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May 23rd predictions and post-vote plans

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  • #16
    @EmberMike...the BSA policy has always been well known. Don't kid yourself. The reason that it is more "open" now is because of activism, social media and the recent swing in this country of the political pendulum. But the policy has always been well known.

    Comment


    • King Ding Dong
      King Ding Dong commented
      Editing a comment
      Why doesn't the BSA make its policy a central point in recruitment ? On Scout School Night or the New Parent Information Meeting, why isn't it explicitly explained to the parents that in the future their little 1st grade boy "comes out" as gay that he will be summarily dismissed from the Scouting and any advancement he was working on will be denied ? Not a very positive message for many parents when they are there for a positive message.

    • packsaddle
      packsaddle commented
      Editing a comment
      KDD, hatred is rarely so refreshing as to be presented openly and honestly. Mostly, it likes to remain hidden, almost as a way of life itself.

    • DigitalScout
      DigitalScout commented
      Editing a comment
      @mozartbrau - The BSA anti-gay policy is well known among scouters. The general public for the most part isn't aware of the policy. I've had parents approach me after a couple of years in scouting and were surprised that such a policy exists. I'm surprised too. It is 2013 afterall.

  • #17
    There are two huge elements missing....

    BPSA Troops...... While scouting can be completed alone per the lone scout program.......for me it misses the bulk of program benefit...Small group dynamics and leadership.


    Then the Eagle brand.......even though it ain't what it used to be with the watering down of the requirements......to the uneducated it is still an impressive achievement.

    Comment


    • EmberMike
      EmberMike commented
      Editing a comment
      There are more groups than Lone Scouts, something like 24 groups around the country at present and far fewer Lone Scouts. I think the emphasis in the BPSA is definitely on groups, as they encourage people to go the Lone Scout route only after encouraging people to reach out to their community and try to find enough people to charter a new group.

      And they do have something of an Eagle equivalent, although with not quite the same eloquence in the name (The George Washington Award doesn't have the same ring to it as Eagle Scout). However the real value in the Eagle Scout name and rank comes from years of notoriety and recognition. I'm sure that in time, the GW award can also come to represent an equally impressive distinction, if the BPSA grows in popularity.

  • #18
    I don't believe the policy was well know till the Dale decision....

    as a youth in the 70's I don't believe the policy was well known at all. We had a gay ASM back then, single lived with his mother, No big deal, parents kinda raised their eyebrows when he was around never knew why to much later.... BTW, that was pre-youth protection.

    Comment


    • AZMike
      AZMike commented
      Editing a comment
      Seriously, KDD - so if it wasn't a felony in ALL states in the U.S., that is supposed to "shoot a giant hole in my argument?" Seriously? Do you think that the BSA would only recognize federal law, but not the laws of the state the council was in?

      My apologies, then. I misstated. Sodomy was illegal in EVERY state in the Union until 1962. So there would be no need for a policy in the BSA before that date. It was that way since the beginning of the Republic, when good old liberal, separation-of-church-and-state Thomas Jefferson wrote a bill that would require castration upon conviction for sodomy. The Virginia legislature thought Tom was way too liberal, and voted to continue the death sentence for sodomy.

      Illinois was the first state to decriminalize the act of sodomy (in 1962) , but it was still a criminal offense to solicit another to commit sodomy. Other states gradually repealed the consensual sodomy laws until the 2003 SCOTUS decision (reversing its earlier 1986 decision which said states COULD have anti-sodomy laws).

      I'm not sure which state Basement Dweller was in during the 1970s, but in the majority of states, homosexual acts were still illegal for most of the 1970s. In Michigan, for instance, a sodomy conviction could get you 15 years, and a second offense could get you a life sentence. In Idaho, a single conviction for committing a homosexual act could get you life at hard labor. As homosexual marriage was just the punch line of a dirty joke back then, you could also be prosecuted under fornication laws, and if one of the partners was a married man or woman, you could also be prosecuted under the adultery laws.

      Legislative repeal rolled back some of the states' laws in the 1970s until the 2003 decision, but if you were a homosexual scout leader in, say, Wisconsin until 1983, or Texas until 2003, or Tennessee until 1996, or Massachusetts until 1974, or Florida until 2003, or Kansas until 2003...there was no need for a formal policy against homosexuals in the BSA. Gay people should not have been imprisoned for consensual sex acts (at least with adults), but the idea that there were no restrictions against gays in the BSA is ludicrous. There never was a Golden Age for Homosexuality in the BSA in the 1970s, KDD.

    • King Ding Dong
      King Ding Dong commented
      Editing a comment
      Never claimed there was a Golden Age. Thanks for clearing up your argument. A good history lesson also. The BSA should recognize the laws of every state they operate in. Therefor the BSA policies against admitting people involved in criminal acts were insufficient, for those in some states.

    • Basementdweller
      Basementdweller commented
      Editing a comment
      You guys are ridiculous....I was a teenage boy, what did I know about the world?????

      The guy was different, his uniform was always ironed with creases, Patches perfect, perfectly shahved and he wore aftershave or something....He was very different from our dads.

      He was a youth member of the troop and everyone accepted him for who he was.......To my knowledge there was never an issue......

      It was a different time in the 70'S as well......Outing someone took more effort.....you simply didn't shoot a txt or email to council to do it.....You had to either call and do it verbally, hand write a letter or type a letter on a manual type writer then put it in the mail box. To much of an effort for most parents.

      in the 70's chase out gays wasn't a big BSA priority.....Nor was chasing out all of the child molesters.......They were too busy merging councils and selling camps off.

  • #19
    Originally posted by EmberMike
    ... we face the dilemma of having to decide whether to enter back into the organization after a vote that will either reaffirm a discriminatory policy or start the process of ending it.
    If you disagree with the policy, it's important that you join and lend your voice to the chorus of equality and fairness. The national BSA only listens to it's members, not outsiders.

    The fight for equality and fairness will continue regardless of the policy vote outcome.

    Comment


    • King Ding Dong
      King Ding Dong commented
      Editing a comment
      Agreed. By leaving you just hand the BSA over. Although the BSA listens to more than just its members. They listen to donors.

  • #20
    I'm just sort of sad about the whole thing. BSA has many charter partners who have contradicting values. BSA needs to NOT pass this. The damage will just continue. People will ignore the rule to do what they want and the public action groups will continue to beat-up BSA for being intolerant.

    Instead BSA needs to pass something that says .... "BSA provides a program structure and materials and leaves membership management to the charter partners to manage consistent with the beliefs of those partners."

    If a charter partner has beliefs that contradict too much, then BSA should not have chartered them in the first place. Heck, that's why we are in so much trouble. BSA wants to depend on schools for recruitment but the use private group beliefs.

    Comment


    • #21
      It has become very tiresome to continue to have certain individuals posting over the top opinions about National's policy. While it is certainly not exactly 21st century, and it can be at times very burdensome and ill advised, I cannot see that it is "hateful", purposely intended to demean Gays, or a witch hunt to find them and remove them. There is a definite disconnect between what I would call the real scouting, that is on the unit level, done by volunteers within the basic standards of their particular charter org. Reality is, that even today, close to 70% of the general population in this country has pretty much unspoken, but traditional values. While there is far more tolerance and less chest beating by the majority, the larger majority of society still chooses to not associate directly with Gays and other related individuals. They accept that they have certain rights and must be tolerated without public turmoil; but they also choose to have as little interconnection with them as they can. That is not hatred; it is not bigotry, it is simply their right to move in the elements of society in which they are comfortable.

      BSA needs to find a workable solution to this. But that solution should not force the majority to interrelate should they choose not to; nor should those that are more open to acceptance or are part of the minority be disallowed to participate within their own groups or barred from general larger group participation. Those that are so thin skinned that they cannot abide anyone with different beliefs or styles of life anywhere near them need to simply follow their own choice and not intermix if the situation arises. Just like in the general public, most will have little or no actual knowledge of these issues, as they technically are not a direct part of the real program and are delegated to the parents or guardians should it become necessary.

      Both fringes of this Political Spectacle should simply be ignored and butt out, as they have no interest in BSA and its basic program. Let the wheels of change continue to move, and stop demonizing either side. That is the problem in the country today; our leaders set such a poor example with their polarization in government, that somehow it becomes a similar focus in just about any other politically charged public interaction.

      Now, I will sit back and await the vitriol; but this is my simple opinion. And I continue to just not get why so many cannot just allow people to be people and to keep their noses out of others' lives as much as possible. Freedom is not license. Rights are not absolute. Find your comfort zone, and play within it; but if it does not mesh with someone else, just accept it and move on.

      Comment


      • Scouter99
        Scouter99 commented
        Editing a comment
        Well said.

      • acco40
        acco40 commented
        Editing a comment
        Baloney. So you don't see it as hateful that the organization states that they believe that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the requirement in the Scout Oath that a Scout be morally straight and in the Scout Law that a Scout be clean in word and deed, and that homosexuals do not provide a desirable role model for Scouts. But the ban on homosexuals had nothing to do with conduct - a celebate priest, if self declared as a homosexual, would have been denied membership. That was my beef.

        The simple workable solution is to get rid of these idiotic restrictions. Labelling folks as "fringe" is a red herring and making a blanket statement that they have no interest is the BSA is a lie at worst and just plain ignorant at best. For me, I don't demonize individuals that don't agree with me on this position but I also think the "just shut-up and let the situation resolve itself" response is very trite.

    • #22
      Originally posted by DigitalScout View Post
      @mozartbrau - The BSA anti-gay policy is well known among scouters. The general public for the most part isn't aware of the policy. I've had parents approach me after a couple of years in scouting and were surprised that such a policy exists. I'm surprised too. It is 2013 afterall.
      Yeah, but this is the same general public that does not read anything anyway. Most people are sheep and cannot be bothered to do their homework. They would read the TV Guide with more vigor than the major membership policies of an organization that will take care of their son hundreds of miles from home. Go figure. [I am rolling my eyes hard on that one] <g>

      Comment


      • AZMike
        AZMike commented
        Editing a comment
        I think most any city that had a police squad with a Vice Squad did, Rick. If you solicited an undercover vice cop in a gay bar, in an adult bookstore (as my high school principal did - he got several years), in a park that was a "cruising" area, in a public restroom, you were going to jail and maybe prison. Those weren't those weird "it is illegal to wear a squirrel on your head in August in Maine" jokey kind of local ordinances you read about. There were a lot of celebrities whose arrests for homosexual solicitation damaged their careers.

    • #23
      Originally posted by AZMike View Post
      llinois was the first state to decriminalize the act of sodomy (in 1962) , but it was still a criminal offense to solicit another to commit sodomy. Other states gradually repealed the consensual sodomy laws until the 2003 SCOTUS decision (reversing its earlier 1986 decision which said states COULD have anti-sodomy laws).
      Good point. But a good question is, how many states enforced those laws in the 60s, 70s and 80s? One of the local towns still has a law on the books that says it is illegal to drive a car without having a bell ringer walking in front of the car to announce it's presence*. I don't know of anyone (including me) that has had that law enforced upon. I don't know the answer to my question. Anyone have info on that?

      * That same town apparently has a law on the books that says it's illegal to allow your donkey to sleep in the bathtub. I would love to know the history on that one!

      Comment


      • King Ding Dong
        King Ding Dong commented
        Editing a comment
        There are also towns that have laws against scoring a touchdown against the home HS team. They are in Texas IIRC

    • #24
      Prediction? I won't be surprised either way, really. If you put a gun against my head I'd say they'll allow gay kids.

      Plans? If no, I plan to get angry at every loudmouth that sounds off for the next 2 weeks until some Senator farts and distracts the 24-hour news cycle.
      If yes, meh. I knew of a few gay kids in our troop when I was a scout myself, and I've been aware of a couple as an adult. The difference now is that kids are pushed to come out as soon as, if not before, they've got their first pube, so it's a different dynamic: It's one thing to have a "funny" kid in the troop, it will be another thing to have an honest-to-God gay kid in the troop. Every normal molehill slight will be made a bigotry mountain, every funny look will be sexual harassment. For every kid that doesn't give a rip, there'll be at least one parent with grave concerns. So, it'll just be learning to deal with the new tension.
      Media will be a nightmare either way. First 15-yr-old that gets screwed by a 19-yr-old will be called a victim of "pedophilia" which is a joke. Or, worse, the victims will simply be ignored from now on, since they were never more to the media than a tool in the first place. A yes vote won't satisfy any of the weirdos and their "allies" since it won't allow adults, so we'll have another round of Kick the BSA. And in a year all we're going to get is a crusade over atheists with lots of "we won on gays" smearing in our faces.

      Maybe I'll add "invest in Valium" to my plans.

      Comment


      • King Ding Dong
        King Ding Dong commented
        Editing a comment
        Ativan and Xanax at much better. Give them a try and find your happy place.

        Oh, and take a deep breath, that helps also.

        If you put a gun to my head, I think the vote will be for no change. My reasoning is that the old Scouters are casting the votes.

    • #25
      My post vote plans will be based on how it all falls out. If the vote is a no, it will depend on how it happens. Basically, if it all turns out that the BSA takes a turn for the right, and it becomes clear that people that are not social conservatives are not welcome, I will leave. I had a conversation with a scouter that basically went "once we get rid of the fags, next we get rid of the #%$# Hindus, Muslims and women!". If people like that win, the BSA is dead, and I'm gone. If on the other hand, people like me are still welcome (or at least tolerated), I'm going to continue to write letters, and advocate for change from within.

      A no vote isn't an automatic "I'm leaving". But given some of the things I have heard from some scouters, if they get their way, I won't have to leave on my own. I will be "unacceptable" just for being Unitarian (or as one scouter put it: "#&#$ Unitarianism isn't a real religion, and they shouldn't be allowed!"). Way to live "A Scout if Reverent".

      Comment


      • King Ding Dong
        King Ding Dong commented
        Editing a comment
        Hey Rick, there will always be a contingent of wing nuts in any organization. These nut jobs are just blowing steam because they are on the losing side of history and they know it. The only way they win is if you leave.

      • Krampus
        Krampus commented
        Editing a comment
        @Rick in CA: You cannot seriously think that the people who don't want gays in Scouting are on an all out crusade to get ride of the non-Christians too. I am not saying they are not out there -- just as there are the rainbow-pride folks who want openly gay leaders to be allowed -- but I think that is a VERY small minority of people in Scouting. From my read of people in my council I would say we are 60/40 or 70/30 in favor of the current policy but using a more don't ask/don't tell approach. The minority would be in favor of allowing Scouts to stay even if they come out. I have yet to meet anyone personally who is at either end of that spectrum.

        To be honest, if you have been part of Scouting for a while, it is still the same place you always liked. That discriminatory policy has always been in place, so leaving after losing a vote is a bit silly in my opinion. Now, if you were on the other side of the debate and saw the organization you knew parting with values they (and you) have held for a long time, then I could see leaving if the vote goes opposite your view point. But leaving after losing would be like me joining the NRA and then quitting after the assault weapons ban fails.

      • King Ding Dong
        King Ding Dong commented
        Editing a comment
        I can't recall which ones but several of our founding fathers were UU or held similar beliefs.

    • #26
      My plan is to call all the jackasses who said they would quit if the vote went one way or the other and remind them a Scout is Trustworthy.

      Comment


      • #27
        My plan is to keep working on the Patrol Method in my troop. We've made a lot of really great progress in the past year.

        Irrespective of all the bloviating going on by adults far far away, my scouts are a bunch of great kids and are the reason I keep going. The people that say the country is going to hell don't know the scouts in my troop, or probably any other troop. Most of the scouts would be fine with gay scouts and some would be real uncomfortable. Either way, they know the right thing to do, they can be tougher critics than the adults, they can figure out how to get along with each other better than the adults, and they are our future. If sexuality were one of the methods of scouting I'd quit if this vote didn't go my way. But it has nothing to do with how my troop operates.

        The only thing this whole issue has anything to do with is future membership. The BSA should reflect the USA. It's probably close right now. Part of the population is OK with gays, part is not. Whether they are good people has nothing to do with their views on homosexuality. If all those that are OK with gays leave the BSA then it will no longer reflect the country and a century old institution will go down the drain within a generation. That would be a shame.

        There is no comparable organization to the BSA. I looked at the BPSA and my troop is roughly the size of their entire membership. I don't care what anyone says, religious youth groups are run by religious leaders and they don't have nearly as much fun as we do. That's not to say the BSA doesn't have challenges. They just don't have anything to do with the 3 G's.

        Comment


        • #28
          To be fair, the BSA has a century more history than the BPSA, so the big difference in membership numbers is expected. More significantly, I'd look at the percentage growth of the BSA vs. the BPSA, which I'm sure will be significantly higher for the BPSA and will continue to remain so regardless of how the vote goes next week. I'd expect that BPSA growth rate to increase significantly if the BSA vote reaffirms the membership policy.

          Comment


          • Scouter99
            Scouter99 commented
            Editing a comment
            Rate of growth doesn't say anything either. BPSA will have a higher rate of growth for decades (if they're not sued out of business) until they saturate, at which point, just like BSA, they will stay even or drop off.

          • EmberMike
            EmberMike commented
            Editing a comment
            Why would they be sued out of business? They're not doing anything illegal. BSA forced them to take "Scout" out of their name, they did, there's nothing else legally that the BSA can claim ownership of. Scouting is a global movement, the BSA doesn't own it.

        • #29
          I think it will be a narrow defeat. BSA has come up with the motion based on one question in the poll that they sent out and assumed it would get a yes vote. I'm in a left-leaning part of the country and here it is 50/50 among adult leaders for a change. In more conservative parts of the country it's overwhelmingly against.

          If it passes my FOS contributions cease but I won't walk away from BSA as a volunteer. That occurs if they ever decide that homosexual adults are appropriate leaders to take 16 year old boys into the woods for 10 days.

          Comment


          • #30
            Let me see May 23rd is a Thursday night......

            Wife is home, No music lessons.....Thursday night is 1/2 price appetizers and margaritas at the local mexican joint before 6........

            So looks like Shrimp Fajitas for 2 a couple of margarita and home to the patio for some bourbon and cigars.....Hopefully the neighbors are home I enjoy their company on the patio.

            Sounds like a great evening.


            Is there something else happening that is important that day????

            I don't think so.

            Comment

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