Last night, the Boy Scouts of America announced a policy change that will allow transgender youth to participate in single-gender Scout programs. You can read about the policy change here. This morning, BSA National Commissioner Charles Dahlquist spoke about the policy change in a interview with Brian and Amanda on KSL news. Here are excerpts from that interview:

Amanda: How did the Boy Scouts of America come to the decision?

Charles: Well, you know, this has been an issue that’s been brewing for some time and all school districts have had a real challenge. It’s been difficult because there’s been no way of dealing with this. The Boy Scouts have traditionally had a number of programs that are single gender because research has shown for a long time that at certain ages, single-gender education in this type of program is beneficial. By our charter, those single-gender programs are for boys. There are other programs for girls. We have a number of programs for young women both in STEM areas and in older youth areas.

[Describing the current legal situation with gender identification] When legislatures began to get involved in it, it was very apparent that no longer [were] the birth certificate or our previous guidelines helpful. So we have gone to the declaration of the parents—what the parents indicate on the application. Which is really no change at all, because that’s what we’ve been doing for years.

Brian: So Charles, it used to require a birth certificate, right? And now I guess it’s just how the parents fill out the application; is that right?

Charles: Actually, in 2016 the guideline for the birth certificate was there because the question was, how do we determine now with all of this? We were just trying to respond in the same way the schools across the country have responded to protect kids on both sides, both the transgender kids and the other kids. And the issue was the birth certificate, although the birth certificate has really never been utilized. Parents have never been required to say, okay, here’s your birth certificate. It’s basically been what has been put on the application anyway. So that birth certificate guideline will be removed and we’ll just go with what has been the practice—putting whatever the parents have put on the application.

Amanda: Are you concerned at all, Charles, with the response from some of the troops that are sponsored by religious organizations, including the LDS Church?

Charles: No. We have been in contact prior to this with our major chartered partners. And that’s one of the things that is characteristic of the Boy Scouts of America. That is, we have chartered partners, including the LDS Church, the Methodist Church, the Lutheran Church, police organizations, and all kinds of community organizations. We’ve been in contact with them and we’ve indicated that this is up to them. This is up to the local unit to make the determination and to the chartered partners and they will make the determinations.

One of the challenges that we have that we’re working on is logistics. As you can imagine, even though this is just a very small number of kids across the country, we want to make sure that they are welcome but also that they are safe. So in Scout camps and in other areas we are working to make sure that those kids are safe, just like we have worked for decades to make sure Scouts are safe.

You can listen to the full audio of the interview here. The relevant portion goes from 46:30 to 50:31.

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Maria Milligan
Has spent several years as a merit badge counselor, several summers as a waterfront director, and her whole life wishing she could do the Pinewood Derby with her 6 brothers. She joined the Utah National Parks Council as a Grant Writer to get her chance.

120 comments

  1. Dear colleagues and friends,

    This week has provided us all with many positive experiences, and many significant challenges. I appreciate the commitment of each of you to the highest ideals of our Scout Oath and Law, and the dedication to providing the life changing program of Scouting to our Nation’s youth.

    I am not looking to spark a debate, or add to the commentary, but would ask that you reflect on something that I’ve thought about a lot over the past few weeks.

    As we enter the weekend, picture your house of worship. Whether it is your home, a church, synagogue or other sacred place, picture it in your mind. Now picture a sweet, innocent child, one who is struggling with gender identity. They face many challenges in life, and regardless of your personal opinion, ask yourself one question….Do you bar the door of your sacred place and send them away? Or, do you welcome them in?

    I just ask that you reflect on this.

    Be well, be strong, and together we will see Scouting build the future leaders our Nation will need in the decades to come.

    1. Steve says:

      I must admit to having great difficulty reconciling this decision with the Scout Oath and Law. A girl pretending to be a boy is a lie. How does this align with “A scout is trustworthy”? When I recite the Oath and Law, I mean what I say, I live what I say. Gender is not a choice, nor is it a disability, it is a genetic fact. No more, no less.

      If I were to follow this logic, be trustworthy and tell us you wish to remove the “B” in BSA and move on. I can live with such a proposal.

      Don’t force us to accept a lie. As a volunteer, my answer is “no”. I will not support this as it stands. There will be no Friends of Scouting support as long as BSA perpetuates a lie or lies to its members.

      A scout is trustworthy…

    2. Kim says:

      To the president of the Boy’s Scouts of America- Thanks you so much for your inclusivity. I believe the scouts have a lot to offer and allowing transgender youth to participate is great. Thanks again

    3. Don Jensen says:

      Mike,

      Do you honestly believe that these decisions that have been made in the last 5 years are what our youth in Scouting today really will benefit from? Sorry, your wrong! Some things are worth going to court over which the BSA has done in the past and won every time. What do you consider worth fighting for? The liberal morals of today being forwarded by the politically correct left defy what the Boy Scout Charter stands for. Sorry, I’m just one volunteer of almost 30 years as an adult and 6 as a scout that finds the BSA lacking in the Oath and the Law which they claim to stand for.

      Don Jensen
      donjensenbsa@gmail.com

      1. WOW… these comments are shameful. I’d like to make a couple of points here as I see so much misinformation being put forth.

        1. Transgender youth are NOT confused about their gender. If you think they are, perhaps you might want to do some research b/c there’s nothing more damaging than ignorance in action.

        2. Transgender boys, are boys and they will grow up to be men just like any other boy with medical complications.

        3. I wanted to include this b/c so many of you seem to have forgotten parts of it “Scouting is a values-based program with its own code of conduct. The Scout Oath and Law help instill the values of good conduct, respect for others, and honesty. Scouts learn skills that will last a lifetime, including basic outdoor skills, first aid, citizenship skills, leadership skills, and how to get along with others. For almost a century, Scouting has instilled in young men the values and knowledge that they will need to become leaders in their communities and country.” The “how to get along with others” seems to be lacking. Is this not something you actually value?

        4. I’m not sure what the phrase “Political Correctness” means to you but, when I was growing up we called it “Common Decency” and, it showed folks that we valued good conduct and respect for others.

        1. Anthony says:

          Forgot this other key point……………. What does the prefix “Trans” mean to you as used in your sentence. You had to be a boy before you could be a transgender boy. Boys and girls will grow up to be men or women and some will be good leaders some will not and some will be excellent leaders men and women alike.

        2. Anthony says:

          Elaine,
          Not sure if you are ignorant, young enough to really not know what your talking about, confused or just plain wrong. Humans with very very few exceptions have either xx or xy chromosomes that define gender. You cannot change it or deny it. It has nothing to do with how you feel what you wear or what injections or surgeries you perform that fact is decided in the womb of a female human who gives birth. There are medical anomalies.

          You are failing to leave out key portions of the Scout oath. ……duty to GOD…. and that last phrase, ……..morally straight.

    4. David Evans says:

      I appreciate the comments on both sides. Those that indicate the “duty to God” part of the oath is now in question are only partially right. I guess that depends on who your “god” is. If it is the media, political correctness, or any other agenda, then the National Scouting Organization is definitely doing their duty to their God.

      I just wonder when we will be asked to remove the “Duty to God” and the “Morally Straight” out of our oath. With actively gay leaders and gay and transgender youth encouraged, I worry. I remember growing up in a troop in Virginia, a very messy situation where an previously “in the closet” gay leader molested some of the boys in his unit. Those boys have had a lifetime of trauma from the victimization and Scouting took a big hit from the parents in the area removing their kids from the program.
      I have been a scout leader, cub master, Scout Master, Varsity Team coach, District Round Table Commissioner, etc. for decades. It is just not the same anymore. What we allow, we encourage then embrace. I am considering ending a lifelong relationship with a wonderful, life changing organization. It will change lives in the future…just how is the question. It doesn’t look good.

      1. Sarah says:

        I agree. The Girls Scouts had the same struggle in the 90’s and American Heritage Girls sprung up from the loss of God from the GSA. AHG was allined with BSA in 2010, but dissolved that alliance in 2013 when BSA desided to bend to , not what the vision in the start of BSA was, but what a very small minority of society is forcing on the rest of the world. American Heritage Girls has helped start Trail Life USA. These are both faith based organizations that have been formed because of those God and faith are being forced out of BSA and have already been forced out of GSA. I’m in couraging all of those who are not happy with the direction of BSA and GSA to search out these faith based organizations and join them. That is what I have done with my grand-daughter and am planning with my grand-sons and sons. I’m sad this is the direction BSA has chosen to take. We are suppose to raise up strong men for the future, but am asking them to bend to whatever a minority says is right when the Bible doesn’t agree. I’m not saying to hate. Jesus says to love your neighbors, but He doesn’t say to become like them.

    5. Michael Acker says:

      As a leader of 22 years, mentoring dozens of youth and scores of Eagle scouts; I can no longer take this constant bending over to please a very small portion of the population at the expense of this “once” honorable organization.
      I do not think Baden Powell meant for this organization to be a social experiment; but to be the standard barer of all that is good in this nation(s). I suppose you “leaders” at national will be removing “and morally straight” out of the Scout Oath soon.
      Looking ahead years from now I will tell my grandchildren about this once great organization called Boy Scouts of America. And they will reply: “Who are the Boy Scouts of America?”

    6. Matt Mirmak says:

      Mr. Surbaugh:

      I used part of your quote as something to reflect upon as we celebrate Scout Sunday at many of our places of worship.

      Scouting will survive and we will be a stronger movement because of our decision to be inclusive.

    7. Derek H says:

      I’m sorry but that’s a strawman argument. The “issue” of so-called transgender children is being used as a political lever by adults for adult agendas. Scouting is no longer standing up to protect the boys under its care or growing them into men.
      National lied about putting an end to the matter by changing membership policies to allow in homosexual youth and pushed an edict allowing in homosexual adults without giving councils, units, or charter organizations a chance to say anything. This latest push gives me no more reason to trust — or donate to/support — National.

      In answer to your last question, I welcome the child in the door and teach him or her to be a boy or a girl as God and his/her genes dictate.

    8. Dan Schuring says:

      Mike,

      I really appreciate this call to reflect and focus on the individual–to focus on empathy.

      Thank you,

      Dan Schuring

  2. Melany Gardner
    Melany Gardner ( User Karma: 2 ) says:

    Glad to hear that chartered partners were communicated with before an announcement was made. That’s the benefit of such a partnership with the BSA. Chartered partners get to determine how this policy is put into action, while giving youth that identify differently a chance to participate.

    The Chief Scout Executive, Mike Surbaugh, has talked a lot about how the BSA might serve the whole family. I hope they continue to look into ways that we can serve boys, girls, mom and dads. Here’s the article that talks a little about how important it is to serve the whole family. https://voiceofscouting.org/chief-scout-executive-asks-us-serve-entire-family

    1. Advancement Chair says:

      Melany, the initial comments from BSA were that chartered partners could decide. However, try finding that in writing anywhere. Nowhere in the BSAs official statement and video will you find that information. All they say is that the local district’s will work with families to find the right troop for their child. Very ambiguous. Until BSA puts it in writing in an official document, I won’t believe it.

  3. DSS says:

    I am writing you to let you know my disapproval for your new policy of letting transgender kids into the Boy Scouts.
    The scouts have always been a standard for morals among the young boys of America and the world.
    This little girl in New Jersey, Joe (Jodi) who just turned 9 has been allowed into a Cub Scout troop.
    That means this mother had to have been working on her daughter since she was 6 or earlier. How could you do this to a child?
    Let’s be clear, my complaint is not with this little girl but the way she is being used by her mother and the liberal gay media to bring down the Boy Scouts with threats of being sued.
    What’s going to happen in the troop now when they say a prayer at the end of the service and these parents get insulted because they have changed their child from a girl to a boy and sue because it made Jodi feel bad because it was wrong?
    How will this affect other little boys that were raised in a Christian home? Will they start wanting to be little girls?
    Are they going to use the same bathroom? Sleep in the same tent?
    What if one little boy raised Christian and happens to say to Jodi what he is doing is wrong?
    Will those parents be kicked out? Will the troop be sued?
    How do you raise your child in the same scout troop and explain it to them what is going on?

    Please do not forget the Michael Swift’s Homosexual Manifesto; published by Michael Swift in the Gay Community News on Feb. 15-21, 1987:
    We shall sodomize your sons, emblems of your feeble masculinity, of your shallow dreams and vulgar lies. We shall seduce them in your schools, in your dormitories, in your gymnasiums, in your locker rooms, in your sports arenas, in your seminaries, in your youth groups, in your movie theater bathrooms, in your army bunkhouses, in your truck stops, in your all-male clubs, in your houses of Congress, wherever men are with men together. Your sons shall become our minions and do our bidding. They will be recast in our image. They will come to crave and adore us.

    I hope you can see that this is just another nail in the coffin for the gay agenda to destroy a positive moral organization.
    Please reconsider your decision or allow this opinion to influence future scout policy.
    I am not the only one who feels this way, most would just quit. This is why the Trail Life USA has attracted some of our scouts and they have based the core beliefs on the original concept of the Boy Scouts.
    Hopefully this little girl is exposed to good morals and ends up changing.
    I wonder how the original troop that would not accept her is doing?
    How many emails and hate mail have they received being called homophobes, bigots, and racist?
    This opens up divisions between the scout troops with one accepting and one not. It seems to divide a great organization which was their original intent.
    Isolating anyone who disagrees with it to become the target of the gay agenda.

  4. Concerned says:

    So some time has gone by, ad there has been no word from National on changes to Youth Protection. Youth Protection is no longer current or even valid under the new membership changes.
    If BSA truly is interested in protecting our youth, wouldn’t this be the first thing to address before such a policy change?
    The YPT Guidelines state:

    Tenting
    No adult may share a tent with the opposite sex unless he or she is that adult’s spouse.
    No youth may share a tent with an adult or a person of the opposite sex other than a family member or guardian. Assigning youth members more than two years apart in age to sleep in the same tent should be avoided unless the youth are relatives.
    Shower Facilities
    Whenever possible, separate shower and latrine facilities should be provided for male/female adults and male/female youth. If separate facilities are not available, separate shower times should be scheduled and posted.

    How do we apply this with respect to transgender youth?

    If we have decided a person who is physically a female but decided she is a male, per the limited discussion from National, she should use the showers and tents with males. Based on this, how do you then continue to justify the separation the gender in the YPT policy now. If male/female sharing is wrong, how can you justify the current policy?

    The fact is there is no way. Based on the current National decision and comments, there’s no justification to not have male and female sharing tents and showers.

    The fact that there’s no national discussion on this is quite disheartening as a leader – 35 years and Silver Beaver.

  5. CatholicUnitCommitteeChair says:

    I fail to see the Catholic Church being mentioned as a contacted charter partner. Because our charter expires Dec. 31, 2017, I anticipate our units (Pack of 85 Scouts; Troop of 20 Scouts; Venturing Crew of 11 Scouts) will not be rechartered by our Catholic Church diocese. BSA is asking the Church to bend to the will of society too much too soon. Backed against a wall, the Church stands on the Word. And the Word is quite clear.

    Either we seek a new Charter Organization open to BSA’s progressive leanings, or we close after summer camp season. Those are the choices you have left our units with.

    I regret BSA has moved in this direction. Our units cannot follow. Don’t be surprised when the Journey to Excellence rates drops like a stone. Especially in these red states.

  6. Kris says:

    Commissioner Dahlquist,

    I can’t tell you how happy I am that The Boy Scouts of America is now is safe place for ALL Boys. Your leadership in the inclusion of Transgender boys is an inspiring move toward inclusivity.

    For all the criticism you may be receiving, please know that there are MANY of us who support you and this important move to make the Boys Scouts a safe place for ALL Boys.

  7. Soon to Be Former Adult Scout Leader says:

    I am deeply saddened that once again, Boy Scout Leadership has taken the easy road instead of standing up for the principles that made Boy Scouts a great organization. I have been a Cub Scout Committee Chair and am currently a merit badge counselor and an Assistant Scoutmaster. My son is a Life Scout and is very close to earning his Eagle. I am torn between letting him finish the award or quitting my posts and taking him with me. His Eagle will certainly not mean as much since Boy Scouts has fallen so far in the past few years and is doomed as an organization because of the recent decision. Few actual boys will want to be associated with a gay and transgender friendly group that tents together. I feel bad for the boys currently in Scouting and those millions who have gone before. The organization they joined has little resemblance to the new “anything for a buck, who needs morals” organization.

  8. The Ghost of a Molested Once Innocent Boy says:

    The blasphemy and sacrilege is astounding — and I’m a former frat boy. And father of two boys whose souls I will protect with my life.

    So let me be the first to damn the entire corporate directorship, officers and senior manager of the Boy Scouts of America Corporation TO HELL.

    May God have mercy on your (black) souls.

  9. Lookupandbelieve says:

    In a meeting with the Key 3 at the last National Jamboree, when asked about the future of the BSA. One of them in my interpetation basically said expect to see more girls in Scouting. Being that it was the first National Jamboree to include the Venturing girls and how worderful it was to see these young women in action. How excited they were! I understand the value of male bonding believe me. Venturing crews can be all male, all female or mixed. You want male bonding you can have it. You want female bonding you have it. You want to risk male and female bonding? That is life! It works and it works well. Life is never without challenges.

    We need a BSA program to include girls from 7-13 yrs! YES, I know the name needs changed. Venturing 14-18 yrs is under the BSA umbrella. Here is the thing the majority of girls today are not the girls of yesterday, they love most of the same activities that the boys love. This is not something the Founders of Scouting could have imagined. However, the US may be that last to wake up to this fact. It takes time!

    Let’s just pick on the LDS charter organization. They have a 8-11 old girls organization call Activity Day girls, 12-18 they have an organization called Young Womens. These are amazing for girls spiritual needs, but they do not meet all the leadership and activity needs of future women in America. They could me more, the girls always ask why can’t we do the activities the boys are doing! They could be better mothers and women if they had leadership programs like the BSA trail to eagle. The LDS church has considered this. The problem is the program doesn’t exist! To do the activities the boys do in the LDS chartered organizations they need health INSURANCE plain and simple. The BSA boys and Ventures have access to this insurance, it makes a huge difference. Most LDS member are completely blind to this fact. Yes, the LDS leaders could create their own programs and find an insurance company, but why reinvent the wheel, when it already exists it just doesn’t come in pink!

    I except to see girls from 8-13 in Scouting sooner than a later or at least I wish that. It is time! The LDS charter organization may be on board with that more than you have ever imagined. I know for a fact it has been considered, but they can’t change the BSA overnight. Ever since that comment at the last National Jamboree I have been watching, waiting and explaining what no one seems to see and now seems with this latest change even more real. The young women of America deserve it!

  10. WOW… these comments are shameful. I’d like to make a couple of points here as I see so much misinformation being put forth.

    1. Transgender youth are NOT confused about their gender. If you think they are, perhaps you might want to do some research b/c there’s nothing more damaging than ignorance in action.

    2. Transgender boys, are boys and they will grow up to be men just like any other boy with medical complications.

    3. I wanted to include this b/c so many of you seem to have forgotten parts of it “Scouting is a values-based program with its own code of conduct. The Scout Oath and Law help instill the values of good conduct, respect for others, and honesty. Scouts learn skills that will last a lifetime, including basic outdoor skills, first aid, citizenship skills, leadership skills, and how to get along with others. For almost a century, Scouting has instilled in young men the values and knowledge that they will need to become leaders in their communities and country.” “How to get along with others” seems to be lacking. Is this not something you actually value?

    4. I’m not sure what the phrase “Political Correctness” means to you but, when I was growing up we called it “Common Decency” and, it showed folks that we valued good conduct and respect for others.

  11. Elizabeth says:

    thank you for your many changes in the last few years. you are embracing the spirit of the boy scouts and including all who wish to experience that spirit.
    go in joy

  12. Dave says:

    This news is very disappointing.  I got my eagle in 1964 and have been Scoutmaster of a troop here in Irvine since 1995.  I don’t know why it is considered a good idea to make our youth and troop leaders deal with youngsters confused about their sexual identity, or parents who are on a crusade.  I know most scout leaders will not have to deal with this, but I see in the papers that the mom of this new scout thinks the scoutmaster of the troop they sought to join should be removed. Last time we had a national dialogue for over a year, but this happens overnight.   If the organization is not going to stand up for its values, maybe it’s time for me to go do something else.  This has been the greatest organization in the country in supporting young men, but we only reach 10%.  Being politically correct cannot be our mission.

  13. Tyler says:

    I am very disappointed in the BSA. I was once a proud Eagle Scout and am currently a Scoutmaster. I find myself ashamed of BSA now and don’t know what to do. A piece of my heart is broken. I will probably leave the organization. Horrible day. 

  14. Glen says:

    Opinion
       I have nothing against peoples personal choices and I have had Gay and Lesbian friends for most of my life without ever judging them for there choices, however I became a scout master to assist boys on there journey from boys to men not children to whatever.
      I’m just saying

  15. George says:

    I am well pleased to know the Scouting is now open to transgender youth, whose desire to be scouts is so important. Inclusion is so delightful a way to let these youth that they are worthy, acceptable, and valuable. Unfortunately, the times are most difficult, not simply for those of us are LGBT.  Many thanks to you for opening this door. You’ve done a wonderful thing for so many young people!

  16. Michael says:

    I am currently the Webelos 1 Den leader, and pack Chaplain here in the Atlanta Council.  My son is a Webelo, and has been in the program since Tiger.  We are active Christians in our local church, where I serve as a deacon.  We were very worried about him being in this program when you first announced allowing gays into the program and afterwards gay leaders.  We stayed because we are sponsored by a local Christian church and felt confident they would not allow this to impact us.  So, this brings us to now.  So now you have announced allowing this societal gender confusion to impact the program.  This is insane.  So to make things more consistent, I have some proposals for you.

    First, remove the entire Duty to God and all references to faith from the program.  Pluralism by definition proves a falsity.  The Christian faith does not agree with the Muslim faith, and they both cant be true.  So if one is true, the other is false.  So why try to please everyone and soft peddle the messages of each faith so as not to offend someone?  Just remove the faith aspect entirely from the program- you don’t believe it anyway.

    Second, remove the Boy title and change it to Scouts of America.  There is now no distinction from boys and girls.  This is illogical.  So just drop the “Boy” from Boy Scouts and call it the “Scouts.”  This mass confusion that is spreading across our land has infected your organization, and it is akin to teaching one plus one no longer equals two.

    How can you teach, “Keep myself morally straight”?  What “morality” are you following?  It is not the morals you were founded with.  

    Needless to say, there will no longer be any interest in providing the organization with funds in the way of fund raisers.  Definitely will be no donations to Friends of Scouting.  We will finish our Webelo program, but will not be entering the Troop level.  We are not leaving Scouts, you have indeed left us.  Trail Life looks more wonderful to me- where we can raise men and not confused genderless immoral citizens that have no convictions about what is real and what is false.  This is sad what you have done with this historically fine organization.

    Sad and disappointed.

    1. Anthony says:

      I mirror your statement exactly. We are biblically called to welcome, love all who God has created. It is not the person who I do not accept it is the actions of the person that I have a problem with.
      Godly principles have been removed from this organization. The pointer on the moral compass has become a wind sock.
      I notified my parents last night that I will remain as SM for our troop until either asked by the committee to step aside, the CO cancels their charter, or 31 December 2017.

  17. Kathleen says:

    I just wanted to write to say I applaud your policy change to allow transgender boys to join the scouts.

  18. Mary Jean-Byk says:

    My son is a scout and loves the program as do I.  While he at his age
    Struggles to understand LGBTQ issues, I am very much in the progressive
    Movement of this community as a Social Worker and American; and,  I will support BSA policy
    And be supportive of my son to understand.

  19. erstach says:

    From this point on the organization must be called Scouts of Ameica. Everything from this point or prior to this point must be asterisked. I have always felt the BSA was about the bottom line and this goes to prove it. Next scouting will have to admit card carrying terrorist and animals identifying as human.

  20. Sarah says:

    I am saddened by the direction BSA has been taking. The organization seems to be taking the wide road. God in corrages us to take the narrow road, the road less travelsd. He did not say it would be easy, but the reward at the end is worth all the struggles. I know in the 90’s GSA allowed God to be optional. You didn’t have to use His name or you could just substitute whatever you wanted. A mom named Patty started American Heritage Girls, a Christian based scouting organization, because she didn’t agree with the direction the GSA company was headed. They allined with the BSA in 2010, but ended that relationship just a few years later because of the direction the BSA is headed. American Heritage Girls helped form Trail Life USA, a Christian based scouting organization for boys.
    Take a stand against the disservices BSA is doing for our boys. Let the voices of the majority be heard. We are an organization that is for boys. I’m not saying hate. Jesus says to Love your neighbor, but He doesn’t say to become like them or lay down and let the “their way or the highway” minority dictate your beliefs. If we allow this, in five more years what will be exceptable.
    If we tell our children that God is right, except when society says He’s wrong, what are we really teaching our children? What do we want the BSA to hear. Will our voices be heard. I think we shouldn’t just say we are going to do something about it, but do what we say. The only thing that really tells people what we want is money. Don’t re-new. BSA announced their decision after they got our money. When they see a drop in the recharter process is when they will take us seriously.
    The LGBTQ… community can form their own non-Christian scouting organization, but that’s not what they want. They want everyone to except their way of thinking and if you don’t your wrong. They want to take our freedom to be individuals away by excluding those who don’t think the way they do. They sponsor stop bully campaigns in our children’s schools telling our children that bullying is wrong while one the other hand they bully their views on everyone. Do as we say, not as we do.
    I am a Christian. I love the Lord with all my heart, all my might and all my soul. I do not force my views on others I don’t say you have to believe the way I do. I am asking that the LGBTQ… community doesn’t force their views on me and my family. The BSA was started with a focus on duty to God. If they don’t like that, it’s okay. I’m not forcing them to join the BSA. They, on the other hand, our forcing all of us who want duty to God in scouting to allow them to change the BSA.
    I am not against those who choose to be LGBTQ… or in their community. My eldest son says he is gay. He knows I love him unconditionally as God loves me. I do not agree with his decisions, but will always love him. I let him know the standards of our family. I also let him know that God gave us freedom of choice. I am not forced to worship God nor will I force my son to worship God. I will love my son and I hope I am living a good Christian example for him. I want him to see Christ in me. This is why I can’t allow the LGBTQ… community to dictate how I will raise my boys. I eldest boy does agree with me that if they don’t like how the BSA is ran that they should start their own scouting organization that allows everyone and anyone to join instead of forcing others to believe the way they do. My eldest says the LGBTQ… community preaches love and tolerance, except when it comes to Christian groups and people.
    You don’t see the LGBTQ… community forcing Jewish, Muslim, or Budehist organizations or religious communities to except them. It is just the Christian ones they have attacked since the 80’s. I will never ask them to believe the way I do, so I expect them not to force me to their way of thinking. Protect our children and their morals. Don’t break down to please the few.

  21. Kristina Overtoom says:

    What I am upset about is the fact that I had to hear this from a national news organization first rather than the local leadship, who also were unaware that this was being considered. The BSA needs to do a MUCH better job of communicating policy changes to its memebership. As for the actual policy, I think it will cause local organizations to think through policy regarding how to relate kindly to Americans who are different, which is a benefit to our country and living out God’s “golden rule” and royal law and both sides could be changed for the better.

  22. Christopher Rhodes says:

    Its time to for every God fearing parent to get their children out of this perverted organization. No way is someone so perverted and confused that it has to come up with a new type of gender to describe “how it identifies” going to have any thing to do with my children

  23. Christopher Rhodes says:

    Its time for all God abiding citizens to get our children out of this perverted organization. No way is any of these perverts that are so confused that they have to invent a special gender to explain “how they identify” going to have anything to do with my child.

  24. SH says:

    As the mother of an Eagle Scout and a former volunteer, I praise the decision of the BSA to admit all boys into their organization. They have thankfully ended a discriminatory practice.

  25. Dave McGrath says:

    It’s so dodgy. The National Commissioner says “This is up to the local unit to make the deter­mi­na­tion and to the char­tered part­ners and they will make the deter­mi­na­tions.” It’s as if the National Program has no backbone and dodges on whether or not we’ll live the Scout Law.

    In 1908 our founder Robert Baden-Powell made it very clear in the original Scouting For Boys Handbook: “A Scout is a Friend to all – and a brother [or sister] to every other scout, no matter the country, class or creed to which the other may belong.”

    The determination of who was in or who was out was NEVER left up to whether or not they believed in this god or that god, or whichever country, or whatever politics. THIS is what Scouting is: A promise we’ll never abandon you.

    And yet, the National Program has been abandoning kids for generations – not just the gays, the queers, the blacks or the trans. Why, they still abandon girls and young women. And forget about those that cannot believe in the Christian God of Trump which abandons Muslims and Immigrants. The National Program continues to dodge and weave and offer Alt+Scout programs – which never let girls or atheists earn Eagles or Merit Badges.

    It’s about time they’ve made this partial good turn – to allow those kids who are intersex and wrongly gendered at birth, or trans and understand themselves as a gender different than their pant-size. Yes: It’s about time. And consider the Full Good Turn has yet to occur: the welcoming of Every Child into scouting. In a way that includes appropriate program support and training at the local level on up. Rather than the dodgy lip-service of being inclusive, with a de facto sex and gender and creed exclusive membership which under the auspices of National Boy Scouts of America in fact continues and extends institutional discrimination by tolerating the unspeakable bigotry of the chartering organizations which continue their pogrom against LGBTQ persons and Females and atheists.

    1. Sarah Garrett says:

      Dave, I wholeheartedly agree with you! Unfortunately sometimes progress is slow…especially when you are tethered to bigots because they’re the ones with the wallets. I look forward to the opportunity to make my CS Pack even more inclusive in the future.

      I keep reading comments from these “good Christian” folks who repeatedly say that (and I will quote one) “They (LGBTQ) want every­one to accept their way of think­ing and if you don’t your wrong. They want to take our free­dom to be indi­vid­u­als away by exclud­ing those who don’t think the way they do.” I am blown away by the ignorance in their own statements that they are using to defend their backward thinking! What you are claiming the LGBTQ are doing to you “good Christian” folks is EXACTLY what has been done to them for decades! All they are have ever asked is to be allowed the same privileges as every other American, regardless of their race, religion, sexual orientation or identity.

      The BSA is an organization whose core values are ones that NEED TO BE SHARED WITH EVERYONE!!!! Our goal is to create a better world for future generations and that begins in our home communities by sharing decent human respect and showing others how to have strong character.

  26. David Montgomery says:

    As an LDS member and having been in scouting for years, the church has played a major role in being charter organization. A factor that has not been addressed is the Priesthood in our organization. The Duty To God Award is earned by being active in his role as a Priesthood bearer.
    I have seen parents put their children in bad situations, not because the child wanted to, but what the parents felt needed to be in the best interest of the child. Not good!
    A young lady who decides to become a transgender cannot earn the Duty To God award because, in our religion, Priesthood (Gods plan, not ours) is held by the male and the duties of it can only be done by a male who is set apart to do so.
    By today’s standards some of society declares that as being prejudicial, in which case, I can see law suits appearing because the transgender can’t earn her Duty To God award.

    This was not a wise choice of the BSA directors, and it will further divide those who believe in God’s laws, and the laws of man.

  27. David E. Green says:

    I am encouraged by the National Commisioner’s words and his emphasis on the safety of our youth. We will see a benefit from this change as the program continues to grow as inclusivity becomes a real part of Scouting and not a buzzword during Wood Badge. For those who leave, you are doing the program a favor by not spreading your fear and hate within the BSA. Thank you for being brave enough to admit you can’t meet this challenge. There are excellent opportunities for people who want a club that excludes the non-Christian (Trail Life) and programs that are completely inclusive such as the Baden-Powell Service Association. Full disclosure: I am also registered with BPSA. As an Eagle Scout and Assistant Scoutmaster I will continue to make Scouting inclusive and safe for our youth.

    I disagree with an earlier comment. I don’t believe God makes mistakes. We should embrace our differences and reach out and help each other. That is what the Scout Oath and Law are all about. Good job BSA! Moving in the right direction! BSA evolves. Embrace change or you will miss opportunities.

  28. Craig says:

    I find it highly coincidental that this announcement comes out after we all just rechartered and paid for another year. I guarantee that if this came out before we had to recharter, our packs/troops would have left and joined an organization more aligned with our values. I’m sure the Boyscouts are counting on us all forgetting about this before 2018 recharter.

    1. Anthony says:

      So I was not the only one to see this fact as coincidental. I would also add that most have paid in full or a significant portion to attend Jambo by this time also. It just stinks.

  29. Kendell says:

    Just wanted to send out my support to those who have to make these tough decisions and deal with the varied responses. It can’t be an easy job. I’m a proud Eagle Scout who is grateful for the positive BSA experiences I had as a young man and I understand what it can mean for boys across the country. I also understand what my church’s policies are regarding the matter (I’m LDS). What I don’t understand fully is homosexuality and transgenderism, but I’m trying to learn. A lot of what I have uncovered tells me that I’ve misunderstood quite a bit. From my experience, there are a lot of excellent people out there (who might happen to be gay or transgender) who can do a lot of good and want to be part of a great organization like the BSA. Sure, there will be some bad apples or difficult situations mixed in, but I don’t think any more so than with the usual crowd. I’m not sure what all these policy changes will bring and I’m not entirely sure how to integrate all of this, but I’m willing to give it a go and see what comes of it.

  30. Brice Elliott says:

    Here is an organization that has really lost their way. This is a horrible, horrible decision. If this makes it’s way to our troop, we’ll look for a more a less progressive organization that has traditional values. This doesn’t align with what God teaches or our family values. Very disappointing.

  31. Kelly Smith says:

    The BSA has seen a significant decline in the number of members since they allowed openly gay leaders to join and lead the boys since 2013. Are they somehow expecting an increase in boys by this new policy? There are so few actual “transgenders” in the world that we are not just allowing the tail to wag the dog here, we are allowing a single hair on the end of the tail to wag the dog. When you fail to stand for something, why support it? I don’t see how the LDS Church will support this (let alone most others).

    But this really isn’t about transgenderism anyway. Just today my son announced that some girl in his middle school has announced she will now go by a boys name and wear the boys uniform. It actually happens quite frequently too. This is far more of an attention-getting activity and in reality, a pride thing. But beside all of that, hormones and changes in the growth of youth, develop feelings that will go away over time and supporting or even promoting such changes will bring drastic problems in the future. They need guidance to recognize that they need to stay on the path of their gender. The suicide rate for those who have adopted transgenderism is staggering and now amount of “acceptance” by society is going to change that.

    This is not a wise thing to do. It won’t be good for the BSA. It certainly won’t be good for those young people who have less and less role models to look up to.

  32. Jim in SLC says:

    I think the new transgender policy is the right move. There are a lot of wicked prejudices from the past. We have to be willing to soften our hearts let go of some of the wicked traditions of our fathers when we figure out they are wrong.

    I grew up in the 80s and did and said a lot of things I’m not proud of. There was one particular kid in my high school class that everyone was sure was gay. I thought I was so funny when I made fun of him. Now I look back and know I was in the wrong.

    Transgender kids aren’t dangerous. They aren’t perverts. If anything, the transgender kids are the ones we need to protect from the mean-spirited things other kids do.

    And, above all, we definitely don’t need to let our kids hear us repeat wicked, worldly views about transgender kids being “messed up” or perverts or dangerous.

  33. R. Athey says:

    As a psychiatrist who deals with teens who have multiple psychiatric disorders, and a Scout and leader for the past 40+ years, I think that this is a mistake. It is actually harmful to the very teens you are seeking to admit. To encourage a transgendered youth to act out their perception that they are something different than what their biology says, is to facilitate this and make it even more ingrained and less likely to change. A full 70-80% of transgendered youth will change their mind by the time they are in their mid 20’s. These types of societal acceptances will only confuse them more. Even transgendered surgery results in more dissatisfaction and an increased risk of suicide according to studies. Being accepting of what they perceive themselves to be is no more beneficial that telling someone who is anorexic and perceives that they are fat that it is OK to starve themselves to death. Society is making a huge mistake with this issue, and so are the Boy Scout leadership in my opinion as a professional.

  34. ctill says:

    Why can’t BSA open up a new type of scouting for youth that is unisex? That way anyone can join. Venture crew is coed but you have to be older, just like Boy Scouts. How about something like Cub Scouts but unisex/coed. They can still do everything a scout can do but it won’t be so awkward for the Boy Scouts and won’t cause any issues when camping and dealing with the buddy system. Just a thought.

    1. John F Kennedy says:

      They were trying to bring the Heritage Girls into the BSA, but that ALL ended several years ago when BSA decided to allow openly homosexualilty scouts. The Heritage Girls officially ended all ties with BSA.

  35. Father of 2 Eagles says:

    Girl Eagle Scouts? Geesh. Just let everyone in and be done with it. No wait, once everyone is in they will keep changing things. And keep changing things and keep changing things. This is ridiculous. GSA refused to merge with BSA in the 80’s. It is the GSA that keeps USA scouts in two different programs. Can’t say the BSA didn’t try. So when are the boys going to get to join GSA and sell girl scout cookies in their sashes?

  36. Gary Miller says:

    Lot’s of girls have wished they could be in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. So what’s to stop any odd girl from claiming to be a boy just so they can be a Scout?

  37. Eagle Scout and Scoutmaster says:

    Religious BSA scoutmasters find ourselves leading our young men on a path now paved with confusion and hypocrisy dependent on a compass no longer morally straight but contrary to God and pointing to certain calamity and decay. Our duty to God is to follow His path relying on His Spirit as our moral compass. BSA policy principles have become driven with the winds of weakness and tossed by the tempests of today. All are valued and worthy of rescue but that must not justify jeopardizing, intentionally
    or negligently, the safety of the entire young, impressionable flock.

  38. Tom says:

    Too much time is spent by BSA accommodating and compromising with an unsubstantiated mental and physical issue. This detracts and diverts from our already stretched-thin programs for the boys. For the BSA national leadership: Please ask the transgender people to find another program.

  39. David G Abbott says:

    Where can I find this policy in written Form so I can present the facts to my chartering organization?

  40. Mark says:

    Religious BSA scoutmasters find ourselves leading our young men on a path now paved with confusion and hypocrisy dependent on a compass no longer morally straight but contrary to God and pointing to certain calamity and decay. Our duty to God is to follow His path relying on His Spirit as our moral compass.

  41. Todd says:

    My son and I are leaving scouts. The national leadership (if you can call it that) are cowards and deserve contempt. What next will the national leadership cave into and turn around tell us they were courageous? Morally straight, really? A boy or man are not in the mind. Being a boy or man is not a whimsy of thought, it is biology. Either you have the biological parts, hormones and etc, or you do not. Tolerance does not mean acceptance. It does mean I have to accept your leaderships view.

  42. P. Dabbs says:

    1st… a boy is a boy and a girl is a girl. There is nothing mysterious or difficult to understand about the statement. It’s a fact. No amount of talk/reasoning/philosophizing can change that fact. A scouting organization was set up for males (boys) and one for females (girls). The first: the Boy Scouts, the second: the Girl Scouts. How do you determine who is a boy and who is a girl? There is a physical difference between the two. Boys have something a girl doesn’t have, and girls have something a boy doesn’t have.
    Maybe if we take this to different level I can explain it better. Cattle. There are males (bulls) and females (cows). 1. No matter how much you may want to, you will never be able to milk a bull. That’s no bull! It’s just not possible. They don’t have a bag underneath with milk in it. 2. No matter how hard to try to mate two bulls, you will never have any heifers. 1 bull + 1 bull does not equal 2 bulls and 1 heifer. It is just 2 bulls. If you put a male bull with a female cow then a heifer is produced which will drink the milk that is in the mother cow’s bag. Wow!
    What happens when one bull tries to ‘make it’ with another bull? The first time he might just get down and go his way. The next time he might get a nip or jabbed by a couple of horns. This can either be called natural consequences or discipline. But the bull learns that there is a difference between him, his bull buddy, and all the other cows.
    Humans. Before we get to the mating part (which is similar in both species) the discipline part enters in. If the male gets confused his parents do what is called ‘teach’ or ‘instruct’ so the male understands what his sex is. When a female gets confused her parents do the same thing with her. If the child has a problem remembering which he/she is, the parent is there to help him/her understand. No matter how much talking/reasoning/philosophizing is done, that fact cannot be changed. The parent’s task is to explain, instruct, correct when there is a problem or mistake in thinking.
    It seems that we have a few confused boys, some confused girls, and a lot of confused parents who don’t understand what their role is in helping their ‘bulls’ and ‘cows’ understand the facts.

  43. Mark Pugh says:

    I have had a great adventure in Boy Scouts. The new direction of BSA and ignoring over 110 years of tradition and leadership should not not be shelved for special interest groups.
    Please remove me from the Voice of Scouting.
    To remain true to the 1900 BSA Consitution and Bylaws, I must now resign from BSA after 10 years.

    You do not hear my voice.

  44. Craig says:

    I think it is interesting that the Boy Scouts chose to wait till after all the troops and packs re-chartered for 2017 before they made this announcement. Took all the money and now they are hoping everyone will have a short memory and forget about this before 2018 re-enrollment. They should have made this announcement in September and let everyone decide to sign back up instead of forcing us to be part of an organization that now disagrees with many of our moral values. Very disappointed in the direction of the organization.

  45. RG says:

    Are we changing the name to Transgendered Scouts of America! Why are we falling to the political pressures. We are a private organization I am non judgemental but I love this program for values it teaches. It isthe aim and methods of scouting.

  46. Dr. Tyrone says:

    Yes, Scouting will still be here tomorrow. But the LDS Church will not be a chartered member for much longer. Good luck with Friends of Scouting next fall. Let the madness continue.

    1. Concerned says:

      Dr Tyrone,
      Since Charles Dahlquist is the former LDS General Young Men President, it’s pretty obvious he’s making the video as a token member to assuage issues with the LDS membership. It doesn’t appear that the COs had a lot of notice, and neither did the Council Execs in a lot of cases. This is an even bigger impact than the change over homosexuality, yet it was done without membership involvement and quietly and relatively secretly. The LDS Church responded with similar wording to the previous change, which does not bode well, but I expect it won’t be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, yet. But I wonder how often National thinks they’ll get away with this type of behavior.
      They are heavily playing the units can determine their own membership game, but the reality is that based on the recent lawsuit, they are just passing the liability down to the CO to deal with the legal ramifications.

  47. Toe says:

    I questioned the allowing gay leaders to participate in scouting before it was voted on and the Orange County Council ( California) leaders sent me an email and told me to shut up, the decision has already been made.

    Dahlquist is a coward. Caving into pander to the almighty dollar. He should not receive a dime from scouting funds. Under minding the scouting program to completely wipe away scouting morals. I am done with BSA. SHAME ON YOU DAHLQUIST!!!!

  48. Robert Baden Powell says:

    The BSA corporate leadership is now making decisions based on donors demands rather than explicit federal requirements. BSA corporate leadership is only trying to save their monetary interests as long as possible. BSA corporate leadership should have let corrupt judges run the BSA into the ground first, rather than let the boys watch the spineless leadership do it themselves. To start making internal decisions in this direction is ridiculous, especially with a new POTUS who would assist to protect the BSA. You may get to keep your money for 2-3 more years but without “XY” Chromosome BOYS the BSA will soon implode. Congratulations on taking the easy road. Your FOS donations are suffering, and your big corporate donations will be gone soon too. Have fun pilfering all the BSA assets we all worked so hard to acquire for you!!!

  49. J.B. Clayton says:

    Very sad day. I have been an adult leader of scouts for over 40 years. My father was an adult leader for over 25 years. I will resign this week. I will not accept the liability.

  50. Andrew Thomas says:

    I am an Eagle Scout and worked at scout camps in high school and college, I have also been a scoutmaster. I am honestly very saddened by a program that continues to drop core values about morality. They helped me so much in my life in keeping my bearings strait and bringing real happiness. The recent changes on adult leadership and this last one with transgender leave me cold and disillusioned. I understand that the Boy Scouts are in a tough position and times are changing, but core values are supposed to be timeless.

  51. Jared H says:

    None of us have a clue what the administration in BSA goes through on a daily basis to handle all the lawsuits and issues that come. It is easy to sit on the sidelines and dictate to those inside how to deal with issues, I believe they held off this decision as long as they could. Besides there is a caveat that allows the charter to make the decision. I do not have to agree with their decision, but it is still one of the only multi-ecclesiastical organizations that continues to help all our youth become honorable and productive citizens. I would also be careful not to shoot holes in the boat we are still floating on.

  52. Dennis says:

    My concern is how to keep my scouts safe and dispel parents fears of mixed sex when even I do not know. No scout should sleep alone which means if I have 1 transgender that I do not even know about they will share a tent with a boy. Given the transgender girl will be more developed and mature for the age group and boys will be curious boys, and girls will be curious girls (boys) how do I make sure no funny business is going to happen. Is my only sign that I have a transgender is when everyone wants to bunk with Bobbi. I’m not sure I want to take on the legal responsibility and given how many of today’s generation are lawsuit happy, this decision is a bad one in my view. I think my days of taking boy scouts on campouts are numbered.

  53. BJM says:

    Is this decision really in the best interest of children with gender dysphoria? Will it solve any of the challenges of gender dysphoria? Is a parent of a 8 or 9 year-old girl, who is experiencing gender dysphoria, acting in the child’s best interest by pushing this issue in the media and courts? Will requirements to keep these girls with gender dysphoria safe add significantly to the already challenging responsibilities of affected Scout leaders?

    I just do not believe this was done (by parents or BSA) in the best interests of the affected children. It is all about image, politics and social engineering agendas. That is what’s really sad.

    1. Jungleboy says:

      Lts get real here America, God does not make mistakes. We are born with certain body parts that determine our gender. Just because certain political officials are seeking election or reelection and change the definition of what gender is, does not change the fact that it boils down to just two genders, as it always has been. BSA used to be connected to God, who is a perfect God, now they have become an industry seeking after $$. The moral code and ethics of BSA are lost. I will no longer donate to BSA, but rather seek programs for my kids that are based on facts, like the fact that there is only make or female, no matter hw you cut it, and this places many Charter Organizations at great legal risk. Time for BSA to take a stance and be what it used to be, or go down in history like all of the Latin Scouting Programs have done. NO BOY wants to be a part of something that has no Character and meaning. Time to wake up America!! Before we give away our farm to satisfy the few!

  54. Stacy Stine says:

    Those who like to defend the BSA leadership like to argue “you have to accept any kid (not boy anymore) into your troop but you still have latitude as a charter organization in only allowing leaders who meet your moral/religious standard.” To which I say yes for now , but what about 6 months from now? Every 6-12 months the BSA national moves the bar, creates a new standard base don political correctness or the whims and fancies of large coroporate donors. They have proven that there is no PRINCIPLE of any kind that they are not willing to bend or disregard when they feel it is in their interest.

  55. Tony Anderegg says:

    This is a very sad day for Scouting. I am an Eagle Scout. So are my three brothers and my two sons. I have been a Pack Committee Chair, an Asst. Scoutmaster, and Philmont Crew Advisor (x3). I severed my relationship with the Boy Scouts at the implementation of their gay youth policy.

    I encourage any and all who feel betrayed (once again) by the national leadership to join Trail Life USA.

    1. Kevin Crookston says:

      Thank you for telling us about Trail Life USA. I am impressed with their unashamed, straightforward, uncompromising mission statement. They stayed the course when BSA took a deture. Was Trail Life USA founded by former scout leaders? The elements of the program look the same, with the traditional values the BSA used to have.

    2. Mike Acker says:

      If understand where you are coming from; as a leader for the past 22 years I feel the BSA is no longer the moral standard that the nation has always looked to it as. Soon I will sadly part my ways with BSA as it is no longer an honorable organization, but instead run by a bunch of weak backed cowards that give into any little special interest group.

  56. Scoutmaster RA says:

    I am not going to get into Bible verses or rant on going to hell but I am struck by the Scout Oath that states our “Duty to God”. I have been bothered by the various changes over the years but this one sticks to worst. I don’t see how the BSA can claim a Duty to God when they are now very loudly proclaiming this:

    God makes mistakes

    I have peers that claim the Duty to God is somewhat loose based on the number of religions out there. The fact is, we have evolved to be more accepting of religions but there is no religion that believes in God (or some form of Him) that believes he makes mistakes. When He made every person He assigned them a role in life. We do not have the right to say we are a gender other than that which we were born and then decide to correct the “mistake” God made when we were born.
    This closed door decision that had no need in being made, is a very poor, very un-Scout-like decision. Unfortunately, with the path the BSA has taken I likely have to modify that belief to say that is actually IS a Scout-like decision.
    I have an Eagle and a Webelos. I continue to give the best I have under the principles I believe but this is very saddening. I believe the politics of the day are destroying a group that I love(d) being a part of.

    1. ADC Duty to God says:

      With all due respect, please do not pretend that you know God’s will for everyone. Perhaps this is all part of his plan. Has he reveled something to you of which the rest of us are unaware?

      (James 1:22-25New International Version (NIV))
      22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

  57. DX says:

    As an Eagle Scout and as an adult leader I can say I fully support this decision. Many of you are acting like these children are some how evil or wrong. You are acting like these children have no morals or set of ethics that will allow them to be good scouts, good citizens, and people who care about making a difference in the world. Are you really willing to throw away multiple points of the scout oath and scout law to chastise these children because you can’t see past your own personal bias?
    Where is the kindness towards people who want to be included in the scouts? Where is the courtesy of giving every child a chance to grow into a better person because of scouting? Where is the bravery of standing up against petty differences between individuals and breaking down barriers that divide us instead of unify us? How are you being helpful to a scout if you are turning them away for being different instead of teaching the life skills that will make them more successful in the future? Are you being friendly in any capacity to these children by turning them away for being different?
    These children who want to be scouts are physically strong every day they wake up and walk into a world where they face the challenges and discrimination from the community. They are clearly mentally awake as they are aware of what is going on around them and that they are clearly unwanted by some aspects of society. You might question them being “morally straight”, but since when has gender identity or sexual orientation played a role in how kinda, generous, charitable, or helpful a scout can be?
    Some of you are going to say “A scout is reverent.” First off, when did any one point of the scout law carry more weight than the others? Second, if you are truly reverent to God then you will remember the teachings of Christs and be accepting of a sinner no matter what. Jesus said love and forgive everyone. Period.
    Most importantly, some of you forget what scouting is really all about. It is about the children and teaching them about the world and helping to mold them into better citizens and active members of the community. To take away those experiences from a child is to go against scouting at its core.
    I welcome any civil and rational discussion about this. I want to hear what concerns people have and I want to develop a better understand of where other view points are coming from. I hope you will give me the same courtesy as I will show you when you express your feelings and opinions.

    1. Matt Mirmak says:

      As an Eagle Scout and a COR for a Boy Scout troop sponsored by an Open and Affirming congregation of the United Church of Christ, making Scouting more accessible to more youth and families is a good thing. Morally straight means being of good character. At my church, we have a number of transgender folks who are some of the most morally straight people I know. Some of them are even BSA alumni.

      If I remember correctly in 1988, the prevailing rheotric was that Scouting would not survive because of women Scout leaders. This will only make us stronger as a movement.

  58. DX says:

    As an Eagle Scout and as an adult leader I can say I fully support this decision. Many of you are acting like these children are some how evil or wrong. You are acting like these children have no morals or set of ethics that will allow them to be good scouts, good citizens, and people who care about making a difference in the world. Are you really willing to throw away multiple points of the scout oath and scout law to chastise these children because you can’t see past your own personal bias?

    Where is the kindness towards people who want to be included in the scouts? Where is the courtesy of giving every child a chance to grow into a better person because of scouting? Where is the bravery of standing up against petty differences between individuals and breaking down barriers that divide us instead of unify us? How are you being helpful to a scout if you are turning them away for being different instead of teaching the life skills that will make them more successful in the future? Are you being friendly in any capacity to these children by turning them away for being different?

    These children who want to be scouts are physically strong every day they wake up and walk into a world where they face the challenges and discrimination from the community. They are clearly mentally awake as they are aware of what is going on around them and that they are clearly unwanted by some aspects of society. You might question them being “morally straight”, but since when has gender identity or sexual orientation played a role in how kinda, generous, charitable, or helpful a scout can be?

    Some of you are going to say “A scout is reverent.” First off, when did any one point of the scout law carry more weight than the others? Second, if you are truly reverent to God then you will remember the teachings of Christs and be accepting of a sinner no matter what. Jesus said love and forgive everyone. Period.

    Most importantly, some of you forget what scouting is really all about. It is about the children and teaching them about the world and helping to mold them into better citizens and active members of the community. To take away those experiences from a child is to go against scouting at its core.

    I welcome any civil and rational discussion about this. I want to hear what concerns people have and I want to develop a better understand of where other view points are coming from. I hope you will give me the same courtesy as I will show you when you express your feelings and opinions.

    1. Concerned says:

      Units can and should manage their own memberships, but there are some very real concerns that National has ignored that apply to programs beyond the unit – particularly Scout Camp, NYLT, NLYT Academy, Kodiak, Philmont, etc . Specifically, Youth Protection. With the changes allowing homosexual youth, National still has not addressed how to manage youth protection other than saying sex is not part of the Scouting program. Except that it never was, and we had a need for YPT. With homosexual youth there are serious questions about privacy and protection of the young men that have been ignored. There have been issues at camps that I have had to deal with as a Commissioner already.
      Now with this change, it invalidates many of the protections in YPT. We specifically require separate sleeping and bathroom facilities for male and female scouts and leaders, We specifically state this for the privacy and protection of our youth members. I’d sure love to see someone explain this after this change allowing people to determine their own gender. I keep hearing facilities are private, but that’s just no true. Often the shower stalls are private, but the area to get dried off and change clothes are not. Under this policy, a physically female person who considers herself a boy would take showers in the male shower units. That exposes her to male nudity and her female nudity to teenage boys. How can we honestly justify separate restrooms at all at this point? This has further invalidated many of the YPT protections in place today, and National has ignored it totally. I suspect the lack of YPT update is due to the impossibility of creating a coherent plan that protects all members. The only way for YPT today is to declare things we useed to consider harmful as no longer harmful. It appears they are more concerned with politics than with the safety of our youth.

  59. dbk says:

    I believe Brave is part of Scouting. All who continue to support the Scouting movement for the great good it does for our male youth in the face of these contemporary challenges are Brave.
    Where do The boys go if the minority confuses distracts until Scouting has no support.
    Let’s be an example of the Brave the boys need.

    1. Sarah says:

      American Heritage Girls and Trail Life USA our Christian sThe boys can join Trail Life USA. I don’t agree with BSA’s decision. The boys have another alternative.

  60. DJ says:

    What’s next? Nudists, sex with animals perverts, pedophiles? Very bad decision by big wigs at BSA. Will ruin the BSA.

  61. DJ says:

    The days are gone when a YOUNG MAN could be a Boy Scout, work his butt off and proudly be awarded for that work by becoming an Eagle Scout. Now, as a result of the BSA climbing on the social engineering train, the traditions of being a scout are being thrown out the window in order to pander to very small fringe constituencies like the gay and transgender crowds. What’s next? Will the BSA allow pedophiles, furies, sex with animals advocates, nudists, etc etc? My days as a volunteer scout leader are numbered as a result of this poor decision.

  62. James Paxton says:

    This is the final straw; I’m pulling my two sons out of the scouts.
    First, it was the acceptance of queers into the organization and
    now it is transgenders. Next will be sexual perverts of all types.
    Whatever happened to the Scout Oath and Scout Laws ?
    This is destroying what was once a good organization for kids !!!

  63. Shawn Reser says:

    As per the usual, National makes a decision and doesn’t bother to give those on the frontline (Scoutmasters, CO reps, Committee Chairs) ANY forewarning.

    If you really valued your volunteers we would know about this before you release to media. You might even consider releasing guidelines.

    You really ambushed us. Where is your Loyalty??-.

  64. Ben says:

    Scouting as we know it is done. The amount of money our friends of scouting drives get is greatly diminished compared to what it was before the decision to let gay leaders in. We hear church leaders pleading with the people to donate, not because they want to, but because they have a spiritual obligation to sustain church leaders. Very few in our congregation are interested in participating anymore. Most are only doing it out of obligation. I serve in the bishopric in my LDS congregation. They are doing it to support church leaders but that’s it. How can scouting be a movement for good in the world if the people involved have lost all faith in the movement?

    1. SRH says:

      Ben, most in the LDS church donate out of obedience. The Prophet supports the BSA, and most members support the prophet. When the Prohpet says no more, then the cash flow will stop and a new version of the program will emerge or the Duty to God program will be revamped to include scout like activities.

      1. BLA says:

        SRH,

        I have not been told to donate to FOS. I have been asked to, which is different. We are told not to blindly obey our leaders, but to pray and study the matter. I have, and after being involved with BSA for 46+ years, I’m done. I’m done donating and I’m done giving my time. I DON’T agree with this move. When BSA changed to requirements for leaders, but claimed that Chartered Organizations could have their own requirements, I was apprehensive but went along with it. This is the last straw for me as well. I’m an Eagle, but I’m ashamed to be associated with BSA now.

      2. Matt Luke says:

        SRH I have to sadly agree with you. I support out of obligation and I give out of obligation. Those who cry that we need to welcome all miss understand that it is NOT the welcoming of all sexual orientation it is the lawsuits and the complexity that occur when mixing people of all sexual orientation with impressionable 11 to 17-year-olds. there will come a day when the “needs” of the world are no longer in line with the “needs” of the LDS Church.

  65. Doug Lewis says:

    Dahlquests conclusions are frankly disappointing.

    Dahlquest also failed to mention of some of the other key reasons driving the decision. First, recruiting and obtianing better access to public schools, who veiw the BSA as a discriminatory organization. Second, the misguided idea that this decision will limit lawsuits against the BSA, and third, the hope that corporations and other not-for-profits, who view the BSA as being discriminatory, will give us money. Anyone disagree with the above?

    In effect, our timeless values are being prostituted yet again.

    Of course, sin­gle-gen­der edu­ca­tion in this type of pro­gram is ben­e­fi­cial, and yes, by our char­ter, those sin­gle-gen­der pro­grams are for boys. As such, the correct conclusion is that the BSA Cub and Boy Scout programs are not for girls or girls who claim (or who’s parents’ claim) to be a boy. These children need proper counseling and treatment, not pandering. See, http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/michael-w-chapman/johns-hopkins-psychiatrist-transgender-mental-disorder-sex-change

    Additionaly, Dahlquist fails to address current BSA youth membership policy and the ACLU lawsuits that will certainly occur as they go after charter organizations that don’t fall in line with their distored and perverted world view.

    Recall that the BSA youth policy is different than the BSA’s adult membership policy. The latter gives more flexibility to charter organizations. Let’s visit the current BSA youth policy in view of the BSA’s decision to not look at birth gender in determining membership eligibility.

    “Youth membership in the Boy Scouts of America is open to all youth who meet the specific membership requirements to join the Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, Sea Scout, and Venturing programs. Membership in any program of the Boy Scouts of America requires the youth member to (a) subscribe to and abide by the values expressed in the Scout Oath and Scout Law, (b) subscribe to and abide by the precepts of the Declaration of Religious Principle (duty to God), and (c) demonstrate behavior that exemplifies the highest level of good conduct and respect for others and is consistent at all times with the values expressed in the Scout Oath and Scout Law. No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.”

    For Boy Scouts … Meet age requirements: Be a boy who is 11 years old, or one who has completed the fifth grade or earned the Arrow of Light Award and is at least 10 years old, but is not yet 18 years old. Complete a Boy Scoutapplication and health history signed by your parent or guardian. Find a Scout troopnear your home.”

    Under current BSA memebrship policy, local units and charter organziations can and will be sued for denying membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of rejecting the gender determiantion of a parent on a membership application.

    Houston….we have a MAJOR problem!!!!!!!

    PS. It wil not end here. Those that oppose our timeless values will take concepts like Dahlquist raised about keeping transgenders and homosexuals safe and they will come back with studies and examples of abuse or discrimination and they will demand anti-bullying training int the BSA addresing these “goups of Scouters” and new eduction programs within the BSA under the banner of tolerance and anti-bullying. Our Socuts will be taught as part of this “re-education” that being homosexual or transgender is ok and that we need to love, support, enable, protect and encourage all types of behavior, whether or not such conflicts with our Oath and Law. We can find examples of this in other organzations like our public schools and the new US military. Wake up Scouters!!! Very disappointing Mr. Dahlquist! Where are men of courage like Lord Baden Powell???? Oh, yea … they are being destroyed in their youth.

    1. David McGee says:

      Doug Lewis’ comments are 100% on point! Once again, the professionals have sold out both the program and the Scouts.

  66. Jason Adcock says:

    Sad day for the BSA. Shame on the scouting executives. I thought it was BOY Scouts. I’m sick and tired of this gender confusion disease eating its way across our country.

  67. Jason Adcock says:

    Sad day for the Boy Scouts of America. The BSA finally gave in to more of the poison that is ruining our country. Satan has been working very hard on this issue. BOY Scouts of America doesn’t mean confused children of America. It is a shame that these parents allow their children to do anything they want and we all have to change because of a few misguided youth. It ruins what was once a wholesome, beloved, and admirable organization. The Scout Oath clearly states …. “To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.” This decision is NOT morally straight.
    As an Eagle Scout for more than 20 years and as an active Assistant Scout Master I am ashamed of the BSA Leaders and Executives for getting sold out.

  68. Steve Cathey says:

    As a current scout master, I can tell you all one thing. My troop is a single gender unit. We camp where there are no bathroom or any facilities. I don’t allow mom’s,sisters or any female to camp with us. If the national,council,district doesn’t like it. Too bad! They are making Boyscouts dirty. Next they will give out participating eagle badges. Just to stop a law suit. Cowards!

    1. Anita says:

      … not just Eagle badges, but also access to become Arrowmen in the OA as youth and then go to Fellowship Weekends and complete OA-NLS at Philmont. 🙂 This opens up so many doors to breaking traditions, whether we agree or not.

      1. Steve Cathey says:

        ….I agree. Scouting is about fellowship and brotherhood. My son is almost an eagle and a brotherhood in OA. He loves scouts and this decision is weighing heavy on his heart. I am leave it up to him to follow his heart on this. For me my days are numbered.

  69. Chris Brown says:

    First off I am not happy about and do not agree with the transgender decision. But maybe it is time that we just turn the Boy Scouts of America into a co-ed program from Cubs to Crews. As is mentioned in the article STEM is a big issue and that is a program that can be preformed by both boys and girls.

    1. Bill O'Steen says:

      Co-ed, all male, or all female units throughout based on the chartered organizations desires/needs, just like Venturing.

  70. Brandon says:

    It is unfair to open Cub Scouting to some girls but not all girls. It would seem to reason that units should just start registering girls and let the BSA find a good reason to stop them.

    1. D F says:

      What happens if you check “female” on a Cub Scout application? Do they reject it at district, council, and/or national? My three girls “self-identify” as Cub Scouts and it hurts me every day that I can’t serve them together with my boys.

  71. Frank Butcher says:

    I was an Eaglr Scout a holder of the God and Country award, a district commissioner ,and a District Chaplain. When the BSA allowed gay scouts and gay leaders in I could not,as a Christian swear the Scout Oath that says I will do my duty to God and at the end obey the Scout Laws which say at the end a Scout is Reverant. These actions were done by the liberals to destroy Scouting and the inner fabric of the country I fought for in the U.S. Navy Shame on the National leaders for caving in to a minority so they can destroy a once GREAT organization

  72. Jessica says:

    I think it’s fine that we have open the door to transgender children but if are going to open that door I think we should open all doors we should allow girls to participate because you’ve already Open the door will already will having to monitor your bathroom situation your camping situation and other things like that which we already do in venturing crew but we don’t do so much in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts so if you’re going to have to do those things anyway want to open the doors for Girl.
    Let all kids be able to learn the scouting way learn the Scout oath and the law how to be self-sufficient and self growing learn how to be an upstanding citizen in this world of tomorrow

    1. Steve Cathey says:

      This is why I have to ask. Isn’t there a Girl Scout program. Why can’t the girls just go with there program and why do they have to mettle in ours. Just like the other male clubs. Sometimes guys just need a time and place to be guys.

      1. JH says:

        Girl Scouts is not an equivalent alternative to the BSA programs. The Girl Scouts sold out a generation ago, and while the programs within GSA have some merit, they are not of the same caliber as Boy Scout programs.

  73. Jessica says:

    If you are going the route of letting transgender kids into the Boy Scouts which is fine then you should go ahead and let girls into the Boy Scouts as it is in other countries and just open up the door for girls to enjoy the program as much because that’s basically what you’ve done you have now made it to where bathroom situations will definitely have to be monitored separate ,shower separations ,tent separations and a lot more restrictions on that area which would be the same kind of thing you would do if you had girls camping just like we do in a venturing crew so why not just go ahead and open the doors to allow girls to also participate.
    I’m open for i’ll children to participate in the Boy Scout Way and training them to be self-sufficient and self going and learn the law and the oath but if we’re going to open one door we should just open them all.

  74. Rob Smith says:

    Only the major chartering organizations were contacted – the rest were not. This was a shock to much of the Scouting community. The way the national office of the BSA handled this announcement was extremely poor to the point that many who are employed by the BSA had no idea this was coming. It is obvious that the BSA really doesn’t value their Chartering Organizations unless they are the large ones like the LDS church. I’m a charter rep for two units and there was NO communication.

      1. Michael Acker says:

        Actually Rob is correct. We lost 2-4 troops in our district after the last social experiment decision and this will not help either. Wake up, the numbers don’t lie. When I started as a leader BSA membership was 3.4 million. During the last social experiment the numbers went from 2.3 million (2014) to 2.2 (2015).
        You say “Scouting will be still here”? To the contrary, the numbers don’t lie.

      2. Dr. Tyrone says:

        Yes, Scouting will still be here tomorrow. But the LDS Church will not be a chartered member for much longer. Good luck with Friends of Scouting next fall. Let the madness continue.

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