The investigation had been going on for two years by an 11-member special committee formed by the Boy Scouts after pressure from the public. The members of this committee remain a secret. “The vast majority of the parents of youth we serve value their right to address issues of same-sex orientation within their family, with spiritual advisers and at the appropriate time and in the right setting,” Bob Mazzuca, chief executive of Boy Scouts, said. “We fully understand that no single policy will accommodate the many diverse views among our membership or society.”
There have been several protests over this policy, including one sparked by the removal of Jennifer Tyrell as a troop leader because she is a lesbian. Tyrell started a petition that got over 300,000 signatures and was delivered to the Boy Scouts Headquarters in Texas on Wednesday.
LGBT allies and activists are predictably upset about this decision. Michelangelo Signorlie, editor-at-large of Huffington Post Gay Voices, believes this decision sends a “a devastating and dangerous message to young people across America: keep gays away because they are not like the rest of us.”
Signorlie went on to question the Scouts’ claim that the majority of their membership agrees with the policy. “The BSA’s argument is that the majority of its members believe in such discrimination, therefore it must continue to discriminate,” Signorlie continued. “What does that tell young people all across America? That bullying is fine—and yes, what the Boy Scouts is engaging in is institutionalized bullying —as long as the majority is down with it.”
Chad Griffin, President of the Human Rights Campaign, told the Wall Street Journal the organization has “a missed opportunity of colossal proportions” and they are teaching “division and intolerance.”