On Thursday, Boy Scouts of America President Bob Gates called for the end to the organization’s ban on gay adults who serve as troop leaders or have other roles within the organization. Addressing the group’s National Annual Business Meeting, he said:
I am not asking the national board for any action to change our current policy at this meeting. But I must speak as plainly and bluntly to you as I spoke to president when I was director of CIA and secretary of defense. We must deal with the world as it is, not as we might wish it to be. The status quo in our movement’s membership standards cannot be sustained.
What This Means for the Boy Scouts
In addition to calling for an end to the ban, Gates added that he would not seek to revoke the charters of Boy Scouts chapters that allow gay adults to serve in defiance of the existing ban. He specifically mentioned two chapters, one in New York and the other in Colorado, that hired gay scoutmasters or volunteers. (Just last year, a chapter in Seattle had its charter revoked for refusing to fire a gay scoutmaster.)
He also warned that “any other alternative will be the end of us as a national movement.” Should the Boy Scouts of America embrace his statement, a resolution to change the policy will likely materialize when the group’s governing body meets next.