The Boy Scouts of America may lift a nationwide ban on gay members, but the scout’s Lincoln Heritage Council — which covers Louisville — stresses that no final decision has been made.
NBC News broke the story on Monday. This summer, the national Scouts organization reaffirmed their stance prohibiting openly gay scouts or scout leaders.
The change under consideration would give local scout organizations to choose their own policy on gay scouts and scout leaders.
Kelly Lynn Masterson, a spokeswoman for the Boy Scouts’ Lincoln Heritage Council, said in a statement:
We realize Scouting’s policy causes some volunteers and chartered organizations, which oversee and deliver the program, to act in conflict with their missions, principles, or religious beliefs. Out of respect for the diverse beliefs of our chartered organizations, BSA leadership is discussing the possibility removing the national membership restriction regarding sexual orientation. However, no decision has been made yet.
The Lincoln Heritage Council follows the national BSA membership policy and does not proactively inquire about the sexual orientation of employees, volunteers, or members, we do not grant membership to individuals who are open or avowed homosexuals or who engage in behavior that would become a distraction to the mission of the BSA. The BSA is a voluntary, private organization that sets policies that are best for the organization; these policies are not meant to act as social commentary outside BSA programs. We teach our members to treat those with different opinions with courtesy and respect at all times and to adamantly oppose the mistreatment of others based on any perceived difference.
The Lincoln Heritage Council covers 64 counties in Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee and Illinois.