Boy Scouts reaffirm ban on gays

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A committee from the Boy Scouts of America has reaffirmed the organization’s ban on gay members and leaders.

The committee, made up of executives and volunteers from the organization, met for about two years before announcing the opinion Tuesday, July 17, 2012.

ABC News reports the committee said most parents involved in Boy Scouts think sexual orientation is an issue to address at home and not within the Boy Scouts organization.

The Boy Scouts of America has about 2.7 million members and more than a million adult volunteers. 

Iowa Eagle Scout Zach Wahls reportedly accused the BSA of basing the decision on the opinions of a few committee members.  He challenged BSA to make the decision based on a vote of members and volunteers. 

“I believe the vast majority of Scout families do not support their policy on excluding gays and if that is the case, they picked an awfully interesting way of affirming that in their report,” said Wahls.

Wahls said he thought the ban might be up for change when AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, who has said he was committed to ending the ban, takes over as BSA president in 2012.

In a prepared statement, the executive committee of the BSA National Executive Board said, “While not all board members may personally agree with this policy, and may choose a different direction for their own organizations, BSA leadership agrees this is the best policy for the organization and supports it for the BSA.”

The deputy executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Darlene Nipper, issued a statement calling the decision “deeply disappointing.”

“Once again, officials of the Boy Scouts of America have turned their backs on a chance to demonstrate fairness, exercise sound judgment, and serve as a role model for valuing others, free of bias and prejudice,” she said. “This is deeply disappointing. Discrimination is never the right policy, period.”


(CNN contributed to this report)