“I think Scouting has had a great impact on our communities and the thousands of young Mainers who have gone through the program. It has taught them valuable lessons about leadership, serving community, and helping others,” Pingree said, according to a press release from her office today, Feb. 4. “But the BSA’s discriminatory policies on gays undercut these lessons in many ways. So many parts of our society - including families, the military, and many churches - have changed their attitude toward gays and lesbians. It’s time for Boy Scouts of America to catch up to the communities it serves.”
Reviewing the policy last year, the organization decided to uphold its longtime ban. The decision sparked the outrage of many, including at least one Eagle Scout in Maine who returned his medal in protest. On Wednesday, BSA’s board will consider lifting the national ban while giving local groups the power to decide whether to exclude or welcome gays.
“I appreciate that BSA is reconsidering the policy, but they should not allow discrimination at any level,” said Pingree.