Courtesy of MCT
Some Ohio State students want the Boy Scouts of America to end its ban on openly gay members.
The ban currently excludes gay Scout membership and adult leaders in the Boy Scouts of America, but the policy is set to be reconsidered in May.
The organization originally announced that it would reconsider the policy in February, but postponed the decision until May “after careful consideration and extensive dialogue,” according to a statement. The delay was announced on Feb. 6.
Boy Scouts of America reports that about 70 percent of its groups are backed by religious organizations. But many LGBT activist groups have taken offense to the policy. In early February, a petition with an estimated 1.4 million signatures opposing the current ban was delivered to the Boy Scouts of America national headquarters in Irving, Texas, according to multiple reports.
Caroline Ott, a fourth-year in English, said she thinks the policy should be changed.
“I identify as a Catholic but I don’t think there is anything wrong with this proposal. Individuals have the passion to work with these kids and change their lives, so it shouldn’t matter how … they identify themselves,” Ott said. “You can’t consider it to be a black and white situation.”
Zacchary Stottsberry, a first-year in linguistics and Italian, agreed.
“A lot of religious groups even accept gay members of the community in their church groups. For them, it’s not like it’s a big factor,” Stottsberry said. “It shouldn’t hold people back from doing something they want to do because of their sexual orientation … I don’t think it’s right. It’s not ethical I guess.”
Even though people must wait until May to know whether the membership standards proposal passes, some students are expecting the Boy Scouts of America to change its stance.
“With the recent changes that have been happening with the LGBT community, I don’t see how (it) is not going to happen,” Stottsberry said.
Kayla Higginbotham, a first-year in psychology and LGBT rights activist, said she is confident the proposal is going to pass and will lead America in the right direction.
“Eventually, our country, I don’t know how long it would take, but it will move toward progression with accepting homosexuals in every different way,” Higginbotham said. “I think through this process that’s happening right now, we will be able to be more open to homosexuality.”
Jen Koma, spokeswoman for the Boy Scouts’ Simon Kenton Council, which serves central and southern Ohio and northern Kentucky, said in an email that the organization is declining any interviews about the policy change issue since no decision has been made.