Next month leaders of the Boy Scouts of America plan to vote on a resolution lifting their ban on gay youth participation in scouts. The resolution would keep sexual orientation barriers in place for leadership and volunteer positions.
“Well, I would say in general that the scouts in our area support keeping the current membership standards.”
Area councils are supported through private partnerships and facilities that include religious institutions that are opposed to rescinding the ban. Swaim believes, regardless of what’s decided, these partnerships can be maintained.
“We’re going to work hard to keep those relationships intact so that we can continue to not only partner with local agencies, but use every meeting space that we currently use or would potentially use in the future.”
The WestArk Area Council has only three of the nearly 1,500 delegates casting votes on the issue and says they’ll go along with whatever the national organization decides.
“Our job at the local council is to support the national council policy whatever it is. And if it remains the same, or does change, our position will be to support whatever the national policy is.”
He says area councils and delegates will continue to evaluate member feedback on the issue before casting their votes.
“We just got the feedback in as the resolution came back to us. Right now they’re working to formulate what they want to do based on the feedback that we’ve gotten.”
The Boy Scouts will continue to collect and analyze feedback before casting the vote.