Boy Scouts Uphold Policy to Exclude Gay People

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The Boy Scouts of America upheld their policy on Tuesday, which bans openly gay boys from being members and gay or lesbian adults from being leaders.

The news release said that the Boy Scouts of America do not require potential leaders, volunteers or members to share their sexual orientation, but "individuals who are open or avowed homosexuals or who engage in behavior that would become a distraction to the mission of the BSA," are not to be granted membership or employment, the New York Times said.

The committee placed in charge of evaluating the policy consisted of 11 volunteers and professional leaders who concluded that the longtime policy represents the "beliefs and perspectives of BSA members," CNN said.

"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, BSA's chief scout executive, said.

The policy has been challenged fiercely since a 2000 Supreme Court ruling which allowed the BSA to fire an openly gay employee, saying the BSA had the right to do so because it was a private organization, the New York Times said.

A statement released by the deputy executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Darlene Nipper said "Once again, officials of the Boy Scouts of America have turned their backs on a chance to demonstrate fairness, exercise sound judgment, and serve as a role model for valuing others, free of bias and prejudice," CNN said.

Richard Ferraro, vice president for communications with the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation pointed out that the Girls Scouts, the Boys and Girls Clubs, the 4-H Clubs and now the military, all "forbid discrimination based on sexual orientation," The New York Times said.

"The Boy Scouts of America is one of the last cultural institutions to have discrimination as part of their policy," Ferraro said. "It's policies like this that contribute to bullying in schools."

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