“This would mean there would no longer be any national policy that leaves certain people out because of being gay or non-christian, and the organizations that lead the national Boy Scouts council would become members. Each organization could select leaders consistent with each its own mission or religion,” a representative for the Boy Scouts of America, Deron Smith, said.
Under these proposed changes, the Boy Scouts would not, under any circumstances, dictate a position to troops or parents. Under the proposed policy, the BSA would not require any BSA troop to act in ways inconsistent with that troop's mission, principles, or religious beliefs.” He said that members and parents would be able to choose a local unit that best meets the needs of their families.
Scouting, with its three-fingered salute and oath of honorable conduct, has for generations held out as a place of high moral standards and semi-military ways of life. Outdoor know-how and experience were taught with strong emphasis on character. But lies about sexual abuse by scout leaders, which have emerged more and more in recent years, have shown that BSA instead shields predators.
The ban on gay leaders created a double edged sword of criticism: Would removing the ban anger tradition-minded families who may fear gay leaders and see them as potential abusers? Or would lifting the ban attract a new generation of scouts whose families break from old traditions?
A pressure for change has been coming from within the organization for some time. A California chapter of the BSA is issuing a direct challenging the ban on gays by formally recommending that an openly gay former scout be awarded the top rank of Eagle.