scouts for equality

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BSA President Robert Gates called for an end Mark Zaleski / Associated Press

[DIGEST, May 21, 2015, NYT, USA Today]  As reported in The New York Times, the long standing ban on gay adult leaders in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) may come to an end, according to the president of the organization, Robert Gates.

“I must speak as plainly and bluntly to you as I spoke to presidents when I was director of the CIA and secretary of defense... We must deal with the world as it is, not as we might wish it to be. The status quo in our movement's membership standards cannot be sustained,” Gates said.

Gates hedged this warning by stating that certain religious organizations that sponsor local Boy Scout troops, including the Mormons and Roman Catholics, would remain free to set their own policies for leaders. Echoing some of the tensions surrounding questions of “religious freedom” versus public accommodations for LGBT, Gates noted, “We must, at all costs, preserve the religious freedom of our church partners to do this.” Gates added, “Such an approach would allow all churches, which sponsor some 70 percent of our Scout units, to establish leadership standards consistent with their faith.”

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