The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), America’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organisation, responded to today’s historic vote by the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to end its blanket national ban on gay, lesbian and bisexual adults serving as employees and volunteers.
The new policy, which bars discrimination based on the sexual orientation of organisation employees, still allows church-organised local units to consider an individual’s sexual orientation when deciding who can volunteer and lead Cub Scout packs, Boy Scout troops, and Venturing crews. HRC called on the organisation to adopt a policy of full LGBT inclusion for both employees and volunteers.
“Yesterdays’s vote by the Boy Scouts of America to allow gay, lesbian and bisexual adults to work and volunteer is a welcome step toward erasing a stain on this important organisation,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “But including an exemption for troops sponsored by religious organizations undermines and diminishes the historic nature of today’s decision. Discrimination should have no place in the Boy Scouts, period.”
“BSA officials should now demonstrate true leadership and begin the process of considering a full national policy of inclusion that does not allow discrimination against anyone because of who they are,” Griffin said.
In 2013, HRC announced that beginning in 2016 its Corporate Equality Index, which rates Fortune 500 companies and the nation’s top law firms on LGBT-inclusive policies and practices, would penalise corporations that give money to non-religious organizations that discriminate against the LGBT community. Companies from Walt Disney to UPS have led the charge to prevent money from flowing from corporate coffers to organizations that actively discriminate against the LGBT community.