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Mr. Gates Address At National Meeting

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I have to disagree with you on the local option, which in my opinion will not remain an option for long. As gay activists have made clear (see the quotes above), they will not accept a BSA where some - or any - COs will still be allowed to exclude gays. They are well-funded, have a formidable legal machinery that supports them, and will attack any remaining COs that do not want to allow homosexual men to have access to teenagers in what are often isolated situations. 

 

The local option will remain local for about 6 months to a year, tops. Due to the risk of lawsuits for discrimination against any remaining resisting COs, a uniform policy requiring that homosexual men can become leaders will then become the status quo throughout the BSA. Traditionally-minded troops will close down, if they cannot accept the moral compromise the new policy and the court decisions will require.

 

I have to respectfully disagree.  BSA is in a unique position to let the local option work as the unit leaders are not selected by the BSA.  The leaders are selected by the charter organizations and as the charter organization uses the BSA program as a youth program within their larger program, they essentially have shield.  For example, it would be hard to argue that a troop chartered by a Catholic church, meeting at a Catholic church and where the leaders are chosen and assigned by the Catholic church does not already have a local option.  BSA membership should be open to all, but charter organizations should be able to exercise their local choice as they always have.  

 

If this was Girl Scouts, 4H or another organization, I'd have to agree with you.  But with Boy Scouts, BSA owns the program and the structure and the charter organizations oversees unit member signup.  

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I have to respectfully disagree.  BSA is in a unique position to let the local option work as the unit leaders are not selected by the BSA.  The leaders are selected by the charter organizations and as the charter organization uses the BSA program as a youth program within their larger program, they essentially have shield.  For example, it would be hard to argue that a troop chartered by a Catholic church, meeting at a Catholic church and where the leaders are chosen and assigned by the Catholic church does not already have a local option.  BSA membership should be open to all, but charter organizations should be able to exercise their local choice as they always have.  

 

If this was Girl Scouts, 4H or another organization, I'd have to agree with you.  But with Boy Scouts, BSA owns the program and the structure and the charter organizations oversees unit member signup.  

 

That is both the strength and the weakness of the CO system.

 

Many COs that appear to be churches are actually adjuncts of the church in question - such as the Knights of Columbus or the parochial school PTA. They do not have the legal protection afforded a religion. The legal status of church auxiliaries, and whether they can qualify under the 1st Amendment protections afforded churches are legally up in the air right now, due to the machinations of the current administration.

 

The individuals who function as the CO's rep are often not full time employees of the church, and may have businesses or other interests that are vulnerable to legal and extra-legal coercion by LGBT pressure groups looking to damage COs that don't agree with their views. Look at the things that have happened to the bakers, photographers, etc. who have not simply refused to cater a gay wedding, but have simply expressed disagreement with them. Faced with sufficient pressure against the livelihoods and their position in the community, most COs will decide it's not worth the problems.

 

You expressed the belief that "it would be hard to argue that...etc"  Unfortunately, that is not true. Lawyers are paid to argue, and to find rationales to demonstrate exactly why x institution should not be considered a bona fide religious institution. Their chances of finding a sympathetic judge who will look with approval on a novel legal reason to punish the BSA...is actually pretty good right now. In California, you can no longer be a member of the judiciary and also be an adult volunteer with the BSA. Funny how that worked, huh?  The legal climate has changed dramatically since the Dale decision.

 

The LDS troops may be able to make a final stand, as the BSA is their official youth program. Any one else, no. 

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That is a ridiculous statement. Nobody in this forum is advocating that child molesters be allowed to be members or leaders of the Boy Scouts.

I can't tell if you are being clever or or nieve, but that is not at all what he said.

 

Barry

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I recommend where ever you stand on this issue that you read the article by Kevin Williamson online by the National Review. He put my thoughts into words very well.

 

This is not leadership.

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I have to respectfully disagree.  BSA is in a unique position to let the local option work as the unit leaders are not selected by the BSA.  The leaders are selected by the charter organizations and as the charter organization uses the BSA program as a youth program within their larger program, they essentially have shield.  For example, it would be hard to argue that a troop chartered by a Catholic church, meeting at a Catholic church and where the leaders are chosen and assigned by the Catholic church does not already have a local option.  BSA membership should be open to all, but charter organizations should be able to exercise their local choice as they always have.  

 

If this was Girl Scouts, 4H or another organization, I'd have to agree with you.  But with Boy Scouts, BSA owns the program and the structure and the charter organizations oversees unit member signup.  

 

Again, we already have an example of the trajectory:

From The Debate the Refuses to Die

In June 1999, Canada’s Parliament voted overwhelmingly to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. One would think that in a nation ruled by laws this would be the end of the matter.

One would be wrong.

On December 9, 2004, Canada’s Supreme Court overturned the law, ruling that any law prohibiting same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. At the same time, the Court also ruled that the federal government had the sole authority to amend the definition of marriage. To date, the Supreme Court has failed to acknowledge the irony of giving Parliament the right to define marriage while at the same time defining it for them.

This legalistic schizophrenia notwithstanding, the Court gave dissenting religious denominations an escape clause, ruling that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms’ protection of religious freedom granted religious institutions the right to choose not to perform the same-sex marriages.

Again, one would think that this would be the end of discussion. And again, one would be wrong.

In November 2005, the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal (an extra-judicial body which functions very much like the famed Star Chamber) ruled that a Vancouver Knights of Columbus chapter was required to pay a lesbian couple nearly $2,500 for refusing to host their wedding reception. Nearly five hundred dollars was to compensate the couple for money they had spent in planning their wedding. The other two thousand dollars was for hurt feelings.

A social conservative might be forgiven for looking at this issue and observing that it has followed a predictable course; from being prohibited, to being tolerated, to being compelled.

 

 

LGBT activists have made it clear from day one that tolerance is not acceptable, it must be 100% acceptance in 100% of places or destruction of the places that don't capitulate. 

If the local option is the route BSA takes, within a year a gay man will try to join a scout troop that does not allow homosexuals, and Lamda Legal or the ACLU etc will sue. 

The First Conservative Church of Anytown, USA will not have the money to defend the suit, BSA will punt, and the 5-30 boys in the troop will lose Scouting when the church shuts down the troop.  The following recharter season, COs around the country will drop their charters, or switch to Trail Life.

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I have to agree with Bad Wolf as to what does the BSA really stand for anymore? The local option IMO is nothing more than an appeasement that will still not solve anything. What about district , council, regional, and National events how will these leaders and units interact with each other? Will dining halls have a Gay and Straight section? This whole issue is being handled so poorly by National who still fear losing more corporate sponsors so are trying to make everyone happy and it just will not work. Which ever way this issue gets decided it IS going to mean we will lose more scouts and leaders, there is NO way around that happening.

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"What about district , council, regional, and National events how will these leaders and units interact with each other? Will dining halls have a Gay and Straight section?" 

 

Simply not an issue for any reasonable individuals.  These people all existed prior to the paranoia that began about 1990 with the indirect change away from what had always been "local option".  If it was not a problem back then, why should be now, other than people choosing to make it one?  If we can survive other public contacts with those with whom we do not normally intermix, why can we not do so in Scouting.  

 

Everything in our lives does not have to, nor should it be, shared with everyone else.  We can choose with whom we socialize, and still be polite when on occasion we may have to interact with those with whom we normally would not.  It only is an issue if you choose to make it one.  Follow the YP rules, be vigilant as a leader, and work the program in your units.  Why should that be so hard?

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<<The local option will remain local for about 6 months to a year, tops. Due to the risk of lawsuits for discrimination against any remaining resisting COs, a uniform policy requiring that homosexual men can become leaders will then become the status quo throughout the BSA. Traditionally-minded troops will close down, if they cannot accept the moral compromise the new policy and the court decisions will require.>>

 

 

 

Yes,  I think that's true.

 

If you read the USSC decision that gave BSA the right to be free of state no discrimination laws,  one of the chief arguments supporting that decision was that BSA had a consistent policy of refusing admission to homosexuals.

 

That is compromised since several local councils ignore BSA rules excluding homosexuals from membership.  It would be further compromised by any local option kind of rule. 

 

If you read Gate's comments,  the council's ignoring BSA rules appear to already have undermined BSA's exemption.

 

 

I don't happen to favor this change,  but unfortunately it appears to be inevitable.  Another indication of how thin the "multicultural" and "diversity" themes of liberalism are in practice. 

 

Sad. 

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I have to agree with Bad Wolf as to what does the BSA really stand for anymore? The local option IMO is nothing more than an appeasement that will still not solve anything. What about district , council, regional, and National events how will these leaders and units interact with each other? Will dining halls have a Gay and Straight section? This whole issue is being handled so poorly by National who still fear losing more corporate sponsors so are trying to make everyone happy and it just will not work. Which ever way this issue gets decided it IS going to mean we will lose more scouts and leaders, there is NO way around that happening.

 

How do BSA currently handle things on international events? There are several BSA units on US military bases in the UK. If they use UK scout campsites or take part in district or county events in UK (as some of them do) then this is something they already facing and dealing with. Units that go to world jamborees deal with this already. In 2019 BSA are hosting, what are the plans for that?

 

It's not a hypothetical question. It's happening already. The question is how?

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That is both the strength and the weakness of the CO system.

 

Many COs that appear to be churches are actually adjuncts of the church in question - such as the Knights of Columbus or the parochial school PTA. They do not have the legal protection afforded a religion. The legal status of church auxiliaries, and whether they can qualify under the 1st Amendment protections afforded churches are legally up in the air right now, due to the machinations of the current administration.

 

The individuals who function as the CO's rep are often not full time employees of the church, and may have businesses or other interests that are vulnerable to legal and extra-legal coercion by LGBT pressure groups looking to damage COs that don't agree with their views. Look at the things that have happened to the bakers, photographers, etc. who have not simply refused to cater a gay wedding, but have simply expressed disagreement with them. Faced with sufficient pressure against the livelihoods and their position in the community, most COs will decide it's not worth the problems.

 

You expressed the belief that "it would be hard to argue that...etc"  Unfortunately, that is not true. Lawyers are paid to argue, and to find rationales to demonstrate exactly why x institution should not be considered a bona fide religious institution. Their chances of finding a sympathetic judge who will look with approval on a novel legal reason to punish the BSA...is actually pretty good right now. In California, you can no longer be a member of the judiciary and also be an adult volunteer with the BSA. Funny how that worked, huh?  The legal climate has changed dramatically since the Dale decision.

 

The LDS troops may be able to make a final stand, as the BSA is their official youth program. Any one else, no. 

 

You identify an interesting point that many COs are really an adjunct organization and not the organization itself.  Examples:  KofC & PTOs.   And as you also pointed out, it is an argument left best for lawyers.  I'd find it hard to believe that my KofC chapter is not covered by a separation of church and state, freedom of religion and mainly a ministerial exception.  Rosaries said before the meeting.  Prayers before, during and after meetings.  Virtually all funds given either to the church or to Catholic charities for the poor, homeless or dying.  Our membership is broad and open, but also limited to Catholic men in good standing.  Even if a legal weakness was found, then just charter under the organization and not the adjunct.  Then have a member of the adjunct be the charter org rep.   

 

There will be lawyers in this for years, but even if BSA membership is opened wide up ... you can't force a charter org to accept a member.  Charter orgs have always had the right to filter both youth and adult membership.  That has never been a point of discussion in these channels.  If BSA does accept homosexual leaders, it is automatically the local option.  It's the ministerial exception that allows religious schools to fire teachers for immorality violations.  

 

BSA controls program and structure and "BSA membership", but charter orgs control the units and effectively "unit membership."

 

Gates is right. The current policies are unsustainable and the policies are wrong.  BSA is asking churches to charter units even when the churches don't have the same morally straight definition.  

 

BSA needs to resolve their own self-contradicting policies first.  And that is to stop filtering membership by sexual orientation.  I am glad that BSA won Dale v. BSA as it reinforces the bill of rights.  But BSA was wrong to pick this fight and wrong to try to speak for "all" the charter organizations.  

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I've avoided this thread up to this point, but there is a critical point that no one has acknowledged thus far:

 

 

The new membership standard states that "No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone." Accordingly, simply stating he or she is attracted to the same sex, but not engaging in sexual activity, does not make a youth ineligible for membership.

 

Further, the new BSA policy states that any sexual conduct, whether homosexual or heterosexual, by youth of Scouting age is contrary to the virtues of Scouting.
Last, as always, BSA policy states that members cannot use Scouting as a vehicle for promoting a particular social or political agenda.

 

http://www.scouting.org/Training/Membership_Standards/faqs.aspx

 

Regardless of how the media, various individuals, COs, or even councils have interpreted it, the current membership policy does not allow actively gay youth. It allows youth that experience "same gender attraction".

 

It was on the inclusion of "any sexual conduct, whether homosexual or heterosexual, by youth of Scouting age is contrary to the virtues of Scouting" that made the change in membership policy acceptable to the Mormon and Catholic churches.

 

http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/church-responds-to-boy-scouts-of-america-policy-vote

http://www.catholicsun.org/2013/06/24/thoughts-for-catholics-impacted-by-the-boy-scouts-of-america-membership-policies/

 

We've already seen the LGBT community using "Scouting as a vehicle for promoting a particular social or political agenda." (read the posts above for examples).

 

Changing the membership policy to allow the "local option" may not be the final nail in the coffin for these two groups, but as noted in previous posts, a "local option" will not be sufficient to appease the activists in the LGBT community - and that will lead to the final nail  . The Mormon church is the #1 sponsor of youth in the program, approximately 427,000 youth. The Catholic church is the 3rd largest sponsor. What would the wholesale loss of these youth do to the longterm viability of the program as a whole?

 

The loss of 3-7% youth year over year will be nothing in comparison. Given the extremely patriarchal heirarchical nature of both of these churches, very few of the members will seek out a community troop to register their boys in. Feel free to say "goodbye and good riddance", but don't deny that this will have a huge effect on the program overall.

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How do BSA currently handle things on international events? There are several BSA units on US military bases in the UK. If they use UK scout campsites or take part in district or county events in UK (as some of them do) then this is something they already facing and dealing with. Units that go to world jamborees deal with this already.

The answer is, they deal with it. I am not sure exactly how because I have never attended an international Scouting event. But I am sure they deal with it. Just like they would deal with it at district and council events. Well, just as they already deal with it at district and council events, at least in theory, because there have been (at least in theory, and probably a few in reality) openly gay Scouts for almost a year and a half. And just as troops have been dealing with issues of tenting arrangements and other things that were predicted to be big problems, for almost a year and a half. I have not heard of any units being unable to deal with these issues within their units, and I have not heard of any districts or councils having problems at their events. And believe me, if there had been problems, we would have been reading about them in this forum, in great detail and at great length.

 

In my opinion, it is not a real issue. It is just an excuse by those who do not want local option.

Edited by NJCubScouter

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You identify an interesting point that many COs are really an adjunct organization and not the organization itself.  Examples:  KofC & PTOs.   And as you also pointed out, it is an argument left best for lawyers.  I'd find it hard to believe that my KofC chapter is not covered by a separation of church and state, freedom of religion and mainly a ministerial exception.  Rosaries said before the meeting.  Prayers before, during and after meetings.  Virtually all funds given either to the church or to Catholic charities for the poor, homeless or dying.  Our membership is broad and open, but also limited to Catholic men in good standing.  Even if a legal weakness was found, then just charter under the organization and not the adjunct.  Then have a member of the adjunct be the charter org rep.   

 

There will be lawyers in this for years, but even if BSA membership is opened wide up ... you can't force a charter org to accept a member.  Charter orgs have always had the right to filter both youth and adult membership.  That has never been a point of discussion in these channels.  If BSA does accept homosexual leaders, it is automatically the local option.  It's the ministerial exception that allows religious schools to fire teachers for immorality violations.  

 

BSA controls program and structure and "BSA membership", but charter orgs control the units and effectively "unit membership."

 

Gates is right. The current policies are unsustainable and the policies are wrong.  BSA is asking churches to charter units even when the churches don't have the same morally straight definition.  

 

BSA needs to resolve their own self-contradicting policies first.  And that is to stop filtering membership by sexual orientation.  I am glad that BSA won Dale v. BSA as it reinforces the bill of rights.  But BSA was wrong to pick this fight and wrong to try to speak for "all" the charter organizations.  

 

I doubt that the KoC, which is registered with the government as a fraternal organization (for its tax exempt 501 ( c) (3) status) would be considered a religious organization that would be protected by the First Amendment. I agree with you that it should be, but the Obama Administration's defense of the contraception mandate (which attempted to very narrowly define what could be considered a "religious institution indicates that they would not feel it should be, and would be likely to use the force of the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division to side on behalf of any civil rights lawsuits that would be directed against it. Although the Church has made the argument that its institutions such as hospitals, adoption agencies, and schools are elements of it religious duties towards charity, the current administration has argued against such an interpretation.

 

It might be possible to ask your deacon or priest to take the role of a CO rep, if it is not possible to use the KoC or the parochial school's PTA. I'm sure that they have ample free time to take on that additional role as well as all their pastoral duties, and we have lots of priests nowadays to take on those duties.

 

There is also the practical concern that must be considered by anyone who is the target of a lawsuit, especially an individual who may lack the legal resources of the ACLU, ACT-UP, and GLAAD, along with the United States Department of Justice - you may feel that the Constitution, and morality, are on your side. You may feel, arguing in the abstract on the issue on a message board, that surely the religious exception must apply in your case. But would you, as the CO rep, have the financial resources to mount a defense against the suits that will be brought by those organizations? Do you have access to the same number of progressive college law students who are eager and hungry to do legal research? Do you have the same number of attorneys who will happily work pro-bono in a progressive cause to achieve fame within their profession for winning a landmark liberal decision for their cause? Do you feel the BSA will provide you with legal backing in your defense, at this point in history, and with Mr. Gates having expressed the opinion he did? Are you prepared to deal with the mental, physical, and emotional stress, as well as the public castigation, media attention, doxxing of your personal information, and the public revelation of any potentially embarrassing incidents from your past that will be dug up by the media and LGBT pressure groups to bring you to heel? Are you and your family and your business associates prepared to deal with all that for months, and probably years, while the suit works its way through the courts?

 

There are quite a few people who have felt, probably correctly, that the law was on their side, but were unable to sustain their fight in the face of well-funded and powerful adversaries. It's sad but true that it isn't always who's right, but who's left, that counts in a legal battle.

Edited by AZMike

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As an example of what someone will face who has the effrontery of trying to preserve their CO's ability to decide whether to allow homosexual leadership, consider what happened to Esau Jardon up in Toronto. 

 

Leaving aside the differing degrees of religious freedom between the U.S. and Canada, it's an illustrative example of what social pressures can be brought to bear now on someone who did not even refuse to provide services to a gay wedding, but simply expressed the wrong opinions within his business. He did provide rings to a lesbian couple, who were happy with the rings he created for them.  Another couple later went in to his store and saw a religious poster that said "The sanctity of marriage is under attack. Let’s keep marriage between a man and a woman." They told the lesbian couple, who then demanded their money back for their custom-made rings and went to the media to begin, yet again, another shredding of a man's reputation for expressing his religious beliefs.

 

Initially, Jardon refused to refund their money - they were custom made rings, they had expressed satisfaction with the work done, and were only demanding money back out of spite for his beliefs. (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/jewelry-store-sign-prompts-same-sex-couple-to-ask-for-refund-1.3077192)

 

Jardon expressed what most people would think are reasonable, and fairly tolerant views:

 

“I have been posting different aspects of my religious beliefs the last 11 years, and I’ve never had one single problem with any of my customers,†he said…

“One of the reasons my family chose to come to Canada was the freedom of rights,†he said, noting the freedom of religion and freedom of speech…

“I feel really bad that [White] feels that we would in any way try to hurt or discriminate against her, but we will not retract from what we believe. I cannot say, ‘Well because you feel bad, I will stop believing what I believe,'†he said.

“When I walk on Church Street in Toronto, where I am right now, and I see [LGBT rainbow flags], and I see a lot of signs and a lot of things on public property, I don’t have a problem with them. I accept it. I chose to come to Canada… and we accept the whole package… I don’t discriminate against that, nor do I come and tell them to take them down. For the same reason, I ask to have the same respect in return, especially when it’s in my own business.â€

That wasn't enough for the LGBT pressure groups. Using the media to attack the man as a bigot, and anonymous individuals who felt emboldened by the anonymity of social media, Jardon received so many death threats on his business's Facebook page that he had to close it down. Hackers posted false articles on his company's website. He finally offered to return their money in an attempt to make the whole thing go away...but where does he go to get his reputation back? (http://www.thetelegram.com/News/Local/2015-05-18/article-4150483/Jeweller-says-he-has-been-bullied,-threatened/1)

 

The nature of society today is that one does not need to be threatened with the legal machinery of the state and the LGBT political pressure groups' lawsuits - the mob mentality of the progressive movement, where a belief that one is "hateful" is sufficient to advocate the destruction of an individual (because he's, you know, homophobic) will now do the job without the need of a lawsuit.

 

Do you think the CO's position will be any different?

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