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Yet Another Poll Shows Most Americans Disagree With Boy Scout Policy

Here’s another example of how fast the public’s attitude on LGBT issues is changing. A new Washington Post poll finds that a majority of Americans believe that the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) should lift its ban on gay scouts and scout leaders. Just last December, Gallup released poll results that showed most Americans didn’t believe gay adults should be allowed to serve as scout leaders.

What prompted the sudden change? The BSA’s own proposal to reconsider the ban probably gave permission for a change of heart to folks who hadn’t thought much about the issue. What’s noteworthy is that the BSA proposal would still ban gay adults from the organization, while 56% of those in the Post survey believe that policy is wrong.

Other highlights from the poll:

  • 63% favor allowing gay scouts in the organization
  • 75% of those with no religious affiliation or who identify as agnostic or atheist oppose the ban
  • Roman Catholics favor the policy change at the same rate as everyone else, while Protestants are almost evenly split on the issue
  • Parents are as likely to support repealing the ban as those without children

So the real question is, how many polls does it take for the BSA to realize the entire ban has to go?

By:           John Gallagher
On:           May 9, 2013
Tagged: , , , ,
  • 8 Comments
    • Dakotahgeo
      Dakotahgeo

      Socially Conservative = stubborn = will not/cannot learn = recalcitrant = old world = no progress. If it were up to them, we’d still have one-holers and go to the nearest town with horse and buggy. Sorry, folks… you are hereby left behind!

      May 9, 2013 at 9:32 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tdx3fan
      tdx3fan

      @Dakotahgeo: If it was up to them anyone or anything they did not agree with would be controlled by them. These people would still own slaves if given the opportunity, but since that opportunity will not come along they treat their women like slaves instead. They have the inability to evolve with the rest of society, and will be destroyed instead eventually.

      May 9, 2013 at 9:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Matt1961
      Matt1961

      I’m a gay scout leader and even the Mormons are ok with the proposed changes. It’s not perfect, not by a long shot, but it’s a step in the right direction. We must all understand that to fundamentally change the culture of such an established institution as the BSA, it will take smaller steps to be sure. Don’t get me wrong, I think we (the BSA) are just kicking the can down the road, but this solution is palatable to the majority of the members and may help the organization to survive this first stroke of relevancy.

      Society’s view on the LGBTQ community is ever changing, and as we see by this report is it moving fast in the right direction. I would hope we (LGBTQ community) can support this step in the right direction and keep encouraging change from within.

      May 9, 2013 at 2:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @Matt1961: said…

      “”I’m a gay scout leader and even the Mormons are ok with the proposed changes. It’s not perfect, not by a long shot, but it’s a step in the right direction. We must all understand that to fundamentally change the culture of such an established institution as the BSA, it will take smaller steps to be sure.”””
      __________________

      Matt, in fairness, I”m not sure you understand how the Mormons work. The proposed change is to supposedly allow gay scouts but not leaders. And of course, the Mormon approved leaders will preach that being gay is wrong, and if a kid does come out his family and the child will be pressured to leave and if they stay they will be pressured constnatly and told that they are wrong.

      It is irrelevant how large the organization is. Gigantic organizations like United Airlines changed policies to gay friendly because they were forced to by the City of San Francisco threatening to not let them do business there. They didn’t have to go through years of touchy feelie excersizes. They were told they had to change, and they did.

      The REASON that the boyscouts have this kind of attitude is because thousands of folks and hundreds of troops have already abandoned the organization because of it’s bigoted policies.

      May 9, 2013 at 3:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • loren_1955
      loren_1955

      Reality is this is not much of a stretch for the Mormon church. All Mormon youth are automatically signed up in their Mormon sponsored troops. The local Mormon leadership do not differentiate gay or straight in doing the registrations. That being said gay boys have always been part of the Mormon troops all along.

      The travesty to this policy is a youth can be gay, active in scouting, achieve all the Scouting highest honors, yet, when that youth turns 18 would be automatically kicked out as no longer worthy to be in Scouting. Bad message, BSA is still missing the mark on doing what is right.

      May 9, 2013 at 4:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • alterego1980
      alterego1980

      The BSA are taking the rational but short view on the matter. I think they did the right thing in seeking opinions from within. It helps foster inclusive behavior and makes whatever decision they make more palatable to those who participated in the surveys. But the biggest issue I see is that BSA are listening only to those vocal members. Not to the country as a whole. I understand it’s tough for them; the Mormons being like 20% of the BSA is a huge deal. Losing that would fracture the BSA forever. It would never be the same. So if it takes baby steps to keep the Mormons in the fold and keep the BSA functioning all while edging toward equality, maybe that’s just what they feel they need to do it. My take though is that the only reason they are taking these steps is because of the pressure. If that pressure continues, it may come to a head with the Mormons eventually. Not not how many baby steps they have to offer.

      May 9, 2013 at 5:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Matt1961
      Matt1961

      @Cam:

      Cam, you’re not talking apples to apples here. The BSA is a not for profit mostly volunteer organization that partners heavily with religious organizations to host / own individual units, and has the SCOTUS affirmed right to free association. An airline is a for profit business that is prohibited by law from discrimination in any form.

      The reason BSA is changing is not because of activism from outside of the organization, but rather activism within it. I’ve been involved for nearly all of my life, and over the past 5 years I’ve seen an incredible increase in the amount of families that advocate inclusiveness and the change in policy for youth and adults.

      again, this is just a step in the right direction. When ignorant right wing parents realize that little johnny won’t be getting raped while on a scout campout by a gay scout in his unit, then they’ll be a little easier to cajole into accepting a gay adult.

      Believe me, I’d rather be out and serving this organization than closeted. My time will come soon though.

      May 9, 2013 at 6:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @Matt1961: said…

      “The reason BSA is changing is not because of activism from outside of the organization, but rather activism within it.”
      ______________________

      That is absolutely untrue. Since 1990 they have lost nearly 50% of their troops, the reason most commonly stated is that the scouts policies are not acceptable.

      They are finally talking about changing because they were dying a not very slow death. The only reason the Mormons are even pretending to open up is because their own internal polls show the perceptions of Mormons by those outside the religion is “Bigot”.

      May 10, 2013 at 3:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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