After a two-year secret review of their policy excluding gay people, the Boy Scouts of America yesterday announced the organization reaffirms that ban. A mouthpiece claimed the unidentified eleven-person panel represented "a diversity of perspectives and opinions," and yet the antigay vote was unanimous. The LAT quotes Jay Mechling, a professor at UC Davis and author of On My Honor: Boy Scouts and the Making of American Youth, calling it "a business decision based on religious pressure." Of 2.7 million scouts, an estimated 400,000 are Mormons.
The announcement also kills a new resolution from May's annual meeting to consider allowing individual local chapters to accept gay leaders. The issue received widespread media scrutiny in April after Jennifer Tyrrell [left] was ousted as a den mother in Ohio for being a lesbian. A petition to overturn the ban soon gained more than 300,000 signatures, spurred by support from Iowa Eagle Scout and incessant publicity hound Zach Wahls, 20, author of My Two Moms: Lessons of Love, Strength, and What Makes a Family.
Offering a shred of hope, two BSA board bigshots, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson and Ernst & Young CEO James Turley, have said it's time to change the policy and welcome gay people. They are in the minority now but Stephenson becomes president of the BSA board in 2014.
The Girl Scouts, Boys & Girls Clubs, and Big Brothers Big Sisters all have vowed to not exclude gay and lesbian people.