BSA Membership Standards Vote Announced
For 103 years, the Boy Scouts of America has been a part of the fabric of this nation, with a focus on working together to deliver the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training.
Based on growing input from within the Scouting family, the BSA leadership chose to conduct an additional review of the organization’s long-standing membership policy and its impact on Scouting’s mission. This review created an outpouring of feedback from the Scouting family and the American public, from both those who agree with the current policy and those who support a change.
Today, following this review, the most comprehensive listening exercise in Scouting’s history the approximate 1,400 voting members of the Boy Scouts of America’s National Council approved a resolution to remove the restriction denying membership to youth on the basis of sexual orientation alone. The resolution also reinforces that Scouting is a youth program, and any sexual conduct, whether heterosexual or homosexual, by youth of Scouting age is contrary to the virtues of Scouting. A change to the current membership policy for adult leaders was not under consideration; thus, the policy for adults remains in place. The BSA thanks all the national voting members who participated in this process and vote.
This policy change is effective Jan. 1, 2014, allowing the Boy Scouts of America the transition time needed to communicate and implement this policy to its approximately 116,000 Scouting units.
The Boy Scouts of America will not sacrifice its mission, or the youth served by the movement, by allowing the organization to be consumed by a single, divisive, and unresolved societal issue. As the National Executive Committee just completed a lengthy review process, there are no plans for further review on this matter.
While people have different opinions about this policy, we can all agree that kids are better off when they are in Scouting. Going forward, our Scouting family will continue to focus on reaching and serving youth in order to help them grow into good, strong citizens. America’s youth need Scouting, and by focusing on the goals that unite us, we can continue to accomplish incredible things for young people and the communities we serve. If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The complete national statement can be found at www.bsamembershipstandards.org.
Statement from Bishop Michael J. Coyner, Indiana Area of The United Methodish Church-
"The decision by the Boys Scouts of America to welcome all boys as Scouts without regard to their own perceived sexual orientation brings the BSA into alignment with the Social Principles of our United Methodist Church where we encourage all of our churches to be in ministry to and with all persons. I trust that our many congregations who sponsor Scout troops will continue to do so, because I believe Scouting ministries are an excellent way for us to be in ministry to boys and girls."
Statement from the Board of Bishops, Free Methodist Church-
"White the FMC-USA is disappointed by the recent actions taken by the Boy Scouts of America, we are committed to our churches engaging with the people of the communities they serve. We cannot allow fear of what may come - or what some may try to make of this decision - to thwart the outreach and care offered by some of our churches to and through Boy Scout troop activities. Therefore, we believe it can be beneficial for our churches to continue to support Boy Scout activities."
(speech from the National Annual Meeting)