US: BSA membership down 6% since compromise to allow gay scouts

PinkNews logo on a pink background surrounded by illustrated line drawings of a rainbow, pride flag, unicorn and more.

The Boy Scouts of America lost over 6% of its membership in the past year, after voting to allow openly gay scouts but keep a ban on gay scout leaders.

BSA spokesperson Devon Smith told the New York Times that the Scouts lost 6 percent of their membership since they voted to overturn the ban last May.

The total BSA membership has fallen to just 2.5 million youth members and 960,000 adults.

According to Smith, the organisation does not keep track of how many of those groups may have left the organisation over the decision to allow gay scouts, or over the decision to keep the ban on gay adults.

He added: “Our membership policy is that we do not ask people about their sexual orientation, and it’s not an issue until they deliberately inject it into scouting in an inappropriate fashion.

“Nor do we act on hearsay, allegations of belief or reports of past activities.”

After the ban on gay members was relaxed, several Church-based groups broke away from the Scouts to form a more conservative competitor, Trail Life.USA.

Last month, the Scouts rejected the leadership application of an Eagle Scout, after he was accidentally outed on Facebook by friends.

It also revoked the membership of Troop 98, at Rainer Beach United Methodist Church, after they refused to allow the organisation to sack their openly gay scout leader.