Timeline: The Boy Scouts’ Long History of Anti-Gay Discrimination

The Boy Scouts of America have been fighting gay members for decades.

Boy scouts and their families deliver 1.4 million signatures protesting the ban. GLAAD

On Wednesday, the national board of the Boy Scouts of America delayed its decision on whether to end the organization’s national ban on gay Scouts and scoutmasters until May, citing the need for more deliberation. BSA’s gay ban has caused several of its major sponsors to pull funding in recent years, and the organization announced on January 28 that it would consider ending the policy; the board has been deliberating the decision since Monday.

“We all understand that BSA is under pressure from opposing sides of the issue, but they have had plenty of time to think about this,” says Theresa Phillips, committee chair of Pack 442 in Maryland, which was forced to take down its non-discrimination statement last month. “The Boy Scouts needs to wake up and realize gay and lesbians have just as much of a right to be part of the scouting program as anyone else.”

Even if the Boy Scouts decide later this year to overturn the ban, the decision on whether to allow gay members will be left to local troops—a move that gay advocates say is a cop-out, as local troops would still be allowed to discriminate.

The Boy Scouts have a long history of discrimination against gay members—and over the years, gay people aren’t the only minority group the Scouts have excluded. Here’s a timeline you won’t find on the Boy Scouts’ website:

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Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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