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Merlyn_LeRoy

UK: Scouts get prepared for more gay recruits

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Youth protection rules would seem to REQUIRE that tents and sleeping areas be segregated. Not by sexual orientation though.

 

Formally allow homosexuals into Scouting, and I imagine YP rules would be updated to require segregation by sexual orientation as well.(This message has been edited by seattlepioneer)

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Look, most girls are NOT going to be all that inclined to attack the boy in the sleeping bag next door. So nope, I'm really not too worried about mixed gender tenting, in most situations.

 

Same with gay youth - just because one boy (or girl) is gay, doesn't mean they are going to start assaulting everybody within 300 feet as soon as the sun goes down. That's vampires - not gay people.

 

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Lisabob,

 

First, the initiator could be male (more probable) or female. If it doesn't happen in your area, then someone needs to look into the environment for something that affects the normal hormones of teenagers. The same logic holds true for homosexual youth. To think otherwise is to have magical thinking not grounded in reality. The current membership requirements would seem to provide better protection for the youth in our charge.

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SeattlePioneer.

 

As far as I can find, the only ban the BSA has against homosexuals is as adult leaders. So surely American Scout leaders are already dealing with gay Scouts?

 

Of course I'm also impressed that the BSA has such an abundance of leaders that it can discriminate against potential candidates.(This message has been edited by Chug)

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Unless male homosexuals volunteer at a much higher rate than represented in the population, then the BSA is only excluding 1.9% of the population. The incidence of pedophiles is thankfully less than that. So the number of people excluded is small and therefore not much of an issue from a logistics point of view.

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Last time I checked paedophilia is illegal and there are very good reasons for keeping them away from children.

 

What reason is there for not wanting a gay Scout leader?(This message has been edited by Chug)

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Chug,

 

Someone has got it ground out of the meaning of "A scout is clean".. For some reason it is determined that a homosexual is "unclean"... edited sorry got that one wrong.. it's the "morally straight"..

 

Ok all of you from the UK.. don't all start laughing at once! Remember our puritan roots it is rapped up in someones religious beliefs, and in this belief we are not practicing an interfaith, but are being force fed a specific narrow minded religious belief..

 

We do not deal with gay youth scouts either, they are not mentioned as banned from the organization, because it is not believed they can make that determination about their sexual orientation.. They are all seen as asexual..

 

Ok, don't laugh so hard that you pee your pants.. And you can pick yourselfs up from the floor.(This message has been edited by moosetracker)

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"Councils have far too frequent assaults and batteries of a sexual nature, usually of the same sex. So there are risks " And this is in a gay excluded scouting environ ment?

 

So the downfall of allowing gay scouts would be what?

 

"Your idea is naive and not workable in a time where councils have problems with sexual abuse."

Again, councils that are anti hom,osexual right? But, if you read my post again, I did not say, imply or lean towards anything but segregation. Matter of fact, I said:

 

"Segregate? Absolutely. Goose, gander and all that stuff!"

 

 

" If it doesn't happen in your area, then someone needs to look into the environment for something that affects the normal hormones of teenagers. The same logic holds true for homosexual youth. To think otherwise is to have magical thinking not grounded in reality"

 

Actually, I'd say that to you. Sounds like it's not a problem in Moose's area, not a problem in my areas, and not a problem in the entire UK. SO, it leads sme to think that maybe there is something in the water in your area that causes the hormones in teenagers to go bezerk.

 

Now here, we have a few teen pregnacies, but so far, none are in scouting. We even have one of those moms from MTV's "16 and Pregnant" tv show living about 28 miles up the road from my house. Neither she or the father are in scouting.

 

So anyways, it still comes down to: Seems to be a bigger issue of heterosexual adults abusing scouts as being the biggest problem of scout abuse in BSA. Not homosexual scouts abusing other homosexual scouts or heterosexual scouts in BSA.

 

My point overall was this: Treat the gay scouts as you would any other scout - segregation and all, expectation of behavior while camping or scouting events, and honor - and you shouldn't have any issues beyond what you already have....which by the way, is without having the gay scout members ( that we are aware of).

And that gay people are not an infectious disease. You cannot "catch" gay by knowing, talking to, touching or being near a gay person. You cannot catch gay in the air or by camping along side a gay p[erson.

 

And how do I know this: Because I have true, honest to goodness gay friends , lesbian friends ( well, only two actually) and have 2 gay relatives.

 

Not some 1.5 statistic.

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Moosetracker

 

I believe your Venture section runs from 14-21yrs. If the BSA truly views these young people as being asexual, then I would suggest they've either forgotten what it was like being an adolescent or they're slipping bromide in the drinking water.

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Exactly Chug - My son & his fianc are 19 and 20 currently, got engaged at 18 and 19.. I would hope they knew they were heterosexual before making this commitment.

 

You know we keep saying it is because of of puritanical roots, but really the puritans evolved into our Protestants and others derived from the puritans are very liberal groups, but then others like the Mormons stayed very strict. The Mormons (LDS - Church of Later Day Saints) are the stricter branch. But have solid roots and influence in the BSA.

 

Some of my views this are:

 

1) Venturing has a little more leeway, as the LDS church does not use this youth program.. For one it is co-ed, so against their beliefs also I believe by 18-21 their members are no longer in youth programs, but busy with whatever ministries they have been assigned to. Since the Mormons do not use this program, they are not trying to influence and define it.

 

2) Venturing does not have that cumulative rank award that Eagle does.. They have awards, but at least in our district no one is interested in advancement. Even so, none of their awards has a board that is at district level, so outside of their unit in order to obtain.. Therefore they never get to the point they may be questioned about it. (Not that we grill for sexual orientation at a board, but some youth are open about things they should know better than to bring up at this time & place)

 

I remember one thread where a scout was going for Eagle and had admitted to being gay. The consensus was that the scout was considered asexual so could not make that determination yet, so it would not affect his being able to earn the award.. Now if he stated he was an atheist, that would keep him from getting the award.. Before 18 you are simply confused with your sexual orientation but cannot be confused about your religious beliefs.

 

3) Adult leaders are considered the role models.. The older scouts are not seen as role models (although in truth they may be more the role models for the younger scouts). Therefore a homosexual Adult leader is not the type of role model to have as it will cause our youth to be confused as what is proper and moral conduct. Therefore a blind eye can be given to our youth who stray.

 

---

Don't shoot me, I am just providing the reasoning of others on this issue, as I have seen it from other debates about this issue. These are not all my own personal beliefs, just my beliefs on why our rules are so screwy and full of nonsense and contradictions.

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WOSM - Bought and paid for by LDS.

 

And that's why in so many discussions about inclusiveness in UK Scout forums, I end up advocating that the Scout Association leave WOSM. It would be a sad day, but we've moved forwards.

 

BSA seems to have taken a surprisingly different route to a great many other Scout Associations on so many issues. When we modernized a few years ago, I think we did look around at the best of what other countries did. How much do you guys compare yourselves critically to Scouts elsewhere?

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In the district where I do my Scouting we have one Scout Troop that is run by a gay couple who're in a civil partnership, another group has a a transgendered leader. There's probably other that I am not aware of. I've known of leaders to be dismissed for criminal offences and for having an affair, but never for their sexuality. All adult leaders in the UK are checked against the Criminal Records Bureau, and are interviewed by the district warrants committee before they can take up their position.

 

Sponsoring of groups is usually done on an individual basis, rather than en-mass. Sponsoring authorities can limit membership of that group to the members of the church or school or employees if it is a business. Exclusion on grounds of sexuality would not be permitted. The District Commissioner is the final arbiter of all disputes between a Scout Group and its sponsoring authority.

 

I'd like to point out that none of the groups in my district (Thanet) have any restrictions on membership.

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Gregharewood

 

I believe there's a lot wrong with WOSM, especially its allowing of a terrorist funded group to be part of the Lebanese Scouting Federation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imam_al-Mahdi_Scouts I would prefer The Scout Association to remain a member and try to reform it from within rather than spit the dummy and leave. Besides, if we left we'd have to remove the World Badge from our uniforms.

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"How much do you guys compare yourselves critically to Scouts elsewhere?"

 

From where I sit and from what I've seen the BSA doesn't spend hardly any time looking at or comparing itself with other Scouting organizations.

There are in the forum a few members who really know and understand this from a historical point of view.

When I was Scouting in England, I was a little smug in thinking that we (The English.) In someway had the inside track and kinda owned Scouting.

Back in the day, I remember teaching young English Scouts all the good stuff about Lord Baden Powell, his time in India, Africa and of course Brownsea Island.

Heck, I even thought the Windmill on Wimbledon Common, was some kind of a shrine to and for Scouting.

I read a lot about early Troops in the London area.

While seeing how these Troops came into being and overcame all the stuff that got in their way. I think I was willing not to see how really unorganized they really were.

Here in the States, the story about the Unknown Scout gets a lot of attention. It truly is a great story, but many people are unwilling or just don't know that selling magazines and papers was a big reason why Scouts and Scouting crossed the pond.

It's clear that James E. West and BP didn't get on that well. I think in part because BP seen that West was trying to make Scouting in the USA more like the YMCA was.

Even today many of the people who visit me from the UK, who are involved in Scouting have a hard time understanding a lot of how we are set up.

At one time the Council where I live had a bigger staff than we had employed at Baden Powell House offices, before everything moved to Gilwell.

A very dear and close friend of mine spent a lot of years and is still involved with The Council of The Scout Association (UK). While he is a wonderful guy with a deep understanding of Scouting, when he was invited to sit on the council he wasn't representing any group. His involvement was because of his own involvement and past history in Scouting, serving at many different levels.

Here in the USA, because of the way units are set up, each unit being chartered by a outside (Normally. There are a few units chartered by Friends of groups.) organizations. These organizations have a voice in the running of the organization.

I think that the LDS Church at times takes a lot of unnecessary heat and blame for what some see as the failings of the BSA.

I don't have the numbers at hand, but last time I looked, while they did I know at one time have the most youth members, they didn't have the greatest number of units chartered.

 

While I no longer think of myself as being young! I also don't think that I'm past it. -Just yet.

Still it's very hard for any organization the size of the BSA to really have committees that understand everything that is going on at the grass root level.

When I served as District Chair. I'd say that the average age of the members of the committee was mid to late 40's. Add ten years, maybe more to the age of the Council Executive Board? I also sat on the Area Committee, I was the youngest person there.

So I think the age of the guys in charge of the BSA is a very long way from the age of the parent who is signing their son up to join Cub Scouts.

Many of us, not so young people have a hard time accepting change and an even harder time when this change has to do with something that we might have been brought up to think of as being wrong.

I know friends of my wifes family who wouldn't attend my son's baptism because it was in an R/C Church. My wife was unsure how she was going to tell her Grand Dad that she was marrying a Catholic.

This sounds silly today, but for them it was just something that was.

I have a hard time when I go to churches with female preachers, even a bigger hard time when they are dressed in black with the collar. They don't do a bad job and don't do anything wrong, but for me that's just something I have a hard time with.

 

Like it or not, the BSA is the biggest Scout organization. It has a lot of money, all of which gives it a lot of power and influence.

Scouting here in the USA mainly caters to middle class, white Americans, who tend to be the people who are Church goers and have middle class values.

I sometimes get upset because people tend to think that because I'm involved with Scouts and Scouting that I hold to some conservative, right wing point of view. When they find out that I don't, they blame it on me being a non-American.

Ea.

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As for comparison to others - this is just not a very American thing to do. We have a tendency to assume that our way is the best way, without examining the evidence or considering alternate interpretations or measures.

 

In fact, I teach international & comparative government where part of the point is to make comparisons - and as a result, students & others routinely assume that I must be either anti-American, or a damn communist, or both, because "everybody knows we're number one!" It can be amusing, at times, though also awfully presumptuous.

 

 

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