Even as the Boy Scouts of America remains avowedly heterosexual, Britain’s Scout Association has announced plans to recruit gay members and leaders as the organization tries to diminish the perception that gays are unwelcome. The association has more than 500,000 members in the U.K.
Scouts spokesman Simon Carter said the campaign was designed to move the group away from its reputation as being “austere and militaristic.”
“There was an assumption that being gay meant you couldn't be part of the movement,” he said. “That was never the case and we are keen to make it clear that we accept people of any particular orientation. We have had youth members and adults attend Pride events and plan to do so again this year.”
BSA, are you listening? Though courts in the United States have generally upheld the right of the Boy Scouts of America to exclude gays, agnostics and atheists … it doesn’t mean the organization can’t change its mind someday. Maybe BSA leaders can take a cue from their U.K. counterparts? We’re hoping.