The Boy Scouts of America began accepting openly gay youths on New Year’s Day, a historic change that has prompted the BSA to consider other changes, such as policies on tent mates and showers.
Some churches are dropping their sponsorship of BSA units because of the policy regarding gay Scouts, and some families are switching to a new conservative alternative called Trail Life USA. But large numbers haven’t left the BSA, and most major sponsors, including Catholic and Mormon churches, are maintaining ties.
The policy was approved in May, with support from 60 percent of the 1,400 voting members of the BSA’s National Council. The organization says it is encouraging units to provide greater individual privacy to avoid possible problems.
Pascal Tessier, a Boy Scout from Kensington, aims to be one of the first openly gay youths to become an Eagle Scout. Tessier, 17, was barred from achieving that rank before the policy change.