Despite the campaigns and the protests, the Boy Scouts reaffirmed their ban on gay members this past Tuesday in emphatic fashion. The eleven-person committee ultimately responsible for the decision did so under the pretense of parental demand. At the end of a two-year review, they decided that the exclusion policy "is absolutely the best policy" for the organization and its interests. The vote was unanimous.
Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign, America's largest gay rights group, pegged this controversial decision as "a missed opportunity of colossal proportions." With the sentiment of the younger generation becoming more tolerant and inclusive, the scouts are inexplicably moving in the opposite direction. To make matters worse, the entire committee had the audacity to remain anonymous. A statement released by the Boy Scouts of America organization assured everyone that committee members"represented a diversity of perspectives and opinions." The fact that the decision had been unanimous said otherwise. Other major youth organizations such as Girl Scouts and Camp Fire have have already demonstrated their willingness to adopt inclusive member policies.
The implications of this decision extends far beyond intolerance towards a particular community. The Boy Scouts are hurting themselves by shutting their doors to any number of talented scout leaders–to say nothing of gay kids who want to participate. Many scouts are too young to even understand why they are being ostracized. The message is clear: until inclusion becomes the policy within the group, both the organization and those excluded will feel the negative effects of this pointless prejudice.