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Boy Scouts close to ending ban on gay members, leaders NBC

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This has been kicked around for awhile and as we know, there have been a bunch of court cases over it. Unfortunately, the BSA is losing a long running P.R. battle even though they have won every court case. They are looking to take a middle ground stance and leave it up to each individual unit (or CO) to create their own policy. My take on the matter is this: discussions of sex and sexual orientation have no business in the BSA, period. I have friends that are homosexual and see them as no more of a physical or emotional threat to my kids than any of my other friends who arent. To give you an idea of where I am coming from, if my wife and I are at a scouting function, I dont kiss her, hold hands, or anything. PDAs have no business in that context or setting. If I am leaving for a campout, I will kiss her or hug her when I leave the house in a private setting. That is where it belongs. I have no intention to influence a boys behavior in that manner one way or another, nor should I.


That being said, their old policy was fine as long as it was executed correctly. It was a dont ask, dont tell type of policy. The problem is that some who were homosexual but kept it private were sought out by others with a grudge or a mission to do so and drove those people out into the open, which resulted in their being removed. Those people did not deserve what happened. On the other hand, there were others who were trying to make a political statement or force their point of view. In that case, they should be kicked out because the best interests of the organization is not what they care about.



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There is so much concern about a CO and it's leaders being sued. Assuming that happened, what would be the basis of the plaintiffs lawsuit?


Force the Troop to give them membership?

Monetary award for emotional distress because they were denied?

Combination of the above?


If for some crazy reason the plaintiff got their way, I don't see the Troop opening up their arms to welcome them after causing so much contention.



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Im afraid you need a scoutmasters conference for bullying. Just because Sheldonsmom says shes teaching her kids traditional values doesnt give you the right to puff up and impugn her motives. The questions you ask (and the manner you ask them) are intended to put her on the defensive. These classic bullying tactics are exactly how the left is going about tearing down the institutions and traditions of American society.


If, as a heterosexual, I am dissatisfied with the rules of some club or associationsay, the local LBGT chapter, or the Gay Pride Parade steering committee, or if as a conservative carnivore I dont like what PETA has to say, know what I do? I act like a MAN and move on. That means I respect their club and their right to run it however they like. I respect it enough that I abide by their membership requirements. If I cannot in good conscience condone the aims, methods, oaths, promises, slogans, mottos etc. (sound familiar?) I move on and find somewhere that Id rather be and where Id find acceptance.


I DONT act like a baby and throw a tantrum. I dont demand that that group alter the way they choose, by free association to operate. I DONT viciously attack that group, by which I so want to be accepted, by dragging their name through the mud in the media and surreptitiously threatening all their sources of funding. Free association. Why is that phrase so important? Well, because freedom of association is an implicit foundational right behind first amendment rights of both speech and assembly. This is our organization. If one can abide by the bylaws, welcome. If not, be a grownup and accept it. Go find an organization that you like better, or make one of your own. Why is this so hard? Quite frankly, if someone truly feels that BSA, or any group for that matter is as dastardly as the gay lobby or the atheists have made it out to be, why on earth would they want to become a member of it? Could it be that they have other motives besides the joy of living the oath?


What could those motives be?


Could it be to destroy from the inside what could not be done from the outside? Of course, they will say this will BSA better and more tolerant and all manner of flowery verbiage, but in reality, BSA stands for traditional values and is at the front of the culture war. So getting in and redirecting that stance could be looked upon as a strategic victory. And dont for an instant believe well all join hands and sing cumbaya afterwards. The virulent anti-traditional values, anti-BSA factions, both within the LBGT camp and in other camps are very vocal and will crow about this from the highest rooftops. This will not end here. Mark my words. I guarantee in the first press conference after the ruling, some tool will utter the words: This is a good start, but we have more work to do. or something to that effect. This will embolden them. They will double down with a passion. The next thing will be admission of atheists. Then all mention of God, Reverence and moral character will have to go. Standing firm against the media onslaught is hard. Following your principles usually is. If you equivocate once, it becomes even harder to stand tall the next time. They will not rest until the BSA is broken down and made back up in whatever form appeases them. Or is no longer a threat.


I think individually, a lot of folks might be intent on becoming the first openly gay this or that. Fine. That may not be the worst motive, but it still doesnt seem to pass muster as a proper reason to join a service organization that focusses on achievement and brotherhood and which certainly does not promote sexuality among its youth. The point that one identifies oneself more by sexual preferences than by accomplishments and personal character reeks of having an agenda or trying to use the organization to make some kind of statement.


Or perhaps the individual motives are more sinister. Perhaps there are predators out there who would like nothing more than a nice relaxed set of admission standards to clear their path to all those young, innocent boys. Does that seem mean-spirited? Hard hearted? Backwards? Fine. Call me what you will, but ask yourself; is it also improbable? I mean, golly, thats never been a problem before has it? Molesters are never drawn to large assemblies of youth or to youth programs are they?


I know plenty of Gay people. Many of whom I would trust with my kids. They're wonderful individuals, but that's not the point here. Would anyone in their right mind house teenage boys and teenage girls in the same tent? How about high school boys and 11 year old girls? Why not? Would that be a YP violation? How about full grown men and teenage boys? Truly whats the difference between a man and a teenage boy other than less ability to employ judgment before acting on sexual impulses? Its a statistics problem. Among adult men, there is a tiny fraction of men who are attracted to children. There is also a slightly larger fraction that is attracted to other males. It stands to reason; among them are some whore attracted to young boys and/or teenage boys, or just young men like our fine strapping 16-18 year old scouts. We assiduously try and ferret out the former, why the hell would we invite the latter in with open arms? If the idea of predators makes you squeamish, try this: imagine tent mates who are both gay. No predation, totally consensual. Even if they were highly discrete and their patrol mates didnt know, do we really want boys sneaking off in the woods for romps during troop activities? Dont think it wont happen. You wouldnt even house teenage girls and boys in the same camp much less the same tent. You wouldnt do that for the same reason. Hormones, availability and poor judgment often lead to bad things.


I know weve always had homosexuals in scouting, both in the ranks and in leadership. But DADT tends to subdue openness doesnt it? Act on something and you might get busted will keep some peoples tendencies tightly hidden, and subsequently keep them focused on whatever task is at hand. But if theres no reason to be worried about being outted, one might be free to act a little more boldly. Patrols live together apart from direct supervision. PLs are pretty impressive figures to younger boys. A lot of fresh newbies are intimidated and shy and oh yeah sometimes they face scary and/or uncomfortable situations. In other words, they are vulnerable. Thank goodness this is all being done in the name of tolerance and that we all know a handful of anecdotal examples of truly wonderful gay people. That should be enough to ensure the most pure of intentions will rule the day. I feel a lot better.


Truly, even with a fairly strong focus on YP, it still happens. Why would we want to throw gasoline on this smoldering problem? Jeesaloo! How many ways are there to spell disaster?


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As for the "liberals" on this forum. Why should we leave? It's just as much our organization as it is yours. To us, nothing in the Scout Oath, Law, Promise, or Slogan says that we should keep the gays out. My Duty to my God doesn't tell me I should hate gays. Morally Straight doesn't mention sexual activity:


"DUTY TO SELF: Keeping yourself physically strong means taking care of your body. Eat the right foods and build your strength. Staying mentally awake means learn all you can, be curious, and ask questions. Being morally straight means to live your life with honesty, to be clean in your speech and actions, and to be a person of strong character."


That is from the US Scouting service project website: http://usscouts.org/advance/boyscout/bsoath.asp


You have made many insinuations about gay people that I strongly disagree with, labeling them as predatory or saying they have a lack of self control. I don't like that, but I don't have the time to refute you point for point right now. You did bring up some good points though, and I respect your opinion. Local option is the best way to appease everyone, you don't have a say in my units membership, and I don't have a say in yours. Is that not the fairest policy? I believe it is.


Yours in Scouting and service to youth,



(This message has been edited by Sentinel947)

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Someone sounds a little paranoid. There's alot of that going around. On more issues then this one current one in BSA..



A gay couple wanting their children to be raised with the values of the BSA, and would like to be a part of the adult leadership of unit their son joined, is not some awful plot to kill all values in America.. Nor is a boy who has been in scouting for 10 to 12 years, figures out he is homosexual but wants to continue his journey to Eagle rank without having to lie, or hide in the closet..


If your fearful, find a unit that bans them.. Any unit who does welcome them, can still remove them if their actions cause the cohesiveness of the unit to breakdown.. We have dealt with non-homosexual youth and parents whose actions have negative effects on our units, and if the unit has any wits about them, they handle it before the unit explodes.. If the unit does not handle it well, we loose a unit.. BSA goes on.

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Sentinel, sorry about the multiple posts. The goofy thing kept telling me it timed out, so I tried again. Apparently there's no way to retract one once it's posted. Guess I need a little training. I would be much obliged if an administrator would delete all but one itteration.


You and Moose both bring up good points, but also missed part of mine. I agree there are kids who joined in Tigers who had no idea and want to finish. That's the toughest question of all and one that could be handled both ways (DADT and the new way). I obviously also get a parent wanting to be involved in his son's life, which could also have been handled and probably was unde DADT.


I think little of those types of things are driving this at Nationals. It is a political war and by rolling they are abdicating the high ground on this and everything else. I promise this is only the beginning.


As to the rest, well I'm not paranoid, or scared. Nor do I hate anyone. We are all Scout leaders, yet the terms of the argument have already been dictated by others. So much so, that you guys accept their premise that to object to this paints one as a bigot or a homophobe or even a little paranoid.


I was not asserting that all or even alarge proportion of homosexuals are bad, or predetermined to prey on our youth, just that it increases the statistical chances in an overall way. The point is that heterosexual folks in close quarters with large numbers of youth of the opposit sex is equally as stupid. Why do we have YP anyway? Why are camps of all stripes segregated by gender? You can say I'm paranoid, or small minded, or even that I hate homosexuals. You can say whatever you like, but it won't change the fact that this policy is mathmatically going to increase risk. Perhaps we can mitigate it with the YP proceedures in place. Perhaps enhanced proceedures are on the horizen. Who knows. But burrying our collective heads to the facts of sexual attraction is not going to make it go away.


Ask the Catholic Church how that worked out. They had a problem. A mathmatically minescule number of homosexual priests with access to youth and power caused a tragically huge amount of heartache. The Church componded things by ignoring reality for many years. They didn't even employ YP, because their leaders were celebate and morally superior. So, if the church should have had measures to protect youth from celebate, non-sexual, and holy priests who might have been gay, is it inconcievable to expect that we should expect to have problems with a percentage of the non-celebate, secular, openly sexual homosexuals we are proposing to admit? That's not hate or paranoia. That's just being smart and protective of our youth.



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The Catholic church as also had problems with priests who molested girls--it was not just a gay thing. And it was the systematic cover-up that blew up in their faces.


And I say again we have Gay scouts NOW. They are just staying more out of sight; though most their buddies know anyway.

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Monkey: I disagree with you that homosexuals and pedophiles are one and the same. I think after the Jerry Sandusky case that Pedophiles are Pedophiles, what they self label themselves is irrelevant to me.


As a Catholic, I deal with the shame of knowing that my beloved Church covered for these Priests. It's certainly shaken my trust in my Clergy. It just shows that ANYBODY can be a threat to Children, even those who are supposed to have a holy union with God and Jesus Christ.


Certainly Youth Protection will need to be looked at, not for Adults per say. No one on one and 2 deep leadership is equally valid regardless of the adult relationships the Adult leader carries out in their bedroom but for the Youth with Youth.


I'll be straight honest with you that I don't have all the answers. I am neither a Psychologist nor a Psychiatrist. I have just my limited experiences and the experiences others have shared with me. I am straight, and therefore I don't know how a homosexual perceives attraction to another man. I know how attraction works and simply, I'm not attracted to every woman. Even if I am attracted to a woman, it doesn't cause me to lose all control of myself. I'd assume gay youth would be the same way. If it's a concern in your troop perhaps your unit could shift to three person tenting? That would eliminate most of the problems in my humble opinion.


I don't think you are evil, gay hating or small minded, and I think your concerns are valid. I disagree with your perception of homosexual people, and I think that is where our differences come from. I think almost everyone on this forum loves the Boy Scouts and wants to do what is best for it. We all have different ideas on what is best.


Yours in Scouting,

Sentinel947(This message has been edited by Sentinel947)

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To those folks worried about Gay adults preying on innocent boys; do you as a heterosexual lust adult lust and molest adolescent girls? Or is the temptation just too much?


"Well he was just 17...and you know what I mean...and the way he looked was way beyond compare..."


"Young scoutmaster...the subject...of school boy fantasy. Don't tent so! Don't tent so! Don't tent so close to me!"



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I guarantee in the first press conference after the ruling, some tool will utter the words: This is a good start, but we have more work to do.


Already happened. Numerous editorials saying that the BSA is cowardly, their position is "ironic," etc. Proof you can't win when you make decisions based on money and political correctness.

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This is good. I think we have differences, but its refreshing in a forum setting to be able to discuss these rationally and good-naturedly. I am also a practicing catholic and the priest scandal was not a high point for me either. Actually, it pains me to have brought it up, but I think it is important to learn from the past. Even if it is embarrassing.


I agree that pedophiles are just that most of the time. I dont think all Homosexuals are pedophiles and I recognize that all pedophiles are not homosexual. I dont think that Homosexuals have any less self-control as a group than heterosexuals either. But that might not be saying much. How many great men have been brought low because they could not keep their equipment clean? Over and over it happens. Some guy with the entire world by the tail blows the whole thing because of that. Loses his career, family, everything he worked for because he was weak. I dont know how homosexual attraction works either, but if its like normal attraction, its probably pretty powerful. So why mess around with it? None of the homosexuals I know would ever hurt a child. Does that mean there are none out there who would? I think thats pretty naive. In everyones rush to laud this for tolerance and defend gay rights, I think maybe they have gone so far that not only is it an improbability, but an impossibility for them to consider. We do tend to get married to an idea and defend it regardless of what we have to ignore to make it work. Its human nature.


I agree that normal YP goes a long way towards mitigating risk. Does it completely eliminate it? Id say there are probably still problems in spite of it. Would there be more problems if the majority of adult leaders werent also repulsed by the idea of same-sex activity? You are right though that the major focus of YP changes will have to be youth-youth. That may become a bigger problem than any of us can anticipate.


Not sure your CO is church based, but as a catholic, I assume you are looking towards similar ideas of morality out of your leaders. These things are not trivial. In setting an example for our boys, some things are not ok. If I had a leader who was a womanizer, and made that openly known, Id act to have him removed. Same with other amoral choices. Why is it not ok to recognize homosexuality as not morally straight? Now, I know were all sinners. Do I know what all my leaders do on their own time? Nope. But DADT is kind of the defacto rule there. If they teach the boys good morality and are good examples publically, its all good. But I hope that they are the men (and women) that they purport to be. You say youre liberal, Ive claimed a conservative bent, but that should not matter. Its a big church. BSA is a big tent. Theres room for us to disagree and still both be good members of both. Maybe my first impression was wrong. Perhaps these types of decisions should be made locally and were it not for the culture war that, like it or not, were all involved in, they would be. Unfortunately, I think this thing is going to be used as a wedge to dismantle a lot more of what scouting stands for.


Lets see who comes out at the celebration when its announced. If it is relieved parents and scouts who are just glad to finally not have to lie anymore. Ill stand down and accept this. If its a bunch of angry politically charged hate mongers gloating about victory, I guess well know we just got rolled.


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Monkey Tamer:


It will be hard to measure. I know of a few Eagles with young sons who will now enroll their boys once eligible, but will never necessarily admit that was why they held off.


I was one of those people fighting against the system. I did it through letters and communication at the Council and National level, plus conversations with the head of the Presbyterian Church USA (one of the Top 10 charter orgs who allows gays and lesbians).


Many times I was told by people here to love it or leave it, but I stuck it out hoping and pushing for local control someday. People here called my friends and family sinners, immoral, and unfit for association with their Scouts. I understand where they come from, and I hope that they someday come around. But I don't ever want any unit to take someone it does not want, I just wanted to be able to invite some great people to join mine. There are a couple of Scouts I now hope to pick up, and I plan on working on chartering a Venture Crew at my church if this passes (we will make it part of our environmental outreach with our youth group). I might not have any gays in my unit - but I will have adults involved who could not bring themselves to support the organization.


Next week will be very interesting. I pray for all of us.(This message has been edited by Horizon)

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Monkey: I am Catholic, but the Troop I joined 8 years ago as a youth is chartered to a Lutheran Church. I'm pretty confident they will open their membership homosexuals, although since I'm not the Scoutmaster, CC, or Charter Org Rep, I don't know what is going to happen.


I reconcile other people's homosexuality with my Catholicism quite easily. The Churches beliefs govern me and anybody else who wants to consider themselves Catholic. If they are don't, I can't really tell them how they should live their life. (Assuming they don't break the Secular laws of our great country.) As long as they don't go around telling the Scouts about their homosexual conquests, I don't really care. (Straight Leaders shouldn't be telling Scouts about their bedroom practices either).


"You say youre liberal, Ive claimed a conservative bent, but that should not matter. Its a big church."


It's part of the strength of the Church, while many Protestant groups decline, Catholicism is still growing in the US because of Hispanic and Asian Catholics who have immigrated to the US.


I really think on the adult side that orientation is pretty irrelevant, especially with the YP rules. On the Scout side, it will be a little harder.


I never knew of an open homosexual when I was a Scout. I think most of the problems the pro-ban people raise can be easily avoided, but they are mostly legit concerns.



Yours in Service,


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