America

Boy Scouts Sends Its Members Detailed Survey About Gay Ban

In Mississippi last month, scouts took part in a flag retirement ceremony. i i

In Mississippi last month, scouts took part in a flag retirement ceremony. Philip Hall / Enterprise-Journal/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Philip Hall / Enterprise-Journal/AP
In Mississippi last month, scouts took part in a flag retirement ceremony.

In Mississippi last month, scouts took part in a flag retirement ceremony.

Philip Hall / Enterprise-Journal/AP

The Boy Scouts of America has sent a detailed survey about its exclusion of gay members to 1.1 million scouts.

As The New York Times reports, the survey doesn't just pose a simple yes or no question on whether the Scouts should lift its ban on gay members and leaders. Instead it seeks answers using detailed hypotheticals.

The Times explains:

"Should gay and straight scouts, for example, be allowed to share a tent on a camping trip? What role should faith play in scouting, if a church sponsoring a local scout troop has taken a position on the inclusion or exclusion of gays and lesbians in its congregation? Does the scout oath, with its language about staying "morally straight," declare a value about sexual orientation or just a general, admirable code of conduct?"

The Associated Press reports the survey included 13 questions, including two "open-ended questions about the impact of either banning or allowing gay member." The AP adds:

"Many of the questions indicate scenarios that would likely arise should the ban on gays be lifted.

"For instance, should the lesbian mother of a Tiger Cub be allowed to serve as den leader if the pack is chartered to a church that teaches that homosexuality is not wrong? Should a gay youth minister be allowed to serve as a Scoutmaster? Should a boy with the qualifications for Eagle Scout be denied the award if he reveals he's gay at his board review?"

As we've reported, the Boy Scouts have been considering repealing a ban. But in July decided to delay a decision.

The organization has also considered allowing local organizations to make their own decision on whether to allow gays in the scouts.

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