The Boy Scouts of America membership controversies center on the Boy Scouts of America's policies that prohibit atheists, agnostics, and "known or avowed" homosexuals from membership in its Scouting program; both youths and adults have had their memberships revoked as a result.
The BSA contends that these policies are essential in its mission to instill in young people the values of the Scout Oath and Law.
These policies are controversial and are considered by some to be unfair.
The organization's legal right to have these policies has been upheld repeatedly by both state and federal courts.
The Supreme Court of the United States has affirmed that as a private organization, the BSA can set its own membership standards.
In recent years, the policy disputes have led to litigation over the terms under which the BSA can access governmental resources including public lands.
According to its mission statement, the BSA seeks "to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law". ( more... )