New York, NY, May 24, 2013 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed the Boy Scouts of America vote ending its longstanding policy of banning membership to gay scouts, but expressed disappointment that the organization did not vote to allow openly gay adults and leaders to participate. The organization’s volunteer leaders from across the country voted on May 23 to approve a measure stating that boys could no longer be denied membership “on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.”
Barry Curtiss-Lusher, ADL National Chair, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director issued the following statement:
We are pleased the Boy Scouts has finally decided to discontinue their discriminatory policy of excluding gay scouts, which is an important first step toward full inclusion.
We are disappointed that the Scouts did not address the question of whether gay leaders over the age of 18 could remain as members. The failure to address the issue of adult leaders means that longtime scouts, upon reaching the age of 18, will be forced to choose between being closeted or risk their membership. Gay and lesbian parents who wish to serve as their son’s scoutmaster will still be denied.
We strongly urge the Boy Scouts to abolish their remaining discriminatory policies. No one should be discriminated against or ostracized because of his or her sexual orientation.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.