In the next couple of days, the Boy Scouts of America Association is expected to announce whether it plans to alter its longstanding national policy against the inclusion of openly gay members.
Parents of Scouts have voiced their concerns, saying the inclusion of gay members goes against the teachings of the organization and of their faith. That said, many others find the ban on gays to be incongruous with the ideas of the Scouts and of the United States as a whole.
In many ways, the Boy Scouts controversy concerning gay rights illustrates where the United States stands on the issue—still largely divided.
Although alienated, many more Americans empathize with the LGBT community today as millions of these supporters have been crusading for decades to secure more rights. As momentum continues to swell, supporters believe they have reached a precipice.
Bipartisan polls show that more Americans favor gay marriage than oppose it and veteran activists feel that the nation has reached a watershed moment in its gay rights history. A slowing of this momentum—whether it is defeats with the Boy Scouts or in the upcoming Supreme Court decisions—would cripple the fight for gay rights.
Mark Segal, a longtime gay rights activist, claims that these impending decisions are not a watershed, but a “tidal wave.” Segal and other prominent activists compare their struggle for rights to the battles against racism and sexism, save for the fact that their fight has not created laws that offer full protections and rights provided to minorities and women.
Gay rights activists; however, still remain hopeful. Such hope is bolstered by the progress in recent months. Cleve Jones, a respected activist out of San Francisco, claimed that 2012 was a special year and that 2013 is continuing with favorable momentum. Mr. Jones is confident that the Supreme Court decisions will continue to provide positive momentum because the fight has reached the hearts and minds of the Nation.