US: Boy Scouts of America to survey members and staff on whether to lift gay ban

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The Boy Scouts of America is putting the question of whether it should lift its national anti-gay policy to those it will directly affect – the members, volunteers and staff.

In July 2012, after a two year review, the Boy Scouts of America announced it would retain its ban on gay members, volunteers and staff.

Reports suggest that the BSA has been secretly convening a committee to look at whether to change or get rid of the ban.

Back in February, the Boy Scouts of American delayed a vote on whether or not to lift the ban, until May “due to the complexity of the issue”. 

It is considering lifting its national ban on allowing gay volunteers, members and staff, which would effectively allow individual scout troops to decide on whether to be inclusive or not.

The Associated Press reports that a survey has been sent by email to 1.1 million adult Boy Scouts, containing five theoretical situations which could take place if the ban were lifted.

One of the examples given is a troop voting in a lesbian den leader, or an openly gay youth minister serving as a BSA Scout Master.

The email then gives respondents a chance to rate their feelings from strong support to strongly oppose.

Last week both Carly Rae Jepsen and San Francisco band Train pulled out of headlining at the Scouts annual jamboree, because of its ongoing ban on allowing gay members, volunteers and staff.

A rally recently delivered a petition with 1.4 million signatures pushing for the Boy Scouts of America to drop its ban. 

Back in January, President Barack Obama said that he thought gay people should be allowed in the Boy Scouts of America, and that “nobody should be barred” from the experience of being a scout.