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Editorials

Editorial

Boy Scouts: A Tenderfoot compromise

If the Boy Scouts of America is seriously aiming to reclaim its reputation for building character and leadership, it has to go further than it did Thursday in lifting its much-criticized ban on gay Scouts but maintaining it on gay Scout leaders. After all, telling gay youths that they can join now, but will be kicked out as adults, isn’t a tenable message: It’s a crabbed political compromise.

The vote came after an internal survey found majority support for gay youths but continuing opposition from older volunteers and religious conservatives to gay leaders. But even if the older Scout leaders are uncomfortable with gays among them, they should respect the principle of nondiscrimination: Unless a Scout leader violates an objective rule, he or she should be free from discrimination.

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