Someone within the Boy Scouts of America leaked information that the National Executive Board would discuss ending the group’s national no-gays policy last week.
The National Executive Board ultimately postponed a decision on a proposed policy change that would have left it up to local troops whether to allow gays. A recording obtained by The New York Times explains why the BSA released a statement Jan. 28 that the board would consider the change.
Tico A. Perez, Scouting’s national commissioner, told a group of about 250 BSA staff and the executive board last week that the person who leaked the information “either didn’t like what we were doing, or they thought they were going to be helpful to the conversation.”
Perez continued to explain that instead of having a discussion behind closed doors, the board meeting received national attention and the BSA received a flood of input from across the country with 17,000 emails sent in only five minutes.
He said the attention made the change seem imminent when, in fact, the board only planned to discuss the change.
“It gave the impression, No. 1, that we were driving something to a vote, which we were not trying to do — we were trying to start a conversation,” Perez said. “And, No. 2, that we were doing something that we were going to spring on the board.”