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What would have to change if gays were allowed in?

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"So did UK Scouting increase or decrease due to dropping of the ban? "

 

I honestly dont think lifting the ban made any difference what so ever.

 

"I guess we could ask our brethern across the Atlantic how they handle camping with gays.

Fellas, do your campouts turn into Roman orgies?"

 

Gays are very much in the minority in the UK, and if there was any inapropiate behaviour on any camp that i was running/organising or helping to run it would be dealt with accordingly, especialy if it was unwanted harrasment of a sexual nature.

 

"More to the point - how does UK Scouting handle camping and tenting? "

 

I can only answer this practicaly with regards to mixed boys and girls on camps, as i have no expeirience in dealling with gays.

the guidelines say that we ( in the UK) should provide separate sleeping accomodation for boys and girls, but ther may be times when that is not practical or for when issues of safety and security take over.

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Thanks Pint. Always welcome to have a dose of reality when we prognosticate on things like this.

 

Since we already have gays camping and tenting with us, I doubt anything would need to change. Dropping the ban would not increase the ratio of gays in BSA.

 

I do understand the argument that the LDS and Catholic COs might drop the BSA program. Do the LDS and Catholics welcome gays into their church? Or are outed gays excommunicated? Couldn't they apply the same standards to their youth programs?

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GB,

It wouldn't be just the LDS and Catholic units, but other units as well. The unit I that folded was with a private school.

 

Also remember that the LE Exploring Post I mentioned decided to switch from a public CO to a private CO, remember that a unit can switch COs and keep their number and tenure IF the original CO agrees to the transfer, because the parents and members had concerns.

 

As for gays in our midst, yes it happens. We had a youth on summer camp staff that was gay and was sent home b/c he propositioned several members of the staff. Tried to work staff again the next year, but was declined. Don't know what happened to him after that.

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In reference to the Catholic Church, if memory serves, they have a "love the sinner, hate the sin" attitude. But they also believe in not leading folks into temptation as well.

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"Do the LDS and Catholics welcome gays into their church? Or are outed gays excommunicated? Couldn't they apply the same standards to their youth programs?"

 

Depends on what you mean.

 

I know that in the RC church, and I'm pretty sure in the LDS church, being a CELIBATE gay is fine. The standard is sex within heterosexual marriage, only. If you aren't having sex, you're fine. If you are having sex outside of hetero marriage, whether you are a single hetero or homosexual, it is a matter of discipline.

 

Of course, as in Scouting, mandated disciplinary requirements are sometimes ignored or proceed in ways contrary to official policy. However, in both churches I'm pretty sure that excommunication would almost never be the first disciplinary step UNLESS the person said something like, "I'm gay, and I'm having sex, and I'm not gonna stop!". Even then, I think there'd be an effort to make sure that the person really meant what they said.

 

There's the separate issue, of course, of personal animosity. For example, in my own case, having a homosexual uncle try to seduce me when I was a boy has not left me with 'warm fuzzy' feelings toward gays in general. Later experience only strengthened these personal feelings. Even so, I've had a personal friend who was a celibate gay person, at least till he fell 'off the wagon' and bailed on me, church, and the South. Currently, my wife works with a gay elementary school teacher who she and I both think highly of in many ways . . . though we wouldn't leave him alone with our 14 year old son.

 

I'm pretty sure that not everyone in either the LDS or RC community clearly distinguishes their personal feelings from their church's ethical and disciplinary stance. But again, I think most in authority would do so.

 

GaHillBilly

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Yes, there would have to be something that changed. The BSA would have to get rid of the bigoted, ignorant "leaders" who profess to be concerned for the well-being of the Scouts but only succeed in passing off their ignorant bigotry on another generation of young people.

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"As for gays in our midst, yes it happens. We had a youth on summer camp staff that was gay and was sent home b/c he propositioned several members of the staff. Tried to work staff again the next year, but was declined. Don't know what happened to him after that. "

 

I would think the same standard should have been applied to hetero staff too. If a male staff member is propositioning female staff, he should also be sent home and asked not to return. Why the double standard?

 

As for the celebacy of the gay, isn't that what we really want from all scouts? At least while they are youth? And as for the adults, don't we expect we remain celebate during our scouting trips?

So if its OK to to be gay if your celebate in the eyes of the church, why is it different for BSA?

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"The BSA would have to get rid of the bigoted, ignorant "leaders" who profess to be concerned for the well-being of the Scouts but only succeed in passing off their ignorant bigotry on another generation of young people."

 

Yep, either that, or get rid of the psuedo-Scouters, who don't have any respect for, nor do they live by the ideals and values.

 

You libs might want to check out what happened to Scouts Canada, where they opened up membership to girls and gays. From 1997 thru April 2009, they have lost around 138,000 members, on average 11,500 members per year. At this rate, they will have no members by 2017. Membership in 2000 was 188,318.

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"Yep, either that, or get rid of the psuedo-Scouters, who don't have any respect for, nor do they live by the ideals and values."

 

One person's Kind is another person's Tolerating An Immoral Lifestyle. Just sayin'.

 

Gern, do you forsee celibacy as a membership requirement?

 

Brent, do you know what the rate of membership decline was in Scouts Canada before 1997?

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It is hard for me to answer the question without allowing my own opinions and biases in.

I think we all would have to take a long hard look at the way we explain "Morally Straight."

Some Units might need to take a look at "Duty to God"

Some MBC might need to rethink how they go about handling the Family Life Merit Badge.

 

Nearly all of the older Sea Scouts I have talked with seem to hold the opinion that the BSA not allowing homosexuals to be members is not right.

But when asked they say they are unsure how they would react to having an openly gay leader.

At school they know that different kids belong to different groups. Most of these groups have to do with how the group dresses or the music they like, in our local HS there is a group of deeply religious kids and there are kids who have "Come Out" Saying that they are gay.

From what I see and hear older youth don't seem to have a problem with this or with the kids who have said that they are gay.

When OJ was 15 we had his birthday party at the pool in the club. One of hid friends was a really nice Lad who was openly gay. He was treated as maybe being a bit of a joke?? But the feeling I got from seeing everyone in the pool was that he was accepted as just being a friend of the kids who were at the party.

A good pal of mine who is a leader in the UK and is also a member of the LDS Church, is still scouting in the UK. The District he is in has an openly gay District Commissioner.

As you can imagine this isn't going over very well. But talking with some of my other pals in that same district, while they are not happy with the job the guy is doing as the District Commissioner, his being gay has nothing to do with how the feel.

I'm a little unsure how we can make an oath that states "To help other people at all times" and then bar people from joining?

As for all this talk about sleeping arrangements and the like?

As I see it inappropriate behavior is just that.

I have taken female Sea Scouts away and while of course I'm aware that they are girls!! I don't treat they any different than the boys. Fact is that they don't want to be treated any different.

I wasn't around when the USA had areas for whites and areas for colored. I'm sure when these were finally put to rest, that there were a few problems and maybe some unhappy people. Yet somehow, someway we managed to get past all the problems. In fact with hindsight most people now see that what was allowed to happen was just wrong.

My hope is that in time we will see that discriminating against anyone is never right.

Doing something that is not right just because we fear we might upset groups that want to discriminate? Can't ever be a good thing.

Eamonn.

 

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Isn't it kinda funny that celibacy isn't a requirement?

I've never seen a rule that says a married couple can't engage in their carnal obligations while camping with the troop. So I guess its OK. Right? Yet, y'all are getting all worked up with over imaginative speculation on how the gays will engage in sex while camping.

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In reference to a double standard, no there isn't. We had a male approach a female staffer, and he was dismissed as well. Don't knwo what happened after he left camp.

 

To play Devil's Advocate for those who state "help other people at all times," remember we also promise 'to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight."

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Assuming that the policy change was to allow each unit to select its own leadership, without requiring them to exclude openly gay leaders, there is no reason why any CO or unit would have to withdraw from the BSA. No unit would be required to appoint an openly gay leader. I also don't see why any policies would have to change.

 

As for the issue of gay Scouts, about which current BSA policy is not so clear anyway, I also don't see a problem. As others have pointed out, there are gay Scouts now. If they commit misconduct, that must be dealt with as a behavior issue (the same as when a Venturer in a coed crew commits misconduct with a crew member of the opposite gender.) If Scouts were allowed to be "open" about their same-gender orientation, first of all, how many Scouts do you think would take that route? Especially considering that at that age, they are still in the process of figuring out what their sexuality is -- how many of them are going to make a public announcement? As for those who do, the issue is their behavior, not their orientation. If someone did not want to tent with an openly gay Scout, that could be handled by the troop. I wouldn't require a Scout to tent with someone they didn't want to tent with anyway, regardless of the reason.

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Eagle92 wrote: "We had a youth on summer camp staff that was gay and was sent home b/c he propositioned several members of the staff."

 

-- Not imagination.

 

 

I wrote that my uncle had tried to seduce me when I was young Scout age.

 

-- Also, not imagination, and a good example of why YPF is needed.

 

 

I also wrote that I had repeated problems with being accosted in bathrooms in Europe, when I was 18, by guys who were much older.

 

-- Also, not imagination, and reasons for disbelieving the constant, "Oh, they'd never do that." Yes, some of them will.

 

 

I'll bet that there are bunches of others here who could tell similar stories, if they would. (No criticism for those who don't implied: I didn't start telling folks about my uncle till some other family members had passed away.)

 

I recently saw an old Buffy the V episode with my sons, in which one character is accused of staring at another because she's making him horny. He replies, "I'm a teenage guy. Staring at linoleum makes me horny!" We all laughed, because it's true.

 

At the very least, when I was 16, putting me in a tent overnight with an attractive girl would have guaranteed a sleepless night. The idea of being in a tent with a guy who was sexually attracted to me and that horny -- which I think is about normal for 16 year old guy -- totally creeps me out.

 

It creeps my 14 year old out just as much. He's friends with the gay guy at his homeschool academy, but would never get in a tent with him!

 

Any parent who does not have his head in the sand knows that you can NOT put physically healthy teens who are sexually attracted to each other in the same tent repeatedly and hope that nothing will happen. It may not happen the first time, or even the 10th, but it WILL happen.

 

Good grief, I'm in my 50's and even now, I don't want to have to try to sleep in a tent with an attractive woman, unless she's my wife! Some of you have either forgotten a lot, or have some broken junk.

 

Forget those basic biological facts, and "BSA" will come to stand for "Boy Sex in America"!

 

GaHillBilly

 

 

 

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"attracted to each other"

 

If we start with the supposition that most scouts are straight, then the odds of putting two young men who are attracted TO EACH OTHER in the same tent go way down.

 

Now if you are talking about something that is not consensual, then we have a very different problem. But even so, our society expects people - gay or straight - to be able to control themselves. Otherwise, there's no reason for men to stop themselves from raping the first pretty girl they see. Hey, not the guy's fault, he couldn't help himself. Right? Wrong. (and the same holds true in the other direction)

 

Bigger issue is that sexual behavior of any sort is unacceptable at scouting events. ANY youth engaging in such behavior, with ANYONE else, should be dismissed. Immediately.

 

Gay men (or women) have no corner on the market of creepiness, GAHillBilly. I am sorry for you that you had the undesirable experiences you had, but that is a mark of some people who have various other problems - it is not necessarily BECAUSE they are gay, that they chose to act that way. But if we wouldn't tolerate it or accept the "I can't control myself" argument from straight men and women, I see no reason why we would lower the standards when it comes to our expectations of appropriate behavior from gay men and women.

 

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