Boy Scouts: Gay Adults Aren’t Predators, But We Don’t Want Them as Leaders

Image via Passport.

Image via Passport.

Tico Perez, the national commissioner of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), said that his organization will not be permitting gay adult leaders anytime soon in an interview this week with IndefinitelyWild. In March 2013, BSA’s national council members voted to allow out gay scouts to participate in the organization. The new policy, which lifts the ban on gay youths, went into effect on Jan. 1, 2014. “The end goal for the movement is to serve more boys. To give every boy in America the opportunity and blessing to be a Boy Scout,” Perez said. “It made no sense to continue to deny that to our young people.”

While LGBT youth have been welcomed into the BSA, the organization still prohibits the participation of gay adults, including gay scouts past the age of 18. In April, the BSA revoked the membership of Geoff McGrath, a 49-year-old Eagle Scout and scoutmaster of a Seattle-area troop, after its officials learned he was gay, according to a NBC News report. When asked about the BSA’s policy barring gay adults, Perez reiterated the views of Robert Gates, the BSA’s current president. Gates, the former US secretary of defense who oversaw the end of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, told the AP that he “would have supported having gay Scoutmasters,” in an interview last May. Perez said that the issue of allowing gay men to serve as leaders has never been about “predators or pedophilia,” maintaining that the organization’s focus is its youth members, not adults. “We decided to allow our young people to have access to the movement and to not address the adult issue yet,” Perez said.

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