Vox Pop
3:00 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Vox Pop : Open Forum - Lifting the Ban on Gay Boy Scouts : 1/29/13

Vox Pop : Open Forum - Lifting the Ban on Gay Boy Scouts : 1/29/13

The Boy Scouts of America appear poised to lift a longstanding ban on gay scouts and scout leaders as soon as their national executive board meeting, scheduled for next week.

In a statement, BSA director of public relations Deron Smith said the change, “…Would mean there would no longer be any national policy regarding sexual orientation, but that the chartered organizations that oversee and deliver scouting would accept membership and select leaders consistent with their organization’s mission, principles or religious beliefs.”

Sign reads, '84-year-old Boy Scout leader kicked out for being gay.'
Credit Flickr / Paul Lowry

Joining us on today’s show is someone with a unique perspective on this issue.

Chris Hayes is a lifelong resident of New York’s Capital District and was once an active member of the Boy Scouts of America. He is an Eagle Scout, a Vigil Honor Member of the Order of the Arrow, and has been awarded the National Distinguished Service Award.

Hayes, who is gay, founded the Capital District Coalition for Inclusive Scouting in August 2000 in the wake of the Dale v. BSA decision by the U.S. Supreme Court upholding the ban on gay members. He was kicked out of the scouts shortly thereafter. The organization has grown to become the Malta, New York-based Inclusive Scouting Network, where he and his fellow co-founders are working to drive change from within the BSA.

Today we want your take on the BSA’s pending decision to allow gay scouts and scout leaders. WAMC's Alan Chartock hosts.

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