US: Boy Scouts will keep ban on gay people

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The Boy Scouts of America has announced it will retain its ban on gay members, volunteers and staff.

As a private organisation, the Boy Scouts of America has adopted positions since 1991 which state that homosexuality is “inconsistent with the Scout Oath that a Scout be morally straight and in the Scout Law that a Scout be clean in word and deed”.

The group said it had spent two years reviewing the ban.

Bob Mazzuca, chief scout executive, said: “The vast majority of the parents of youth we serve value their right to address issues of same-sex orientation within their family, with spiritual advisers, and at the appropriate time and in the right setting.

“While a majority of our membership agrees with our policy, we fully understand that no single policy will accommodate the many diverse views among our membership or society.”

The group was presented with a 275,000-signature petition last month asking for it to drop the ban. A campaign began after den leader Jennifer Tyrrell was ejected from the scouting organisation after her sexual orientation became known.

In 2008, the US Supreme Court ruled that the organisation could legally bar gay leaders, saying it could not force the organisation “to accept members where such acceptance would derogate from the organisation’s expressive message”.