LGBT Rights

Boy Scout Leaders and Employees can be Gay… Sometimes


In the earlier part of July 2015, the Boy Scouts of America Executive Committee recommended ending the blanket ban on gay adult participation. Just two weeks later, the Scouts’ National Executive Board ratified that, removing restrictions on troops choosing openly gay adult leaders and paid employees.

Since the 1980s, gay rights activists have asked the Boy Scouts to drop prejudicial restrictions on gay participants. In 2013, the barriers were dropped for gay youths. Now the ban against troops selecting gay adult scout leaders or employees has been dropped.

Because more than 70 percent of chartered Boy Scout units are sponsored by organized religious entities, the Board gave troops exemption from the July 27 decision because of religious beliefs. This compromise followed sharp concerns voiced by the Southern Baptist Convention, Roman Catholic Church, United Methodists, the Commission on Social Action of Reform Judaism, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, among others as well.

In Columbus, the ACLU of Ohio rallied around Brian Peffly, a central Ohio Eagle Scout was kicked out after his sexual orientation became public. Banning LGBT adults from serving in Boy Scouts of America, they are continuing harmful and discriminatory practices against some of its most loyal members.