The Boy Scouts of America plans to vote this week on whether or not to end its longstanding ban on gay members and leaders, an ironic move by a group that has long concealed both straight and gay sexual abuse of its young participants by predator leaders.
The organization plans a vote on reversing the long-standing ban shortly but critics of the Scouts wonder if the organization will also go public with its long record of concealing sexual abuse of youngsters by its leaders.
Capitol Hill Blue has talked with a number of former Scouts and Explorers, both male and female, who tell horrific stories about abuse by leaders. The interviews included former leaders if the group, who admitted sexual activity, both straight and gay, with underage Scouts and Explorers.
One former leader, now in his 60s, told of an intense affair with a teenage girl who was a member of an Illinois Explorer post, an affair that he claimed was “her idea.”
A former Scout told of homosexual abuse at the hands of a male leader during a camping trip in the 1970s. When he complained to the leadership fo the Boy Scouts, the leader was dismissed by the organization, but police were not notified.
“When my parents complained, the Boy Scouts covered it up,” he said.
Obama did not address the history of abuse during his comments to Pelley, choosing instead to simply that “my attitude is that gays and lesbians should have access and opportunity the same way everybody else does, in every instituions and walk of life.”
One former Scout leader, who left the organization after complaints of abuse surfaced, told Capitol Hill Blue that the Boy Scouts were seen as “fertile ground for those who wanted to prey on young children.”
In 2012, a web site posted by Portland, Oregon, attorney Kelly Clark presented 14,500 pages of files on abuse by Scout leaders from 1959-85. Clark won a lawsuit against the Boy Scouts in 2010.