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BSA Membership Policy Decision Slated for May.

This statement concerning the BSA membership policy decision was released today from the Executive Board (Link):

For 103 years, the Boy Scouts of America has been a part of the fabric of this nation, providing it’s youth program of character development and values-based leadership training. In the past two weeks, Scouting has received an outpouring of feedback from the American public. It reinforces how deeply people care about Scouting and how passionate they are about the organization.

After careful consideration and extensive dialogue within the Scouting family, along with comments from those outside the organization, the volunteer officers of the Boy Scouts of America’s National Executive Board concluded that due to the complexity of this issue, the organization needs time for a more deliberate review of its membership policy.

To that end, the National Executive Board directed its committees to further engage representatives of Scouting’s membership and listen to their perspectives and concerns. This will assist the officers’ work on a resolution on membership standards. The approximately 1,400 voting members of the National Council will take action on the resolution at the National Annual Meeting in May 2013.

I think this is a wise decision. A more deliberative process and dialogue is never a bad idea.

I think it is my responsibility to provide as much useful information as possible and I invite you to join in the dialogue on the subject and look forward to working our way through the issues together.

Since the announcement of the pending membership policy changes I have fielded many comments and emails from those for and against the change. I want to note that there is a difference between meaningful dialogue and  divisive argument.

It ought to be clear to my readers and listeners that I support changing our membership policy based on sexual orientation. At the same time I understand that there will be those who oppose it. No matter the outcome of the decision  we will be challenged to continue to work together cooperatively.

The internet is not always the best place for thoughtful dialogue so, while I welcome your thoughts, there are some ground rules:

  • You are a guest in my house. Be civil to and respectful of others. Discuss issues, do not attack individuals or groups.
  • I moderate all comments, this is not “censorship”, it’s moderation.
  • My house, my rules, my prerogative - the internet is a big place with plenty of opportunities to express your opinion.

When this subject is discussed on line there are typical circular arguments that cause more heat than light. Scouting is totally nonsectarian in matters of custom and religion. While I understand there is a  spiritual component to Scouting I am not going to host arguments over doctrine or religious convictions. You can read more about the subject here.

We are also not going to argue the question of the origins or biology of sexual orientation. While I realize that there are differing opinions there are other places for those discussions. Here are some resources for learning more about the issue

If you’d like to contact me by email here’s how.