LAPD Cuts Ties to the Boy Scouts of America

Sunday, December 27, 2009


It’s rare for me to praise any police department but this is one of them. The Los Angeles Police Department has ended its nearly 50-year relationship with the Boys Scouts of America, pledging not to tolerate the organization’s discrimination. As of New Year’s Day, LAPD Deputy Chief Earl Paysinger said the department will operate their youth program under a different name independent of the Boy Scouts, with the program being funded in part through donations.

The Boy Scouts started the Explorers program in 1949 as a career-oriented program for boys. The LAPD began participating in 1962. Since 1998, the LAPD has been running the Explorers program while Learning for Life – an organization created by the Boy Scouts and providing insurance coverage to participants.

Police Commissioner Alan Skobin issued the following statement:

“The Police Commission voted last month to sever ties with Learning for Life, saying the Boys Scouts’ policy of barring gays, atheists and agnostics from being troop leaders is a violation of the city’s non-discrimination policies. It’s bittersweet in the sense that the Boy Scouts or Learning for Life have been part of this for a long time – in name only – but the LAPD is committed to a better program and we can do that without having discrimination.”

The Boy Scouts’ policy of banning gays from being troop leaders faced legal challenges in the 1990s. However, the Supreme Court ruled the Boy Scouts had the right to decide who can join its ranks.

This entry was posted in Atheists, Boy Scouts, California, Homophobes, LGBT, Los Angeles, News and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to LAPD Cuts Ties to the Boy Scouts of America

  1. Idaho Librul says:

    I don’t recall the Boy Scouts being antigay back in the 1980s. Our son was in the local scout troop and they were very kind to him and everyone in the community.

    What happened to them?

  2. Brigadoon says:

    Good for the LAPD! The Boy Scouts have made their bed, now they get to lay in it. Across the country, cities and towns have shown them the door and said, no, you don’t get to use our facilities free of charge so you can practice discrimination. But for the largest police department in the country to sever their ties with the Boy Scouts is stunning.

  3. Jim says:

    Boy Scouts is a private organization so they should not have any ties with a city. Good riddance!

  4. Tiny Dancer says:

    The Boy Scouts took the extraordinary steps in 1998 to go to the U.S. Supreme Court and plead their case as a private organization, free to discriminate against gays and atheists.

    The High Court granted their request.

    Now, the Boy Scouts are reaping what they sowed. A number of cities — large and small alike, have told the Scouts to look elsewhere for places to meet and for financial backing.

  5. libhomo says:

    I’m glad the anti atheist discrimination was acknowledged too.

  6. emilypeacock says:

    @Idaho Librul 8:49am

    The LAPD is addressing the discrimination against Troop Leaders, not troop members.

  7. tazie says:

    Even the Girl Scouts has in their pledge, “I promise to serve god…”. I find it ridiculous to make young kids include any godly language in a pledge to non-religious organization. These are relics from a bygone era where Christianity was weaved into everything in “proper” U.S. society. Those days are over and these orgs need to move into the current century.

  8. JollyRoger says:

    And I can decide who DOESN’T join their ranks. My wife and I have butted heads a few times about her desire to let the girls join the girl Scouts.

    I don’t think so…

  9. Fran says:

    For one the Boy Scouts is very military oriented, which was a big turn off for me, but even the co-ed Campfire group, which seemed more progressive REQUIRED the kids go sell candy– a discriminatory practice that exploits the kids….
    a very small percentage of the profits goes to the actual group, most of it goes to pay for high end CEO type salaries.
    When we were told hawking candy was a required element, we quit.
    Make the damned CEO’s go sell candy @ the grocery store.

    As for the discrimination of the boy scouts- lots of local entities pulled the plug on free building access & association, realizing it violates city/county/state & federal anti discrimination codes.

    Fine, they want to be a private organization that discriminates….. then they face closed doors, such as mentioned in your article ~ as they should.

    Worse, the kids are blindly put in these troops, not even aware of the discrimination. A kind of ghost discrimination.

    Reminds me of a “racism free zone” elementary school– of all white kids.

  10. DMason says:

    The Boy Scouts are a private organization. They’re free to do whatever they want to do including practice discrimination. But this doesn’t mean cities have to do business with them. The Boy Scouts have made their own bed and now they get to lay in it. Enjoy.

  11. Rock says:

    This might be the one time in my life when I don’t say (bleep) tha LAPD but cheers for them. I have no love for the Boy Scouts. I was one for about a year and hated it. I think I was the only Latino in the whole freaking troop if I remember correctly.

  12. i hated everything about the boy scouts – and now i am so glad to see there “just rewards” — when i lived in the burbs i used to love telling them i wouldnt give them a nickel

  13. Bwana Jim says:

    The Boy Scouts bylaws expressly forbids “sodomy” and “Godlessness.”

    My bylaws expressly forbids “douchebags” and “fucktards.”

    I’ll call it even and Bravo to the LA Police Department.

  14. Estacada says:

    I think the real problem with the Boy Scouts is, they’re a religious organization masquerading as a youth organization.

    Kudos to the LAPD for showing them the door.

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