Lifting the discriminatory policy of banning gay members from joining its organization should have been a no-brainer for the Boy Scouts of America. Instead, the youth group Wednesday postponed an expected announcement, saying in a statement that it needed “more time for a deliberate review” because of the “complexity” of the issue.
Noted LGBT rights activist and Eagle Scout Zach Wahls—you may remember him as the Iowa student whose impassioned speech for marriage equality in front of state lawmakers was captured in a video that went viral in 2011—slammed the move. “By postponing this decision, the BSA has caved to those who argue that their anti-gay attitudes trump basic Scouting values of kindness, courtesy and bravery. Scouting was built on a foundation of respect and dignity. Today, the BSA cracked that foundation,” he said.
Perhaps the organization missed this stirring CNN segment over the weekend in which Wahls eviscerated the homophobic arguments presented by Ed Whelan, the Scout father who penned an op-ed in the New York Post asking the group to keep its policy in place.
“There’s a vast difference between being opposed to gay marriage and opposing the enrichment and development of young men because they happen to be not straight,” Wahls said. “I think [Whelan] should understand that the Scouts is about respecting the opinions of all the people who want to be members, not just some.”