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Merlyn_LeRoy

Girl Scout Gold Award project was gay/straight alliance

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We all know the BSA stance on homosexuals in scouting. Brent, it might interest you to know that NAMBLA has written books for their members with specific instructions on how to infiltrate the Boy Scouts, and other youth organizations and how successful they have been. I agree with Dan there is a big difference between homosexuals and Nambla members, who are nothing more than predators. There was an episode of South Park on last night about a boy scout troop who had a homosexual scoutmaster. The council dismissed him and put a so called straight military style replacement, who turned out to be a pervert taking naked pictures of the boys. The ending had quite an inspiring message, and I suggest that ED and Brent, who are obvious homophobes, view it to see just how ridiculous their statements are in this case, and what is the real tragedy in the BSA stance on this issue.

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This one is real simple.

The BSA has policies against an adult sharing a tent with any Scout other than his son. There are similar policies against Venture Scouts of different sexes sharing a tent.

Now let's assume we allow gays into the BSA, and a 17 year old and a 14 year old in the same Patrol develop a "relationship." Are you going to let them share a tent on campouts? Are you going to police their behaviour, after lights out? Are you going to let your son share a tent with another gay scout in his patrol? What if he ends up on a campout where he has no choice but to share a tent with them?

Now let's move forward a year - the 17 year old is now 18, and still in the "relationship" with the now 15 year old Scout. The Scouter is now a pedophile, by definition, isn't he? Are you going to let him stay in your unit?

I wonder what type of phobia the NAMBLA members call DanKroh and BadenP. I mean, come on, those consent ages in the law aren't based on anything scientific, right? Probably just a bunch of religious fanatics came up with those ages to make everyone follow their straight-laced lifestyles, right? If 2 people really love each other, regardless of their age, shouldn't they be allowed to share their feelings with each other? What are y'all so afraid of? Who are they hurting? Y'all are just a bunch of _______phobes!

I'm sure there are some boys out there in this very position, and they would appreciate some Scout creating an alliance for them, so they can have a safe place to go, where no one will judge them - to paraphrase.

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Rantings aside, NAMBLA and the general gay population are not the same thing. To equate the two shows a basic lack of understanding, and basically makes a caricature of the gay lifestyle. Yes, I'm sure that there is some crossover, but my gut tells me that NAMBLA has more straight members than it does gay members. And, I'll bet it has its share of church going members as well.

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Brent,

All I can say is that your simplistic examples, which have little to do with the topic, prove the total lack of understanding you have about the issue being discussed. NAMBLA and organizations like it are very real and genuine threats to the BSA and other youth groups. The fact that you can not tell the difference between NAMBLA and homosexuals really makes me wonder about your intelligence and educational background. Maybe Brent the reason you are so upset is that you are a member/supporter of NAMBLA yourself and that's why you are defending them.

 

The Girl Scout Project took a lot of courage on the part of that young woman and I congratulate her on her conviction and courage.

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Congrats to Bethanne for earning her Gold Award and congrats to the Girl Scouts for recognizing that community is as diverse as the human race.

 

Could an Eagle project be done for a GLBT organization? I see nothing in the rules that would prevent it, membership policies notwithstanding. Girls can't be members of the BSA but I doubt anyone would prevent a service project that benefited 10-year old girls. As long as the guidelines are followed (no fundraising, no politics, etc.) there should be no hold up on approving a service project for a non-profit GLBT organization. Makes me curious if any projects have ever been done for one of the gay and lesbian community centers or health centers in our larger cities - or even in smaller cities.

 

I would hope that the members of the review boards were able to put away their personal feelings on issues/people/groups when they made their decisions - I for one would not want to see a review board member try to veto a project because it goes against the grain of their own personal feelings and morality. Would the Scouts stand for someone vetoing a blood drive as a service project because that person had moral objections to blood drives (before anyone says "thats a bad example" remember that there are people out there who do not give blood because it is against their religious precepts), or because the project benefits a church of a denomination not one's own, or because they disagree with the politics of an otherwise qualified organization (no service projects for the Sierra Club because they're a bunch of bunny huggers or, on the opposite end of the spectrum - no service projects for the NRA because guns are bad)? Imagine the bad press the scouts would get for something like that.

 

CalicoPenn

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This is a second reply because I wanted to separate out the issues of Eagle Scout projects with the issues of gay scouts and sexual behavior on campouts.

 

Simply put - there is no place whatsoever for sexual behavior on Boy Scout camping trips - that being said, anyone who believes that there hasn't been or isn't sexual behavior going on at Boy Scout camping trips (both single sex trips and coed trips) is very naive. Any experienced Scoutmaster or Scouter with many campouts and years under their belts is likely to have at least one and probably more tales they can relate. I've worked security at camporees, worked in summer camps, and have been a Scoutmaster - I've interrupted a few trysts between lads and between lads and gals in my time. It happens and there is little we can do to stop it other than being vigilant.

 

Does that mean policing the boys behavior after lights out? YES - thats part of the job of being a Scoutmaster/Adult Leader. Will this prevent anything from going on? Not completely. If gay youth were allowed in Scouting and I knew that 2 of the lads were in a relationship, I would not let them share a tent - period - just as I wouldn't let a boyfriend/girlfriend couple share a tent. I would also sit them down before a campout and spell out what is expected and allowed - just as I would with any couples in a coed Venture crew.

 

As for the example of age differences brought up - most states have what are known as "Romeo and Juliet" laws - they recognize that an 18 year old having consensual sexual relations with someone younger who has not reached the age of consent (its generally 4 years age difference)is technically wiolating sexual morality laws but the offense does not merit the same punishment as someone much older doing the same thing. In the example of the 18 year old/15 year old - they'll just have to cool it (or never get caught). If it was an 18 year old/16 year old and the age of consent is 16, then there would be no violation of any law. As it relates to Scouting, the situation has likely come up numerous times already in the coed Venturing program (as I'm sure it did many times in the coed Exploring program).

 

As for "definitions" - to be accurate, an 18 year old (or anyone older) having sexual relations with anyone who is a teenager under the age of consent (13 to 18, depending on what state you live in) is NOT a pedophile. A pedophile is one who has sex/fantasies about children 12 and under (pre-pubescent children) - By Definition. The correct term you are looking for is Hebephile - By Definition.

 

CalicoPenn

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I guess it depends on your dictionary.

pedophilia: sexual perversion in which children are the preferred sexual object. Webster

 

child (legal definition): (1) A son or daughter of any age, sometimes including biological offspring, unborn children, adopted children, stepchildren, foster children and children born outside of marriage. (2) A person under an age specified by law, often 14 or 16. For example, state law may require a person to be over the age of 14 to make a valid will, or may define the crime of statutory rape as sex with a person under the age of 16. In this sense, a child can be distinguished from a minor, who is a person under the age of 18 in most states. A person below the specified legal age who is married is often considered an adult rather than a child. See also emancipation. Nolo.com

Not really that important to the issue, I admit.

 

Trevorum - thanks for helping BP out with something that was obviously over his head. I think the real BP would have been able to figure that one out. :-)

Brent Allen

Georgia Tech, 1989

I used to be a Fox, a good ol' Fox too...

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BrentAllen, the term you are looking for is not a phobia, but an "ism". Ageism. And there are heterosexual groups who also feel that the sexual age restrictions are unfair. But they don't get nearly as much bad press as NAMBLA. And frankly, I don't give a hoot if someone from NAMBLA thinks I'm ageist or any kind of "phobe"; I'm not obsessed with the members of that organization.

 

I agree the CalicoPenn--well said, by the way. Sexual relations of any kind have no place in scouting. And, Brent, if you are not willing to help police the behavior of your scouts, either before OR after lights out, well, then lets just say I'm glad you are not MY son's scoutmaster.

 

So what happens to a heterosexual couple who are both minors, who are romantically involved, and who both happen to be on the same Venture crew? Do they get to share a tent on campouts? Are they allowed to have public displays of affection at scouting events? I'm going to assume that the answer to both of those is no.

 

So why would your standard of behavior be any different for a homosexual couple who are both minors and who are romantically involved? No PDA. No tenting together. As you say, Brent, this one is real simple. The same rules apply to all couples, no matter what their genders. And if those two guys or those two gals who are romanticallly involved weren't so worried about being kicked out of the BSA because of their relationship, they might even be willing to tell their adult leaders about the relationship, making it even simpler to "police their behavior".

 

Finally, Brent, your dictionary definition of pedophile, while not completely wrong, is inaccurate. CalioPenn is again correct. The child must be "prepubescent". According to the DSM-IV for Mental Disorders, pedophilia is "characterized by either intense sexually arousing fantasies, urges, or behaviors involving sexual activity with a prepubescent child (typically age 13 or younger)." So none of the scenarios you presented were actually "pedophilia".

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DanKroh,

Your profile says you are a Den Leader. I'm curious - have you been to any training? You may not be aware there are policies in place about who can and cannot share a tent. Heterosexual couples in Venturing cannot, by policy. There is no policy that prevents boys from sharing a tent. I'd like to hear the wording you would suggest for a policy preventing gay Scouts from sharing a tent, if they were ever allowed in. Yes, I police the behaviour of the Cub Scouts in my Pack - outside the tents. I don't go around entering tents uninvited to check behaviour, nor do I sneak around late at night, listening for whispered conversations.

This whole debate comes down to where do you draw the line. I consider homosexual behavior a sin - that is where I draw the line. You draw the line somewhere farther to the left, but to the right of NAMBLA. I could use your language to say "...I don't give a hoot if someone from NAMBLA (gay groups) thinks I'm ageist (homophobic) or any kind of "phobe"; I'm not obsessed with the members of that organization." and I will promptly be labeled a homophobe, and will be derided by the gay and PC crowds.

The bottom line - who gets to decide where the line is drawn. Mass. wants to allow same-sex marriages, Georgia wants to amend the state constitution to prevent it. You think you are right, I think I am right, NAMBLA thinks they are right. Luckily for me, my beliefs fall in line with BSA policy, which will hopefully never change on this issue. If it does ever change, you can be sure NAMBLA will become very interested in the Scouting program.

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Brent,

Are cubs allowed to tent without their parents? Not when my son was a cub. Cubs tented with their parents, not other cubs. Maybe that was just our pack leader's rule. Don't know if he was trained.

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Gern,

Yes, Cubs can tent together. Nearly all of ours tent with their parents, but it is possible to allow the Cubs in one tent, and the dads in another.

From the Cub Leader book:

 

"Male and female youth participants must not share the same sleeping facility.

 

When tents are used, no youth will stay in the tent of an adult other than his or her parent or guardian.

 

If a parent cannot attend, the boy's family must make arrangements for one of the other parents attending, or for another adult relative or friend, to be a substitute at the overnighter."

 

In that last situation, if the boy is under the supervision of another dad, he cannot sleep in the tent with that dad. He either sleeps in another tent by himself, or the boys share a tent, and the dad tents alone.

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Yes, Brent, I am fully trained as a CUB scout leader. I know all the policies of Youth Protection as they pertain to CUB scouts. I have not been trained on the policies of the Venture program because I am not a leader in that program. The YPT I received did not include female youth members. I know about the policies in the Boy Scouts because I've been on a few campouts with my older son as a parent, but not as a Boy Scout leader.

 

You want a wording to prevent gay Boy Scouts from tenting together? Actually, it is unnecessary if you have a policy that is strictly enforced that no scouts shall engage in sexual behavior or overtly affectionate conduct at scouting functions. What is the policy that prevents the two opposite-sex Venture Scouts from making out around the campfire? Same thing could by applied to two same-sex scouts.

 

If that is not good enough for you, well, sometimes leaders have to make judgement calls that are not covered by policies. You don't need a policy to prevent tenting together, you need a leader with good judgement and youth who are willing to be honest and open about their relationship.

 

Also, I finally have to ask, what IS your obsession with NAMBLA all about? You think there haven't sexual predators in the BSA in the past who were NOT NAMBLA members? The BSA will always be attractive to sexual predators, regardless of the predator's affiliations with any other organization, and regardless of their sexual orientation. Do you think most molesters of boys are "avowed homosexuals"? Statistics say quite the opposite. The vast majority of child-molesters are self-avowed heterosexuals, quite often married with children of their own. From the BSA's own past and statistical data, heterosexual men represent a far greater threat to the youth members of the BSA than any homosexuals ever would.

 

The YP argument against homosexuals in the BSA has been debunked and disproven over and over again by the BSA's own past and by statistical and psychological evidence about child-molesters. Time to get a new argument.

 

My religion says that homosexuals are God's creations, too, and to be intolerant of them is a sin. So your religion card also falls flat.

 

Why did a question about an Eagle project benefitting the LGBT community get turned into yet another argument about gays in scouting?

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Well, gee, Dan, let's just fire Roy Williams and make you Chief Scout Executive, and let in all the child molesters, murders, rapists,... After all, they are all God's creation too, and we don't want to be intolerant of them. That would be sinful, right?

How can you allow yourself and your son to belong to such a sinful group as the BSA? If I felt as you do about the intolerant sin, I don't think I could continue to associate with the group. You must do some pretty strong rationalizing to justify your continued membership.

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