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Scouts Abuse Lawyer Offers Thoughts on New BSA Policy Towards Gays: Policy Misses the Point, Fails to Address Child Sexual Abuse Failures

By May 24, 2013June 23rd, 2020No Comments

Today, Attorney Kelly Clark of Portland, Oregon, recognized as one of leading attorneys in the nation for victims of child sexual abuse in Scouting–and in 2010 secured a jury verdict of nearly $20 million in a trial against BSA–released the following statement concerning the BSA’s revised policy towards gay Scouts:

“The question that I care about, and that the thousands of men who as boys were abused in Scouting care about, has everything to do with protecting boys from abuse and relatively little to do with gays in Scouting.  I have seen no evidence, either empirical or from experience, that gay men are more or less likely to abuse kids than heterosexual men. A man who abuses a boy is not “gay”; he is a pedophile. A man who abuses girls is not “heterosexual”; he is a pedophile.

The decision of BSA to open its membership to gay Scouts is an idea long overdue. But as to child sexual abuse, it misses the point. The fact is, we still don’t know if BSA is a safer place for kids than it was over the last half century, because BSA continues to refuse to open its modern Perversion Files and show the nation whether all its revised child abuse policies are working or not.  Until BSA does so, parents and communities must assume that boys continue to be at risk of abuse in Scouting.”

For more on this topic, see attorney Kelly Clark’s blog: