MD Boy Scout Pack Forced to Take Down Statement Supporting Gay Members

A Cub Scout Pack based in Cloverly, Maryland took down a statement declaring they won't discriminate against gay scouts in order to prevent themselves from being kicked out by its regional council.

According to Mother Jones, the families of Pack 442, located just 20 miles from Washington, D.C., voted and approved to adopt a non-discrimiation statement, noting that the Pack "will not discriminate against any individual or family based on race, religion, national origin, ability or sexual orientation."

Not long after, the National Capital Area Council (NCAC) demanded the Pack take down the statement, eventually threatening to revoke the Pack's charter.  "At first they [said] they would "allow" us to leave it up based on our right to freedom of speech," said Theresa Phillips, the committee chair of Pack 442. "Now they are doing a 180 and basically asking us to either conform to BSA's discriminatory policy or get out."

Phillips asked for her name to be removed from the pack's charter, noting "if gay/lesbian individuals are not worthy of being registered leaders, then I am not either."

Les Baron, Scout Executive of NCAC, told that the pack could have lost their charter if they didn't conform to the Boy Scouts' longstanding ban on openly gay Scouts or leaders.

“The policy of the Boy Scouts are what they are and my job is to not bring into [it] my own personal feelings, and all I am trying to do is maintain the quality and integrity of the Boy Scouts of America and its policies,” said Baron.

This isn't the first time Boy Scouts of America has threatened to kick out a troop for welcoming gay members with open arms. Back in 2003, a scout troop in Sebastopol, California lost their charter for refusing to get rid of a similar non-discrimination statement. In 2012, troops in both Ottawa Hills, Ohio and Redlands, California were forced to choose between allowing gay members to join or retaining membership.

As Mother Jones notes, the Boy Scouts have been losing financial backers ever since the organization doubled-down on its ban of gay scouts and scoutmasters.

Full disclosure: I was an Eagle Scout up through 2012, when I made the decision to mail back my badge to the Boy Scouts over their reaffirmation of anti-gay policies and practices.

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