Next month, the Boy Scouts of America will consider a proposal to end its policy of discrimination against gay Scouts. As a parent and active Boy Scout volunteer, I very much would like to see the Shenandoah Area Council strongly stand on the side of equality.
Our last three U.S. Presidents have prohibited discrimination in federal employment. More than 85 percent of Fortune 500 companies explicitly protect gay and lesbian employees from discrimination. And gay and lesbian service members now serve openly in our U.S. Armed Forces.
But the current national policy doesn't just allow Boy Scout troops to exclude gay people -- it requires it.
Lord Baden-Powell, founder of Scouting, once said "There is no teaching to compare with example." The Shenandoah Area Council, which serves the Scouts in our community, should set a clear example for its members and other councils that values of being "helpful, friendly, courteous and kind," mean welcoming and including all people regardless of sexual orientation.
If they take the lead and help end this discriminatory rule, they will have my strong support.
Scouts for Equality