Girl Scouts: We are 'all-inclusive'

In the wake of controversy surrounding the Boy Scouts' stance on homosexuality, the Girl Scouts pride themselves on remaining neutral.

The Girl Scouts have always been all-inclusive and say they will continue to be that way.

"We pride ourselves on our diversity and how inclusive we are," Joshua Ackley, a spokesman for the Girl Scouts, told MSN News.

This comes in response to the Boy Scouts announcement Monday that they might allow local organizations to decide their own policies on including homosexuals.

"Sexual orientation is a private matter for girls and their families to address," Ackley said. "Girl Scouts has established standards that do not permit the advocacy or promotion of a personal lifestyle or sexual orientation. Adults working with girls must adhere to these standards."

When asked about the Girl Scout's policy toward admitting lesbians, Ackley said that the organization was "all-inclusive."

According to a statement on the Girl Scouts of the USA website, diversity has been a "core value" of the Girl Scouts since its founding in 1912. The organization currently has 3.2 million Girl Scouts — 2.3 million girl members and 890,000 adult volunteer members.

Official Girl Scout literature avoids any references to homosexuality.

Ackley said the Girl Scouts value diversity and inclusiveness and don't discriminate or recruit on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, national origin or physical or developmental disability.

"It's a non-issue for us," former communication director Lori Arguelles said in a 2000 interview with Womensenews.org. "We don't ask people to declare X, Y or Z. It's not in our makeup to have to define people like that."

Girl Scout of the USA is not affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America.  

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