An internal survey conducted by the Boy Scouts of America shows that 97% of Boy Scouts and their parents believe that the organization’s anti-gay policy “negatively impacted their loyalty.”
ThinkProgress reports that “of the 5,800 survey respondents who commented on the policy, 95% said the “reaffirmation of the membership policy negatively impacted their loyalty.”
In a copy of the results obtained by Scouts for Equality, the BSA also learned the organization’s loyalty dropped 11% over the past year – mostly due to the “membership standards policy,” which bans gay members.
ThinkProgress spoke to a representative of the BSA who commented on the survey:
Of the 9 percent who mentioned this issue, 97 percent of Boy Scout parents and 95 percent of Cub Scout parents had negative views toward the current policy.
Using an open-ended format like this indicates the membership standards policy is a factor, but it doesn’t tell you to what extent the issue impacted loyalty to the BSA, nor does it represent the beliefs of the 91 percent of respondents who did not comment on the issue.
Also, this level of feedback is not unusual. Throughout the years, people involved in Scouting and others who are not related to the program have expressed their disagreement with this single policy in a variety of ways.
Despite these results, the BSA continues to uphold it’s anti-gay policy. Over the past year, the organization has lost members and significant funders and support because of this. Even local councils are calling for national change.
The BSA is expected to make a final decision on the ban in May.