It’s come to light that the Boys Scouts of America (BSA) will not employ gay people but will consider anyone else who has a criminal conviction.
Following recent news that the BSA is considering a change to its membership policy banning gay scouts, the organisation is embroiled in new charges of discrimination, this time regarding its hiring practices.
According to the BSA’s job application form for “professional commission,” which is used across the US, “The Boy Scouts of America will not employ atheists, agnostics, known or avowed homosexuals…”
While gays are an outright no-no, those who have a criminal record at least have a chance of getting a job with the BSA.
The form asks if the applicant has a previous felony conviction, noting that “conviction of a crime is not an automatic bar to employment. All circumstances will be considered, including what you were convicted for and how long ago”.
“As if the nationwide ban on gay Scouts and Scout leaders wasn’t appalling enough, the BSA won’t think twice before trashing a resume from somebody who’s gay or lesbian,” said Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin in a letter to the organisation’s members.
“It’s so rare these days to see such blatant discrimination written down on paper,” he added.
The application form appears to contradict the BSA’s stated practice of not inquiring about the sexual orientation of an employee. Last year, when upholding its ban on openly gay scouts and scout leaders, the BSA affirmed that it did “not proactively inquire about the sexual orientation of employees, volunteers, or members.”
“The BSA must do more to end the rampant, institutionalised discrimination within their ranks and send a message to today’s youth that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being gay,” said Griffin. “We need to stop the BSA’s hard-line, anti-gay stance before it does any more damage.”
The BSA Board had been set to vote on revising its homophobic policy barring gay scouts and leaders last week, but, to the dismay of LGBT groups, delayed making a decision until its National Annual Meeting in May.