Adult Membership StandardsTraining News—June 30, 2015

June 23, 2015

Dear Friends of Piedmont Scouting,

At the National Boy Scouts of America meeting in Atlanta last month, BSA President Robert Gates encouraged the Scouting family to address the national organization’s membership standard regarding sexual orientation. Dr. Gates, the former Secretary of Defense and CIA Director, bluntly said he views the current prohibition of gay adult leaders as “unsustainable.” He called for a change that would give the organizations that charter individual packs, troops and crews the right to admit both youth and adults without regard to their orientation.

Individual adult leaders of the Piedmont Council have long been in the forefront of the Scouting movement in advocating removal of restrictions based on orientation. Years before laws and lawsuits came on the scene, we called for making Scouting’s character development programs available to and inclusive of all who aspire to live by the moral principles of the Scout Oath and Scout Law. In response to Dr. Gates’s invitation, the Piedmont Council again canvassed our chartering organizations and discussed the alternatives.

I am pleased to report to you that with our Board’s approval, I as President of the Council today wrote Dr. Gates and the national BSA leadership to register our strong support for removal of restrictions on chartering organizations that force their units to bar adults on the basis of sexual orientation. (Restrictions on youth orientation were removed two years ago.) Further, we confirm that the Piedmont Council has never excluded gay members or adults and does not discriminate in employment on the basis of sexual orientation.

I want to assure you that nothing in this discussion affects our commitment to safeguarding our programs from any forms of inappropriate behavior, sexual or otherwise. We conduct Youth Protection Training for our leaders and regularly educate youth and adults alike on how to prevent and detect abuse, bullying and similar behaviors. We want to keep our programs focused on character development of our youth—including citizenship, public service, outdoor skills and environmental ethics.

We will continue to keep the Piedmont community informed of developments on this subject. We are proud of our programs, grateful to you for supporting them, and thankful for the opportunity to declare them open to all.
Very truly yours,

Anne-Marie Lamarche
President, Piedmont Council, Boy Scouts of America

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