Thursday, January 02, 2014

No Mass Exodus From Boy Scouts As Gay Scouts Allowed

Remember how the Christofascists - e.g., leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention and hate group leader Tony Perkins, et al -were predicting a mass exodus from the Boy Scouts if openly gay scouts were allowed?  Starting today, the Boy Scouts of America will allow openly gay scouts (gay scout leaders are still banned) and guess what, no mass exodus has occurred.  Moreover, to the extend some church organizations have kicked out scout troops, the troops have all seemingly quickly found new sponsors.  The dire Christofascist warnings are another case of predictions that the sky is falling when obviously it is not.  Here are excerpts from Think Progress:
A new policy allowing openly gay youth to participate in Boy Scouts of America — but continuing to prohibit LGBT adults from serving as leaders — went into effect Wednesday. But despite dire warnings from anti-LGBT activists that even this half-measure would be “catastrophic” for the organization, very few religious organizations have abandoned the organization over the policy.

The organization voted to lift its ban on gay youth last May, with 61 percent in support. At the same time, it reaffirmed its policy requiring discrimination against any openly LGBT person over the age of 18.

A few religious groups objected to even this partial change. The Assemblies of God, an anti-gay Pentecostal denomination, and the Southern Baptist Convention both promised a “mass exodus” from the organization and a small group of anti-LGBT activists have launched a Christian-only BSA alternative.

But the mass exodus has simply not materialized. A BSA spokesman noted that the vast majority of religious groups have stayed with the organization despite the policy shift. The BSA estimates that less than 2 percent of its 116,000 Scout units were abandoned by their sponsors.

And even in some very conservative places, those abandoned troops have found new backers. Joey Kiker, spokesman for the Greater Alabama Council in Birmingham, told a local newpsaper that while a few churches that sponsored Scout units have left, “every single unit that lost a charter partner, within an hour, had a new charter partner.” And Brad Haddock, a national board member from Wichita, Kansas likened the warnings to the Y2K scare. “There hasn’t been a whole lot of fallout,” he told the Associated Press, observing that “If a church said they wouldn’t work with us, we’d have a church right down the street say, ‘We’ll take the troop.’

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