian leaders have stated support for lifting the ban on gay scouts and leaders. They are joined by the Metropolitan Community Church, who is activating their membership to speak out in support of policy change this weekend.
GLAAD is encouraging people of faith to stand up for inclusive scouting on Facebook and Twitter, sign the petition telling the BSA Council to vote to end the ban and pledge your support. Share both people of faith graphics on social media. Learn how you can help end the ban on gay scouts and leaders at glaad.org/scouts.
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 visitwww.glaad.org/denmother. For more on GLAAD's work on this campaign, including a timeline of key events, visitwww.glaad.org/scouts.