Restatement of UK Scouting's stance on sexual orientation
There has been coverage in the media of the recent decision by the Boy Scouts of America to allow gay young people to be members of their organisation, but to exclude adult gay volunteers.
We would like to restate our own, very different position with regard to this issue within The Scout Association in the UK, through the following statement:
'We know that each National Scout Organisation within our World Scout Movement is an independent organisation that delivers a programme designed to meet the needs of the communities in the country in which it operates.
'Those communities will judge the relevance and appropriateness of each organisation's policies by joining or not joining that organisation.
'In the UK we have a very clear policy and practice that welcomes adults and young people (boys and girls) irrespective of their sexual orientation. We are proud that we have had this approach in place for many, many years.
'We believe that this reflects the needs and wants of the communities in which we operate. Our view is that sexual orientation should not be a bar to membership of the UK Scout Association.
'We believe that discriminating against an individual simply on the grounds of his or her sexuality is inappropriate, and is contrary to our interpretation of the inclusivity and values of Scouting.
'In the UK, our Scout membership has seen significant and sustained growth over the last eight years of youth and adult volunteers. We have been pleased to support Pride events and we openly welcome LGBT and heterosexual young people, volunteers and supporters who wish to join our Movement.'