Boy Scouts allow gay youth
DALLAS, Texas — The Boy Scouts of America’s 1,400-member National Council voted to allow openly gay youth members in their programs on May 23. The change was approved by 61 percent of voting delegates, sparking controversy from anti-LGBT opponents of the new policy, some of whom have said they will pull their support of Scouting.
“Southern Baptists are going to be leaving the Boy Scouts en masse,” Southern Baptist Convention Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission Chair Richard Land said.
Other religious leaders have offered their support, including Bishop Michael Curry of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina.
“This is a good first step toward genuine inclusion, and we pray and look forward to the day when all people will be included and welcomed in the Boy Scouts and everywhere as equal children of God,” the bishop said in a statement to qnotes.
Some LGBT advocates were disappointed in the change, which will leave in place a ban on adult leaders. Wayne Besen, executive director of Truth Wins Out, said the compromise “reinforced the most vile stereotypes and misconceptions [about gay men] deliberately peddled by anti-gay activists.”
Organizations that worked on the change called it a “small step in a much longer journey for Scouting,” according to Inclusive Scouting Network co-founder Mark Noel.
Jennifer Tyrrell, a lesbian Cub Scout leader and mother, will continue to be excluded from the program.
“I’m so proud of how far we’ve come, but until there’s a place for everyone in Scouting, my work will continue,” she said in a release.
Read our full report on the policy change at goqnotes.com/23201/.
[Ed. Note — This publication’s editor is a co-founder and board member of the Inclusive Scouting Network and has been active in advocacy work on the BSA policy initiatives.]
— Maria Dominguez & Matt Comer
Obama issues Pride proclamation
WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Barack Obama issued a proclamation on May 31 declaring June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month.
“We celebrate LGBT Pride Month at a moment of great hope and progress, recognizing that more needs to be done,” Obama said.
This is the fifth consecutive year the president has issued the proclamation. Read the full proclamation at lgbtqnation.com/2013/05/obama-issues-proclamation.
— LGBTQ Nation
Wave of NYC hate crimes
NEW YORK CITY — Police are continuing to investigate a string of anti-gay hate crimes in New York City. Five men, aged 16-21, have been arrested in the latest series of attacks. Thirty anti-gay bias attacks have been reported in the city so far this year, more than double for the same period last year. For more updates, read lgbtqnation.com.
— LGBTQ Nation
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