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- Apr 2009
Well, until yesterday I didn't have a clue there was any change even being considered in light of the Supreme Court decision and all of the commitments to maintaining rights as a private organization, blah, blah, blah just a few short months ago. So to me - yes, one voice could very well represent a ground swell when coupled with how things have worked out in several different venues in recent years.
Eagle candidate may have been denied advancement, but that's not the same as membership revokation. And in most cases once they are 18, then they were kicked out. Or for some other made up excuse like, didn't follow a duty to God.
But I do have to correct myself. This is the latest quote I could find on the scouting legal website on the current policy. 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.
It would seem to include avowed youth as well as avowed adults. Ironically I could only find this in the press release from July that affirmed the fact they had no intention of changing.
FWIW I am aware of a case of a older youth(17) that did make sexual advances towards a younger scout. More than advances, in Massachusetts the perpatrator was charged and tried as an adult and served some time and is now registered as a sexual offender.
MomtoEli: While the board unanimously approved extending the ban a few months ago, several of the Board members expressed a desire to do away with it in the future. This may be that moment in the future. We shall see in a few weeks.
Scoutingagain: Can you link me to that case? I'd think a 17 year old Scout trying to make a pass on a younger Scout(depending on the age) would fall under pedophile instead of homosexual. That is assuming you believe the two are different and distinct.
Yours in Scouting,
Sentinel947(This message has been edited by Sentinel947)
- Oct 2002
Sentinel: "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."
Yes, for discrimination. Of course they would lose in the short term. But just like the BSA, the constant pick, pick, picking at CO's will have a cumulative effect. The CO has to put up with picketers, negative media attention and pay for legal counsel that takes money away from their purpose and mission. Do you honestly think the BSA is entertaining the change in their policy because they have finally come around to believing it's the right thing to do or because they have tired of the fight and continual cost? I think it is the latter. I believe it is because they have been worn down and just want to get on with things. Instead of choosing one way or another and continuing to take the heat from one side or the other, they've shifted the burden onto the local CO's. They'll either give into demands or they'll fold the unit.
- Jun 2005
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.
Sentinel947, da piece was nameless because it was THE New York Times editorial. Not an op-ed, an editorial written by da editors of the paper, eh? That's a major statement from a major opinion-setting group.
Scoutingagain: Can you link me to that case? I'd think a 17 year old Scout trying to make a pass on a younger Scout(depending on the age) would fall under pedophile instead of homosexual.
Yah, youth-on-youth molestation is an ongoin' problem, eh? There are many, many cases in da BSA. Most are sealed to protect the kids involved.
I reckon it's a bit silly if yeh consider a 17 year old boy fondling a 14-year-old girl to be (inappropriate) heterosexual behavior but yeh consider a 17-year-old boy fondling a 14-year-old boy to not be (inappropriate) homosexual behavior. This is where we're just playin' word games in order not to face da truth, eh?
(This message has been edited by Beavah)
Beavah, what about the point he makes about the 'core' mission being a major point in the Supreme Court case and that this change (if it occurs) will weaken that court decision?
What do you think about that claim?
"Yah, youth-on-youth molestation is an ongoin' problem, eh? There are many, many cases in da BSA. Most are sealed to protect the kids involved.
I reckon it's a bit silly if yeh consider a 17 year old boy fondling a 14-year-old girl to be (inappropriate) heterosexual behavior but yeh consider a 17-year-old boy fondling a 14-year-old boy to not be (inappropriate) homosexual behavior. This is where we're just playin' word games in order not to face da truth, eh? "
Beavah: I'm going to steal shameless from someone else I read earlier. "Inappropriate Contact is Inappropriate Contact".
I don't think I'm playing word games. Regardless of what classification it's given, it's wrong.
As for your comment about the molestation. I'm aware that stuff happens. The question is, would it be more common because you allow in gay members? Are gays more or less likely to molest another teenager? Or is orientation irrelevant to this discussion?
Yours in extreme puzzlement,
"As for your comment about the molestation. I'm aware that stuff happens. The question is, would it be more common because you allow in gay members? Are gays more or less likely to molest another teenager? Or is orientation irrelevant to this discussion? "
Not as a general statement, but certainly as a matter of exposure. The only circumstance you have 14 year old girls in a position to be fondled by 17 year old boys would be in a Venture Crew or maybe an Explorer Post, and both represent a very small percentage of Scouting units. However, when you expand that to the entirety of Boy Scouting units you are talking a whole different dynamic. And once you say it is acceptable to openly declare your preferences you are also implying that you find them acceptable and all that goes with that. I am talking about BOYS - not adults. Everyone one of us here I presume has raised or is raising at least one teenage boy. We should all know they aren't the most self-disciplined group nor are they the best at exercising good judgement.
For the record, I have no interest in throwing a 14 year old girl into the mix, either. I just didn't sign on for all of the challenges that presents, though there are organizations that do and they have varying degrees of success. The point is - that is NOT what I signed up to deal with.
So, yes, I do believe it would be a bigger problem.
- Feb 2001
But just like the BSA, the constant pick, pick, picking at CO's will have a cumulative effect. The CO has to put up with picketers, negative media attention and pay for legal counsel that takes money away from their purpose and mission. Do you honestly think the BSA is entertaining the change in their policy because they have finally come around to believing it's the right thing to do or because they have tired of the fight and continual cost?
Refresh my memory; how many lawsuits over the BSA's exclusion of gays have been filed post-Dale?
"Everyone one of us here I presume has raised or is raising at least one teenage boy. We should all know they aren't the most self-disciplined group nor are they the best at exercising good judgement. "
MomtoEli: I'll be honest with you, I haven't raised a teenage boy yet, I'm 19 years old.
Boys do suffer from lack of self discipline and yes, suffer from lack of good judgement sometimes. Scouting is place where they generally learn that sorta stuff, as well as the sports teams, in school and definetly at home.
Perhaps my youthful naivety causes me to have more faith in the Boys than other Adults. I'd like to think that the Scouts can tell the right from wrong in those kind of situations. It's not a very gray zone. What's wrong is pretty cut and dry in this scenario.
Furthermore, the fact that there are gay youth, (and probably homosexual Scoutmasters) already in Scouting practicing good judgement would be an indicator that they can control themselves.
I don't have all the answers, most people here are probably twice my age:
"probably twice my age"
greater than 3X is more like it. You'll blink your eyes a few times and you'll be there too. Or as the cartoon says, "Zero to 60 in what seems like 6 seconds flat"
Have a nice day.
- Feb 2002
On the issue of openly gay Scouts, as opposed to openly gay leaders, the BSA has said very little over the years, and what they have said has often been vague. I remember one statement (probably almost 10 years ago) that if a Scout revealed that he was gay, the leaders should speak with him to see if he really meant it (not the words the BSA used), and if he did, he was out. As opposed to say, James Dale (an adult leader, though only about 19 at the time, I believe), who got a termination letter with no conversation beforehand. I have tried several times over the years to find that statement about gay Scouts on the Internet again, and it seems to have mysteriously disappeared, but I know I read it. I also remember reading some convoluted statement on BSALegal.org about how the prohibition on openly gay "leaders" must also apply to Scouts because, as a Scout progresses through the ranks, he is required to hold at least one "leadership" position. If that doesn't seem to make sense, that's because it doesn't make sense, and it's not accurate, either. I think what they really wanted to say was that an openly gay person cannot be a Scout or a leader, but they didn't want to come right out and say it where the youth are concerned.
So the question of whether, under the current policy, a unit could terminate the membership of a Scout for being openly gay, is a little murky. To the extent that the unit can do so, I think we can assume that if "local option" is adopted for leaders, it will apply to Scouts as well.
- Dec 2011
After doing much reading of these posts and hearing from the "doom and gloom" crowd and the "you are a bigot" crowd, I would like to share my comments and concerns.
One of the reasons was 1. My mother pulled me out of scouts because our SM abused his children verbally and physically both in front and away from troop functions (not a great example). 2. I got tired of being called "gay" and "wuss" because I wasnt into sports as much as I was into outdoors and reading. I did not see a great side of scouting, and its one of the regrets in life that I didnt suck it up and stick with it. Im trying to see a more positive side now working with cubbies.
While I fall more on the moderate/conservative side of things, I am personally fine with the local option. I work with people who are gay and they are some of the most loyal and dedicated people I can rely/depend on in my field. When I took YPT , as a teacher it was a good reminder. The things about the scouts made sense, 2 deep leadership, no isolation, be professional, polite, and prompt to handle problems that arise.
Firstly, In my opinion, these leaders who want to join will be subject to the same background checks and rules that I follow as a scouter. I know dang sure to never sleep in a tent with another boy by myself or even with another adult. I know not to isolate myself with another scout, or permit any of that to happen with parents. If these leaders want to join, they know the rules and regs they will have to follow.
Secondly, My first reaction was "great, National is kicking the can down the road to CORs" My C.O. (a UMC) is what we could say has a moderate/conservative slant. However, I researched the position of the UMC on their website, and it falls within my beliefs that people who are homosexual are welcome to participate in sacraments, become members of the church, ect. They cannot however serve as members of the clergy or be married in the church or by ministers. Fair enough, makes sense to me.
Thirdly, whats to stop packs/troops/crews labeling each other as anti-gay or Gay-friendly units? I could only imagine the scuttlebutt that parents would say. We have some cutthroat parents in our district and I can only imagine the ripple effect.
I am not sure if I have added anything to the conversation, I felt like I just needed to get that off my chest. I dont think we are going to see a lot of change in my group. I am just planning on deferring to the C.O. position.
It was a local case over 10 years ago. Involved a trusted Spl and Eagle Scout. In MA one can be treated as an adult in the court system at 17. I'd have a hard time finding local press on the case at this point.