The Los Angeles Police Department wants to stop working with the organization that runs its Explorer program for youths because the group is linked to Boy Scouts of America, which bans gays from becoming members.
The organization, Learning for Life, was spun off from Boy Scouts of America.
A department official told the Police Commission Tuesday that the Boy Scouts policy is “inconsistent” with the city’s policy of non-discrimination. He suggested that the department manages the Explorer program itself.
Learning for Life officials say the organization does not discriminate and does not take funds from the Boy Scouts.
They ban atheists, too, even though that’s not mentioned in the piece above. And that that last comment from Learning for Life officials skews the truth. There may be no funding from the Boy Scouts directly, but there is definitely a connection with them.
Robert M. Saltzman supports the LAPD decision and explains why it’s the right thing to do:
Unfortunately, there is one significant problem with the Explorer Program. In Los Angeles, the Explorer Programs are administered by a city contractor that in turn subcontracts with the Boy Scouts to administer the programs. The problem is that the Boy Scouts openly proclaim their right to discriminate based on sexual orientation and religion. I know first-hand the significant value of the Explorers Programs to the LAPD and for the young men and women who participate. But no matter how valuable the programs, that value is no justification for them to be administered by an agency that does not comply with the city’s non-discrimination laws.
This is an easy issue for the Boy Scouts to fix. Just revoke any policy that forbids gays and atheists from joining and leading the troops. That means changing their Oath and Law. It should’ve happened a long time ago, but it’s not to late to fix their misguided ways.
Until they do, however (and I’m not holding my breath), they should be constantly referred to as a discriminatory group and government organizations should refuse to work with them.
Individual parents would be well-served not to let their children join such a group, either.