Friday, May 24, 2013


(Sacramento) Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins made the following statement regarding today’s decision by the Boy Scouts to admit gay boys but still ban LGBT adults:

Today the Boy Scouts of America took a half step forward toward being an organization that embraces one of the most fundamental principles of American society, that all people are equal.

It is good that in the future no boy will be turned away from Scouting because of his sexual orientation.  However, to continue to treat LGBT adult leaders, including Scouts who have reached adulthood and presumably embody Scouting’s values, continues the shameful practice of treating some volunteers as second class citizens.  Most important, boys who have an LGBT parent who wants to be a Cub or Boy Scout Den Leader will still be told that their parent is inferior.  No youth organization should tell a child such a thing.

Moreover, because of their continuing discrimination and their self-avowed status as a religious organization, the Boy Scouts should not receive taxpayer subsidies for use of public facilities, despite today’s vote.

The struggle for an equal and inclusive society can be a long, slow process and progress is often incremental.  It is my hope that today is just a first step for the Boy Scouts and not a final one.

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