After a week of support from faith-based groups urging the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to maintain its current leadership policy, the organization announced Wednesday that it will delay its decision after â€œmore deliberate reviewâ€ of the issue.
The BSAâ€™s National Executive Board was scheduled to vote today on whether to let homosexual-identified men serve as scout leaders. Due to the â€œcomplexity of this issue,â€ the organization said it will address the question at the BSAâ€™s National Council meeting in May.
Known for training boys to help build a more conscientious, responsible society, the BSA is comprised of more than 116,000 local organizations and 2.6 million youth members.
â€œParents and scouts are attracted to the Boy Scouts because of the values it espouses,â€ said Carrie Gordon Earll, senior analyst for CitizenLink. â€œParents want an organization where their sons will be influenced by leaders who know the value of male and female, of one-man and one-woman marriage and of moral certainty.â€
A â€˜morally neutralâ€™ policy would be unwise for BSA.
â€œMoral neutrality is not why parents want their boys to be in Scouts,â€ Earll explained. â€œItâ€™s moral certainty that makes Scouts attractive to parents. Itâ€™s our hope that at the end of the day, the BSA will listen to parents, preserve its self-proclaimed duty to God and resist the bullying of homosexual activists.â€
BSA does an excellent job preparing boys for their future.
â€œIn a day in which boys are struggling to become men, we need organizations like the BSA and strong male mentors that prepare and encourage boys in their transition to full manhood,â€ said the Rev. Jason J. McGuire, President of New Yorkerâ€™s Family Research Foundation. â€œIt is not in the best interests of Boy Scouts or their families for the BSA to change this policy. The best interests of Boy Scouts and their families should be the only consideration.â€
John Stemberger, president of the Florida Family Policy Council, said a new policy would â€œdestroy the programâ€ as a similar policy did in Canada.
In 1998, the Canadian Scout (CS) program started permitting open homosexuality. In less than a decade, the number of scouts in the program dropped by more than 50 percent.
â€œI predict the BSA program will eventually suffer the same fate if this new policy is adopted,â€ Stemberger said. â€œOver 75 percent of the sponsoring organizations are faith based. Baptists, Catholics, Mormons and various Evangelicals represent the vast majority of sponsoring