Why Did the Boy Scouts Postpone Gay-Ban Repeal

Boy Scouts of America is in no rush to lift its existing gay ban. Despite a recent announcement that BSA leaders this week would revisit whether to allow gay scouts and gay and lesbian troop leaders, news came yesterday that a decision would again be delayed.


“Due to the complexity of this issue, the organization needs time for a more deliberate review,” Boy Scouts of America said in a statement. The issue will now be revisited in May.

Corporate pressure from companies and their CEOsin particular,Ernst & Young Chairman and CEO Jim Turley and AT&T Chairman, CEO and President Randall Stephenson, who are both BSA board memberscertainly contributed to theBoy Scouts’ initial decision to revisit the ban. The proposed policy would have left membership decisions or exclusions based on sexual orientation up to theBoy Scouts’ 290 local councils and 116,000 sponsors, which are comprised of religious and civic groups.

While the plan to give local units more authority was heralded by LGBT advocates, it also received a lot of pushback from local sponsors: About 70 percent of troops currently are backed by religious groups with more conservative beliefs, meaning about 105,000 of the approximate 150,000 national Boy Scout troops and Cub Scout packs could lose that funding.

“The Boy Scouts of America has heard from scouts, corporations and millions of Americans thatdiscriminating against gay scouts and scout leadersis wrong,” said Herndon Graddick, President of GLAAD, an advocacy group for LGBTs. “Scouting is a valuable institution, and this change will only strengthen its core principles of fairness and respect.”

Many news outlets doubt the probability that the Boy Scouts could have a sudden reversal, as this wavering stance indicates its positioning is less about a desire to keep up with the timesafter all, the organization’s ban has been in place for more than a decadeand more about juggling societal pressures. Similar organizations, including the Girl Scouts, 4-H clubs and the U.S. military, all promote policies of inclusion.

A national poll by Quinnipiac University shows that 55 percent of people support lifting the Boy Scouts ban against gays and lesbians; only 33 percent are opposed. If BSA is looking for a win-win situation, outlets suggest the current inaction will leave the organization with the short end of the stickand stuck with the bad reputation of being wishy-washy.

Will Progress Ever Come to Boy Scouts

How will corporations, especially those who embody a culture of diversity and inclusion, react to the postponement Will they pull funding For example, Merck & Co. recently announced it would cease its annual $30,000 contributions to the Boy Scouts of America and $10,000 to the Cradle of Liberty Council, which governs troops in the Philadelphia area, where Merck Chairman, President and CEO Kenneth Frazier grew up.

Ernst & Youngis No. 6 in theDiversityInc Top 50and No. 4 inThe DiversityInc Top 10 Companies for LGBT Employees.AT&Tis No. 4 in the DiversityInc Top 50 and No. 8 in The DiversityInc Top 10 Companies for LGBT Employees.Merck & Co.is No. 16 in the DiversityInc Top 50. All three companies have a 100 percent rating on theCorporate Equality Index from the Human Rights Campaign, which designates those organizations demonstrating workplace equality for LGBT employees.

Latest News

women in politics

Women Remain Vastly Underrepresented in Local Government, Despite Conventional Wisdom Suggesting Otherwise

Vice President Kamala Harris and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi sat behind President Biden during his first speech to a joint session of Congress on April 28 — representing the first time two women held such important and high-ranking political offices. Even after such a historic moment, the reality…

voter restriction

Florida Follows Georgia’s Lead, Approves Racist Anti-Voter Restrictions Aimed Primarily at Democrats and People of Color

Not content with letting Georgia be the only state in the South demonized for its bigoted and racist attacks on voter rights, Florida has jumped into the fray in issuing its own series of new and highly controversial “Jim Crow-esque” anti-voting restrictions aimed specifically at disenfranchising Democrats and voters of…

Kentucky Derby

Inspired by Protests Over Breonna Taylor’s Death, Humana and Kentucky Derby Festival Launch Diversity and Inclusion Initiative in Louisville

Ahead of the 147th Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 1, Kentucky Derby officials and Humana (No. 25 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2020) have announced a new equity initiative meant to make the race more accessible and welcoming to everyone, regardless of race, gender, age…

crimes against human ity

‘Crime Against Humanity’; Global Report Says the US Should Be Prosecuted in International Criminal Court for Ongoing Police Murders of Black Americans

In what has been described as a “devastating” report, human rights experts and lawyers have investigated and released a 188-page analysis of the ongoing police brutality and killing of Black Americans in the U.S. Their verdict: the country is guilty of “crimes against humanity” and should be prosecuted for its…

Tokyo, Olympics

Tokyo Olympics to Encourage Significant Increase in Gender Equality Among Event’s Corporate Sponsors

Besides simply being a showcase for some of the most talented and athletic men and women on the planet, the organizers of the Tokyo Olympics are hoping their event this summer can also help promote significant change in corporate culture, both in Japan and around the globe. Bloomberg’s Ayai Tomisawa…

AbbVie Joins Over 400 Leading US Employers in the Human Rights Campaign’s ‘Business Coalition for the Equality Act’

Originally published on LinkedIn. AbbVie ranked No. 19 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2020.   AbbVie has joined a group of over 400 corporations and leading U.S. employers to support the Human Rights Campaign’s “Business Coalition for the Equality Act,” an initiative advocating for federal…

Accenture and Goodwill Develop Virtual Experience To Help People Impacted by the Criminal Justice System Enter the Workforce

Originally published at prnewswire.com. Accenture is ranked No. 5 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2020.   Goodwill Industries International has teamed with Accenture to develop an innovative virtual experience called Project Overcome. The experience is designed for people impacted by the criminal justice system who want to…