Next Step: Lifting the Ban on Gay Leaders
by Hugo Salinas
Many LGBT Mormons, family members and allies expressed gratitude for the Boy Scouts’ May 23 decision to end their ban on gay youth—but they also expressed hope for the day when gay leaders will also be allowed to serve.
“My gay son Jordan, who is 14 years old, is two badges away from his Eagle Scout, so we were very excited when the decision was announced,” says LDS mom Wendy Williams Montgomery. “Yet another part of me was sad and disheartened, because we know that when he turns 18 he will no longer be welcomed in the program.”
“I was excited and enthused when I heard the church recently came out in support of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) moving towards ending the ban against gay scouts,” wrote Kevin Kloosterman on the Washington Post Faith blog.
“While I am excited and energized about this progress, there will continue to be a ban on gay leaders,” Kloosterman lamented. “This is extremely unfortunate because it continues to promote the atrocious myths and stereotypes that have long been assigned to our gay friends, family, and neighbors.”
“Congratulations, Scouts for Equality, we made a good step towards progress today,” wrote David Baker, an Affirmation member and Eagle Scout who rallied in favor of lifting the ban. “Young scouts can now be honest without fear of repercussion. Next step, letting lesbian moms and gay youth leaders join the ranks.”
The LDS Church issued a statement in support of the decision, stating that “Church leaders will continue to seek the most effective ways to address the diverse needs of young people in the United States and throughout the world.”
With 420,000 Scouts and nearly 38,000 troops, the LDS Church is the largest sponsor of Boy Scout troops in the United States.
» See also: Mormon Responses to the Boy Scouts of America Decision (Mormon Expositor)