The Board of Directors of the Boy Scouts of America have decided to form a task force to further study its controversial ban on gay members and Scout leaders, upholding its discriminatory policy in the interim.
“After careful consideration and extensive dialogue within the Scouting family, along with comments from those outside the organization, the volunteer officers of the Boy Scouts of America’s National Executive Board concluded that due to the complexity of this issue, the organization needs time for a more deliberate review of its membership policy,” the BSA said at the conclusion of their board meeting.
“You don’t need to form a task force to know that discrimination is wrong,” said Jennifer Tyrrell, a lesbian mother from Bridgeport, Ohio, who was ousted as the leader of her son’s Cub Scout Pack in April 2012 because of her sexual orientation. “I had to tell my family and my son that the Boy Scouts of America didn’t think I was good enough to be their den leader, all because of my sexual orientation. No parent should have to do that, yet today the Boy Scouts told America showed that they don’t have the courage to condemn this kind of discrimination.”
Tyrell was among the group of activists who delivered a petition to BSA headquarters on Monday, featuring 1.4 million signatures calling for an end to the ban.
“Our fight will continue,” added Tyrrell, “and we will continue to educate donors and supporters of the Boy Scouts about the effects of their anti-gay policy.”
“It’s disappointing that the Boy Scouts of America can’t seem to live its code when it comes to the Scouting values of kindness, bravery, and courtesy,” said Eagle Scout and founder of Scouts for Equality Zach Wahls. “Their decision today to form a task force to study whether they should allow gay Scouts and leaders puts the organization on the wrong side of history, and once again tells the country that the Boy Scouts of America value archaic policies over the dignity of millions of Americans.”