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National looking at letting homosexuals in the BSA

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  • #61
    Oooooh - I've been waiting for an opportunity to present itself on the subject of handedness to say this:

    We are all ambidexterous. Don't believe me? If you're right handed, which hand do you use to trim your right hand fingernails (and vice-versa for left handed folks).


    • #62
      I guess we can just pick a random thread on this topic now, they're so mixed up...or maybe it's me.

      Anyway, I'm still trying to understand the reaction in which someone decides to leave scouting, not because their CO has lost its ability to discriminate, but because OTHERS have gained the freedom to choose NOT to discriminate. I just don't get it. Why does one person NOT want another to have the same freedom that THEY have?


      • #63
        "Anyway, I'm still trying to understand the reaction in which someone decides to leave scouting, not because their CO has lost its ability to discriminate, but because OTHERS have gained the freedom to choose NOT to discriminate. I just don't get it. Why does one person NOT want another to have the same freedom that THEY have?"

        It isn't as simple as that. Troops don't exist in isolation. Removing the ban means the possibility of gay leaders at summer camp, district events, OA events, etc.

        If a parent doesn't want their precious darling camping out in the woods with a gay leader, you can't tell them that they won't have one when they take wilderness survival merit badge at summer camp.


        • #64
          No, it truly is not that easy...

          As a National policy, the individual Units were insulated from any legal action with regard to the policy. BSA National took the heat and had to fight the fight. In walking away from the issue, National has left it to the individual Unit and/or CO; which could open up those units to law suits that they would never have faced if they were just following the National policy. The ACLU and the likes of them are relentless; there will be law suits (IMHO, keeping in mind that I am not a lawyer, judge, nor have I played one on TV).



          • #65
            I can't create a new thread, just seeing if I can reply.


            • #66
              "When i became SM two years ago, my paster told me that he is supportive of the Boy Scouts, as long as it does not conflict with catholic values."

              That sounds about right....the Catholics have spent years ignoring pedophiles....just like the BSA.


              • Sentinel947
                Sentinel947 commented
                Editing a comment
                Wow. Way to get that nice anti Catholic dig in there. By that I mean, that's pretty uncalled for.


            • #67
              Wow...yeah, that was pretty uncalled for.


              • #68
                Latest rumor, from CNN, The Boy Scouts of America would no longer deny membership to youths on the basis of sexual orientation alone, but would maintain its ban on openly gay adult leaders, under a proposal it is considering, the group said Friday.

                The organization's executive committee made the proposal, which is expected to be presented to the Boy Scouts' voting members in May.

                "If approved, the resolution would mean that 'no youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.' The BSA will maintain the current membership policy for all adults," Boy Scouts public relations director Deron Smith said.


                • #69

                  In January, the BSA said it was considering a plan to give sponsors of local Scout units the option of admitting gays as both youth members and adult leaders or continuing to exclude them. On Friday, the BSA said it changed course in part because of surveys sent out starting in February to about 1 million members of the Scouting community. The review, said a BSA statement, "created an outpouring of feedback" from 200,000 respondents, some supporting the exclusion policy and others favoring a change.

                  "While perspectives and opinions vary significantly, parents, adults in the Scouting community and teens alike tend to agree that youth should not be denied the benefits of Scouting," the statement said.

                  As a result, the BSA's Executive Committee drafted the compromise resolution.

                  "The proposed resolution also reinforces that Scouting is a youth program, and any sexual conduct, whether heterosexual or homosexual, by youth of Scouting age is contrary to the virtues of Scouting," the statement said.

                  The BSA described its survey as "the most comprehensive listening exercise in its history."

                  In a summary of the findings, it said respondents overall supported the BSA's current policy of excluding gays by a margin of 61 percent to 34 percent, while a majority of younger parents and teens opposed the policy. It said overwhelming majorities of parents, teens and members of the Scouting community felt it would be unacceptable to deny an openly gay Scout an Eagle Scout Award solely because of his sexual orientation. Included in the survey were dozens of churches and other religious organizations that sponsor a majority of Scout units. The BSA said many of the religious organizations expressed concern over having gay adult leaders and were less concerned about gay youth members. Many Scout units are sponsored by relatively conservative denominations that have supported the ban on gays in the past — notably the Roman Catholic Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Southern Baptist churches.

                  LDS spokesman Michael Purdy said Mormon leaders would study the new proposal. There was no immediate public reaction from Southern Baptist or Catholic officials who have been dealing with the BSA membership issue. The BSA survey tried to gauge the proposal's effect on financial support. Local Scout councils said 51 percent of their major donors opposed easing the ban, while a majority of Fortune 500 companies supported a change. In another revealing section of the survey, the BSA reported feedback from 30 national youth organizations and civic groups, many of them partners of the Scouts in various endeavors. Of the 30 organizations, 28 urged the Scouts to lift the ban, and many warned that their partnerships might end if the ban remained.

                  The BSA also consulted four experts in the field of child sex abuse prevention. The four conveyed a "nearly universal opinion" within their field that homosexuality is not a risk factor for the sexual abuse of children. - Associated Press

                  So, in essence, the BSA is striving to do what its members want - a membership that is diverse and not at all in lockstep in their thinking.


                  • #70
                    I really don't watch the news much anymore. Its just too darn depressing. I guess I do need to do some research to find out exactly what is going on with the BSA. I find it funny that I have been getting several phone calls and emails from my old council and my new council (recently moved states) pressing me for my FOS and 'Golden Eagle' commitments. That is just not normal. It feels like they are pushing more than normal because of some pending change that could have a negative impact on my contribution.

                    More on-topic..

                    I don't beleive that all homosexuals are guaranteed to be pedofiles and a danger to teenage boys. I have been involved in several Christian support groups and know friends that have struggled with these issues first hand. This is not the venue to vet that out, but it is not unreasonable for parents to have concearns. I do think that selecting mentors for our youth is a very critical decision that should not be taken lightly. And I support any CO that decides to descriminate based on their organizations values.

                    Do I think that a policy could be developed that would allow a gay parent to participate in the scouting program? .... I just don't like the way this is being pushed through like a political hot potatoe. I have the right as a parent to decide who will potentially mentor my son's. And I will not apologize for stating that long-held BSA policy makes it a lot easier for a parent to feel safe about these decisions.

                    There is absolutely NO defense for the above mentioned interrogation of a scout. There is absolutely no place in the scouting program for the topic of sexuality. Our scouting program is not the place for left wing idealogs to promote their agenda.


                    • #71
                      Originally posted by CaveEagle View Post
                      Our scouting program is not the place for left wing idealogs to promote their agenda.
                      But it is the place for right wing idea-logs to promote their agenda? Why is that?


                      • CaveEagle
                        CaveEagle commented
                        Editing a comment
                        I don't hear from any right-wing conservatives trying to force tranformational change to an organization that has a fairly well known and established policy. If you are currently a member of the BSA, than you have already decided that this issue is not important enough to keep you from joining.

                        We may well find out that many people are less committed to this organization when it starts to bend to social-political pressures to change. I support the BSA because they are (or were) different. If they become just another PC club, then my interest level starts to fade. Not saying that I'm out yet. Just loosing interest.

                    • #72
                      Neither right or left should be using the BSA as a political weapon. We are not supposed to be political at all, only patriotic. There is no solution for this that will completely satisfy either side. So, if you believe the positive of BSA outweighs the negative, then simply work the program locally and keep it to yourselves. Only deal with divisive issues if they come up; don't go looking for them.


                      • #73
                        I can agree with your sentiment, skeptic. I don't see anyone on the right trying to use the BSA as a political battleground. This issue is being forced onto the BSA. I for one don't want to see any sort of lifestyle witch hunt. Keep it to yourself and we will all be fine. This is just a very fine line, when special interest groups are pushing the issue so hard.

                        A "don't ask, don't tell" policy is not good enough for the gay rights community. Any I cannot tollerate the normalization of alternatice lifestyles being promoted in my scout troop. So this just sounds like we might just be at an impass.

                        Look at how many have left the Girl Scout program. Accept for cookie sales, they have very little visability. (not trying to offend and GSUSA folks). My sister has been a GS volunteer for over 20 years and have tons of respect for her.


                        • packsaddle
                          packsaddle commented
                          Editing a comment
                          AZMike, I'm aware of those documents. They were not open documents in the sense that applicants were made aware of them. For that matter, as far as I can tell, CO's were also not made aware of them, at least none around here (and around here those documents probably would have been welcomed by some of the CO's back then). My point is not that BSA didn't have such a policy but that it was something kept 'out of sight' and effectively unknown by the membership until Dale caused those policies to become public. As far as I am concerned a membership policy should be stated fully, openly, and completely in a manner that any person applying for membership can be fully aware of it. This wasn't. But I get your point that BSA did have an established, but unpublicized, policy. You too evidently were made aware of them by reading the court document.

                          Edit: Outside these forums, I've still never SEEN these policies in written form. Not at roundtable, not at annual meetings with the SE, not at the council office when I asked to see them. If I applied the same standard to these documents that seems to be popular for birth certificates, they'd fail the test.
                          Last edited by packsaddle; 04-25-2013, 06:58 AM.

                        • AZMike
                          AZMike commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Packsaddle, you asked if anyone could quote the written BSA policies against homosexuals at the time, as you couldn't find them, and I did so. Just trying to help you out by responding to your request.

                          I'm not surprised that there were not "open" documents discussing homosexuality in BSA in the 1960s and 1970s, as it was generally not discussed in polite society at the time. We're all prone to a little historical revisionism, but why would an organization that wished to promote itself as a wholesome organization discuss homosexuality in publications that could be read by kids? It was considered by most people in America to be, to use a scientific term, "icky." This was an era that, rightly or wrongly, associated homosexuality with a swishy effeminacy and moral degeneracy, as demonstrated by the depiction of homosexuals in movies, TV, and plays. I would imagine that a quick Google search on public attitudes or depictions of homosexuality in popular culture in the 1960s and 1970s would give you literally hundreds of examples. Homosexuals were depicted as swishy objects of ridicule (see: Pretty much every 1970s sitcom) and self-loathing (see: The Boys in the Band) at best, and often as far worse (see: Deliverance). (This is not to say that people with a same-sex attraction should be treated this way, but that was what the times were like.) In the sciences, homosexuality was considered a treatable behavioral disorder until the APA changed their position on what the "science" was. In most states, homosexual acts (even between consenting adults) were felonies, a homosexual orientation would bar you from most teaching positions, and the military would ban you from enlistment and considered homosexuality grounds for a dishonorable discharge or even imprisonment.

                          Frankly, the BSA probably did not feel any more need to have an "open" policy against homosexuality than it did against bestiality, rape, polygamy, shoe fetishism, or incest, which would have been considered equivalent behavior by most Americans at time time in history, and also subjects that should not be discussed in family-oriented documents I'm not trying to be cruel here, but younger people posting on this thread, or those of us with fading memories, appear to be looking for an "open" policy that would have no reason to exist, given the tenor of the times. It is almost the equivalent of looking for an "open" policy against misuse of the Internet in the 1970s.

                          Why would you, or anyone else, think that the BSA would NOT reflect American attitudes at that era in its view of homosexuality?
                          Last edited by AZMike; 04-25-2013, 08:19 AM.

                        • packsaddle
                          packsaddle commented
                          Editing a comment
                          "Why would you, or anyone else, think that the BSA would NOT reflect American attitudes at that era in its view of homosexuality?"
                          Please inform me as to where I thought otherwise.
                          If an application for membership does not state all of the qualifications, then how can an applicant know what those qualifications are?

                      • #74
                        Originally posted by CaveEagle View Post
                        I don't hear from any right-wing conservatives trying to force tranformational change to an organization that has a fairly well known and established policy.
                        What on earth do you think the Dale case was? Before then, the largest single group of charter partners were public schools, not any more. How is that for transformational? The US military used to be something like the sixth (I can't remember at the moment) largest group of COs, now it's zero. How is that for transformational? When I was a kid and a boy scout, the BSA was primarily a patriotic organization, then it got hijacked by the right-wing. That was transformational! Before Dale being gay or not was a unit issue, then the BSA chose to make it a national one. How many public school and military units did we loose?

                        So a group forced transformational change to the BSA in the 90s (I don't remember any surveys or votes on the change - just national imposing it) and that was OK? But try to change it back to what it should be and it's "how dare you!" or "you have no right!" and "you hate the BSA and are trying to destroy it!". Really? I'm sorry, but that all sounds pretty disingenuous to me.

                        I agree the BSA shouldn't be a political weapon. Unfortunately in the 90s the right chose to make it one, and we are stuck dealing with that.


                        • #75

                          There were some other similar issues that came up before Dale, but National did not get involved, so they did not reach the level Dale did. I too do not remember any real issues with this at all until the 90's when the Gay political movement really began its push in various arenas. We will not likely ever get the total truth on Dale, but it appears from what data is available that someone in the council took exception to the college involvement in a very public activity, even though it was NOT in the local area. My understanding is that the unit from which he came had no issues; it was someone outside. Apparently that person and perhaps a few others had some pull in the local council and decided to push it. Of course, it then became a National issue very quickly when the Gay supporters chose to use it as a test; or at least that is the way it appears to me.

                          What is sad is that if the local council had just let the local unit determine its membership, and told the outside individual(s) it had nothing to do with them it may very well have not reached the level it did. I do suspect that if Dale had not been the touch point, another would have soon been found due to the beginning of the modern Gay political maneuvering. Just my take from the bits and pieces easily found. Someone in the actual council area that was around then may have a lot more light to shine on it, but it is way too late now.

                          So, here we are walking that thin line at the unit level, trying to keep the idiocy of the radicals on both sides from destroying us. I still see a possible glimmer of hope for adults in the less obvious wording of the overall proposal that deals with NO types of agendas being acceptable within the program, and specifying that ANY disruptive leader may be disallowed. The biggest hurdle is the one of movement from youth to adult if the status would change. How they deal with that is beyond me, unless they amend the resolution or something.