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  • #31
    How are we to teach character to our Scouts when we can't require certain standards of behavior?

    Woapalanne, I may be misunderstanding, so I want to be sure. I did not see any implication that because the BSA would allow CO's to have gay scouts or scouters that it would be ok to have gay sex on campouts. Do you?

    I may have misunderstood your point, I don't want to anger anyone else

    Youth "caught" having sex now (currently with girls) would be sent home immediatley with grave doubts as to contunuing membership and I suspect sex with boys would be dealt the same way, would be in the unit I served


    • #32
      But you still get to discriminate based on behavior.. You can deny based on if they are drunks, wife beaters, foul mouthed, not allow in a stripper or a homosexual.. All denied because of behavior..

      But, you just can't tell your neighboring troop what they need to deny or discriminate on based on behavior.. So you can't be upset if the homosexual becomes an adult leader in your neighboring troop.. But last year you couldn't be upset if your neighboring troop accepted the stripper either.. So if your neighboring troop had scoutmaster Candypanties, sorry, it wasn't something you could say boo to, as long as she had no criminal record.. Now the same is true of the homosexual married to another man raising 2 children family man Scoutmaster in the troop next door..

      If you were fine with allowing your neighbor to have a stripper scoutmaster last year, why are you upset that today, you can't tell them they can't have that wonderful father and family man who happens to by homosexual as scoutmaster..


      • #33
        Unless they have issued a new statement, the BSA potential policy change does NOT limit the conversation to adult leaders only.

        Thank you, pchadbo, for a respectful and thoughtful dialogue. It has forced me to clarify my own thinking about several points. I will await the Executive Board's decision, have discussions with our Charter Organization and will decide what is next based on those conversations.

        There are several options available for folks who are not interested in an organization with no religious basis or biases. If this passes there will no longer be one (as far as I can determine) for those of us to whom that is important. Perhaps it is time to start a conversation about creating one. Another one.

        Edited to add: Yes, and individual CO can continue the status quo. I do not belong to the charter organization - I belong to the Boy Scouts of America. That is what it says on my membership card. Just because they shift the responsibility/liability down the ladder does not change that fact.(This message has been edited by MomToEli)


        • #34
          I've slept with (actually meaning sleeping) females in the same car at the age of 16. I've slept with males in the same room and house all through college. I've slept in the same tent with the Scoutmaster (male) of my son's troop. That Scoutmaster, 10 years later, now happens to be a transgendered female. I've shared a hotel room with girls/women (19 yrs old). I've slept with adult males in a hotel room.

          In all cases - our sexual orientation did not come up and neither did any type of sexual situations.

          Now for a Scouting situation. Do you really feel the position of some folks in Irving, Texas is going to change the perception/acceptance level of pre-teen and teen boys toward gay boys their own age? I highly doubt it. Knowing boys as I do, I would guess the only aversion a straight male would have with sharing a tent with another Scout who is rumored to be or acutally has claimed to be gay is that he may be taunted regardless of any behavior. That is where the adults leaders should use judgment to minimize taunts, bullying, etc.

          Hey, isn't part of our job as Scout leaders to teach these boys how to "grow up" so to speak. And if we do that, we are not endorsing or condoning homosexual behavior.

          In order to successfully teach youth not to cave to peer pressure then we as adults must do the same. IMO, that is exactly what BSA is doing right now. This statement has me at a loss. It is my belief that a few of the core values of Scouting are that a) Scouts have an obligation or duty to God(s) and b) the BSA is absolutely nonsectarian in its attitude toward religious training other than the home and the organizations with which the member is connected shall give definite attention to the religious life of the Scout.

          Ergo, it make perfect sense since not all religious training teaches that homosexuality is a sin that the BSA does not do the same. By changing their policy, as the tea leaves indicate, the BSA is moving closer to their stated core values. They are not caving into anything.

          To me, it would make about as much sense for the BSA to proclaim that "We believe a Scout who wears buttons is not a role model for the values espoused in the Scout Oath and Law." Heck, the Amish (some sects) believe buttons (shiny ones at least) are a sign of vanity and 'worldliness' and not humility and therefore, if one does wear these devilish items they are not fit to be role models. Would such a ban make sense to you? Why not? Can't you see that just like buttons, there is not a universal agreement that homosexuality is "wrong?"

          Folks, the BSA did not have the ban due to practical reasons (sleeping arrangements, threat of sexual predators, etc.) - they made the ban based simply on moral grounds that homosexuality and that by being homosexual (not any particular act mind you) one was not adhering to the Scout Oath and Law and thus not a good role model for the boys. I understand that position and believe it is the correct decision for unit sponsors (i.e. charter orgainizations) that have that moral value system but the BSA should not impose that particular value system, nor the value system wrt buttons, on all units across the board.

          This isn't rocket science but it appears it is politics.

          (This message has been edited by acco40)


          • #35
            On one hand, I think the "local option" is the best way to approach this. On the other hand, I think the "local option" is a cowardly move by national. The local option puts the unit (actually the CO) at risk of legal action. I am not anti-gay, so please don't take what I'm about to say wrong. Many in the LGBT movement have a chip on their shoulder. They've grinded away at national and sponsors of BSA until they have gotten BSA to reconsider their ban. Do we honestly think that when a CO who happens to have the "hottest, best" troop in the whole council continues their ban that someone isn't going to file a discrimiation suit against that CO? It's coming. It'll happen. A local CO doesn't have as deep of pockets as national with a boat load of lawyers to defend it like national does. The CO will have two choices. Cave in against their principle or close their unit and walk away. It's coming. It'll happen. how many times will it happen is the question? Enough for membership to dwindle significantly? Maybe. Maybe not. Has anyone here ever tried to establish a new unit? I have. There aren't churches, schools or organizations banging on the council doors wanting to start a unit. You have to sell them on the idea. I went to numerous places back in 2004, including my own churhc and was politely told thanks, but no thanks. The reason why in each case, they didn't want gays and atheists picketing the property. That is an honest and true story. So, on one hand, "local option" sounds great as long as the LGBT community leaves those units who want to remain "traditional" alone. On the other hand, where CO's do get challenged, national has left the CO twisting in the wind. Time will tell.

            My disclaimer: Before I get accused of not understanding or being homophobic, my sister who I love dearly is a lesbian and my best friend from college who I love dearly is gay. I'm fine with it.


            • #36
              Cowardly? The Supreme Court has stated that the BSA may set membership standards as they see fit due to the fact that they are a private organization.

              Charter Organizations have always had the right to pick and choose Scout leaders. They could choose to pick only left handed, Catholic females of Swedish decent under the age of 25 with a weight proportional to height for their adult troop leadership positions if they wished. I bet that would be a thriving troop!


              • #37
                Beaver. What can the gay/atheist lobby sue a Charter Org for? Discrimination? The Dale decision is still the law of the land. A private organization, which all Charter Organizations are, can set their membership policy. A group that were to sue a Charter Org would lose that suit.


                • #38
                  I am sorry I can't get past the "Scoutmaster Candypanties"!


                  • #39
                    As noted in the other thread, I think that a Church CO that would exclude gay leaders is already doing it throughout their programs, and can deal with any flack coming from that choice.

                    To expand on that, and the concept of protests and picketing and press post-decision (if the change arrives next week), I suspect that the story really won't make the paper. It's a "dog bites man" story, re-written as "no gay leaders in the [pick your church] that has no gay priests". Not news.

                    And if written by a journalist, they'd ask: "help me out here: why didn't you pick a church and troop in line with your own beliefs?" ;^) (yeah, yeah, maybe there is only one unit in town . . . )


                    • #40
                      " BSA potential policy change does NOT limit the conversation to adult leaders only."

                      MOMTOELI, I was referring to the old or current policy. That policy only excludes membership to avowed adult homosexuals. Youth are seen as asexual. There is no specific policiy that currently excludes gay youth members that I am aware of. It is a common misperception that the current or old policy applies to youth as well.



                      • #41
                        "Cowardly? The Supreme Court has stated that the BSA may set membership standards as they see fit due to the fact that they are a private organization.

                        Charter Organizations have always had the right to pick and choose Scout leaders. They could choose to pick only left handed, Catholic females of Swedish decent under the age of 25 with a weight proportional to height for their adult troop leadership positions if they wished. I bet that would be a thriving troop!"

                        I think we would all agree this is a decision BSA is even considering due to pressure from both the LGBT and corporate sponsors who support them. Additionally, even in our little area of the country churches have been picketed for their stances on same sex marriage and homosexual pastors. Why would you think a Charter Organization would be somehow excluded from that?


                        • #42
                          If that is the case, scoutingagain, please explain to me the boys who have been denied Eagle rank as a result of being openly gay. Maybe I am missing something.


                          • #43
                            I think the local option will not be satisfactory. Parties on both sides want the BSA to be a conduit for disseminating their practice of morality

                            qwazse is absolutely right about this. Now, on the one hand, there's an argument to be made that's exactly what you should be doing if you have a the proper morailty, since BSA is in the business of disseminating proper morality. But I disagree a bit there. I think BSA technically isn't in the business of disseminating morality. It's in the business of "preparing youth to make good ethical and moral choices." It's hard to prepare someone to make a choice if you tell them what all the "right" answers are ahead of time.

                            I think we need to focus on the "making good choices" part, not on the "right answers" part. To that end, whichever side of this debate you are on, if you have to argue your case, explain why you believe your answer is right, that's going to do more to prepare youth to make choices than if you can point to a rule made two thousand miles away and say "them's the rules."


                            • #44
                              I could understand feeling your values are desciminated against if they had changed to a policy where all units must treat homosexuals fairly. After all, that would put you in the very position everyone on our side of the issue has felt for a very long time.

                              Yah, we haven't even officially resolved da current issue, and already folks are callin' for exactly what yeh just suggested, moosetracker. The BSA should dump all of the churches and require non-discrimination as a condition of da charter. That suggests that da fears of this "war" continuin' toward an assault on da individual charter partners isn't completely unfounded, eh?



                              • #45
                                Beavah, a nameless guy on the NYT opinion section hardly accounts for a groundswell. They didn't even allow comments to the opinion attack piece.