Since February, Nashua Valley Council, and the Boy Scouts of America as a whole, have been engaged in a thorough review of our organization's membership policies. This is the first time in the history of our organization that such an outreach has been made to our members, our chartering partners, and our community supporters on such a complex issue. We are grateful to all those who provided input and passionate feedback to that process.
In March, our council's board of directors recommended to the National Council that references to sexual orientation should be removed from the qualifications for youth and adult membership in the Boy Scouts of America. A few weeks ago, the National Executive Committee proposed a resolution that no youth will be denied membership on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.
On May 23, at a meeting of the National Council, a majority of delegates, including those from Nashua Valley Council, voted to approve that resolution. The change will take effect on January 1, 2014. A change to the current membership policy for adult leaders was not considered; thus the existing policy for adults remains in place. The BSA's official statement about the results of the vote is available here
Nashua Valley Council believes this vote is an important step forward. Scouting is the greatest youth-serving organization in our country. The values embodied in the Scout Oath and Law, and the lessons we teach are tremendously important to developing youth of strong character who will grow to become our teachers, ministers, business owners, and leaders in our communities and nation. We are pleased that the National Council has seen the wisdom in allowing all youth to share the benefits of this program.
Nashua Valley Council is committed to working with our volunteers, members, and chartered partners in implementing this change over the coming months. We will also continue to work with the National Council to advocate for further progress toward all families, and all those who seek to contribute positively to the development of our youth being able to fully participate in the Scouting program.