HRC Ad Calls for End to Discriminatory Boy Scout Ban on Gays

Two days before an expected vote, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) – America’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organisation – will run a full-page ad in the Dallas Morning News today calling on the leadership at Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to end its discriminatory policy prohibiting gay people from Scouting and adopt a national non-discrimination standard.


Last week, BSA representatives indicated the organisation would consider changing the policy to instead allow local sponsoring organisations to make their own decisions and potentially discriminate at the local level.

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“While the proposed change is a step in the right direction, we can’t pretend that passing the buck to the local level will eliminate anti-gay discrimination because it won’t,” said HRC communications vice president Fred Sainz. “Generations of gay Americans have been told they’re not good enough to join the Scouts, simply because of who they are.  BSA has an opportunity to change that this week by adopting a non-discrimination policy. Scouting, which has played an important role in American society, will be strengthened by that action.”

The ad, which will appear in the print edition of the newspaper this morning, encourages readers to call on the BSA board to enact a nationwide anti-discrimination policy.  Currently the organisation’s official policy is to “not grant membership to individuals who are open or avowed homosexuals” as Scouts or adult Scout Leaders.

On Friday, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation announced more stringent criterion for its Corporate Equality Index. To receive a perfect score in the future, companies would have to prohibit philanthropic giving to non-religious organizations that have a written policy of anti-gay discrimination, or permit its chapters, affiliates, or troops to do so.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organisation working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realise a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

Fred Sainz