The Boy Scouts of America's new proposal to allow gay boys to join up and take a seat around the campfire would have been full cause for celebration if the organization had also extended a welcoming hand to openly gay adult leaders. That would have been the fair and equitable thing to do, consistent with the BSA's compelling need to end 103 years of discrimination based on sexual identity.
In the end, though, the Boy Scouts, under mounting pressure from advocates on both sides of the issue, has offered up a compromise proposal that, while commendable in part for its fairness, is worthy of censure for perpetuating hurtful stereotypes and old prejudices. In short, it is a disappointing model of inconsistency where none should exist.
In continuing to bar openly gay adults, the BSA keeps alive the ignorant and wholly discredited notion that gay men are poor role models and prone to pedophilia. The proposal also sends the damaging message to gay Scouts that they are welcome as boys but will, because they are gay, be unwelcome as men.