Rabbis urge Boy Scouts to admit gays

WASHINGTON (JTA) — More than 500 rabbis from the Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist movements urged the Boy Scouts of America to admit gay scouts and leaders.

“The book of Proverbs tells us, ‘Train up a child in the way the child should go, and even when the child is old, they will not depart from it’,” said a letter sent Wednesday to the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America, which is now considering ending its ban on gay scouts.

“Like the Boy Scouts, our Jewish tradition emphasizes the values of personal responsibility, service to the community and a broader commitment to justice. These values apply equally to gay and straight individuals,” the letter said. “Indeed, how can we teach service to a community when that community excludes our friends, family members and neighbors?”

The letter also urged the movement to end the ban on gay leaders as well.

“LGBT adults can and do provide exemplary role models for both straight and gay youth,” it said.