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BPwannabe@137

Homosexuals in Scouting

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Strawberry Switchblade, That is an observation that I have also tried to communicate on this topic from time to time. BSA policy leads inevitably to this deception. A related one is the self-deception by those homophobes who are satisfied by BSA policy while, in fact, that policy is absolutely ineffective at addressing precisely their concerns.

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I agree. It leads to a poor example for the boys (saying it's okay to discriminate against someone who has done nothing wrong by law), inadvertantly saying one must lie to be a boy scout, when the scouts have a code of morality and honesty, along with the side-point made by you, packsaddle. Though I never thought of that one. Thanks for pointing it out.

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BSA policy leads inevitably to this deception.

 

Huh? The BSA has membership requirements. To become a Boy Scout one must meet these requirements. If one "cheats" to become a member and is caught, one will have their membership revoked. What is so hard to understand?

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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Ed, Boys usually join Cubs when they are 6 or 7 years old and Boy Scouts when they are 10 or 11. Developmental psychologists agree that sexual identity is not manifested until after puberty. This allows a boy to join scouts well before he understands that he is different from most other fellows. Can you fathom the wrenching internal conflict that the BSA policy creates in these 12-14 year old scouts? We teach them to be trustworthy, but at the same time we tell them that their kind is not welcome in our club. Adolescent suicide is a tragedy which I take all too seriously. That is why I wear the Inclusive Scouting emblem. I want my scouts to know that I am a "safe" adult to talk to.

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Trevorum,

And by being taught to be trustworthy they should realize they no longer meet the membership requirements and quit. There are many organizations that teach similar skills that allow homosexuals & atheists.

 

"Safe" adult? If by that you mean if a Scout divulges to you that they are an atheist or homosexual you won't tell anyone then you are in violation of the Scout law. Not teaching them how to be very Trustworthy now, are you!

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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I think it's worthwhile to repeat here what BSA's stated policy is. This is from the National website:

 

"Applications for leadership and membership do not inquire into sexual orientation. However, an individual who declares himself to be a homosexual would not be permitted to join Scouting. All members in Scouting must affirm the values of the Scout Oath and Law, and all leaders must be able to model those values for youth."

 

Other statements say that homosexual behavior is inconsistent with the values of Scouting, and that "avowed" homosexuals may not be Scout leaders.

 

Thus, in my opinion, a Scout does not have to lie about his sexuality in order to remain a member--he may rather choose to say nothing. If he does choose to "avow" his sexuality, then BSA may act to remove him. I will add that if an individual scout came to me and told me that he believed or thought he might be gay, I would probably not try to give him advice, but would suggest that he talk to somebody with more expertise, perhaps at his school. In addition, if he came to me privately with such a concern, I would not consider him to be an "avowed" homosexual, and thus I would have no duty--indeed, no right--to turn him in to BSA. That seems to me consistent--indeed, probably mandated--by BSA's policy.

 

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Ed,

I strongly suspect that you are not as heartless and unfeeling in person as your words would suggest. Every volunteer Scouter I have met has always had the boy's interests at heart, first and formost. A 13 year old who loves this scouting stuff, who lives his life by the Scout Law, who wants to earn his Eagle, should not be tormented to think he is a less worthy human being. Teen suicide is a very real issue and sexual identity is a monumental and internalized issue for some. The chances are that any troop of 20 scouts will have at least one of these boys. I will be there for all my scouts, not just some.

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Trevorum,

Your definition of Trustworthy is not the one I would want the Scouts in my Troop or any Troop to learn. Trustworthy doesn't mean "I won't tell". That is deception!

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

 

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"There are many organizations that teach similar skills that allow homosexuals & atheists."

 

Like the Spiral Scouts? Or other such relatively unknown scouting societies? True.

 

But there is a drawback. You can't earn your Eagle in the Spiral Scouts. They may have an equivilant award, but it doesn't carry such weight as the Eagle does. They might not have the funding to provide similar services and programs. Kudos to the other organizations for their work, but let's face it. There is no other organization that matches up to the Boy Scouts.

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"Like the Spiral Scouts? Or other such relatively unknown scouting societies? True.

 

But there is a drawback. You can't earn your Eagle in the Spiral Scouts. They may have an equivalent award, but it doesn't carry such weight as the Eagle does. They might not have the funding to provide similar services and programs. Kudos to the other organizations for their work, but let's face it. There is no other organization that matches up to the Boy Scouts."

 

No a boy can't earn his Eagle in Spiral Scouts. And a person not in the military can't earn a military award for bravery. And a person who isn't a member of a professional sports team can't be Player of the Year.

 

If a person doesn't meet the membership requirements that person can't earn the awards & ranks that go with membership.

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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There seems to be a misconception here that homosexuals do not meet the membership requirements of BSA. This is untrue. Only "avowed" homosexuals do not meet the membership requirements.

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The BSA has entered a legal quagmire with respect to their stance on "avowed" homosexuals.

 

What Hunt states is true. (see below)

 

"Applications for leadership and membership do not inquire into sexual orientation. However, an individual who declares himself to be a homosexual would not be permitted to join Scouting. All members in Scouting must affirm the values of the Scout Oath and Law, and all leaders must be able to model those values for youth."

 

Other statements say that homosexual behavior is inconsistent with the values of Scouting, and that "avowed" homosexuals may not be Scout leaders.

 

Now what in the heck is the definintion of avowed? Dan asks the question if starting of a gay alliance organization constitutes homosexual behavior? Of course not. These organizations have been started by many different types of individuals - both straight and gay. I would not consider forming an organization as homosexual behavior.

 

The biggest problem I have with the BSA policy on this issue is that it does not restrict membership due to behavior but because of thought. Thoughts that I believe the individual has no control of. I knew I was heterosexual years before I engaged in any heterosexual behavior. Lets look at a hypothetical situation. A celibate, homosexual, Roman Catholic priest is asked about his sexual orientation by an adult member of his parish. He states that he knows he is homosexual but has never in his life engaged in any homosexual behavior. Is this priest now considered an avowed homosexual? Should he be denied membership in the BSA as a Troop Committee member? Charter Organization Rep? Institutional head?

 

Our youth will judge us by our actions. These actions include what we say. They do not judge us by our thoughts - for those thoughts are only know to God and ourselves unless we we display some discernable actions that manifest those thoughts.

(This message has been edited by acco40)

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Dan asks the question if starting of a gay alliance organization constitutes homosexual behavior? Of course not.

 

Just for reference, I totally disagree with this statement.

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Acco40, I am also concerned about the 'thought control' aspect of this issue.

Ed, "safe" to me means that the boy can be confident that he does not risk condemnation for a question he may have and that our discussion will be open between us and honest. Also that if he communicates it confidentially, he will know that it will remain confidential.

I understand your argument about the conflict with 'trustworthy' and that is why I said that the 'avowed' policy makes the deception inevitable.

BSA explicitly accepts homosexual members as long as they are not 'avowed'. That policy therefore implicitly accepts the conflict with 'trustworthy' as long as BSA doesn't know about it. This is a self-deception on BSA's part. Here's why:

 

BSA has painted themselves into a logical corner on this. BSA has the freedom to create whatever membership requirements BSA chooses. Assuming that BSA basically wants to exclude all homosexuals (probably not a stretch here), they nevertheless also realize that there is no way to determine sexual orientation if a person neither acts nor speaks of it. So it is pointless to say they allow no homosexuals as members...they know it does not and will not work. Homosexuals are and will be members anyway.

BSA therefore, pragmatically, recognizes this with their carefully crafted policy that "avowed" homosexuals cannot be members. I have to believe that BSA (or whoever came up with this wording) must have considered its implications prior to implementation. Assuming that is the case, BSA therefore also knows that the policy DOES allow homosexuals who are not 'avowed' to become members, creating a logical conflict with their fundamental intent of allowing no homosexuals at all (and thereby forming a self-deception).

The 'avowed' qualifier is indeed a troubling thing but it is BSA's creation and no one else's. The fundamental problem in all of this is BSA's flawed policy. But so far that seems to be unavoidable as well.

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"Our youth will judge us by our actions."

 

That is a very big truth. If you listen closely, you will hear what this generation has to say about your generation. I doubt you will like what you hear. There is more to it that just don't like how you run things, it's rather why you run things the way you do. As a leagal adult, I have a bigger voice than my younger peers, but that doesn't mean my younger peers are not talking.

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