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Current BSA Policy Vs local option poll

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  • Thomas Jefferson, etc.
    Look, I'm reading all the indignation and outrage and I'm scratching my head wondering....why? You guys DID understand that a committee was going to create this, right? You DID understand that the committee was composed of the same people whose genius has put BSA where it is already? What the heck were you expecting.....reason?
    So get down off that high horse and grab onto some reality. Gay youth are no longer excluded. THAT is huge. Think about it. Really. I mean, REALLY think about that. Gay youth are no longer excluded.
    This means that not only are the most open and 'in-your-face' personalities welcomed as youth members, gender identification is no longer an issue for youth membership. If you think those are the same thing, think some more.
    Of course that leaves the adults right where they are now. Which is what? Gay adults are already members and they will continue to be members. They just can't be open about it.
    If any of you think this is NOT practically an open invitation for COs to discreetly practice local option anyway, think again. That IS going to be the result. The organization is already moving in that direction at the grass-roots level and this will just grease the skids, so-to-speak.
    So do not despair. Yes, the national leadership has made themselves look like thoughtless troglodytes. And that is news to whom? Just take these new opportunities to spread the openings even wider and shrug off the stupidity. It's working. It's not working as fast as you want. But it IS working.
    Thomas Jefferson, after you've finished feeling sorry for yourself with all that moral outrage, ask yourself: what do the boys gain and what good does it do in the larger sense...for you to quit?
    Nothing. Stick it out and if nothing else, make a sport of needling the opposition. Merlyn might appreciate some company from time to time.


    • Originally posted by packsaddle View Post
      Gay youth are no longer excluded. THAT is huge.
      I agree this will be huge, but only if it passes. We still have the vote in May and I hear this is not a done deal. The conservatives are putting on a full court press to stop it. They did a much better job of getting people on their side to get involved and fill out the survey, send letters and emails, etc.. I saw flyers passed out at round table for example. I didn't see any flyers or emails from the progressive side. I thought about handing out a flyer at round table making sure people knew about the survey, but decided it wasn't appropriate. Maybe I was wrong and I should have.


      • Yep, once again the pre-announcement of the resolution, not yet actually passed, has become REALITY in the press. I suppose they needed to have the actual resolution wording available for the voting members ahead of time, and it would have been leaked anyway, but now we are again where we were with the earlier announcement about the "local option". I do find it interesting that there has been little verbal jousting about the small, but definitely changed, adult wording that clarifies to some extent the definition of "Avowed", and adds wording to include other possible distraction bent leaders. It also very specifically appears to make it clear the pushing of ANY agenda is unacceptable. To me, that is a huge improvement and does give more support to the
        CO 's part in leadership selection.


        • I must admit, I like the idea that there won't be two different types of troops. On May 25th I'll just be able to say this is the way it's going to be, take it or leave. I don't need to worry about splitting the troop, or split camporees, or split summer camp. There's some wisdom in that. If the program is good then scouts will stay.

          Maybe the strategy isn't to appease the far left or far right, because they will still scream and oxygenate their blood no matter what the BSA does. They also have no qualms about destroying the BSA to make a point. Maybe the strategy is to appease the center and focus on the young parents that control the future. The survey said parents are overwhelmingly OK with gay scouts but they are split over gay leaders. That's what drove the resolution. That's where society is. All of those with strong opinions on this will disagree with society and not be happy with the resolution.

          Just maybe the BSA is standing up for what they believe in, which is scouting. High adventure, service projects, self sufficiency, leadership. I could really go for that.


          • So Matt,

            How is letting only gay youth to be members of the BSA standing up for what they believe in???????

            Standing up for what they believe in is either an all or nothing proposition. Which ever direction you believe that lies????? Not this only gay youth......

            I read the opinion on the link above....My summary of it is......Gay adults will be welcome but we need to wait till those over 50 die off or stop being involved in scouitng.


            • This just will tick off everyone, and will fix nothing. While I agree that youth shouldn't be kicked out, and the majority of us have up to now considered this to be their stance already, so basically this proposal is proposing what they are already doing.. Even with this some SM will deny signing eagle rank to gay youth (they will need to appeal to council & national) or kick gay youth out of their unit based on their units rules..

              My DE was talking to it yesterday.. He just recently tried to get some jewish churches to sponser a BSA they read him the rite act on their exclusive ways, and as long as we have it they will not support a BSA program.. He also has very little corporate donations for FOS but 2 lists one group that will donate if policy is left alone, the other which will donate if it is changed to be inclusive.. As he says this solution will mean he will get no donations from either group..

              National may think they are done for a few years, but the in-fighting has escalated over their latest muck-up, and it will not die down because they proclaim this as a solution and tell everyone to cut-it-out.. Sorry, both sides are now up in arms and will not lay down their weapons over this wimp-out solution.


              • I also have to agree with others... How can the majority of scouts & scouters under 50 be for inclusion of homosexuals, yet the poll of All scouts & scouters are anti-inclusiveness, if we have THAT many scouters over 50 then the BSA program has more problems then just this!.. We are a youth organization who the majority of members are 50 and over.. I am in this group of old geezers, but in my area don't see my age group as the majority.. And I will also say, we are the last group that our opinion should matter.. We no longer have kids in the program, or are the parents who have the kids in grade school and under who we need to recruit, in fact if all us old geezers walked out tommorrow, scouting would continue just fine without us. The scouting program is #1 for the youth, #2 for the parents who wish scouting to help them teach their kids the values they wish them to learn.. Us old geezers, should have the least impact on this decision.


                • I tend to side more with the "splitting the baby" line of thought, which worked for Solomon, but usually not for these kinds of issues. If the resolution doesn't pass, they'll be in bigger pudu than they already are. I recall that Wayne Brock said at the All Hands meeting something to the effect that, regardless of the decision made, we'll be revisiting it in a few years. I'm glad that youth members won't have to worry about not getting Eagle, but sad they'll be kicked out at 18 (or 21 in Venturing and Sea Scouts, they are still considered youth). That should be interesting. How will they handle the issue of openly gay Venturers who are youth over 18 on camp staffs, Philmont and other high adventure staffs? Hmmmmmmmmmmm . . . They also can continue to work on awards like Quartermaster.


                  • What's wrong with "All units shall abide by their CO's anti-discrimination and membership policies?" The only question left is if Lone Scouts can be gay/atheist and the BSA pros.


                    • Originally posted by Huzzar View Post
                      There are very few moms out there that would knowingly send their teenage boys into the wilderness for ten days with 2 gay guys as the leaders. That ain't bigotry it's common sense.
                      Of course it's bigotry. Unfortunately it's a rather common one. Many of those same moms would happily send their teenage boys into the wilderness for ten days with two strait female leaders.


                      • In light of Moosetracker's comments, the wording of the executive summary is interesting. According to the Executive Summary (with my comments in brackets),

                        "The Parents Study Group was charged with listening to the voice of parents and leaders, including parents who currently do not have youth in the program. Research on parents was conducted by North Star Opinion Research on parents of boys younger than 18—both members and nonmembers [So this is looking at a sample group of parents, many (how many?) do not have sons in Scouting - and may have no interest in participating in Scouting. One could argue that this group MIGHT be interested in entering their sons in Scouting if the policy changed, but there's really no indication either way on that. That might have been a useful survey question to ask: "If your child is NOT involved in Scouting, would you be interested in doing so if the BSA's policy on gay membership changed?". If they are not in Scouting, and have no interest in involving a child in is their opinion relevant?]

                        • The research finds a significant shift in attitudes regarding the BSA policy on homosexuality. • Three years ago, parents supported the current BSA policy by a wide margin—58 percent to 29 percent. Today, parents oppose the policy by a 45 percent to 42 percent margin. [So, a poll group of affiliated and non-affiliated parents oppose the policy by a 3% margin. Neither group tracks over 50%, still. It would also be useful to see a breakdown of what percentage of that group were affiliated with scouts currently or in the past, and what percentage were people who just happened to pick up the phone and don't have skin in the game.]

                        • "Three years ago, 57 percent of parents of current Scouts supported the policy. Today, only 48 percent of parents of current Scouts support the policy." [Given the significant statistical change on this affiliated group, it would have been nice to include the percentage of those who OPPOSE the current policy, given that many parents may be unsure or undecided. Is that 48% still the majority? Stating that "only 48% support the policy" leads to the unstated assumption that 52% may oppose the policy, when in fact, it may be only 46% or 44%, or even less. There could be some weasel-wording going on here. It would also be nice if the BSA issued a breakdown of the exact stats, pro- and anti-, by survey group - has anyone seen this?]

                        [I'm also curious how this poll was conducted by North Star - it SOUNDS like it was likely done by phone poll - and in questions regarding social issues, the research shows that those responding to phone polls with a human (as opposed to a computerized system) tend to worry about offending the poll-taker or that may be seen as retrograde, and may not give answers that are in accordance with their true opinions. That the stats are as high as they are in this case shows that the traditional option has a level of support that is, frankly, surprising.

                        This is a lot more relevant to our needs:

                        "The BSA’s Voice of the Scout Membership Standards Survey was sent to more than 1 million adult members, with over 200,000 respondents. [I know the French aphorism that he who is not present for a vote is wrong, but bear in mind, we are dealing with a response from only a fifth of the polled adult membership. That may a large enough portion to make an assessment, but there is some research out there that shows that those who tilt conservative are far less likely to respond to polls in general, whether phone, mail, in person, or Internet - blame it on our conservative paranoia about The Man, if you wish - but those people may still be more likely to vote with their feet. I agree that all you can do is all you can do when it comes to the size of your survey sample, but keep it in mind.]

                        "The survey found:

                        • Respondents support the current policy by a 61 percent to 34 percent margin.

                        Support for the current policy is higher at different program and volunteer levels in the organization:
                        o 50 percent of Cub Scout parents support it; 45 percent of Cub Scout parents oppose.
                        o 61 percent of Boy Scout parents support it.
                        o 62 percent of unit leaders support it.

                        o 64 percent of council and district volunteers support it.
                        o 72 percent of chartered organizations support it."

                        [As Huzzar pointed out, that's the relevant data, right there. That's money. The people who volunteer the work in the organization support the old policy by a statistically significant majority at every level. We are only given the percentage of those who OPPOSE the traditional policy in the case of Cub Scout parents. Why? Again, if 61% of BSA parents (ALL parents, regardless of age) support the traditional policy in an anonymous survey, it would be useful to know if those who oppose were all of 39%, or was it even smaller with the number of undecided/unsures - 36%? 32%? 28%? I'd like to know this. On the Local Council poll, a full 11% were undecided or didn't have an opinion. If that tracks with the BSA leaders' poll, for instance, does that mean only 19% supported the Local Option?]

                        I'm still undecided about the new option (did ANY of us on this forum predict it?), but suspect it will probably pass, and though neither side will be completely happy, if it passes it will err on the side of youths. The largest religious CO groups have a doctrinal belief that homosexual behavior is wrong, and that it should not be normalized through the recognition or affirmation of same-sex "marriages" but that those with a same-sex attraction should be treated with compassion. This policy will (if I understand it correctly) allow those youths who are unsure or who self-identify as gay to participate in Scouting as long as sexual behavior is not discussed. Approaches to other scouts, discussing sexual matters, etc., could and should get you bounced from Scouting, and that should be understood before any youth enters Scouting. Relationships that normalize same-sex relationships and/or marriages won't be allowed in the leadership. I understand many will not be happy with either option, and it is probably 50-50 whether the new option will pass in May.

                        There are many who feel that our every statement and passing thought about our personal lives is important and should be cherished and encouraged and protected by society (such as the young woman behind me in line at Starbucks yesterday who regaled all of us with every tawdry intimate detail of last night's hook-up), and believe that it is important that a boy's beliefs about his sexual identity should never be discouraged or banned, but the rest of us feel that it is high time that people shut up about personal matters. If you think you are gay and a boy scout, fine. Shut up and talk about something else. Talk about it with your parent or your pastor, not around the campfire. If you still think you are gay at age 18, you can be a lot of things in society and a youth leader in other organizations, but probably not a scout leader.

                        In terms of the practical effect of such a change? About 3% of the population identifies as LGBT (slightly higher among youth). Of that percentage, probably a much smaller percentage would care to be involved in Scouting at all, based on the general public's percentage of involvement. Of that percentage, probably a much smaller percentage would choose to be involved in Scouting, given the old or potential new policy, and heterosexual parents of gay youths may have similar opinions. Similar figures probably apply among gay parents (A large proportion of whom are technically bisexual, in that they had sex at least once to have a child if they didn't adopt, didn't use artificial insemination, or aren't involved with a bisexual parent - it's interesting to speculate what the results would be on the poll if respondents were asked if they would be okay with a "gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered adult leader." The results could have become even more disproportionate. I suspect "bisexual" leaders sound a little creepier and perverse to many parents than "homosexuals."). I don't have any idea what percentage of potential scout leaders are LGBT but have no children, but either way, no. We're ultimately not talking about a very large group, and if the new option passes, I doubt we will be flooded with openly gay boy scouts.


                        • A majority of Boy Scouts and Venturers oppose allowing chartered organizations to follow their own beliefs if that means there will be different standards from one organization to the next.

                          That is most important result of the survey. That is huge. Game over. We all now know what the eventual BSA will look like, how we get there and how quickly is the question. That's a very big Band-Aid that is going to have to be ripped off.


                          • So summary huzzar has no idea what he is talking about.


                            • Originally posted by King Ding Dong View Post
                              A majority of Boy Scouts and Venturers oppose allowing chartered organizations to follow their own beliefs if that means there will be different standards from one organization to the next. That is most important result of the survey. That is huge.
                              I agree that this is a very interesting result. I would really like to see the actual question (or questions) asked that produced this result. Any one know where these questions can be found?

                              Unfortunately I have seen even professional pollsters produce bad questions that skewed the results of surveys. Especially when they are outsiders trying to ask questions about processes and or institutions they are not familiar with. I hope that isn't what happened here.


                              • 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.

                                So for me, surveys be damned - the fact that a nearly universal opinion of BSA chosen expert stated that homosexuality is not a risk factor for sex abuse in children and the fact that the morality of homosexuality is a religious denominational context (some say yes, other no) and the fact that the BSA states that the scout is supposed to be in alignment with his parents and religious organization well, the homosexuality issue should be dead.