Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Scouts for Equality.
Sometime today, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is expected to end its general ban on gay troop leaders. While this is excellent news and a mile stone in terms of gay rights in the United States, there is a catch: individual scouting groups will be able to exclude gay troop leaders.
In order to placate conservative religious groups who sponsor packs and troops, such as the Mormon and Roman Catholic churches, the BSA will still allow church-run units to restrict leadership roles to heterosexuals.
The resolution was approved only a few weeks ago, less than two months after the president of the BSA called for the end of the ban. The Boy Scouts will also ease up on their ban on gays serving as den leaders, scoutmasters and camp counselors.
The BSA will also ban discrimination based on sexual orientation in all official facilities and paying jobs nation-wide.
With the BSA trying to stem a long-term decline in membership and their anti-gay stance costing them corporate sponsors while inviting expensive lawsuits, the motivations behind these changes most likely have a financial component to them.
In recent years there have been more moves towards equality in the BSA. Back in 2013, the organization allowed participation by gay youths.
When approved, policy change will be put into effect immediately.