SALT LAKE CITY — Over 80 percent of Boy Scout leaders do not want a change in policy that would allow membership of openly gay individuals in the Scouts, according to a survey conducted by the Great Salt Lake Council.
The survey was sent out to "registered leaders at the unit, district, and council level as well as to Charter Organization Representatives, Charter Organization Heads and parents of Scouts" on March 6. The results show what appears to be overwhelming support for the policy to stay the same.
82.7 percent of the respondents answered "No" to the question, "Should the National Organization alter its longstanding sexual orientation policy, allowing membership of open and avowed gay individuals in the BSA?" Only 14.3 percent of respondents answered "Yes."
The survey also asked whether people would be more or less involved with Scouts if the National Membership Standars were changed. 47.5 percent responded that they would no longer be involved with the organization, while 3.5 percent said they would be more involved. 80.6 percent said that there would be no change in involvement if the policy were to stay the same.
"The Great Salt Lake Council wanted to make sure that those registered leaders were represented at the National meeting," the Council said in a press release. "In order for the council to know the opinion of the Scout leaders, the survey was sent out."
At least 4,600 people responded to the survey as of Monday. The survey comes before a meeting of the National BSA council that will address the issue of potentially altering the policy which precludes membership for openly gay people. That meeting will take place April 17.
Nationally, Scout leaders have sent out over 1 million surveys to get a read on the will of its members on the issue. Results of those surveys will affect the outcome of the resolution drafted at the national meeting.