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Boy Scouts close to ending ban on gay members, leaders NBC

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  • packsaddle

    Your local paper is wrong. The decision is left up to the Chartered organization.

    Comment


    • I have never, in my adult life, been so confused as to how I feel about something.

      On one hand, we are at an inflection point in our organization which may spell a return to greatness or a downward spiral into irrelevance.

      On the other hand, I feel our National Organization is letting smaller organizations that partner with it take the abuse and ridicule associated with the policy of discrimination instead of helping them defend themselves.

      In any case, the right thing to do is going to lead to a lot of heartbreak. For those who agree that this is the right thing to do, we now have a responsibility to put our efforts into making this the best decision the National Executive Board has made in recent years instead of the dumbest.

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      • It is going to be extremely interesting to watch what happens in the next few months/years. Will the LDS and right wing Catholics pull out, starting a downward spiral in the BSA? Will that pull out result in the BSA moving back the way it used to be, before those groups tried to force it to the far right? Will it get bigger? Will they stay in and the BSA become a contentious organization with a lot of in-fighting?

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        • Will they stay in and the BSA become a contentious organization with a lot of in-fighting?

          Huh?? On this issue, I thought we already were a contentious organization with a lot of in-fighting.

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          • ghjim

            If the LDS, Catholic Church or UMC were threatening to pull units, we wouldn't be at this stage.

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            • One change from this that I predict, based on my own biased scientific observations, is the BSA will have a more manly, scout-like, correct, and functional neckerchief!

              Look at scout organizations around the world with inclusive policies and their neckers. Now look at the woman's scarf accessory, poor excuse for a necker that we have and tell me that Jon Stewart does not have a point.

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              • ghjim

                If the LDS, Catholic Church or UMC were threatening to pull units, we wouldn't be at this stage.

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                • good point

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                  • I can't wait for a Scouter.com forum where we actually discuss Scouting more than gays or homosexuals in Scouting. Hurray!!!!

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                    • I do not think the UMC will pull units over this as they have been becoming quite "gay friendly" in the U.S.; I think only the conservative overseas wing of the UMC kept out some very gay-friendly planks at the (Global) General Conference last year in Tampa.

                      However this the OFFICIAL UMC position
                      -------------
                      Equal Rights Regardless of Sexual Orientation
                      162 J) Equal Rights Regardless of Sexual OrientationCertain basic human rights and civil liberties are due all persons. We are committed to supporting those rights and liberties for all persons, regardless of sexual orientation.

                      We see a clear issue of simple justice in protecting the rightful claims where people have shared material resources, pensions, guardian relationships, mutual powers of attorney, and other such lawful claims typically attendant to contractual relationships that involve shared contributions, responsibilities, and liabilities, and equal protection before the law.

                      Moreover, we support efforts to stop violence and other forms of coercion against all persons, regardless of sexual orientation.

                      From The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church - 2012. Copyright 2012 by The United Methodist Publishing House. Used by permission.

                      YET
                      Regarding clergy
                      304.3
                      While persons set apart by the Church for ordained ministry are subject to all the frailties of the human condition and the pressures of society, they are required to maintain the highest standards of holy living in the world. The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. Therefore self-avowed practicing homosexuals1 are not to be certified as candidates, ordained as ministers, or appointed to serve in The United Methodist Church.2
                      1. "Self-avowed practicing homosexual" is understood to mean that a person openly acknowledges to a bishop, district superintendent, district committee of ordained ministry, board of ordained ministry, or clergy session that the person is a practicing homosexual. See Judicial Council Decisions 702, 708, 722, 725, 764, 844, 984.
                      2. See Judicial Council Decisions 984, 985.
                      341.6
                      Ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions shall not be conducted by our ministers and shall not be conducted in our churches.
                      Regarding the General Council on Finance and Administration
                      806.9
                      [The General Council on Finance and Administration] shall be responsible for ensuring that no board, agency, committee, commission, or council shall give United Methodist funds to any gay caucus or group, or otherwise use such funds to promote the acceptance of homosexuality or violate the expressed commitment of The United Methodist Church "not to reject or condemn lesbian and gay members and friends" ( 161.F). The council shall have the right to stop such expenditures.19 This restriction shall not limit the Churchs ministry in response to the HIV epidemic.
                      19. See Judicial Council Decisions 491, 597.
                      (From The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church - 2008. Copyright 2008 by The United Methodist Publishing House. Used by permission.)
                      --------------------------
                      So I do not see why the UMC would walk. But the church is conflicted. Accept individuals and be tolerant. Neither promote nor condemn. Troop Leaders are not "appointed leaders" so there is a loophole there.

                      YPT issues and liability remain contentious issues.

                      The UMC is a very big tent denomination so local option makes sense.

                      Comment


                      • Cricket asks how this will fit in with the 1916 Federal Charter. Here is the purpose of Scouting per the charter:

                        "The purposes of the corporation are to promote, through organization, and cooperation with other agencies, the ability of boys to do things for themselves and others, to train them in scoutcraft, and to teach them patriotism, courage, self-reliance, and kindred virtues, using the methods that were in common use by boy scouts on June 15, 1916."

                        Seems to me it will fit in just fine.

                        "Heck, half my scouts don't want to admit to other boys they are in scouts because they are afraid of being labeled "gay" by fellow students."

                        Yeah, before you get all woogie in the knees, it would help if you understood that for many years now, teenagers have been using "that's so gay" not meaning sexual orientation but meaning stupid, such as "those shoes are so gay", and most of the time, if you looked at them and said a gay person wouldn't be caught dead wearing those shoes, they give you a sheepish look and say that's not what they meant. In other words, gay became the new dork.

                        "My new title will be FORMER SCOUTMASTER." Maybe that's for the best. Scouts don't need to be mentored by someone so narrow-minded that they react in a "my way or the highway" manner. Just as the Scouts were better off without the folks who left because they didn't like the current policy rather than stick around for the Scout's sake, they'll be better off without the folks who don't like the new policy (if indeed that's what happens) rather than stick around for the Scouts sake.

                        "It was always the local choice until Dale or shortly before". Ummm, no. If it was local choice, then the Dale mess never would have been an issue in the first place. Dale's Troop wanted him to remain as a leader in the Troop. If there was local choice, no one would have made a stink about it.

                        "I can see where the BSA smells money" I wouldn't be surprised if this wasn't part of it - the BSA is opening Bechtel, they're planning to install a rather significant Wi-Fi set up, and their next Board President, who opposes the current policy, is the Chair of AT&T. AT&T and Wi-Fi?? Hellooooo.

                        "Well, if they make this decision, not only will our church not be starting two units, our district will lose at least 15" Doubtful - the BSA didn't have pre-board meetings with the professional staff to give them a heads-up, or prepare a press release pre-board meeting as a trial balloon to give folks the heads up, without an awful lot of talking being done beforehand. The real talking and negotiations have already takien place, and if you don't think that the BSA hasn't had very long sit-down discussions with folks like the Catholic, Mormon, Methodist, Lutheran, etc. churches, and has already gotten the go ahead from them, then you just aren't paying attention to how things really get done. Don't think for a second that the recharter angst of the United Methodists isn't tied to this - that the real question was which part of the church was going to be rechartering the Scouts - the men's clubs (who were very much opposed to allowing gays in to Scouts and had no obligation to follow the churches wishes in this matter) or the churches themselves, who aren't as opposed.

                        Let's not forget that the "re-affirmation" of the policy was done outside the executive board level, that Mazzuca retired, and that there were board members that were not happy with the pronouncement that was made.

                        If this policy goes through, there very well might be a loss of some units and people - but it's likely to be a pretty small loss, and the loss could be offset by gains of members of families that will currently not join because of the policy. The biggest oppositiion seems to be from folks that still believe the world is what it was like when they were kids. The world has changed - when a high schooler gets a standing ovation at a school assembly for coming out after being given an award, the world has changed.

                        At first, there will be stories about the first openly gay Scoutmaster, the first openly gay Eagle Scout (it wouldn't surprise me to see Mount Diablo Council award the Eagle Rank they just denied), there will likely be a story about the first Lesbian Den Leader (and most likely it will be the woman who was tossed out this past summer). But those stories will die away. The biggest change? All those stories ripping the Boy Scouts to shreds everytime they toss a lesbian parent out, or toss a Scout out, etc., etc. will go away - despite how the old saying goes, there really is such a thing as bad publicity, and the Boy Scouts have had it in spades the past few years.

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                        • Duplicate(This message has been edited by calicopenn)

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                          • So what things will I do differently as a scout leader?

                            I suppose I will need to crack down on anti-gay comments more--take the approach on race and faith differences.

                            I am pretty sure we have a few gay Eagles; they have made a few quiet comments from time to time--we all just looked the other way.

                            I think we may lose a couple families. We had a patrol name blow up a few years ago over a "gay sounding" name. It was the boys picks and I submitted it forward and all hell broke loose. I figured they could accept the consequences...now?

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                            • Oh man... I agree with Calico... on all those points...

                              The Issues forum has just been turned upside down...

                              Comment


                              • So what things will I do differently as a scout leader?

                                I suppose I will need to crack down on anti-gay comments more--take the approach on race and faith differences.

                                I am pretty sure we have a few gay Eagles; they have made a few quiet comments from time to time--we all just looked the other way.

                                I think we may lose a couple families. We had a patrol name blow up a few years ago over a "gay sounding" name. It was the boys picks and I submitted it forward and all hell broke loose. I figured they could accept the consequences...now?

                                Comment

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