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?



 

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