Boy Scouts of America Chief Scout Executive Robert Mazzuca.
The Boy Scouts of America confirmed its position as one of the most bigoted groups in the U.S. after a confidential two-year review led it to uphold its ban on gay and lesbian members.
The organization of more than 2.7 million youth and more than 1 million adult members reached its centennial in 2010. Its policies never have permitted admitting known homosexuals. A 2000 Supreme Court case ruled in favor of the group’s right to ban gays and lesbians because it is privately organized and forced acceptance of individuals with same-sex orientations would violate its First Amendment rights to freedom of association and speech.
An 11-member committee formed in 2010 unanimously agreed to uphold a ban that prevents “open or avowed” gay people from being part of the youth organization.
In a statement released to the Associated Press, the Scouts’ chief executive Bob Mazzuca said the policy is supported by most Scout families:
“The vast majority of the parents of youth we serve value their right to address issues of same-sex orientation within their family, with spiritual advisers and at the appropriate time and in the right setting. We fully understand that no single policy will accommodate the many diverse views among our membership or society.”