Monday, July 1, 2013

Social Issues

Boy Scouts forbid members from wearing uniforms at Pride
IRVING, TX -- In a memorandum issued less than a month after voting to allow gay youth to participate in the Boy Scouts, the assistant chief Scout executive for BSA operations, Gary Butler, told all Scout executives and area and regional directors that “members of the BSA are not permitted to be endorsing a position or advancing a social issue while they are in uniform.” 
Butler writes:
“From time to time, Scouts and leaders have been asked or encouraged to participate in flag ceremonies, parades, and other community events aimed at advocating for personal, social or political agendas,” Butler. 
Noting that doing so in uniform is a “violation of the Scout Oath and Scout Law [and] a violation of BSA’s rules and regulations, he added "Participation in a Gay Pride parade or other similarly sponsored event would fall under this policy.”
Reacting to the June 24 memo,GLAAD's Vice President of Communications Rich Ferraro said
“It is worrisome that after the Boy Scouts’ membership voted to allow gay Scouts just last month, one of the organization’s first actions is an attempt to dissociate the BSA with celebrations for the gay community. 
The Boy Scouts should not force the countless number of allies who support gay Americans and are proud BSA Members to be silent about their Scouting identity."
Zach Wahls, the founder of Scouts for Equality, noted a distinction between marching in a pride parade and participating in a flag ceremony, but as to the latter, he told Buzzfeed that he was incredulous of the Boy Scouts’ position.
“Scouts do color guards for political events all the time,” Wahls said. “You regularly see Boy Scouts in uniform doing flag ceremonies for candidates." He added, "The move last month was a good step, but changing internal culture is going to be a much longer process."