CHICAGO AREA COUNCIL BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA
TO: Chicago Area Council Scouters
FROM: H. Charles Dobbins, Scout Executive/CEO
DATE: May 23, 2013
RE: BSA Membership Standards Update
Thank you for your continued support of Scouting. Your service and commitment to our organization help deliver important services for young people throughout the Chicago community.
In February, the Boy Scouts of America embarked on the most comprehensive listening exercise in its history to consider the impact of potential changes to its membership standards policy on the organization and gather perspectives from inside and outside of the Scouting family. This review created an outpouring of feedback from the Scouting family and the American public, from both those who agree with the current policy and those who support a change.
On May 23, following this review the approximately 1,400 voting members of the Boy Scouts of America’s National Council approved a resolution to remove the restriction denying membership to youth on the basis of sexual orientation alone. 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. A change to the current membership policy for adult leaders was not under consideration; thus, the policy for adults remains in place. As the National Executive Committee just completed a lengthy review process, there are no plans for further review on this matter.
America needs Scouting, and our policies must be based on what is in the best interest of our kids. We believe good people can disagree and still work together to accomplish great things for youth. Going forward, we will work to stay focused on that which unites us. Our priority remains to continue accomplishing incredible things for young people and the communities we serve.