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Can the Boy Scouts Ban Openly Gay Members?

(l-r) Joshua Kusterer, age 12 of Boy Scout Troop 226 in Plano, TX salutes as the crowd recites the pledge of allegiance during the Save Our Scouts Prayer Vigil and Rally in front of the Boy Scouts of America National Headquarters in Irving, TX Wednesday, February 6, 2013. Credit: AP

After postponing a decision on whether or not to allow gays into their organization, the Boy Scouts of America have announced this week that they are in a “listening phase” where they will ask members to fill out a 9 question questionnaire to get individual feelings and judge comfort levels to homosexuals possible in their organization.

The Boy Scouts are a private organization, and the Supreme Court has ruled that they are free to exclude members or leaders that infringe on the group's ability to advocate public or private viewpoints. However, the Supreme Court and the Court of Public opinion are different.  The president and Mitt Romney expressed criticism of the Boy Scouts ban in 2012,  and the BSA has lost corporate sponsors over the policy. 

On 'Real News' Wednesday the panel discussed the controversy and if the Boy Scouts can continue to remain an exclusively heterosexual organization by law and public opinion.


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