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Jewish Scouts Support Lift of Gay Ban

Jewish scouting leaders are extremely vocal in their efforts to lift the ban on gay members in the Boy Scouts of America.

By: Ashley Baylen
Published: May 10th, 2013 in Culture » Society » News
Jewish Boy Scouts of America

In a recent meeting of the National Jewish Committee on Scouting, members voted in favor of lifting the Boy Scouts of America’s longstanding ban on gay members.

The Jewish Scouting leaders are now working hard and dedicating efforts to getting support for a resolution to be voted at the BSA’s annual convention in Dallas this month. Although the proposed resolution would not affect the BSA’s ban on gay adult leaders, it would allow young boys (under 18) to become members.

“I am advocating for complete change and inclusiveness,” NJCOS Chairman A.J. Kreimer told JTA this week, according to The Jewish Journal.

“I'm speaking with other people and as an area president, one of 26 in the country, I have advocated for fellow Scouters to do the same.”

The inclusion of gay members in the Soy Scouts of America has become a heated debate in a country currently divided. According to The Jewish Journal, 70% of Scouting units are comprised of religious groups. The Southern Baptist and evangelical churches are against lifting the ban, while Presbyterian, Lutheran, and Jewish Scouting leaders support gay inclusion.

Kreimer points out that the compromise being discussed (allowing gay members, but not leaders) is “untenable”, but he is willing to support the resolution on the table as a temporary solution.

“We are going to hold our nose and vote for it because it's the best we can do today,” said John Lenrow, BSA's Northeast Region executive vice president and a former chairman of the NJCOS. “But it doesn't mean the fighting is over.”

“It's a defining moment for Scouting,” Kreimer said, “and a test for the character and future of the movement.”

Related articles: Jewish, Boy Scouts of America, Gay Ban, LGBT, BSA, Religion, Annual Convention, Scout Leaders
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