Dear Mr. Perry and Mr. Brock,
We write to strongly urge the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to act forcefully and unequivocally to remove any and all barriers to participation organization based on sexual orientation.
BSA’s recent announcement that it is considering rescinding its nationwide policy of banning gay young men from membership and gay and lesbian adults from leadership positions, while permitting local chapters to establish their own policies regarding sexual orientation, is woefully inadequate. We strongly believe that BSA is obliged by the Constitution of the United States, longstanding state and local anti-discrimination laws and the Scout Law itself to categorically end its policy of bigotry toward gays and lesbians.
BSA is one of the last major American institutions to maintain such a policy. It lags far behind such youth organizations as the Girl Scouts of America, the Future Farmers of America, Rotary Interact and the Reserve Officers' Training Corps, as well as U.S. Armed Forces, the Presbyterian, Lutheran and Episcopal Churches, and the opinions of the majority of Americans. In authorizing local chapters to create their own policies discriminating against gays and lesbians, BSA continues its stigmatization of a population that is finally making great progress toward equality. This stigma is particularly hurtful to young people. We believe that BSA’s policy toward gays and lesbians, like all discriminatory policies, reinforces and legitimizes the bullying and alienation of our children that has led to tragic consequences. To establish its legacy as a truly respectable institution, and to get on the right side of history, BSA must immediately open its membership and leadership to all people, regardless of sexual orientation.
It is incumbent upon you, as the leaders of an organization that sets standards of character for more than 2.5 million young Americans to truly reform BSA’s policy and end this odious discrimination across our nation. Until this unjust policy is brought to an end for all chapters, we will continue to withhold our support of the BSA.