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The local option on gay membership in BSA

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'The Homeowner has the legal and moral right to say "You don't like my house that's fine...leave. I can choose who I invite to stay." "You don't have to like what I do, but I dont have to let you in."'


Bob, you left out the full statment that seems like it should need to be made. After all, there are some cogent differences between private properties and private organizations that have nevertheless received public support in various forms over the years...


"...even if you have paid my property taxes and contribute labor to my new additions. I don't even need to listen to your suggestions about the wiring - it's MY private house and I don't need to keep it up to any PUBLIC code."


"Oh, and even if I do have a Congressional Charter telling me I have to have boys as guests. I don't have to have just any boys..."


I mean, if you want the example to be a little more accurate, and a little more complete. After all, Scouting is not a house any of US built - we're all maintaining a house that's been handed down.


And moving along, of course, we all know that poll numbers don't really establish that which is truly right - polls on the civil rights of blacks, Jews and Native Americans would show a great deal of shift over the years, eh?


anyway, just some thoughts...

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I'll second Bob's post. I'm taking it that when he said "volunteers (and even professionals)" he meant that professional scouters have to follow the rules as well. That's exactly right. We have to be registered members of the Boy Scouts of America to maintain our employment. Learning for Life executives do not, but if they aren't they can't carry a commission as a BSA professional, only a certification as a Learning for Life professional.



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Oh but billie,


The federal government does not give any direct funding to the traditional divisions of the BSA, and your scenario suggests we have not been inspected, when in fact we were, by the US Supreme Court and by the US Congress, and the Home passed inspection without any required or recommended improvements. And yes, you are absolutely correct our congressional charter to serve youth in local communities does not require us to serve every youth.


Any building that was done or additions that were made was done through voluntary donations and voluntary labor, but the homeowners get to choose the architects, and approve the laborers. You don't get to be on the job site just because you want to. But don't expect to get to live in the house and not help support it.


Do others in the community help pay our property taxes? yes they do. In fact they pay our mortgage, furnish our home and pay the utilities. And every one of them does it of their own free choice. No one is required to support the house if they don't want to, and none are led to believe that by choosing to support the home they have any authority to make decisions about it.


If you do not like the house don't come in. If you visit and don't like it don't stay or think you have a right to stay.


But, if you enjoy the company of those who dwell here, if you find common values and shared goals, then make yourself at home, let us get you some iced tea, stay as long as you are welcome.


Bob White

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I gotta tell you... You really honk me off... The fact of the matter is... You don't have a CLUE as to what the BSA is all about !!!


99 and 44/100's of our units (or probably more) are not sitting back and waiting for Uncle Sam, or anyone else to pick up their tab. Our boys are out there busting their humps to provide for THEIR units.


True, the Chartering Organizations are the property owners of the equipment that is owned, but it is the EXTREMELY RARE instance when they (the CO) have anything at all to do with how it is earned.


I would STRONGLY urge that you become FULLY awaare of how the ENTIRE BSA program works BEFORE you pass judgement on any part of it.


Fact is, if you find a unit sitting on their laurels and letting the government support them, I'll be right there along side of you trying to figure out why MY tax dollars are being spent that way, although I think that would be extremely rare at best.


Based on your position, unless the federal Government is actually FUNDING a BSA unit, I don't see how you could really have a ligitimate complaint.


Freedom of religion might be one thing, but YOU don't have a religion, If anything you have an unreligion, since you believe in no deity or supreme being. I'm not sure how the Constitution has anything at all to do with your position.


Kris M. Schoen

ASM, Troop 399

Hou Koda District

Crossroads of America Council

Indiana, USA


God Bless America !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


(This message has been edited by silver-shark)(This message has been edited by silver-shark)

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Ah, Bob,


therein lies the rub, eh? I have become vaguely aware that the next SCOTUS challenge may address the charter and its verbiage - just exactly what does it mean by 'boys'? Kind of like the people's right to bear arms, I'd say.


So until then, I'd say we pend clarification. You read it as "select boys" and I, as "all boys".


Either way, it'll be interesting.


And remember - we are all caretakers, not owners! Exec can change its membership eligiblity list at any time to exclude anyone. Which is their right, however wrong!


Anyway - funding includes free use of any public land that is tax supported or maintained. Funding includes the public time of public officials at Scout functions. It all costs, so it's all 'funding'. This is Merlin's point, from a strictly legal standpoint (I presume to speak for him, and apologize for that if I err egregiously). And if a Scout is obedient, it is to the law as well. I personally figure this is just expected fallout from SCOTUS, and Exec must have expected it from the decision - I'm sure their lawyers let them know ALL the ramifications going into it.


And I see the UW as a different thing - rather than law, I believe any response to allow or withhold funding is theirs to make, either way. So of course their own professional directing body has to consider their own paychecks along with the on-going chatities they support.


Yep - it's a private house, but one built by - among others - gay tax dollars, and even gay membership participation. AND it's a house that sits in part on public lands.


So regardless of rhetoric, it's also a house that needs to learn to shore up those sands on which it stands. (oooh, rhetoric of my own! cool!)

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By the UW witholding funds from the BSA is discrimination. Not all UW funds are government money. Remember, many individuals give to the UW and there still is the contributor choise option.


Ed Mori


Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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Exactly. That's why I say it's different (than public funding) and their own call to make. But it's clearly not discrimination (unless they choose to ignore or return any monies SPECIFICALLY requested to go to the BSA - I'm not saying this would be discriminatory, only that it's not clear if is, at least to me, in a legal sense).


Regardless, even if a case is made that it IS disriminatory in throry or even practice, don't they have a right to fund whomsoever they choose? I don't see any cults crying fowl just because the UW won't buy them birds of paradise to sacrifice at midnight; yet the UW DOES support various church-linked causes.


Regardless of whether you call it "discrimination", if this is something they believe is right, then they stand under the same umbrella as the Boy Scouts.

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Before anyone gets unscoutlike with Mr LeRoy, this is what I beleive his position is:


He is against Schools, Police Depts, Fire depts (I.E. any tax supported entity) chartering a Scouting unit that has membership requirements involving religious beliefs. He keeps mentioning that 10, 000 units or so are chartered by governmental units. I dont know if that number is correct maybe someone else can verify that number. The support the CO gives doesnt have to be direct monetary support. If a unit holds meetings in a school, the unit is responsible in raising utility costs (heat lights etc). An Atheist family may resent having to support a club that costs them tax money but wouldnt allow them to join. Does he care about the BSA program? does he understand it on any level?, probably not, but in his context he doesnt have to. All he is concerned about is his taxes going to support an organization that wont let him be a member. Well actually, that his taxes support and seemingly endorse any form of religion.


It took me a long time to understand this because this is a very emotional issue for me and from what I can see for many others. Its sorta a pardox, I understand why he does what he does, but I really wish he wouldnt while I know why he does it, I do wish he would go away, but still he has the right to feel and act as he does.


This is just a clarification, it took me a long time to figure this out, and I am not sure why as he is pretty consistent in his rhetoric, although it may be a little inflamatory at times

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Excellent post. I wonder how merlyn feels about supporting churches with his tax dollars. They are tax free, ya know!



Well, since the UW can pick & choose who they fund then why can't the BSA decide who they want as members?


Ed Mori


Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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When all is said and donewhen the smoke settlesat best, a federal court might (and I emphasize might) edict that government agencies cannot charter a BSA troop or pack. I think this is highly unlikely, but then again, Im a bit of a dinosaur these days. I still think nativity scenes (or the Star of David for that matter) should be acceptable on public property if the local township and/or their representatives are behind the effort. Thats another argument. Regardless, the federal courts will never direct the BSA to conform to federal or state standards for being non-discriminatory, and any government entity that tries to force their will on the BSA or any other private organization to do the same will be duly chastised by the courts (if not at the lower levels, then when it is eventually overturned by the Supreme Court). This much we have already seen.


No matter how the relationship of the BSA and the federal government is portrayed, regardless of the wording used in its federal charter, the BSA is a private organization first and foremost. They are Constitutionally protected against this kind of intrusion. So, while Merlyn and some others like to ponder about the BSAs moral righteous, and whether or not they should in good conscience accept charters from government entities, we can all breath easy knowing that despite their concerns, they have no power to change the BSA program.


Frankly, I think Merlyns distress over these charters is manufactured. I doubt if the existence of these charters cause him any anxiety. I am confident that hes not losing sleep at night fretting that the BSA and the federal government is conspiring to take his rights away and/or to force him into a state run church. Hes found a foothold on which he has some credibly, small as it may be, to justify his criticism of a private organization of which he is diametrically opposed. Hed like us to think that this debate is all about charters, but the reality is, hed be against the BSA even if every charter were issued to the LDS. Be honest Merlyn, you just cant stand any organization that trumpets traditional values, especially when God is included in those values.


If/When the federal government decides that BSA charters cannot be issued to government entities, it will not dramatically affect the BSA and/or its troops and packs. They will find new charters. Its really not that difficult. Furthermore, I doubt that it will be enough to keep Merlyn from posting on this forum. He will find a new criticism of the BSA. Unmistakably, he doesnt like the idea that we can exist. If Im wrong, I apologize to Merlyn But seriously, why else would he spend the energy posting his views on a site designed to support Scouts and Scouters? His efforts certainly arent going to change the BSA policy or cause the federal courts to rule against it. If he truly felt these charters were a threat to his liberties, hed be spending his time and energy writing to newspapers and lobbying government officials. In short, his postings here are simply a form of harassment.


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my point to you was that folks shouldn't care if the UW DOES discriminate, since that's what the Boy Scouts do - and besides, since they're not a federal agency, it ain't really discrimination - and in a roundabout way, I guess you're agreeing with me.


The UW can be seen as discriminating against EVERYONE it doesn't fund, as far as that goes, but it wouldn't be a very concise use of the word.


Regardless, it looks like we agree on this issue. And really, all I was doing was pointing out the difference between the focus of Merlyn's activities and the United Way. And it seems like we both recognize this.


I think... :-)

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I agree with what you are saying, except for the part about the meeting place. As Mr. LeRoy stated in a previous post, groups of any type can meet in the locations of the current State Run COs.


That being said, he is under the misconception that COs are financially supporting the Units that they charter. This is an extremely rare case at best. Of the 10,000 units that he is against, how many do you suppose actually recieve any monetary support from that CO? Very few at best, and if they are, I'm with him on this.


How about the other units that he has already helped to ride out of the program on a rail?


If the units are not recieving governmental funds, I just don't see where he has a case.

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BobWhite -- your post is very misleading. Did you even read the entire article on that poll?


Of course 75% of Americans support the Boy Scouts (that's what it says... heck I certainly fall into that camp, as does every other member of this forum that has posted AGAINST the BSA policy on gays). The shame is why 25% DON'T support the Boy Scouts (in other words, why doesn't the amazing value and worth of the BSA trump this one bad policy, or whatever other issue these folks may have with the BSA, and garner overall support from Americans, if not complete agreement?). (Of course, in reality, getting 75% of the country to agree on anything is quite an accomplishment in and of itself.)


But yes, all, please do read the poll results on the link he provided. Read it critically, though, and make sure to do the reverse calculations in your head (when you read that 70% of the respondents indicate that their opinion either did not change, or improved -- that's TWO camps of thought -- after the Supreme Court case, reverse that and read that ~30% of the populace opinion of BSA actually went down.


But specially, a couple of paragraphs from the poll are all I needed to find some consistency with the Wild A-- Guess I previously posted:Meanwhile, 28 percent said they had a less favorable view of the BSA because of the policy, and 2 percent said they weren't sure one way or the other.


Only 29 percent of those surveyed said the BSA should permit homosexuals to serve as scoutmasters, compared to 52 percent who said homosexuals should not serve. Eighteen percent were not sure. So let's see, in my WAG I suggested perhaps as much as 35% believe the policy is wrong and should be changed. And WND (a staunchly conservative and frequently skewed news source) poll says it's only 28%. Actually a lot higher, if you include those people who's opinion of BSA already was poor and "did not change". So my WAG was maybe not so wild after all.


Polls can be argued and interpreted in so many ways that they are really pretty worthless. And the way questions are asked (the "are you still beating your wife" format) mean everything ("do you support the Boy Scouts overall, despite their specific position on gays or whatever other specific objections you have").


My point has always been (and I asked this in the specific post I made with my WAG), it really shouldn't matter what any poll results are. Wrong is wrong, whether one person is harmed/effected or a majority. That's not an opinion share by the BSA Chief Scout Executive, who I remind you said that the policy would have to change if suddenly BSA started losing "lots" of members over it.(This message has been edited by tjhammer)

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