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Mr. Gates Address At National Meeting

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I would really like someone, anyone at all, to answer one question - How does a CO and Unit accepting gay and athiest scouts and leaders (local option) affect their own unit without going in to some kind of side rant about "tradition" and "family values" and "moral values", or some irrelevant discussion about whether membership numbers as a whole drops or rises.  I want to know precisely how one thinks a unit in the next campsite over, or in the next town over, that allows gay and athiests in negatively affects their own unit.

Just having gay leaders won't make a hill of beans worth of difference.  However, the actions of all leaders, nationwide, absolutely impact neighboring units.  The BSA is a national brand.  As such, they appeal to a national audience.  As we're all no doubt aware, national opinion on any number of issues is widely varied, diverse and divisive.  The action of a BSA unit marching in a Gay Pride Parade in NYC, with scantily clad men also in attendance, will absolutely affect the value of the brand in the rural more conservative areas of the country.  Parents in those areas will make decisions about the entire movement based on what they see on the TV screens and read in their news streams.  The same can be said in reverse.  If national TV news covered a BSA unit placing Confederate battle flags on the graves of Confederate soldiers on Decoration Day, liberals in the US NE might think those leaders are tarnishing the brand while the locals see it as honoring war dead.  Do any of us not remember the nationwide salvo the BSA endured when the idiots out west pushed those rocks over?

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Bad wolf - I doubt it will shift again in BSA at least on this issue.. BSA got royally hurt by choosing a side rather then keeping things the way they were, staying out of the arguement and leaving it up to the CO's through local option..  But on the conservative side in other political issues you may win a battle here and there, just don't be surprised if you win that it does not put an end to the issue and your win doesn't stick for more then a few years to a generation.. Battles lost sting, but it doesn't mean I need to give up the fight..

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Last night at a troop meeting I was discussing this with another leader who thought that local option had been adopted and would soon be implemented. I told him, no, at this point it is still just a proposal, though obviously the chances of it being adopted seem a little better than they did the day before yesterday. I also showed him portions of Gates' speech that make this clear. He said that media reports that he had heard made it sound like it was a done deal.

 

I think we ought to realize that even if Gates' suggestion is adopted by National, it is not going to happen overnight. These kinds of changes seem to get voted on at Annual Meetings, so if it even gets to a vote, it is probably not going to happen for another year at least.

 

Editor's Note: That last sentence turned out to be incorrect, a decision may be made in October 2015. - NJCS

Edited by NJCubScouter

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@@moosetracker, again you miss the point.

 

 

Leave. Practice what you preach and start your own organization with the polices you want. Why destroy what others have built?

 

 

Why didn't the conservatives that wanted to ban gays leave in the 70's when de facto local option was in place? 

 

Organizations change over time. Governments. The YMCA could hardly be considered Christian anymore. Some organizations, like my beloved Catholic Church are pushed from all sides to change it's doctrines. Abortion, Contraception, Gay marriage, married priests. She will resist, because these are issues of God. As Jesus said "the Gates of hell will never prevail against it." 

 

The BSA does not belong to any one church. It's an American institution, and it's values will end up reflecting that. In the end the BSA has two choices, keep the ban, keep some members now, and lose the next generation, or change now, lose members now (Like Scouts Canada) and secure the future. What did you honestly expect when they made Robert Gates the President? 

 

I hope there's a workable solution for local option, but frankly I'm not optimistic. I don't think groups like the HRC would be happy with that arrangement. 

 

I can't keep you from packing your bags if this change goes through, but as a Fifteen year member of Scouting, and a third generation Scout and Scouter, I'm just as entitled to have the BSA reflect my beliefs on the issue as everybody else. 

 

Lets be real with ourselves. If I subjected every organization to an ideological 100% purity test, I wouldn't be an American, I wouldn't be Catholic, and I wouldn't be a Scout leader. I wouldn't live in Ohio, and I wouldn't go to college. I wouldn't work with any of my previous employers. The concept of, "if you don't agree on this issue, then leave" is frankly ridiculous. 

 

Here's to a uncertain future, and some hard times for the BSA, regardless of what decision is made. 

 

Sentinel947 

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Lets be real with ourselves. If I subjected every organization to an ideological 100% purity test, I wouldn't be an American, I wouldn't be Catholic, and I wouldn't be a Scout leader. I wouldn't live in Ohio, and I wouldn't go to college. I wouldn't work with any of my previous employers. The concept of, "if you don't agree on this issue, then leave" is frankly ridiculous. 

 

Yes, let's be real, it is not about an issue, it is about how an organization is. We can disagree on issues, but that's not the point. What is being done is forcing your beliefs on someone else.

 

For those who joined knowing that BSA had this policy but don't support it -- and I suspect that's many people here -- making the change to fit your ideology is insurgent behavior. It is not honest. It is hypocritical. 

 

Put the shoe on the other foot and see how much you scream. I'm done.

Edited by Bad Wolf

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Yes, let's be real, it is not about an issue, it is about how an organization is. We can disagree on issues, but that's not the point. What is being done is forcing your beliefs on someone else.

 

For those who joined knowing that BSA had this policy but don't support it -- and I suspect that's many people here -- making the change to fit your ideology is insurgent behavior. It is not honest. It is hypocritical. 

 

Put the shoe on the other foot and see how much you scream. I'm done.

Be done. You clearly have no interest in listening to anybody else's opinions anyways. The religious conservatives started forcing their beliefs on the rest in the 1980's. It was codified in law in the 2000's. For many members of this forum, the shoe has been on the other foot for years. Where was your sympathy card then? 

 

I joined as a youth. I didn't find out about the policy till I was 18 or close to it. I wanted to see my younger friends through the program. Then I got attached to the other kids I was working with. And the cycle perpetuates. I love Scouting. It's history, it's historical figures, it's Oath and Law. Mentoring teenagers gives me motivation to get up and go about life every day. I've given probably the best years of my life 18-21 to Scouting in my Troop, District and Council. One issue does not define the work I've done or will do in the future. 

 

I could make a whole slew of arguments about the consistency of yours. (If you hate your district so much, why don't you leave?) But in the end I know your answer will look somewhat like mine. You're a good person. Most people in this situation are.

 

You can call me whatever names you want. I don't care. Thanks for your service to Scouting Bad Wolf. I hope you stay, regardless of what decision they make, whenever they make it. If you don't, enjoy life on the other side, and don't lecture the Boys selling popcorn about how the BSA sold out. 

 

 

 

  • Upvote 3

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 If you don't, enjoy life on the other side, and don't lecture the Boys selling popcorn about how the BSA sold out. 

Funny, I've had several of the enlightened feel perfectly at home lecturing me and my son about the evils of the BSA membership policy over the last few years.  Pot meet kettle. 

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lose members now (Like Scouts Canada) and secure the future.

You don't really believe that Scouts Canada is securing the future, do you?

 

Now, I am not so naive to think that the gay issue or the co-ed issue is what is causing the decline of Scouts Canada all by itself, other Canadian scouting associations are also facing a decline in numbers, but Scouts Canada is 1/3 the size it was in 1990 and just over 1/4 the size it was in 1965 (its peak year).

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You don't really believe that Scouts Canada is securing the future, do you?

 

Now, I am not so naive to think that the gay issue or the co-ed issue is what is causing the decline of Scouts Canada all by itself, other Canadian scouting associations are also facing a decline in numbers, but Scouts Canada is 1/3 the size it was in 1990 and just over 1/4 the size it was in 1965 (its peak year).

I referenced Scouts Canada to losing members, not necessarily securing the future. 

 

Scouts UK, which Cambridgeskip could tell us about, has had 5 years of growth, is now the largest youth Organization in the UK. They allow girls, atheists, and gays. I agree that Scouts Canada woes are not entirely the gay issue. I doubt the UK's growth is entirely allowing those groups either. 

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I referenced Scouts Canada to losing members, not necessarily securing the future. 

Scouts UK, which Cambridgeskip could tell us about, has had 5 years of growth, is now the largest youth Organization in the UK. They allow girls, atheists, and gays. I agree that Scouts Canada woes are not entirely the gay issue. I doubt the UK's growth is entirely allowing those groups either.

 

Will happily do so later but right now off out with Mrs Cambridgeskip, catch you later!

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No.

 

They send contingents to pride events. That is not promoting homosexuality or trying to turn anyone but about saying it's ok to be gay and you are welcome in the scout association as a youth or adult member. The reason for doing that is that many people in the gay community in the UK think they won't be welcome and it's about over coming that.

 

The idea that there are hordes of gays just itching to come along and turn everyone gay is frankly laughable.

The twisting-turning involved in stating that marching in a gay pride is not promoting homosexuality amaze me; must've earned your gymnactics badge. 

The non sequitur that follows is typical and not at all impressive.  I didn't say anyone is trying to turn boys gay, you felt the need to defend against that charge.  Why?  I think it's Freudian.  After all, as an Englishman you've just had the 118th anniversary of the release from Reading Jail of gay icon Oscar Wilde, who spent 2 years there for sex with teenagers, or as he so artfully put it "feasting with panthers." 

Maybe you need to deny the upcoming feast with the Panther Patrol when I didn't say anything about it because you feel that's exactly what's coming.

 

But as long as you're laughing, get a copy of the book Scout's Honor.  It is an anti-BSA book which ironically enough catalogues the story of a group of gay men (gay, not married opportunists, not pedophiles, just gay) who did exactly what you're having a good laugh at: Formed a scout troop to have a stable of young men to have sex with. 

If you think it's so funny, let it be a young man you care about.

Edited by LeCastor

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Yes, let's be real, it is not about an issue, it is about how an organization is. We can disagree on issues, but that's not the point. What is being done is forcing your beliefs on someone else.

 

 

So you're ok with forcing the beliefs of CO's that do not want a local option on the CO's that want a local option, is that it?

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*groan*

 

I am so sick of this topic. It is very, very divisive and pushing the issue will only result in more folks leaving then coming in. My own denomination the United Methodist Church is very divided on it with individual churches in the same part of town with wildly differing positions. Several Troops lost their CO's in Tampa because of the last change...I wish Gates had just kicked the can down the road some more...

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*groan*

 

I am so sick of this topic. It is very, very divisive and pushing the issue will only result in more folks leaving then coming in. My own denomination the United Methodist Church is very divided on it with individual churches in the same part of town with wildly differing positions. Several Troops lost their CO's in Tampa because of the last change...I wish Gates had just kicked the can down the road some more...

There seem to be at least two possibilities. One is that Gates has knowledge that the policy is going to be changed in the very near future, and used the speech to signal that the change is coming. If that is true, I think he did the right thing by bringing it up. Another possibility is that the change is no closer than it ever was, and he used the speech to advocate for the change even though the actual decision-making powers have no intention of making it. If that is the case then he probably made a mistake, because he just made the anti-change people angry while raising false expectations with the pro-change people, without bringing the issue any closer to resolution. I guess there is a third possibility, which is that he believed the issue is at a "tipping point" with those who will decide it, and he thought his speech would persuade them to make the change. I'm not sure what to think about that one; but I would say that if it is going to take another year to get a vote on making the change, he probably should have waited until it was closer to that time before making this statement.

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