Boy Scouts to continue review of membership policy, take action at May meeting

The Boy Scouts of America’s executive board has directed committees to continue an exhaustive review of the BSA’s policy barring gays and lesbians from the program. The approximately 1,400 voting members of the national council will take action on the resolution at the national meeting in May 2013 in Grapevine, Texas.

Please read the full text of the BSA’s release:

For 103 years, the Boy Scouts of America has been a part of the fabric of this nation, providing it’s youth program of character development and values-based leadership training.   In the past two weeks, Scouting has received an outpouring of feedback from the American public. It reinforces how deeply people care about Scouting and how passionate they are about the organization.

After careful consideration and extensive dialogue within the Scouting family, along with comments from those outside the organization, the volunteer officers of the Boy Scouts of America’s National Executive Board concluded that due to the complexity of this issue, the organization needs time for a more deliberate review of its membership policy.

To that end, the executive board directed its committees to further engage representatives of Scouting’s membership and listen to their perspectives and concerns.  This will assist the officers’ work on a resolution on membership standards. The approximately 1,400 voting members of the national council will take action on the resolution at the national meeting in May 2013.

View the PDF of the release at this link.

506 thoughts on “Boy Scouts to continue review of membership policy, take action at May meeting

  1. So let me ask this… as a member of the World Organization of Scouting Movement, why is BSA the only country that has this policy? I can’t find a reference to this in any other, including in BP’s home country

    • That’s because sexual orientation wasn’t, and isn’t, one of Baden-Powell’s founding values, aims or methods. There’s no reason for this policy to exist!

    • Because the military isn’t a Godly organization nor is it a private organization with it’s rights to operate freely protected under the US Constitution and substantiated in a Supreme Court Decision… The BSA isn’t an agency of any government and chooses to be a Godly organization with a desire to operate under Biblical Principles in which God says homosexuality is an abomination of His creation; the temple of the Holy Spirit that He created… Our military used to follow similar principles but chose not too.. their choice to do what they did and the BSA’s Choice to do what they do in order to fulfill the mission statement they’ve set out to fulfill… Are scouts wrong in taking an oath to live a morally straight lifestyle which includes many more things than not choosing to participate in homosexual behavior… NO!! their not wrongful… God says they aren’t wrongful and He matters more than anything else…. just truths; can’t change just truths…. like gravity; never changes…

  2. Just to clarify where BSA currently stands on this issue.

    BSA currently expresses a message that homosexual conduct is not morally straight.

    Any delay in not changing that expression, is choosing to continue an expression of hate and disdain toward all homosexual citizens of the United States, as well as their friends and family.

    A decision to not make a decision, is the same as a decision to support the current message of disdain for gays. Until they decide to change their current expression, BSA will continue to feel the consequences of that expression, just as they have for the last 20 years.

    • So, cwgmpls- You admit that the gay agenda has only been around for 20 years? The BSA 103 and the bible over 2000 years. Lets put things into perspective here. What about disdain and discrimination against heterosexuals? I feel like my rights are being violated as well. Because I believe the words written in the bible is the word of God, does not make me homophobic.

      • No. It was 23 years ago that BSA told the Supreme Court that BSA teaches that homosexual conduct is not morally straight. BSA funding and membership has tanked ever since. BSA’s assertion of this message is 20 years old.

    • Remember, the BSA is a PRIVATE youth organization and as such has the RIGHT to determine its operating precepts. No one is forcing gays or lesbians to join, nor do they have to join. So your notion of “freedom of choice” only extends to you and activist gay, lesbian, transgendered and bisexual individuals. Your choice is that the BSA must accept gay, lesbian, transgendered, and bisexuals as Scout leaders. What about a private organization’s right to say, “No.”

      • I never said BSA doesn’t have a right to their message. I’m just saying it is not a good idea. And disdain for an entire group of people is not very Scout-like, besides.

        • cwgmpls:
          You’re missing the larger point of the issue. It’s not about inclusiveness, the issue is about a private youth organization’s right to determine and live by their aims, methods and ideals, whatever those may be and whether or not anyone else thinks its a good idea or not.

          To those who bring up the inclusiveness or discriminative disputes, I find their reasoning faulty. One hundred years ago the policy of being morally straight was not an issue. Fifty years ago this was not an issue, but today in the “enlightened” 21st century, many individuals live free and easy lives with an anything goes type attitude about what is immoral and what is moral. Ones preferred sexual orientation or the willingness for sympathetic individuals to promote this issue as such, has NOTHING to do with this issue and is a red herring.

          What those issues do show is a pejorative social degradation of the mores within our culture and society, a diminished belief in God and His teachings. But , as you see, the God and sexual orientation issues take us away from the salient issue and that is:

          “It’s not about inclusiveness, the issue is about a private youth organization’s right to determine and live by their aims, methods and ideals, whatever those may be and whether or not anyone else thinks its a good idea or not.”

        • I guess disdain for drunkards, drug addicts, and adulterers is not very Scout-like either. Adultery, polygamy, incest, pedophilia, bestiality, homosexuality are all sexual sin. Just because something isn’t illegal doesn’t mean that it is morally straight!

        • I have tried to teach Boy Scouts where ever I find them that there is more to morally straight than sex or sexual orientation just as there is more to clean and reverent than good personal hygiene and personal prayers. Scouts and their leaders do not get to parse and parcel the Oath and Law to justify poor behavior at any level. We operate within the frame work of policy to provide clarity for membership. We operate within the bounds of the Oath and Law to build better people. Respect does not equal acceptance nor does love mean acquiescence. Sometimes we have to say no even when it means feelings get hurt. Sometimes we have to not join groups or organizations that we really want to because we do not meet the criteria for membership. We have a duty to be true to ourselves and if that means we are not able to associate with volunteer organizations for whatever reason we do not join. It is not appropriate or ethical to deliberately cause discontent or sabotage any group merely because we feel that we are entitled to belong or we feel we are magically entitled to fair treatment. As adults we are raising generations of youth that suffer severe entitlement issues and who believe they should get everything they want even at the expense of others. We have adults and youth who have never heard the word no.

        • Grouping homosexuals with adultery, polygamy, incest, pedophilia, bestiality is exactly the problem. Morally straight wasn’t a problem until BSA re-defined “morally straight” in 1991. Many scout families don’t agree with that re-definition.

        • Respectfully here is a thought. Then do not join. There is no entitlement to belong to a group that you do not meet membership criteria. Just say no and form your own organization and compete in the arena of ideas on a level playing field. Teach a deeper lesson to youth i.e. it may be unfair but we will do the hard work and defeat them our way with our own voice and with our own organization.

        • That is exactly the problem. People aren’t joining BSA. Membership is down 20% since BSA asserted its anti-gay teachings.

          It is the national council’s job to figure out what to do next. That is what they are doing. Telling people to not join BSA is not in the interest of the future of BSA.

        • You said below that membership is down 20% due to not allowing gays,

          I call you on that, Membership is down in most organizations, (4-H, Lions, Kiwanis,….) People are busier each year and the need to belong has diminished due to the internet. Kids would rather play video games than be active in anything these days including sports,

          4-H was once a proud organization of rural America but the local agent admitted to me they are now a third tier organization meaning that they will choose two other activities over them, Usually sports which in recent years trumps wed night church service and anything else with mandatory practices., .

          It use to be kids have nothing to do., Now there are too many choices.

      • You’re right, the BSA is a PRIVATE youth organization and as such has the RIGHT to determine its operating precepts. So why don’t we also kick out all blacks, or Jews, or left-handed people? Just because we legally can exclude gays doesn’t mean we should.

        • Marcus, do you read your comments before you hit send? No one wants to kick out anyone. If you are a homosexual and are a leader in BSA you will not be kicked out. You will be kicked out when you shove your agenda down our throats. Witness the lesbian Cub mom. She was the one who made her homosexuality an issue. She was the one who wanted a fight, well she got it and didn’t like the result. So she did what all cowardly people do, she played the “VICTIM” card.

        • Private organizations are not for everyone, that’s way they’re PRIVATE. As such they have rights to determine who can become members and what requirements those who join must follow. Whether someone disagrees with their ideals doesn’t matter.

          Those who disagree don’t have to join the private organization. They can find like-minded individuals and establish their own youth organization, with their own ideals and vision.

          I respect your right to disagree with the BSA’s ideals, but if you and others who feel the way you do, don’t agree with or like the BSA’s ideals and policy, you all have the right to form your own private organization for youth.

          In fact, I wish someone would do so to take care of all those poor folks wandering around out there who are searching for gay, lesbian, transgendered, and bisexual youth organization that they can join and support.

          This issue isn’t about inclusiveness or sexual orientation; it’s about the right of a private youth organization to follow their ideals – period.

        • johnnyrat78, Take for example my friend Todd. He was a Scout leader, he is gay. He never once talked about his sexuality at Scouts; never once brought it up. But the parent committee found out he had a boyfriend and they asked him to leave. I’d call that kicking someone out.

        • Then he should have never joined. It is patently dishonest intellectually and incorrect morally to join an organization knowing you do not fit the membership requirements, hide or in this case deliberately not disclose a disqualifying situation then scream discrimination when found out. The point is however well meaning he should never have been there in the first place. We may not like it, we may even feel it is unfair but that is life. Many adult leaders have influenced youth in positive ways and most have not been in the BSA. There are more appropriate avenues. As I have posted many times a volunteer organization is that, volunteer. There are no inherent rights to join and as such there are expectations of accommodation if you do not meet the criteria. The BSA is only responsible for its members who are registered and active and who meet the membership requirements. Everyone else can just go away as they have no vested interest in the program or have no business being there.

        • Marcus, again you throw out a straw man. If he let people know he had a boyfriend, then he was open about and obviously happy to let everyone know his sexual preference. I don’t go to our troop meetings every Thursday night and announce that I am married.

        • johnnyrat78… So you’re telling me that no one in your community or in your troop knows you have a wife? You keep her hidden away and never talk about her in public or are seen with her anywhere? Wow!

        • johnnyrat, the lesbian mom den leader in Ohio, Jennifer Tyrell, did NOT make her sexual orientation an issue. She was just a den leader, doing her usual thing. They asked her to help with some of the financial aspects of her den. When she came across something she thought was inconsistent, she asked questions about it. That’s when they kicked her out, and used her sexual orientation as pretext. Yes, she then started a petition on the matter, but someone else made her orientation an issue first. She was not shoving it down anyone’s throat.

        • This is not the full truth but you can pick and choose to serve your purpose.. she should never have joined the BSA knowing their membership requirements.. she should have simply enrolled her children if that was her free will and declined any opportunities to register knowing the membership requirements.. she registered with a purpose to attack the system; this is the truth.. I wonder if she will ever admit the truth?? why would she now.. integrity???? she attacked my council but the truth is known about her true intent.. if your not a member then you really have no right to address the BSA on this issue.. was that part of why she joined??

        • Dear beth,
          I am not sure you know all the facts. But I will play along. Jennifer did make a choice to make waves when she joined Cub Scouts. By signing her application, she consented to adhere to the guidelines and rules of the BSA. She automatically disqualified herself, when she said she was trustworthy.

        • Boys become Cub scouts when they are very young. It doesn’t make sense to ask a 7 year old if he thinks he might be gay when he gets older, and if so to not join Cubs. To say “then these boys should never have joined the BSA” is to ignore the fact that by the time they realize they are experiencing same-sex attraction, they have invested many years of hard work in Scouting. To ask them to give all that up, even if their religious beliefs don’t consider being gay sinful or morally wrong, is simply wrong, and usually based on fear, misguided assumptions, and stereotypes.

          A Scout is kind and friendly. There’s nothing kind or friendly about shunning hard working Scouts and Scouters, who have worked alongside their straight friends and colleagues for many years, just because they are gay. Private Catholic high schools don’t shun these boys; why should the BSA?

          And if these shunned folks raise a ruckus – well, if they are simply telling their story and asking folks to consider whether the BSA behaved appropriately or not, and whether the policy should be changed, that’s not shoving an agenda down anyone’s throat. That’s speaking out in a way that we Americans are proud of – peacefully using our first amendment rights to create a public dialog about whether the status quo should change.

        • No it is called holding young men accountable and there is a big difference. You appear to excuse virtually any behavior in order to keep from holding young men accountable or to avoid hurting feelings. Choices and decisions have consequences. I have been adamant that when you no longer meet ANY volunteer organizations membership requirements whether it is age 8 to 80 you walk away. This is not based in fear or stereo types it is based in reality. Duty, Honor, Loyalty, Trustworthy, and Obedient are not just lofty goals that the boys do not have to learn. They are not optional principles or standards. Why would anyone of conscience continue in a pursuit that they were no longer eligible for? Why would anyone of integrity enable the stealing of a rank advancement that was not earned? There is no entitlement to continue in the Boy Scouts if you do not meet membership standards. There is no entitlement to stay because you worked hard or because somehow you are owed something. Any adult leader that would enable ANY young man to pursue an award or rank they did not earn is obligated by duty and honor to walk away and not reward poor choices. That young man should also turn in his ill gotten gains and walk away. Sometimes adult leaders have to say no. Sometimes adult leaders have to say thanks for your efforts but you do not meet the requirements come back when you do. Sometimes adult leaders have to be compassionate by being tough and holding the line because to do less demeans what those who met the FULL requirements not just part of them. There is more to Eagle or for that matter even a Scout than completing some requirement on a list or completing a service project. When you part and parse the Scout Oath and Scout Law into a two tiered system the entire system crumbles because pretty soon there are no standards left. Adults cannot and should not right every perceived wrong and protect a Scout from any adversity or hurt feeling. We are raising generations of “entitlement” children that cannot understand how or why anyone would ever dare to hold them accountable or tell them no.

        • Andrew,

          One cannot be held accountable for an immutable characteristic. One can be held accountable if he were to commit a crime or an immoral act. To base a judgment of character on how one “be’s,” how one exists as a human person, is preposterous. Judgment of character must be based on how one thinks, speaks, and acts. Does one’s thoughts, words and actions exhibit trustworthiness, loyalty, helpfulness, friendliness, courteousness, kindness, obedience, cheerfulness, thriftiness, bravery, cleanliness, and reverence? If yes, he has character worthy of scouting.

        • The immutable characteristic is not what is at issue, rather the conscious decision to participate under false pretenses. I am a firm believer in be who you are. Make no mistake lying to yourself is every bit as wrong as lying to others. Taking an award or rank that has not been fully earned is theft. I know many atheists and agnostics that exhibit good character and live the tenants of the Scout Law but they are not eligible to be Scouts or Scout Leaders. I know young men who have walked away from Scouting not because they were kicked out but because they were not willing to hide who they are or what they believe in order to meet the membership requirements. They were not willing to stay under the cover of a lie to earn some patch or piece of paper. They were not willing to allow others to lie, cheat, steal, hide, distort, or obfuscate the standards just so they could stay. Yes I agree with you character is words, actions, and thoughts. Those who live life as they are. Those who are unwilling to allow anyone to lie for them. Those who are willing to walk away because it is right that they do so. Those are the ones I want with me in the hard times because they have shown the character that means far more than a patch. They have shown the character that can truly make a difference in someones life. They are the ones I want working for me in the business world. They are the ones I want my kids to know because they uphold the meaning and wear the fabric of the Scout Oath and Scout Law even though they are not technically Scouts or Scout Leaders.

        • Andrew, I suppose we’re beating around the bush here. My point is that the determining factor of whether one should be a participant and able to advance in the Boy Scouts of America, as it is presently stated, is in contradiction with the values that we both hold, and that the BSA purports to hold.

          Does the BSA have a right to exclude certain persons from membership? Yes, freedom of association, first amendment.

          Does the BSA’s policy match the Scout Oath and Law? No.

          While you may maintain that the honorable thing to do when one realizes that their being is in contradiction with the membership standards of an organization is to leave that organization in order to maintain honesty and integrity, I maintain that no organization should have a standard of membership based on how well one can exist-in-a-certain-way. It should be based on how well a young man can follow the Scout Oath and Law, not how lucky they were to have a particular biological or psychosocial makeup. In this instance, the honorable thing to do is to make the organization more just.

        • Well stated. We will have to agree to disagree. I am unwilling to legitimize what in my opinion are poor character flaws. That has nothing to do with gay or straight. My heart goes out to those dealing with those issues. The BSA is extremely dependent on exist-a-certain-way that is how Baden Powell intended the Oath and Law to be. Have a blessed day.

        • johnnyrat, when Jennifer Tyrell joined the BSA as a tiger parent and den leader, she asked the cubmaster if it would be a problem that she is gay. She was told it was not a problem. The unit didn’t have a problem with it. Her son just wanted to do all the fun scouting activities that his friends were doing. As a good mom, she was doing her best to contribute to his pack. All kids should be so lucky as to have such an involved parent. Not all the kids in my pack have that.

          (I’m well versed in the specifics of this case, by the way. My facts are not lacking. Thanks).

      • Markus –
        I completely agree that the BSA has the legal right to deny membership to gay and lesbian Scouts and Scouters. However, the fact that something is legal does not always mean that it is the right thing to do.

        In this case, I think —
        The friendly thing to do would be to welcome all boys who are willing to do the work involved with scouting into the BSA.
        The kind and courteous thing to do would be to reach include those who may be “different” from the average scout and help them to feel at home in the BSA.
        The reverent thing to do would be to allow each CO to let their religious beliefs guide them to decide whether to open their troop to gay Scouts and Scouters.
        The brave thing to do would be to give this change a chance.

      • Markus, yes the BSA is a private organization and they have the right to set their membership policies as they see fit. They also have a right to decide that their policy excluding a large number of people simply for who they were born to be is no longer in their best interests. That’s what they are considering now.

        • the homosexual population is not a large number of people as you suggest. they are a tiny tiny percentage of the overall population in this country; naturally.. without the media to amplify their tiny voice we wouldn”t even be discussing this.. the liberal mainstream un-american media has chosen to lead the attack against the BSA and identify them with what their doing; i never watch them, that’s one they don’t reach with their lies for sure.. Scouts are doing fine with the program as it is and have a lot more to loose if they choose to change to an immoral membership policy.. people are abandoning religious denominatiins that have decided to ordain homosexual leaders and create some sort of homosexual union without a Godly covenant to create a marriage… its ok if were different; you should respect and tolerate our place and i’ve never gone out if my way to pay any attention to what homosexuals, atheists, and agnostics do or have to say about anything.. why would I; the aggressive militant members of these groups are just ruining things for everyone.. God always has His victory though; In His time and in His way.. you can count on that… all of our bodies die but some find eternal life with Him and the Holy Bible shows the way…

    • Is it ok if I speak the truth of my heart and simply say that i think homosexual behavior is repulsive… I’m not saying I hate anyone but that I find homosexuality to be repulsive.. is it important that you choose to speak for me??? I’ll speak for myself and allow you to speak for yourself.. It’s also ok if I choose to believe God has revealed Himself through His Word being the Holy Bible. It’s also Ok if I choose to try to follow Biblical Principles as the model for my life… It’s also ok if I like the BSA just the way it is; a Godly organization founded on Biblical Principles.. It’s also OK if I choose not to follow a sexually active homosexual, homosexual, atheist, or agnostic as my moral leader or spiritual leader.. Its a truth that a total group of homosexuals and bisexuals equal less than 3.4% of the population and that I don’t recognize them as a majority to speak to any issue.. It’s ok if I believe the the ACLU isn’t more powerful than the US Constitution or the US Supreme Court’s decision that the BSA is a private organization with the right under the US Constitution to operate their organization any way they choose as long as they don’t disobey the law.. It’s ok if I believe that discrimination between right and wrong is ok, moral and immoral is ok, truth and lies is ok…. It’s ok if I be free too… and it’s ok if the tiny minority of homosexuals choose to be tolerant of the BSA and allow them to do their own thing and I have a strong feeling that the BSA has never nor will ever aggressively attack the homosexuals for their sinful behavior; I’ve been in the organization for many many years and I’m and Eagle Scout and I’ve never taught any person to hate anyone nor have I ever been taught by any member of the BSA to hate anyone including the homosexual community… The minority really has no voice in this unless the media amplifies them disproportionately above the True and significant majority.. I’d be a fool to allow the media to dictate my morality, or my culture.. They don’t have the kind of power they think they do… And I teach my children the same lessons… Truth never changes no matter how many lies are told…

      • You are free to say that. But why make BSA the spokesperson for your belief? Especially when so many other Scouts don’t agree with you.

        • The BSA i their own spokesperson. And, they have SPOKEN for the last 103 years. So, if you really want to know how the BSA views the “issue” (an issue they did not make an issue) refer back to history and what the BSA was built upon a century ago.

        • BSA’s speech about gays started in 1991. 22 years ago, not 103 years ago.

          These “so many other Scouts” are the ones who have now gotten the national council’s attention and led them to re-consider the ban.

        • mismysis – The BSA made this issue an issue when they chose to expel James Dale because he was quoted as saying he was gay in a newspaper article. They made it an issue when they asked Pack 442 to remove their non-discrimination statement from their Pack web site. They made it an issue when they removed Denise Steele from her leadership position because her partner picked her up at summer camp. There are other examples. None of these cases had anything to do with abuse, or inappropriate speech or actions within the context of scouting. Many people seem to think that the BSA has a defacto Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. But it does not.

    • Homosexuals don’t own the word Gay.. I’m a Gay heterosexual man; who gave them claim to that word or did they just steal it? I have never seen anything in the BSA program that ever promoted that the BSA has a disdain for homosexuals.. They just don’t accept them as members of their organization.. If a homosexual wants to be a member of the BSA then quietly do so and leave your sexual preference at the door; who would know unless you make it an issue??

      • You can call yourself a gay heterosexual if you want to. Nobody is stopping you. Except BSA has the legal right to kick you out if you consider yourself openly gay.

        BSA considers open homosexuals to be immoral. That is disdain.

        • God said homosexual behavior is an abomination to His creation and a sin against Him.. I didn’t write His Word to us.. I agree and try to surrender my will to follow His principles; Biblical Principles.. BSA chooses to freely do the same thing as I’ve done; yoked equally so I’m a member because of it.. If you don’t choose the same then why would you even want to join our membership; or are you even a member?? if not then the policies we choose freely to create which abide by law; follow our legal rights under the US Constitution and have been supported by the Supreme Court if the US are ours to freely create and freely follow… Gotta Love America and the Freedoms protected by daily sacrifices…

        • I find homosexuality to be repulsive and God finds homosexual behavior to be an abomination to Jis creation.. But God loves His creation and will always keep His arms wide open for sinners to repent and accept forgiveness through the nloid sacrifice of His Son; my savior.. truth of my heart is that I honestly have no disdain or hostility toward anyone; its the blessing of the Holy Spirit within me but I am repulsed by the sin of homosexual behavior; maybe you understand what I’m saying and maybe you don’t .. I don’t know if you’ve accepted His Holy Spirit into your life or not; I hope you have!! I wouldn’t consider my journey through life to be gay if I was burdened with the sinful desire to engage in homosexual relationships.. I struggle with my own cross but I’m not gathering an army to go on an aggressive militant mission to attack Godly organizations, institutions and people to force them to change God’s Holy Word just so I can pretend my sinful desire is now no longer a sin in God’s eyes.. I think that would be a pretty evil and selfish mission on my part.. If the scouts choose to change and homosexuals infiltrate leadership roles in the BSA then Godly people will just leave; its callex Freedom.. and in time they’ll build a new organization and the BSA will colapse from a lack of membership.. thats ok; God always has His victories in His time and in His Glorious Ways… why do you think non-denominational churches are growing and the Lutheran, Presbyterian (USA), Episcopalean churches are dying; God’s way of wooing them back to His Will.. when they begin pretending to marry homosexuals in His name they’ll have just about destroyed themselves and that’s ok too; God’s seen disobedience and rebellion before and He always Has the final say; He ALWAYS has His victory in His time and in His Glorious Way… be patient; you’ll see…

  3. Do not change the way the scouting operates. I am a 20 year scouter with an Eagle son. The scouts need to stay the way it is in the interest of providing moral leadership to the youth of our country. We need these young men to take leadership positions in the future that will clearly demonenstate moral type leadership. Say no to any changes

  4. The foundation in which the BSA was built and structured (a century ago) has been the deciding factor in why parents, children and sponsors chose this organization opposed to others. The morals, values and beliefs adopted by BSA, initially, is what fueld its appeal and longevity. The “foundation” of this organization is why being a scout is such an honor. When you remove the “foundation” of ANYTHING it does not continue to stand as it once was.

    • The foundation in which BSA was built and structured was to leave sex education up to parents and clergy. BSA changed this foundation in the 1990s, to start teaching a message about homosexuality.

      The vast majority of Scouts families, liberal and conservative, don’t want BSA teaching boys about sex.

      Let’s move BSA back to its foundation and leave sex up to the family and church to deal with. That is the one, single position that all Scouts, liberal and conservative, can agree on.

        • “Education for sexuality belongs in the home… Scouters should reinforce rather than contradict what is being taught in the family and by the youth’s religious leaders” BSA Statement on Human Sexuality, 1984

          BSA held that policy until 1991, when the statement “We believe that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the requirement in the Scout Oath that a Scout be morally straight and in the Scout Law that a Scout be clean in word and deed, and that homosexuals do not provide a desirable role model for Scouts.” was released. Starting in 1991, teaching about homosexuality was moved into part of BSA’s program, rather than being left to parents and clergy.

      • Sex, the teachings of it nor homosexuality were mentioned in my comment. The values, beliefs and morals in which BSA was created is what I spoke about. And still, that is the foundation on which it was built and, again, when the foundation of anything is removed it WILL fall. Furthermore, my comment is based upon my 12 year olds point of view. My very invested CHRISTIAN scout! Again, yet another truth, on which the BSA is built, its boys!

        • But the teaching sex has been part of BSA’s program since 1991. That is the problem the national council is trying to deal with now.

          BSA is not just for Christians, by the way. You should know that if you are a Scout. Read “A Scout is Reverent”.

        • My very invested 14 year old Scout believes the current policy is immoral. So who’s right? Well, what I believe is that we all are. If you and your scout believe homosexuality to be immoral, that is your right. If my scout and I do not believe it to be immoral, that is our right. A scout is reverent. We respect the beliefs of others. So where is the disconnect with the proposed policy change?

  5. BSA have to be divided in two or more organization, like Spain scouting. They have an umbrella organization of scouting by Law. It divided in various organization: ASDE a non religious scouting, Catholic scouting, and others. they participate in the world scouting movement and any scouting activities. The scout and their family chose the troop, council, organization they value, like and enjoy.

    • BSA’s structure is divided in a similar way. That is what Chartering Organizations are for. The Chartering Organization retains the right to conduct its Scouting program according to its own policies and guidelines, as well as screen and select unit leaders who meet the organization’s standards.

      BSA has been structured this way since 1911. I don’t know where anyone got the idea that all BSA troops all have to have the exact same policies, guidelines, and leadership standards. They don’t. A CO can make a Catholic troop, a Mormon troop, a non-religious troop, whatever type of troop agrees with the guidelines of the CO.

      Each CO gets to make their own rules for their troop in this regard, as long as they also adhere to BSA national rules. It always has been that way.

  6. Scouting is a values based organization. Those values include the Scout Oath and the Scout Law:

    Scout Oath
    On my honor I will do my best
    To do my duty to God and my country
    and to obey the Scout Law;
    To help other people at all times;
    To keep myself physically strong,
    mentally awake, and morally straight.

    Scout Law
    A Scout is …
    trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly,
    courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful,
    thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.

    So… is sexuality discussed in either the Scout Oath or Scout Law? No. The closest you can come is morally straight.. So… what does morally straight mean?

    To be a person of strong character, your relationships with others should be honest and open. You should respect and defend the rights of all people. Be clean in your speech and actions, and remain faithful in your religious beliefs. The values you practice as a Scout will help you shape a life of virtue and self-reliance.

    It’s tied to religious beliefs. Ultimately this is going to come down to how the chartered organizations feel about the issue. The Boy Scouts does not have a single member – youth or adult – that “belongs” to the legal entity known as the Boy Scouts of America. The Boy Scouts “charters” organizations to offer a Scouting program. These organizations are typically churches, PTA groups, civic organizations, etc. Scouts then join that chartered organization. The vast majority of the Scout units out there are chartered by the Church of Latter Day Saints (the Mormons) and the Catholic Church. What the Boy Scout organization has said is that they are considering letting the issue of gay scouts/leaders be addressed via the chartered organizations. In my humble opinion, they’ve passed the buck. I get why they did it – there are millions of dollars of corporate fund raising at risk – the potential exists for those corporate entities, who do adhere to an anything goes, diversity, respect for every conceivable lifestyle, etc., to face scrutiny from their shareholders. It matters to them, so the Boy Scouts have passed the buck to get a buck. That’s pretty telling right there and I think if more parents understood that, they might very well pull their kids out of Scouts.

    The real question here is whether those organizations will change their values? Or be forced to change their values. I think some congregations will welcome all with and some will resist. Will they be forced to change? Who will force them? We then get into the whole thorny issue of separation of church and state. I don’t think anybody can force the churches in question to change their values. They can drag them through the mud, much as outside forces have to the Boy Scouts.

    I get that times change and values change. And society becomes more accepting of things that it might not have accepted in a different time.

    The bigger question in my mind is why are we talking about sexuality with a group whose membership largely contains 1st through 5th grade boys?

    I want my kids to be accepting of others. I also want my kids to be safe. And I want a say in what my children are taught and to what they are exposed. This is the first step, imho. First it will be “accept the gay & lesbian community”. Then it will be “a certain percentage of your leaders must be gay & lesbian”. Then it will be “this is an alternative lifestyle”. Then “accepted”, then “normal and usual and preferred”. I have a problem with that.

    And, believe it or not, Scouts do undress and change clothes in front of one another. Today the Scouts are required to have separate changing and showering facilities for adults, youth, and gender. Will we now have to have additional showering areas for gay and straight youth? Gay and straight adults? What about sleeping arrangements? Today we say that a youth cannot sleep in the tent of any adult other than his parent. While I would imagine that the vast majority of those that want to join under the auspices of being a gay adult rather than as a gay youth, what happens when a boy declares his homosexuality? I guarantee you that there will be issues with changing, bathing, and sleeping.

    Scouting serves boys from seven years old (first grade) through 18 years. There’s probably some older boys who will declare their sexuality. Do we really believe that the rest of the boys are mature enough to not comment or tease others about this issue? Sure, Scouting values teach Scouts to be respectful of all people. This has the potential to be a very divisive and hurtful experience for lots of people.

    Ultimately I could care less if somebody decides that they’d rather be with someone of the same sex. If they’re happy, great, I’m happy for them. I thing it wrong that somebody say “I’m going to hire, fire, promote, whatever because of your sexual orientation.” I’d have ZERO problems with “gays in Scouting” if everybody just kept their mouth shut about it. Why do we have to talk about sexuality in the Boy Scouts? Let’s all go do a good turn daily, live our lives the best that we can, and be as happy as we can.

    I am very concerned about the issue of grooming. I don’t equate homosexuals with pedophiles, but I do question the wisdom of introducing a male (adult or youth) who professes to like having sex with men into a group of young men and boys. Do I believe that that a male that has identified himself by his sexuality rather than himself as an individual would rather have sex with a 18, 17, 16, 15 year old than some 50 year old guy that he met in a bar? You bet I do. So… that’s the part that will get me labeled as a homophobe. Sorry, those are my thoughts both as a parent and as a man that was groomed and sexually abused by an older man when I was a 16 (not within the Scouting organization).

    We all know that there are LGBT members in the Boy Scouts today. Those members, though, don’t seem to feel the need to proclaim their lifestyle in the Scouting environment.

    • If current LGBT members in BSA don’t feel the need to proclaim their lifestyle in the Scouting environment, then why does BSA use the Scouting environment to proclaim that the LGBT lifestyle is immoral?

      All people ask is that BSA not talk about sexuality, period, and to leave those conversations up to each CO to have if they want to.

      We are trying to get discussion of sexual lifestyle out of Scouting, since BSA started proclaiming their views about sexual lifestyles 20 years ago.

      • So a parent of a Scout happens to have a same-sex partner at home. It would be considered unacceptable to let them into your troop because they obviously would be bringing their sexuality into Scouting. And we don’t want sexuality in Scouting.

        So then I guess I bring sexuality into Scouting all the time because I have a wife! By your logic, the only way to keep sexuality out of Scouting is to only allow celibate asexuals in the program.

        • Marcus, that’s not the issue. The issue is that a private youth organization has the right to determine what their organization’s ideals and laws should be and the right to determine what is acceptable within their private organization, whether you or others agree with it or not.

          It’s interesting to me the amount of time and money that activist gays, lesbians, transgendered, and bisexuals have spent to force the BSA to abandon their rights, as a private organization, to establish and live their organization’s ideals.

          Don’t you think it would be more positive, productive, and inclusive of the gay, lesbian, transgendered, and bisexual (GLTB) activists to organize their own respective private youth organization for those who are searching for such a group?

          To me, it appears that the GLTB have squandered their money, efforts, and time for 20 years. It makes me wonder what their real agenda is to blatantly disregard an obvious solution to their supposed dilemma.

        • Yes, it is unacceptable in The Boy Scouts of America as it was built upon 103 years ago and, as we, a private organization know it today.

        • A Scout having married parents, or a Scout leader being married himself, is not the same as talking about sex in Scouting. I think that is pretty obvious.

        • The debate isn’t that BSA can’t exclude gays. As a private organization they have the legal right to exclude whomever they want for whatever reasons they want. The debate is that the BSA shouldn’t exclude gays.

  7. This debate is over the demise of the Traditional Family and when is enough, enough. With the demise of the Traditional Family comes the lack of moral character, promiscuity, and poverty, not to mention many other cultural issues. The Traditional Family has a core value system that may not be biblical but has many values that are. Similar to the 10 Commandments being from the bible, but regardless of where they came from are still statements of moral character. Yet the liberal lobby has repetitively tried to have them removed from the public square.

    #1 – Scout leaders are mentors for their Scouts. We should all expect our leaders to be of high moral character that model traditional family values. That translates to, refraining from leaders that are adulterers, drug addicts, drunkards, and homosexuals (note the list should be long). I know many drunkards that are great people, but that doesn’t mean that I want them mentoring Scouts.

    #2 – What would your stance be if a rogue religion believed it was fine to handle poisonous snakes. Do we allow that in Scouts? What if bestiality or pedophilia is acceptable amongst this rogue religion? Do we support them because that is what their God allows?

    The bible hasn’t changed in 2000 years. Liberal translations of the bible has. It is the liberal interpretation and their assault on Traditional Family values that has polarized this issue. The founder of MADD, Candice Lightner, left the organization because it was hijacked by extremist. Don’t let the BSA get hijacked!

    • When did BSA start allowing divorced adults, or single parents, to be Scout leaders? When did BSA stop modeling traditional family values?

      • Great point. The BSA hasn’t restricted leadership based on divorce or single parent status. I’m a little confused has to how you assume that a divorced or single parent doesn’t support the traditional family. I’m sure they went into marriage wanting to be divorced or widowed, or parenthood as single mom (please note sarcasm). If they are divorced or single I expect them to promote and model the core values of the traditional family, best they can. Homosexual relationships make it impossible for them to believably promote or model those values.

        • “I’m a little confused has to how you assume that a divorced or single parent doesn’t support the traditional family”

          Because, according to many people here, the traditional family is defined in the Bible. And the Bible clearly states that a traditional family is a man and a woman. In addition, the Bible clearly states that re-marriage after divorce is a sin.

          I fully respect their beliefs, and encourage them to not permit adults re-married after divorce into their troop. As long as they don’t impose the same rules on my troop. Specific criteria for membership can be established by each chartering organization, but they shouldn’t be imposed on the entire BSA nationwide.

    • DEstridge – We don’t allow bestiality, or pedophilia, or human sacrifice because they are illegal. A Scout has a duty to Country and to be “obedient” (which the Scout handbook defines with “A Scout is obedient. He obeys the laws of his community and country.”) Same reason we don’t let murders or drug dealers in Scouts.

      But being gay isn’t against the laws of this country… nor is it against the Scout law.

      • You’re absolutely right. The BSA shouldn’t support criminal acts. NEWS FLASH: Not all immoral behavior is criminal and they shouldn’t support them either. For over 100 years the BSA has defined the behavior that is expected in their Oath and Law. They have been consistent and good at how they’ve done it. Just because the liberal agenda has strengthened in this country and has moved the BSA up on their list doesn’t negate the integrity or the purpose that BSA has used as their foundation for the last century. You’re asking the BSA to redefine something that has already been defined and successful.

        By the way, not supporting criminal acts is discriminating against criminals. Discrimination isn’t always a bad thing.

  8. The BSA like all youth organizations must put the safety of the youth first. Inviting an openly homosexual man to care for other boys overnight and away from home is inviting trouble. A man who is sexually attracted to other men should not be put in a situation where he has many opportunities to be alone with a minor. For the homosexual man, the temptation and the possibility of a wrongful accusation is too great. As a normal male, I would not take a group of 16 and 17 year old girls on an overnight without their parents, regardless of the current protection plan guidelines, i.e. at least two adults, no adults sleeping in a tent with a child, at least two children in a tent together, etc.. The risk is too great and unnecessary for the adults and the children.
    Life is full of unfairness. I should be able to walk anywhere in the city of Chicago with no concern of violence, leave the keys in my car and my front door unlocked. I live in the real world not Disneyland.
    This issue has little to do with excluding homosexuality , but everything to do with teaching children that homosexual behavior is normal and acceptable. It is neither normal or acceptable. It is tolerated. Children should not be involved in ANY sexual behavior, nor encouraged to experiment. Sex is for adults and marriage. Sex has long term consequences that which children (and many adults) are ill-equipped.

    • BSA’s ban on gays is not a part of BSA’s youth protection policies. It is a part of BSA’s moral teaching policies.

      If you are right, then BSA should make banning gays a part of their youth protection program, where it belongs.

    • If a troop sends their scouts out to sleep alone with a single individual (male,female,gay,straight) so as to allow clearly preditory actions to occur is more of a statement against the troop leaders.
      The BSA has clear guidelines about YPT and pediphiles, this is not up for change. A normal gay or straight male would not find young children sexually attractive. And would you not be able to control yourself during the night even if you were one-on-one with a young girl (non-scouting of course)? Gay does not mean they are predators anymore than hetero means to be a predator to a young girl.

      • Having an attraction to a 17 or 18 year old is not pedophilia.
        Sending two twenty year old male leaders out on an overnite with a group of 16 and 17 year old girl scouts would be ridiculous. The girls and young men are fully aware of the sexual tension, and the parents should have the wisdom to protect their children. There should be no sexual tension or attraction between the adults and youth, nor between the youth. Just like how girls only and boys only schools remove the distraction of sexual relationships from the day to day activities. A scout should not be concerned that his tent mate or his leader may be sexually attracted to him.

    • If a gay male leader is a threat to the male youth of Scouting, then a straight female leader must also be one…right? Let’s kick out all female leaders!!!

      And what about all the straight males in the co-ed Venturing program… we’re just asking for trouble with all those female youth.

    • OK–I have to say, I am a heterosexual middle-aged woman, and I am constantly going on camping trips and to summer camp with boys from 11 to 16 or 17 years old, and….BSA has said that that is OK. So why is the risk not “too great” in this instance?

      The difference, for those who have not caught on yet, is that I am not actually a pedophile, and I am not interested in any kind of relationship beyond the usual Scouter-Scout one with these boys. Which doesn’t mean that all of the appropriate youth-protection guidelines aren’t followed, because in our troop we follow them religiously. Whether someone is a pedophile or not has little to do with sexual orientation (just take some time to read the research if you disagree)—in fact, most pedophiles actually identify as straight, so a no-gays policy does little to keep them out. (Anybody follow the Scouting sex-abuse scandal of the last few months? These guys said they were straight, right?)

      I wouldn’t have a single qualm about having gay leaders take my son and our other Scouts camping. And I keep my eyes peeled for inappropriate activity no matter whom the kids are with: man, woman, gay, straight—even other teens.

  9. I find it interesting when people start claiming that being gay is wrong just because the Bible says so. Why do you pick on this one particular point to be so literal? If you read the Bible, in addition to a few passages about gays, it clearly approves of slavery, stoning the perpetrator and victim of rape, forcing the rape victim to marry the perp, ritual human sacrifice, murder of weathermen, murder of adulterers, death for sex out of wedlock, death to non-virgin women, death to non-believers or those not of your religion, death for striking one’s parents, killing an entire town’s population because someone there worships another God, forced circumcision, and, best of all, death to those who work on the Sabbath (this is not just paid work, but even household chores!) My guess it that many of us have fallen afoul of one of these rules.

    If you are going to take any one part of the Bible absolutely literally, you need to do so with the entire text as there is no place where it says, “never mind, don’t pay attention to Exodus 3:12, Deuteronomy 22:23, or Judges 5:30), they were added by mistake”. So when you start taking the entire Bible literally, you must start viewing blacks as the slaves and don’t forget to grab a pile of stones and stand outside the local high school because there are surely a lot of people who, your literal Bible, declares as people that you should be stoned to death. Of course you wouldn’t do this because these rules are clearly wrong in today’s thinking. But they were previously used to justify slavery and justify murder and the punitive laws against women in other countries and religions that derive from the writings found in Exodus (at least in the extreme versions of these religions). So you now use these same measures to justify the discrimination of gays today. What difference is there between your views and those of certain regimes in the Middle East?

    Then many will declare themselves as “Christian”. This means you follow the teachings of Christ, or do you. Christ speaks of tolerance and acceptance of people different than yourself. Christ NEVER says anything at all against gays, nothing. I find this quite interesting that if this such a heinous condition, wouldn’t you think He’d address it? He even heals a dying servant who is gay! (Matthew 8:5, Luke 7-1). If Jesus can find it in His heart to heal someone who’s gay, maybe you can too. [And doesn’t this contradict the rules found in the OT?

    But please do not mistake homosexuality for pediphelia. The latter is NEVER acceptable. Start doing some critical thinking for yourself and stop letting others simply feed you your opinions. God gave you a brain, use it to clearly think about discrimination and if it is ever acceptable (in any instance not just this case).

    • Come on Albert, we have civil laws that prohibit most of the acts you illustrated. Stick to the real issue. This has nothing to do with being Christian or non-Christian, or whatever your sexual orientation might be.
      It has to do with the rights of a private organization to determine their ideals and the requirements members are to follow while being members of their private organization.
      If individuals who have joined don’t like those ideals or requirements, they have the right to leave and join another private organization that holds ideals and requirements more to their liking.
      This isn’t about inclusiveness or sexual orientation, it is about the rights of a private youth organization to follow their ideals and rules of conduct. Anyone that makes it more than that has an agenda.

    • Thank you, Albert–excellent points, and some that I think of frequently whenever the “word of God” is cited. Turns out that Jesus himself is quoted as mentioning homosexuality exactly zero times in the Bible, and, one would think that he might get around to talking about it if he considered it such a grievous sin. Apparently homosexual rape is mentioned as a sin, as should be any kind of rape, homosexual or heterosexual. And, if we are all to take the Bible in literal terms (if we are even interpreting it correctly 2000 years after the fact, and not just interpreting it as if it were written yesterday), then Christians would share all possessions communally, redistribute landholdings every 50 years, never charge interest on any loan (any bankers in Scouting?), not blink at polygamy, etc. Clearly, thinking has evolved on many issues, except not….this one.

      If Scouting is so big on keeping out gays, how about going for the entire enchilada? How about screening for adulterers? I personally do not consider someone cheating on their spouse to be the all-time best role model for my son, but….nothing is said about this particular “sin.”

      Jesus, to my understanding, was huge on demonstrating love and compassion for the downtrodden and despised in society. In my humble opinion, it is hard to believe that he would approve of all the hating and excluding that goes on in his name.

    • The Bible, both old and new testament defines marriage as the union of man and woman. It also states that a man should not lie with a man as with a woman. Christ did say he came to fulfill the law not nullify it. The Bible does not condone slavery or rape. I don’t no what Bible you are reading but Mat 8:5 and Luke 7 does not mention a homosexual. Mat 8:5 does not mention a healing at all!. Jesus does command us to love one another, that we are not able to judge the heart, that we are to judge actions.

  10. CWgmpls my concern: the problems with this “new policy” is that BSA will leave without legal cover the small troops! BSA will take the money from big donors, but the small troops will be open to legal challenge to their local membership policy, and the smear campaigns. BSA should accept gays or not for all the organization, it’s wrong doing a membership policy by troops, sponsor organization or council. Example if a troops sponsor is the Mormon church they will have money and good lawyers for the legal battle, but if the troop sponsor is a small inner city school it will be legal trouble. The troop will be shoot down!!

    • If a troop is sponsored by a church or other organization that has some kind of teaching against homosexuality, they will have no problem. Any lawyer who tries to sue a church over its religious beliefs, including teaching about homosexuality, would be laughed out of the court room. It just won’t happen.

      Even if a troop is not sponsored by an anti-gay group, all they have to do is state that the troop, itself, teaches that homosexuality is immoral. A troop that teaches against homosexuality cannot be forced to admit gays. BSA proved that in the Supreme Court.

  11. As a former scout, current Scoutmaster and former Assistant Scoutmaster for 10 plus years, son and nephew of Eagle Scouts, father of an Eagle Scout, father of a Life Scout for Life, father of a Life Scout close to Eagle and finally a father who can’t wait for his youngest son (who by the way is going to join BSA in March), I am appalled that this discussion has gone this far. BSA has stood for what is good and right with America for over 100 years. For the past decade BSA has withstood onslaught after onslaught from the liberal, politically correct crowd regarding homosexuals and their desire to infiltrate our fine organization. Am I naive enough to believe that there are no, nor have ever been any homosexuals in the BSA? Of course not. Am I so cold-hearted to deny a boy an opportunity to join BSA if his mother is a lesbian or father is a gay man. Of course not. Am I going to stand by and do nothing while the politically correct corporate entities and a small vocal minority dictate what BSA’s sexual orientation policy should be? OF COURSE NOT!
    BSA has never been and never will be about how much money X or Y corporation will donate to the program. BSA has been and hopefully always be about guiding boys into adulthood using morals that the majority of Americans still approve. In every poll on the subject I have seen, the highest percentage of people who want to see a change is 42%. That is nowhere close to even a simple majority.

    The vast majority of charter organizations in the BSA are Christian churches, Catholic churches, LDS churches and other conservative groups. If BSA national caves to the pressure and allows the sexual orientation restriction to be removed, how many of these organizations will pull their charters? I would venture to say most, if not all. Sure, some more corporations will stop sponsoring BSA if we stand fast. But that is a small price to pay for keeping our integrity that has stood the test of time for over 100 years. What is the use of corporate sponsorship, if there is nothing or no one left to sponsor? If BSA keeps our current policy, we may lose some corporate money. No big deal, BSA will survive. If BSA caves to the pressure of the minority and allows the sexual orientation policy to change, it will lose my support as a volunteer as well as my monetary support. I am confident that this would be the case with the vast majority of scouts, scouters and their fmilies. Will BSA survive a hit like this? More than likely not. It can’t because BSA is not about corporate sponsorship. It is about the scouts, scouters and all the other volunteers needed to make BSA run.

    By taking the easy way out and letting charter organizations “determine how to address this issue”, the BSA as an elite organization will cease to exist as we historically know it. This is not as I have heard it likened to, states rights. BSA national is the hub of the wheel of scouting. Everything runs through national, from Tiger through Eagle, national is involved. A strong national organization is why I can be at a gas station in Columbus, OH and a guy sees my Eagle Scouts license plates and asks if I know so and so from Camp Falling Rock. It turns out this guy was an Eagle Scout from Chile and the USA. Would that happen if we were not part of a strong national organization? More than likely, no.

    The eight or so years boys are in BSA are some of the most awkward years in a young man’s life. I am sure you remember eighth grade, I sure do.
    How can an organization that has a young man’s best interests in mind even consider allowing open homosexuals to become leaders? How can it even consider allowing open homosexuals to become members? I say this with all sincerity, if we change the policy regarding sexual orientation, we may as well change everything and allow 11-18 year old girls to join Boy Scout troops. You will never convince me that a openly homosexual boy should be allowed to bunk with a heterosexual boy, to be in the same shower house with a heterosexual boy. Just as you will never convince me that a boy and a girl should be allowed to do the same. You can not tell me with a straight (no pun intended) face that there are no potential problems in those situations. If there is the possibility that a boy and a girl could do something that is considered immoral and get into trouble, then what is to prevent two homosexual boys, or a homosexual and heterosexual boy from doing the same thing? Hormones are raging at these ages and if a boy is homosexual or heterosexual, hormones are not put on hold while they are at camp or attending meetings.

    I will conclude with this. People often mistakenly link “gay” rights with civil rights, this is wrong . The civil rights movement addressed issues that were truly discriminatory against a race of people. Blacks could not vote, they could not sit at the same lunch counter nor drink out of the same water fountain as whites. Homosexuals could, can and always will be able to do these things. Homosexuals are not discriminated against according to our country’s laws. They have the same right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as the rest of us. A small vocal, radical minority are wanting more than the basic rights afforded to all all Americans. You see this with the attack on marriage, with the attack on churches, with the attack of every traditional institution in America. BSA has taken a strong stand and has stood fast against this onslaught. The Supreme Court of the United States of America has ruled that BSA policy is not discriminatory. BSA needs to continue to stand fast or it will not survive.

    Yours In Scouting,

    Kurt Lofton SM Troop 345, Ohio Valley District, Simon Kenton Council, BSA

    For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

    • Thank you so very much! VERY WELL SAID, every feeling we have that we couldn’t put into words. Thank you again, from my scout (heart) to yours!!!

      • Thank you. This really gets my goat. I actually have a couple of homosexual friends and I work in a liberal social service organization that has many homosexuals employed there. The vast majority don’t even care about this issue. But here are a very few that would love to see BSA go down in flames. They don’t care about inclusion only about their agenda.

  12. This is such good news, and the one they would have been better to have started with in the first place – that is, to take time to collect and consider input from all involved and allow the larger group (1,400+?) at the national council meeting to review a proposal and vote. This is fair, and just, and brave (they are going to take a lot of heat for “leaking” the possibility and then making the hard choice to bring the issue to the larger Scouting community). If all the concerns are voiced, and the corporate group decide to make this change, then it will be the represented voices of all Scouts.

    Would a change of this magnitude require a 2/3 vote or a simple majority? If it is a 51/49 vote would this risk splitting scouts?

  13. Baden Powell is the influence of all religous values in Scouting. There have been many who have tried to say the BSA should not be involved in religion. Under the long time and present values that all scouter’s have embraced since its beginings we have all excepted the direction that the National Boy Scouts have done for the youth of America and without a moral compass that is the core of the BSA it would be a recipe for failure. The fact that 70% of all BSA Charters are Church based and the reason for so many Church Charters is both Church and BSA youth programs compliment each other. I believe that the BSA must keep its policies the way they are. Sincerely, Trenton Spears

  14. Wayne Perry, Chairman, BSA: I have been a volunteer grant writer and fund raiser for the Lighthouse District, Gulf Stream Council, Florida for approximately 2 years. If you give in to the pressures of this small minority, they will eventually own you. Ask yourself why would someone of an effeminate nature want to go through the rigors of Scouting? Only one answer, Perry, they want you to accept and embrace their life style and it sickens me to think that you would cave in just for the money. The Scouts are going to have more Jerry Sandusky’s to fend off than you can count.

    Next, it will be that they are offended by the Pledge of Allegiance in that it has “Under God” in its body, that we ground our Scouts in religious beliefs, that we mentor them in moral conduct, respect, responsibility, etc. Everything that is alien to the liberal will be under attack.

    I am looking forward to this weekend the American Legion (I am a Member) is hosting the 2nd annual American Legion/BSA Cracker Trail Camporee at Tanah Keeta and I look forward to seeing boys be boys, without a cell phone or I-Pad in sight. Kids pulling cracker trial wagons, living in tents, competing in 15 skill sets including Americanism, guarding and presenting the Flag, rifle, shotgun, archery, first aid, compass reading, etc.

    Go Gay, it will be my last event and I will resign from the FOS Committee and the American Legion Cracker Trail Committee. It’s not all about money; it’s about the future leaders of America. Stand firm and gain respect, if you give in Scouting will change forever; look what they’re doing to our Country.

    C Hoffman
    Boynton Beach Florida

    • Not a small minority–more and more and more Americans have looked into their hearts and chosen to support the rights of our brethren to live lives free of discrimination and hatred. And–you can’t really pretend that an anti-gay policy isn’t hateful. And equating homosexuality with pedophilia is misinformed, to put it mildly. Most pedophiles actually identify as straight and not gay. The issue of youth protection is different than the issue of sexuality, and one which troops always need to take seriously.

      Sorry, Carl, if we lose your service over this issue, but it is high time that the BSA stand up for what is right–in my mind, to respect and honor all of our fellow citizens, not just the straight ones. Since when did it become OK to teach our boys that discrimination is cool?

  15. BSA is an exclusive private organization which promotes those values regarded as most popular, appropriate, and productive among its administrators and existing members, based upon its record of past success. This popular opinion becomes the ethos or morality of the organization and we have, for the history of the organization, felt that these values are in alignment with the values of the American people.

    The Boy Scouts of America cannot be expected to make policy in conflict with its mission and values. In keeping with the values of the Scout Oath, homosexuality is not in keeping with “morally straight,” but not for the reasons many may think. An action or belief that is moral is one that is prudent and “for the good of the many,” if practiced by everyone. Since total homosexuality would ultimately cause the demise of our species within one human lifespan it can scarce be considered to be for the good of the many …and by this yardstick must be regarded as immoral. Traditional heterosexual practices which perpetuate our species would be deserving of regard as “moral.”

    Some arguments for inclusion of homosexuals is as follows:
    Homosexuality does occur in nature, thus it could be argued that homosexuality is natural. Deformities, blindness, cannibalism, and infanticide also occur in nature – and are natural. What’s your point?

    We teach our Scouts to embrace diversity, yet we exclude gays. Sounds unfair for a split second …but wait!! We don’t include girls, either! If we are going to include gays who may have a sexual interest in their tentmate, then we better allow girls – and they better be allowed to tent with the boys. Is this not acceptable to you? Then where do you draw YOUR line for what is fair or inclusive. Why would gay rights be more important than girls’ rights? They aren’t – and never will be. Girls have wanted to join forever!! …And then we need to be realistic about separate accommodations and related privacy issues at every camp out and activity from the “inclusion” day, onward.

    Scouting believes that same-sex attraction AND opposite sex attraction should be discussed outside of its program with parents, caregivers, or spiritual advisers, at the appropriate time and in the right setting. Leaders or Scouts that proclaim their sexuality are drawing unnecessary and unwanted attention to an issue which has no place in the activities of our boys. More importantly, why would an 11 year old boy know he’s gay, anyway? That seems inappropriately odd.

    If someone does not agree with the values and policies of the Boy Scouts of America… simply don’t join!! It is not for everyone, nor did it ever pretend to be so. Here is where the misconceptions and hurt begin. You don’t buy a house downwind of a farm and then complain about the country aromas, unless you are a bit of an idiot or a trouble-maker.

    The ultimate truth is this: A boy and his parents must make appropriate choices by researching the mission and policies of whatever organization the boy is considering joining. If we are going to change the organization to include and embrace one sexual exception, then girls had better be included in that change, lest we relegate their wishes to a status of less importance than the gay boys that they so dramatically outnumber.

    • “Scouting believes that same-sex attraction AND opposite sex attraction should be discussed outside of its program with parents, caregivers, or spiritual advisers, ”

      BSA told the supreme court that they “teach that homosexual conduct is not morally straight”. Who’s right? Does BSA teach about homosexuality in its program, or not?

      • As a Scoutmaster, I don’t teach about homosexuality or heterosexuality. I guide my scouts to lead each other in the variety of activities that BSA offers. Quit trying to insert words to try to prove your point.

      • It isn’t my place as a scout leader to teach the children about homosexuality; they don’t come to the meetings to do that…We learn about scout skills, dutiful citizenship, leadership and other lessons already provided in the scouting program… Scouting is actually nothing about homosexuality because it isn’t an issue; its truly insignificant in proportion to its actual size as an issue… Wouldn’t care what homosexuals did as long as the aggressive militant homosexuals weren’t attacking me… But they are and why would the majority of scouters allow a tiny minority of individuals to terrorize us into being obedient to their demands??? I don’t think I’ll choose to allow militant homosexuals and the leftist media to dictate my culture to me; why would I, its wrongful.. I understand God’s Word well enough to figure it out for myself…

  16. Nancy, it is not an anti-gay policy, it is a policy to protect our youth. The majority of scouts, scout families and scouters don’t want the policy changed. And yes, it is a minority of very vocal, homosexual bigots who want to break down every traditional American value. They won’t stop until they have done it.

    • johnnyrat–I respectfully disagree–CBS News and Gallup (and maybe others, but that’s as far as my research went at this late hour) say that 51% of Americans support gay marriage, and, while polls are not necessarily 100% accurate and results can be interpreted in many ways–I read from these numbers that a growing number of Americans are choosing to accept gays as part of society. I am not reading in these and other on-line forums on this topic anything written by someone I would consider a (ouch! What happened to respectful speech?) “homosexual bigot”–in fact, I am not sure anyone who is writing in is gay–there are no gays in Scouting, right?

      I do hear people speaking up who think Scouting should stand for respect and acceptance. For myself, I have gay and lesbian friends and neighbors and family members, none of who are in Scouting (or, frankly, could even stand the thought of their kids joining such a discriminatory organization). I speak up about the issue because I feel it is wrong, and because suicide and attempted-suicide rates among gay youth are at astronomical levels (like: somewhere between 28 and 40% of all gay youth attempt suicide at some point). No one can say that exclusionary form-your-own-groups-and-stay-out-of-ours policies don’t contribute to the suffering and discrimination that gay kids already go through. What if one of these kids was our kid, or a member of our extended family? I hope that any of us would put aside our own assumptions and walk through fire to do whatever it takes to help them–including speaking up endlessly when these issues are raised.

      And, instead of taking a leadership position on this significant threat to the lives of children, the Boy Scouts has chosen to rub salt in the wound by bending the interpretation of “morally straight” to the latter-20th-century’s connotation of the word “straight.”

      I would like to see the BSA have the moral courage to say that we will not tolerate any threats to children’s health and welfare. Imagining that we can teach our boys not to discriminate, while at the same time excluding gay kids and adults as somehow not good enough or because of some kind of perceived threat to our youth, is ludicrous in the extreme.

      • I truly am sorry that you feel this way about the BSA. But, if this is truly the way you feel and you don’t like the way BSA runs its private organization, then you are welcome to leave. BSA is a last bastion of strength, standing for what is good, moral and right with America. You point out suicide rates for gay teenagers. Okay, I am sorry that these teens have taken their lives. By the way, murder is murder, whether you murder an unborn baby, another person or yourself. But it is not BSA’s duty nor should it be to prevent gay teens from killing themselves. You have been sucked into this debate by the liberal media, the homosexual bigots, (who demand tolerance and acceptance, but don’t practice what they preach).
        I hope that BSA will stand and carry on. But if they cave and it all falls apart, so be it. Then the bigots will have won and may youth will have ha a great dis-service done to them.

        • And if the scouting spirit is real then a new scouting movement will rise up out of the ashes and there will be like minded Godly people forming similar units with the same spirit of scouting as ever before. It isn’t about the BSA completely; at one time there wasn’t a BSA. It’s about a Holy Spirit that has a desire to follow God’s will and that will never change because God’s truths will never change. So if the aggressive militant homosexuals cause the leaders of the BSA to sell us out then we can walk away from the BSA and re-establish a new organization where parents and their sons have an option to participate. The militant homosexuals may not have the courage to create their own youth organization but the members of the BSA will have the courage to start a new organization because its not about selfish political and social accolades; its a spirit of wanting to provide a wholesome environment for boys to simply grow up without being battered with all the social and political bullshit militant homosexuals think they have to try to pound into their heads. The boys don’t want the bullshit. They want to be scouts and follow all the good and Godly things scouting stands for. pretty simple. That’s what its really all about. The spirit will live even if the name is changed; we don’t have to be called the Boy Scouts of America to fulfill our mission. The BSA doesn’t have a patent on: Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean, and Reverent; these are Godly virtues… Maybe we just need to “Be Prepared” to courageously make a change…

      • Hi Nancy:

        I appreciate your passion and defense of youth and those of differing lifestyles. That is a commendable trait. As an ex-police officer I have seen much of what you shared with us.

        The relative nature of morality and what was considered by most individuals in this nation to be morally acceptable to our society has changed from the 1950’s to 2013. Does that mean we accept amoral behavior? From statistics, 50-51% of our population think the moral standards of this nation are socially acceptable. Does that mean they are right?
        Does that mean that those gays, lesbians, transgendered, bisexuals, pedophiles, and their supporters, have the right to tear down a wholesome and positive private youth organization as the BSA because they don’t agree with their membership policies?

        The truth is that for 20 plus years the gay, lesbian, transgendered, bisexual, pedophile activists and their supporters have been forcefully assaulting the BSA and other private organizations like it, to acculturate their ideals and beliefs into the fabric of the Scouting ideals and policies. By tearing down this iconic private institution, the gay, lesbian, transgendered, bisexual, pedophiles, and their supporters make themselves more socially accepted within our culture. That is the agenda of gay, lesbian, transgendered, bisexual, pedophiles and their supporters. I know, I have talked with many of them about it. My great uncle and a foster brother of mine were and are homosexual.

        I, too, am saddened by the suicide rate among our country’s youth. The “experts” give us many reasons for these pejorative results, especially for young men. The BSA has been a great tool for lifting boys, young men and young women. It teaches them the importance of hard work in order to accomplish a worthy goal. It also builds confidence and self-esteem. When they have good adult leaders, the youth are trained in leadership skills, learn to trust others, develop their faith in God, give service to others in need, run their own programs, learn what it means to be reliable, and are able to look outside of themselves.

        Nancy, the issue is not about discrimination or sexual orientation, it is about the right a private youth organization has to determine its own ideals and to define their own private membership policies. This is an inherent right ALL private organizations possess. If individuals do not agree with the ideals and membership policies, those individuals have the right to disassociate themselves from that organization, or find another private organization to their liking, or establish their own private youth organization with the ideals they desire. Isn’t it great that we can do that in this country?

        Does the BSA, as a private youth organization, have the right to determine their ideals, methods and membership policies? YES!
        Do all other individuals have to agree with those ideals, methods and membership policies? NO! That is their right.
        Do individuals who become members of the BSA have to espouse its ideals, methods, and adhere to its membership policies? YES!
        If members are dissatisfied with the ideals and membership policies of a private youth organization must they stay in the organization? NO!
        ALL private organizations hold the right to set governing policies for membership.

        The issue is not about discrimination or sexual orientation, it is about the systematic dismantling of a positive, life-changing, private youth organization for the social acceptance and acculturation of gay, lesbian, transgendered, bisexual, pedophile activists and their supporters. These activists would force a private youth organization, that has a legal right to determine their organization’s ideals and membership policies, to follow their activist ideals and membership policies. You talk about fairness, openness, discrimination, and making a choice – is what these activists are doing to the BSA fair? Aren’t the activists discriminating against a private youth organization that has a legal right to establish their organizations guiding parameters?

        If these activist individuals were truly concerned about this issue, there would be a private gay, lesbian, transgendered, bisexual, pedophile private youth organization in every city of this nation, lead by a gay, lesbian, transgendered, or bisexual adult leader. Wouldn’t their money and time be better used in that positive endeavor? That is not their agenda.

        I hope you are able to discern the real issue of this question and not muddle it with other concerns that do not apply.

        • YES! Truths never change.. our nation’s youth need the Boy Scouts of America as it stands.. if you think their’s a demand for a similar organization in the homosexual community then build your own.. parents will vote with where they register their child and themselves.. it’ll be American Capitalism in practice.. are you fearful of the outcome and what the truth would reveal? or is it truly to hijack the BSA to serve a more selfish and self serving political and social agenda??

        • Markus – No one is suggesting that pedophiles be allowed to be part of the BSA. On this, we can all firmly agree.
          The proposed policy does not mention transgendered people – that is a different discussion altogether.

    • In my area of the country, the majority of heterosexual scouting families want the policy changed. We have gay friends at school, in the workplace, in sports, on our neighborhoods, and in our churches. While there are vocal minorities on both sides, it seems reasonable that an individual scout troop should be able to determine which members meet its CO’s views on “morally straight” and which don’t, based on the values of their CO and their community. I think we can trust individual scout troops to take this responsibility seriously, and do the right thing.

      • EMom You are falling into the same pool as the rest of the folk who want the policy changed. You say that “the majority of heterosexual scouting families want the policy changed”. Come on, how can you even say that with a straight (no pun intended) face? The majority? Have you done exhaustive research to back up this claim?

        Truth be told, I think that most of the scouts, scouters and other volunteers don’t want the policy changed.

        You also proudly point out that you have “gay friends” at school, at work, in sports, in your neighborhood, in church. So what, You and others like you claim that homosexuals are not in this fight to proclaim their sexuality, but you go ahead and celebrate it. Curious.

        • Maybe all registered members as of January 1, 2013 should be permitted to vote on this issue. It is truly a life and death issue for the BSA. Yes it is a big deal to Godly members registered in the BSA. Not everyone has to understand that but if your not a member then it doesn’t matter if you understand or not because its simply none of your business what our private organization does.

        • Johnnyrat78 –
          I said the majority of scouting families IN MY AREA want the policy changed. I fully understand that in other areas of the country it may be different. On this issue, there are clear red state / blue state differences. I also know that individual COs and their troops may differ from each other. The nice thing about the proposed policy is that it takes this into account. Troops and their COs can follow their conscience and their religious beliefs to decide how they want to structure their membership policy. If it’s true that the vast majority of scouts and scouters don’t want this policy, then very little will change. Their troops can keep things the way they are. In areas like mine, some troops may change their policies, but not all. Families can find the troop that best fits their family values.

      • Did you have an election.. How do you justify saying the majority of heterosexual scouting families want the policy changed? I personally don’t believe your statement to be true.. homosexuality is a very small percentage of the population. Your speaking for one small group. What about the other groups in your area that don’t want the policy changed; don’t they get a voice too; its their organization too? Its wrong to hijack the organization as it is away from them too… Why do you think you can trust individual scout troops to do the right thing if their being run by an aggressive militant homosexual pair of leaders? Isn’t that what might happen? Yes it is…

        • Wallace, the proposed policy allows different troops to have different membership policies, to reflect their CO’s beliefs and values. And because of this, scouts and their families can “vote with their feet” by joining the local troop that best reflects their values. If a particular family doesn’t care for the membership policy or the leadership of one troop, they can join another. If they can’t find one that suits their needs, they can start one. If the vast majority of scouting families prefer a troop with a “no gays” membership policy, then those troops will thrive, and there will be little if any change to the status quo.

          If a troop is run by “an aggressive militant homosexual pair of leaders”, I think it’s safe to say that few if any scouts will join this troop, and without scouts you don’t have a troop.

          The nice thing about this policy is that it allows troops in different parts of the country reflect the desires of local scouting families. There would be no need for anyone to join a troop whose membership policy they do not agree with.

    • Marcus, do you have an agenda? It sure seems as if you do. You have touted your gay aunts, your gay friend. So what! Stop already, we understand that you are another white guilt liberal, although now your cause is helping the poor, persecuted homosexuals. We get it.

        • What is really amusing about all this. Re: your 1/3 of Americans support of BSA policy. Is that many Americans don’t care what goes on with the BSA. It is a private organization, so most Americans can’t speak for it.

          Again, if you are so upset with the current policy, are so offended that a private organization you are a member of is discriminatory, then give back your Eagle medal. Be like the over 100 Eagles who have done this. It is America, you still have that right.

        • The KKK is a private organization, and most Americans aren’t members… but many American’s have opinions on them and their policies and practices. While being a private organization, they are in the public eye and they set an example, a tone, and send a message to those not in the organization.

        • No, I’m not saying the BSA is the KKK… However the KKK is a private organization and I am not a part of it; however I still care what they’re doing and the attitudes that they’re projecting on our country. Likewise there are people who are not members of the BSA who also care about the actions and attitudes of the BSA.

          The BSA may be a private organization, but they have a huge public image and influence. That affects all members of the Scouting community… members or not.

        • Marcus, here are your words: “No, I’m not saying the BSA is the KKK… However the KKK is a private organization and I am not a part of it; however I still care what they’re doing and the attitudes that they’re projecting on our country. Likewise there are people who are not members of the BSA who also care about the actions and attitudes of the BSA.

          The BSA may be a private organization, but they have a huge public image and influence. That affects all members of the Scouting community… members or not.

          You are so worked up over this that you don’t know what you are typing. “That affects all members of the Scouting community… members or not”.

          Again, if you don’t like it, if you are so ashamed of us neanderthals who want to keep BSA in the dark ages. Please give back your Eagle Medal and leave the organization. Be like the 100+ Eagles who have done the same.

    • Statistics are so deceptive.. That’s not a truth… Allow all members of the BSA to vote on this issue and there will be the only statistic that should count.. We are a private organization and what we choose to do freely is all that matters.. This is our right as an private free organization in the United States of America with our free rights protected under the US Constitution and upheld by the US Supreme Court.. Rights our troops defend and have defended every minute of every day since this Nation was founded..

      • Just because the BSA legally can exclude gays doesn’t mean they should.

        And I agree we should respect the rights our troops (which now include gay service men) defend and have defended every minute of every day since this Nation was founded. We’ll let a gay man risk his life to defend our freedoms and liberties… but we won’t let him serve as a Scout leader? What a shame.

        • @Dan Duley – If this is your concern, what about the lesbian girls? Why must they be excluded?

        • That’s exactly the tactic aggressive militant homosexuals are using Marcus; you hit the nail right on the head?.. Try to get as many organizations that didn’t accept homosexual behavior as acceptable behavior and then use their acceptance against everyone else that feels homosexual behavior is sinful and wrongful… But 2 wrongs really don’t make a right in this case.. The way a heterosexual man or woman feels about homosexual behavior will never change and it will always be repulsive behavior to heterosexuals.. That’s just a fact.. And the Boy Scouts of America have no obligation to accept homosexuals, atheists, or agnostics just because any or everyone else does.. I hope the BSA stands its ground and does what the majority of the paid members want which is to keep the membership criteria the same.. The majority do have the power to make or break our organization and I believe the power lies in the Godly Christian organizations that charter the packs and troops.. It’s not loosing all those charters to save a few that choose to accept a membership policy that would allow homosexuals, atheists and agnostics to join… The majority won’t stay quiet on the issue for ever.. They will react with the true strength they truly have if the BSA chooses to go against their will.. The vast majority of Americans still say they are Christians and that hasn’t changed just because someone wishes it would…

    • The American public doesn’t get a vote on this issue.. This isn’t a political issue.. This is a private organization free to operate in any legal way they choose to operate to fulfill their mission. It’s worked for 103 years to today so why would they choose to break something that isn’t broken.. Changing this policy will open so many cans of worms it’ll be a disaster.. and the aggressive militant homosexuals with a liberal mass media to amplify their cause will be successful in having destroyed the BSA to serve their selfish purpose.. But if the BSA stands strong in their convictions then I can’t wait to see the divine ways all of it will work out in the end.. Gotta stay true to your heart and if the BSA stays true to the hearts of the paid membership they will not change their policy.. In time the homosexuals, atheists and agnostics will just come to realize that the BSA is built on a rock and is simply as untouchable as the Bible and the Word’s God shares with all of us…

  17. And…seems to me that the military hasn’t disintegrated with the demise of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” nor have states that have legalized gay marriage fallen into abject ruin, either. Could be that the BSA joins the 21st-century on this issue and lives to tell the tale. After all, many other Scouting organizations, from the Girl Scouts to Boy Scouts in other countries, don’t discriminate and seem to do just fine.

    • Give it time. Beside the military hardly has a Morality plank in its bylaws. actually it does have a sodomy rule in the UCMJ. guess they can change that. Rome did not fall in a day. When your morals decline so will whatever is built on top of it. As for BSA, it will not live to tell anything if the Ban is dropped. I guess that is really the agenda here anyway. Hardly see a lot of gay folks beating down the doors to help in scouting. They are simply activist trying to normalize what is abnormal. Just like woman in combat and open gays in the military. Once all the bricks are pulled out the wall will come down. For the record I am not a hater just a moral realist who is tired of having all this stuffed down my throat

      • Amen. You’re right about Rome. The US taking the same path. I’m a volunteer for Scouting. Have been for years. It is hard to get participation and support from parents. I believe you’re right about just any bastion for activists to infiltrate and make less effective. If they change the policy, I will leave the organization and so will my grandsons. This is based on religious beliefs. I still have that freedom, don’t I?

        • Betty, here’s the conundrum. My religion, church, and chartered organization believe this is a social justice question, and that it’s about equality and human dignity.

          You appear to be saying that your religion and church feel that this is a sin and shouldn’t be allowed.

          So, what do we do? The proposed policy change would allow each of us to run our unit according to our beliefs. Not changing the policy is tantamount to telling our church that your religious beliefs take precedence over ours.

          The proposed change does. not. effect. you. Period. Continue to run your unit the way you want. It does allow others to approach scouting in a more open and affirming way.

          If your religious beliefs say that nobody else should be allowed to run their scouting units according to their beliefs, and that you’ll leave if it’s allowed, then you’re basically endorsing a theocracy or “christian sharia law”. You are treading on the BSA’s policy of religious freedom.

        • Andrew, that’s a very interesting perspective. It’s easy to discount it, given the source (they make a living suing people who disagree with their interpretation of religious freedom).

          It seems clear that religious organizations are free to select their members and officers. Otherwise there would be rampant litigation to force the Catholic church to ordain female priests. You can’t force a Presbyterian church to elect a Lutheran to their committees.

          So for religious chartered organizations, I’d call this Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. Similarly for Fraternal organizations. I couldn’t expect to sue the VFW and be admitted as an officer because I once visited Germany in the 80’s.

          Community organizations, like a School or Volunteer Fire Dept, might have an issue here.

          However, if that’s the basis for continuing to discriminate (there, I used the word) against an entire class of people … then I won’t lose any sleep over it.

      • “Hardly see a lot of gay folks beating down the doors to help in scouting…” Hmm. Could this be explained, perhaps, by the fact that they are banned by BSA from “helping”? Think about it. Or just think.

    • Nancy, let me tell you what’s going to happen here. A 13-year old gay kid is going to make the foolish decision to make sexual advances towards his tent mate. Don’t tell me that’s not going to happen – it happened to me when I was 15. And it’s the very hallmark of children to make foolish decisions. Heck, people twice and 3 times that age make foolish decisions regarding making sexual advances.

      His tent mate is revulsed by his up-to-then buddy’s advances. One would hope he would react by saying “Sorry, I’m not interested.” But then again, he’s a kid too. Perhaps he himself is on the fence about his sexuality and is insecure. “Oh my God, everyone thinks I’m gay!” And he reacts by stabbing his tentmate.

      Don’t think this will happen? If so, your experiences with children must be very limited. I’ve seen kids react extremely disproportionately towards an insult, a threat or a slight. I’ve seen a knife involved. With as many Scouts as there are in the BSA this is bound to happen. And then I will have to call that child’s parents, while the people pressing for this change will accept no responsibility for forcing the situation that resulted in this.

      • Lets say your scenario plays out… How would the current ban prevent this? If a kid has been in scouts since he was six (as a tiger cub) and he starts to think maybe he’s gay when he’s 13… He would already be in scouts. The ban would not have kicked him out at this age.

  18. A question or two for all you heterosexual men and women who think that it will be just fine if BSA caves and changes its sexual orientation policy.

    Men, can you honestly tell me that you never look at a woman and think, wow! That you never glance at the female lifeguard at summer camp? That you don’t notice that attractive ASM on the trail with her troop? If you can honestly say no, then I commend you.

    If you have to say yes, then you are in a pickle. Because how can a homosexual man or boy honestly say that he would not do the same at the pool, the volleyball court, the shower house, or anywhere else at camp? As I said in my first post, hormones are raging at the 11-18 yr. old level be they gay or straight.

    So if the homosexual only wants to be a leader and or join the troop and has no real agenda; what are we going to do when a straight man feels uncomfortable about being in the same shower house as the gay man? Do we blow off the concerns of the straight man just to appease the homosexual? Please tell me.

    • Pedophilia is not motivated by healthy sexual attraction. Most pedophilia is committed by heterosexual men. BSA has extensive youth protection policies in place to prevent pedophile attacks, non of which have anything to do with homosexuality.

      • Are you promoting pedophilia now and trying to justify another form of sex sin to promote homosexuality. In the scouts if anyone is found to be a pedophil they can no longer participate in the scouting program. We have strick laws in America to punish sex offenders, we don’t allow them around our children. In fact sex offenders can’t even get a job working with children. Why then would the boy scouts promote and encourage people who have unusual sex lives to participate in activities with their children. honorable men a women will leave scouting if homosexuals are allowed to be leaders in the BSA no doubt about it.

        • Are you for real? One does not mean another! Just because you are a homosexual, does not mean you are a pedophile just like being black make you a rapist.

      • Total BS. Pedophiles who go after young boys yet maintain a relationship with woman are NOT heterosexuals. They are, by definition, bisexuals .

        The uncomfortable fact that the homosexual community will not face is that such homosexuals simply prefer boys rather than other men.

        • Pedophiles are, by definition, rapists. Which has nothing to do with their sexuality. Any more than murder has anything to do with hunting. They are using a normally healthy action to commit an act of violence. Equating sexuality with rape is as ridiculous as equating hunting with murder or equating contact sports with assault. One is normal human behavior, the other is an act of violence. Pedophilia is violent rape, not a form of sexuality.

      • Better show proof of that unsubstantiated statement.. pedohilia is committed by pedofiles; their in a class all by themselves.. Why would you say they are heterosexual.. heterosexuality is a normal sexuality; Godly in design.. a sexual attration to children is sinful and that’s why the term pedophile was created; to designate that behavior from heterosexuality which is normal sexual behavior serving a true Godly purpose…

  19. I don’t understand why this issue is so hard to decide. My boys have been involved in scouting since 2004. One is a Eagle scout the other just needs to complete his Eagle project. In all the years my family has been involved in scouting I have never come across a situation that involved sex. If someone has a skill to teach them who cares if that person is heterosexual or homosexual.

    • candy… are you ok with with your son being approached by an 18 year old gay scout and having his privates grabbed. I have had a gay man grab me before – it is in their nature… attraction to the same sex. I’m not saying every gay scout will do that but it will happen. You ok with your son being grabbed by a gay scout in the shower?

        • He’s just sharing part of the worst case scenarios that are going to happen.. first time a homosexual leader attacks a boy, and its going to be “i told you so” by everyone that opposes a change now. then what??? gotta think ahead about these scenarios.. then the BSA will be bad for having changes their rules that allowd this to happen to a young boy… Yes it will happen

        • Here locally they shut down a rest stop because of it. Turned it back to grass.

          A local DNR property was so bad they brought in game wardens from throughout the state to run a net to put a stop to it. Dozens were arrested. Even the employees were afraid to walk into the restrooms alone because they were being solicited along with the kids. These are facts confirmed by the courts, law enforcement, newspapers, etc..

          Some would never think to do this but others obviously do and that is where the issue is.

        • Walla e, if you insist on pointing out situations that “are going to happen” with homosexual leaders, I have two words for you: Catholic Church. Or how about two more: Penn State. All actions were committed by self proclaimed straight men.

          The BSA would indeed be “bad” if they too chose to cover up incidents of molestation and abuse for decades. Not for simply being a decent organization that chose to encourage and accept people for who they are.

        • Thanks; you proved my point “Join the conversation”.. When a known homosexual eventually does attack and gets caught raping or molesting a scout the media is going to destroy the BSA for having changed their policy and having gone against their best instincts which have obviously always been to not accept sexually active and known homosexuals, atheists, or agnostics into the ranks.. If I was building a Godly youth organization I’d do the same too.. I’d imagine how I’d want the organization if my children or grandchildren were involved in it… It would be a fundamental cornerstone.. You obviously are very weak in your understanding of the Catholic Church and Penn State.. There was one man covicted at Penn State and the media persecuted the entire university along with some top notch quality men including Joe Paterno.. But weak minded people chose to believe the worst case and implicated the entire university including the football teams historic victories;;;; amazing.. I think you’ve proved my point though.. Thanks!!!

        • I’ll speak to Penn State & the BSA policy.. I’m an Eagle Scout, A BSA Leader, a Penn State Alumni and I personally knew Joe Paterno when I lived in State College; he was my neighbor.. He was a good man.. A man I would have let my son spend time with anytime.. If you think he actually knew what was going on and did nothing your either very ignorant of the situation or simply wrongful in your understanding of the man… He’s the kind of man I would hope and pray my Eagle Scout son would grow to become…

        • If you don’t insist on looking ahead and trying to point to situations that will happen if the BSA changes their membership policy then what kind of a scout are you; or are you.. I’m an Eagle Scout and a leader.. I was taught by the program to “Be Prepared”. That motto is all about looking ahead and planning for what might happen.. It sure doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see into the crystal ball on this one.. My 10 year old could see the writing on this wall.. And I’m being kind.. If you really want to think of the worst case scenario I’d have to really dig in my heels and struggle to come up with it.. Some of the most horific situations are very difficult for a man to think about when he has two children of his own that he loves dearly.. Any loving and decent parent would understand exactly what I’m talking about.. Imagining harmful things happening to your children is very very difficult as a parent..

        • What I see in so many of the words on this blog is fear, hatred, and ignorance which is being taught to your children. I can not understand how homosexuality is treated as such a perversion, that in your minds they have become likely child molesters–that’s where your understanding is weak.

        • to Godly people who choose to accept Gods Word as the Way to live a Godly life homosexuality is an abomination to God’s creation and to the temole He created to place His Holy Spirit to those who choose to accept His Spirit into their hearts.. there’s no hate there.. God gave all of us a way to overcome our sinful natures and grow in a relationship to Him; its a one on one relationship.. for a Christian Jesus came to forgive sinners, all of us in our own way, so we could be free to be close to Him.. none of its about hate of anyone but it is about becoming free of the evilness of livjng with unforgiven sin..

      • Joe, you wrote that violating another’s bodily integrity ” is in their nature,” but you’re “not saying every gay scout will do that?” Balogna assumptions about gay men aside, how can something be in a group of persons’ nature, yet not every person in that group will not perform said natural inclination?

        Are you aware of free will? Human moral autonomy? The ability to choose between right and wrong behavior?

        Because one individual may have transgressed on you, will all others? No. That is the logical fallacy of inappropriate and inaccurate induction.

        Because one person may have a sexual attraction to another, will that person violate another person’s being? No. That is why sexual assault is a crime and a reprehensible and immoral act. Because some persons violate other persons does not mean that all persons cannot resist violating other persons. I for one have absolutely NO desire to ever violate another person’s bodily and emotional integrity. I certainly hope you do not either.

        In conclusion, persons gay and straight are not animatrons. We all have control over our actions. We all have the ability to behave morally, and to not commit crime.

        • So your saying let L/G’s in. How about Bi-sexuals? Would we need policies for that? How about NAMBLA members? Would you draw draw the line there? Discriminate against them but not you? Isn’t this about all “discrimination” ?

          Policy nightmare…. It seems there are two issues, 1. The threat to children. 2. The definition of morality (which apparently is different depending on your position).

        • No different policies would be needed for bisexuals than would be needed for gays and lesbians.

          NAMBLA members advocate committing a crime. Consent is impossible in a relationship between an adult and a non-adult. Sexual activity without consent is a crime. To be bodily violated is to be the victim of a crime. Keeping criminals out of places where they express desire to commit crime against vulnerable persons is not discrimination; it is the philosophy of the American criminal justice system. Therefore, to juxtapose NAMBLA with lesbians and gays reveals a severe lack of comprehension of legality and discernment of moral action on your part.

          So, anyone who is a threat to youth should not be in the Boy Scouts. Lesbians and gay men, whether as youth themselves or as adults who are well adjusted and not criminally inclined, like their straight counterparts, are not a threat to youth.

          The definition of morality is discerned through one’s Church, Ward, Synagogue, Mosque, Temple, or other house of worship, as well as varying on an individual basis within those groups, and the moral judgement upon gay sexuality will vary in a pluralistic society. To disallow Group A, because Group B disapproves of them, when Groups C, D, and E affirm them, shows preference to Group B not just over A, but over C, D, and E as well. Group B is free to maintain its moral precepts; but it is not free to make Groups C, D, and E maintain them as well.

      • It is unacceptable (and illegal) for *anyone* to grab *anyone*’s privates in the way you describe. Sexual orientation of either party doesn’t come into it at all.

        Women are sometimes groped by men. Yes just because a few heterosexual men treat women this way, doesn’t mean that women should shun all men, or assume all men are likely to behave this way.

        Most heterosexual men (and women) are good people who behave with common sense and decency. Most homosexual men (and women) are good people who behave with common sense and decency.

        We should not shun individuals because a few members of their group behave in unacceptable ways.

        • You’ve just come across a perfect idea to guarantee safety in Boy Scouts! You are right, straight men sometimes abuse others, and gay men sometimes abuse others. So, obviously, the way to 100% guarantee safety in Boy Scouts is to make it a club for girls and women only!

          Let’s just lock up all men in their homes after 6 PM, and let women and girls go about as they please. Public violence will disappear overnight!

      • It is not in the nature of gay men to assault other people. It is in the nature of jerks to assault other people. Those come in both the homosexual and heterosexual persuasions.

      • It is not in a gay man’s “nature” to assault another person. That’s what you describe. Sexual assault. A person whose “nature” it is to assault another person is a jerk. A self entitled jerk that thinks he (or she) can do whatever he wants. Those come in both the homosexual and heterosexual varieties.

        • Whoops… sorry for the duplicate post. I thought the first one didn’t take. Wish I could delete one…

    • candy, when I was 15 and in my cabin another Scout made sexual advances towards me – very plain and specific. And that was in 1969. What are the odds that this will happen a lot more often if gay kids are explicitly permitted to join and be open about their sexuality. What do you think the odds are that some kid to whom advances are made reacts wildly disproportionately? And violently? Based on my 20+ years in Scouting I think the odds are excellent.

      • Ronwfox, I am very sorry that happened to you. That should not happen to anyone. But please understand that that individual made an immoral choice. It should say nothing about anyone but him or her. Likewise, if anyone were to do that without an explicit ban on gay youth, that is in total violation of the Scout Oath and Law. I would imagine that individual would be asked to leave and reported to law enforcement.

      • I’ve been through Scouts and spent many nights in cabins and tents with teen-age boys. I can tell you, without a doubt, that the straight boys were much more likely to sexually abuse other boys than the gay boys ever were.

        If I had a choice, I’d tent up with a gay kid. Much safer than tenting up with a testosterone-laden straight teenage boy, any day of the week!

    • Candy; EXACTLY!! You proved the obvious!!! you haven’t come across a situation that involved sex… Maybe that’s because the policies the BSA has put in place are working!!!! .. So your going to change them and break what isn’t broken..

    • candy, you obviously don’t go camping with the scouts and I do.. BSA Camping is not the place for women or homosexual men or women to be with the boys.. That’s just the truth of the BSA.. It doesn’t fulfill the true intent of BSA as envisioned by Baden-Powell.. Truths are truths and someone elses opinion on this issue doesn’t interest me.. I didn’t invent the truth I just seek it and then try to follow it.. Don’t believe me; ask the boys in the scouting program… They’ll tell you the same thing; I’ve heard them cause I actually asked them… They have a right to be heard too.. Anyone asking them.. It’s actually a program for them and not for aggressive militant homosexuals, atheists, and agnostics to fight a social war against unacceptance in a culture that is never on a whole going to accept homosexuality as anything less than repulsive sexual behavior.. Yes; many people actually believe homosexuality is repulsive sexual behavior.. see much of it on television or the movie theater.. NO.. Because people don’t want to pay to see that form of immorality thrown at them when its their nickle.. if they did don’t you think advertising money would be spent on programs promoting this kind of activity in these forms of entertainment..? You can’t force heterosexuals to think homosexuality is not repulsive behavior; its a natural aversion to an abnormal behavior.. just truths; take them or leave them.. if you want to understand the truths you be prayerful and find them on your own.. I did.. Starts with God’s only true Word written for us; the Holy Bible..

      • Women have been camping with boys in BSA since 1988. 1/3 of all adult leaders in BSA are women. If BSA does not adhere to your values, then why did you join in the first place?

  20. jonnyrat78 – Just because I’m attracted to a woman doesn’t mean I will have sex with her, especially not by forcing myself upon her. Teen hormones are raging but a gay boy isn’t going to attack his friend just because he’s attracted to him. It’s called self-control, and though it’s been a while since I was a teen, I don’t remember trying to have sex with every girl I was attracted to, much less jumping them.
    You’re saying that because teens have raging hormones, boys who are gay won’t be able to control themselves when camping, swimming, tenting, etc with other boys?
    And that’s a similar argument made by strict Islamists about women, that men have no self-control, therefore women must cover themselves in a burka and can never talk with a man who’s not a direct relative, .Otherwise the men’s raging hormones would force them to have sex with the woman.
    Both arguments are wrong.
    All the showers at camp I’ve seen in the past 20 years provide private showers. Depending on the camp, some even have private changing areas. When my troop is at camp, the boy-leaders take the troop down to the shower house. At one camp, I walked to the showers at the same time but I but used the adult facilities and never went in the boy’s changing area when they were changing. That’s basic Youth Protection, which all adults agree to abide by, right? And by that time we should be able to overcome our raging hormones.
    Your inference that some homosexual leaders have an agenda – sounds like you’re saying they either MUST have sex with every person that moves – adult or child – or that they want to convert everyone to *their way*. The only “homosexual agenda” is the agenda that African-Americans had back when they were excluded from Scouting – that they want the same opportunities to be a Scout that whites had – to not be excluded because of something they had no control over.
    Finally, If you’re a straight adult man and you’re worried that a gay man in Scouts is going to attack you, please consider therapy. Because adult gay Scouts are even more afraid of offending their fellow leaders than you are scared of being jumped. Get over yourself – you’re just not THAT attractive that any Scout would consider raping you! 🙂

    • the aggressive militant homosexual agenda isn’t rooted in a desire to be good role models and leaders to boys; why would it be.. the agenda is to attain some sort of moral acceptance for a behavior God called an abomination to His creation and sinful.. that will NEVER happen.. homosexuality will always be repulsive to heterosexuals and maybe vice a versa.. goes against the deep inner emotions of humanness; just a fact of the humanness of mankind.. if homosexuals seize control of the BSA leadership they will try to bully a tolerance and level of acceptance into and against anothers free will and human nature to be repulsed by their SINFUL behavior.. In the truth of your heart you can’t deny any of this would not be the ambition of the militant homosexuals.. racism will disintegrate in time but the way heterosexuals and God feels about homosexual behavior will never truly change.. just accept the fundamental truths of human nature and homosexuals go freely do whatever you choose to do and quit being so intolerant

      • Walla e,

        You’re trying to impose your religious beliefs on others.

        Many religions don’t agree with you. Respect their beliefs. That’s a large part of what this issue is about.

        • UnGodly people aren’t welcome in the BSA.. I think that’s pretty clear.. the BSA is a Godly organization for Godly people; that’s pretty clear.. I believe in God and He tells me who He is through His Holy Word; the Bible… I didn’t write His word but I do have a desire to surrender to His true Word and mold my character to the biblical principles He gave all of us to freely choose to live by.. why would I surrender to your wrongful teachings? I wouldn’t betray God to appease anyone.. I sin but I don’t try to normalize my sins and try to convince people to change God’s truths so I’m not sinful.. I accept my sins and take them to God asking for forgiveness through the blood sacrifice of His Son.. Its what this is all aboutt.. the Scouts are a religious Godly organization and militant homosexuals don’t like it because to them the BSA stands in the way of their agenda to simply eliminate their sinfulness in the eyes of God and make them think their free to “marry” and do other blasphemous things in the name of equality, non-discrimination etc. But the truth is that in God’s eyes homosexual behavior will always be an abomination to Him no matter what modern day it is.. Its a truth of the Holy Spirit.. God’s Holy Spirit.. I guess the truth hurts sometimes; when I know I can’t do whatever I want to do because the Holy Spirit within me tells me its sinfu sometimes I feel anxious about it too but then I prayerfully thank God for His love in my heart and thank Him for His promise of an eternal life with Him; His promise if I keep a close relationship with Him and that’s only attainable by trying to live a life without sin and simply believing that His Son died for my sins freeing me to be in His presence.. Its not just my religion and its not antiquated in any modern day; its timeless.. truths never change and neither will the issue that God sees homosexual behavior as a sin against His creation…

        • Walla E
          Godly organization?! Why is that people like me who are Atheists do more that Christians will do for their own children in such a “godly” organization?

      • Kevin… sounds like you are not respecting Wall e’s religion. You should be more tolerant with those who you don’t agree with.

        • I would assume sexually active homosexuals with a hearts desire to be Christians have a struggle carrying their cross.. I’m a Christian.. nothing I’ve said contradicts my faith.. my troop is a Christian Godly troop.. we aren’t fearful to pray and ask God’s blessing ti be in the work we do.. that’s why the scouts don’t welcome homosexuals, atheists or agnostics; why would you want to be part of a group that your not welcome in.. you won’t find me crying foul because I can’t join the homosexual, atheist and agnostic groups.. and you wont find me attacking their freedom to exist either.. I never said I was tolerant.. if you attack me or something I believe in I fight.. I like to fight for a cause I believe in.. I’ll fight for the BSA. I grew up in it.. I became an EagleScout.. I’m a leader.. My son just became anEagle scout and he likes to fight for what he believes in too.. chip off the old block and I’m proud of him… it insures the future’s moral straightness; don’t you just love it!!

        • Nope… serious. Too many times we hear of those who are tolerant of all views except those that are Christian. Hypocrisy.

        • Then you have me at a loss Joe. I apologize if I haven’t been clear. What we want is that our unit (which is charted by a Christian church) be allowed to follow our beliefs, which are “open and affirming”. As I read Wall e’s comments, he claims that his beliefs supersede those, and that we must follow his biblical interpretation.

          I’m not taking the position that his unit needs to change its policy. If they chose to exclude LGBT individuals, that’s their decision.

        • Walla e,

          Our church is also Christian and welcomes LGBT individuals. We interpret the bible differently than you do. We see no struggle for someone to be both LGBT and Christian.

          I respect your beliefs, your right to express them, and your right to follow them in your BSA career.

          It’s just that your beliefs, or your Church’s beliefs, hold no authority over our Church, and by extension, the unit we charter.

        • There’s nothing in the Christian faith that I’ve ever seen that said a Christian should be tolerant and accepting of another faith… Nothing I’ve ever seen in the Bible that says we should do anything less than share the Gospel with others.. Why would I be tolerant and accepting of an atheists viewpoint? It’s my prayer that they find the truth leading to everlasting life the same way I did; alone with the guidance of many hours of prayer and teachings of many Christian brothers and sisters.. But my being intolerant doesn’t lead me to join a members only Blog and struggle to destroy the BSA which is a Godly organization strongly rooted and led by Christians and Christian organizations.. If you drive away the Christian Faiths there won’t be a BSA left to support them and becomming more worldly is just the way the BSA will ultimately destroy themselves.. right now their in control of their own destiny by not changing their membership policy; even have a Supreme Court decision supporting their Constitutional right to freely run their organization to fulfill their mission of providing a safe place for boys to grow through the good moral leadership of Godly men and the BSA program… So you won’t find much tolerance for people that choose to attack my organization.. I’m a paid member of the BSA and this is a Blog for paid members of the BSA.. If your on here and not a paid member then your on here wrongfully.. But then your ultimate is nothing less than wrongful so why wouldn’t you be trying to hijack this site to also serve your aggressive militant social agendas…

        • If you accept sexually active homosexuals into your leadership and think homosexuals have some sort of godly right to be married then your not a Christian Church; your a cult of some sort.. It’s not hard to interpret the Bible on this issue; doesn’t take a theologian of any sort.. The Holy Spirit will tell you the truth of all of it.. I’m not the authority over your church; God is the authority.. I wonder how you answer His Word giving your church direction on how to address homosexuality?? It isn’t a behavior that should elevate you into the leadership of any Christian Church.. It’s sinful similar to so many sins of humankind; of the sinful nature Jesus offers forgiveness for.. The goal of a Christian on earth isn’t to find eartly pleasure and sexual love.. The goal is to find a close relationship with God and to live a life worthy of being judged by Him to be worthy to live an eternal life in Heaven.. You can choose to follow your church or to follow God.. The true church is made of the body of people coming together to serve His will for our lives… living blind and not recognizing the sin in your life will only lead you to be distanced from a closer relationship to God.. Think I wrote His Word? I just read it and the Holy Spirit He blessed me with provides me interpretation…. Show me biblically where any of what I’ve said is wrong.. the BSA is a Godly organization and has gathered the vast majority of its support from the Christian Faith.. That’s a true majority to be listened to because without the majority everyone looses everything… Start your own groups in your own local groups; your free.. start your own local youth groups and go recruit a homosexual male couple to lead it.. if you feel so strongly in favor of that sort of leadership then go do it.. I’m sure the media will be more than happy to promote your endeavor and achievements.. but I wonder how many parents are going to actually let their boys and girls to camping or go on any other outdoor activity with them… truths don’t change… its what your talking about isn’t it???

        • Wallace,

          It sounds like you should consider getting out of Scouting. Your statements show you don’t agree with the declaration of religious principles you signed on your leader form. Specifically clauses 1 and 2 (“nonsectarian” in clause 1, and “he respects the beliefs of others” in clause 2). Perhaps you should form your own organization, one that better suits your religious beliefs, or stick with your church’s youth group?

          Note, this takes us full circle, as my Chartered Organization, an “Open and Affirming” Congregational Church, is asking that its beliefs be respected (and by extension, honored within our unit).

          However … I have to admit that I’ve been on the fence for some time. I’m torn between letting chartered organizations decide, and feeling that is inadequate. To me it’s uncomfortably like segregation [because I accept that someone “IS” LGBT, rather than they “CHOSE” to be LGBT]. The BSA had “Black Units” from the very beginning, but integration was another matter entirely. Units in some Councils in the South threatened to burn their uniforms if they were forced to integrate, and the NAACP had to threaten to sue the Mormon Church in order to have African Americans allowed to be leaders in Utah (where virtually every unit was chartered by a Mormon Church).

          You’re actually pushing me toward viewing this as more of a civil rights issue … probably not the consequence you wanted. But you and Taylor have exposed the “radical Christian agenda” behind the hate speech directed at the LGBT community.

          —- For reference —-

          Article IX. Policies and Definitions—From the Charter and Bylaws

          Section 1. Declaration of Religious Principle, clause 1. The Boy Scouts of America maintains that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God. In the first part of the Scout Oath or Promise the member declares, “On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law.” The recognition of God as the ruling and leading power in the universe and the grateful acknowledgment of His favors and blessings are necessary to the best type of citizenship and are wholesome precepts in the education of the growing members. No matter what the religious faith of the members may be, this fundamental need of good citizenship should be kept before them. The Boy Scouts of America, therefore, recognizes the religious element in the training of the member, but it is absolutely nonsectarian in its attitude toward that religious training. Its policy is that the home and the organization or group with which the member is connected shall give definite attention to religious life.

          Section 1. Activities, clause 2. The activities of the members of the Boy Scouts of America shall be carried on under conditions which show respect to the convictions of others in matters of custom and religion, as required by the twelfth point of the Scout Law, reading, “Reverent. A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.”

          Section 1. Freedom, clause 3. In no case where a unit is connected with a church or other distinctively religious organization shall members of other denominations or faith be required, because of their membership in the unit, to take part in or observe a religious ceremony distinctly unique to that organization or church.

          Section 1. Leaders, clause 4. Only persons willing to subscribe to these declarations of principles shall be entitled to certificates of leadership in carrying out the Scouting program.

      • AMEN and Thank You Walla e for your input. Well said in both your comments. Keep the faith and we’ll all keep praying that God’s will will prevail.

    • I’m not tolerant of people who attack the BSA just because their not welcome to join… my faith doesn’t encourage me to be tolerant; does yours? if yours does then why don’t you walk away from attacking the BSA and respect their Constitutiinal right to freely choose how to run their organization.. why would you huh?? its not your true agenda to just join and contribute… defending the BSA against people like you… It’s my hearts desire.. equqlity’s not biblical and you don’t have a right to be in the BSA bases on a misconception that equality is a legal right within a private organization.. start your own youth organization and build it to be everything you want it to be.. that’s what America’s all about; competition… go for it…

        • Gene S… What ridiculous comments you make.. What are you trying to say?? Are you thinking and speaking for me now?? Your wrongful.. Your obviously a very angry atheist.. You make unsubstantiated comments wrecklessly destroying any credibility you hope to attain… good luck with that strategy to the aggressive militant atheist agenda on how to destroy the BSA for my own selfish purpose…

      • So then the BSA must be defunded and not given special treatment when it comes to schools and such.

        You are, after all, a private organization and therefore not in need of pubic funds.

    • Stop with the black/gay comparisons, they are nothing alike. See my first post. Stop using little smiley faces to make a point.
      And by the way, I am sure you are okay with your son being gay, or being approached by a gay boy. It’s just a natural progression of an enlightened society, right??

    • “Teen hormones are raging but a gay boy isn’t going to attack his friend just because he’s attracted to him. It’s called self-control …”

      OlderScouter, if you’ve been in Scouting long are you going to tell me that teens are noted for their self-control? “Attack” is too strong a word, maybe, but you don’t think that a gay Scout isn’t going to make advances towards another Scout at some point? Do you think that every Scout so approached is going to act in a mature and controlled fashion? I’ve been doing this for 20+ years now as an adult (and about 12 years as a Scout) and from what I’ve observed (including having been the subject of sexual advances from a fellow Scout) I’m guessing that within a year some kid is going to get stabbed over this.

  21. In my opinion, the leadership of BSA fully intended to allow local chartering organizations to decide membership criteria for themselves, which is why the initial announcement was made just a few days after the news that a pack in Cloverly, MD was required to take down its non-discrimination clause from its website, or lose its charter.

    The BSA leadership must have checked with higher-ups in the LDS, Catholic, Methodist and Baptist churches before making the announcement that they expected to vote to remove the no-gay policy nationwide and let it be a local decision.

    They underestimated the reaction of the members of those churches, apparently and now need time to soothe the masses and reassure them that this policy will not affect their own troops.

    Meanwhile I have completely lost faith in BSA, and this has been the final straw. As members of BSA here have made it very clear that people should start their own scouting group, I will be joining the Baden-Powell Service Association, and starting a new group in my community. This organization is based on traditional scouting as intended by Baden-Powell and is inclusive, and run by volunteers so no heavy- handed councils and national to deal with. I am so sick of the way scouting has turned into a political issue instead of being what it was originally intended to be.

    • The LDS church allows openly gay men to be leaders in the church. Why should the LDS church not be allowed to have the members of its own church be members of BSA?

      • Because the BSA chooses not to follow the LDS.. if your church isn’t satisfied with their affiliation with the BSA then set your troop free from your organization and they WILL find like minded organizations to Charter their troop.. you dont have to charter a troop if the BSA moral codes disagree so much with the codes of the LDS.. why would you.. just because the LDS changed their morality doesn’t mean the BSA has to do the same.. maybe the LDS should build their own youth organization?? let parents decide when it comes time to choose which youth organization they want themselves and their family to be affiliated with..

        • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has their own youth organization. They partner with the BSA and utilize the Scouting program as the activity arm of their young men’s program. Incidentally they have maintained this partnership for 100 years. Much longer than a majority of other CO’s in the United States. They also account for roughly 35% of the BSA’s membership. As for changing their morality please refer to the following website for a more complete introduction of their morality on homosexuality

    • “The BSA leadership must have checked with higher-ups in the LDS, Catholic, Methodist and Baptist churches before making the announcement that they expected to vote to remove the no-gay policy nationwide and let it be a local decision.”

      Check that. I have seen no announcement anywhere that the BSA expected to approve this policy. I’ve seen announcements that they were planning to consider it. The presumption that they would approve it is an invention of the media, who seek to advance this as their idea of social justice.

    • Please don’t include the United Methodist Church in this list! Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors.

  22. People are focusing too much on the ban and if its right or not. For one the Boy Scouts is a “PRIVATE” organization and can set guidelines as they see fit. The program at no point touches upon sexual orientation and that’s how it should be.

    Scouting is not in the business of sex education, we are a set of volunteers from all walks of life and faith that come together to teach boys about nature and build self confidence. It is not our business what people do in their private lives, we must not push what happens at home upon other people’s children no matter what it may be.

    As a leader, I could care less if someone is gay or not, a good person is a good person regardless of preference. I only ask that everyone use common sense and act like mature adults, there are somethings that we don’t need to share with children.

    • “Scouting is not in the business of sex education,”

      I agree. The problem is, current BSA policy says that they are in the business of sex education. Current BSA position statements in court state that BSA “teaches that homosexual conduct is not morally straight”.

      That is what the national council is now dealing with. How to get sex education back out of Scouting, after it was forced into Scouting about 20 years ago.

  23. You know; I think we have all missed the point a bit here.

    With all due respect to our Executive Committee, I think these guys need to get out more.

    Anyone who has been on a Scout camping trip anytime in the last, oh, 10 to 100 years, would know that the real distractions in Scouting do not have to do with sexuality.

    I would like to suggest the following as way, way, way more worthy of national policy than the tired old “we don’t like the queers” gig. Really now; been there, done that—right?

    I hereby offer a menu of much-more-practical, way-less-likely-to-get-your-troop-kicked-out-of-that-nice-open-and-affirming-church-you-have-met-at for-the-last-50-years policy suggestions.

    Mind you, I am not recommending that the BSA adopt all of these prohibitions. That might prove to be just a tad too exclusive for an organization that tries to be a home for boys from all kinds of backgrounds and life experiences (except gay ones, of course) and their overworked parents. Since most of our young Scouts have not had the life experience to (yet) be exhibiting most of these inappropriate behaviors, I am talking here about the adults, those intrepid men and a few women who head to the woods for a weekend or a week, likely just so that they can indulge their bad habits without remorse or apology.

    But, truth to tell, if all of these mission-busters were thrown out, troops might be hard-pressed to nail down enough reliable adult leadership.

    So let’s just choose one. Recommendations, anyone?

    In terms of “distraction,” I would have to list the Snorers at the top of the list.

    Anyone who has tried to get a good night’s sleep camped on that one tiny piece of open and flat tent space that just happens to be too close to a Snorer’s tent knows exactly what I mean. And, in the morning, you have grumpy Scouts and bleary-eyed adult leaders—all except for the offender, of course, who has likely slept blissfully through the night, completely unashamed of their deviant behavior.

    Now, I am not suggesting that BSA ask upfront about snoring. I am only recommending that we promptly boot any “open and avowed” Snorer. “Open” is when you are caught in the act, of course, and “avowed” is anyone foolish enough to proclaim, “I am a Snorer! It’s part of who I am, not a behavior that I can change!”

    Of course, we all know that, with enough prayer, willpower, and investment in costly treatments, any such “orientation” can be overcome. So please don’t offer up any of that “I was born this way” crap.

    Next in line, of course, would have to be the inveterate email/voice-mail checkers—you know the ones I mean, the guys who will climb four miles straight up a mountain trail just to get that oh-so-good cell-phone reception at the top (OK, so maybe the dog was sick at home). And, of course, since the Scouts aren’t permitted to stay plugged in on these outings…well, once again we are talking about those inappropriate adult role models. I shudder to think of one of them converting my son to his can’t-live-without-it-for-a-day “lifestyle.”

    And my third nomination for Distracters Royale would have to be the compulsive campfire-makers, the gotta-make-a-fire-morning-and-evening-no-matter-the-red-flag-status guys (and you know who you are). While the occasional resulting wildfire is sure to be a flaming high adventure for all concerned, it is also likely to prove a “distraction” to the financial solvency of the small, rural fire departments that are called upon to extinguish it—no?

    And, no list would be complete without mentioning the Loud-Mouthed Mothers: the don’t-forget-your-sunscreen-and-you-really-need-to-get-out-of-that-lightning-storm ones. They see an issue, and they just have to speak up about it, LOUDLY. Talk about “advancing an agenda”…and who let them into this organization, anyhow? Isn’t this the Boy and Former-Boy Scouts of America?

    Really—let’s focus on the true threats to the mission of the BSA.

    • Since when are ANY of the items you just listed considered a sin or an abomination in the eyes of GOD?!?!? The point is BSA is supposed to be an independent organization allowed to make its own rules, regs, etc. If you don’t like their rules….GET OUT. Go make your own We Like Everyone Everything You Do Is Okay As Long As It Makes You Feel Good Scouting Organization. Stop trying to shove your agenda down our throats. Why do you want to be a part of a group that doesn’t share the same views, morals, opinions? I just don’t get it.

      • MoveOnAlready,

        My God considers snoring to be as much a sin or abomination as being homosexual — which is to say in my religious faith, neither one is a sin or in any way immoral.

        The reason why I and others might want to be a part of Boy Scouting is that it is a decent organization, except for this one issue of discrimination against people who are gay. I don’t dislike the BSA but simply cannot put on the uniform and become an adult Scouter unless its policies in this area change.

        • Johnnyrat78 – Please keep the conversation civil. While we disagree, and have strong feelings on the subject, we can still all try to model kindness in sharing our thoughts and perspectives.

        • Dear EagleMom,
          This is a direct quote from Feances123 ” I don’t dislike the BSA but simply cannot put on the uniform and become an adult Scouter unless its policies in this area change.”

          I am simply say good bye, because she/he can’t abide by the BSA policy. I don’t know how much more civil I can be.

        • I think you got it right in the first few words you said; “MoveOnAlready” and you should.. Why do you waist your time with an organization that not only doesn’t accept homosexuals as members but atheists and agnostics.. It’s a Godly organization and the very fabric of scouting is woven with Godly principles so you would only find a time of complete torment to you… It sounds like you don’t share the same respect fot Godliness that the BSA stands for because your making a joke of religion by saying snoring is sinful in the same way God sees homosexual behavior.. God doesn’t hate homosexuals.. He does say that homosexual behavior is an abomination against His creation.. I hope you find another place apply your leadership skills where their uniform would fit you better…. good luck

    • I love it! We should make a “Sense of Humor” merit badge a requirement for Eagle Scout. Thanks for putting things in perspective!

      • Wallace and johnnyrat78, your comments are not surprising. They are typical of much you read and hear from people involved in BSA.

        “You don’t like it, leave!”

        This is exactly what has been happening. People who don’t like the policies have been leaving BSA in droves. It is impossible to find leaders for our packs and troops. Without leaders we cannot run a successful pack or troop. We ALL know that a great deal of adult work is needed to make a pack or troop successful How can we have adult leaders when the official policy of BSA is discrimination? People are ashamed to let it be known that they are a part of this discrimination.

        Understand it isn’t BSA we don’t agree with — it is the policy of discrimination. One PART of BSA, and a part which we think should change.

        The organization is dwindling locally and will continue to do so if BSA won’t even allow individual troops to state publicly that they refuse to discriminate against gays. Corporate donations will continue to drop — and apparently BSA needs these donations to continue to exist.

        Yet children more than ever need encouragement to get out of the house and develop a connection with the outdoors, leadership skills, connect with others and be of service to their communities.

        People WANT to be involved in scouting, real scouting and not just after school nature and enrichment clubs, which I am sure are also fun. Those of us who have a history in Scouting value tradition, which is why the rejuvenation of the Baden-Powell Service Association — a return to scouting’s original roots — is a very appealing option. But obviously it is a young program and many people would prefer to be involved with an established organization, which I can understand.

        However, perhaps BSA is *too* established. As is clear from these discussions, Boy Scouting has gotten enmeshed with religion, and big business, and corporate donations, and politics, to a point way past anything like what Baden-Powell could have ever envisioned when he introduced boys to “the game of scouting”. I wonder of what he would think of American scouting today?

        • If the aggressive militant homosexuals hadn’t chosen to start their war on our culture including the BSA maybe you wouldn’t be having the troubles your having.. our pack and a sout troop have never been stronger.. its a blessing to see it all flurish.. i think in ways its because people are seeking moral havens where they can confidently allow their children to grow in the BSA knowing the high standards of morality they keep.. I hope things turn around for your unit.. it isn’t for everyone but you can’t make it what you want; be tolerant and accepting for what its taken hundreds of dedicated volunteers to make it over the last 103 years.. HAPPY BIRTHDAY BSA; 103 years old today!!!

        • I guess you can describe the truth as typical words.. sounds like you keep hearing the same song from lotsa different singers.. guess its cause its the truth.. if you dont like the BSA then leave.. why would you stay.. if it grows smaller but keeps its integrity then that’s ok.. doesnt have to include everyone; just those that want it the way it is and there are millions who want scouting to be left the way it is; ME!! I love it the way it is and dont believe in lowering your moral standards for every minority group that comes aling with a

  24. Boy Scouts want to build good character, which to Scouts includes being physically strong, mentally alert, and morally straight.

    Those who do not want to build good character with these core values do not have to join the Boy Scouts. They can form their own organizations to suit themselves.

    So why don’t they just form the Gay Scouts, or GBT Merit Badge Society, or whatever they want?

    The answer is that they won’t tolerate the Boy Scouts being morally straight. They want to destroy the Boy Scouts because they hate people who believe that good character is morally straight.

    The LGBT activists have a zeal like that of Muslim jihadists to forbid anyone to speak against them and destroy any group that won’t bless their behavior.

    The proof shows in universities where speech codes ban free speech that does not approve homosexual conduct, and policies forbid even Christian groups from expecting their student leaders to be morally straight.

    The Battle over the Boy Scouts is not about tolerance, but tyranny.

    • EXACTLY.. Truth is truth and can’t be changed and Fred’s words ring with so much clear truth… by the way; equality, tolerance and non-discrimination are not biblical principles to be followed by Godly and Christian people.. We can do them all in a Godly Way and He shows how in His only written word given to all of us whether you choose to accept it or not; the Holy Bible… the Bible teaches Godly people to be intolerant of sin in their lives, teaches people how to be unequal in leadership and a subordinate roles and teaches people how to discriminate using His principles to mold our lives to live a life within His will for each of us; whether you accept it or not is everyone’s free will.. He loves our free will.. does make everything more beautifully exciting; I think I get that part of Him…

      • BSA is not a Christian organization.

        The Boy Scouts is “absolutely nonsectarian in its attitude toward that religious training”. I learned that my first month in Cub Scouts. What has BSA been teaching its members the last 20 years? If BSA allows its membership to advance in rank while believing that BSA is a Christian organization, then BSA has brought this all on itself.

        If you want to be a national organization, but then you identify your organization as exclusively Christian, you put your self in a no-win situation. That is where BSA has put themselves.

        At this point, having allowed itself to be labeled as exclusively Christian there are only two choices for BSA.

        1) Continue to cater to a Christian audience. As the US grows increasingly pluralistic and secular, this will quickly move BSA into the backwater of U.S. culture. A position occupied by “Awana” and “Royal Rangers” when I was a kid. BSA can choose to join them, and put itself in a place where the vast majority of Americans doesn’t know them, and doesn’t care.

        2) BSA can re-claim the nonsectarian values that it was founded on. The very same nonsectarian values that made it possible for Catholics and Protestants and Mormons and Jews to all build together the greatest youth development program in the 20th century. Sure, this will piss off a lot of the current members of BSA, who somehow were taught that BSA is Christian. But nonsectarianism is the true nature of Scouting. People of all faiths, working together, is what built BSA. These same people can come together and re-build BSA from the rubble that BSA has created of itself. But only if BSA lets them come together. Only if BSA is brave enough to re-assert the truth that BSA is nonsectarian.

        I am pretty pessimistic about the chances of BSA. But then I remember that “A Scout is Brave”, and I think, there may still be some true Scouts in BSA, who remember the founding values of nonsecarianism, and who are willing to stand up and make the hard choices to bring this country back together again around Scouting, and reclaim BSA from the Christian sects who have begun to claim BSA as their own.

        A Scout is Cheerful. A Scout is Brave. We might just pull this off after all.

        • The majority of Americans identify themselves as Christians and I’m one of them.. Our troop is sponsored by a Christian church as many packs and troops are.. I teach the scouts and my children Christian principles; this is how we live our lives molding ourselves to God’s biblical principles.. my free choice protected by my US Constitution and defended by many… you wont muffle the Christians and all of this is only awakening a patient and quiet majority.. aggressive militant homosexuals are making a big mistake in attacking the Christian majority in this country.. their only ruining things for all the civil homosexuals who could care less about the BSA or other political and social issues they will never change.. other people have rights to and when they trample on somone elses freedoms their going to get a backlash of people willing to stand up for those rights.. ME!

        • you obviously don’t understand Scouting like you think you do.. it is very much a Godly faith bases organization and God has blessed it because of that commitment.. Godly principles have always been part of it and the Christian faith is woven all through its fabric.. it doesnt have to xhange; UnGodly people who want to participate in the BSA do..Have you ever recited the Scout Oath or been in a banquet where a thankful prayer to God was made for the meal about to be shared. there will never be no religion and no God; dream on.. He puts a desire to be close to Him in the hearts of Godly men and women.. you only pretend to believe the things you say; they arent truthful.. He won’t allow it.. He created us..

      • “equality, tolerance and non-discrimination are not biblical principles” … “the Bible teaches Godly people to be intolerant of sin in their lives, teaches people how to be unequal in leadership and a subordinate roles and teaches people how to discriminate using His principles”

        Wallace, may I ask what denomination you call home? This comment bewilders me, as it runs contrary to my understanding of Christianity.

        • I’m a Christian. Don’t you understand His truthful Word???? If there’s something you don’t understand specifically just ask???

        • Maybe you don’t understand Christianity Kevin.. might be the basis for our apparent disagreement in what scouting as a Christian is all about.. I don’t check my faith in at the door anywhere I go.. my freedom; my choice…

        • Wallace, why do you expect others, who do not believe as you do, to check THEIR faith at the door? I personally don’t believe homosexuality to be contrary to my beliefs of Christianity. My church agrees with me. My freedom, my choice. Live and let live.

  25. I choose to look at the worst case scenario when making a decision.. It’s the scout way; “Be Prepared” and I’m an old Eagle Scout who chooses to try to live the Scout Oath and follow the Scout Law… The actual worst case scenarios I don’t choose to imagine as a father of two children, one of which is receiving his Eagle Rank in a ceremony held in his honor tomorrow. Sorry but if homosexuals, atheists, and agnostics are allowed membership into BSA the truth is the door will be opened to all of them not just the ones with truely honorable characters. Militant members of all three groups will choose to attain leadership positions to futhrer their political and social agendas; think their fight is over if they destroy the BSA.. they want the Baptist Church, marriage, the Catholic Church and probably even God to be convinced that their homosexual behavior is normal behavior and not an abomination or a sinful at in the eyes of God. A millitant homosexual male couple take control of a boy scout troop. they choose to begin to push their agenda of acceptance upon the other leaders and the scouts by being openly affectionate during campouts and summer camps etc. This will be repulsive to heterosexual youth and leaders who don’t want any displays of affection at the outdoor BSA events; its a guy thing.. but its going to happen and if the other leaders and youth comment about how their repulsed by that behavior they’ll be called intolerant, old fashioned, homophobic, discriminatory, etc. Why wouldn’t that be one of the scenarios that would happen; its already happening in my life, on television, in the print media and on the radio… And if I sit and try to imagine all the potential worst of the worst case scenarios then it isn’t hard to imagine that the BSA will ultimately have to go bankrupt from a lack of support because people have the free choice to leave and build their own youth organizations that have policies they want to live by to provide their children the kind of lifestyle that’s going to lead to helping them in their mission of building men of solid moral character who have a love of God, Country, Family and themselves.. Truths are truths.. you can choose to think of the best case scenario but that would be foolish when the worst scenario will sometimes happen to.. gotta “BE PREPARED” for all of it or your not a good scout.. If your not a scout then none of this discussion is any of your business because its our private organization and the US Constitution and the US Supreme Court says we can choose freely in the USA to run our organization any way we choose to run our organization and I will respect the rights of any free and legal organization to do the same… It’s my BSA too.. I paid my Dues… I have a rightful say…

    • Good post.

      I want to note that here in fly-over country, I have been around people of this life style in the past and today as well. I considered them friends even though I did not condone their sinful lifestyle. In all my cases they did not flaunt their lifestyle and kept it private. They are not the activist of this lifestyle. This is not the case with those who are pushing this agenda nationally. Anyone reading their threads, subscribe to George Takei on FB and read the comments, etc know that they intend to not keep their lifestyle private.

      BSA is not a Christian organization but the majority of religions consider this lifestyle a sin. Yes some Christian denominations ignore the sin and even do sermons with only a single bible verse reference so they can pick and choose. Theoretically, they still use the same bible.

      I know a few scout leaders that if this goes through will hang on a year or so to get their son their Eagle and then they are gone. That probably includes me. This is regardless of what their CO decides. Mine CO is Methodist and I assume they will not take a stand.

      I heard from council that a large majority will leave and they are the long term committed older leaders who donate. They expect the organization to shrink immensely and consolidate to survive as similar organizations did when they made the move.

      I hope it won’t change in the Midwest overnight for most troops but it looks like there is a chance that it will. Sadly I can see a time when the rank of Eagle is not valued in the world (It has already been sliding in recent times due lower standards) and I can no longer note with head held high that I am involved in scouts in my particular community as I do today.

      • You have to stand up for what you believe in to be the truth of your heart.. Scouts will be much better off if they dont change their membership policies and keep the Christian organizations that make up a far greater number of supporters than the truly tiny tiny minority that make up the homosexuals, atheists and agnostics trying to join with a true hearts desire to make it a better organization rather than a triumphant accomplishment in creating some kind of false acceptance of their abnormal lifestyle.. if only Christian organizations sponsor BSA groups then BSA’s better off starting with them than they will be in starting without them. It doesnt matter to me what people think of my Eagle Rank.. I did it for myself because it was in my heart to do it.. it will always have a value to those that value what scouting means and what it means to live by its Oath and Law.. that’s what it symbolizes.. a particular character of man.. my vote counts too..

  26. I see another problem. Advancement among the committee. Who’s going to be Scout master, etc. We decide in committee. We make judgement calls on their qualifications, how they handle kids, their personalities, their leadership skills and their morality.

    There are several on the committee that would never make scout master. If one is L/G are we opening ourselves up to a lawsuit? Happens all the time in the workforce. Lawsuits because of gender, etc. even when the decision was skills based. Assuming I have a CO that accepts LGB’s in leadership rolls, do I now have to meet a quota since this decision is based on sexual preference?

    We just had a review with our local United Way,. They had all kinds of ethnic questions to determine if we were all inclusive. Will I have to give sexual orientation statistics in the future?

    • There are many fellow Scouters that will bury their head in the sand or rely on their peers honor to not sue but I am far more pragmatic. The language the use makes it clear e.g. good first step, more is needed, does not go far enough, the BSA can do better, not inclusive enough, still discriminating. The ONLY way to achieve the desired goal is through vicious and predatory litigation with extreme prejudice. Personal experience tells me get ready for the whirlwind. That is why I could care less about gay/straight. That is not THE issue. I am worried about the procedure and who rewrites the Scout Oath and Law to apply equally across the board with no exceptions. I wonder what happens when you let those who have no vested interest in the program or those who joined under false pretenses determine membership for those that have acted honestly. Here is a link to exactly what the legal issues will be and where CO’s will be liable. Happy reading.

    • A chartering organization retains the right to add additional requirements to adult leadership positions, above and beyond what BSA requires. Some COs will not allow a woman to be scoutmaster. Some COs would not allow a practicing Muslim to be scoutmaster. This is all legal as long as it is within the leadership requirements laid out by the CO.

      Now, if you receive United Way funding, then of course you have to follow United Way rules too. But receiving United Way funding is not a requirement to have a Scout troop. United Way is a private group and can set whatever rules it wants, just like BSA. If you don’t like United Way’s rules, you don’t have to take their money.

      If you don’t have enough community support to pay for a Scout troop with the values you agree with, then maybe you need to find another community. Or maybe you need to ask yourself why your values are so outside those of the community that the community won’t support you?

      • The larger issue is one of advancement. There will essentially be two standards for rank advancement and Eagle. You will have (for lack of a better term) “progressive” CO’s and Units that will allow virtually any behavior classified as morally straight or clean sending their District Eagle Advancement Committees candidates as Eagle worthy. You will have more “traditional” CO’s and Units holding the line on the standards rejecting young men for rank advancements and for Eagle. Essentially it creates a division, a two tiered standard for something that should never be that way. That is why I have been screaming about the mechanics of such a divide. I can tell you form a District standpoint this is a MAJOR concern since we are not just a rubber stamp.

        • This already happens. There are some troops that know they have atheist kids, but don’t make a big deal of it. If the kid recites the Oath in some manner, and doesn’t cause a fuss, and meets all other qualifications for Eagle, the advancement committee sends him on his way. In other troops, they have a much more rigorous test of demonstrating one’s duty to God in some fashion. Specific standards vary from one unit to another. As long as core BSA standards are upheld, kids tend to get a pass on stuff that varies from one troop to the next.

        • The situation with an atheist or agnostic should NEVER happen. A core tenant of the Scout Oath is “Duty to God.” The BSA has specifically interpreted that to mean duty to a higher power (Creator) than yourself. Atheists and agnostics have no such beliefs and therefore are not capable of performing their “Duty to God” under the Scout Oath and Scout Law. Additionally on the 2012 Eagle Application one of the required references is “Religious Leader.” If a young man were to come before my Eagle Board of Review he would be denied Eagle Rank or ANY rank for that matter. Why? He fails to meet the standard. You mention following the core BSA standards but you are advocating creating a mulch-tiered standard based on nothing more than the direction the wind is blowing or because little Johny might get his feelings hurt. By your own admission you would sanction awarding Eagle Scout to an atheist or any unworthy Scout just because he meets the checklist requirements of Merit Badge, time served, and completed project. There are far more components involved. ANY Scout regardless of race color creed orientation size height intelligence handicap or “helicopter leaders and parents” that lies, cheats, steals, hides, obfuscates, misleads, or obtains ANY rank advancement including Eagle should hand them over and leave the BSA. They were acquired under false pretenses which violates most of the Scout Oath and Scout Law. Any adult leader that knowingly facilitated such a travesty should also leave the BSA for gross misconduct against the Scout Oath and Scout Law. The ends NEVER justify the means and it is precisely that ludicrous thinking (anything goes because the standard is inflexible or unfair) that has put the BSA in the position it is in. I cannot speak for other Districts but I feel very confident in saying that those of us who serve on District Eagle Advancement Committees and District Advancement Committees that have been properly trained and vetted understand this vital principle. We understand that as adults training tomorrows leaders sometimes you have to say no and break hearts because it is the right thing to do. The standard is the standard and it does not break because some adult leader is too weak to make the tough choice. Sometimes Scouts have to be told “good try” but you do not meet the standard come back when you do. As adult leaders we have to realize that every perceived wrong cannot be righted nor should it be. Life does not work that way and I can tell you from experience the business world does not either. We are raising generations of “entitlement” inflicted youth. I would rather hire a young man who failed at Eagle but succeeded in following the Scout Oath and Law in his life than hire a young man who made Eagle but lied, cheated, misled, hid, stole, or obfuscated his character to do so.

        • When I am reviewing the candidate, I ask questions especially if I do not see any letter from church. In the past (before me) our troop has had a kid go home to think about his answers and come back in 30 days.

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