Majority of Americans support ending the ban on openly gay BSA members

Quinnipiac University released a poll indicating that a majority of Americans believe that the Boy Scouts of America should drop their ban on openly gay members. Strongest support for ending the ban comes from women and Roman Catholics, but a plurality of men and mainline Protestants also support ending the ban. African American and Hispanic people polled showed strong support for ending the ban.

  • White Catholics support gay scouts 63 - 25 percent.
  • 57 percent of Black and Hispanic people support gay scouts.
  • 62 percent of 18-29 year-olds and 61 percent of 30-44 year-olds support gay scouts.

The poll also pointed to the decline in membership numbers. One troubling finding for Scouting in America is that 54 percent of voters say they were Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, while only 36 percent of voters, including 55 percent of former scouts, say they have children in Scouting.

The Boy Scouts announced today that a vote on ending the ban on openly gay members would be postponed until May. But with support for ending the ban crossing race, gender, and religious lines, they should think carefully about the best way to ensure that their organization can continue to provide a safe, supportive environment for all.