US: LA Boy Scouts chapter breaks with national policy and wants to include gay leaders

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The Western Los Angeles County branch of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is the latest chapter to go against the BSA’s proposed policy, which would lift its ban on gay members, but maintain its ban on gay leaders and staff.

The Boy Scouts of America recently announced it would propose to members of its National Council at a meeting in Texas later this month lifting the ban on gay youth scouts, but maintaining a ban on gay adult leaders.

The council, representing over 14,000 scouts, and is the 14th largest scouting chapter in the US, called for the organisation to instead, fully lift its ban on gay volunteers, members and staff, reports NewsMax.

The council declared its position on Tuesday, and called for a “true and authentic inclusion policy”. In doing so, the Los Angeles council joined at least two other branches in New York state, which have pushed for full inclusion of gay scouts and leaders.

Alan Snyder, chairman of the board of the Western Los Angeles County Council said that for over six month, it had discussed the issue of allowing gay members, volunteers and staff.

“We’re hoping that by being visible on the issue, we can encourage others to have the temerity to join us,” he said.

The council is backing a resolution which states that no youth or adult should be excluded “as a leader, volunteer or staff member solely based on their sexual orientation or preference.”

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.

The Boy Scouts of America is currently embroiled in a debate over whether to lift its ban on gay volunteers, members and staff. In February, it delayed a vote on whether or not to lift the ban until May “due to the complexity of the issue”.

A poll released in February found that a majority of US voters thought the Boy Scouts of America should drop its ban on gay scouts, volunteers and staff.