Boy Scouts Say Member Leaked Potential Antigay Policy Change
The Boy Scouts of America did not intend to make public its consideration of a policy change relating to its long-standing ban on gay scouts and troop leaders, according to The New York Times.
"Someone leaked the information," Tico A. Perez, BSA's national commissioner, told executive board members at a town hall meeting Tuesday, according to a tape recording obtained by the Times. Perez said the leak came from someone who "either didn't like what we were doing, or they thought they were going to be helpful to the conversation.... We are amazingly sorry with the fact that this got out and got ahead of us."
The organization itself touted a board meeting Wednesday as a potential turning-point in the decades-long ban, but then released a statement delaying any decision until BSA's National Executive Board meeting in May.
Deron Smith, a spokesman for the Boy Scouts, confirmed in an email to the Times that the information had been leaked, and that the source of the leak had not been identified.
The BSA has been under intense public pressure since it confirmed in January that the organization would reconsider its long-standing ban on gay scouts and troop leaders. In 2012, the organization reaffirmed its commitment to the antigay ban after a two-year internal review.
On Monday, ousted lesbian den mother Jennifer Tyrrell and a group of supporters delivered petitions with more than one million signatures calling on the organization to change its antigay policy. Corporate sponsors, including Intel and UPS, have backed away from the organization, citing its discriminatory ban.
Last month, the organization announced it would take calls from members of the public weighing in on the proposed policy change, but the BSA was evidently overwhelmed by the response. Just days later, the number BSA offered for public feedback was answered by a prerecorded message directing feedback to the Scouts' website.