Boy Scouts ending ban on openly gay members

The Boy Scouts of America’s national leaders decided Thursday to allow openly gay members into troops.

The organization’s National Council endorsed with 61.4 percent of the vote a resolution lifting the ban on openly gay Scouts, according to a statement.

“Today, following this review, the most comprehensive listening exercise in Scouting’s history, the approximately 1,400 voting members of the Boy Scouts of America’s National Council approved a resolution to remove the restriction denying membership to youth on the basis of sexual orientation alone,” the statement reads.

However, the council left in place a ban on openly gay adult Scouting leaders.

The policy shift opens the door for openly gay Scouts in the nine councils throughout the Bay Area and nationwide, but does not allow openly gay parents of Scouts or other openly gay adults to serve as leaders.

“I’m glad they’ve taken a teeny-tiny step, but there is so much more they could have done,” said Alameda resident Maya Goehring-Harris, a den leader for her son’s local Cub Scouts troop.

Goehring-Harris is a member of the national organization Scouts for Equality and one of many people across the country and Bay Area who started an online petition urging her local Boy Scouts council to reject the national policy banning gay members.

Ryan Andresen, an 18-year-old Moraga resident who was denied his Eagle Scout badge after coming out as gay, also launched an online petition and has been at the forefront of the national campaign against the Boy Scouts’ anti-gay policy.

Goehring-Harris said she is proud of the National Council’s vote lifting the ban but is still waiting for them to allow openly gay Scout leaders.

“Hopefully it’ll push the national Scouts organization to go 100 percent and say this isn’t something anybody should be even discussing,” she said.

The local mother said she knows some gay parents in the Bay Area who don’t allow their children to join the Boy Scouts due to the national policy, even if their local councils have voiced their opposition to the ban.

“It’s sad because the Scouting program is good, but the politics are bad,” she said.

Bay Area NewsLGBTLocaloy scouts of americaryan andresen

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at

Just Posted

Deputy public defender Chris Garcia outside the Hall of Justice on Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
As pandemic wanes, SF public defender hopes clients will get ‘their day in court’

Like other attorneys in San Francisco, Deputy Public Defender Chris Garcia has… Continue reading

Hyphen hosts a group show at Space Gallery in San Francisco in 2010. (Photo courtesy of Albert Law/Pork Belly Studio)
What’s in a name? Asian American magazine fights to keep its identity

An investor-backed media group laid claim to the moniker of SF’s long-running Hyphen magazine, sparking a conversation about writing over community history

A warning notice sits under the windshield wiper of a recreational vehicle belonging to a homeless man named David as it sits parked on De Wolf Street near Alemany Boulevard on Friday, Aug. 31, 2018. A proposed SF Municipal Transportation Agency law would make it illegal for overnight parking on the side street for vehicles taller than seven feet or longer than 22 feet. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Fight over ‘poverty tows’ heats up

‘What can we do to ensure the vehicle stays in the hands of the owner?’

Crab fisherman Skip Ward of Marysville casts his crab net out off a pier near Fort Point. (Craig Lee/Special to The	Examiner)
San Francisco came back to life, and we captured it all

Last spring, in the early days of the pandemic, the bestselling authors… Continue reading

Revelers at Madrone Art Bar in the early hours of June 15, 2021 (Courtesy Power Quevedo).
No social distancing at Motown-themed dance party

‘I don’t care how anyone feels, I just want to dance!’

Most Read