Wednesday, February 6th, 2013
The Boy Scouts of America’s current policy banning openly gay boys and men from membership in the organization will remain in place until at least May, when the group’s board has said it may vote on a proposal to change the policy. That vote had been expected Wednesday, but has been delayed, according to a statement from the BSA, because of “the complexity of this issue.” From CNN:
“After careful consideration and extensive dialogue within the Scouting family, along with comments from those outside the organization, the volunteer officers of the Boy Scouts of America’s National Executive Board concluded that due to the complexity of this issue, the organization needs time for a more deliberate review of its membership policy,” the group said Wednesday morning.
“To that end, the executive board directed its committees to further engage representatives of Scouting’s membership and listen to their perspectives and concerns. This will assist the officers’ work on a resolution on membership standards. The approximately 1,400 voting members of the national council will take action on the resolution at the national meeting in May 2013.”
Read recent coverage from Parents News Now of the Boy Scouts of America:
Monday, January 14th, 2013
Jeanne Manford, whose advocacy for her gay son launched a decades-long crusade for gay rights, died last week at age 92. The organization she founded Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, or PFLAG, is one of the best known and most prominent gay advocacy organization for relatives of gay and lesbian people. More from the obituary published by The Washington Post:
Mrs. Manford, who died Jan. 8 at her daughter’s home in Daly City, Calif., was widely considered the mother of a movement. Her death, from undisclosed causes, was announced by PFLAG. She was 92.
Mrs. Manford had no background in social activism when she embarked on the mission on behalf of her son. She was born Jean Sobelson on Dec. 4, 1920, in Queens. (She later changed her first name to Jeanne.) She graduated from Queens College in 1964 and spent her career as a schoolteacher in New York City public schools.
She compensated for her lack of organizing experience with her love for her son. In interviews with national media, and in countless conversations with parents, she recalled the moment when she learned that her son was gay.
“I love you the same,” she recalled telling him. “This doesn’t make any difference.” Morty was so taken aback, she once told CNN, that it took him “a while” to accept her acceptance.
Morty Manford witnessed the 1969 riots after a police raid on the Stonewall Inn in New York’s Greenwich Village neighborhood, an event that became a catalyst for the gay rights movement. He became a prominent organizer in his own right and was noted for his role in the events at the Hilton. His alleged attacker was later acquitted because of what the judge described as “incongruities” in testimony.
After the attack on her son, the New York Post published a letter to the editor from Mrs. Manford. “I have a homosexual son and I love him,” she was reported to have written.
Morty invited his mother to march alongside him in the Christopher Street Liberation Day Parade, which is described as a predecessor to the New York City Gay Pride Parade. She did, carrying a sign that read: “Parents of Gays: Unite in Support for Our Children.”
The response, she later recalled, was overwhelming. She was said to have thought that the profuse cheering was for the man marching behind her — child-care guru Benjamin Spock. In fact, it was for her.
Thursday, July 19th, 2012
The Boy Scouts of America has, after two years of reviewing its policy on homosexuality, announced that it will continue to exclude gays from their organization. The Associated Press reports:
The Scouts cited support from parents as a key reason for keeping the policy and expressed hope that the prolonged debate over it might now subside. Bitter reactions from gay-rights activists suggested that result was unlikely.
The Scouts’ national spokesman, Deron Smith, told The Associated Press that an 11-member special committee, formed discreetly by top Scout leaders in 2010, came to the conclusion that the exclusion policy ‘‘is absolutely the best policy’’ for the 102-year-old organization.
Smith said the committee, comprised of professional scout executives and adult volunteers, was unanimous in its conclusion — preserving a long-standing policy that was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2000 and has remained controversial ever since.
As a result of the committee’s decision, the Scouts’ national executive board will take no further action on a resolution submitted at its recent national conference asking for reconsideration of the membership policy.
The Scouts’ chief executive, Bob Mazzuca, contended that most Scout families support the policy, which applies to both adult leaders and Scouts.
Image: Boy Scouts, via spirit of america / Shutterstock.com.
Thursday, June 7th, 2012
A resolution is under consideration by the Boy Scouts of America that would change the 102-year-old policy banning gay men and boys from leading or participating in scouting. From MSNBC.com:
The new policy would throw out the national ban and allow local chartering organizations to decide whether or not they would accept gay youth and leaders, said Zach Wahls, an Eagle Scout who has advocated for the change, citing unidentified people he spoke to within the organization.
Boy Scouts of America spokesman Deron Smith said a resolution to amend the national policy to allow each of the Scouting’s chartered groups to set its own standards regarding gay members was turned in by a Scout leader from the northeast before April 30, the deadline for submitting resolutions. He said the resolution was read on May 31 at their national annual meeting.
“While we’ll carefully consider this resolution, there are no plans to change this policy,” he said noting that resolutions and petitions on the matter were “not unique” and dated back to 2000, when the Supreme Court heard a challenge over their stance (the justices sided with the Boy Scouts in the lawsuit involving a former Assistant Scoutmaster who was gay, citing the protections of the First Amendment).
Image: Boy Scouts of America, via Shutterstock.
Thursday, May 10th, 2012
Therapy techniques intended to “convert” gay teenagers to heterosexuality could soon become illegal in California, if a new bill passes the state’s Senate. MSNBC.com reports:
Sen. Ted Lieu, a Democrat from Torrance, says so-called “reparative” or “ex-gay” therapy wrongfully treats homosexuality as a disease and can be dangerous to minors. If his bill becomes law, California would become the first state to ban therapy aimed at turning gay and lesbian teens straight.
“Some therapists are taking advantage of vulnerable people by pushing dangerous sexual orientation-change efforts,” Lieu said before the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to approve the bill on Tuesday. “These non-scientific efforts have led in some cases to patients later committing suicide, as well as severe mental and physical anguish.”
Image: Teen in therapist’s office, via Shutterstock.