The international scouting movement was founded in England by Robert Baden-Powell, not in the United States by the BSA. The BSA threatens legal action against any organization that uses the term "scout" in their name, and thus many scouting organizations, even ones based on Baden-Powell traditions, must be careful in their use of the term "scout" lest they end up in court. The time has come for Congress to revoke the BSA's 1916 charter, which gives them (and the Girl Scouts) a virtual monopoly on scouting in our country.
BSA's recent decision to allow gay scouts was a welcome step in the direction of inclusion, but their continued ban on gay leaders and the recent dismissal of Seattle's Troop 98 scoutmaster signals their continued commitment to discrimination. More inclusive scouting organizations should be given the space to create alternatives without fear of lawsuit. This should be a rare case where both sides of the aisle could agree on one aspect of a very contentious issue. The time has come to open the playing field and allow competition within American scouting.
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