Gay-Friendly Boy Scouts Alternative Growing Quickly
Navigators doubles its membership in about a year
By Michael Franco, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 21, 2013 3:30 PM CDT
File photo of a Boy Scouts uniform fashioned with a patch supporting gay rights.   (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

(Newser) – The Navigators is a tiny group compared to the Boy Scouts, but Mother Jones reports that its gay-tolerant creed has helped it more than double its chapters to 45 in about a year. A former Boy Scout troop leader in Harlem formed the Navigators in 2003, fed up with the scouts' ban on gay troop leaders. The group does most of the same things as the bigger organization, but it differs in its "Moral Compass," which has members pledge "to help create a world free of prejudice and ignorance" and to "treat people of every race, creed, lifestyle, and ability with dignity and respect."

"We wanted our two sons to take part in scouting [and] we wanted to do that within an organization that reflects our family's values," says one parent who signed up. Membership in the Boy Scouts has declined by about a third since 1999, though it still has about 2.6 million members. The Navigators? Maybe 600. The group, however, is adding two chapters a month, with about 10 kids per chapter. (Meanwhile, the Boy Scouts may be ready to end its ban on openly gay scouts, but not on gay leaders; click for the latest.)

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Showing 3 of 35 comments
ZacEckstein
Apr 23, 2013 3:55 AM CDT
I had to comment because there is so much ignorance on this thread. Obviously this isn't a gay version of the Boyscouts, it's a tolerant and non-bigoted version. When I have kids they will join the Navigators, for sure. And I was an Eagle scout...
BCS
Apr 22, 2013 3:38 PM CDT
Great idea and all, but that's a hell of a mean thing to sign your son up for. Nothing like having all the kids in school point at him and say ***** is in the gay scouts. Children handle daily verbal abuse so well, it will do wonder for his self image. But hey, what's important here is that some self centered 40 year old gay guy feels equal, forget the kids. Why would i want someone with a male sex drive who is interested in male genital, out in the middle of a forest with my son? I know most would never consider doing anything harmful to a child, but why up the odds? Yes, I am all for Lesbian den mothers in the scouts. Who could they possibly be safer with?
MattB
Apr 22, 2013 2:47 PM CDT
Hey Carbonated turtle...... Looks like seg. got the win again!