San Diego Teen Eagle Scout Weighs In On Resolution To Allow Gay Scouts
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Aired 5/16/13 on KPBS Midday Edition.
Chance Kawar is a senior at Patrick Henry High School. He's an Eagle Scout from Troop 51 in La Mesa. He recently wrote an op-ed in U-T San Diego urging the Boy Scouts to change its anti-gay policy.
Howard Menzer is President of Scouting For All. He wants the Scouts to lift the ban, but has reservations about the wording in the resolution that's up for a vote.
Currently the Boy Scouts do not allow so-called "open or avowed homosexuals" to be members or leaders in scouting. The resolution up for vote next week would allow gay boy scouts but not gay adult leaders.
The resolution reads in part:
"No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone."
The pressure has been growing for the organization to change its policy banning gays but the outcome of the vote is far from certain.
We invited the Boy Scouts of America to be a part of this conversation but a spokesperson for the organization declined and instead sent this statement:
"In February, the Boy Scouts of America embarked on the most comprehensive listening exercise in its history to consider the impact of potential changes to its membership standards policy on the organization and gather perspectives from inside and outside of the Scouting family. This review created an outpouring of feedback from the Scouting family and the American public, from both those who agree with the current policy and those who support a change.
"Scouting's review confirmed that this remains among the most complex and challenging issues facing the BSA and society today. Even with the wide range of input, it is extremely difficult to accurately quantify the potential impact of maintaining or changing the current policy. While perspectives and opinions vary significantly, parents, adults in the Scouting community, and teens alike tend to agree that youth should not be denied the benefits of Scouting."
"This month, the National Executive Committee is asking its approximately 1,400 voting members to consider a proposed resolution that would remove the restriction denying membership to youth on the basis of sexual orientation alone and would maintain the current membership policy for all adult leaders of the Boy Scouts of America. The resolution also reinforces that Scouting is a youth program and any sexual conduct, whether heterosexual or homosexual, by youth of Scouting age is contrary to the virtues of Scouting."