The executive committee for the Knox Trail Council, whose Viking District includes scouting groups in Wellesley, Newton and Weston, has taken a stand against the Boy Scouts of America policy prohibiting open gay people from taking part. Here’s more on the effort by the Telegram & Gazette and here’s the letter sent from the Knox Trail committee to the National BSA:
Dear Scouters of Knox Trail Council,
In late February the Knox trail Council (KTC) Executive Committee communicated with its members concerning the ongoing review by the BSA of its membership standards policy, and the actions that KTC had decided to take. We write now to apprise you of the results of this review and the resulting recommendation that KTC has made to the National BSA.
As a reminder, the relevant portion of the BSA membership standards policy is as follows (in which the paragraph to be discussed has been italicized):
The adult applicant must possess the moral, educational, and emotional qualities that the Boy Scouts of America deems necessary to afford positive leadership to youth. The applicant must also be the correct age, subscribe to the precepts of the Declaration of Religious Principle, and abide by the Scout Oath or Promise, and the Scout Law.
While the BSA does not proactively inquire about the sexual orientation of employees, volunteers, or members, we do not grant membership to individuals who are open or avowed homosexuals or who engage in behavior that would become a distraction to the mission of the BSA.
KTC received input from many parents, Chartered Partners and unit leaders. We are certainly heartened and energized by the level of support for Scouting in the community.
The overwhelming majority of respondents support a change in the membership standards policy to delete the reference to “open or avowed homosexuals.” Based on this feedback, KTC has submitted a formal recommendation to the BSA to change the italicized paragraph to read as follows:
The BSA does not grant membership to individuals who engage in behavior that would become a distraction to the mission of the BSA.
KTC will continue to receive and consider feedback from its membership on the BSA’s membership standards policy.
The BSA has announced that it plans to introduce a resolution concerning the membership standards policy at the annual meeting on May 22-24, 2013. The resolution will be voted on by the 1,400 voting members of the National Council of the Boy Scouts. KTC volunteers who are voting members plan to attend.
The KTC leadership team will continue to work through this issue while focusing on what is in the best interest of our youth and that of the Knox Trail Council. We ask you to join us in focusing on that which unites us: reaching and serving young people to instill in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.
Immediate Past President