Atossa Araxia Abrahamian
April 20, 2013
The Boy Scouts of America on Friday proposed lifting a ban on gay scouts but maintaining a prohibition on gay adults from leading troops, a compromise that attempts to end a fight that has split the century-old American institution into bitter factions.
Reaction from scouting supporters ranged from outrage to limited approval. The biggest organization in scouts, the Mormon Church, said it was studying the proposal, leaving uncertain the outcome of a May vote by scout leaders that will set policy. Gay rights groups said continuing to bar gay adults was unacceptable, but they welcomed the change for youths.
“The general feeling is that this is a bad move,” which could precipitate a major crisis, A.J. Smith, president of the Association of Baptists for Scouting, wrote in a website post, attempting to summarize Baptists’ views. “This is about a concerted effort to bring down a cultural icon. We must brace ourselves for the long haul on this one.”