USA NAMBLA Democrats
2019-11-17 00:25:32 UTC
Facing mounting legal costs from defending itself against
lawsuits alleging sexual abuse of boys, the venerable nonprofit
organization is considering filing for Chapter 11 protection,
The Wall Street Journal is reporting.
The BSA has reportedly hired the Sidley Austin LLP law firm and
released a statement on Wednesday saying that it was working
with experts to explore all options available to ensure that the
local and national programming of the Boy Scouts of America
Chief scout executive Michael Surbaugh also acknowledged in the
statement that the BSA was grappling with legal costs from the
We have a social and moral responsibility to fairly compensate
victims who suffered abuse during their time in Scouting, and we
also have an obligation to carry out our mission to serve youth,
families and local communities through our programs, Surbaugh
said in the statement.
Surbaugh also apologized to anyone who was harmed during their
time in scouting but also stressed that at no time in our
history have we knowingly allowed a sexual predator to work with
youth, and we always seek to act swiftly when alerted to abuse
Founded in 1910 and long considered a bastion of traditional
values, the BSA reported in its 2016 annual report that it has
more than 1.26 million Cub Scouts, nearly 830,000 Boy Scouts,
and some 960,000 adult volunteers.
But the BSA has courted controversy by lifting its ban on openly
gay members in 2014 and allowed openly gay adults to be scout
leaders a year later. Then in 2017, the group allowed
transgender boys in the ranks for the first time.
That same year, the BSA announced it would allow girls to join
the Cub Scouts, which had been exclusively for boys, and that it
was setting up a program that would enable older girls to reach
the coveted rank of Eagle Scout.
In May of this year, the BSA announced it was changing the name
of a Boy Scouts program for 11-year-olds to 17-year-olds to the
more gender-neutral Scouts BSA starting in February 2019.
That was apparently the last straw for the Mormons who announced
they were ending a 105-year partnership with the BSA and
starting their own youth program.
And last month, the Girl Scouts of the United States of America
sued the BSA for trademark infringement.
If the BSA does file for bankruptcy, it would be making a move
straight out of the playbook of the Roman Catholic church. Some
20 dioceses and religious groups have sought Chapter 11
protection while they negotiate settlements with thousands of
USA Gymnastics, which is facing a tsunami of lawsuits stemming
from the Larry Nassar scandal, filed for bankruptcy earlier this
month. By doing so, experts said the organization will be able
to put on hold all litigation, including ongoing discovery and
depositions of key figures.