Boy Scouts Vote To End Ban On Gay Scout Leaders
The Washington Post reports:
The national organization will no longer allow discrimination against its paid workers or at BSA-owned facilities. But local troops and councils will be permitted to decide for themselves whether they will allow openly gay volunteer leaders.
It wasn’t clear if the compromise would satisfy religious traditionalists. The Mormon Church put out a statement Monday night saying its “century-long association with Scouting would need to be examined.”
It's important to note that local chapters will still have the right to discriminate against openly gay volunteers.
But church-state legal experts said the decision will likely just shift the controversy and legal battles from the national group to local troops and councils as volunteers barred from participating file suit.
“It’s changing the target [of litigation] because now it will be all about the local, not the national,” said Douglas Laycock, a prominent religious liberty scholar at the University of Virginia. “It changes the dynamic a lot. It makes it more informal, less visible.”
Still, this could be considered progress.
“This was a very important and difficult change for such an organization,” said Josh Schiller, an attorney representing Yasmin Cassini, a lesbian in Colorado who was hired to run a Scout center but then lost the job when she came out. Schiller is working pro bono with other high-profile lawyers to fight the Scout ban. “I definitely think it’s the beginning of building inclusive programs…It’s halfway where we want to be.”
What do you think of the decision to lift the ban on a national level--and the decision to allow local groups to choose whether to allow gay volunteers?