The Boy Scouts of America said on Tuesday that it had conducted a two-year review and would continue its policy of excluding gay men and lesbians.
Deron Smith, a spokesperson for the organization, told The Associated Press that a special 11-member committee “came to the conclusion that this policy is absolutely the best policy for the Boy Scouts.”
The national organization’s board is expected to take no further action on a resolution to reconsider the long-standing membership policy, which was affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2000.
“The vast majority of the parents of youth we serve value their right to address issues of same-sex orientation within their family, with spiritual advisers and at the appropriate time and in the right setting,” Chief Executive Bob Mazzuca insisted to the AP. “We fully understand that no single policy will accommodate the many diverse views among our membership or society.”
But Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin panned the decision as “a missed opportunity of colossal proportions.”
“With the country moving toward inclusion, the leaders of the Boy Scouts of America have instead sent a message to young people that only some of them are valued,” Griffin explained. “They’ve chosen to teach division and intolerance.”
As recently as Sunday, an Eagle Scout from Missouri was forced to leave the organization after he revealed that he was gay.
“I was asked to leave,” Eric Jones, who joined the Scouts in the second grade, told WDAF. “I was told to leave. Pack your things and go.”
Watch this video from WDAF, broadcast July 16, 2012.