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Gay Leaders, Atheists, Excluded From New Boy Scout Plan

For Immediate Release

Contact: Brian Magee, bmagee@americanhumanist.org, 202-238-9088 ext. 105

(Washington, DC, May 23, 2013)—The move today by the Boy Scouts of America to allow openly gay members is an important first step, but the organization continues to exclude gay leaders, as well as members who do not believe in god, says the American Humanist Association.

“The Boy Scouts of America still supports an untenable, unreasonable and unnecessary discriminatory policy by excluding gay leaders and staff members,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association. “If the Boy Scouts are truly a values-based organization, bigotry can’t be part of the program.”

Speckhardt added, “In addition to ending all anti-gay policies, the Boy Scouts should also open their doors to those without a religious affiliation. Their national policy of discrimination against humanists and atheists, like the anti-gay policy, needlessly shuts out millions of Americans.”

The Boy Scouts of America’s ban on gay members has been a topic of discussion between conservative leadership and a growing public supportive of gay rights. An increasing number of states are passing marriage equality laws and local governments are continuing to provide LGBT discrimination protections on their own.

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The American Humanist Association (www.americanhumanist.org) advocates for the rights and viewpoints of humanists. Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., its work is extended through more than 160 local chapters and affiliates across America.

Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism, affirms our responsibility to lead ethical lives of value to self and humanity.