The Boy Scouts’ Dilemma

Last week, a deeply divided Boy Scouts of America (BSA) opted to delay its decision about whether to admit gays into its ranks until May. In my column this week, I argue that, rather than be ripped apart over admitting gays, the organization should split in two.

The issue of gays in the Boy Scouts, like gays in the military, has been extensively and intensely debated for years. There is no doubt that the public momentum on this question has shifted in favor of an expansion of gay rights, which is evidenced by the number of states that approved the legalization of gay marriage by electoral ballot recently, and, of course, by the recent statements of President Barack Obama, the honorary head of the Scouts.

Come May, the Scouts will reexamine the issue of admitting gays into the organization’s ranks. What will it decide? Mutual toleration and peaceful coexistence may yet turn out to offer the best way forward, as I explain further in my weekly column for Hoover’s Defining Ideas.