I learned a lot from my many years in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), and I’m still learning from the organization. This summer, for example, I learned that, as a non-profit, the BSA wasn’t paying much attention to good governance practices when it reaffirmed its policy against admitting gay leaders to its ranks.
You probably recall the national attention given to the BSA when it developed its own version of “don’t ask, don’t tell” for scout leaders. It led to a 2000 Supreme Court ruling in which the court found that, as a private organization, the BSA could discriminate against homosexuals based on its First Amendment right of free association. Since then, pressure has built within the organization to reconsider the discriminatory hiring policy. It culminated this summer when, after a two-year evaluation, the BSA announced it would retain its anti-gay policy.