BSA Membership Standards Changed
The National Executive Committee has voted upon and approved a resolution that removes the restriction denying membership to youth on the basis of sexual orientation alone and would maintain the current membership policy for all adult leaders of the Boy Scouts of America. The resolution also reinforces that Scouting is a youth program and any sexual conduct, whether heterosexual or homosexual, by youth of Scouting age is contrary to the virtues of Scouting. The official BSA statement can be found here.
The Utah National Parks Council has released the following statement regarding this action.
Utah National Parks Council – Boy Scouts of America
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Boy Scouts of America - Utah National Parks Council: Statement on Adoption of New Membership Resolution
A Win for Youth
OREM, Utah – May 23, 2013 - In response to the adoption of the Boy Scouts of America Membership Standards Resolution by the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) National Council, the BSA – Utah National Parks Council (www.utahscouts.org) released the following statement:
The Utah National Parks Council believes the adoption of the new membership resolution by the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America is a win for everyone involved in Scouting – especially for the youth who will be the greatest beneficiaries. The resolution states in part, "No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of American on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone."
This, along with other items found within the resolution, fully meets the goals the Utah National Parks Council has always endorsed – the long-standing support of its youth, its local chartered partners and the BSA mission.
The new membership policy ensures "all youth who meet the specific membership requirements to join the Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, Sea Scout and Venturing programs" will have the opportunity to participate in the Scouting program.
The Utah National Parks Council also supports the National Council of the BSA moral and sexual behavior standard expressed in the resolution, which states, “Scouting is a youth program, and any sexual conduct, whether homosexual or heterosexual, by youth of Scouting age is contrary to the virtues of Scouting.”
The Utah National Parks Council reiterates its policy on ensuring strong, high-quality adult leadership, as well as emphasizing the virtues of Scouting. The BSA’s Youth Protection program and policies has always “place[d]…[great] importance on creating the most secure environment possible for our youth members.” The Youth Protection program is a series of policies, procedures and leadership selection criteria for parents and leaders.
The Council wholeheartedly supports the mission of the Boy Scouts of America to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law.
Now that the voting has concluded and the membership policy change has been approved, the Utah National Parks Council will continue to work closely with the BSA and its chartering partners as plans are developed for implementation of the policy change.
The Utah National Parks Council remains dedicated to its leadership role in the BSA to provide the resources, funding, activities, training and programs needed to give all youth, volunteer leaders and BSA units the greatest experience possible.
The National Council of the Boy Scouts of America, reiterated the following information regarding passage of the resolution of the BSA membership policy:
1. At the Boy Scouts of America’s National Annual Meeting on May 23, the voting members of the National Council approved a resolution to remove the restriction denying membership to youth on the basis of sexual orientation alone. A change to the current membership policy for adult leaders was not under consideration; thus, the policy for adults remains in place.
2. This policy change is effective on Jan. 1, 2014, allowing the BSA the transition time needed to communicate and implement this policy to its approximately 116,000 Scouting units.
3. America’s youth need Scouting, and by focusing on the goals that unite us, we can continue to accomplish incredible things for young people and the youth we serve.
Utah National Parks Council and BSA Mission
The Utah National Parks Council is the largest BSA Council in the United States with 6,079 units comprised of 83,827 youth, and 43,836 adult volunteers. The Council supports the mission of the BSA, which is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices during their lifetimes by instilling the values of the Scout Oath and Law.
In so doing, the BSA provides programs designed to build character, train youth in the responsibilities of participating citizenship, develop personal fitness, develop leadership skills, and to combine educational activities and values with fun.