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What would have to change if gays were allowed in?

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As I was reading Calico's posting about how lesbians might be the only acceptable leaders, I decided it might be interesting to do a follow-on to the "what would change if girls were allowed" thread, and ask the same thing about gays. What would have to change about the program/rules if gays were allowed in?

 

I mean to have this be an actual discussion of what program items (or youth protection rules) might have to change. But I put it in the Issues & Politics forum, because I can see it will likely wander there anyway.

 

Ground rules: I'm not asking if you think it should happen. I'm not asking if you'd quit Scouts. You may presume that anyone (either gender) caught harassing a Scout would be dismissed from the program. You may presume that rules of normal society still apply, and you won't be forced to listen to gays describing their conquests any more than straight people describing theirs.

 

If we allowed gay leaders, what would possibly have to change? Anything?

 

What about gay Scouts? If we won't let male and female Venturers tent together, would we allow two gay Scouts to tent together? If we won't allow males and females to shower together, would we allow gay Scouts? (This was actually the biggest issue I remember from my discussions as a youth - guys not wanting to shower with gay guys. Seemed to get about the same reaction as asking women to shower with men.) Maybe it's not such an issue because we're mostly heading toward one-person showers anyway.

 

So it's a given that there would no doubt be lots of politics and LDS issues and so forth - but what do you think would actually have to change about any part of the program? I'll be curious to see if we can do this politely and without wandering into lots of prejudices or stereotypes.

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In reality, the gays are already hiking amongst us. So nothing from that standpoint would change.

 

But from a public relations angle, removing the prohibition would reduce the friction the BSA faces when interfacing with the public and in utilizing public resources. Eliminating one of the three G's from the argument would definitely benefit the BSA in the long term.

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One thing I know for a fact would change, we would lose a lot of COs, particularly LDS and Catholic units. I was a DE when the Dale case was headed to the Supreme Court, and we had a very active pack fold b/c the CO did not want to have anything to do with gays. So they dropped the charter in case the BSA lost the decision and gays could become members. No matter what I said about how they select leaders, the court case hasn't even hit the SC yet, etc, they dropped the pack like a sack of hot potatoes.

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Hal,

Yep bathwater with the baby. Long story short, they merged with an existing pack. Pack leadership didn't want to have anything with a local Catholic church looking to start their pack and needed leaders. Eventually a new church split form the original CO and they restarted the pack there. Again this was after I left the profession though.(This message has been edited by eagle92)

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Yah, I reckon that's da biggest issue, eh? We'd have to replace a lot of dropped units and leaders. In some areas, we'd lose da majority of units in a district, and a lot of long-term volunteer experience and donor dollars. And I reckon that in most units, we'd lose some families.

 

That's pretty devastatin' organizationally, eh? Especially if a few of those bigger partners opt to get together and form their own scouting association.

 

Beyond that, all I can see happenin' is that we have even more obtuse G2SS rules about who can tent with whom, especially when the moon is full. :) And some mandatory diversity training.

 

Beavah

 

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If I ran the zoo...

If the ban on gays was to be dropped, I replace it with a ban of ASM's under 21, maybe even 25.

I wouldn't want a 19 year old female as ASM and for the same reason I wouldn't want a 19 year old gay male.

 

 

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In the UK when the ban was lifted on gays, nothing changed.

although we ( in the UK ) don't ( from my point of view anyway ) have any religious organisation that has a major controlling influence over Scouting, as the LDS appears to have with the BSA.

 

As far as im aware, where I operate we don't have any gays, neither adults or young people.

Would it cause a problem? that depends on the individual person.

If we had a Scout who was openly gay, and he/she decided to make an 'issue' over it to the other Scouts, and leaders then it would be a problem, although I would class it as inappropriate behaviour which would then need to be dealt with by the troop leadership team.

likewise to a greater extent with any adults displaying inappropriate behaviour.

All Adults involved with Scouting in the UK have to have a current Criminal record bureau background check ( Enhanced CRB), as well as a background check by the UK Scout association.

 

As a part of my adult training i had to do a diversity 'module' the equal opportunites policy was explained to us, this is the UK equal opps policy

 

 

" no person volunteering their services should receive less favourable treatment on the basis of, nor suffer disadvantage by reason of:

o

 

age;

o

 

class;

o

 

ethnic origin, nationality (or statelessness) or race;

o

 

gender;

o

 

marital or sexual status;

o

 

mental or physical ability;

o

 

political or religious belief.

 

Note: Paedophilia is a bar to any involvement in the Scout Movement.

 

Note: With reference to religious belief, the avowed absence of religious belief is a bar to appointment to a Leadership position."

 

 

 

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What seems to be absent from these discussions, both with respect to the BSA and the military, is the recognition that sleeping arrangements are a core issue.

 

My own son attends a primarily evangelical home-school academy with a gay boy who's about 90% out. I suspect, but don't know, that he may be a refugee from the public schools because of harassment. Of course, there is no sexual or romantic contact among anyone at the home-school academy, so overt behavior is not an issue. I don't know how many other parents are aware of this boy, but I would guess the majority are. If there's been any backlash from this, I haven't heard of it.

 

I don't have a problem with it either, and have cautioned my son to treat this kid with respect. But, I have a huge problem with gays in the BSA.

 

So, what's the difference?

 

One word: camping! Nobody in their right mind would suggest that the BSA & GSA have joint camping trips with guys and girls sharing tents.

 

Why? Because any parent with more than two brain-cells to knock together knows you don't put teens who are potentially sexually attracted to each other in bed together, unless you are PLANNING for them to have sex.

 

But, functionally once you allow gays in the BSA, you are doing just that: putting potential sex-partners in bed together. And, the only way out is one-man tents.

 

If the BSA dropped camping and overnight outdoor activity, I wouldn't have a big problem with gays in the BSA. I suppose I'd tolerate it if the BSA mandated a one-boy, one-tent policy, in troops and at camp. I realize that many troops are already office and gym troops, with no real outdoor overnight activity. I suppose, if the BSA created a category for non-outdoor non-overnight troops, I wouldn't mind if they were open to gays.

 

But, I don't want my son bunking with gays.

 

I suspect some of you don't see the problem I do. But, having had a homosexual uncle who tried to seduce me when I was a little younger than my son is now affects my viewpoint. Having spent a year traveling alone in Europe, in the 70's affects it even more. I've had gays approach me on the train or in the depot many times. I've had guys bypass rows of empty urinals to take one next to mine, and then lean over so they could watch me urinate. And so on.

Other single young men traveling alone told me they had the same problems.

 

I realize that there are gay boys in Scouts today. But, today, in Scouts, the slightest unambiguous homosexual action, and they're out. Period.

 

Allow gays in, and it will become a matter for discussion when an older boy grabs or rubs a younger boy's crotch. Given the extremely ineffective and timid disciplinary actions I've seen in the troops we've been in, I would expect such actions to be handled in exactly the same timid and ineffective way. That, in effect would me that the older boy would remain in the troop, to grab and rub another day.

 

It is not PC to say that gays often impose unwanted sexual attention on others. But heterosexual guys do, and whatever else they are, gay guys are still guys, with essentially the same levels of sexual drive as hetero guys. My personal experience suggests that when they feel safe, gays may be WORSE than heteros.

 

So reports suggest that more than 10% of military women get raped or forced if they end up in non-office military settings. Put older gay boys in tents with younger boys, gay or not, and bad things WILL happen.

 

So, until the BSA bans camping or mandates a one-boy, one-tent policy, common sense mandates that the ban on gays remains in place.

 

GaHillBilly

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I think Beavah has the right of it. The organization would be decimated by volunteers, donors, and families taking to the exits. The youth, the volunteers, and the dollars would have to be replaced. In an economic up-time, the cycle would be relatively fast to deal with. In a down-time, these boards would see even more sales of property, not to mention elimination of professional staff.

 

In my neck of the woods, certainly the LDS units would say thank you much, we're done. Community of Christ (old RLDS) is also significant locally. I suspect they'd be gone as well.

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I would say that we would also lose lots of units, scouts, and volunteers in my area, and nationally. A lot of the COs would pull out, a lot of the families would pull out, and alot of the long time volunteers would pull out. I bet there would be an increase in Royal Rangers, Royal Ambassadors, Awana Clubs, etc.

 

I remember when Scouting for All protested in front of the offices of the council in New Orleans (ok it's in the 'burb Metairie). About six people protested in front of the offices, visible to traffic on I-10. The council got numerous calls in support of the BSA and a few parents actually registered their sons in the program b/c when they found out that the BSA did win the Dale decision. For whatever reason they thought the BSA lost the Dale decision and had to allow homosexuals as leaders, and they did not want that. And folks had to use the phonebook to get the council's number as it was not posted anywhere outside the building.(This message has been edited by eagle92)

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We wouldn't have to do anything...for reasons pointed out above, the organization would cease to exist without the financial support of the major religious benefactors, such as LDS. It would take many years for the UW to kick back in and build the support back up. In the meantime, pros would be let go and council camps would be sold...at a much more rapid rate than is happening now.

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