As the Boy Scouts of America celebrate their 103rd birthday Friday, Feb. 8, a heated dispute is likely putting a damper on any celebrations.
The national organization was expected to take up the issue of removing a ban on gay participants recently. It, however, delayed taking action until May “due to the complexity of this issue,” according to the Chicago Tribune. Even if the national council votes in favor of lifting the ban, local chapters would retain their right to keep it in place.
Some members and supporters of the private organization designed to teach boys life, citizenship and leadership skills say it’s time to end the ban on gay participants. Others are staunchly opposed to the notion.
Should the organization lift its national ban on gay participants and end a fight that’s been going on for well over a decade?
President Barack Obama and the group Scouts for Equality think so. Texas Gov. Rick Perry has publicly supported the ban. A Quinnipiac University poll released this week found that a majority of registered voters, 55 percent to 33 percent, want the ban to end, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The Scouts, however, have the law on their side. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the private organization’s rights to ban gay participants during a case in 2000.
What do you think, Tampa Bay? Is it time for the Boy Scouts to open the doors to all participants, regardless of sexual orientation. Or, should Scouting hold to its traditions? Share your thoughts in the comments section.