Boy Scouts, You Are Wrong.

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On Tuesday, the LA Times Reported:

HOUSTON — The Boy Scouts of America on Tuesday reaffirmed the organization’s policy of excluding gays, despite recent protest campaigns by members, including some of the group’s board.

The announcement came after a confidential two-year review by an 11-member special committee formed by Scout leaders in 2010, a spokesman said.

I’m a little late to this development, but when I read the news last night I was deeply saddened.  When I read the actual wording of BSA’s policies, I was even sadder.

The BSA policy is: “While the BSA does not proactively inquire about the sexual orientation of employees, volunteers, or members, we do not grant membership to individuals who are open or avowed homosexuals or who engage in behavior that would become a distraction to the mission of the BSA.”

Scouting believes same-sex attraction should be introduced and discussed outside of its program with parents, caregivers, or spiritual advisers, at the appropriate time and in the right setting. The vast majority of parents we serve value this right and do not sign their children up for Scouting for it to introduce or discuss, in any way, these topics.

I can’t figure out where promoting equality in your organization assumes that anyone but the family would be teaching your child about “these topics”.  My Girl Scout troop leaders certainly never discussed their sex lives or sexual preferences with me.  [Make no mistake, while the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts share a common beginning, they have since diverged and the Girl Scouts have wonderful tolerant policies in place.] A homosexual person is no more likely to speak inappropriately to your children (or worse) than someone who does not identify as such.  And, for the Boy Scouts of America to assume they would illustrates a level of closed-minded douchery that I think is incredibly dangerous for our children to be exposed.

I’m saddened as I watch friends with sons in various Boy Scouting programs across the country contemplate whether or not they can allow their sons to continue with an organization that so clearly shills hate.  My friend Sarah (of the infamous Goon Squad) wrote a Babble Voices post lamenting BSA’s ignorance and how it stands to affect her son –

I don’t know what to do. I suppose I could yell and scream and pull my bewildered eight-year-old out of scouts and away from his friends, but those kids aren’t the problem.  I guess I could volunteer and work my way up in the organization until I was in a position of power and I could help push for reform.

What seems wrong is that the Boy Scouts say that “focus is on reaching and serving youth to help them grow into good, strong citizens.” Well, how can we do that when we are teaching them policies of intolerance? That doesn’t make sense to me.

On Twitter Boy Scout parents were debating how to proceed as well –

We MUST teach our children tolerance.  BSA is displaying out and out bigotry and appalling doesn’t even cover it.  Given, my daughter doesn’t stand to lose friends and an opportunity for valuable life experience based on my conviction, but I feel very strongly that I wouldn’t support an organization with such a policy in any way.  Do you have sons in Boy Scouts?  Will you pull them from the organization?



 

Feed Me Seymour

11 Responses to Boy Scouts, You Are Wrong.

  1. firewifeelly says:

    We are debating back and forth, like the person you quoted above, our local troop is very liberal and very tolerant and very loving.  There are no other scouting options in our area for boys (Awanas is not an option for us for a number of reasons and Campfire doesn’t exist in our area) and we are trying to look at this as a way to keep the tolerant troops going, to have the next generations of BSA be tolerant.  If those of us who believe that tolerance is important all leave, then only the intolerant remain.  My husband and I had a very long, charged, conversation about this yesterday.  And in my head and heart I keep going back and forth on what it is I want to do, what I feel like I should do and what I know my kid really wants to do.  

    • the818 says:

      firewifeelly It’s a really valid point, fighting from within. I’m certain there are accepting, tolerant people spread throughout the organization. I just worry about the message it sends kids who have two Moms or two Dads if their friends are still participating where their families are being discriminated against — or potentially more upsetting, homosexual kids who are still figuring out who they are, and have to process this exclusion as they process their identity.

      • firewifeelly says:

        the818 That is one of the things we really worry about.  But then I think about the kids who are already in scouts, who are processing this, and maybe they’re parents AREN’T accepting, if all of us who are accepting disappear, where are they going to learn that they’re okay just the way they are?  Maybe those of us who are allowing our kids to join need to be more vocal  about our dissent on this issue?  I don’t know if it will change unless leadership is taken out of religious hands…

  2. babyrabies says:

    Yup. Definitely never doing Boy Scouts. Which, on one hand, is great because I was NOT about to become some sort of den mother and be forced to camp, but also? Sad face because homophobia is sad. I’m sort of glad organizations like this and Chik Fil A are making their true motives so clearly known, though. It makes it much easier for me to stop supporting them. 

  3. Melaina25 says:

    I could never let Blondie Boy in the Boy Scounts knowing their current policies. It is super sad when you know how KICK ASS Girl Scouts are about being open minded and tolerant. The ongoing attack on LGBT people in the USA is just frightening right now–did you see the anti-gay marriage bill that was tacked on to a DEFENSE bill recently? It is just ridiculous. 

  4. KeAnne says:

    My son is 3, so I hope that they change their policy in the next few years, but if they don’t, we won’t be joining.  Can I make a confession though?  While I have no problem boycotting the BSA, I’m very conflicted about Chick-Fil-A.  That sounds ridiculous, but I really like Chick-Fil-A :-/

    • the818 says:

      KeAnne Look, I drink Nespresso coffee and I know Nestle makes it. I don’t think boycotts do the financial harm to a company they once did.  For me, boycotting BSA is more about not giving them an opportunity to spread their intolerance for our children then it is hitting them in the wallet.

    • Melaina25 says:

      KeAnne My BFF is still going to Chick-Fil-A since her local restaurant is a franchise but she keeps track of what they spend and then donate and equal amount to Equality organisations.  That way, she says, she is still supporting a local business owner but hopefully evening out the corporate hate donations. 

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