While the gay and lesbian community have had a number of wins with New York State legalizing gay marriage and President Barack Obama voicing support for the same, The Boys Scouts of America, on Tuesday, reaffirmed its long-standing policy of banning openly gay scouts and troop leaders.
According to a New York Times article, the exclusion policy "reflects the beliefs and perspectives” of the organization. The article continues:
Under growing public pressure to reconsider the issue, in 2010 the Boy Scouts formed a committee of 11 “volunteers and professional leaders to evaluate whether the policy was in the best interests of the organization,” the statement said. The committee “included a diversity of perspectives” and engaged in “extensive research and evaluations,” the statement said. But the committee was kept secret until now, and the Scouts declined to reveal its membership or methods.
Pete Carney, director of the Bellmore-based lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth advocacy group called this a "truly a sad day for LGBT individuals and anyone that believes in equality and fair treatment of all people."
“LGBT youth continue to be at higher risk for suicide, homelessness and still often face rejection from their families and communities," he continued. "The Boy Scouts of America have missed a great opportunity to embrace these wonderful young people and become a part of the solution. This is voted and approved homophobia and discrimination which in 2012 is just unacceptable. LGBT individuals and their many straight allies should be outraged that this policy continues.”
James Fallarino, public affairs director for the 19-year-old Long Island Gay, Lesbian. Bisexual and Transgender Services Network, concurred.
"Unfortunately, the Boy Scouts of America have continued this discriminatory policy that goes against their own mission to support young men from being productive members of society. A lot of people were hopeful that they would change their policy to be more in line with other organizations, such as Girl Scouts.”
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