It's been ten years since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Boy Scouts could ban openly gay people from serving as scout leaders. Though he was in the minority opinion, Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens said at the time that discriminating against anyone, regardless of their sexual orientation, is contrary to the mission and philosophy of the Boy Scouts of America.
The Boy Scouts of America bill themselves as an organization dedicated to building character and responsibility in America's youth. But keeping a policy that openly discriminates against gays and lesbians fails to deliver on that promise. Teaching kids that gays and lesbians don't belong is no way to inspire future leaders. It also deprives kids of well-qualified leaders.
Recently a case in Vermont, where two moms were told that they could not lead their son's scouting troop because they were a same-sex couple, brought the Boy Scouts discriminatory policy back into the public limelight. Ten years after getting permission from the U.S. Supreme Court to ban gays and lesbians, the Boy Scouts should move toward inclusion. Times have changed. There are many children living with LGBT parents, or many children with LGBT mentors. Those parents and mentors would make great leaders for our children...if only given the chance by the Boy Scouts of America.
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