Director, Commonwealth Policy Center

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) are navigating new terrain as leadership ranks opened up to openly homosexual Scoutmasters earlier this week. Former Secretary of Defense, now BSA President, Robert Gates blazed the trail when he urgently called for a revised policy in May. “We must deal with the world as it is, not as we might wish it to be,” Gates said.

Others were at work to force the change. Corporate sponsors pressured the Scouts to jettison their long-standing policy. The BSA also faced lawsuits in states that protect sexual orientation in public accommodations. Immediately after the announcement, New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, said he’d end the investigation of the Scouts for violation of state SOGI anti-discrimination laws. And the crime committed by this wholesome, American as apple-pie organization? 

The “world as it is” demands a “morality free” Scouts but in return it will only get an anemic version of an organization that once imparted wisdom, moral training and good citizenship which helped transform boys to men. The world will also get fewer Scouts. Within a year after allowing open homosexuality in the ranks in 2013, total membership dropped by six percent. Expect hemorrhaging after this latest move.

The Scouts are certainly blazing a new trail but bereft of its core values it is leaving its original mission. The BSA are now on a path that is going in the wrong direction.