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AZMike

If the Local Option happens, how will Troops deal with practical problems?

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No TwoCub, our policy is not "If you are discreet".. it is, "If anyone finds out".. The den leader that was booted out this summer, was not because she was teaching the tiger scouts about sex, or that she was hitting on the mothers of the Tiger scouts.. It was because someone reported her as being homosexual.. The one kicked out of scouts because he was picked up by his significant other, and did nothing but get into a car with another man, was kicked out because someone asked, and another scout leader told him it was his boyfriend.. If he didn't ask and recieve an honest answer the guy he got into the car with could have just been a friend, brother or cousin.. The guy who was popcorn kernal for a unit, was kicked out because someone knew he "was", it was not because he was fluanting his sexuality with every box of popcorn sold..

 

If Cambridgskip gay leader was here in the USA, she would be out on her ear, because eventually it was realized she "was"..

 

You can kick out a heterosexual for improper sexual behavior around the scouts, so too can you kick out a homosexual... But, improper sexual behavior is not saying something like "Let me introduce you to my husband." It is not improper if said by a femail adult leader, it is equally not improper if said by a male adult leader..

 

Don't ask, Don't tell is basically, "If we find out the truth, your out."

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It's a fine line, huh, Moose? Probably more like "if the wrong person finds out." But I think BSA has been pretty clear it has had no interest in operating a star chamber.

 

In the case you mentioned, I believe it was a "she" picked up by her significant other. Actually, that is the case I had in mind when I posted. When the mom was picked up early from a campout, one of the ASMs -- a member of the CO -- asked who the other woman was and was told she was the mom's partner. He reported the information to the CO and it was the church who removed the woman from the unit. BSA was asked repeatedly about the situation and responded the mom had been removed by the CO. BSA had nothing to do with the removal and repeatedly said so. Sounds like a look into the future, no?

 

I'm not aware of a case where someone was involuntarily "outed" to BSA and removed from membership without that person "avowing" to be homosexual. Of course my Omnipotence Chit has expired, so just because I don't know of such a case doesn't mean much.

 

All this interests me as somewhere in all this mess is a reasonable accomodation. My underlying premise is sexuality has no place in a program for young boys. I don't have an interest in one's orientation either way. What you do (or who you do) away from the unit doesn't concern me much. But when you bring it into the unit, it's a problem. I don't care if it's someone wanting a float in the gay pride parade or boasting of his/her conquests last weekend. And I have to think anyone --male or female -- hitting on the Tiger moms isn't going to be tolerated. Not around here, anyway.

 

Problem is, I don't care to crank up the inquisition either. I'd be happy if everyone kept their business to themselves and just focused on delivering the program.

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MT, I'm curious if this is a regional thing. Apparently there are a large number of councils accepting registrations of gay scouts and leaders and refusing to enforce the national rules banning gays.

 

Which region are you located?

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My wife asked this very same question this morning, so it must be on the minds of a lot of people. It's the same concern a normal parent would have about they teenage son or daughter camping in the same tent with scouts of the opposite sex. Fact of the matter it is all about sex at this age and if a scout is sexually attracted to anther scout, that can be cause for concern. We live in a litigious world and I can see traps all over this.

 

I guess we start with how other countries deal with it.

 

Barry

While I was attending a training event at the Philmont Training Center four years ago one afternoon I got to sit in on a discussion with the folks who were going through Venture Crew Leader training for the week. The couple teaching the class said that the number one problem that they had when camping with their Crew, was at night keeping the boys and girls out of each other's tents. There were probably another five or six crew leaders who spoke up and said the same thing. You put boys and girls that age together and the hormones are going to kick in. So, to say that sex isn't an issue - just take a look at the "challenges" that some crews have and you will realize it is.

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It's a fine line, huh, Moose? Probably more like "if the wrong person finds out." But I think BSA has been pretty clear it has had no interest in operating a star chamber.

 

In the case you mentioned, I believe it was a "she" picked up by her significant other. Actually, that is the case I had in mind when I posted. When the mom was picked up early from a campout, one of the ASMs -- a member of the CO -- asked who the other woman was and was told she was the mom's partner. He reported the information to the CO and it was the church who removed the woman from the unit. BSA was asked repeatedly about the situation and responded the mom had been removed by the CO. BSA had nothing to do with the removal and repeatedly said so. Sounds like a look into the future, no?

 

I'm not aware of a case where someone was involuntarily "outed" to BSA and removed from membership without that person "avowing" to be homosexual. Of course my Omnipotence Chit has expired, so just because I don't know of such a case doesn't mean much.

 

All this interests me as somewhere in all this mess is a reasonable accomodation. My underlying premise is sexuality has no place in a program for young boys. I don't have an interest in one's orientation either way. What you do (or who you do) away from the unit doesn't concern me much. But when you bring it into the unit, it's a problem. I don't care if it's someone wanting a float in the gay pride parade or boasting of his/her conquests last weekend. And I have to think anyone --male or female -- hitting on the Tiger moms isn't going to be tolerated. Not around here, anyway.

 

Problem is, I don't care to crank up the inquisition either. I'd be happy if everyone kept their business to themselves and just focused on delivering the program.

Think that would be 'Omniscience', Twocubdad.

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You are wrong twocub, both councils and national have fought units and religious institiutions that want to be more inclusive.. If a unit wants to be inclusive, they can not proclaim so on their website and all their members must keep the vow of silence away from their council, unless the council also is known to be against the policy..

 

Jenifer Tyrell was removed by the council.. Here is a story on a council fighting with a catholic church forcing the CO to drop a homosexual http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/boy-scouts-remove-gay-leader-from-catholic-scout-troop/ It was the council who recently forced a unit to drop it inclusive statement on it's website. The council welds power over the CO by threatening to revoke their charter.. Either remove the homosexual, or we will remove the whole unit and thereby remove them ourselfs.. National is known to become heavy handed about any rogue councils who do not want to enforce the policy to kick out any "known" homosexual..

 

If by descrete you mean not admiting their sexuality at all, hiding their significant other (who could be their spouse).. Well then that is way too descrete.. How would you like to hide your wife in a closet and never speak of her at a scout meeting or allow her to attend a court of honor?.. Being descrete is only fair by allowing them the freedom of being as open about their relationship as you are, no more, no less.. You would be tossed out if you wanted to describe to your scout your intimite bedroom exploits, so would a homosexual scout or leader..

 

DigitalScout, I know of Councils who are fighting this policy (and getting slapped down by National).. But, my council to my knowledge has done nothing that lets me know which way they lean.. They haven't openly declared rebelling against the policy, nor do I know of them forcing a unit to remove homosexuals from their units, or remove inclusive statement they have made to websites or the media.. I think in NH we are a delicate balance of half conservative, and half liberal.. The "Live Free or Die" slogan swings both ways.. We have legalized same sex marriages, and though not done by popular vote, polls show it is supported by about 60% of our citizens.. Yet we are equally split between republicans & democrats, and are surrounded by states much more liberal then us.. Twenty years ago when my son was small, I was an oddity to be a working mother, most mothers stayed home. That has changed drastically since then..

 

Cambridgeskip's co-leader, may not have been open on the first day of meeting people in the unit she was volenteering in.. But, she did not hide all signs of it, and allowed people to learn about her and her significant other over time.. Here in the US, if any adult leader acted that way, they may risk the CO kicking them out, but if someone who wanted them removed from their position due to their sexual orientation did not get the results they wanted from their CO, they then could complain to their Council, and the Council could lean on the CO to remove them or revoke their charter if they did not.

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I have gay and lesbian leaders in the Pack and Troop currently.......I am worried that one of my bible thumping, the one who always pound the bible with their finger or thump it on the table to try to win a disagreement or prove a point, parents will take revenge on them and have them removed from service. Honestly, even if they are not officially on the roster I wouldn't have a problem with them working with the boys in den meetings an such.

 

IT IS A LOCAL ISSUE.

 

All of the points brought up are vailid.

 

I would not want/let the troop or a patrol participate in the gay pride parade. Of course it isn't my decision, I would have to go by what ever the IH and committee say.

 

Tenting, gay boy can tent alone. I would never let a teenage boy and girl tent together on an outing.......Same rule applies.

 

Transgender......You will need to find another troop, I am not equipt with the skill or knowledge to deal with you and the issues that accompany you.... I imagine there is a lot of drama that follows these folks around.

 

I have already dealt with an 11 year old telling me he was gay......He is one of those fellows that does stuff for shock value. That was probably a year ago or more. I spoke with his mother about it. that was the end of it. a 17 year old coming out would be a bit different, but not by much.

 

Cross dressing and such would not be tolerated, you would need to fit our troop uniforming standards. Which is Class B's or A's period. We don't put up with drug, concert, humorous or anyother silk screened shirts. Kilts.....I guess as long as it is tastefully done and not too short.

 

Far as the camporee with a gay troop in attendance.....I wouldn't say anything.....I would be prepared to answer quesions from the guys, but that is it. I would expect the gay troops behavior to be on par with the rest of the scouts, no hand holding or kissing at events or in public. If not I would go to the event organizers and lodge a complaint and then council.

 

That guy, we have all had that guy apply to be a member of the troop. Whether it was he was gay or something else, something just didn't make sense or set off your spidey senses. NO is always the right answer when you feel something isn't quite right. err on the side of safety.

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I think there are two inter-related issues the boys and the adults.

 

As for the boys I agree with Skip. I just had a 13 year 1st Class old just come out (a family friend) and I am pretty sure he hasn't kissed anyone beside his dog at this point. It explained why he and his best friend/tent buddies parted ways recently. Tent buddy was not comfortable and now 1st Class has a backpacker tent. They still hang out but just sleep seperate. Pretty sensible resolution.

 

A few weeks later another boy (bit of a hulking bully) had called him a (gay euphemism). Gay scout who was out weighed by 50 pounds and 3 years said "Yes I am a _. I would prefer to kiss boys and not girls and I presume when I grow up I will want to sleep with them. So what? If you want to kill me for being a _, then do it now and get it over with. If not shut the h_ll up and act like a scout." Bully shut up and left him alone. A while later they were working and laughing.

 

It was pretty gutsy to watch and my heart broke for the boy who had finally had enough. One of the bravest things I have seen a while.

 

So as far as the boys I do not want to be in the business of prosecuting lads who are already going through a tough time.

 

Now for adults I am a little more uncomfortable.

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I can't argue with you, Moose. I clearly see your point of view and personally agree with much of what you're saying.

 

But the title of this thread references dealing with practical problems. My practical problem is being in a fairly conservative part of the country, with a fairly conservative CO and families with a variety of political and social views. Little ol' me is naive enough to think we're here to serve youth, not wage the latest battle of the culture war. I'm looking for a reasonable accommodation which allows us to be accepting of all youth, keeping our CO happy and supportive, and leaving the politics at the curb.

 

Frankly, if I push your point of view we will end up with a "no way, no time, no how" troop policy. That's an easy solution to administer and has the added benefit of running off anyone who disagrees.

 

Unless we want to see BSA polarize into intolerant, homophobic troops vs. open, if-it-feels-good-do-it units, then those of us trying to find acceptable middle ground need to start coming up with some answers.

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All I'm saying is you were sounding as if your saying we already have local option, and National putting in Local option is basically forcing units to accept homosexuals no matter if their personality would cause you not to accept a volunteer who wereheterosexual but otherwise had a similar openess about their sexuality..

 

But, the local option you "think" we have is not something that we have.. Right now it is not the choice of the CO, unless the CO keeps their homosexual members a very big secret.. Because the council can force the CO to remove a volunteer who is a wonderful addition to their unit, simply because they have become aware of their sexual orientation, even if they are execellent Adult leaders and role models for the youth.

 

If you would be comfortable with Cambridgeskip's homosexual leader, then you would be comfortable with national allowing the local option.. Because that is what the local option would give you.

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I have posed the transgender thing a couple of times previously, with no connection to the potential policy change. To me this is really interesting.

 

If a man decided to undergo the surgery and hormone treatment to outwardly appear female, would BSA 1) categorize him as a homosexual or heterosexual and 2) if that transgender person subsequently married an existing scout leader, would this be viewed as a homo- or heterosexual relationship?

Moreover, without karyotyping applicants, how would BSA know in the first place? What business of BSA's would it be FOR them to know?

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Here’s another question - how will councils deal with the "practical problems" if the local option gets the thumbs up?

 

I believe one problem that councils may run into is that they may have to adjust their summer camp program to accommodate all the diversity.

 

There should be an all-inclusive week of camp where everybody is welcome regardless of sexual orientation. Another week could be set aside for those against having to camp with troops that may have a gay leader or gay Scout. Another week could be exclusively for Roman Catholic troops only. The same can be done with those in-school units where the DE’s are the unit leaders. And let’s not forget the LDS units. They can continue having their own exclusive week of summer camp so they don't have to deal with those non-LDS scouters.

 

Yes, the councils will have to accommodate its members various likes and dislikes of each other. If they do it for the LDS, they should do it for every other group.

 

Boy what a hole the Irving pros have dug themselves.

 

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Really confused here, have not any of the people concerned about gay scouts or scoutmasters ever camped in a commercial campsite or a National/State park? Did you check the sexual orientation of all the nearby campers before you set up Camp? On a hike, how do you assure that all the people you interact with are confirmed heterosexual? For those of you have been to Gettysburg, there is the McMillan youth Campground. Was every group in there straight when you were there, are you sure?

 

 

I don't see the issue, we have youth protection guidelines, we follow them. What is the issue? Is the thought the allowing of gay scouts means every campout is an orgy ready to break out?

 

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AZ Mike

 

Your premise is purely fear motivated nonsense. Local Option means that the units leadership and CO will set the parameters of what is or is not allowable activities. National is abdicating that responsibility because they have lost their vision and lack the guts to declare what scouting should be on a National basis. IMO it is the most cowardly and gutless move National has ever done, and it shows me Nationals professional scouting has reached its end and is time to dissolve it once and for all. The last thing anyone needs to fear is a sudden overwhelming mass of gay youth and adults rushing to join the BSA.

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BadenP, fear-motivated nonsense is apparently how I roll.

 

I am, however, just doing the favor of taking those who want the New Model of Scouting at their word. If the failure to change to the NMS is all that is keeping a large group of gay scouts, gay scouters, socially conscious liberal parents, and morally impeccable corporate funding sources from rushing to participate in scouting, doesn't it make sense that a change will cause "an overwhelming mass of gay youth and adults rushing to join the BSA?" I have read those on this forum in favor of the NMS claim that the changes will mean that we will have huge Jamboree special effects shows created by Steven Speilberg and that George Takei will create loving media attention by being named the Chief Scouter. If it will have no effect in causing gays to join, but will probably cause social conservatives to leave, shouldn't the discussion focus on why the demands of the few must outweigh the needs of the many? You shouldn't claim that the NMS will change everything, but then say we shouldn't talk about how we plan to deal with what might happen, because after all it really won't change anything.

 

If, as you say, the Local Option allows the units leadership and CO to set the parameters for what is or is not allowable activities, is it not prudent to discuss now how we individually plan to deal with the issues that arise? Clearly, some of those issues have already arisen (like participation in Gay Pride parades, and all-gay scout troops) in Canada Scouting (possibly to its detriment), and, in the Girl Scouts of America, transgendered child issues. Do you think the Boy Scouts of America operate on a special reservation that protects us from the problems of society as a whole?

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