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Merlyn_LeRoy

From SCOUTS-L: BSA allows gay youth members?

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This message to the scouts-l mailing list:

http://listserv.tcu.edu/cgi-bin/wa.exe?A2=ind0909&L=SCOUTS-L&T=0&F=&S=&P=436785

talks about the NT Times Magazine story on coming out gay in high school, showing a 13-year-old who is on the cover wearing an Explorer T-shirt from the Sand Springs PD:

Story:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/27/magazine/27out-t.html

Cover:

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2009/09/27/magazine/27cover-395.jpg

 

This started a 3G discussion, and someone pointed out that the BSA policy on bsalegal.org seems to allow for gay youth members:

http://listserv.tcu.edu/cgi-bin/wa.exe?A2=ind0909&L=SCOUTS-L&T=0&F=&S=&P=442289

He quotes from here:

http://www.bsalegal.org/morally-straight-cases-225.asp

● Youth Leadership

 

Boy Scouts of America believes that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the obligations in the Scout Oath and Scout Law to be morally straight and clean in thought, word, and deed. The conduct of youth members must be in compliance with the Scout Oath and Law, and membership in Boy Scouts of America is contingent upon the willingness to accept Scoutings values and beliefs. Most boys join Scouting when they are 10 or 11 years old. As they continue in the program, all Scouts are expected to take leadership positions. In the unlikely event that an older boy were to hold himself out as homosexual, he would not be able to continue in a youth leadership position.

 

This post says this (unannounced?) change took place back in 2004, according to wikipedia:

http://listserv.tcu.edu/cgi-bin/wa.exe?A2=ind0909&L=SCOUTS-L&T=0&F=&S=&P=446171

 

Someone else also pointed out that "youth leadership position" seems to be a pretty nebulous term now:

http://listserv.tcu.edu/cgi-bin/wa.exe?A2=ind0909&L=SCOUTS-L&T=0&F=&S=&P=448674

 

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I really fail to see what you are getting at. How does any of that show that BSA allows gay youth members?

 

The NY times, and Scouts-L, are not BSA web sites. Stories and comments by writers and folks on a discussion board have nothing to do with BSA policy.

 

How does a Scout who is removed from a leadership position because he is a homosexual translate to BSA allowing gay youth members?

 

Exploring is not Boy Scouts. As a matter of fact it is not any kind of Scouts at all. It is Learning For Life. LFL is a separate organization which is not bound by the same rules as BSA. LFL specifically states on it's Exploring site the following - "Color, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic background, economic status, and citizenship are not criteria for participation."

 

 

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But his post has so many links and stuff. Its so pretty, indented and organized. Kind of a Key West formal thing. He has got to be correct. Right?

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John, sorry, I'm not a troll. You aren't using the term correctly. What you want to whine about is that I disagree with you, and you can't make me shut up.

 

ScoutNut, here's the pre-2004 policy:

"We do not allow for the registration of avowed homosexuals as members or as leaders of the BSA."

 

Clearly rules out youth members.

 

I previously posted what bsalegal.org says now. I'll highlight some bits:

 

Boy Scouts of America believes that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the obligations in the Scout Oath and Scout Law to be morally straight and clean in thought, word, and deed. The conduct of youth members must be in compliance with the Scout Oath and Law, and membership in Boy Scouts of America is contingent upon the willingness to accept Scoutings values and beliefs. Most boys join Scouting when they are 10 or 11 years old. As they continue in the program, all Scouts are expected to take leadership positions. In the unlikely event that an older boy were to hold himself out as homosexual, he would not be able to continue in a youth leadership position.

 

Notice that there is no statement that gay youth can't be scouts -- instead, when it talks about a gay youth member, it only says he would not be able to hold a "youth leadership position." It says nothing about removing his membership.

 

Of course, with organizations that have secret and unannounced membership requirements, it's hard to tell when they actually change. If gay youth aren't allowed, period, why doesn't the policy state that a youth who comes out as gay loses his membership?

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I couldn't find anything in the article that says or implies the young man is even an Explorer, beyond wearing a T-shirt. And since Exploring/Learning For Life membership policies aren't the same as traditional Scouting, what's the kerfluffle?

 

As for traditional Scouting, the 2002 national board resolution seems to not differentiate between youth leadership and general membership: "WHEREAS the national officers further agree that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the traditional values espoused in the Scout Oath and Law..."

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In the other thread about discipline, I wrote that our troop discipline policy was intentionally thin on details so as to leave the leadership maximum latitude to respond to situations.

 

I rather think this policy is the same. Especially with youth, it's important that the leaders on the ground have a lot of room to work with boys who may be unsure of their place in the world. If a 13-year-old announces that he is gay, do you want a policy that requires the local leaders to immediately boot the kid, or do you want the ability to talk with the boy and his parents and perhaps suggest he talk with other counselors or ministers? Of course, if your unit/CO wants to immediately remove a Scout who claims to be gay, they can. Or not.

 

 

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NT Times Magazine story on coming out gay in high school, showing a 13-year-old who is on the cover wearing an Explorer T-shirt

 

Yah, just so much wrong there.

 

Explorers is age 14 and up.

 

Explorers is not scouting but rather part of LFL.

 

And what 13-year-old has any real idea of what his sexual orientation is? Get real. Let the kid be a kid, eh? His parents and da other adults manipulatin' him for their sexual politics should get a swift, hard kick in the behind.

 

The BSA policy has always been focused on the requirements for adult membership as a role model, example, and leader. We've always been far more understandin' of youth members and their struggles with such issues. And I reckon it's no surprise to anyone that almost all of our sponsors make a bright-line distinction between orientation and conduct.

 

There's nothing new here other than that it takes a lot of time and input before yeh get a bunch of office workers and lawyers to do a better job of gettin' the wording right. :) Remember, these are just organizational documents, not statutes or regulations... and how many statutes and regulations get the wordin' right without a few rounds through the blender or the courts?

 

Beavah

 

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Explorers is not scouting but rather part of LFL.

 

Yes Beavah, if you read the scouts-l postings, that touched off why gays can be in Exploring but not in scouting.

 

And what 13-year-old has any real idea of what his sexual orientation is? Get real. Let the kid be a kid, eh? His parents and da other adults manipulatin' him for their sexual politics should get a swift, hard kick in the behind.

 

Oh, like the way you're doing now? Because that's exactly what you're doing. You're saying a 13-year-old can't tell his own sexual orientation.

 

It's clear you didn't bother to read the article, either.

 

The BSA policy has always been focused on the requirements for adult membership as a role model, example, and leader.

 

No, it hasn't. They used to explicitly exclude gay youth. They still explicitly exclude atheists (and girls).

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Feed the troll and he hits you with a stick, lol.

 

PLEASE DON'T FEED THE TROLL, THANK YOU!

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Merlyn,

 

I think you're reading too much into the 1993 and 2004 policy statements. They seem more like a refining of the language. I don't see anything that suggests that policy was changed.

 

From 1993 (quoted by the BSADiscrimination.org folks): "Accordingly, we do not allow for the registration of avowed homosexuals as members or as leaders of the BSA."

 

Present (bsalegal.org): "Boy Scouts of America believes that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the obligations in the Scout Oath and Scout Law to be morally straight and clean in thought, word, and deed. The conduct of youth members must be in compliance with the Scout Oath and Law, and membership in Boy Scouts of America is contingent upon the willingness to accept Scoutings values and beliefs."

 

----------

 

BP,

 

I'll reply to whomever I like. But thanks for playing.(This message has been edited by shortridge)

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My apologies. I decided a long time ago not to participate in the Issues & Politics forum. But I have my computer set to sort threads by posting time, not forum category, and mistakenly thought this was a program post. Please disregard my posting.

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Feed the troll and he hits you with a stick, lol.

 

Yah. Or bites da hand that feeds him.

 

Are trolls the same color as the new Boy Scout shoulder loops, or the Venturing shoulder loops?

 

Inquiring minds want to know.

 

B

 

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The 13-year old thing didn't line up for me either....

 

● Youth Leadership

 

Boy Scouts of America believes that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the obligations in the Scout Oath and Scout Law to be morally straight and clean in thought, word, and deed. The conduct of youth members must be in compliance with the Scout Oath and Law, and membership in Boy Scouts of America is contingent upon the willingness to accept Scoutings values and beliefs. Most boys join Scouting when they are 10 or 11 years old. As they continue in the program, all Scouts are expected to take leadership positions. In the unlikely event that an older boy were to hold himself out as homosexual, he would not be able to continue in a youth leadership position.

 

At this risk of getting myself in trouble here, that last sentence is pure BS (and I don't mean Boy Scouts). I came through Scouts with at least three boys who later "came out." They were all fine people and fine Scouts. None of them made it to a very high youth leadership position (like many in our troop, a demanding school/sports/school activity schedule limited the time they could to devote to Boy Scouts), but all three were well liked and well respected by their fellow Scouts (while none of them had come out yet, it was pretty obvious). If they hadn't been respected by their fellow Scouts, then I would have seen that as a serious breech of Scoutliness by the rest of the troop.

 

I can understand the arguments again having homosexual leaders in the Boy Scouts, I have never seen the wisdom of excluding homosexual Scouts as long as they abide by the same sort of code of conduct I'd expect from any Scout. Gay teenagers are often troubled teenagers, and, to me, Scouts has the greatest potential impact on youth who are troubled and "at risk". Why push away those who (if they are pose no violent danger to the other Scouts) need Scouts the most?

 

 

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B,

 

Wizened, little, gray. Hard to distinguish from a large lintball coming out of a vacuum cleaner bag.

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