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Girl Scout Gold Award project was gay/straight alliance

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http://www.hometownannapolis.com/cgi-bin/read/2006/01_09-17/CAN

 

Service project creates Gay-Straight Alliance

By LORI PHELAN, Staff Writer

 

Severn School senior Bethanne Albert-Bruninga, 17, of Glen Burnie, recently attained Girl Scouting's highest honor, the Gold Award. Equivalent to the Eagle Scout from the Boy Scouts of America, the Gold Award requires a Scout to fulfill requirements of a community service project.

 

For Miss Albert-Bruninga, her goal was to create the Gay-Straight Alliance, an Annapolis youth group.

 

The daughter of Elise Albert and Bob Bruninga and a member of the Annapolis Girl Scout Troop 3114, she earned her Gold Award in August.

 

The idea for the organization was inspired by a friend who confided in the teen about her own sexuality.

 

"She had, and is still having, a hard time dealing with the homophobia that she sees around her everyday," said Miss Albert-Bruninga. "I founded the GSA because I wanted to give her a safe place where she could feel that no one was judging her. She told me recently that she appreciates the GSA and it has really helped her in the past couple months."

...

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It's unfortunate, I think (and my opinion only), that BSA hasn't found a way to get past its homophobia, while the Girl Scouts have done so in such a wonderful manner.

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And the point is ...........................

 

The GSUSA sold out their morals years ago.

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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I think that's fantastic.

 

I will admit that I don't know much about the criteria for Eagle projects, since I've only been a leader in Cub Scouts so far, and my older son is only a Tenderfoot.

 

But would an Eagle project designed to benefit the LGBT community ever get approval, assuming it was an appropriate project if you substituted any other minority segment into the LGBT label?

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And the point is.....

 

Girl Scouts might be able to recognize better what are real moral values and what could be seen as contrivances to appease particular religious groups.

 

DanKroh,

That's an interesting question. Suppose a project was proposed to do some needed remodeling work at a church that was well known for supporting the gay community. That'd be interesting. I suppose if the Eagle counselor wasn't aware of the connection, the project would go along just fine.

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That's not the point. That's just bad judgment and the failure to recognize what is and isn't moral.

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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You know, I started to write a snappy retort to Ed, but then decided it just wasn't worth my energy.

 

Prairie_Scouter,

 

So doing a project for our UU church would not be acceptable? Does an Eagle project have to by something physical, or could it be something similar along the lines of creating a community-wide LGBT outreach group? What about a project that involved helping an AIDS outreach program (granted, not specifically LGBT, but certainly would benefit a segment of the LGBT community)? And would approval be dependent on how "tolerant" the troop committee or the local council is; for example, would a project like this be more likely to be approved in "liberal Massachusetts" than the "conservative Bible-belt"?

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DanKroh,

 

If you were to look at the wording of the requirements for an Eagle project, there is nothing in there that relates to the affiliation of the recipient of the project other than the project must be for the benefit of the "community" and cannot benefit the BSA or a BSA unit.

 

"While a Life Scout, plan, develop, and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to any religious institution, any school, or your community. (The project should benefit an organization other than Boy Scouting.) The project idea must be approved by the organization benefiting from the effort, your Scoutmaster and troop committee and the council or district before you start. You must use the Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project Workbook, BSA publication No. 18-927C, in meeting this requirement. "

 

There is no official reason why an Eagle project could not be approved for a UU Church that I can think of. The unit I serve is sponsored by an open Methodist church. So open, that if the opportunity presented itself, I'm sure the Church would allow a gay marriage ceremony to take place and for all I know has. Our troop has performed numerous service projects for our sponsor and there are a couple of pending Eagle project proposals. The Church's open membership policy and the BSA's membership policy has never come up.

 

 

SA

 

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And while you're at it, maybe you could find a way to help the members of NAMBLA. I'm sure they "might be able to recognize better what are real moral values and what could be seen as contrivances to appease particular religious groups." I'm sure they will tell you they were born with these tendencies, and can't help themselves. They are just misunderstood. All the homophobes in this country should cast away their fears, and try to understand the world as the members of NAMBLA do. Heck, BSA should go directly to them and recruit our leaders! I would think the BSA would be a perfect fit for this group. All we need are a couple of Scouts working on their Eagle projects and their enlightened leaders/parents to lead the way! They will probably want to change some of the tenting requirements, regarding Scouts and adults, but that's not a big deal, is it??

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Guest OldGreyEagle

I have always wondered what the GSA was anyway but thats another topic...

 

Actually from the BSA website:

 

http://www.scouting.org/nav/enter.jsp?s=xx&c=ds&terms=position+statement

 

I found the following quote: "

...The Scout Law requires youth to be helpful, friendly, courteous, and kind to all, and Scouts are taught to be respectful of those whose views may be different from their own. Scouting teaches both tolerance and clear moral values. Tolerance for all does not mean that all behavior must be accepted as appropriate for those in Scouting."

 

So, perhaps an Eagle Project could be starting a Gay/Straight alliance, it would depend on the leadership shown by the scout and all the other parameters. Helping establish such an organization would be like a pastor starting an inter-faith alliance of churches in a community. Just because a Catholic Priest wants Baptists, Methodists, Jew, Moslems, etc to work together doesnt mean he is no longer Catholic, nor does it change the requirements to be Catholic.

 

It depends on how its written

 

 

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Thanks Scoutingagain and OldGreyEagle for the information about Eagle projects. It is something I will hopefully find out about in more detail as my boys get older.

 

And BrentAllen, it is a sad, sad situation if you can't tell the difference between pedophilia and a loving relationship between two consenting adults.

 

edited for clarity(This message has been edited by DanKroh)

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DanKroh,

Oh, really?

Are you in favor of letting gays in the BSA? If so, you must be talking about boys under the age of 18 - certainly not the adults you mentioned. So by your definition, it would be ok for two 18 year old men to have a loving relationship. Would it be ok for two 17 year old boys to have a loving relationship? Depending on your answer to that question, both of those relationships could be ok, but a relationship between a 17 year old and an 18 year old would be pedophilia. Please explain how that can be so.

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BrentAllen,

 

And what does any of that have to do with Gold Award/Eagle Projects?

 

But sure, I'll play along for now.

 

Not that it's any of your business, but, again, just to play along, yes, I am in favor of letting gays in the BSA.

 

As far as your relationship scenarios, different states have different laws about what constitutes "adult" in terms of sexual relationships. IMHO, there should be two types of laws governing the sexual relationships of minors; statuatory rape and rape, depending on whether there was consent or not, regardless of the gender of the parties involved. If a consentual sexual relationship between an 18 yo boy and a 17 yo girl is legal (which I believe it would be in most states; isn't the cut off usually 16?), then a consentual relationship between a 17 yo and an 18 yo should be legal no matter what their genders.

 

For that matter, shouldn't we be more worried about all those female leaders being around all those innocent young men, especially since we know that none of them are lesbians? The BSA has youth protection in place to protect the youth from ALL leaders, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

 

My personal feeling, though, is that sexual relationships between any two people who are not mature enough to handle them should be discouraged. Since we need something more definite for the law that "maturity", we base it on an arbitrary age cut-off. Personally, I wouldn't want my 17 yo son having sexual relations with ANYONE who was substantially older than him (i.e. more than a year or two), or AT ALL if he weren't mature enough to handle the issues associated with being sexually intimate.

 

If you actually knew anything about NAMBLA, other than what their name stands for, you'd know that one of their positions is that the age limits for consentual same-sex relationships should be lowered. I disagree with that, because I think that age-limits for ANY consentual sexual relationship are necessary. Just for the record, before you start making assumptions about my stance on NAMBLA, I don't like the organization, mostly because they DO have a segment of their organization who prey on non-adult boys (i.e. commit pedophila), and they are unwilling to "police" their own organization.

 

Again, what any of this has to do with the topic at hand, I don't know. Maybe you can explain that to me.

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For the record...

Our UU congregation was recently the benefactor of a wonderful Eagle project. The Scout designed and installed in a quiet section of the church grounds a "memorial garden" including a stone bench and granite marker in memory of a friend and classmate who tragically died several years ago.

 

The official position of the UU Church on social issues had absolutely no bearing on the troop's or the council's approval of the Eagle project.

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