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Mr. Gates Address At National Meeting

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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." 

Oscar Wilde was jailed because of his relationship with Lord Alfred Douglas (thanks to an ill-advised libel suit he brought against Douglas's father), whom he met when the latter was 20-21. Wilde was in his late 30s at the time.

 

And while Wilde does seem to be something of a "gay icon," it really is astonishing considering he converted to Catholicism at the end of his life.

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Scouter99 the book is on abuse of scouts in BSA by PEDOPHILES, not gays... Most have a persona of the family man husband, wife children, church goer, civic minded..  Pedophiles will never be your openly homosexual person because of people like you who equate the two words of homosexual and pedophile as the same.. A pedophile takes on a persona that will allow parents and children to trust him and think nothing about letting their children be alone with them..  An openly homosexual scoutmaster will not have that type of trust, at least I don't see it in any near future..

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Hooray for President Gates, and hooray for the BSA.  Reformation is coming.

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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. 

 

So yes, back in the room.

 

To be honest I doubt our growth (and 9 or 10 years actually!) is specifically due to gays or atheists, atleast not specifically, probably more associated with girls though.

 

Bit of background.....

 

In the late 90s and early 2000s TSA saw a dramatic fall in members dropping from around 600K down to less than 400K in just a few years. The reason for that was mainly that it had stagnated. There had been no significant changes or updates to the programme since the late 60s or early 70s. It was stale and no longer reflected what the kids wanted. The only change had been in 1991 when a local option was introduced for admission of girls.

 

In 2003 there were wholesale changes to the programme, the age ranges and the uniform. The most important of those was the age ranges. Previously scouts went 10-16 and Venture Scouts 16-20. This was changed to scouts 10-14, explorers 14-18 and Network 18-25. I have neither the time or inclination to write what would be a small thesis in changes in society that meant this worked better but trust me it did! In addition the programme changed, the world jamboree in 2007 gave us great publicity and the introduction of a celebrity Chief Scout role helped PR no end. HQ also got more savy with PR generally. They are so much better at promoting what we do. If they need an adult on camera they try to make sure they are under 25, they show the good stuff and less stuffy events in formal uniform. And it works.

 

In terms of girls, gays and atheists.

 

We'll start with gays and it seems on topic!

 

There was never a ban on gays in UK scouting. That's not to say they were always welcome, remember homosexual acts between men were illegal here until 1967! Nevertheless there was no specific ban. TSA was just silent on the matter and certainly there were gay leaders. It changed in, I think, 1998, certainly 90s sometime, when TSA first publicly stated that gays were welcome. There was some controversy at the time but it never affected membership as far as anyone could tell. Frankly the concept that any organisation would ban gay members in the UK is now considered outrageous. That's not to say there is no discrimination anywhere because there is. Sadly gays are still bullied, harassed, assaulted, looked over for promotion and yes, even occasionally murdered for being gay. But the concept of any kind of official ban is looked on with horror.

 

Atheists - there has never been a specific ban on atheist youth members. What there has been has been a requirement to make an approved version of the promise to become a member. All approved versions referred to a deity of some description. Any kid that said they didn't believe in God was told if you don't believe then your duty to God is simply behave respectfully to those who do and if you disagree with them do so in a polite manner. Simple.

 

For adults the situation was different. There was a specific ban on them becoming full members of the organisation although they could be associate members. What that meant was they could become a section assistant (like an assistant leader but didn't wear the world badge), campsite staff, serve on various committees etc but couldn't be in over all charge of a troop, pack etc. In reality the rule was ignored for decades. Most atheist leaders just wrote "church of england" on the application form, no one asked them any questions, they made the promise and were in.

 

My understanding is that that sort of behavior is looked down on far more in the USA than in the UK. Over here it's just considered a way around what was mostly considered a silly rule. It goes on all the time elsewhere. Ignoring the rules and being generally passive aggressive in all walks of life is pretty much a national sport. My favorite is football fans who flatly refuse to sit down at games and prefer to stand up and sing. Aston Villa fans are known to be particularly fond of standing up on mass and making sure the stewards know that they can't eject them all from the stadium!  I digress though.

 

When the official change came 15 months ago it really wasn't a big deal, it just reflected what had been the reality for probably 25 years. It just removed the last thing I had to be uncomfortable about. While I am a Christian myself I could not justify excluding someone for being an atheist. It just seemed nuts.

 

The girls issue has done more to swell the ranks, I haven't seen this years figures but in 2014 I think girls made up about 15-20% of membership. Now clearly that has helped swell the ranks compared to 10 years ago when it was more like 5-10%. It was 2007 when all groups had to accept girls, it was controversial at the time, people said they would quit if it happened. Very few of them did.

 

Being inclusive I guess has helped in that there hasn't been any reason to criticise the association for its policies but to be honest I don't know of anyone that has said "ooh look, I'll join them because they're so inclusive". most say "ooh look I'll join them because I want to go camping, hiking, climbing and sailing".

 

Does that cover it?

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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 screw. 

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

 On this one I think I have to refer to the quote about our nations being divided by a common language.

 

The term "promotion" in terms of homosexuality is a big red rag in the UK. It comes from legislation introduced in the 1980s which prevented teachers from "promoting" homosexuality and was there because people honestly believed that gays were trying to groom and turn teenagers. Complete nonsense of course. But that is why I took your comments why I did.

 

If by promotion you mean telling people that it's ok to be gay and that they are welcome then frankly the UK Scout Association is guilty as charged. And to be honest I'm proud of that. If I'm at full strength next week I'll have 38 young people through the door. Statistically speaking 2 or 3 of them either already know they are or will grow up to realise they are gay. Some of them will suffer bullying and discrimination as they go through life because of it. Running an organisation in such a way that they feel safe and welcome is something I am proud of. And running it in such a as to make them welcome includes not kicking them out on their 18th birthday. I prefer putting an adult application form inside their birthday card.

 

As for your book, if these men abused children then they are not gay, they are pedophiles. It is that simple.

 

Gay men are no more a threat to teenage boys then I am to the teenage girls in my troop.

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Thanks Cambridgeskip.. I remember you explaining that a year or two back..  I doubt we also will get someone saying "Oh, I'll join 'cause their so inclusive".. First off we will still not be as inclusive as you guys.. What we do have now though is several who will say "I will not join because of your ban on homosexuals".. We also have a few churches our DE has called to try to get them to sponsor a unit who have said they will never do so as long as we have a ban on homosexuals..  I guess once we get local option we will have people telling us they wont join or sponsor a unit because we allow every unit the right to choose their own leaders based on their beliefs..

 

Ok.. Same subject but maybe off on a different trail..   Gates had one statement I found interesting..

 

WE CAN EXPECT MORE COUNCILS TO OPENLY CHALLENGE THE CURRENT POLICY. WHILE TECHNICALLY WE HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO REVOKE THEIR CHARTERS, SUCH AN ACTION WOULD DENY THE LIFELONG BENEFITS OF SCOUTING TO HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF BOYS AND YOUNG MEN TODAY AND VASTLY MORE IN THE FUTURE. I WILL NOT TAKE THAT PATH.

 

 

How does that read to you?..  Is it just Dr. Gates stating his own personal view?  Is he telling councils that from now on if they verbally state their mission to include local option on homosexual leaders and they stop dropping membership of known homosexuals, that National will no longer play hardball and squeeze them until they tow the line?..  Either way, how many Councils who have been stopped under threat, or have been following policy but pleading to get a waver for this do you think will open their doors based on hearing or reading this statement?

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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?

You have to understand the conservative view of history here (I’m about to paint with a wide brush, yes this doesn’t apply too all conservatives).

 

The idea that the BSA had local control before the 80s is rejected. In their minds the no-gays policy was clear and dates back to the founding of the BSA. So when you mention it, it gets ignored because “it didn’t happenâ€.

 

They also believe that the no-gays (and no-atheist) policies have been well known by everyone considering being a CO or joining scouts. Hence you get the “why would you join or be a CO of a group that you don’t agree with†stuff.

 

They also reject the idea that many scouters, scouts and charter orgs have been lobbying for years against the discrimination policies. It’s all just outside pressure by people that “don’t care about scoutingâ€. Either that or anyone within the BSA lobbying for the change is doing it for nefarious reasons and “don’t really care about scouting†and therefor don’t count as “real scoutersâ€.

 

They also believe that the BSA basically “belongs†to the religious conservatives. Which is where you get sentiments like “why don’t you go away and form your own organization (this one is ours)?†Of course, many of them believe the same thing about the country, us stupid liberals aren’t “real Americans†and are out to destroy the country we apparently hate.

 

I believe the history is something different.

 

Before the 1980s, we had effective local control. When the right-wing take over happened, and we lost local control (a slow process that didn’t happen overnight), we lost units over it. I know that in my local council we had several Jewish groups that had been longtime COs close their units because they refused to discriminate (and that they have told our council they would love to sponsor units again - as soon as the BSA stops discriminating). Nationally we had several hundred (I’m not sure of the exact number) of UUA churches and groups sponsoring units, and most of those stopped because of the BSA’s new discriminatory policies. There were many others. And yes, if local control is restored, I expect we will loose a few current COs.

 

As for the idea that this was all well known by the COs, how? Homosexuality was not mentioned in the BSA Rules and Bylaws, nor in the Charter Agreement. In fact, this well known “policy†wasn’t mentioned in any official BSA publication that I am aware of, only in press releases or court statements. When it’s in the news, people hear about it, then when it leaves the news, people forget. When this whole membership thing hit the news before the vote, our council got contacted by a bunch of COs who had no idea about the policy (some were in favor of the policy, some were not - but it was news to them). I’m sure plenty of other COs knew about it, but these didn’t. Plus there were a lot of scouters and parents that had no idea about the policy (I had lots of scouters and parents tell me that).

 

When I was a youth I was a cub scout, boy scout and explorer scout, and I had no idea about any membership policy. It wasn’t until years later that I learned about it. I’m Unitarian and I learned about all this stuff when the BSA basically forced out the UUA COs in the late 90s. So why did I return as a scouter years later? Because scouting was great to me when I was a youth, and I wanted to give back. I thought long and hard about the “membership issuesâ€, and I decided that the positives outweighed the negatives. But if the membership had voted to double down on bigotry, I would probably have left.

 

I care a lot about scouting, and the reason I have been writing letters to national and the council urging a change is that I believe that the current policy is incompatible with the Scout Oath and Law. I want the BSA to do a better job of living up to it’s ideals. And I believe that the majority of scouters that agree with me also care deeply about scouting. I don’t know anyone that is pushing for change in order to “destroy scouting†or because we “hate scouting†or “…insert favorite nonsense here…â€.

 

I also believe that by picking sides in these issues the BSA has hurt the brand immensely. The right wanted to changed the BSA from being an American patriotic institution to being a conservative religious one. And look where it has got us - no more special access to government resources, little to no public school support, military COs are all gone, reduced support from private institutions, etc.

 

I’m not surprised that Gates has come out for change, the writing is on the wall. Look at STEM Scouts. They will open every meeting with the Scout Oath and Law, but have no membership restrictions. So being gay or an atheist is apparently not incompatible with the Scout Oath and Law in STEM Scouts? Then how is it incompatible in Boy Scouts?

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As for the very un-scout like stuff that has shown up on this thread, I understand that we all care deeply about scouting and that this is an emotional topic. We can disagree, and argue with force and passion without resorting to personal attacks. Assume that the people on the other side of the argument a still good people trying to find their way in a difficult area. A Scout is Kind.
 

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I have heard the "leave if you don't like it" advice many times over the years. I understand the reasoning behind both sides of that particular dichotomy.

What I've always marveled at, however, is the fact that some persons will in one paragraph lament the loss of membership and argue that 7% is significant for a loss. And I don't have a problem with any of that. Our pack lost 10% in a night after the members learned from a DE's rant on the subject, that BSA discriminates against gays. 10% of the pack represents only the families who told me their reasons for leaving. The actual decline after that night was larger and I can only speculate on what the reasons were for the others.

So declines are important, at least for a middle-sized pack like we had.

And because of that importance I'm mystified why in the next paragraph those same persons would invite a large fraction of membership to leave, just because of a disagreement with policy. Does that make any sense at all? How can concern for declining enrollment be reconciled with invitations for large numbers of current members to leave?

How would their leaving strengthen the program or the organization at any level?

 

It seems like that approach to disagreement, applied broadly to any disagreement, guarantees decline and a steep one at that. And what would be left? Not much but I suppose they'd be in agreement.

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My guess is most people think this change is coming whether they like it or not. I figured it would be a few more years, but this sounds like a shot across the bow. Either way I don't see it making much of a difference in numbers as it's all about whether the scouts are having fun. My bigger worry is squirt guns. I'll ignore that rule but it is an indication that National is run by committee and not by one with an idea of what scouting is about. Here I am trying to encourage scouts to go off on their own and we're reminded that we can't even trust boys with squirt guns.

 

Anyone notice that the Denver Area Council was explicitly brought up as disregarding the rules and they also get one of the STEM trials?

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Scouter99 the book is on abuse of scouts in BSA by PEDOPHILES, not gays... Most have a persona of the family man husband, wife children, church goer, civic minded..  Pedophiles will never be your openly homosexual person because of people like you who equate the two words of homosexual and pedophile as the same.. A pedophile takes on a persona that will allow parents and children to trust him and think nothing about letting their children be alone with them..  An openly homosexual scoutmaster will not have that type of trust, at least I don't see it in any near future..

 

Ah.

 

Like Chris J. Wilson, the openly gay, politically connected Phoenix Police Officer, who was their official community liaison to the LGBT community, who was arrested for having sex with two teenage boys he groomed? http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/lgbt-advocates-cast-a-pall-on-the-phoenix-pd-and-the-valleys-gay-community-6462115/ http://archive.azcentral.com/community/phoenix/articles/20140213trial-phoenix-police-lgbt-liaison-accused-threats-brk.html. He happened to meet the two teenage boys he molested through his job. Good thing he wasn't a "pedophile," though.

 

Or like Obama's chief bundler, the prominent LGBT activist Terry Bean, who raised more than half a million dollars for Obama's 2012 campaign through members of the gay community, who was arrested for sex with a 15-year old boy. Good thing he wasn't a "pedophile," though. http://newsbusters.org/blogs/kristine-marsh/2014/11/24/network-silence-obama-ally-gay-activist-arrested-child-sex-abuse

 

Or like gay activist Frank Lombard, the associate director of Duke University's Center for Health Policy, who was arrested by the FBI in 2009, who adopted two boys with his (adult) husband and was arrested after trying to sell their adopted son for sexual purposes to an undercover FBI agent? Good thing he was a prominent gay activist and not a "pedophile." http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/06/30/duke.molestation.internet/

 

Or like David Carpenter and Joshua Brown, two openly gay men who lived together as a couple, who seduced, raped, and later murdered a 13 year old boy? Good thing they were openly gay men and not "pedophiles."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Jesse_Dirkhising

 

Or like veteran gay rights advocate and former San Francisco Human Right Commission staffer Larry Brinkin, arrested for possession of child porn involving young boys? Good thing he was only a gay activist and not a "pedophile." http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Rights-advocate-pleads-guilty-in-child-porn-case-5162743.php

 

Or like Larry Kramer, the founder of the LGBT pressure group ACT-UP, who wrote in his book, "Report from the Holocaust: The Making of an AIDS Activist": "In those instances where children do have sex with their homosexual elders, be they teachers or anyone else, I submit that often, very often, the child desires the activity, and perhaps even solicits it." So yeah, this prominent gay activist has educated us that when a child has sex with a "gay elder," he was actually asking for it, so the "gay elder" isn't really at fault.

 

How many more of these do you need me to post, Moosetracker?  Don't confuse the wider definition of "pedophilia" (one who desires sex with children) with "pederasty" (the sexual desire of a man for a male minor). It's the latter that is applicable here.

 

Not all homosexuals are pederasts, but all pederasts are homosexual.

Edited by AZMike

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They were all pedophiles.. I guess if you look for a needle in a haystack you are able to find 2 or 3 examples, but those are needle in haystack examples.. 99% of the pedophiles happen to be heterosexuals.. So we should ban all heterosexuals from being adult scout leaders.. You never can be too careful..

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I also believe that by picking sides in these issues the BSA has hurt the brand immensely. The right wanted to changed the BSA from being an American patriotic institution to being a conservative religious one. And look where it has got us - no more special access to government resources, little to no public school support, military COs are all gone, reduced support from private institutions, etc.

 

I’m not surprised that Gates has come out for change, the writing is on the wall.

 

He's going about it wrong, then -- one reason he cited why he wants a change imposed from within instead of imposed by the courts is so the BSA could continue to discriminate against atheists, which won't change the situation with government & public school support:

 

"AND IF WE WAIT FOR THE COURTS TO ACT, WE COULD END UP WITH A BROAD RULING THAT COULD FORBID ANY KIND OF MEMBERSHIP STANDARD, INCLUDING OUR FOUNDATIONAL BELIEF IN OUR DUTY TO GOD AND OUR FOCUS ON SERVING THE SPECIFIC NEEDS OF BOYS."

 

 

Look at STEM Scouts. They will open every meeting with the Scout Oath and Law, but have no membership restrictions. So being gay or an atheist is apparently not incompatible with the Scout Oath and Law in STEM Scouts? Then how is it incompatible in Boy Scouts?

 

STEM Scouts seems to be an odd beast -- it's actually under Learning for Life, not Scouting:

http://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2015/05/11/understanding-the-difference-between-stem-in-scouting-and-stem-scouts/#comment-142386

...

1. STEM Scouts IS part of the Learning for Life program

...

— Richard Stone

STEM/Nova Training and Education Chair

 

 

But by using the scout oath as part of the program, it's cutting off any possible government support.  Also, it seems to be the only L4L program where members count as a Scout ("... a boy in a STEM Scouts lab counts the same as a boy in a Boy Scout troop.")

 

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