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This should have been dealt with at the same time as youth membership.

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  • Originally posted by Horizon View Post
    Change was NOT happening naturally, until enough photogenic Eagle Scouts were denied Eagle who did not go quietly off the trail. The change started kicking in when units had gay adults helping out who were outed to the Council. McGrath APPEARS to have gone down the path of openly starting a unit to create challenge, and I would assume that his congregation and his parents were all part of that. Without someone challenging, change won't happen. Rosa Parks was not the first one to sit up front, but she was the best one for a national movement.
    Ya sure, removing exclusive statuses for heterosexual unions is not an organic process. Those who want to tear down that centuries old barrier need to be active. The question becomes which works better? Trying to force a jaugernaut to accommodate some minority, or standing apart and forming your own group that slowly grows as people see what good you can do in the world with your enlightened perspective? The youth who want to camp and hike independently are doing just that ... As are Trail Life and Baden Powell Service Organization.

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    • Interesting question qwazse. The gays WERE quiet and separate, but the cops kept coming in and busting them up (Stonewall). They congregated in separate communities, but people showed up to bash them (creating the Pink Pistols firearms group). They tried living together without the union, and the cops came into their bedrooms to arrest them (Lawrence v Texas). It seems like standing apart wasn't doing them much good? Stay in the back of the bus until outsiders change things?

      The initial marches through the South for Civil Rights were met with dogs and firehoses - should they all have gone home and waited until society became more enlightened?

      I know several gays who are in no hurry - they are happy with the current slow movement through the courts and legislatures for gay marriage rights. Others want it all done so that they can marry and move without losing their rights.

      For the BSA - local control (which I have said for ages). Some units will (like the Methodist one in Utah), others will not (my current CO in California). The blame will drop to the Charter Org, and minimal change will happen. Finally, the BSA can drop out of the negative news cycle for awhile.

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      • " I can't even imagine taking, say, a Tea Party banner to fly on troop outings. Yet here's McGrath flying the rainbow flag on troop trips and he's a hero to the people who agree with him. Grow up.
        Just curios are you telling me to grow up Scouter? .

        He's not interested in growing Scouting or helping underserved youth, he wants to throw a firebomb, and kill public and corporate support which will never come back regardless of future policy changes. There are plenty of gay people in Scouting who are truly interested in the movement and who know like the rest of us that change happens naturally and I believe this would have changed a lot sooner if the lawsuits and money battles hadn't forced people into corners."

        I agree with you over this point. My opinion is that the BSA should just lift the gay leader ban. People like McGrath won't join if he can. It is all political.
        Horizion, I was actually wondering why the BSA never had press conference or appeared on news network to argue their views. They allow the media to choose the headlines and never rebut them. I also have no idea what the BSA was thinking with their policy change. Almost nobody was happy with it. When they let gay leaders in they will have another mass exodus from scouts. I agree with the closet molesters as well, an example is Sandusky. If there is a gay leader people will watch them like hawks. However, a "hetero" man who volunteers will be looked upon like a hero for assisting his community.

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        • H, it seems local control was what got us into this mess in the first place! Somebody did not like some other unit's membership standards and insisted council or National do something about it. Obviously BPSA and TL are creating "local options" of a sort.

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          • Originally posted by qwazse View Post
            H, it seems local control was what got us into this mess in the first place! Somebody did not like some other unit's membership standards and insisted council or National do something about it. Obviously BPSA and TL are creating "local options" of a sort.
            Local control would have let National or Council tell the person to find another unit or to just focus on their own. A standard form letter stating that the membership is up to the Charter Org and to take it up with them.

            I don't know how TL and BPSA will handle these issues in the future. It will take a lot more numbers and expansion beyond ex-pats from BSA before issues begin to arise I would think. Right now everyone is together in being against BSA. After that dies down, other doctrinaire battles will arise. The BSA had that issue as they combined groups at the origin, and later we chased away Green Bar Bill. Get TL large enough, and I am sure that they will have their own internal issues to work out, the same that we do.

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            • Hi all,

              I was trying to come up with a way to show who I am and that I believe that the BSA should be open to adults, regardless of sexual orientation. Does that make me "partisan"? Sure, I guess it does. My bullet point list was an attempt to paint my Scouting story and I think it did just that.

              As for the topic at hand, Mr. McGrath might be a pawn in a game of the "liberal gay agenda" and one who adheres to the "gay lifestyle". Regardless of all this, I believe that allowing homosexual adults to serve as Scouters is perfectly acceptable and the best option for the BSA. You may label me an "idealistic inclusionist" or a "partisan". I think that just labels you as a name-caller.

              I personally don't see homosexuality as immoral. Some do, though, and I get that. My point is that I agree with the subject of the OP. The announcement made by the BSA last year should have included, in my opinion, that all members, regardless of sexual orientation, should be allowed the sames rights and privileges as members of the BSA.

              With all this in mind, I am going to continue to do Scouting and even though my community looks down on the BSA's membership policy. I'll suffer the consequences of a dwindling Troop and disappearing Packs. My recruiting becomes harder and harder as entire Dens are wiped out because angry parents remove their children from the BSA. Do you know who is hurt by that? Yes, it's the children. Those of us in my community who remain in Scouting do so because we believe in the Movement and we think this is the BEST option for our youth. Many of us do so with a heavy heart, though, because we don't feel that the membership policy is fair.

              Please don't make this a personal attack space or a name-calling venue. You may disagree with me--and that's PERFECTLY fine--but there's no need to do so in a nasty way. However, I kinda like the moniker, the "idealistic inclusionist". I think I'll own that one!

              Yours in Scouting/WWW,

              LeCastor

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              • Originally posted by LeCastor View Post
                With all this in mind, I am going to continue to do Scouting and even though my community looks down on the BSA's membership policy. I'll suffer the consequences of a dwindling Troop and disappearing Packs. My recruiting becomes harder and harder as entire Dens are wiped out because angry parents remove their children from the BSA. Do you know who is hurt by that? Yes, it's the children. Those of us in my community who remain in Scouting do so because we believe in the Movement and we think this is the BEST option for our youth. Many of us do so with a heavy heart, though, because we don't feel that the membership policy is fair.

                I find it ironic that you lament the exclusion of gay adult leaders -- but acknowledge in your community that the policy change last year to allow gay Scouts as the sole reason for the decline in Scouting in your area -- and yet profess to love Scouting so much and decry it's affect on "the children".


                Wouldn't someone who really wants to avoid the kids being disadvantaged support any reasonable efforts by a private organization to increase, rather than decrease membership? And if that included supporting something you opposed, it would be up to you to either 1) leave the organization if you felt you could no longer support it, or 2) support the organization over your own beliefs because your truly believe the kids and the objectives of the organization (on behalf of the kids) comes first?


                Seems you want to have it both ways...which rarely is something we as adults can enjoy.

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                • @mozartbrau, obviously I'm conflicted but I don't see it as having my cake and eating it, too. I think a few clarifications are in order:

                  1. I'm not decrying the effects of the membership policy on the children; rather, I'm decrying the negative effects of removing youth from the program due to the membership policy. The Cubs in question don't care about membership policies but their parents do. The children, in my scenario, are affected negatively by being taken out of Scouting. That's a political move by the parents and, I think, what you suggest I might do in your point #1 above. Also, I'm acknowledging the fact that the decision to still not allow homosexual adults is a big reason--not the sole reason--for the decline of Scouting in my community. In short, entire Dens in my community are disappearing because the membership change didn't go far enough.

                  2. I think leaving the Scouts in the Packs and Troops is the best option for the youth. My commitment to the Troop, the Scouts, and the chartering org is what keeps me going. So I choose not to leave the BSA even though I don't personally agree with its membership policy. Over the past three years, parents have asked me if I agree with the policy. Likewise, the church council of our chartering org had a special meeting to discuss the membership policy changes and expressed to me, the Scoutmaster, that it didn't go far enough and that they wouldn't remove any adult based on sexual orientation--much like Rainier Beach UMC. I tell the parents and the church council that I don't personally agree with the policy. For most folks that's enough for them. They stay put with the knowledge that we don't like the fact that the national policy discriminates based on sexual orientation.

                  Basically, what I'm saying is it's possible to be "inclusionists" and still support the Movement of Scouting. I know a LOT of Scouters in my community who feel the same way. On a similar note, Scouts for Equality, led by Zach Wahls, doesn't suggest that Scout leave the BSA. In fact, they maintain that the BSA is one of the premiere organizations for our nation's youth. So, in my opinion, Scouts should stay Scouts. I chose to stay a Scoutmaster and attempt to change what I see as a unfair policy from within.

                  I hope that helps clarify where I stand.

                  Yours in Scouting/WWW,

                  LeCastor

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                  • Originally posted by LeCastor View Post
                    Basically, what I'm saying is it's possible to be "inclusionists" and still support the Movement of Scouting. I know a LOT of Scouters in my community who feel the same way.
                    Thansk for the post. Well done.

                    The way I interpret that is that you think there can be inclusion and still support Scouting. But I think that's the connundrum. In order to be inclusionist BSA would have to change a policy which will alienate the parents of many Scouts, thus leading to the further demise of Scouting (vis a vis parents pulling their kids because of said "inclusions").

                    So it would seem someone has to become more accepting. Either those parents have to accept something they personally do not believe in (allowing gay leaders in Scouting) or those who support Scouting and "inclusion" need to give up either Scouting or the idea of inclusion.

                    I really don't think parents who feel that way are going to give up, so those who support inclusion either give up on that dream for the love of Scouts, or stay...and support Scouting.

                    Any way, that's my two cents.

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                    • Well speaking of conundrums, cannot say we did not see this coming

                      Boy Scouts Won't Hire Me for Summer Job Because I'm Gay, Teen Says

                      "PHOENIX -- Garrett Bryant said he did everything he could to keep his sexual orientation from the Boy Scouts, the organization he first joined as a third-grade Bear Cub, rising through the ranks to earn the coveted Eagle award.

                      Under Scouting policy, gay youth are welcome, but gay adults are not. As a 19-year-old college freshman, Bryant knew that his chance to work again at a Boy Scout camp this summer — and hold any other future leadership position — depended on how well he hid his status as a gay man from his friends and colleagues in Scouting.

                      But with one Facebook post, Bryant was out — out as a gay adult in Scouting and, according to three sources in local Scouting, out of that summer job."

                      more here in source:
                      http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/...-im-gay-n91731

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                      • The Venturing "donut hole" is something I hadn't thought about before. BSA has made an issue out of him and kicked him out of camp so of course he feels the need to speak out. Now that he has done that National will have no choice but to remove him from Venturing.

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                        • That's just the thing...Of course we all saw this coming. If you're an Eagle at age 17 and then considered broken, invalid, immoral, not-fit-for-duty, etc at age 18, I don't see how anyone could not find this policy backward. The gay youth but not gay adult thing just doesn't work in my eyes.

                          @King Ding Dong, I sure hope BSA doesn't remove this Venturer. That would be a shame and only add fuel to the fire of the "idealistic inclusionist" and "partisan" movements...(sorry, Scouter99 )

                          LeCastor

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                          • Maybe there is more to the story here, there usually is. If all it takes is one Facebook post about having a boyfriend to make you ineligible for camp staff, I don't see how National can allow him to stay in Venturing even if he didn't comment to the press about it. So we will again have the lovely PR of kicking an Eagle out of the program.

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                            • Gee, I wonder if Miranda L's anti BSA resume will become a tome soon. Obviously, she is beating the bushes for any negative stuff on BSA and the Gay issue. Be interesting to know if she is getting a push financially from outside NBC. But the fact remains that National absolutely needs to fix this somehow. And the most obvious is the local option.

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                              • I agree now that the path has been chosen the BSA will need to move quickly down it to get themselves out of the lime light. That said, the local option will only provide that cover for a short time. Ultimately there will be activists that will go after local charter organizations deemed to be insufficiently tolerant. The bakery in Colorado is the analogy in my opinion. I wonder if the BSA won't ultimately have to dismantle the charter organization structure all together.

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