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What would have to change if gays were allowed in?

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Vol, I guess I keep forgetting that you consider homosexuality to be a choice.

I don't equate homosexuality with deceptions such as alcoholism or infidelity.

I have real friends who are homosexuals. I trust them and they can trust me. I don't trust alcoholics or people who engage in infidelity. Therefore I cannot consider them to be friends.


I simply can't reconcile your desire not to associate with someone - with your claim to be their friend. Worse, I can't see how you would allow someone to reveal their personal lives in a trusting interaction if you feel that way about associating with them. They may be open with you and they may trust you, but you do not reciprocate if I understand correctly what you wrote. A strange idea of 'friendship', no?

I'm going to spin a new thread to explore this question.

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vol_scouter says to me:


By your logic, there should be absolutely no issue with a heterosexual male and a homosexual female tenting together. Similarly, there is absolutely no issue with a heterosexual female and a homosexual male tenting together. I do not think that most would find that tenting arrangement acceptable. Therefore, one should not allow a heterosexual male and a homosexual male to tent together and a homosexual female and a heterosexual female tenting together. So only single person tents should ever be allowed.


First of all, I think the obsession with sleeping arrangements by some people is a distraction from the real issues, and totally unnecessary. As I keep saying, I think anything outside the current YP guidelines can be worked out on a local basis depending on the particular situation at hand. Second, when you say something is by my logic, I don't know where you get that from anything I have said. Please do not attribute to me ideas that I do not express. Besides, any arrangements that involve males and females in the same tent are against YP guidelines. I also don't think we need to turn the YP guidelines into a 100-page document that deals with every permutation of tenting arrangements that someone might dream up. I neither necessarily support nor oppose any particular tenting arrangements, other than opposing what the YP guidelines prohibit. If and when a situation were my call, or I was asked for advice, I would give my judgment based on what was going on and what was appropriate -- including what was the best solution for dealing with peoples' perceptions.


Also, if these local options are enacted, there will be troops that allow only Jews, only Christians, only whites, only blacks, only hispanics, et cetera.


As others have pointed out, local option exists on some of these things already. As I have pointed out, local option exists on many other things as well, including some moral issues.


I believe that the BSA is acting in a prudent and responsible manner in order to deliver a program that proclaims to be morally straight which according to most (though not all) religious denominations would preclude accepting homosexual behavior.


The policy in dispute does not deal with behavior. It deals with what a person's avowed orientation is. And as I think you yourself pointed out, this thread really isn't for debating whether the policy itself is good or not, it is for dealing with other potential policy changes that might be needed to deal with a hypothetical situation in which the no-gays policy were eliminated or modified.

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I'm not one of those trying to distract by bringing up the tenting/lodging issue. I just think it's critically important to be addressed if the ban is lifted - and as I said, I'm in support of lifting that ban.


I'd disagree with you that the issue can be handled on the local level. If that were the case, then why have YP guidelines at all? Why not simply trust the local unit leaders to do the right thing every time? IMHO, there needs to be some sort of national system, rule, whatever, in place. You don't need a 100-page book addressing every possible permutation - you just need a simple rule.


But what that should be, I don't know.(This message has been edited by shortridge)

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Two rules for activities:


1) No canoodling during Scouting activities (I assume there is an equivalent one for co-ed Venturing groups already?)

2) Any given youth has the right to decline a tentmate assignment. They do this with the knowledge that they might sleep alone instead, and might have more gear to carry if backpacking.



Any Troop / Crew / Pack has the right to determine its membership standards based on the input of its Charter Org. A simple expansion of existing rights regarding membership that already exist (the LDS only Troops, Catholic only Troops, Muslim only Troops, etc.)



Showers are already going private at most camps I have been to recently. I can see stalls being installed at the last few places with group shower facilities still standing.



I can see some units demanding to know who else is coming during a particular week. Then again, having had my unit lose our pre-paid reservation because the LDS units wanted to have a 100% LDS camp at Summer Camp - I have already been on the out in the past, and can handle being on the out in the future.

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I read this post a few days ago and have been giving myself time to think about all sides of this topic before responding. I have attempted with all my being to begin to fathom why people would feel the need to make this a topic on a scouting website. As far as I know the boy scouts of america does not have an anti-gay policy, if I am wrong I would like to see a directly linked website proving my wrongfulness. If this is in fact the case I will be forced to step aside, turn in my uniform and remove myself from the scouting family. I am gay. I am "hiking among you."

I am in my 20's, a woman, and I have two nephews in scouting and their desire is that I lead their cub den. I am presently the Wolf and Bear den leaders for our very small pack of twelve children at an underprivledged school.

It would sadden me greatly to go, I have overseen my oldest nephews den since we were Tigers and we are finishing up our Bear year with him. It was his desire to bring me in as I am the hiker, the geocacher, the one with all the funny songs, dances, skits and chants. I am not afraid to get down on the floor and be silly, but I know exactly when it is time to get work done.

I do not feel as though I should be removed from scouting for the following reasons, I hope any of you still reading this post after knowing the author is gay will hear me out.

1. I am among a small group of people willing to deal with a group of children that can be considered, out of control, at the very least. These are children with a wide array of learning and attention problems and through the years as a smaller part of the BSA family we have become a pack family. Thankfully my personal family is very blessed in our lives, with our assests and with each other, this has allowed us to reach out, not in a subtle rude way, but in a small favors sort of way and give back.

2. I am a happy person, I am not a pedophile as many heterosexuals think all gay people are, just sex crazed individuals that pray on straight, normal people. I live my life behind closed doors so to speak. I let people know that I am gay but I would never dream of even hinting anything other than heterosexual marriage to my scouts or anyone else for that matter. I do not push my sexuality on anyone and if most took the time to get to know a gay person they would realize that gays do not seek to "bring others to our side."

3. Mostly, the biggest reason I would not like to leave scouting is that I would miss it. I would miss every song, every pledge of allegiance, every blue and gold banquet where families radiate pride for their child and every time a tiger cub holds the GPS up in the air and stands by his first found geocache and says "I found this all by myself!"


I love scouting and I have taken every training known to scouting. As far as youth protection goes, I don't see a thing that would need to change. Youth Protection follows the value that no adult is to be left alone with a child. Point, blank and period. And I live by that rule as does every adult I know. Two deep leadership. Gay or straight, black or white, red or purple, adults do not share the company of minors EVER. Unless the rule would be changed to, it being okay for adults to be alone with children as long as the adult is not gay, I see no need for a change. And just because I am angry, how many sexual incidents reported are linked to gay indivuduals vs. straight individuals. I am not saying it doesn't happen, and it is NEVER right, but if people are worried about gay people assulting children, step back and look at the numbers. There is no issue.

As far as tenting issues? I am very confused. But I will try to straighten this out with myself here. "A heterosexual and a homosexual should not share a tent regardless of male or female." That is the impression I am getting and this goes right back to my above statement, we as a gay community do NOT pray on the straight. Just because I am homosexual does not mean I want to be intimate with every woman I come across. What I hear is that because I have chosen a life style that means I am with a woman, the same woman for ten years, it means that I cannot sleep in a tent with two or three other cub scout moms. Because what? Because I might sleep different than a straight woman?

When it comes to older scouts, I am obviously not the person to come to, I am at a cubscout level but I can say I think the notion of going to one man tents for scouts is obsurd. Just because a boy is gay does not mean he will hurt, suggest or act towards another scout. Even if the scout were placed in a tent with a child he might have a "crush on", don't scouts sleep three or four to a tent? There is nothing more wrong with this idea than letting all straight kids sleep in tents where they probably use profane language, share obscene jokes, and act like crude, rude, teenagers. Don't let them fool you, they might be boy scouts but they are still teenagers and teenagers will behave as such.

Can't we just let them be scouts? Can't we just let the leaders lead? I disagree with the statments in another post about it being a local allowance that you could say no blacks, no jews or no this that or the other. It would not fly, if you say no blacks, no jews or what not your organization will be ended. This is not the dark ages, we don't operate like that and if you do, shame on you.

Scouting is supposed to be fun, we are supposed to invite all! We are here to preserve nature and praise God for the beautiful land he has given us. I am not saying people have to like gay people or accept their life style, heaven knows I have run into my share of people who do not agree with me, but to all of them I say "peace, I am not going to try to instill my lifestyle on you, if we don't have this in common, do you like baseball?"

To answer the question asked that led me to this rant, the only thing we would have to change if we DID NOT allow gays in is this, the Cub Scout Promise.


"I promise to do my best,

to do my duty,

to God and my country,

to help other people (except Gays)

and to obey the law of the pack (this being to exclude those that are gay, because they are different in only one way and apparently that makes them devoid of feelings and our acceptance)"

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Before to many people respond with the same post I wanted to inform you that I was able to find a quotation from the litigation department of the BSA guidelines that does say I, as a human being, living of my own free will and with the constitutional right for the pursuit of my own happiness, am legally not allowed by the BSA as an organization to lead their youth. This saddens me, I will be resigning next week most likely after speaking with our cubmaster and local council as I am a law obiding citizen and do not wish to cause trouble. God bless you all and happy scouting.

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Kay, ever thought of emigrating? To Australia? I'd recruit you as a leader immediately! No issues here.


In fact, as I finished writing that, I finally remembered that we had two ladies who were gay as Cub Leaders in my town a few years back. No secrets. No issues. No problems. I'm still friends with them.


Great Cub Leaders!


It's kinda funny that I hadn't even thought of those two people in all my previous comments here about homosexuality. That's how much of an issue it is to me and Scouting Australia.(This message has been edited by HiLo)

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It amazes me that so many of you think that a local option on this issue is the answer or is even possible. I can tell you after working for CSE Mazzucca for years that in NO WAY would he ever allow a local or unit option concerning homosexuals in scouting, so you can laud its merits all you want but it isn't ever going to happen on Bob's watch. Why, because Bob is a devout Catholic, and second the LDS hold more power than most of you know in the BSA as far as policy decisions such as this one.

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Guest OldGreyEagle

I have this question more than a few times, and I am not sure I have ever received an answer, but in regards to who is in whose tent, how many units assign tent mates? Do you actually tell the youth who they will be tenting with or do you let the youth sort it out?

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In the troop I gre up with, it was the PLs who made the tent assignments. Usually it was based upion the buddies ont he duty rooster.


At the summercamps I worked at the situation varied. Mostly assigned by the PD, but the staff members could request specific folks, usually either others in their area, ro those who they have worked with in the past.

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BadenP says:


It amazes me that so many of you think that a local option on this issue is the answer or is even possible.


I think most (if not all) of us who believe the policy should be changed realize that it is very unlikely to happen anytime soon. But you shouldn't be so amazed; since you joined this forum in 2004 you must know that "local option" has been a topic of discussion for years. In fact it was already being discussed when I joined the forum in early 2002, and I suspect it will continue to be discussed for more years, until it happens.


I can tell you after working for CSE Mazzucca for years that in NO WAY would he ever allow a local or unit option concerning homosexuals in scouting, so you can laud its merits all you want but it isn't ever going to happen on Bob's watch. Why, because Bob is a devout Catholic, and second the LDS hold more power than most of you know in the BSA as far as policy decisions such as this one.


I understand (at least in general) the power of the LDS and the other religious organizations that charter many units and would oppose a change. Maybe I am being overly idealistic, but I'd like to think that the main reason they hold so much power is that their large numbers of units (and, therefore, CO's) give them the ability to vote in their representatives to the various boards and committees in the hierarchy, up to whichever national decision making body is ultimately responsible for making (and retaining) the policy in question. But your post suggests that the personal opinions and religious beliefs of one person, the CSE, are also a major factor in why the policy won't change in the short term. If that's the case, it's kind of disturbing. If an elected group of people votes and makes a decision, even if it's a decision I disagree with, at least there has been a process. But it shouldn't be up to one person, regardless of what his title is.


OGE, in our troop it is basically left up to the boys as to which tent they are going to sleep in. But I do seem to recall one incident in which a boy was asked to move to a different tent in order to reduce the "noise level" coming from that tent, after all "conventional measures" to get the boys to keep it down did not succeed. So I guess that means the "policy", if there is one, is that the boys get to choose, but that under unusual circumstances the adult leader could step in and move people around if necessary. As far as I know, it has only happened that one time.

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Your situation is what I would think what the norm is, or at least should be. In a boy lead unit, I don't see how a Scoutmaster would have any business assigning tent mates any more than assigning the Senior Patrol Leader. Then, on a boy level, if a Patrol Leader split up two friends just because he can then a Scoutmaster conference on abuse of authority would follow. It seems like a lot of energy is spent on trying to decide who will be sleeping with whom ( in a platonic, boy scouty two deep leadership sort of way of course)and I dont see the need for it. If Gays were allowed in, and as we have said, OK, they are already in, the boys would/do know who they wish to tent with and if two boys are found "canoodling" the result would be the same as if two Opposite sex Venturing youth were found also "canoodling". (or for that matter two opposite sex adults, or same sex adults of course, you know, to paraphase a phrase, "no sex please we're Boy Scouts")


Certainly if a tent is so loud as to disturb a camp, and the SPL's best efforts are unsucessful, then the adults may have to step in, but those efforts should be rare (I hope)but I am talking about regular normal actions.(This message has been edited by OldGreyEagle)

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OGE - since I posted my version of the tenting rule, I felt I should respond:


Nope - tent assignments are completely up the boys in my Troop. I never get involved beyond providing advice to the PL (preferably via the SPL). Advice is usually along the lines of "if an odd number of boys is camping, don't have the kid on his first campout sleep alone."


So perhaps my proposed "rule" about tenting is not even needed. I was trying to think of any official changes that might be needed if we ever took the next step in integration.

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