Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
ghst

BSA National leadership or lack of and the local option

Recommended Posts

I have been a long time lurker here and following many of the discussions here about many different issues. It is a great place to read opposing views and look at other scouters points of view.

 

Does anyone else see the possibility of the local option as a lack of leadership on the national level of BSA?

I'm all for the BSA ending this ban on gays which will change (it’s just a matter of time). But I cannot see this local option as nothing but trouble. What happens when we go to camporee's or scout camp? Some troops allow gays....some don't..... doesn't anyone see this as a problem? If the BSA goes with the local option it's only a matter of time until someone with a gay son or gay parent who would like to be involved wants to join a troop which is the only one in that area that excludes gays and there we are all over the news having to fight this battle over and over again. When the US Military changed their policy I knew that BSA policy on this would not stand for long.

 

BSA stands for Boy Scouts of America right? Not Boy Scouts of this town or this church or this group each one making their own rules. What happens if we start changing the Youth Protection Policy to fit each troop adding or leaving out things as we chose on a local level?

 

I thought one of items we as scouters and adult leaders try to instill in our scouts is leadership. Leadership is something that looks like we are lacking on a national level. This local option looks like a very lame attempt to make everyone happy which in the end will not work anyway. I think BSA at the national level is more interested in protecting their jobs then leading this organization anyway.

 

Just allow the gays in and let the chips fall where they may. If these different charter organizations. threaten to drop out of BSA then let them. How would that affect our local unit anyway? We raise all of our money for our unit events; purchase all our own gear, etc. We sell popcorn and anything else the BSA leadership wants (and they get their cut). In turn we get scout camps that are understaffed and underfunded, insurance which we pay for through our recharter fees, nice websites for doing our youth protection training.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this idea is being explored in a number of other threads. However your questions are still good.

 

As has been brought up before the BSA is now in a no-win position where there is no answer that will please everybody.

 

I still think the local option is the best solution. I don't think the BSA can continue being exclusive, not when it appears that two thirds of the

councils don't want it that way. And I don't think you can force a CO to accept members they don't want.

 

There will be people who will stomp off but I am agreeing with some of the other posters here that there won't be very many.

There will be troops that will avoid each other but overall I am really thinking this is going to settle down, and fairly quickly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Keep in mind that even now, the BSA policy does not encourage gay or heterosexual members to "flaunt" their sexuality - that is not what the program is all about. If the BSA goes to a local option, I don't see any issue at all with camporees or "mixing" of units that may have different membership standards.

 

Right now, many units do not allow female leaders of troops (SMs & SAs). Those units don't have an issue mingling with troops that do. Why should this be any different?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But what is going to happen when a boy or parent that is gay wants to join a troop that excludes gays and gets turned away? Then we are right back in the news again and that's my problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The worrisome issue of bad press is not my concern. Right now, chartering organizations have the right to exclude non-catholics, females, etc. I believe they should still have the right to do so - at their own risk. I think, maybe naively, that there will be enough COs that would not turn away homosexuals that it would not become an issue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ghst, to begin withl, that 'problem' is speculative. It is just as likely that IF there is some such controversy, it will be focused on that particular CO and NOT the rest of us. It's their problem, not BSA's.

Local option, local responsibility.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ghst, to begin withl, that 'problem' is speculative. It is just as likely that IF there is some such controversy, it will be focused on that particular CO and NOT the rest of us. It's their problem, not BSA's.

Local option, local responsibility.

Sounds like we should be looking for a new title for our Balkanized organization, then no longer - the Boy Scouts of America, but The Boy Scouts of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 123, The Boys Scouts of St. Dymphna's Church, The Boy Scouts of the Ancient and Benevolent Order of the Platypus, The Boy Scouts of the Reverend Joe's Church of Total Inclusion and Check Cashing Service.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ghst, to begin withl, that 'problem' is speculative. It is just as likely that IF there is some such controversy, it will be focused on that particular CO and NOT the rest of us. It's their problem, not BSA's.

Local option, local responsibility.

AZMike thats a good one........I'm sad to say probably going to be fairly close to the mark.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

AZMike, why do we need to rename the organization? We already have certain units that have their own twist to the program and don't camp on Sundays (LDS units). We already have local option with regards to allowing or not allowing female leaders. We already have local option on membership requirements regarding religious beliefs for certain CO's...

 

I understand that some hold the gay and athiest issues very near and dear because they believe it to tear at the very moral fabric that THEIR view of BSA represents. However, there are others who see exclusion based on gender or religious affiliation just as bad.

 

BSA national has mucked this up really good, and I'm in agreement with the OP that they have shown just about everything BUT leadership on this issue.

 

Local option is their ONLY course at this point to save face internally with members and CO's that have different views than one another. Local option is really the ONLY optionleft to attempt to appease extrenal pressure for change (both in lawsuits, land use, and corp. donations) and yet allow the miraid of religious CO's (each with their own views / levels of acceptance of homosexuality) to make a local decision that will keep them in the game.

 

If national made a policy change across the board to accept gays, would the LDS and Catholic CO's (maybe some others) drop their charters? Maybe, maybe not... I'm guessing on principle, most would want to, but I'm not sure how they face the youth they serve once they no longer have access to the program and the council camps . etc... Local option plays the best parts of each side of the coin. You allow for tolerance of gays in units that are OK with it, without pissing off your huge base demographic of LDS / Catholic / other religious CO's that might bolt if you make an outright national mandate.

 

Its really the lesser of all the evils considered... the current policy cannot stand any longer, and a complete reversal of the ban is not acceptable to a large enough majority of the membership at this time. What else are they supposed to do?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Leadership? Not so much, IMHO. Merely capitulating to "market forces." It's seems to them to be the most expedient thing to give in to the pressure of our culture that declares that any and all sexual behavior should be embraced and celebrated. The group that trumpets their sexual behavior loud and long wins day. BTW: that loud chorus has no love of the local option and will continue their chants until the BSA someday completely forbids any CO to charter unless fully inclusive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As others have pointed out, we already have "local option" insofar as COs can pretty much limit leadership and membership, so I don't see much difference. As to summer camp and camporees, I don't see the issue. In the first place, if you go to one of those today and observe how different the units are in conduct, membership, uniforming and leadership, you can see vast differences. We also take our boys to public places like theme parks, water parks and other public venues where the dangers of some kind of actual molestation are much greater than they would be at Scout camp.

 

National should just bite the bullet and endure the kerfuffle that is sure to follow. I believe it will go much more smoothly than most think.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have asked this before, and will again, Why when the talk of the local option first started years ago did no one bring the arguments we have today?

 

Next, there are several Churches that do not accept "openly gay" members. Do they get sued because an openly gay person wishes to join them? Why would a BSA troop sponosred by that church be any different?

 

At Camporees and other Distrct and Council events there is a fear of "mingling" with gay scouts and scouters? Do you ever go to State and National Parks? Or a commerical Campground? Are all those people straight?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have asked this before, and will again, Why when the talk of the local option first started years ago did no one bring the arguments we have today?

 

Next, there are several Churches that do not accept "openly gay" members. Do they get sued because an openly gay person wishes to join them? Why would a BSA troop sponosred by that church be any different?

 

At Camporees and other Distrct and Council events there is a fear of "mingling" with gay scouts and scouters? Do you ever go to State and National Parks? Or a commerical Campground? Are all those people straight?

 

As to your second paragraph, the current administration in pressing their HHS mandate on requiring insurance payments for abortifacients and contraceptives has set out the novel legal theory that while churches themselves are religious institutions, the hospitals and adoption services and food banks and such that they operate under the dictates of their religious conscience are not (much less individual members of the religion who operate their own businesses), and so must pay the cost of providing abortifacients and contraceptives to their employees. SCOTUS will ultimately deal with this issue, but I see no reason why, under this argument, providing a meeting space for a chapter of a national youth organization (and moreover, one which may alter its own policy on this issue) would be held to be part of the church's core religious values.

 

A "divide and conquer" legal strategy would also be ruinous to the Local Option. If the local chapters of GLAAD and the ACLU target each individual Local Option troop/CO that chooses to continue under the traditional policy, will the BSA fund the legal defense for 20, 30, 100 or more local legal challenges?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
But what is going to happen when a boy or parent that is gay wants to join a troop that excludes gays and gets turned away? Then we are right back in the news again and that's my problem.
Troops can turn boys away already, for almost any reason except for race.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ghst, to begin withl, that 'problem' is speculative. It is just as likely that IF there is some such controversy, it will be focused on that particular CO and NOT the rest of us. It's their problem, not BSA's.

Local option, local responsibility.

AZMike, we already have that. Troops have the option to exclude scouts and leaders for almost every reason except race.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×