Boy Scouts Allow Gay Leaders; Slate Cheers ‘Huge Step Forward’

Policy still allows religious sponsors of local troops to appoint leaders who align with principles.

On July 27, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) voted to change their policy regarding gay leaders. Slate’s Mike DeSocio called the change “a huge step forward.”

In an effort to satisfy both conservatives and progressives with a stake in the BSA, the organization will no longer ban gay leaders at the national level, but will allow local troops to choose their own leaders. In this way, churches that sponsor troops can have a say in the moral integrity of the leaders selected. 

Earlier this year, BSA president and former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates had declared that the group’s policy was “unsustainable.” In a speech given at the annual national meeting, Gates urged the audience to “reflect and pray” about the path forward. “We can act on our own, or we can be forced to act.” 

“For me,” Gates stated, “I support a policy that accepts and respects our different perspectives and beliefs, allows religious organizations based on their first amendment protections of religious freedom to establish their own standards for adult leaders, and preserves the Boy Scouts of America now and forever.” 

DeSocio condemned the fact that the organization had acted in fear of legal force, making a mere “business decision.” “This vote,” he asserted, “is not a vote for radical change, but rather to remind ourselves of what our own values have instructed us to do from the very beginning.” 

“As for being ‘morally straight,’ as the [BSA] oath commands?” he questioned. “We must reclaim that phrase from those who redefined it to wage a war on sexual orientation. Morally straight is about knowing right from wrong, not about whom you love.” What about those situations it’s wrong to love the person you do? That logic actually condones pedophilia and incest!

“The BSA has a unique opportunity to shape the minds of our nation’s youth, and we must do so carefully and purposefully,” DeSocio concluded. 

He’s exactly right. The battle for children’s minds is the most critical part of the culture war. And although the BSA has not yielded completely, it is only a matter of time before they cave to the pressure, and the left will have destroyed another American institution.