What Prompted The Shift?
"The move also shows the growing influence of gay-rights groups and their backers. Throughout 2012, the Scouts were lobbied by organizations that collected more than one million signatures asking it to overturn the ban. Amid the tumult, several major corporate donors pulled their support from scouting organizations."
One million signatures on a petition. The pullout of corporate donors.
And the need for transparency?
OpEdNews reported the cover-up in child abuse last September, a factor that may have led to the proposed revision in policy: the BSA needs more transparency than ever to regain those corporate donors.
WOW! You Too? by Dan Vojir
Gay Scout Troops?
"BSA spokesman Deron Smith said "the Boy Scouts would not, under any circumstances, dictate a position to units, members, or parents. ... BSA members and parents would be able to choose a local unit which best meets the needs of their families," the BSA told Fox News Latino in a statement."
Reaction to the news of the policy shift has been surprisingly
optimistic on the local levels:
" "I think we are missing out on a lot of kids who are gay that just want to have the Boy Scout experience and I don't think that's fair. As far as leaders, there are a lot more problems coming out about straight leaders who are pedophiles than any problems with gay leaders." -- Mikki Nagel, a Lincoln parent of a Boy Scout nearing Eagle Scout
It certainly seems there is plenty of "wiggle room" in the policy change: Christian Right groups can put pressure on troops locally to their heart's content and create "no gay no way" troops. Certainly states like Tennessee will not likely be known for any gay-inclusive troops (nor Texas, nor North Carolina, etc). Ditto sponsors like the Catholic Knights of Columbus, a mainstay of Catholic scouts. But many local congregations see active discrimination as another necessary evil and a chore: a blanket "no gay" policy was easier to site.
Also easier to litigate: local lawsuits are quite the possibility.
Parodies of the "gayness" of scout troops have existed for a long while (see below), but totally gay BSA units are certainly far off in the future. And another problem: how would a totally gay unit fare in national conventions and events dominated by "family oriented" Christian Right units? The Christian Right has a lot of ferocity to distribute. It just can't do it nationally anymore.
Intolerance in the BSA will still exist. After all, the Christian Right will not be far behind.
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