Below is a email I sent to the boys and parents of Troop 33 of Beverly Hills which I am the Scoutmaster of and Pack 100 of Beverly Hills which I am the Charter Organization of.
I am pleased to say today that the National Board of Boy Scouts of
America lifted the ban on gay youth in scouting.
This is a big step forward for scouting and I and others have long
been pushing for change on this issue.
While Troop 33 has a long and significant history of not
discriminating on any basis (with both notable gay scouts and scout
leaders) the national policy has always been a disappointment and
something that has hurt scouting significantly.
The troop was for decades proudly chartered by the Rotary Club of
Beverly Hills and we lost that support over the former policy.
I hope this change will prove to those who had doubts that an
organization as large as the Boy Scout of America could change and
become more enlightened even if it did take a long time.
There is still a restriction for gay adult leaders however I am
confident in time this will change as well.
Change in any large organization comes slowly as there are many
factions and opinions on any issue.
Much will be said and debated in the days, weeks and months to come on
this issue. Those who had strong opinions against this decision will
struggle to adapt to the change. Some troops may loose their support
of their faith based charter organizations just as we lost our charter
support when the policy was to discriminate. Some who’s beliefs do not
allow them to be accepting of gays will struggle to justify their
continued participation in scouting.
I urge everyone to stay focused on and help focus other on the
valuable mission of scouting which in truth has nothing to do with
Scouting must be available for any and all who want to participate.
We must stayed focus on the good of scouting and work to not let this
positive change force those on the loosing side to withdraw as that
only hurts the boys involved and the organization as a whole.
There is yet more change needed to be an organization that is
completely non-biased but forward motion will lead to more change in
Most of us adults are to young (and certainly you scouts are way to
young) to have been part of the great and historic changes for
equality that swept through this country in the past. Today we are
proud of the equality that exist for all people in this country yet it
was not so long ago that this equality we take for granted did not
Change came though the efforts of many who did not abandon the
institution but worked for change from within.
This is a historic step for Scouting and a significant step forward
for equality and we all are part of that change. Be proud of this step
forward and never forget that you as leaders must always be willing to
lead for change and not turn your back when the going gets tough or
the vote goes the other way.
Scouting is a great organization for all that it has always been and
for being able to make a change that makes scouting available to all
youth regardless of their sexual preferences.