Boy Scouts Reaffirms Bigotry (March 2002)

A new resolution reaffirming Boy Scouts of America’s exclusionary policy against nontheistic members and gay Scoutmasters has prompted the Freedom From Religion Foundation to once again call upon United Way of America and all of its affiliates to halt funding of BSA.

“In the past 10 years, BSA has become increasingly rigid, right-wing and doctrinaire, even taking its campaign to rid its ranks of so-called ‘undesirables’ all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court,” wrote the Foundation to Brian Gallagher, CEO and President of United Way of America.

The BSA resolution, dated Feb. 6, 2002, reaffirms its exclusion of “avowed” homosexuals from serving as Boy Scout leaders, saying “an avowed homosexual cannot serve as a role model for the values of the Oath and Law.”

The resolution affirms that “duty to God” is “an obligation which has defined good character for youth . . . throughout Scouting’s 92-year history.” BSA “has made a commitment to provide faith-based values to its constituency in a respectful manner.”

The resolution notes this national policy may not be deviated from by local troops: “BSA’s values cannot be subject to local option choices, but must be the same in every unit.”

BSA promulgates a written religious test on its membership form, including a statement of religious principles.

“If Boy Scouts of America stands for bigotry, it should stand alone,” says the Foundation.

Freedom From Religion Foundation