"No man is much good unless he believes in God and obeys His laws. So every Scout should have religion." From the book "Scouting for Boys" by Robert Lord Baden Powell, founder of the
"I believe that the Boy Scouts of America does a wonderful service for this country. I support the right of the Boy Scouts of America to decide what it wants to do on that issue. I feel that all people should be able to participate in the Boy Scouts regardless of their sexual orientation." Mitt Romney, while debating with Ted Kennedy in the Massachusetts senate race of 1994.
Some quotations related to discrimination by the Boy Scouts of America (BSA):
"The Boy Scouts of America maintain that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing his obligation to God." Boy Scouts of America, Bylaws.
"Any organization could profit from a 10-year-old member with enough strength of character
to refuse to swear falsely." Editorial, New York Times, 1993-DEC-12, commenting on the
Boy Scouts' exclusion of a young Atheist who refused to lie about his religious beliefs in order to be accepted into a BSA troop.
"If a youth comes to a Scoutmaster and admits to doing wrong, like stealing, lying, cheating or vandalizing, the normal procedure is to counsel the youth privately and sympathetically. ... If the
youth admits to being a homosexual, the Boy Scouts' policy is to instantly terminate his association with Scouting." From the "Findings of fact," in a 1998 District of Columbia court case 1
"Obviously, the Boy Scouts can accept and reject whomever they wish. But officials should bear in mind that they, like the Christian Right and the Anglican bishops, are disserving the nation's boys -- mere
children -- when teaching them to hate fellow humans." Bill Maxwell, St. Petersburg Times, 1998-AUG-09
"... access http://www.defendscouting.org for updated information on the campaign to destroy the Boy Scouts." Traditional Values Coalition Newsletter, 2001-JUN-29 (The web site is no longer online.)
"The available evidence points inexorably to the conclusion that Baden-Powell was a repressed homosexual." Tim Jeal 2
"...the Boy Scouts of America have been brutally assailed as malicious monsters because they believe that only adults who adhere to a moral code should lead young boys." Jerry Falwell 3 (His implication is that one cannot be moral without first believing in God).
"When religion sanctifies hatred, it lends to that hatred a special ferocity. Normal moral inhibitors are erased." Johannes Cardinal Wildebrands.
Timeline of changes to the BSA discrimination policies:
Prior to 2013, the national membership policies of the BSA did not allow youth members or adult leaders to join the BSA if they:
2017-FEB: The BSA started to allow transgender boys to join. These are youth who were identified as female at birth but now identify as being male, or as having no gender or as having both male and female aspects of gender.
As of 2017-FEB: There does not appear to be any movement towards admitting boy members or adult leaders who do not believe in God, including Agnostics, Atheists, Secular Humanists, some Unitarian Universalists, and others unwilling to recite the "God" clause in the Scout Oath.
A chronological review of the BSA's
exclusionary membership policies based on gender, sexual
orientation, gender identity, and belief in one or more deities
at various times during their history.Part 1Part 2