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Boy Scouts of America to reconsider national membership policy

Update (Jan. 31): The BSA has provided this page for leaving feedback about the membership policy. Alternatively, you can email feedback@scouting.org.

Update (Feb. 5): Thanks to everyone for their valuable feedback. After more than 2,100 comments in the past week, I’ve determined that it’s time to close the comment thread on this post.


The Boy Scouts of America is discussing whether to remove the national membership restriction regarding sexual orientation, the organization announced today.

If approved, the move would end any national policy regarding sexual orientation of members and hand the responsibility of accepting members and selecting leaders to chartered organizations. Chartered organizations could then handle this task in accordance with their mission, principles, and/or religious beliefs.

The news was announced in an email sent by Chief Scout Executive Wayne Brock to all National Council employees this afternoon and confirmed through a media statement posted to Scouting.org.

“Let me be clear that the change under discussion would allow chartered organizations to determine how to address this issue,” Brock writes. “The Boy Scouts would not, under any circumstances, dictate a position to units, members, or parents. Under this proposed policy, the BSA would not require any chartered organization to act in ways inconsistent with that organization’s mission, principles, or religious beliefs.”

Discussion on the proposed policy change will continue during the National Executive Board meeting in Texas next week.

If the board takes action related to the membership policy, Brock says, it will be promptly communicated to all professionals and volunteers.

And I’ll post the news here on Bryan on Scouting, as well.

2,111 thoughts on “Boy Scouts of America to reconsider national membership policy

  1. There are many religions that support homosexuality. There are many religions that do not believe homosexuality is against the word of god. They may be in the minority here, but those religions and denominations do exist. Why shouldn’t members of those religions, living in accord to their faith, be allowed in Scouting? They aren’t going against their religion or their personal duty to God.

    By the logic of many Christian Scouters here (of excluding gays because your religion says it’s wrong), then we should also exclude all Jewish and Muslim members from Scouting because they don’t believe in Jesus Christ as their lord and savior (and your religion says that is wrong too). But we don’t do that. We respect the beliefs of others and we don’t exclude members with differing beliefs, or force our beliefs on others. It’s called tolerance! It’s called being reverent (respecting the beliefs of others). It’s called being a good Scout.

    • We don’t share your one way approach to tolerance. Fact..the BSA is one of the FEW remaining places where likeminded parents and families can adhere to the timeless values of Scouting. The pressure being brought by Glaad, GLTB and other Soros funded folks to destroy Scouting is telling. We ARE aware of what you are doing on our blogs and will take all legal action to STOP this attack. Can you imagine (if the shoe were on the other foot) what reaction we Scouters would get if we joined the LGBT and told them that they were intolerant of our Scouting values like being “morally straight” and told them that they need to change their policy to allow LGBT chapters to form that have the ability to set their own policy on homosexuality to include chapters that teach that homosexual acts are immoral and that those who have same gender attraction should not act on such attractions and should be morally straight? Are you willing to write your LGBT folks and post for days on (without it seems taking time to work) end telling them to be more tolerant of the Scouters that are coming to join LGBT and who coming to bringing with them the Scout oath and law to change their organization?? We cannot wait to hear your answer.

      • Dan, you are the one with the one way approach to tolerance. Those of us that favor a change in a discriminatory policy are in support of the proposed change, that will allow my unit to be open to all, while yours can still remain true to it’s values and remain closed to membership by gays.

        • beth, from your posts, it is clear that you don’t like the current policy, but can you examine squarely the question put to you?…allowing CO’s to set their own homosexual policies (which policies depending on the CO will permit active homosexuals in Scouting) changes our existing policy on association and necessarily places a Scouting moral stamp of approval on this amoral lifestyle as engaged in by PRACTICING homosexuals. The proposed change is a clear admission by BSA that a practicing homosexual’s life is consistent with the Scout law and oath. Any disagreement so far? While, you may agree with this and like the result. You must admit, the legal result is a complete change (I would phrase this as a complete rejection) of the timeless values of Scouting and the meaning of “morally straight” and “clean”. This is like working to turn a vegetarian group into a group that eats meat. If you want to eat meat, join the meat eater’s group. Don’t seek to come in to the vegetarian group and take their name and program and money. It is not friendly, courteous or kind to seek to do this. Can we agree on this? If not, help us see why? Can you imagine (if the shoe were on the other foot) what reaction we Scouters would get if we joined the LGBT and told them that they were intolerant of our Scouting values like being “morally straight” and told them that they need to change their policy to allow LGBT chapters to form that have the ability to set their own policy on homosexuality to include chapters that teach that homosexual acts are immoral and that those who have same gender attraction should not act on such attractions and should be morally straight? Are you willing to write your LGBT folks and post for days on (without it seems taking time to work) end telling them to be more tolerant of the Scouters that are coming to join LGBT and who coming to bringing with them the Scout oath and law to change their organization?? Please specifically answer my questions. For your own good, you really need to openly and honestly answer the question that you keep avoiding, and I ask it with the hope and prayer that you will open you heart and examine the soundness and correctness of the current BSA position even though you disagree with it. The current proposal does not work and is extreme.

        • You say the proposed change is a clear admission by BSA that a practicing homosexual’s life is consistent with the Scout law and oath. Well, I (and many others) think that a practicing homosexual’s life is consistent with the Scout law and oath. You say that being gay “goes against the timeless values of Scouting and the meaning of ‘morally straight’ and ‘clean.’” I disagree.

          In my religious teachings, homosexuality is not morally unstraight nor is it unclean. So, to me, someone can be gay and can still live by the Scout oath and law.

          Now your religion may say being gay is morally wrong, unclean, and not in accord with one’s duty to God. Therefore you propose we exclude gays from being Scouts.

          Well to Hasidic Jews, eating pork is morally wrong, unclean, and not in accord with one’s duty to God. Therefore Jewish Scouts should petition to exclude all pork-eaters from being Scouts. Right?

          To Catholics, not accepting Jesus Christ as your lord and savior and taking Catholic communion is morally wrong, disobedient, and not in accord with one’s duty to God. Therefore Catholic Scouts should petition to exclude all non-Catholics from being Scouts.

          To Muslums, not observing Salah is is morally wrong, disobedient, and not in accord with one’s duty to God. Therefore Islamic Scouts should petition to exclude anyone who doesn’t observe their prayer calls from being Scouts.

          Just because your faith says it’s wrong, does not mean the faith of every Scout agrees. There are religions that support homosexuality. You can’t force the feelings and beliefs of your particular religion onto every other Scout. If your faith says “don’t be gay,” then don’t be gay. If your faith says “don’t eat pork,” then don’t eat pork. You don’t have to force every other Scout to follow your religion.

      • DantheScoutingman: I am not an “outsider” from some LGBT or GLAAD organization. I am a Scouter. I am an Eagle Scout. I have been with the program since I was a tiger cub. I am a Venture Crew advisor, and an assistant Scoutmaster. I am a member of the Order of the Arrow. I am a district- and council-level volunteer. I worked on the summer camp staff of my local council camp for over 10 years. I am Woodbadge and BSA National Camp School trained. I have been to Philmont and Seabase multiple times. I am a Scout.

        And I hold the belief that excluding homosexuals from this program is inconsistent with my faith and with the principles Scouting is striving to teach.

        • Mark, let’s take what you say at face value (also knowing that we have well funded outside pro-glaad, LGBT folks seeking to destroy the BSA), what is your point? Per SCOTUS, the mission statement of the BSA is to “instill values in young people”, and a Scout vows to keep one’s self “physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight. See, BSA v. Dale, 530 US 640 (2000). The US Supreme Court also found that ”homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the values of the Scout oath and law and particularly the terms “morally straight” and “clean” and that the BSA does not want to promote homosexual conduct as a legitimate form of behavior.” See, BSA v. Dale, 530 US 640. (2000). The Court recognized the BSA’s right to oppose or disfavor homosexual conduct. Further, the the First Amendment simply does not require that every member of a group agree on every issue in order for the group’s policy to be “expressive association.” See, BSA v. Dale, 530 US 640 (2000). If you don’t agree with the BSA policy, why did you join and why do you stay? You are not being tolerant of all of us who have joined in reliance on this policy. Can you open your mind enough to see where we are coming from?

        • Well, my religious and personal beliefs have taught me that homosexual conduct is NOT inconsistent with the values of the Scout oath and law. Now your personal religion or feelings may disagree; but I feel, and have be taught through my faith, that one can be gay and have straight morals, live a clean life, do their duty to God, and be a good Scout and citizen. So why are we excluding them from the benefits of Scouting? I feel a policy that excludes homosexuals is inconsistent with the values of Scouting.

          You asked why I joined. Well when I joined this issue was not an issue (this was back before BSA v. Dale and before the BSA had a public policy on the issue). So why did I stay? As I learned in Scouting, if a Scout thinks a rule or law is unfair, he tries to have them changed in an orderly manner. I don’t want to abandon Scouting and see the program become lost to a closed-minded and intolerant,worldview. I want to work from within to stop this harmful policy of discrimination.

          I’m really trying to understand where you are coming from. You say you “joined in reliance on this policy,” how would the proposed change affect you?

        • Mark this is NOT about feelings (yours or mine). This is about protecting children, trying to live to a moral standard, common sense, traditional values, and the trust that the overwhelming majority of parents have put in the Scouting organization.

        • Well my moral standards, values, and common sense say that homosexuality is not wrong and that discriminating and excluding someone based on their sexual orientation is wrong. As a parent, I would hope that the Scouting organization would teach tolerance and acceptance.

          You say it’s about protecting children? And How are homosexuals a threat to my children?

        • And 75 years ago I’m sure there were people who said Scouting should exclude African Americans from joining Troops because “it is about protecting children, trying to live to a moral standard, common sense, traditional values, and the trust that the overwhelming majority of parents have put in the Scouting organization.”

          Times are a’changing, man. Better catch up.

        • Mark, when did you join? It was not an issue because of sodomy laws which have always been on the books and have not been eroded until recently (starting in the 70′s). The BSA policy was a reaction to this and the fall out from our declining moral standards in society. I presume you have always been aware of sodomy laws and the BSA’s clear positions on excluding practicing homosexuals the cases were all in the news in the 80′s why didn’t you leave in the 70′s and 80′s and why have you stayed? I (like most Scouters) join because of the timeless values which include being “morally straight” and “clean”. As you are aware, Scouting is one of the few (last) options for a wholesome experience where my sons and I can learn and live the timeless values of Scouting.
          Hope this helps.

        • I joined Scouting in the 1960s. But I guess I see where we differ here. I (like many other Scouters) think that someone can be a homosexual and still be “morally straight” and “clean.” I don’t see homosexuality as immoral and I don’t see how one’s sexual orientation conflicts with the ideals of Scouting. And I certainly don’t see how allowing homosexuals into the program would make the experience any less wholesome for my family.

        • Screen name Mark (and taking what you say at face value), in the 60′s every state in the nation has sodomy laws and homosexual acts were illegal. These laws have not been eroded until recently (starting in the 70′s). As you should be aware,the BSA policy was a reaction to this and the fall out from our declining moral standards in society. Based on your statements, I will presume you have always been aware of sodomy laws and the BSA’s clear positions on excluding practicing homosexuals.

          That being said, you are certainly entitled to your opinion, and we can respectfully disagree with each other. I will however make a couple of relevant points.

          First, with respect to the actions of groups outside of the BSA…there is no place for threatening, bullying and intimidating corporate donors of the BSA by Glaad, and other organizations in the LGBT community, there is no place for Glaad, and other organizations in the LGBT community who intentionally infiltrate an opposing organization with the intent to destroy it from within, there is no place for Glaad, and other organizations in the LGBT community to threaten, bully and intimidate members of an organization with different values to do something that spits in the face of their timeless values and does not reflect actions that its members want (yea, we understand that 100% of Scouters do not support the timeless values, but most do). The actions of these outside groups is indefensible and antithetical to our pluralistic values.


          Second, yes, we have some within our ranks that do not favor the current policy, however, they (like you) decided to join the BSA knowing what we are about and our timeless values. As a point in fact, millions of us in the Scouting movement are a part of this organization and have invested time and money because we like, agree with and desire to involve ourselves and sons in such a program that teaches and instills in them these timeless values. As such, the rights of those who seek to defend the institutional values are superior. Let me describe it this way. A certain development is built next to a dairy farm that has been operating for decades. A new home buyer knows of the dairy and elects to move into the neighborhood. After a while the home owner tells the dairy farmer that it needs to shut down because the home owner does not like the smell. Any idea what the dairy farmer and the law will say to the home owner? If you don’t like your decision, then leave and don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Hope this helps you better understand where Scouters who support the timeless values of Scouting are coming from. All the best my friend!

        • Well there are also millions of us in the Scouting movement that have invested time and money and want our sons to have a program that teaches and instills the proper values of tolerance, acceptance, and understanding. As such, we feel that excluding someone based on their sexual orientation is wrong and in conflict with the aims of the Scouting program. We don’t see excluding homosexuals as a “timeless” value or as the foundation of the aims and methods of the program; rather we see it as an “outdated” value. I hope this helps you better understand where Scouters who support the change are coming from.

  2. I have had all I can take of this endless babblings back and forth. Some of you people have way, way too much time on your hands. Some of you are radicals pushing the homosexual LBGT agenda and even involved in it. I have said several times this boils down to two beliefs systems.
    MORALITY AND IMMORALITY.
    But, you say who are we to judge and even the courts say they cannot rule on morality and yet that is exactly what they do. They do this by legislating from the bench all the way up to the Supreme Court and they have no legal basis to do so. Only Congress can legislate laws and all laws must conform to the Rule of Law and it must conform to the Constitution.

    Remember, behavior has consequences and this is whether you are religious or not so for your children’s sake and safety you must educate yourself with Trugh and facts, now emotional and endless conversation.

    So, this is to parents and others that are confused by all of this and want to know the Truth. Parents you have the right and the duty to be informed about this extremely important issue. Here is a site that is sponsored by the American College of Pediatricians called Facts About Youth. The first one is a copy of a letter that was mailed to every school superintendent in the country in 2010 warning about false information being taught in schools and the second is a site to Facts about Male Homosexual Behavior. There is a wealth of information including articles and pamphlets from the CDC on this site.
    Remember, the most imp0ortant issue about the BSA decision is an letting homosexual men who are openly homosexuals to become “leaders” of the Boy Scouts.
    Letter:

    http://factsaboutyouth.com/wp-content/uploads/Superintendent-LetterC_3.311.pdf

    Fact Sheet about Male Homosexuality:
    http://factsaboutyouth.com/posts/male-homosexual-behavior/

    “Know The Truth And The Truth Will Make You Free”

    • Thank you Taylor for some fresh factual information. Maybe some of our irrational fears are well-founded after all.

      • Do you believe BSA National should force Christian teachings about morality on all Boy Scout troops around the country? How about forcing Jewish Scouts be OK with that? What about Buddhist Scouts? Scouting in the US in not a Christian organization, even if a large number of its members are. People seem to forget that. They are a non-sectarian organization in that they support all different religious views and the resulting diversity that comes from a different points of view.

        • texasaggie94, we in the Scouting community have no clue what you are talking about. No one is forcing anyone to do anything, and our values are clear. It is like walking into a vegetarian group and telling them you want to form meat eating chapters. Unreal and offensive! If you don’t support the timeless values of Scouting, go do your own thing and start you own group. As determined by SCOTUS “The general mission of the Boy Scouts is clear: “[T]o instill values in young people.” Ibid. The Boy Scouts seeks to instill these values by having its adult leaders spend time with the youth members, instructing and engaging them in activities like camping, archery, and fishing. During the time spent with the youth members, the scoutmasters and assistant scoutmasters inculcate them with the Boy Scouts’ values-both expressly and by example. It seems indisputable that an association that seeks to transmit such a system of values engages in expressive activity. See Roberts, supra, at 636. The BSA policy on homosexual acts has not changed. The simple fact is that Glaad, pro-GLTB and other Soros funded folks are seeking to force their morality on us. What are you talking about??

        • No, this is not like waling into a vegetarian club and telling them you want to form meat-eating chapters. It’s like walking to an organization based around building character, fostering citizenship and developing fitness in America’s youth and telling them that even though a majority of them are vegetarians you eat meat and would like to join, but you’re told no because some of their members feel meat-eating is wrong.

        • Jesse, your statement is not accurate.. as determined by SCOTUS “The general mission of the Boy Scouts is clear: “[T]o instill values in young people. The US Supreme Court also found that ”homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the values of the Scout oath and law and particularly the terms “morally straight” and “clean” and that the BSA does not want to promote homosexual conduct as a legitimate form of behavior.” See, BSA v. Dale, 530 US 640. (2000). The current policy protects the general mission of Scouting. I and millions of Scouters are part of Scouting because of this mission and policy. If you destroy the current policy, you change Scouting, and you destroy the general mission of the Boy Scouts. Again, it is like walking into a vegetarian group and telling them you want to form meat eating chapters. Unreal and offensive!

        • You see, many Scouts and Scouters (including those in at the national level) do not agree that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the values of the Scout oath and law.

          And unlike your hypothetical vegetarian group (a group that I would assume is founded and based around people’s diet), the BSA is not a group based around sex and sexuality, and so one’s sexual orientation should not be an issue in being able to be a part of it.

        • Jessica, no one claims that 100% of the Scouting community supports the timeless values of Scouting and its policy prohibiting active homosexuals from having an association with Scouting. That being said, let’s review the facts..
          First, per SCOTUS, the mission statement of the BSA is to “instill values in young people”, and a Scout vows to keep one’s self “physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight. See, BSA v. Dale, 530 US 640 (2000). SCOTUS also found that ”homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the values of the Scout oath and law and particularly the terms “morally straight” and “clean”. See, BSA v. Dale, 530 US 640. (2000); and
          Second, the Court also recognized “the First Amendment simply does not require that EVERY member of a group agree on every issue in order for the group’s policy to be “expressive association.” See, BSA v. Dale, 530 US 640 (2000).
          Now, given these facts, let’s revisit my opinion and analogy…the BSA policy on homosexuals protects the general mission of Scouting (see above…this was decided by SCOTUS and is not debatable..we acknowledge that you seek to change the mission of Scouting)m and I and millions of Scouters are part of Scouting (meaning that is why we joined and paid money to join and invest in this program) because of this mission and policy. If the BSA policy on homosexuality is changed, you change Scouting, and you destroy the general mission of the Boy Scouts. I tell you again, it is like walking into a vegetarian group and telling them you want to form meat eating chapters. This is unreal and offensive to us, and this is how we feel about it. These are real feelings and the logic is correct. Does this help? In essence, we are saying LEAVE US ALONE AND STOP BULLYING US!

        • Just a point of clarification – The SCOTUS said that “The Boy Scouts asserts that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the values embodied in the Scout Oath and Law, particularly those represented by the terms “morally straight” and “clean,” and that the organization does not want to promote homosexual conduct as a legitimate form of behavior. The Court gives deference to the Boy
          Scouts’ assertions regarding the nature of its expression…” Note that this is not the same as the SCOTUS “finding” these things – that is, the court is not agreeing or disagreeing with this interpretation of the Oath and Law, they are noting the BSA’s interpretation as it pertains to the case. The morality of homosexuality is not at issue in this case; the case is about whether the BSA can decide who can and cannot be a member of the organization.

        • EagleMom, you are correct that the issue before SCOTUS was not whether homosexuality was immoral. In deciding the issue of whether or not the BSA has the right to remove from its association a practicing homosexual leader, SCOUTUS did find (after looking at all of the evidence and BSA documents) that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the values of the Scout oath and law and particularly the terms “morally straight” and “clean”. Hope this helps.

        • DantheScoutingman -
          Please remember that the scouting community is not of one mind about this proposed policy. Some good, moral Scouts, Scouters, and scouting families are for it, some against it, the Supreme Court case notwithstanding. We all want what we feel is best for the BSA, and the scouts they serve.

        • EagleMom, thank you for your comment, and yes, I want you to know that we realize that the Scouting community is not 100% behind the current policy. In order to have an honest conversation, however, it must be recognized (this is not an opinion and it is not up for debate) that the current policy is that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the values embodied in the Scout Oath and Law, particularly those represented by the terms “morally straight” and “clean”. In addition, we also realize that outside groups are working to influence the BSA Board and are seeking to shape opinion within the BSA. This is also a point that is not up for debate. http://www.glaad.org/blog/send-message-boy-scouts-its-too-late
          So far so good….are we ALL still on the same?

          I will add one further aspect that you should consider in better understanding why we are very disturbed about what is bring proposed. I pray this helps you….Consider the position of the dairy farmer in the below example..certain folks buy a home near a dairy farm (which family farm has been operating for decades). They then later demand that the dairy farm shut down because they don’t like the smell of the farm (this is called “coming to the nuisance” and the right of the dairy farmer is recognized). The reply from the dairy farmer is respectful but clear—you chose to move next to a dairy farm. If you don’t like living next to a dairy farm, sell your home. Can you see how we feel….those within the BSA that don’t like the current policy chose to join the BSA knowing full well what we are about and our timeless values. Timeless means that they don’t change to and fro by every wind of doctrine or idea–they are eternal unchanged evermore.

        • BSAS –
          –> I agree that the current BSA policy is based on the idea that homosexual conduct is not “morally straight”.
          –> I also agree that outside groups such as GLAAD are advocating for a change in this policy. I assume that other outside groups (such as the Family Research Council) are advocating that the policy stay the same.
          –> I also agree that those who buy property next to dairy farms have no right to complain about the smell (assuming it’s been there all along).
          –>I do see why BSA members who support the current policy are upset at the idea of change.
          –>I’ll even throw in that I think the BSA should be more open about considering this and other changes, and should solicit more input from members before making changes of all kinds.

          I don’t agree, though, that organizations shouldn’t change. Many, many people feel differently about homosexuality than they did in 2000, or in the ’90′s, or further back. Homosexual conduct was still illegal in many states when Lawrence v. Texas changed that in 2003. As gay people have gradually been welcomed into our communities, and people have gotten to know them, many people have changed their beliefs. The national conversation on this issue has changed significantly over the years. Who would have thought, back in 2000 when the BSA went to court, that the citizens of three states would vote to allow gay marriage? And yet, it happened in the last election, just twelve years after the Dale decision, and only 9 years after Lawrence.

          The country’s point of view on this issue is very different now than it was in 2000, including many in the BSA, and I think the BSA is right to revisit the issue and consider changing the policy so that scouting families who wish to welcome gay scouts into their troops can do so.

        • EagleMom, although we can respectfully disagree on the policy change, I sincerely want to thank you for acknowledging the distinction between fact and fiction (without this basis, no honest communication can occur) and for your efforts to try and understand the position of those in the Scouting community who support the current policy. Perhaps we can all unite in demanding that the Board slow down on this, show more transparency and listen to/poll the adult volunteers before taking any action to change this policy. I respectfully disagree and maintain that timeless values don’t change-they are eternal, unchanging and evermore, but I will throw this in..if (and I pray never) the majority of Scouters decide to abandon these timeless values, then I will not stand in the way and my family and I (and millions like us) will sadly leave Scouting. I am aware of the moral decline in our society (and am saddened as are millions like me), but you will find that the Scouting community is drawn to this program precisely for its strong moral and timeless values. It is a place of safe harbor in a sea of filth. Over the years, I have been a mentor to and have many seen inner city youth and children without fathers and/or good home environments grow into Eagle Scouts, give meaningful service to others and become great fathers and men of moral integrity. It has been a blessing to my sons and my family. I love the Scouting movement and its timeless values. I have seen how this program can bless all of our youth. To this end and in this spirit, can you Unite with us in calling for the Board to provide us with some transparency and listen to/poll its members before taking any policy change action? All the best and good night!

    • Taylor, you are very correct that we have radicals posting and pushing the homosexual LBGT agenda and even involved in it. Check out other posts with links to some of these radical sites and to see what these folks are up to…tip of the iceberg kind of stuff just so we get some small idea up what we are up against (that’s ok..we are Scouters and we are up for the fight!)….but once litigation commences on this, the discovery process will uncover conflicts of interests, breaches of fiduciary duty and undue influence on Scouting by outside groups adverse to Scouting and its timeless values. Most in the Scouting community are just trying to live a good life and take care of their families and have zero idea how well organized and funded these groups are. Thanks for the post.

      • BSA Scoutleader, Steve and others who are posting Truth; thanks.

        “Instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines, 4 NOR TO PAY ATTENTION TO MYTHS AND ENDLESS GENEALOGIES (profane, vain babblings), which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith. 5 But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 6 For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion”
        1 Timothy 1:4-6

        Someone posted, “IGNORANCE BREEDS INTOLERANCE”; sorry you got it backwards INTOLERANCE BREEDS IGNORANCE. All of you on the left, liberals, progressive/socialist and LGBT supporters are the most intolerant people in this country.

        Double Standards, by all means no. There is only one Standard, one Truth and one Absolute and that is God’s Standard. That is what and why our great Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights Amendments were based on God’s Word primarily. This makes our Constitution under Gods Covenant Law and that is fact no matter how you want to spin it. Why do you think the left is trying to destroy it and calling it a “living” and outdated document? It is based on Principles and not modern liberalism and humanism which are many of your beliefs.

        The vast majority of the Founding Fathers all believed that, there can be no Liberty without Morality and Virtue. Of the signers of the 92% were strong Christians and some were ordained ministers. All of the main stream colleges i.e. Harvard, Yale etc were started as seminaries for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

        OUR FIRST ARMY:
        “Rules and Articles, for the better Government of the Troops . . . of the united English Colonies of North America (1700’s)”

        “Morality in the Army
        Congress was apprehensive about the moral condition of the American army and navy and took steps to see that Christian morality prevailed in both organizations. In the Articles of War, seen below, governing the conduct of the Continental Army (seen above) (adopted, June 30, 1775; revised, September 20, 1776), Congress devoted three of the four articles in the first section to the religious nurture of the troops. Article 2 “earnestly recommended to all officers and soldiers to attend divine services.” Punishment was prescribed for those who behaved “indecently or irreverently” in churches, including courts-martial, fines and imprisonments. Chaplains who deserted their troops were to be court-martialed.”

        While the issue of homosexuals in the military has only recently become a point of great public controversy, it is not a new issue; it derives its roots from the time of the military’s inception. George Washington, the nation’s first Commander-in-Chief, held a strong opinion on this subject and gave a clear statement of his views on it in his general orders for March 14, 1778:

        “At a General Court Martial whereof Colo. Tupper was President (10th March 1778), Lieutt. Enslin of Colo. Malcom’s Regiment [was] tried for attempting to commit sodomy, with John Monhort a soldier; Secondly, For Perjury in swearing to false accounts, [he was] found guilty of the charges exhibited against him, being breaches of 5th. Article 18th. Section of the Articles of War and [we] do sentence him to be dismiss’d [from] the service with infamy. His Excellency the Commander in Chief approves the sentence and with abhorrence and detestation of such infamous crimes orders Lieutt. Enslin to be drummed out of camp tomorrow morning by all the drummers and fifers in the Army never to return; The drummers and fifers [are] to attend on the Grand Parade at Guard mounting for that Purpose.”
        General George Washington, First President of America
        General Washington held a clear understanding of the rules for order and discipline, and as the original Commander-in-Chief, he was the first not only to forbid, but even to punish, homosexuals in the military.

        “We are either a United people, or we are not.
        If the former, let us, in all matters of general concern act as a nation,
        which have national objects to promote, and a national character to support.
        If we are not, let us no longer act a farce by pretending to it.”
        President George Washington 1785 letter to James Madison

        ‘The God of Israel said…“He who rules over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.”
        2 Samuel 23:3
        ######

        • Thank you Taylor for your efforts to save Scouting. I (like most of us) work hard each day for a living and am trying very hard to raise a moral and good family. I am very proud of all of my four children (three of which are very involved in Scouting now). We will not loose this fight to save the BSA and its timeless values. From the extreme comments of some on this post, we see a complete rejection (by some) of the virtues of pluralism and tolerance. We are all disgusted to learn that outside groups are using improper pressure and bullying to seek to destroy Scouting from within. GET TO WORK AND FIGHT LIKE CRAZY OVER THE NEXT WEEK OR SO TO SAVE SCOUTING NOT JUST FOR THE BOYS IN YOUR CHARTER ORGANIZATION, BUT FOR ALL BOYS AND THE FUTURE OF SCOUTING! CALL, E-MAIL, FACEBOOK, TWITTER…SPEAK-UP! Tell the Board to not take ANY ACTION next week. THE pro Glaad, pro-LGBT and soros funded groups are organized, have all the media support and well funded, and they should be taken very seriously in what they are and have been doing to Scouting.

        • BSA Scoutleader, thanks for the comments and yes all need to really “Rally Round The Flag Boys”
          literally.
          “And knowing their thoughts He (Jesus) said to them, “Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and any city or house divided against itself shall not stand.”
          Matt 12:25
          You are more aware than most re George Soros. He is one the most dangerous men today and as a billionaire he actively supports over 70 left wing socialist media group e.g. Media Matters. But, he is a newcomer compared to our so called great American foundations which began “revisionist history” and took over our educational system in 1909.
          Any thing published after 1913 must be suspect.

          WARNING: to all who corrupt and cause a child harm and to stumble in any way:
          Jesus said, “but whoever causes one of these little ones (children) who believe in Me to stumble, it is better for him that a heavy millstone be hung around his neck, and that he be drowned in the depth of the sea. “Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks!”
          Matt 18:6,7

          These are some of the most prominent original foundations:
          Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the primary mover.
          The Carnegie Corporation
          The Rockefeller Foundation
          The Ford Foundation
          The Guggenheim Foundation
          They pooled their financial resources to control education in America e.g. NEA and Council on Foreign Relations. Many more have joined this group since. Funny Sec Hillary Clinton gave her farewell speech last week from there. They are the the most dangerous. I have written documentation on all of this.

          You are also right, this is much bigger than just the BSA they are controlling the media and what is being taught in the schools. That is why parents must wake up and get involved and teach their children what is morally right.

          “Train Up A Child In The Way He Should Go, And even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
          Proverbs 22:6
          ######

        • So, the LGBT definition of ‘close minded’ = anyone who disagrees with them doesn’t believe in their agenda. Did you have a point?

  3. This is ridiculous. Just a short time ago the BSA was chastized when several former Scouts announced that they had been sexually assaulted by gay men who had been BSA leaders. So now they want the BSA to allow gay men to openly participate in Scouting. Which is it? Do they want us to protect the Scouts against abuse or do they want us to allow openly gay men to have authority over and camp out with the Scouts?

    What happened to “A Scout is Reverent”? It was Baden-Powell’s emphasis on reverence that led the Boy Scouts of America to adopt “A Scout is Reverent” as the twelfth point of the Scout Law. Some have said that obedience to the twelfth law will ensure that the other eleven have been obeyed as well. Here’s what the Scout Handbook says this law means: “A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.” God does not condone homosexuality. If the BSA allows homosexuals to participate in Scouting, then they need to go ahead and delete “A Scout is Reverent” from all BSA requirements and literature.

    The BSA has always relied upon the generosity and sponsorship of churches. The majority of BSA Troops are sponsored by Catholic, Lutheran and Southern Baptist churches. The Executive Committee needs to speak with the leadership of these churches to see if they intend to continue supporting the Troops if that means the inclusion of gays. Just imagine the devastating effect that would result if the Catholic Church mandated that no church is to sponsor a Scout Troop so long as the BSA

    I am curiousabout one thing, if the Executive Committee does approve gays to participate in BSA, how do they plan to modify the camping rules and adult Youth Protection Training to accommodate the admission of gays. Would each boy be required to sleep in their own tent? Would each Troop be required to have 2-deep heterosexual leadership present during each activity? Would they require openly gay adult leaders to be supervised by another adult leader at all times?

    If they approve the inclusion of gays, they might as well go ahead and open up the BSA to also include girls.

    • Please check your facts. These were homosexual assaults committed by straight men.

      If they had been gay men, they wouldn’t have been allowed in BSA.

    • I somehow inadvertently deleted part of my comment. The third to last paragraph was supposed to say “Just imagine the devastating effect that would result if the Catholic Church mandated that no church is to sponsor a Scout Troop so long as the BSA includes gays.”

  4. The whole lawsuits against the chartered organizations is red herring. No lawyer is going to sue a church for what they believe. There’s this little thing called the first amendment.

    And there seems to be a misunderstanding about the nature of most of the boy scout lawsuits. Most of the lawsuits that involve the scouts are against a government agency that is providing tax payer subsidized resources to the scouts. Why should taxpayers be subsidizing a private organization that has a restricted membership policy?

    • db, as one who has given many opinion letters to clients on risks of litigation, let me say this…counsel for charter organizations will not be giving the opinion that you proffer. Make no mistake, the BSA and charter organizations (and perhaps members of the the National Board in their individual capacities) will be sued (and for different causes of action I might add) if the current policy is changed.

  5. Wouldn’t a “first step” of this type of change be to add a policy that would allow an individual Charter to allow homosexual leaders into their units. Then after some time evaluate the impact and adoption before making a change that would impact all units nationwide?

    • From a legal point of view, I don’t think BSA can have one core belief for one set of chartering organizations, and a separate set of beliefs for the rest.

      Once BSA removes a core belief from one chartering organization, they can no longer claim it is a core belief, and so all chartering organizations would immediately be released from that core belief as well.

      Either BSA believes homosexuality is immoral or it doesn’t. It can’t half-believe one and half-believe the other.

      • But that’s in effect what they are doing. They are saying that different groups can decide the membership criteria for themselves – at least with respect to homosexuality. I’d have to imagine some criteria would be off-limits for membership criteria (e.g. skin color, race, long/short hair, financial status, nation of origin, etc.) but some criteria would be allowed (e.g. religion, sexual preference, “morality” (as defined by the religion), etc.). I guess the key is what is “core” – what are the remaining “core” criteria that the BSA would have remaining? No convicted felons (for particular crimes)? Really BSA membership requirements become morally equivalent to any organization that deals with children.

        • Right. BSA is moving sexuality from a core belief, to a one that chartering organizations can disagree about. Just like race, hair, nationality, religion, etc. is treated now.

          BSA is not considering removing any other core beliefs at this time. They are not considering changing their views about felonies.

          BSA’s core beliefs are nicely outlined in their national charter http://usscouts.org/aboutbsa/bsacharter.asp

        • Nice try, but not true when you wrongly say that “BSA is not considering removing any other core beliefs at this time.”

          This whole gay issue is an invention of the last 30 to 40 years and is being shoved on us by glaad, pro-LGBT and other Soros funded groups. The BSA made this policy to deal with the declining moral culture in the past 30 or 40 years and the BSA has never changed. 1978 position statement to the Boy Scouts’ Executive Committee, signed by Downing B. Jenks, the President of the Boy Scouts, and Harvey L. Price, the Chief Scout Executive, expresses the Boy Scouts’ “official position” with regard to “homosexuality and Scouting”:”Q. May an individual who openly declares himself to be a homosexual be a volunteer Scout leader?
          “A. No. The Boy Scouts of America is a private, membership organization and leadership therein is a privilege and not a right. We do not believe that homosexuality and leadership in Scouting are appropriate. We will continue to select only those who in our judgment meet our standards and qualifications for leadership.” App. 453-454.

          Further the 1993 position statement, reads, in part: “The Boy Scouts of America has always reflected the expectations that Scouting families have had for the organization. We do not believe that homosexuals provide a role model consistent with these expectations. Accordingly, we do not allow for the registration of avowed homosexuals as members or as leaders of the BSA.” Id., at 461.

          These beliefs were not just empty words (like many of the posts being put on this site by Glaad folks), the Boy Scouts publicly expressed its views with respect to homosexual conduct by its assertions tons of litigation… See Curran v. Mount Diablo Council of Boy Scouts of America, No. C-365529 (Cal. Super. Ct., July 25, 1991); 48 Cal. App. 4th 670, 29 Cal. Rptr. 2d 580 (1994); 17 Cal. 4th 670, 952 P.2d 218 (1998). The US Supreme Court said that we cannot doubt that the Boy Scouts sincerely holds this view. Let’s see..your opinion vs SCOUTS. A basic question for you? Which one is opinion and which is fact?

          Further SCOUTUS says… “the general mission of the Boy Scouts is clear: “[T]o instill values in young people.” Ibid. The Boy Scouts seeks to instill these values by having its adult leaders spend time with the youth members, instructing and engaging them in activities like camping, archery, and fishing. During the time spent with the youth members, the scoutmasters and assistant scoutmasters inculcate them with the Boy Scouts’ values-both expressly and by example. It seems indisputable that an association that seeks to transmit such a system of values engages in expressive activity. See Roberts, supra, at 636 (O’Connor, J., concurring) (“Even the training of outdoor survival skills or participation in community service might become expressive when the activity is intended to develop good morals, reverence, patriotism, and a desire for self-improvement”).”

          The impact of the proposed action will be to allow active homosexuals to be Scouters and it results in the position that homosexual acts are consistent with the timeless values of Scouting. The fact is that this is a MASSIVE departure from our core Scouting beliefs.

          Please stop with your delusion. You are entitled to your own opinion, but not the facts. Thanks.

        • I am aware of BSA’s 1978 position statement, and how it was repeated in the 1990 and the 2000 Supreme Court case.

          That is the only core belief BSA is considering changing at this time. That is what I said.

        • cwgmpls, Scouting is not a buffet where we pick and choose what timeless values we will keep. Values embodied in our Scout oath and law such as being “morally straight” and “clean” are not for sale and will not be removed or changed. This is a BIG deal and the Board cannot act with impunity on this. There will be real consequences.

        • Newsflash…..the timeless values of Scouting are not for sale and will not be compromised. I stand with the ultimate finder of fact (SCOTUS) and do not stand with those who would destroy the core values of Scouting in saying (by the way not my words, the legal conclusions of our highest court after reviewing all of the Scouting documents and not just the ones you think support your position) “the general mission of the Boy Scouts is clear: “[T]o instill values in young people.” Ibid. The Boy Scouts seeks to instill these values by having its adult leaders spend time with the youth members, instructing and engaging them in activities like camping, archery, and fishing. During the time spent with the youth members, the scoutmasters and assistant scoutmasters inculcate them with the Boy Scouts’ values-both expressly and by example. It seems indisputable that an association that seeks to transmit such a system of values engages in expressive activity.” See Roberts, supra, at 636 (O’Connor, J., concurring).

        • A change in policy would not be stating two diametrically opposed core beliefs on the issue. What they would be saying is that they don’t take any position at all in regards to the morality of homosexuality, and that that decision is to be made by individual chartering organizations.

        • beth, I say this with all due respect do you think Scouter are stupid? Homosexual acts are not “morally straight” and not “clean”. Allowing PRACTICING homosexuals to take on the Scout name places a moral stamp of approval on this amoral lifestyle. Just as you would not ask the vegetarian club to condone meat eating, stay away from the timeless values of Scouting. I realize you don’t share these values, but if you have any degree of honesty, you cannot deny the logic of what is being said Can you imagine (if the shoe were on the other foot) what reaction we Scouters would get if we joined the LGBT and told them that they were intolerant of our Scouting values like being “morally straight” and told them that they need to change their policy to allow LGBT chapters to form that have the ability to set their own policy on homosexuality to include chapters that teach that homosexual acts are immoral and that those who have same gender attraction should not act on such attractions and should be morally straight? Are you willing to write your LGBT folks and post for days on (without it seems taking time to work) end telling them to be more tolerant of the Scouters that are coming to join LGBT and who coming to bringing with them the Scout oath and law to change their organization?? We cannot wait to hear your answer.

        • I certainly don’t think Scouters are stupid. I am a Scouter. I have many friends that are Scouters. I don’t think they are stupid. You and I simply have different ideas about what morally straight means. There is nothing that you can say that will change my mind. I’m sure there is nothing that I can say that will change your mind. I would hope that you would focus on the friendly, courteous, kind part of the Scout Law and treat others with respect. Don’t forget the reverent part, which states that you respect the religious beliefs of others.

        • beth, thank you. I realize that you don’t like the current policy, but can you examine squarely the following from my post…allowing CO’s to set their own homosexual policies (which which policies depending on the CO will permit active homosexuals in Scouting) changes our existing policy on association and necessarily places a Scouting moral stamp of approval on this amoral lifestyle as engaged in by PRACTICING homosexuals. It would constitute a clear admission by BSA that a practicing homosexual’s live is consistent with the Scout law and oath. While, you may agree with this and like the result. You must admit, the legal result is a complete change (I would phrase this as a complete rejection) of the timeless values of Scouting and the meaning of “morally straight” and “clean”. This is like working to turn a vegetarian group into a group that eats meat. If you want to eat meat, join the meat eaters group don’t see to come in and take their name and program and money. It is not friendly, courteous or kind to seek to do this. Can we agree? If not, we all need to see clear logic why?? Can you imagine (if the shoe were on the other foot) what reaction we Scouters would get if we joined the LGBT and told them that they were intolerant of our Scouting values like being “morally straight” and told them that they need to change their policy to allow LGBT chapters to form that have the ability to set their own policy on homosexuality to include chapters that teach that homosexual acts are immoral and that those who have same gender attraction should not act on such attractions and should be morally straight? Are you willing to write your LGBT folks and post for days on (without it seems taking time to work) end telling them to be more tolerant of the Scouters that are coming to join LGBT and who coming to bringing with them the Scout oath and law to change their organization?? Please specifically answer my questions. I am very curious to see your answer. I ask it with the hope and prayer that you will open you heart and examine the soundness and correctness of the current BSA position even though you disagree with it.

        • Beth, what I am about to say, I do so with no intention to offend, but I am going to speak very open and honestly with you….we are still waiting for you to answer the specific question put to you. I respectfully ask that you (and others who seem to want to lecture about tolerance and kindness) consider not post anything more until you share your open and honest answer to this fair and valid question. It will be very revealing to all Scouters about what you (and other Glaad folks posting on our site) really think about tolerance, respect, kindness, etc. when the shoe is on the other foot……again, the ONLY way a pluralistic society works is for groups that disagree to respect the rights of others to exist, associate and express their views. This is the compromise. A hostile take-over of the timeless values of Scouting is not compromise, it is not honest, it is not reverent, it is not tolerant. It is WRONG, and we will not let this happen and we will hold to legal account anyone who tries to do so!

  6. Call your local Councils. Find out if BSA National has sought their input. You may be shocked at the answer. Councils from around the West (Utah, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Colorado, and Wyoming) are reporting that National has caught them off guard and they were not prepared for how fast the Executive Board is moving. A local paper in Utah ran a story quoting the Great Slat Lake Councils PR Dept saying the same thing. There are huge questions about liability, Advancement protocols, etc. that have been left hanging. Regardless of your position this is very very troubling. Ignoring those who will be put directly in the line of fire over corporate sponsors and those who are not registered volunteers is not good. Why is National moving so fast? Why have they cut off their lifeblood? Why are they being so secretive? Why have Councils and Districts deliberately cut out of the process? Whose agenda is really being followed? Regardless of your position on this issue there are too many questions that National has left unanswered.

    • Andrew,
      I can’t agree with you more. I have been asking some of these same questions and no one seems to answer with anything of real substance. They only answer with whether they think this upcoming decision is right or wrong.

      • You are lucky because when I called around today I did not even get an an answer on if the proposed policy was right or wrong.

        • The local council offices won’t answer any questions on this policy. I was talking about when I speak to individuals.

        • Yeah all I was told is how fast and off guard everyone was. Individuals around my area are mixed as you would expect. Many feel inclusion is good. My own son (Venture Scout) believes Scouting can benefit any boy willing to work hard and they should have the chance. When I press deeper with those who feel as my son does the answers get very sparse. Why? Because it deals with “morally straight” and “clean, reverent.” So much depends on personal belief, family values, faith, experiences in school and life, etc. Many of the individuals I talk to refer back to the Law and Oath. When pressed further the water gets even muddier because no one knows what happens with advancement, camping, legal liability, Unit and District policy and procedures, etc. Honestly there are those who say oh it will never happen, or that is just paranoia. No it is the reality that those of us on the ground deal with everyday. This is so much more than a policy change. The nuts and bolts cannot even be addressed because everyone is so caught up in morality, discrimination, right, wrong, inclusion, exclusion and on and on and on. For people like me on the ground serving at the District and Unit level with a CO that could very well be litigated against it is the nuts and bolts that matter. We can debate the Oath and Law all day but in the end if we all do not subscribe to each one in their entirety with one voice everything we are working for in the lives of these young men are meaningless. The mission of the BSA is to prepare young people to make moral and ethical decisions through their entire lives. I do not care about gay or straight, sex or abstinence, inclusion or exclusion. These are so subjective that there will never be common ground on any of it. We as adults better get our acts together because if we fail to give clear definitions of moral and ethical that apply equally to every group we will have a generation that will believe there are no consequences for anything they do. They will justify every behavior as moral and ethical. We owe a debt of honor to all those who built the BSA into an organization that really stands for something to figure out the nuts and bolts…Sorry I am rambling.

        • Well stated Andrew. I agree with your statement. I wish that others would be able to read this and respond with logical and thoughtful answers, rather than trying to evade the question or tell you why your opinion is wrong. Whatever choice is made there are huge implications that have consequences we are not ready for.

        • Andrew,

          You are not rambling and you touch on some good areas although we disagree on the moral significance of how bad and destructive homosexual acts are to people and their eternal progression. I am not going to attempt to change you views, but I expect BSA to retain the values it has always held out and that we have all invested so much into establishing.

          I have had several LONG conversations with my Scout executive and District Executive, and I can only tell you about the southern region and they were very much caught off guard by this move and are solidly (of course always a few odd voices) opposed to ANY change to our current policy of prohibiting any actively practicing and open homosexuals in Scouting. National is very much aware of these strong views. There are a lot of BSA executives worried about their jobs right now and rightly so. I hope that they will work to act to stop and delay any action on this next week. Those on the Board pushing this are being identified, and they MUST leave!

          What you describe is the product of a moral decline, well funded groups actively targeting the BSA, and Scouting trying to operate in a society with declining values. BSA is needed now more than ever. This gay issue is an invention of the last 30 to 40 years and is being shoved on us by Glaad, pro-LGBT and other Soros funded groups. Hard to believe how fast we have fallen. Our TV shows, music, movies are bombarding us (admittedly those who do not hold your views, but which VIEWS MUST BE RESPECTED AND YES TOLERATED) with homosexual filth. As God is my witness, I tell you it makes me SICK. These are my views and feelings, and I want to have none of my family exposed to this filth. This view by the way was accepted by almost everyone just 50 years ago…can you see the direction we are going? Now turning to the BSA, this is one of the last places where timeless values are learned and taught and now this filth is not respecting of our proud history and our tradition (NONE OF WHICH CAN OR SHOULD BE DENIED OR OVERLOOKED). The BSA made this homosexual policy to deal with the declining moral culture in the past 30 or 40 years and the BSA has never changed. In a 1978 position statement to the Boy Scouts’ Executive Committee, signed by Downing B. Jenks, the President of the Boy Scouts, and Harvey L. Price, the Chief Scout Executive, expresses the Boy Scouts’ “official position” with regard to “homosexuality and Scouting”:”Q. May an individual who openly declares himself to be a homosexual be a volunteer Scout leader?
          “A. No. The Boy Scouts of America is a private, membership organization and leadership therein is a privilege and not a right. We do not believe that homosexuality and leadership in Scouting are appropriate. We will continue to select only those who in our judgment meet our standards and qualifications for leadership.” App. 453-454.
          Further the 1993 position statement, reads, in part: “The Boy Scouts of America has always reflected the expectations that Scouting families have had for the organization. We do not believe that homosexuals provide a role model consistent with these expectations. Accordingly, we do not allow for the registration of avowed homosexuals as members or as leaders of the BSA.” Id., at 461.These beliefs were not just empty words (unlike many of the posts being put on this site by Glaad folks), the Boy Scouts have publicly expressed and defended its views in countless of lawsuits and in ultimately establishing its right to teach the timeless moral values of Scouting. The answer is simple, if you don’t agree with Scouting values, leave. A key value is that that homosexuals do NOT provide a role model consistent with the expectations of Scouting and our law and oath. I recognize that we can agree to disagree on this, but can you leave us the one place (of the few remaining places) where we can raise our future men of courage in these TRUE and timeless Scouting values.

          Can you imagine (if the shoe were on the other foot) what reaction we Scouters would get if we joined the LGBT and told them that they were intolerant of our Scouting values like being “morally straight” and told them that they need to change their policy to allow LGBT chapters to form that have the ability to set their own policy on homosexuality to include chapters that teach that homosexual acts are immoral and that those who have same gender attraction should not act on such attractions and should be morally straight? Will you agree to spend hours on end and days and weeks of your time writing your LGBT folks and post for days on end (without it seems taking time to work) telling them to be more tolerant of the Scouters that are coming to join LGBT and who coming to bringing with them the Scout oath and law to change their organization?? If not, then perhaps you should look deep into your heart. We, as Scouters, STRONGLY reject this view of letting CO’s set their own polices on practicing homosexuals and are 100% consistent in our position, because we say that this is a free Country go and find another place that agrees with your lifestyle, but leave the BSA alone. As for our BSA house, we will serve and follow truth. Are we getting anywhere???? I cannot speak truth any more plainly than I have done with you and I pray that you open your mind and heart and really ponder what I am telling you even though we can agree that we come from different positions regarding the immorality of homosexual behavior. If we can all reconcile on this foundation, our world will be a better place. If not, so be it, and we will continue to fight on. All the best to you my friend and sorry for rambling.

        • “My own son (Venture Scout) believes Scouting can benefit any boy willing to work hard and they should have the chance.” (Quoted from Andrew’s post above.)

          Andrew, your son is very wise. I think he’s summed up the reason so many are advocating a change (rather than encouraging those who dislike the current policy to go elsewhere).

          I do believe that you are right to be concerned that the details of such a change need to be handled carefully and thoroughly. There’s a lot to think through and consider. The BSA is a big organization, run mainly by volunteers, which makes it very different than, for example, the military or a corporation. I’ve been a bit surprised to learn that despite being a membership-driven, volunteer-run organization, the BSA doesn’t seem to have any process for member participation in such decisions; I had not realized that before.

          I have put my trust in the goodness of all those involved with scouting. I hope it all can be handled with thoughtfulness, respect, and grace.

        • When you have glaad, pro-GLTB (whatever) and other Soros funded groups putting all kinds of pressure and working to putsh 1.4 million e-mails to the BSA on this. They are using media, facebook and twitter to drum of support. For starters…see, http://www.glaad.org/blog/send-message-boy-scouts-its-too-late. It smells very bad. We have several appointed members of the appointed Board who have conflicting interests. This action to move fast and in concert with Glaad and the left wing media
          to try and catch everyone off guard everyone gives us ZERO reason to trust what is happening. None of this reflects any thoughtfulness (to 100 plus years of timeless Scouting values), respect (for US volunteer Scout leaders ..meaning those posting who are actually Scouters…in considering our opinions). The way they are handling this certainly lacks any class. Can anyone give me on reason not to slow down and not take any action next week…unless you are working in the cover of darkness and seek to move before you are removed and significant opposition can be mounted. In view of all of the facts, you need to explain on what basis the majority of Scout volunteers who support the timeless values of Scouting can trust folks like James Turley, Randall Stephenson, and their buddies given all that is wrong with what is going on?
          http://www.glaad.org/blog/send-message-boy-scouts-its-too-late
          http://www.glaad.org/scoutsboard
          ps…please share with us whether you support outside groups seeking to take over, bully and influence the BSA? And, if not what you are doing to stop this..your answer will be very telling for the rest of us. pss. are you supportive of successful efforts of GLAAD and Scouts for Equality to pressure BSA corporate donors, including Intel Corporation, United Parcel Service, and Merck Foundation, to withhold funding until the Boy Scouts end its policy banning gay youth and parents? psss..are you a member of Glaad??

        • Please give a specific example of one CO that will likely be litigated against.

          If it does happen, I think it will be very, very rare. But I can’t say if I don’t know what example you are talking about.

        • If these people sued the BSA to try to gain acceptance, why would the not sue the CO’s. As far as examples, How about every Evangelical UCC church that does not subscribe to allowing gays? Their governing body has left it up to the individual congregations to make that decision, What about every church that does not have it in their bylaws that they specifically ban gays, but says the follow biblical teachings?

    • Does your reference also include, Romans 1, verses 27 and 28:

      27. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

      28. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

      These words are clear and give no room for misunderstanding as to what is being taught. The Glaad, pro-GLTB folks reject this truth and would seek to put anyone in jail who preaches or teaches these values (do your research and look at what they are posting and doing outside the US and what they are working to do within the US). It will be called “hate speech” and not protected by the first amendment and the media will give them cover all day long. Don’t doubt me on this. We are in real trouble. They are not content with a society that allows practicing homosexuals to live as they choose, they do not want compromise. They do not seek tolerance. They cram this filth on us in movies, TV shoes, media, music. 40 to 50 years ago, we had none of this…go out and look at the difference between The Andy Griffith show and the crap on TV now. We have unplugged our TV, and we are not going to unplug Scouting!!!! The fact is that they seek to force this perverted amoral way of thinking upon EVERYONE. And now they seek to do this with the BSA. I want to take all of us moral Scouters and join Glaad and tell them that they need to allow chapters that will preach that homosexuality is wrong and one who has same gender attraction should not act on these attractions and should work to live a “morally straight life” and be “clean”. This is exactly what these Glaad folks are pushing that our Board do next week! I have seen it posted time and time again here and everywhere that these Glaad folks post from their talking points….they tell us we who hold these timeless values that we need to be more rational, we need to become more enlightened, we need to better understand science, we need to be more tolerant. For them, it is always a one way street. It is never good enough for these folks to compromise and agree to respect OUR views on morality. Listen loud and clear Glaad folks and the rest of you…..we are enlightened, we are educated, we understand science and we reject amoral behavior. We always will and so wilthe BSA. If you don’t like what we stand for, LEAVE!!! I am going to call a spade a spade…we are at war with these extremist nut jobs!!! Why because, they are coming after us and our timeless values. If you love Scouting, then get of the fence and GET ACTIVE!! All that is need for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.

  7. “The sport in Scouting is to find the good in every boy and develop it.”

    Lord Robert Baden-Powell

    Far from being the only quote of his, showing no qualification of any kind.

    I won’t engage anymore in this debate. At this point, I’ll wait and see what National says. I just thought that a quote of Lord BP’s would be a good way to walk away.

    • Charles, “The sport in Scouting is to find the good in every boy and develop it.” and Lord Robert Baden-Powell would tell you that the way we do this is through teaching and promoting the timeless values of Scouting. Young men who struggle with same gender attraction (and their future children if they apply these values) will be forever blessed by these timeless values including those of being “morally straight” and “clean”. If you love Scouting, then get of the fence and GET ACTIVE!! All that is need for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.

  8. If the board members of the BSA can’t embrace the core values of Scouting I would encourage them them to step down. I am sure the BSA can find the money somewhere else.

    • Spot on Steve! These bad apples on the Board need to go and they can take their money and pro-Glaad, etc. folks with them. If you love Scouting, then get of the fence and GET ACTIVE!! Facebook, twitter, call and e-mail and call on the Board to delay any action on this..we demand transparency, accountability and honestly (we pray, it does not come to this, but also join the class action suit that will be filed if they try to change our policy and the timeless values of Scouting). All that is need for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing.

      • BSA Here is the names of two of those bad apples. These are the two members of the BSA national board, James Turley CEO of Ernst & Young, and Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T, are pressing the organization to amend their strict anti-gay membership and leadership policies to include homosexuals at all levels. Lets all google them and send a message of no support for their postion of allowing homosexuals into the BSA program. Tell them to take their money and resign from the Board. When money talks, values walk. Sincerely Trenton

        • Amen Trenton and spot on! Same clear message need to go to our Scout executives. Have been having long conversations with mine and we are getting some traction in the southern region. Also, after a class action gets filed. Legal options will be pursued to get them removed and to go after them for breaches of fiduciary duties owed to BSA. In the discovery process and given litigation hold requirements, we we learn more about the connection of these bad apples to Glaad and other pro-gay groups funded by George Soros. What is being proposed next week smells! The National Board is advised to slow down and think about what they are doing and the irreparable harm they will do to Scouting,

        • BSAScoutleader sorry about the website I tried to use the url and I to did not get through. I went to the website earlier and had no problem and was able to sign the petition with no problem try typing in JamesTurley, CEO of Ernst & Young, and Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T they have a list of websites chose the one that asked for removal, The should get you in Thanks Trenton

      • cwgmpls, are you asking serious question? The Scout oath and law provide our core Scouting values.

        • jim, does your question have any relevance on the issue at hand. For example, where in the Scout Oath and Law does it mention flag burning (In our long history of Scouting, we didn’t really start to see these types of horrible acts until the 60′s and like flag burning sodomy laws have only started to erode over the last 30 to 40 years)? Is flag burning consistent with the timeless values of Scouting? Does it run afoul of our timeless Duty to Country as Scouters? Consider Scouting’s proud tradition of honoring and properly retiring the flag.

          Now, putting the above example aside, let me get to the direct answer…SCOTUS concluded (as such it is a matter of fact and law) that (after looking at all of the facts and BSA documents/positions/statements) the “mission statement of the BSA is to “instill values in young people”, and a Scout vows to keep one’s self “physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.” See, BSA v. Dale, 530 US 640 (2000). Further, the US Supreme Court also found that ”homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the values of the Scout oath and law and particularly the terms “morally straight” and “clean” and that the BSA does not want to promote homosexual conduct as a legitimate form of behavior.” See, BSA v. Dale, 530 US 640. (2000). The Court clearly recognized and upheld the BSA’s right to oppose or disfavor homosexual conduct. I realize that you do not agree with the timeless values of Scouting, but we do!

          The proposed policy change will destroy the legal underpinnings that resulted in the BSA being able to successfully protect and defend its expressive association message, and charter organizations that prohibit practicing homosexuals will be sued. The National Board is on notice of the irreparable damage that it will inflict on Scouting and its timeless values if it takes hasty and reckless action nest week. It is advised to govern its actions accordingly!

        • Right. And who is in position to interpret those values to create practical policies?

          Who stated in 1978 that “We do not believe that homosexuality and leadership in Scouting are appropriate.”?

          Who stated in 1991 that “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”?

          Who stated in 2000 that “BSA teaches that homosexual conduct is not morally straight”?

          None of those phrases are in the Scout oath and law. Those policy decisions are interpretations of the Scout oath and law made by the BSA national council.

          If BSA national council had authority to interpret the Scout oath and law in 1978, 1991, and in 2000, then certainly BSA national council has authority to interpret the Scout oath and law this week. We can’t take away that authority just because we disagree with them.

  9. Pingback: Today’s Links February 2, 2013 | New York OA Trader

  10. This is quite enough folks! It is a good thing when people come on and leave a comment but this has degenerated into a handful of people insulting each other and recycling the same old tired arguments. The decision will be made next week by a group of people who have been entrusted to do so. You seem to forget that the program is for the youth and it is their program. I am an Eagle Scout and have been a volunteer for 29 years and regardless of the decision next week, will be right there in the trenches helping to give those young people the very best program that we can give them.

    • dansmith40, with all due respect, you have no legal or moral right to tell anyone “This is quite enough folks!” This type of intolerance, intimidation and disrespect is not acceptable. Candidly, you owe the Scouting community an apology.

      In addition, I will remind YOU that the proposed change is not about YOU. All of us in the Scouting community have made significant financial and time investments into our Program and we don’t need to hear someone tell us what they have invested (particularly as it cannot be verified). You seem to be implying that your investment (assuming what you say is true) is more valuable than ours. If so, your position is not defensible.

      Why did you join and why have you volunteered 29 years (assuming what you say is true) in Scouting? BSA is an organization that has a clear mission to instill values in young people and the position of the BSA is that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the values of the Scout oath and law and particularly the terms “morally straight” and “clean”.

      Your attitude reminds me of folks that buy a home near a dairy farm (which family farm has been operating for decades) and then sue the dairy farm seeking to shut it down because they don’t like the smell of the farm.

      Let me be respectfully direct, you came to us and you know what we are about and who we are. As such, you have no legal or moral basis to ask us to give up our timeless values.

      We will not sit down, and we will not shut up. When we see a few bad apples on the unelected Board who seek to effectuate a hostile take over of our program, and when we see outside groups and the media trying to bully and destroy the timeless values of Scouting, we are not going to permit this to occur. The Board is on notice to slow this down and not take any action next week!

  11. QUESTION: Many people here are saying that letting homosexuals into Scouting would essentially be like the BSA telling their children that being gay is ok (which is something against their Christian beliefs). So why aren’t you also upset about the BSA’s current policy of letting Jews and Muslims into Scouting, which is essentially the BSA telling your children that not believing in Jesus is ok (which is also something against your Christian beliefs)?

    • Bodhi, Scouting welcomes those that love and promote the timeless values of Scouting as embodied in the Scout oath and law so we have no clue what you are asking with the above. As confirmed by SCOTUS, the mission statement of the BSA is to “instill values in young people”, and a Scout vows to keep one’s self “physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight. See, BSA v. Dale, 530 US 640 (2000), this is a wonderful program for Jews, Muslims, Christians, etc. SCOTUS also found that ”homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the values of the Scout oath and law and particularly the terms “morally straight” and “clean”. See, BSA v. Dale, 530 US 640. (2000).
      Given these facts, the BSA policy on homosexuals protects the general mission of Scouting, and I and millions of Scouters are part of Scouting (meaning that is why we joined and paid money to join and invest in this program) because of this mission and policy. If the BSA policy on homosexuality is changed, you change Scouting, and you destroy the general mission of the Boy Scouts. It is like walking into a vegetarian group and telling them you want to form meat eating chapters. This is unreal and offensive to us, and this is how we feel about it. These are real feelings and the logic is correct. Does this help? In essence, we are saying LEAVE US ALONE AND STOP BULLYING US!

      • Sorry, but as the parent of a Scout, I think the BSA’s interpretation of the terms “morally straight” and “clean”.is outdated and wrong. I hope the BSA revises their view and their policy.

        • Bodhi, you are certainly entitled to your opinion, and we can respectfully disagree with each other. I will however make a couple of relevant points. First, with respect to the actions of groups outside of the BSA…there is no place for threatening, bullying and intimidating corporate donors of the BSA by Glaad, and other organizations in the LGBT community, there is no place for Glaad, and other organizations in the LGBT community who intentionally infiltrate an opposing organization with the intent to destroy it from within, there is no place for Glaad, and other organizations in the LGBT community to threaten, bully and intimidate members of an organization with different values to do something that spits in the face of their timeless values and does not reflect actions that its members want (yea, we understand that 100% of Scouters do not support the timeless values, but most do). The actions of these outside groups is indefensible and antithetical to our pluralistic values.
          Second, yes, we have some within our ranks that do not favor the current policy, however, they decided to join the BSA knowing what we are about and our timeless values. As a point in fact, millions of us in the Scouting movement are a part of this organization and have invested time and money because we like, agree with and desire to involve ourselves and sons in such a program that teaches and instills in them these timeless values. As such, the rights of those who seek to defend the institutional values are superior. Let me describe it this way. A certain development is built next to a dairy farm that has been operating for decades. A new home buyer knows of the dairy and elects to move into the neighborhood. After a while the home owner tells the dairy farmer that it needs to shut down because the home owner does not like the smell. Any idea what the dairy farmer and the law will say to the home owner? If you don’t like your decision, then leave and don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Hope this helps you better understand where Scouters who support the timeless values of Scouting are coming from. All the best my friend!

        • I will agree with you that intimidating and pressure from outside groups should not be what guides the national board’s decision making.

          If I moved into a house by a dairy farm, I wouldn’t complain about the smell on my property (I bought it knowing the farm and the odor were there), but I certainly would complain if the company was polluting the air and the water, poisoning the milk, abusing the animals on their farm, or mistreating their workers.

          Excluding, discriminating, and stigmatizing homosexuality is a serious problem that affects not only the views and attitudes of those in the BSA but also those outside… the BSA is a leader in America, and I (and many others in the BSA) think they’ve lost their direction here and that their policy is harmful, unfounded, and wrong.

          Now I don’t know where you are from; but in my home troop and the other Scouting units around me, most parents, Scouts and Scouters do no oppose this proposed change – in fact they welcome it. They don’t see the BSA’s stance on homosexuality as a “timeless value” but rather as a “misguided view.”

          This policy is hurting us from moving forward and serving the youth of America. Just for example: my sons have a friend who won’t join Scouting because their parents (a gay couple) wouldn’t be welcomed into the organization. What a shame that this young man can’t benefit from Scouting and share the joys of the program with his family because of who they are. How is this what Scouting is about?

          I didn’t join Scouting, nor did I have my sons join, so we could shun or exclude those whose lifestyles may be different from ours. My troop is full of families of many different religions (Christians, Jews, Muslims, and more), different races, different economic backgrounds, different family structures, and different lifestyles… why are we making sexual orientation a barrier to entry? Why can’t my son be in a troop with a gay friend or be taught life skills from a gay leader?

          I understand many religions and individuals feel homosexuality is immoral. I do not feel this way. I understand that the BSA has asserted homosexuality is in conflict with the tenants of the oath and law,. But I think their interpretations and understandings are out-of-date, out-of-touch and should be reconsidered and revised. I hope they make the right decision and remove this arbitrary, harmful, hatefill and discriminatory ban.

        • Bodhi, beyond the obvious conclusion that BSA National should not be bullied by outside groups, my broader point is simple and clear.. the actions of these outside Glaad and other pro-LGBT groups is indefensible and antithetical to our pluralistic values. Next, Moving to the dairy farm example, your answer is revealing. It provides us in the larger Scouting community an insight into where this is going and why we must draw a clear line in the sand and not abandon or compromise our timeless values. Let’s explore…you view the BSA’s position that ”homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the values of the Scout oath and law and particularly the terms “morally straight” and “clean”. See, BSA v. Dale, 530 US 640. (2000) as being a “pollution.” You then assert that this gives you and others in the pro-Glaad community the right to shut down any group (dairy farm like the BSA) that teaches these timeless values. We are fully aware of the legal arguments that are made to circumvent our first amendment protections as they are being made now in the larger international community. Like pollution (as you call it), you and others in the pro-Glaad community view such timeless values and teachings as being “hate speech” and demand that all such speech be shut down (just like your dairy farm response) and not protected by the first amendment. In effect, you promote a zero tolerance policy for such teachings. Such teachings whether found in the BSA, other organizations, or in scripture will never be permitted by folks like you and others in the pro-Glaad community as it is viewed as being pollution or hate speech. I point this out not for your benefit, but I do so for the benefit of the larger Scouting community and members of the BSA National Board. WAKE UP FOLKS!!! UP IS NOW DOWN. BAD IS NOW GOOD AND GOOD IS NOW EVIL. These folks have a one way outlook on tolerance, and we cannot abandon the BSA and its clear, firm and eternal truth, being that homosexual acts are amoral and are not “morally straight” or “clean”.

        • ps, screen name (Bodhi and ESK), I (like most in the Scouting community who support the timeless values of Scouting) properly view homosexual acts as a pollution. Here is the difference between us and you in the pro-Glaad community, we (historically..perhaps we should be reconsidering our approach to pluralism) have not sought to shut down your dairy farm, we have not sought to infiltrate your dairy farm to change it, we have not sued organizations like Glaad to compel them to teach correct principles like homosexual acts are not “morally straight” and not “clean”. Your pollution is in our movies, TV shows, music, media, schools, etc., and we work very hard to protect our families from your pollution. We join organizations like Scouting to stay far away from this filth. Unlike you, we have been tolerant (to a fault) with your amoral message. As for your message to us that our moral views are a pollution and that well funded groups like Glaad will seek to destroy and shut these views down by any means possible including efforts to call sound, true and eternal principles as “hate speech”, we say this to you and those like you…..we will NEVER teach this pollution. We will NEVER accept your lie that disgusting homosexual acts are moral. We will DEFEND AND PROTECT OUR BOYS and our God given right to preach and teach correct principles. Your remarkable intolerance demands that I speak so openly with you!

        • Angie and Bodhi, yup Bodhi’s position is very ugly.

          Calling the BSA’s timeless values “pollution” such that the pro-Glaad community and any minority within the Scouting community can remove these timeless values is extreme.

          Bodhi acknowledges that the rights of those (within the BSA) who are defending the BSA’s institutional values are superior (in the example, certain development is built next to a dairy farm that has been operating for decades. A new home buyer knows of the dairy and elects to move into the neighborhood. After a while the home owner tells the dairy farmer that it needs to shut down because the home owner does not like the smell. Any idea what the dairy farmer and the law will say to the home owner? If you don’t like your decision, then leave and don’t let the door hit you on the way out). His only rationalization for not acknowledging the rights of the majority of Scouters who support the current policy is to say that such policies are “pollution” and that the BSA has no right to make such policies. This is not constant with the holding in BSA v. Dale

          Yes, this position is ugly, it destroys the underpinnings of First Amendment rights of association. It is also extreme and intolerant.

          While the BSA recognizes the speech and association rights of groups like Glaad, such groups do not afford us the same respect. Our timeless values are called “hate speech” and “pollution.” Angie and Bodhi, yours is an extreme zero tolerance policy, and yes it is ugly.

          The larger Scouting community and members of the BSA National Board are wide awake to what is really going on here.

        • Ok, I don’t know where you’re from or who you interact with within Scouting. But where I live a majority of Scouters do NOT support the current policy. These aren’t activists from outside groups – these are scouters in the program. Now (full disclosure) I live in a fairly progressive state (same-sex marriage is legal here; we are represented by an openly gay congressmember; the principal of my son’s school is openly gay; the associate pastor of the church that charter’s our troop is gay). and I’ve found that almost all Scout leaders and parents that I talk with at council and district events do not support the current ban of homosexuals (I even know of a couple packs and troops that have looked the other way, “fly under the radar” and have let gays in their units).

          This whole attitude of exclusion and stigmatization of a person based on sexual orientation is a “pollution” to our society… it’s based on an ignorance of sexuality and sexual orientation and on an intolerant view of other’s beliefs, values, and lifestyles. It breeds hate and, even worse, self-hate. Of course the BSA has every legal right to make an exclusionary policy; but it has a moral obligation to do what’s right for the youth and for the country they serve.

          You keep citing the justification that the BSA used in 2000 to defend it’s policy in “BSA v. Dale”… well, frankly, the view and interpretation of the oath and law is outdated and wrong;. and that is what needs to be addressed by the national office and overturned by the national office. And that’s what I (and many others) hope the executive board votes to changes in the coming week.

        • Screen name (Bodhi), can you be more specific about what majority of Scouters are you talking about and where (and facts beyond anecdotal and alleged conversations)? I am very much aware that my council and the entire Southern region is overwhelmingly not supportive of any policy change (further, such change violates the policies and core values of our largest BSA charter organizations/partners which will cause a mass exodus), and I am hearing similar complaints for other regions. Is it your position that the majority of Scouters favor the policy change? If so, please proffer your facts. If not, what is your point (no one asserts that 100% of Scouters support the current policy).

          If you are advocating that the Board not take any action until we have such facts, I suspect that such decision by the Board to slow this down and talk to its volunteer members about this would be wise. Are you pushing for this?

          Now let’s return to your “pollution” position as it is very telling.

          First, in your prior post you acknowledge that the rights of those (within the BSA) who are defending the BSA’s policy are superior (recall, in the example, certain development is built next to a dairy farm that has been operating for decades. A new home buyer knows of the dairy and elects to move into the neighborhood. After a while the home owner tells the dairy farmer that it needs to shut down because the home owner does not like the smell. Any idea what the dairy farmer and the law will say to the home owner? If you don’t like your decision, then leave and don’t let the door hit you on the way out).

          Second, your only rationalization for not acknowledging the superior rights of the majority of Scouters who support the current policy is to say that such policies are “pollution” and as such, the BSA has no right to make such policies. This is extreme, and it is not constant with the holding in BSA v. Dale which tells us that (as a matter of law and fact) the BSA’s policy to exclude practicing homosexuals is lawful and does not constitute discrimination, and further that the BSA’s right to exclude practicing homosexuals is protected by the first amendment. As such, the current policy is not pollution. It is lawful and needed to protect our mission and children. We who are in the majority and support and defend its timeless values (like the dairy farmer) have superior rights to those who joined the BSA and have moved in and no are complaining about the policy that existed at the time they joined. Our clear answer (just the the example of the dairy farmer) to you and others who don’t like the current policy is leave if you don’t like the BSA values that existed when you joined and have always existed.

        • BSASL -

          We must remember that we live in a country where beliefs and culture are vastly different in some areas than in others.

          I believe that you are probably correct that the majority of Scouts and Scouters in “red states” (the south and the middle of the country) may be against this policy.

          However, as several posters here have stated, those of us in “blue states” – the northeast (New England, NY, NJ, MD, DE, PA), California, and the Pacific Northwest – believe that the majority of Scouts and Scouters in our area would be very much for the proposed policy. We live in an area where gay teens are fully integrated into our communities. They are our kids’ friends at school (even Catholic school), in sports, at community activities, in church, and even in scouts. In many of our states, gay marriage is legal; in Maryland, Maine, and Washington state same-sex marriage won more than 50% of the popular vote in 2012. (It’s also legal in D.C., VT, NY, MA, CT, and NH, with many neighboring states recognizing these marriages.) It feels very wrong – sinful even – to us to exclude these kids (most of whom, at scouting age, are celibate anyway and thus not sinners even in the eyes of Catholics and other churches) from scouts.

          There’s no way to prove this without surveying Scouts and Scouters. But please give those of us in “blue states” the benefit of the doubt that the majority of folks here have strong moral beliefs *against* the current policy.

          Please think on this a bit. The BSA has to serve Scouts across our country. They must respect troops who have strong moral beliefs on both sides of this issue. They are trying to create a policy whereby neither group has to compromise their moral beliefs on this issue in order to be a part of the BSA. This policy isn’t perfect, mostly because troops have to blend at the higher levels of the organization. I’d be open to suggestions as to other ways the situation could be handled with respect for both groups.

        • EagleMom, a good starting for is for us to rally behind the following from The Great Salt Lake Council of the BSA “We believe that any decision that strikes at the core of our 103-year history merits full input from all stakeholders in deliberation and discussion,”
          After we have input from all stakeholders (including adult volunteers, CO’s and paid executives) in DELIBERATION and DISCUSSION we will be better positioned to consider the benefits of the current policy and whether any policy change I needed. Can we all compromise on this approach?

        • db, the proposal is to rally behind the following from The Great Salt Lake Council of the BSA “We believe that any decision that strikes at the core of our 103-year history merits full input from all stakeholders in deliberation and discussion,” Can all reasonable minds agree that hasty action to do anything this week is a very bad idea, can we all on both sides of the issue compromise on this approach that can take several months and as much time as is needed?
          After we have input from all stakeholders (including adult volunteers, CO’s and paid executives) in real DELIBERATION and DISCUSSION we will be better positioned to consider the benefits of the current policy and whether any policy change is needed.

        • So your idea of compromise is to wait? Then what? The folks who are against change will be against it in the future. The folks who are for change will still be for change. The only thing postponing a decision will do is to further erode the BSA brand and alienate more people and more sponsors. I don’t have a problem with waiting. But it won’t solve anything and will do more damage.

        • db, yes, no change should be considered until we have input from all stakeholders (including adult volunteers, CO’s and paid executives) in real DELIBERATION and DISCUSSION so we will be better positioned to consider the benefits of the current policy and whether any policy change is needed.

        • 100 years ago there were many Americans who would say separating blacks from whites was a “timeless value” … things changes.

        • Hello screen name EagleScoutKyle (and whoever is behind the screen name) seriously, do the pro-Glaad folks sit around thinking-up this kind of stuff to post. Now, turning to my comment, your post has no direct bearing on the proposed policy change, and let’s be clear on the facts, per BSA v. Dale, 530 US 640. (2000) it is NOT DISCRIMINATION and it is not unlawful for the BSA to exclude practicing homosexuals from the BSA. It is called our protected First Amendment right, and it is consistent with BSA’s timeless values as evidenced by our oath and law. With all due respect, please comment on the policy change being considered (apples), not oranges.

        • BSAScoutleader, please note that you speak for yourself and no one else. I for one live in the Washington, DC area any some agree with you and some don’t. My main concern is that this issue comes down to Religious beliefs. Since, that is generally what this is, the policy should be left up to the chartering organization. Many of our chartering organizations are Churches, Synagogues, Mosques, Schools and so forth who may not agree with what you believe. I frankly want the opportunity to simply follow my relgious beliefs, which in my case forbids discrimination in any form. If you don’t agree that’s your issue not mine. And by the way, I have read the Dale case. The actual opinion from the Supreme Court of the United States and it simply said that because the BSA did not get any
          Federal Funding that it could set it’s own membership policies. Nothing more, nothing less.

        • Screen name (bill stewart), with all due respect, my comment to screen name ESK about BSA v. Dale, 530 US 640. (2000) is 100% factual (your inference that a fact constitutes speaking for oneself is simply absurd).

          Let’s recap the decision in BSA v. Dale, 530 US 640. (2000) and let me quote from the case:

          First, the court addressed the Boy Scouts’ claims (along with another claim that I will not mention here) that application of the public accommodations law violated the BSA’s federal constitutional rights “to associate for the purpose of engaging in protected speech.’ ” 160 N. J. 562, 605, 734 A. 2d 1196, 1219 (1999) (quoting Board of Directors of Rotary Int’l v. Rotary Club of Duarte, 481 U.S. 537, 544 (1987)).

          Second, in order to determine whether the BSA is protected by the First Amendment’s expressive associational right, SCOTUS needed to determine whether the BSA engages in “expressive association. Further, because this was a First Amendment case where the ultimate conclusions of law are virtually inseparable from findings of fact, the Court was obligated to independently review the factual record to ensure that the state court’s judgment does not unlawfully intrude on free expression. SCOTUS sided with the BSA’s position that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the values embodied in the Scout Oath and Law, particularly with the values represented by the terms “morally straight” and “clean.”

          Third, the Court found that Boy Scouts engage in expressive activity and that the general mission of the Boy Scouts is clear: “[T]o instill values in young people.” Ibid. The Court determined that the BSA seeks to instill these values by having its adult leaders spend time with the youth members.

          Fourth, given the finding that the Boy Scouts engage in expressive activity, the Court needed to determine whether the forced inclusion of Dale (a practicing homosexual) as an assistant scoutmaster would significantly affect the Boy Scouts’ ability to advocate public or private viewpoints. On this issue, the Court said “This inquiry necessarily requires us first to explore, to a limited extent, the nature of the Boy Scouts’ view of homosexuality.”

          Fifth, the Court rejected the findings of The New Jersey Supreme Court which State Court had “determined that the Boy Scouts’ ability to disseminate its message was not significantly affected by the forced inclusion of Dale as an assistant scoutmaster because of the following findings: Boy Scout members do not associate for the purpose of disseminating the belief that homosexuality is immoral; Boy Scouts discourages its leaders from disseminating any views on sexual issues; and Boy Scouts includes sponsors and members who subscribe to different views in respect of homosexuality.” 160 N. J., at 612, 734 A. 2d, at 1223.” In rejecting the State Court’s findings of fact SCOTUS found as follows (I am quoting from the case):
          “We disagree with the New Jersey Supreme Court’s conclusion drawn from these findings.” SCOTUS also said…”Here, WE HAVE FOUND that the Boy Scouts believes that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the values it seeks to instill in its youth members; it will not “promote homosexual conduct as a legitimate form of behavior.”

          Any questions my friend?

        • I don’t know why you keep posting the same message over and over again. The BSA has been disingenuous in court cases. The lawyers adopt whatever legal strategy that is required to win their case. For example, in ’92 and ’94, the BSA argued it was a religious organization. “Although Boy Scouts of America is not a religious sect, it is religious, and, while the local council is not a house of worship like a church or a synagogue, it is a religious organization.” Then the BSA tried to backtrack on this in the Barnes-Wallace case. The BSA lawyers will adopt whatever viewpoint is necessary to win a court case. Most of us who are involved in scouting would never think of scouts as a religious organization. We go to church. We know what religion is and what church is. And scouting is not that. We simply want to hike and camp and have fun in the outdoors. There are certainly religions that have adopted scouting as part of their RE program. That’s great. I realize you truly believe the court’s decision in the Dale case to uphold the BSA’s membership criteria should be the law of the land and should stand in perpetuity. However, the executive board is free to decide this without paying the least bit of attention to what the Supreme Court said a decade ago.

        • db, what is your point? Do you dispute any of the following facts that are relevant to the current policy being considered and the lawfulness of the current policy (if so, please state your reasoning.):
          1. FACT – Per BSA v. Dale, 530 US 640. (2000) it is NOT DISCRIMINATION and it is not unlawful for the BSA to exclude practicing homosexuals from the BSA;
          2. FACT — the court agreed with the BSA (along with another claim that I will not mention here) that attempts to apply anti-discrimination public accommodations law violated the BSA’s federal constitutional rights “to associate for the purpose of engaging in protected speech.’ ” 160 N. J. 562, 605, 734 A. 2d 1196, 1219 (1999) (quoting Board of Directors of Rotary Int’l v. Rotary Club of Duarte, 481 U.S. 537, 544 (1987)).
          3. FACT — because this was a First Amendment case where the ultimate conclusions of law are virtually inseparable from findings of fact, the Court was obligated to independently review the factual record to ensure that the state court’s judgment does not unlawfully intrude on free expression. SCOTUS sided with the BSA’s position that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the values embodied in the Scout Oath and Law, particularly with the values represented by the terms “morally straight” and “clean.”
          4. FACT — given the finding that the Boy Scouts engage in expressive activity, the Court needed to determine whether the forced inclusion of Dale (a practicing homosexual) as an assistant scoutmaster would significantly affect the Boy Scouts’ ability to advocate public or private viewpoints. On this issue, the Court said “This inquiry necessarily requires us first to explore, to a limited extent, the nature of the Boy Scouts’ view of homosexuality.”
          5. FACT – the Court rejected the findings of The New Jersey Supreme Court which State Court had “determined that the Boy Scouts’ ability to disseminate its message was not significantly affected by the forced inclusion of Dale as an assistant scoutmaster because of the following findings: Boy Scout members do not associate for the purpose of disseminating the belief that homosexuality is immoral; Boy Scouts discourages its leaders from disseminating any views on sexual issues; and Boy Scouts includes sponsors and members who subscribe to different views in respect of homosexuality.” 160 N. J., at 612, 734 A. 2d, at 1223.” In rejecting the State Court’s findings of fact SCOTUS found as follows (I am quoting from the case):
          “We disagree with the New Jersey Supreme Court’s conclusion drawn from these findings.” SCOTUS also said…”Here, WE HAVE FOUND that the Boy Scouts believes that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the values it seeks to instill in its youth members; it will not “promote homosexual conduct as a legitimate form of behavior.”

        • >>>>”1. FACT – Per BSA v. Dale, 530 US 640. (2000) it is NOT DISCRIMINATION and it is not unlawful for the BSA to exclude practicing homosexuals from the BSA;”

          I disagree. The court found that the discrimination is NOT ILLEGAL, not that it is not discrimination.

          >>>>”2. FACT — the court agreed with the BSA (along with another claim that I will not mention here) that attempts to apply anti-discrimination public accommodations law violated the BSA’s federal constitutional rights “to associate for the purpose of engaging in protected speech.’ ””

          This I agree with.

          >>”3. FACT — because this was a First Amendment case where the ultimate conclusions of law are virtually inseparable from findings of fact, the Court was obligated to independently review the factual record to ensure that the state court’s judgment does not unlawfully intrude on free expression. SCOTUS sided with the BSA’s position that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the values embodied in the Scout Oath and Law, particularly with the values represented by the terms “morally straight” and “clean.””

          This, I completely disagree with. The court did not take a stand one way or another on whether “morally straight” and “clean” had anything to do with homosexuality. They merely acknowledged that the BSA asserted it did.

          >>>>”4. FACT — given the finding that the Boy Scouts engage in expressive activity, the Court needed to determine whether the forced inclusion of Dale (a practicing homosexual) as an assistant scoutmaster would significantly affect the Boy Scouts’ ability to advocate public or private viewpoints. On this issue, the Court said “This inquiry necessarily requires us first to explore, to a limited extent, the nature of the Boy Scouts’ view of homosexuality.””

          At no time did the BSA or the Court consider Dale’s sexual BEHAVIOR or ACTIONS. We do not know whether he was “PRACTICING” or not. The case was brought because Dale was described as gay (that is, attracted to those of the same sex) in a newspaper article having nothing to do with his involvement in scouts.

          >>>>>”5. FACT – the Court rejected the findings of The New Jersey Supreme Court which State Court had “determined that the Boy Scouts’ ability to disseminate its message was not significantly affected by the forced inclusion of Dale as an assistant scoutmaster because of the following findings: Boy Scout members do not associate for the purpose of disseminating the belief that homosexuality is immoral; Boy Scouts discourages its leaders from disseminating any views on sexual issues; and Boy Scouts includes sponsors and members who subscribe to different views in respect of homosexuality.” 160 N. J., at 612, 734 A. 2d, at 1223.” In rejecting the State Court’s findings of fact SCOTUS found as follows (I am quoting from the case):
          “We disagree with the New Jersey Supreme Court’s conclusion drawn from these findings.” SCOTUS also said…”Here, WE HAVE FOUND that the Boy Scouts believes that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the values it seeks to instill in its youth members; it will not “promote homosexual conduct as a legitimate form of behavior.”

          I agree with this, but do not see the relevance to the current issue.

        • EagleMom,

          My point #3 is as follows:
          3. FACT — because this was a First Amendment case where the ultimate conclusions of law are virtually inseparable from findings of fact, the Court was obligated to independently review the factual record to ensure that the state court’s judgment does not unlawfully intrude on free expression. SCOTUS sided with the BSA’s position that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the values embodied in the Scout Oath and Law, particularly with the values represented by the terms “morally straight” and “clean.”

          Your comment: “The court did not take a stand one way or another on whether “morally straight” and “clean” had anything to do with homosexuality. They merely acknowledged that the BSA asserted it did.”

          Again, the Court sided with the BSA’s position that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the values embodied in the Scout Oath and Law, particularly with the values represented by the terms “morally straight” and “clean.” I agree that the Court was not guided by its OWN views on whether the teachings of the BSA on homosexual conduct are right or wrong as this was not the issue before the Court. However, the Court did agree with the BSA and disagreed with Dale in finding that the BSA’s position is that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the values embodied in the Scout Oath and Law, particularly with the values represented by the terms “morally straight” and “clean.”

        • EAGLE MOM,
          My point #1:
          >>>>”1. FACT – Per BSA v. Dale, 530 US 640. (2000) it is NOT DISCRIMINATION and it is not unlawful for the BSA to exclude practicing homosexuals from the BSA;”

          Your response: I disagree. The court found that the discrimination is NOT ILLEGAL, not that it is not discrimination.

          The facts are as follows: The SCOTUS did not find that the BSA policy discriminates. SCOTUS found at the BSA policy was legal and protected. Dale (like you) asserted that the policy was discriminatory under the NJ public accommodation laws. The Court, however, rejected this and found that the BSA’s actions were proper and protected by the first amendment, and that such first amendment rights prohibit the application of such public accommodation laws to the BSA.

          I will also add the following as it is helpful to se how SCOTUS considers some of the same tired arguments made by pro-Glaad folks to bully the BSA into a policy change…”Justice Stevens’ dissent [adding my comment now... like certain of you posting] makes much of its observation that the public perception of homosexuality in this country has changed. See post, at 37—39. Indeed, it appears that homosexuality has gained greater societal acceptance. See ibid. But this is scarcely an argument for denying First Amendment protection to those who refuse to accept these views. The First Amendment protects expression, be it of the popular variety or not. And the fact that an idea may be embraced and advocated by increasing numbers of people is all the more reason to protect the First Amendment rights of those who wish to voice a different view.” The foregoing are the views of SCOTUS as quoted above.

        • Hello BSAScoutleader (and whoever is behind the screen name). To introduce myself, my name is Kyle Davis, I am an Eagle Scout (class of 2003) from Troop 227 (Baltimore, MD). I grew up in the Scouting program (from Tiger Cubs to Venturing). And I currently work as a unit leader for an inner-city troop as part of the Scout-reach program.

          Now, turning to your comment, the current policy is DISCRIMINATION, while it may not be unlawful for the BSA to exclude homosexuals, it does not make it the correct thing to do. I don’t recall views on sexual orientation being part of the foundation of the BSA program nor is it part of the “timeless values” I was taught in the program. However pre-judging and excluding someone simply because of who they are (whether it’s based on the color of their skin or their sexual orientation) is not part of the “timeless values” I learned in oath and law, nor is it what the BSA should be standing for. It’s time for change!

        • Hello screen name EagleScoutKyle, an opinion contrary to fact is a delusion. SCOTUS considered the argument (as you proffer) that the current policy is discrimination under NJ anti-discrimination laws and found that it is not. See, BSA v. Dale, 530 US 640. (2000).

          Let’s be clear, the current policy is not discrimination and it is not unlawful for the BSA to exclude practicing homosexuals from the BSA. We are a private organization and we are entitled to follow and promote our oath and law. It is called our protected First Amendment right, and it is consistent with BSA’s timeless values as evidenced by our oath and law. If you have decided to abandon the values of Scouting and the values that existed in Scouting when you joined then, you have lot’s of options. For the rest of us, Scouting is one of the few places where we can raise our boys in the timeless values of Scouting and we will not let others take away and destroy our investment. It is called theft to force the majority of us to accept your rejection of our oath and law.

        • let’s see “DantheScoutingman” ( what ever your real name is ), so now you attack an Eagle Scout who had been in Scouting for years and is giving back to Scouting? Really? attacking an Eagle Scout? Kyle speaks his mind and sounds like a mature young adult that our youth should aspire to, and you attack him.

          It seems in this “conversation” there are clear lines of tolerance and intolerance. Anyone who disagrees with you, BSA( whoever that really is) and a few others, must leave.

          Scouting is inclusive, not exclusive.

          You hang your hat on the Supreme Court case. So, every Supreme Court case is correct? Japanese internment camps?, separate but equal?, Rove v Wade? , Obamacare? flag burning? Or is it, just the one case you like and the rest are wrong?

          Scouting i sfor our youth, not us parents. It is for Kyle and the 2.8 million youth in scouting.

        • I don’t think you know the meaning of some words. Let’s be clear. The current BSA membership policy is discrimination. And, at the same time, the current policy is lawful. Just because it is lawful doesn’t mean it is not discriminatory.

        • David, my post to screen name (EagleScout Kyle) was factual and no offense was intended. I provided an honest assessment of how I and other Scouters feel when we are being asked to abandon our Scouting values. Most eagle scouts support the timeless values of Scouting and no one ever claims that 100% do. Putting this aside, an opinion contrary to fact is a delusion. SCOTUS considered the argument (as you proffer) that the current policy is discrimination under NJ anti-discrimination laws and found that it is not. See, BSA v. Dale, 530 US 640. (2000).

          Also, the current policy is not discrimination and it is not unlawful for the BSA to exclude practicing homosexuals from the BSA. We are a private organization and we are entitled to follow and promote our oath and law. It is called our protected First Amendment right, and it is consistent with BSA’s timeless values as evidenced by our oath and law.

        • Who is “we”? Scouting is for our youth, not us parents.

          Kyle, as an Eagle Scout, stated his position and you cut him down, like all others who disagree with your a few others point if view. Kyle represents the youth that Scouting is for. Scouting is for boys. I volunteer countless hours as a Scoutmaster for the youth. We need to respect Kyle and his fellow Eagles, the OA members and all youth in scouting.

        • db, David, MartaMaria and EagleScoutKyle,..please help us see what you call “discrimination” vs. what SCOTUS deems to be the BSA’s first amendment rights of association….”if a male heterosexual seeks to join Glaad and compel them to open a high school chapter to teach the timeless values of Scouting and that homosexual acts are not “morally straight” or “clean” and that those with same gender attractions can overcome this and have happy heterosexual relations, will you also say that Glaad’s rejection of such proposal is “legal discrimination?”

        • From Dictionary.com:
          dis·crim·i·na·tion [dih-skrim-uh-ney-shuhn]
          noun
          … treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit:

          The BSA is treating gay people based on the group to which they belong (the group of people who are gay) rather than on their individual merit (whether they are living a moral life based on their church’s religious beliefs).

          This is particularly the case when the BSA makes no distinction between *having* same-sex attraction and *acting* on it.

          In addition, the BSA discriminates when they make a distinction in favor of scouts who have immoral heterosexual sex outside of marriage and against scouts who have homosexual sex outside of marriage.

        • EagleeMom, you are misstating current policy. The current policy does not in a blanket way impact anyone who is struggling with same gender attraction, but does not engage in homosexual acts AND commits to, fully supports and lives the Scout oath and law including the current policy. I am not aware of a single case of such, and to date, none has been documented on any of the posts. As such, your view of discrimination is extreme and would significantly burden and restrict the BSA from protecting its expressive association. You and those in the pro-Glaad community can take your bullying and labels elsewhere. Our rights to express timeless values will not be silenced by such offensive and false labels.

        • Danthescoutingman – You said that I have misstated the current policy.

          But the BSA said in 2012, “…we do not grant membership to individuals who are open or avowed homosexuals…” Someone who is struggling with same gender attraction (that is, someone who is homosexual), and who is open about it, would therefore not be welcome in the BSA.

          Examples:

          – In 1990, James Dale, assistant Scoutmaster in NJ, attended a seminar on the health needs of lesbian and gay teenagers, where he was interviewed. An account of the interview was published and in a local newspaper and Dale was quoted as stating he was gay. BSA officials read the interview and expelled Dale from his position.

          –Two years ago, Denise Steele, who had been an assistant Scoutleader in her son’s troop for several years, was picked up at from a camping trip by her partner. Another assistant Scoutmaster made it an issue and Steele had to step down.

          In neither of these cases did anyone in the BSA seem to ask about the person’s actual sexual behavior before kicking them out – simply being openly gay was enough.

        • EagleMom, again you misstate BSA policy, and your conclusion rests on your view of “open”, “avowed” and “homosexual” and its enforcement. The current policy does not in a blanket way impact anyone who is struggling with same gender attraction, but does not engage in homosexual acts, commits to, fully supports and lives the Scout oath and law including being “morally straight” and “clean”. As support form the correct view of the current policy, I proffer that not a single case of such as described above has been excluded from the BSA. I have ask you for any examples of the contrary and to date, no such case has been documented on any of the posts. With the amount of time you and those in the pro-Glaad community spend researching issue and blogging, you could point to hundreds or perhaps thousands. But, none such exist. Of course the BSA has the right to remove folks who hold themselves out as gay and preach and teach against our core values and the mission of our program. Not to do so would be irresponsible.
          As such, your view of discrimination is extreme and would significantly burden and restrict the BSA from protecting its expressive association. Let me be very clear on this point…our rights to express timeless values will not be silenced by such offensive and false labels.

        • BSAScoutleader is like a broken record here with meat-eaters in vegetarian groups, people moving next to dairy farms, defending so-called “timeless values” established in BSA v. Dale, 530 US 640. (2000), saying that not agreeing with his worldview is BULLYING and saying that excluding gays is NOT DISCRIMINATION, and asking to consider (apples), not oranges.

          Stop repeating yourself! We can all read your previous arguments. AND GET SOME NEW MATERIAL!

        • Screen name (Marta Maria), BSAScoutleader and many others who have contributed thoughtful and logical reasons to support the current policy are to be congratulated for such excellent and well reasoned posts. While I recognize that you and other pro-Glaad folks disagree, your personal attacks evidence your desperation and are not welcome or helpful.

        • BSALeader, you say the BSA’s policy is not discrimination?!?! Look up the definition of the word “discrimination”:

          “Discrimination (noun) – the prejudicial or distinguishing treatment of an individual based on their actual or perceived membership in a certain group or category, such as their age, ethnicity, gender/sex, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, skin color, or other characteristics.”

          The BSA is giving different treatment to people who are homosexuals solely based on their sexual orientation. That is, by definition, discrimination!

          Now the BSA is a private organization, and as such the courts have ruled the the BSA is free to set membership standards and discriminate however they want. So the current policy it is legal discrimination, but it is still discrimination.

        • Screen name (websters) (btwn, I love the humor in your screen name), BSALeader is 100% correct in his position and read of BSA v Dale. SCOTUS actually applied test for what can be properly called discrimination under NJ public accommodation law. Is was precisely, the NJ public accommodation laws that were used to try and stop the BSA from prohibiting practicing homosexuals from association with the BSA. The Court found that the BSA’s actions were proper and protected by the first amendment, and thus, could not and do not violate such anti-discrimination laws. Just curious and based on your odd standard..if I as a male heterosexual seek to join Glaad and force them to open a high school chapter to teach the timeless values of Scouting and that homosexual acts are not “morally straight” or “clean” and that those with same gender attractions can overcome this and have happy heterosexual relations, will you also say that Glaad’s rejection of my membership is legal discrimination? Looking forward to your response.

        • Danthescoutingman –
          You asked, “if I as a male heterosexual seek to join Glaad [the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation] and force them to open a high school chapter to teach the timeless values of Scouting and that homosexual acts are not “morally straight” or “clean” and that those with same gender attractions can overcome this and have happy heterosexual relations, will you also say that Glaad’s rejection of my membership is legal discrimination? Looking forward to your response.”

          –>GLAAD, like the BSA, can accept or reject members using whatever criteria they see fit. If they chose to reject your membership, they would be within their legal rights to do so, just as the BSA is within its legal rights to reject members who are openly homosexual. The BSA fought to clarify that right, and GLAAD and other organizations can also take advantage of it.

          –>Whether you are a member or not, you are free to try to persuade GLAAD to teach that homosexual acts are immoral and can be overcome. You are free to do this through petitions, letter-writing campaigns, letters to the board, and all of the other peaceful ways that Americans can use to advocate for change. I doubt such advocacy would be effective, as it would be contrary to the personal experience of most GLADD members, but you are free to try, and if you were able to convince enough members, or even just key board members, GLADD might indeed change.

          In the same way, those both within and without scouting can advocate for the BSA to change the current policy. These rights are part of our shared American values, and part of what makes America great.

        • My friends: this conversation has been going on for days, and is now down to essentially one person (BSAS/DantheScoutingMan) and a few of his allies, and a few of us trying to talk reason into him/them. I’d like to suggest that we stop trying to convince those who will not listen and instead focus on the good we can do by reaching out to those who CAN listen to reason and compassion. We will never be able to convince everyone. No big change every happens without a small group (sometimes a big group) of people objecting and refusing to change. Sometimes those people stick around and keep their opinions to themselves, sometimes they fight back (a la bullying, physical attacks,etc.) and sometimes they leave. I have no idea how it will go with some of the people on this list but it doesn’t matter. They are only a few people, they are not Everyone. God bless all of you and keep fighting the good fight!

        • I agree. There is no reasoning with “bsaleader” “danthescoutingman” or whatever his name really is ( I am just thankful my scouts will hopefully not be in contact with him)

          So “bsaleader””danthescoutingman” who are you and where are you so I can warn my scouts to steer way clear if you and your ideas.

        • You’re absolutely correct, Angie. This has gone beyond bordering on the absurd. It’s exhausting really.

        • EagleMom,
          In follow-up to .. “if I as a male heterosexual seek to join Glaad [the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation] and force them to open a high school chapter to teach the timeless values of Scouting and that homosexual acts are not “morally straight” or “clean” and that those with same gender attractions can overcome this and have happy heterosexual relations, will you also say that Glaad’s rejection of my membership is legal discrimination? Looking forward to your response.”

          You said:
          –>GLAAD, like the BSA, can accept or reject members using whatever criteria they see fit. If they chose to reject your membership, they would be within their legal rights to do so, just as the BSA is within its legal rights to reject members who are openly homosexual. The BSA fought to clarify that right, and GLAAD and other organizations can also take advantage of it.
          I agree, but you did not answer the question…Would you bully and label efforts by Glaad to exclude such heterosexual as being “discrimination” as others on this post have sought to do in reverse regarding BSA’s non-blanket policy. I like you recognize both the rights of groups like Glaad and the BSA to accept or reject members based on their mission.

          Again, all of you Pro-Glaad intolerant bullies, stop with the labels and stop throwing around the word discrimination all of the time. The BSA is a private organization and has the right to have its own core values and set its own membership policies. As you said, this is what makes America great. I am very glad (not glaad) to see some sanity return to this posting site.

        • screen name (Angie) your insults and intolerance are way out of line. You owe everyone who has taken time to post and who expresses an opinion different from you an apology (I took time off work today and away from my family to express my opinion and others are also making sacrifices> Why do we do this, because this issue is that important to us). Don’t you and your pro-Glaad folks presume to speak for the majority of Scouters who deeply value the timeless values of Scouting and who are able to defend Scouting from bullies who make comments like you. The current policy is fair and works and it protects the timeless values of Scouting.

        • DantheScoutingman -

          You asked: “if I as a male heterosexual seek to join Glaad [the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation] and force them to open a high school chapter to teach the timeless values of Scouting and that homosexual acts are not “morally straight” or “clean” and that those with same gender attractions can overcome this and have happy heterosexual relations, will you also say that Glaad’s rejection of my membership is legal discrimination? Looking forward to your response.” “Would you bully and label efforts by Glaad to exclude such heterosexual as being “discrimination” as others on this post have sought to do in reverse regarding BSA’s non-blanket policy.”

          First, it’s important to understand that the word “discrimination” is not always used negatively. For example, a dance company might decide to only hire tall dancers, because they look better on stage. The company would be discriminating against short people. However, there is no value judgement involved – they aren’t saying short people are bad, just that they aren’t right for the role When I say that a particular policy is “discrimination”, it doesn’t mean I’m against it, or criticizing it. I’m just describing it.

          If GLADD decided to exclude heterosexuals as members simply because they are heterosexual, then that would clearly be discrimination against heterosexuals. (For the record, GLADD, and the other large LGBT organizations I’m aware of, do not do this.) It would be legal and within their rights to do so, as they, like the BSA, are a private organization and can accept or reject members using whatever criteria they choose.

          If, on the other hand, GLADD decided to exclude those who wanted to join the organization specifically to, in some way, force it to teach that “those with same gender attractions can overcome this and have happy heterosexual relations”, this is a more complex scenario. I think in this case excluding people who specifically join in order to undermine an organization’s core mission (rather than those who join agreeing with most of the mission, and wanting in good faith to be part of the organization, but who may advocate from within to change a small aspect of the mission) would not be discrimination – the people would be excluded due to disagreement with the core mission rather than due to membership in a particular group (e.g. heterosexuals).

          I think the difference between you and I is how we see homosexuality in relation to the core mission of scouting. For you, homosexuality seems to be fundamentally inconsistent with scouting’s core mission. For me, homosexuality has nothing to do with the mission. I don’t think we will be able to convince each other to change our minds on this fundamental point. However, it has been very interesting to listen to each other and to thereby gain a much more nuanced understanding of each of our concerns about the proposed policy. If others in scouting can have conversations like this one, I think it will go a long way towards understanding and respecting each other’s views, even if we still disagree, so that we can all work together for the Scouts the BSA serves.

        • EagleMom,

          I will address your comments to my 5 points as follows (as you agree with my points 2 and 5 I will proffer no further comment on these as the facts speak for themselves.):
          Regarding point #4……your statement is as follows…
          “At no time did the BSA or the Court consider Dale’s sexual BEHAVIOR or ACTIONS. We do not know whether he was “PRACTICING” or not. The case was brought because Dale was described as gay (that is, attracted to those of the same sex) in a newspaper article having nothing to do with his involvement in scouts.”

          This is false. The following is a quote from SCOTUS “But here Dale, by his own admission, is one of a group of gay Scouts who have “become leaders in their community and are open and honest about their sexual orientation.” App. 11. Dale was the copresident of a gay and lesbian organization at college and remains a gay rights activist. Dale’s presence in the Boy Scouts would, at the very least, force the organization to send a message, both to the youth members and the world, that the Boy Scouts accepts homosexual conduct as a legitimate form of behavior.”

          Further, the fact that Dale was homosexual and promoted such as being In the brief filed by the BSA, I will quote the following “Dale registered as an assistant scoutmaster for his trop after his youth membership expired. since leaving for college Dale had very little involvement with his Scouting or the Troop as an adult leader. After going to college, Dale came to regard himself as homosexual, came to believe that homosexual conduct is not immoral, and “became very involved in gay rights issues and maintained a high profile on campus. He became co-president of the Rutgers Lesbian/Gay Alliance in his sophomore year. The newspaper published a picture of Dale and an interview with Dale as a gay activist describing the needs of homosexual teens for gay role models. Adult leaders saw the article and forwarded it to the Council. Dale proclaimed on TV “yes, I am gay, and I am very proud of who I am.”

          Any further questions on #4?

        • Dan, the passages you have quoted make it absolutely clear that Dale was openly gay. I agree with you on that point.

          However, it does not at all address the question of whether Dale was celibate or not. You seem to be assuming that he was not, however I haven’t seen any evidence that this was the case, or that the BSA considered his celibacy or lack thereof in their decision to expel him.

          Compare this to teens Scouts who are heterosexual – the BSA does not inquire as to their celibacy or lack thereof, and it does not expel scouts who disclose that they are not.

          Again, the BSA stated in 2012, “…we do not grant membership to individuals who are open or avowed homosexuals…”
          This statement makes it clear that merely being open about his sexual preference can make a scout ineligible for membership.

        • EagleMom, in the BSA v. Dale case, glad we can stipulate that Dale was openly gay. Now, can we also stipulate that he rejected the oath and law and his commitment to be “morally straight” and “clean” as defined by the BSA.
          For purposes of this second question.. note the following..
          “Dale came to regard himself as homosexual, came to believe that homosexual conduct is not immoral, and “became very involved in gay rights issues and maintained a high profile on campus. He became co-president of the Rutgers Lesbian/Gay Alliance in his sophomore year. The newspaper published a picture of Dale and an interview with Dale as a gay activist describing the needs of homosexual teens for gay role models.”
          Next, can you acknowledge that Dale (a college sophomore and co-president of the Gay club that works to promote values contrary to that of Scouting) did not take any action to clarify any reasonable conclusion given his statements and actions by saying that I merely have same gender attraction, I should not have been a gay community activist, but I am not acting on it, I reject what I have done and I stand my my Scout oath and law that I now fully support. Again, Dale and any other cases that I have heard of do not involve in any way anyone who is struggling with same gender attraction, but does not engage in homosexual acts, commits to, fully supports and lives the Scout oath and law. I cannot think of a single case in the latter category where someone has run afoul of the BSA’s membership requirement.

        • I don’t see any actions by Dale from what you cite that are immoral. You give no examples of him being not morally straight. To be morally straight means “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.” You give no example of Dale breaking the vow of being morally straight.

        • screen names dp and EagleMom, this is getting absurd, and we are wasting each others time. Of course the BSA has the right to remove folks who hold themselves out as gay and preach and teach against our core values and the mission of our program. That is what happened in BSA v. Dale. Not to do so would be irresponsible. Again, we don’t ask folks at each pack/troop meeting if they are having sex. This is absurd. We teach our Scouts to be “morally straight” and “clean”. Openly gay scouts who reject the position of the BSA that homosexual acts are not consistent with our timeless values cannot enjoy our association. It is that simple. Dale was not a case of (and I am not aware of any other cases) anyone who is struggling with same gender attraction, but does not engage in homosexual acts, commits to, fully supports and lives the Scout oath and law. I cannot think of a single case in the latter category where someone has run afoul of the BSA’s membership requirement. I am done with rehashing the same issues with you. We are going in circles.

          When all is said and done, Scouters (not the pro-Glaad folks who are seeking to shape our opinion to reject our timeless values and destroy Scouting) can look at all of the posts and then decide to either support the timeless values of Scouting or not. As for me and my house, we support the current policy 100%!

        • There is a huge difference between being black and being gay — one doesn’t choose to be black.

        • Educate yourself.

          Three main studies are cited by “gay rights” activists in support of their argument2—Hamer’s X-chromosome research,3 LeVay’s study of the hypothalamus,4 and Bailey and Pillard’s study of identical twins who were homosexuals.5 In all three cases, the researchers had a vested interest in obtaining a certain outcome because they were homosexuals themselves. More importantly, their studies did not stand up to scientific scrutiny by other researchers. Also, “the media typically do not explain the methodological flaws in these studies, and they typically oversimplify the results.”6 There is no reliable evidence to date that homosexual behaviour is determined by a person’s genes.

        • And when did you choose to be straight? This question has been repeatedly asked on this forum, but I have yet to see it answered once.

        • ScoutMommaX3, you BSASL, Dan, Trenton Spears are to be commended for putting up such a great fight against such a well organized and funded at group of activists.

        • Scout Momma – when did you choose to be right handed? Scientists don’t understand why some people are right handed and a minority are left handed. They have some theories. But they don’t know why for sure. You can train yourself to use your right hand. A teacher hitting your left hand every time you try to write with it will certainly help you “choose” to be right handed.

        • LGBT’s & their activist love that question to try to ‘pigeon hole’ those who do not share their point of view. But I’ll say this I have never felt an attraction to a person of the same sex, nor have I ever been ‘confused’ about my sexual orientation. I knew from birth instinctively that the way of nature is male & female together – the (scientific) natural order of a species is to ‘mate’ for survival, otherwise the species would die off. I have yet to see two natural born females in a gay relationship create a baby (or two natural born men) without using artificial assistance of some kind. I have also not seen in all of history where being heterosexual had to be debated over to prove it is not ‘wrong’. There is a natural order to things and if being gay was natural there would be no fight – it would have always been accepted and ‘normal’ and okay.

        • I will certainly concede that same sex coupled can’t have children on their own.

          And yes, people who support gay equality do use that question often. Because it makes sense. If you just naturally felt an attraction to boys when you hit puberty, don’t you think it’s possible that people who are gay just naturally felt an attraction to members of the same sex when they hit puberty? How are they to be expected to change their feelings? Their feelings are as natural to them as yours are to you.

          SMX3, I certainly do appreciate an honest exchange. :-)

        • einhard can support his statement with research and you can point to differing research, but this post has no direct bearing on the proposed policy change, and let’s be clear on the facts, per BSA v. Dale, 530 US 640. (2000) it is NOT DISCRIMINATION and it is not unlawful for the BSA to exclude practicing homosexuals from the BSA. It is called our protected First Amendment right, and it is consistent with BSA’s timeless values as evidenced by our oath and law. With all due respect, please comment on the policy change being considered (apples), not oranges.

        • Yes, the Supreme Court upheld BSA’s right to assert its freedom of association. This freedom of association applies to freedom to associate with gays, as well, if the national council decides that being gay is not a violation of the Scout Oath and Law.

        • What are you talking about? Of course it is discrimination. The BSA discriminates. The court said the BSA was a private organization and is free to discriminate all it wants. It said the BSA wasn’t a public accommodation that must abide by the state statutes that prohibit discrimination. Therefore – go ahead and discriminate. Apparently you don’t like the word. But please recognize exactly what this is.

        • BSASL -

          With all due respect, I think you are wrong on this point. The Supreme Court did not say that the BSA’s current policy is not discrimination – it clearly is discrimination.

          What it said was that the discrimination was not illegal, because the BSA is a private organization whose activities don’t fall under “public accommodations”. I know the legal mumbo-jumbo is tricky, hair-splitting stuff, but we should be careful to understand the fine points of this very important decision, as it may impact the legal status of the current policy proposal.

        • EagleMom, you are incorrect in your statement to BSASL that SCOTUS did not make an inquiry into whether the current BSA policy constitutes discrimination under the NJ public accommodation law. The NJ public accommodation laws that were used to try and stop the BSA from prohibiting practicing homosexuals from association with the BSA are anti-discrimination laws. The Court found that the BSA’s actions were proper and protected by the first amendment, and thus, could not and do not violate such anti-discrimination laws. Hope this helps..

        • Then why did you join? I guess I can’t understand you (and all the others) that say you don’t agree with BSA policy but yet you signed up, you joined, of your own free will. BSA did not ‘hide’ their position on this issue.

          Our family (speaking just for my family now) looks at each opportunity available to our children and examine it with ‘a fine tooth comb’ to see what are the policies/values of the group, who do they associate with/support, does it align with our family values. If they don’t meet our standards we don’t join the group. I am well aware of what ‘society’ thinks and deems ‘appropriate’, but it does not however mean I need to subject MY children to it as ‘acceptable’. We simply do not compromise our morals and values based on what society thinks. That is religion and Christianity aside, it’s on principle, to stand for something, have integrity so when people meet you they know they can trust you because your word means something. That is what it means to not be a hypocrite – definition of HYPOCRITE 1: a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion 2: a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings – if you joined a group with a clear stance and you didn’t agree with it (or want to change it) then this is you.

        • Well, SMX3, you are clearly a superior parent to every other person that has posted on this blog. Congratulations. You win the internet.

        • You’re welcome. It made me laugh, but I still feel like banging my head against the wall. I truly believe that the people posting here are good concerned scouters and citizens. On both sides of the argument. Well… most of them. *sigh.* I suppose at this point, we just wait and see what happens.

          When it comes down to it, I just don’t see how what someone else does in their bedroom with another consenting adult affects any other person. Live and let live.

          Best to you, SMX3.

        • Do you have any idea what Evangelical Lutherans, Episcopals, Moravians, Presbyterians, Quakers, Waldensians, and Buddhist think of homosexuality???? They think it’s a-okay!

        • That is wrong. For example, the Presbyterian Church in America firmly believes that homosexuality is wrong. Similarly the Missouri Synod of the Lutheran Church believes likewise. MANY churches are have split on this issue to the point of forming differing subgroups within their denominations! This is a seriously divisive issue among many religions.

          You need to so some research and study before making such a blanket statement. Check out the wiki page referenced by @Source below. Maybe that will help you think beyond “stage one” of this issue.

        • Beth says:
          When it comes down to it, I just don’t see how what someone else does in their bedroom with another consenting adult affects any other person. Live and let live.

          That is so revealing of your misunderstanding of the issue. Don’t you see that the issue is not one of private activity. The issue is that those desiring this change insist that the issue be not simply “out of the bedroom” but rather shoved forcibly into every corner of the world! Keep it in the bedroom and leave Scouting alone then all will be well. Go live elsewhere and let Scouring live as it is!!!

        • No. I don’t misunderstand the issue. I do understand that if the BSA removed their policy altogether, there would be absolutely no necessity to discuss it. People aren’t asking to discuss their sex lives in scouts. They just want to be scouts. I’m terribly sorry for you if you think that someone that just wishes for the simple right to exist is attempting to force themselves into your corner of the world.

        • No beth, you don’t understand. If you did you would respect our point of view, the CURRENT point of view of Scouting, and drop this insistence on openly gay people in leadership and membership.

          It is as if you are insisting on playing loud music in the library, claiming there is no problem with loud music. I’m sure there are some people in the library who have no problem with loud music and many who love music. But the point is that loud music is not appropriate in the library, the rules of the library prohibit it, and those that want loud music need to go elsewhere.

        • On the contrary, I do respect that you have every right to believe as you do. Just as I have every right to disagree with you. I am also a member in good standing of the BSA, and in fact I’m a dedicated scouter. Why do you feel as though the BSA belongs more to you, and those that think like you do than it does to me and those that think as I do? The executive board brought it up. It wasn’t me. We will see later this week what they think on the matter. It will be up to each of us individually to decide what we do at that point, with the policy changed or unchanged.

          A Scout is Obedient.
          A Scout follows the rules of his family, school, and troop. He obeys the laws of his community and country. If he thinks these rules and laws are unfair, he tries to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobeying them.

          I think the rule is unfair. Changing it in an orderly manner is perfectly consistent with the Scout Law.

      • I just read the majority decision and cannot find your citation that “…SCOTUS also found that ”homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the values of the Scout oath and law and particularly the terms “morally straight” and “clean”…”

        But rather in Section II:
        “The Boy Scouts asserts that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the values embodied in the Scout Oath and Law, particularly with the values represented by the terms “morally straight” and “clean.””

        The opinion’s closing paragraph:
        “We are not, as we must not be, guided by our views of whether the Boy Scouts’ teachings with respect to homosexual conduct are right or wrong; public or judicial disapproval of a tenet of an organization’s expression does not justify the State’s effort to compel the organization to accept members where such acceptance would derogate from the organization’s expressive message.”

        • Thank you for researching that and clearing it up. BSAScoutleader is misrepresenting many things in this conversation and this is just one more example.

        • Angie, I proffer the following with all due respect…you will need to be more specific regarding your false, personal attack and slanderous statement about BSAScoutleader. Further, you will need to support your empty words as your failure to do so reflects poorly on you. May I further remind you that a Scout is honest, courteous and kind. Finally, you are not entitled to your own opinion about the holding in BSA v. Dale, 530 US 640. (2000).

        • I actually gave you a thumb’s up on that just because it was so funny. You take everything to such an extreme… you are misrepresenting things all over this board… such as that LGBT people are trying to “destroy” BSA. It’s completely illogical, but I suppose you are entitled to your opinion.

          What I was directly referencing was what Joseph cleared up. SCOTUS said that *Scouts perceive* homosexuality as going against their Oath and values. They did not say that it was SCOTUS’ opinion that homosexuality goes against the Oath and values. You portrayed it as if SCOTUS was saying homosexuality goes against BSA morals, and that’s not what it said. So, a misrepresentation. I appreciate Joseph for looking it up and getting the precise wording.

        • Angie if BSAScoutleader is wrong about the LGBT trying to “destroy” BSA than why are the fighting so hard to change it. Why not just go and start their own new group and leave BSA alone.

        • Ah, you see “change” as “destroy.” That is very telling. I suppose it feels like destruction to you, and for that I am sorry. But that is not what these people “want.” If you separate your feelings about what is happening from their intent, it will be clearer to you. I’m sorry this is hard for you. But change happens. Best wishes.

        • Joseph, you are aware that the Court’s finding in BSA v. Dale (that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the values of the Scout oath and law and particularly the terms morally straight and clean) does not constitute a finding by the Court on the issue of whether or not homosexual acts are right or wrong…the latter was not before the Court.
          Now, let us turn to BSA v. Dale:
          First, the court addressed the Boy Scouts’ claims (along with another claim that I will not mention here) that application of the public accommodations law violated the BSA’s federal constitutional rights “to associate for the purpose of engaging in protected speech.’ ” 160 N. J. 562, 605, 734 A. 2d 1196, 1219 (1999) (quoting Board of Directors of Rotary Int’l v. Rotary Club of Duarte, 481 U.S. 537, 544 (1987)).
          Second, in order to determine whether the BSA is protected by the First Amendment’s expressive associational right, SCOTUS needed to determine whether the BSA engages in “expressive association. Further, because this was a First Amendment case where the ultimate conclusions of law are virtually inseparable from findings of fact, the Court was obligated to independently review the factual record to ensure that the state court’s judgment does not unlawfully intrude on free expression. SCOTUS sided with the BSA’s position that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the values embodied in the Scout Oath and Law, particularly with the values represented by the terms “morally straight” and “clean.”
          Third, the Court found that Boy Scouts engage in expressive activity and that the general mission of the Boy Scouts is clear: “[T]o instill values in young people.” Ibid. The Court determined that the BSA seeks to instill these values by having its adult leaders spend time with the youth members.
          Fourth, given the finding that the Boy Scouts engage in expressive activity, the Court needed to determine whether the forced inclusion of Dale (a practicing homosexual) as an assistant scoutmaster would significantly affect the Boy Scouts’ ability to advocate public or private viewpoints. On this issue, the Court said “This inquiry necessarily requires us first to explore, to a limited extent, the nature of the Boy Scouts’ view of homosexuality.”
          Fifth, the Court rejected the findings of The New Jersey Supreme Court which State Court had “determined that the Boy Scouts’ ability to disseminate its message was not significantly affected by the forced inclusion of Dale as an assistant scoutmaster because of the following findings: Boy Scout members do not associate for the purpose of disseminating the belief that homosexuality is immoral; Boy Scouts discourages its leaders from disseminating any views on sexual issues; and Boy Scouts includes sponsors and members who subscribe to different views in respect of homosexuality.” 160 N. J., at 612, 734 A. 2d, at 1223.” In rejecting the State Court’s findings of fact SCOTUS found as follows (I am quoting from the case):
          “We disagree with the New Jersey Supreme Court’s conclusion drawn from these findings.” SCOTUS also said…”Here, WE HAVE FOUND that the Boy Scouts believes that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the values it seeks to instill in its youth members; it will not “promote homosexual conduct as a legitimate form of behavior.” Hope this helps…

        • Thank you Joseph, for clarifying that. It’s certainly a little different than what we’ve been seeing it represented as here.

        • beth, Angie, and Joseph, your lack of honestly is amazing and clear to all reading your post. You are entitled to your opinion, but not your own facts. Let’s review, in response to Joseph’s post at 7:02pm today (which I assume is the post you are referring to), see my post of 7:55pm.

          To recap my post of 7:55pm,

          First, SCOTUS made a factual finding agreeing with the BSA’s position (as asserted by the BSA in the lawsuit) that “homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the values embodied in the Scout Oath and Law, particularly with the values represented by the terms “morally straight” and “clean.” Quoting SCOTUS Here, WE HAVE FOUND that the Boy Scouts believes that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the values it seeks to instill in its youth members; it will not “promote homosexual conduct as a legitimate form of behavior.

          Second, when SCOTUS said “We are not, as we must not be, guided by our views of whether the Boy Scouts’ teachings with respect to homosexual conduct are right or wrong; public or judicial disapproval of a tenet of an organization’s expression does not justify the State’s effort to compel the organization to accept members where such acceptance would derogate from the organization’s expressive message,” all SCOTUS is saying is that SCOTUS’s finding that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the values of the Scout oath and law and particularly the terms morally straight and clean does NOT also constitute a finding by the Court on the issue of whether or not homosexual acts are right or wrong. The latter issue was not before the Court and had nothing to do with the clear right of the BSA to exclude practicing homosexuals.

          beth, Angie, and Joseph, any questions? By the way Angie, feel free to click on the attached http://www.glaad.org/scouts/tellbsa
          documenting outside efforts and pressure by Glaad to destroy the timeless values of Scouting. At your direction, I can give more links and more information about other efforts. Hope this helps and all the best!

      • Your definition of bullying is very self-serving and upside-down. People have a right to push for things they believe in, and they have a right to use leverage they have to fight for what’s right. It’s the same thing the BSA has been doing for years to keep them OUT. Pushing kids out just for being gay IS bullying!

        • Angie, please do explain as you further reveal your extremism (we could have a lot of fun drawing parallels to your approach to opinions of others and the approach of Muslim extremists). We in the Scouting community recognize that you have a right your opinion and I am not going to try and change yours. However, let me be direct with you….you and your pro-Glaad friends have NO right to label our opinion and timeless values as hate speech or pollution. Let me also add the following:
          There is no place for threatening, bullying and intimidating corporate donors of the BSA by Glaad, and other organizations in the LGBT community.
          There is no place for Glaad, and other organizations in the LGBT community who intentionally infiltrate an opposing organization with the intent to destroy it from within.
          There is no place for Glaad, and other organizations in the LGBT community to threaten, bully and intimidate members of an organization with different values to do something that spits in the face of their timeless values and does not reflect actions that its members want (yea, we understand that 100% of Scouters do not support the timeless values, but most do).
          The actions of these outside groups is indefensible and antithetical to our pluralistic values. Finally, forcing and seeking to impose your opinion on the majority of Scouters IS BULLYING AND WE WILL NOT CAVE IN TO THIS KIND OF INTOLERANCE!
          BSA Board members better be listening loudly and clearly to its adult volunteer members.

        • !!!! LOL. So disagreeing with you makes me akin to a Muslim extremist??? Who is the extremist here? Oh, BSAS, you make it too easy. Please show where I used the words “pollution” or “hate speech.” And please explain how “pluralistic” means denying pluralism.

        • Angie, please honestly share with us your views on what constitutes bullying (and also whether the below acts foster pluralism):
          1. Do you support threatening, bullying and intimidating corporate donors of the BSA by Glaad, and other organizations in the LGBT community?
          2. Do you support intentionally infiltrating an opposing organization with the intent to destroy it from within?
          3. Do you support the efforts of Glaad, and other organizations in the LGBT community to threaten, bully and intimidate members of an organization with different values to do something that does not reflect what the majority of its members want (yea, we understand that 100% of Scouters do not support the timeless values, but most do)?
          4. Do you agree that an organization should change its core values and policy based on objections from a minority of its members (for example, if we put this issue to a vote, would you accept the will of the majority of the members of the BSA?)
          To be clear on where we stand …seeking to forcefully impose your opinion (and a minority opinion within the Scouting community) on the majority of Scouters is bullying, and with all due respect, we will not cave in to this kind of intolerance towards our timeless values.

        • ps…can you also comment on:
          1. Are you merely referring to love and support for those who have certain tendencies and choose not to act on them and who are committed to seeking after and living a moral life; or
          2. Are you advocating for the BSA to support and condone amoral and disgusting homosexual acts by Scouts and Scout leaders? and
          3. If it is #2 above, do see such disgusting acts as being consistent with the timeless values of Scouting?
          If your answers to questions #2 and #3 above are “yes”, then with all due respect and love…Scouting is not the place for you or your boys.Scouting cannot condone amoral homosexual acts.
          Further, the following question is a good one and would be helpful to us in seeking how you view tolerance, inclusion and respect: how do you feel about Scouters who “joined LGBT chapters at our schools and told them that they were intolerant of our Scouting values like being “morally straight” and “clean” and told them that they need to change their policy to allow LGBT chapters to form that have the ability to set their own policy on homosexuality to include chapters that teach that homosexual acts are immoral and that those who have same gender attraction should not act on such attractions and should be morally straight?” Your thoughts on this are very helpful to better understand your views on tolerance, inclusion and respect.

        • I’m curious as to what “timeless values” means to you since that seems to be the crux of your argument against any change. A century ago women could not vote. Jim Crow laws were the law of the land. BSA troops were segregated. Would a return to the “timeless values” of America circa 1910 please you?

          “Timeless values” was a slogan that the marketing firm Fleishman-Hillard invented for the BSA to help sell our product. You cling to it as if it means something. It’s like clinging to “Have a Coke and a Smile!”

        • 1.Writing letters, making phone calls, and circulating petitions is not threatening, is not bullying, and is not intimidating. These peaceful methods are part of a great American tradition of speaking our mind when we feel something should be changed.

          2. I have seen absolutely no evidence of anyone joining the BSA in order to be in a position to create change on this issue. And while you feel changes would destroy the BSA, those advocating for these changes feel they would strengthen the BSA. No one here wants to destroy scouting. We just differ in what we feel is the best way to help it thrive in the future.

          3. Again, without a survey, we have no idea how many scouting families prefer change and how many support the current “no open gays” policy. And it most likely differs dramatically in “blue states” vs. “red states”. Also, see #1.

          4. I think that ideally an organization such as BSA would try to craft a compromise solution that would take into account the concerns of both sides, because both are rooted in strongly-held religious beliefs – something the BSA tries to respect.

        • I agree with you on all points, EagleMom. I truly believe the BSA is attempting to craft a compromise solution that respects the beliefs of everyone in our diverse society.

        • beth, there already IS a COMPROMISE! it is implicit “dont ask dont tell”! But that significant compromise by BSA and all those who believe in the legal exclusion of gays is not sufficient for the homosexual community and their supporters. Even though it has allowed for homosexuals to successfully participate in Scouting over the years, this is not acceptable by the community.

          There is no further compromise possible without turning this to exclude those who believe in the rules established by BSA for 100+ years. This proposal is not a compromise to us. It no longer allows us or our children to participate with the expectation that homosexuals will not be promoting their lifestyle in BSA. Yes, stating that you are gay promotes that lifestyle – there is no way around it.

          Where is the compromise in this proposal? That some COs can chose to exclude gays? But that is not valid. Scouting has never been limited to the unit. All of Scouting involves activities beyond the unit.

          THIS has reached THE TIPPING POINT. That is what you and those supporting this proposal do not understand or acknowledge or want to accept. There is no tolerance of the traditional, legal point of view in this proposal. Accepting this proposal requires the acceptance that the gay lifestyle is worthy. This PROPOSAL IS NOT COMPROMISE NOR IS IT TOLERANT. BSA has compromised and has been tolerant – IT IS TIME TO STAND FIRM.

      • A majority of Americans, over 56%, consider homosexuality “morally acceptable,” while only 39% view it as “morally wrong.”

        Now this is the Boy Scouts OF AMERICA… shouldn’t the organization reflect the views and values of the country it is serving?

        The BSA established it’s current interpretation of the Scout Oath and Law to defend the exclusion of homosexuals way back in 2000 (BSA v. Dale). It was developed with a 1990′s outlook. But a lot has changed since then. In 2000, public acceptance of homosexual behavior was under 35%. The overall public understanding of homosexuality was misguided. We were ignorant.

        The BSA needs to get with the times and adapt to the nation it’s serving or else they will soon find themselves in the history books.

        (Data source: http://www.gallup.com/poll/147785/Support-Legal-Gay-Relations-Hits-New-High.aspx)

        • CubmasterJoe, actually the BSA with its timeless values is uniquely poised as the premier values organization for families desperately searching for a safe and moral program for their boys. I see nothing but growth assuming BSA national stays the course.

        • DantheScoutingman & BSAScoutleader, you guys have to understand if you can’t use the phrase timeless values any longer because it’s unacceptable and Highly offensive language to those gay activists that are on this board.

        • Sadly, the BSA is not experiencing growth. I found this in an article:

          “…since Dale, Boy Scout rolls have dropped 3.8 percent. Cub Scout numbers have dropped by a staggering 13.8 percent—a decrease that likely foreshadows a similar drop among older Scouts in a few years time. But the reduced public support has perhaps had a more direct effect: One Portland BSA employee attributed a 10 percent drop in his Council’s enrollment after the city forbid recruitment during school hours. Meanwhile, with corporate sponsors and local United Way affiliates cutting funds to BSA Councils, hiring has slowed…”

      • BSAScoutLeader, I respect and understand your opinion on this topic. However, I believe that is move is important to the Scouting movement. Last year, Fr. Richard T. Lawrence, a priest at St. Vincent de Paul church (Catholic), gave a sermon supporting same-sex marriage.

        As you mentioned, this all boils down to what is “morally straight”. Morally straight is generally based on ones faith which is characterized by ones religious institution. So, if the religious institution supports homosexuality and is an approved chartering organization, I do not see what National should have a policy prohibiting their moral beliefs.

        I have noticed that everyone that opposes this move relates it to their personal beliefs, which makes sense, we are talking about morals. Hinduism is on the fence on their stance on homosexuality. They are recognized as a BSA religion. So, what is going to happen if as an institution they believe that “loving everyone” literally means everyone.

        I realize that there are a lot of “ifs”, but I support our National Council and if they approve the policy, then my Unit will support it. I do not think that it is a case of “bullying”, it sounds like a good way to expand the scope of the Scouting mission while still maintaining a chartered organizations definition of “morally straight”.

  12. All Scouters: Well according to James Turley it is almost a done deal. This shows that James Turley has made his choice and is not waiting for the vote next week on Wednesday February 6th is this the kind of Board members that Scouting deserves. Is this what we have to look forward to. Shame on you the National Board for allowing Board members to broadcast their vote prior to the meeting. I hope that at the meeting the board members will stand and hold their right hand to the square in the scout sign and repeat the Scout Oath and Law and then sit down and vote with thier concience in a vote that could distroy 103 years of hard work to make the BSA the best it can be. Please type in James Turley CEO of Ernst& Young and you will find this infomation.
    Sincerely, Trenton Spears
    Here is what is going on on the James Turley website. Please read.

    What wonderful, heart-warming news!!
    BE PREPARED for some changes, Boy Scouts of America!
    The CEO of Ernst & Young James Turley – a prominent figure on the Board of Directors of the Boy Scouts of America organization – released an official statement IN FAVOR of lifting the gay scout/scout leader ban!!!!!
    Turley expressed:
    “Ernst & Young is proud to have such a strong record in LGBT inclusiveness. As CEO, I know that having an inclusive culture produces the best results, is the right thing for our people and makes us a better organization. My experience has led me to believe that an inclusive environment is important throughout our society and I am proud to be a leader on this issue. I support the meaningful work of the Boy Scouts in preparing young people for adventure, leadership, learning and service, however the membership policy is not one I would personally endorse. As I have done in leading Ernst & Young to being a most inclusive organization, I intend to continue to work from within the BSA Board to actively encourage dialogue and sustainable progress.”

    • Trenton, let not your heart fail, Turley is posturing. The Boy Scouts issued a joint statement from the two top leaders, National President Wayne Perry and Chief Scout Executive Robert Mazzuca…”The Boy Scouts of America respects the opinions of our board members and are thankful for their leadership,” the statement said. “While we have supporters and board members with different viewpoints on this issue, and who may choose a different direction for their organizations, we believe that good people can personally disagree on this topic and still work together.” The BSA has also issued a statement saying the review was merely routine procedure, and there were no plans to change the membership policy. Trust me now is the time to fight and this is not a done deal. Keep up the good fight with facebook, twitter and e-mail and get your troops, pack, districts and councils fired up!

      • BSA Scoutleader When I made the statement about James Turley I wanted to make sure that the Scouters in the BSA know how out of touch the National has become. When they allow members like James Turley CEO of Ernst &Young and Randall Stephenson CEO of ATT&T who is slated to be the head of the National Board in 2014 to lead the BSA in the future. James Turley could not wait till next week to vote he has already made up his mind to lift the ban and is trying to influence people to agree with him. By the way Randall is a Silver Buffalo winner I wonder why? Was it his huge donations from AT&T . BSAScouter I will fight to the bitter end to defend the honor of the BSA in any menu and any place. This is why I use my real name to let people know I am a long time dedicated to the Values that the Boy Scouts never left . Sincerely, Trenton Spears

        • Thank you, Mr. Spears! I agree completely with you and pray for your words and leadership. Can you tell me how the board members are “elected”? I have never seen anything on when or who to vote for. Sounds to us like the board is loaded with a liberal agenda and left-wing followers.

        • K Hendricks I know for sure that one way to get on the Board you need lots of money both James Turley and Randell Stephenson are wealthy and CEO’S of large corperations that donate huge amounts of money to the BSA. They also are huge supporters of the LBGT and other homosexual organizations in their corperations. The BSA always talks of conflicts of interest and yet they allow these board members to be on the board.The normal way is to be a long term great leader with vision and long standing commitments to make the BSA the place for our youth of America to learn values and develop character seems that we are a little short of board members that support these great attributes. Reguardless of the outcome of Wednesdays vote we have some work to do in removing some bad apples on the Board. There is a petition to remove James Turley and Randall Stephenson from the board. Randell is slated for the president of the Board in 2014. Type in James Turley and Randell Stephenson removal
          and it will give you the website to sign the petition. Thanks for your support. Trenton

      • Dan, this is what the pro-Glaad folks want Scouters like you to think, but we in the BSA will not stand for this. Evil will prevail, only if good men do nothing. The below is part of a post from Trenton,”Go to the Grassfire website and send a message to the National BSA Board that you do not support the pending lifting the ban on homosexual members in the BSA. Homosexual activists are aggressively targeting the Boy Scouts of America attempting to strong-arm them into amending their membership policies to include gays. The Boy Scouts of America has a long-standing policy of not admitting homosexuals believing it would be a distraction to the mission of the Scouts. In fact, they write in their membership policy “same-sex attraction should be introduced and discussed outside of its program with parents, caregivers, or spiritual advisers at the appropriate time and in the right setting.”
        I have just signed a national petition supporting the BSA’s right to set their own policies and govern as they see fit, and am urging BSA officials to stand firm against this latest attack by pro-homosexual activists.
        http://www.grassfire.com/252/petition.asp?PID=38175808&NID=1
        In response to a massive petition delivery by pro-homosexual activists said to include 275,000 citizens, Grassfire Nation officials are moving to counter this effort by mobilizing at least as many who support the Scouts. They will deliver petitions to the BSA headquarters as they reach their goal.
        Sincerely, Trenton Spears”

  13. To all my ‘solider’ scout friends fighting to preserve TRUE christian values, another Catholic friend of ours sent me this link when she heard about what is happening to BSA – be prepared – it will freak you out how accurate this prediction is and how it applies to what we are fighting right now.

    http://www.thewarningsecondcoming.com/many-of-you-will-deny-me-by-accepting-these-wicked-new-laws/

    Go with God my friends and know that God will sustain those of us who stay true to Him. As much as we love scouts and will be sadden if this institution falls victim to the proposed evil next week, Many of us will be able to hold our heads high know we did not compromise our values or His.

    “As for me and my house we WILL serve the Lord” -Joshua 24:15

    God bless!!

    • As a Christian myself, I can say that the narrow-minded God you are describing doesn’t sound like the one I worship. If you think God is opposed to homosexuality, then don’t be a homosexual. It doesn’t mean you have to exclude them like they are less than beloved children of the God you allegedly worship.

      Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself!

      • Angie I am putting you on the spot. Do you believe that homosexuality is a sin ? If you don’t you are saying I believe that God exist but he has no core values just love for all his children. If love was all there was to religion it would be saying that his Prophets, Disciples and Ministers teachings are irrelevant how we live our lives. God has revealed that he loves the sinner but hates the sin that means God is a God of love and also a God of judgement for his children if not he would no longer be God. Sincerely. Trenton Spears.

        • Trenton, I have no problem being put on the spot, and I’m glad you asked. First of all, you are making some faulty assumptions.

          1. You are taking one value (homosexuality) and assuming that it encompasses all values. Not so. There are many values listed in the Bible and questioning one does not mean that all the others are thrown out. That’s like saying that people who get divorced no longer are Christians or no longer believe in standards because they have violated one of them.

          2. You are assuming that if one believes homosexuality to be a sin that one must ostracize and socially punish homosexuals or at the very least avoid them. The Bible doesn’t tell us to do this… at least, no more than it tells us to punish other sinners: “Right now I am telling you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler.” (1Cor. 5:11). Yikes! Note that that passage is talking about ostracizing Christians, not people who are not Christian and commit these sins, and it also mentions sexual immorality such as heterosexuals would commit. The vast majority of discussion of sexual morality in the Bible is about heterosexual sin. And, goodness, who among us isn’t guilty at least sometimes of those other sins? We don’t even kick such people out of our churches (which is what Paul was talking about), let alone out of a *secular* organization like BSA.

          3. You are singling out homosexuality as worse than other sins. There is no indication in the Bible that God views it as worse.

          What the Bible DOES tell us to do is to love the sinner, to have a heart of love and not fear, and to judge not lest we be judged. We are to ignore the speck in someone else’s eye and look for the plank in our own.

          The church singles out homosexuality for a variety of reasons, most of which are totally hypocritical: it’s not a sin most of us will engage in, so it’s “OK” to totally condemn it. Doing so makes us feel holier and minimizes our own sins. Furthermore, if you are heterosexual, you will find homosexual activity repulsive. That’s just natural. Because it *feels* so wrong, and the Bible mentions it a handful of times (again, MUCH, MUCH less than it mentions other sins), it’s easy to say that this is somehow a deep conviction from God that it is wrong. In reality, it is simple bias disguised as righteousness. I think God wants nothing to do with sentiments like that.

          Any actions which hurt his beloved children are wrong. Punishing people just because of their sexuality is wrong and grieves God, I believe. If you believe homosexuality is a sin, all that means is that if you find yourself to be homosexual, you have to wrestle with what to do about it. It doesn’t tell you how you should treat homosexuals, especially those who aren’t Christian. What do I believe? It’s irrelevant. I’ve already given you all the reasons you need to see why the overarching principle of Christian love and humility is more important than elevating one tiny portion of Scripture to Most Important status, which is what many Christians these days do with homosexuality. Christians are not to take scripture out of context, nor are we to be legalistic. I feel both of those are happening with regard to homosexuality.

        • Angie Do you believe Homosexuality in the eyes of God and most Christains is a sin? You said you don’t mind being put on the spot. If you refuse to answer then you have some doubts. Trenton

        • Trenton, what does it matter whether I have doubts or not? What do you think about all the other things I said?

      • Exactly – Love the sinner, HATE the sin! (that is what is meant by ‘love thy neighbor as thyself’) And yes God made it clear to us through scripture that homosexuality is a sin. Those so called ‘religions’ that feel differently have ‘man made’ changes not changes instructed by God. Scripture says “Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.” But thanks for tryin’ Angie. God bless you and have mercy on your soul!

        • Loving the sinner does not mean accepting it. There is a clear definition of what constitutes sin against the Lord. We can love people who are in sin and we should, as Christians, but the Bible also tells us to turn from sin, do not look upon it.

        • Please see my comments below encompassing all of sin and tell me how you plan to avoid looking upon the sins listed below (especially if they are ones you yourself commit, as I’m sure they are).

        • Angie the subject is homosexuality in Scouting and I never mentioned any other sin and I consider any sin to be an obstacle to the sinner in the eyes of God. Jesus Christ is our advocate with our Father God himself and through the attonement Jesus has already paid the price for our sin this is why I honor him and want to live by his teaching. Angie you can try to twist things all you want and make statements that at best are mudding the waters. But if you cannot as a Christian answer the question do you believe that homosexuality is a sin or not then you have avoided all that you have learned as a Christian. Jesus said I am the way and the life. Angie that is enough for me. Trenton Spears

        • Trenton, no sin lives in isolation. *I* mentioned other sins because if the discussion is excluding someone because of “sin,” then all sins need to be on the table. I’m not sure how quoting the Bible *in context* and discussing the 10 commandments is “twisting” things and “muddying the waters”… perhaps it just feels that way to you because you want to remain fixated on homosexuality, and don’t like information that suggests your focus is wrong?

        • Angie Please just answer the question do you believe that homosexuality is a sin. A simple yes or no. I declare before God and everyone on this website that homosexuality is a sin. Trenton

        • Well, ScoutMommaX3, God bless you and have mercy on your soul as well. I wasn’t talking about other religions, I was talking about Christianity, although in the context of Scouts, it is not just Christian views that matter. I agree that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. As such, we need to make sure we look at God’s priorities. The two greatest commandments Jesus gave us were to love the Lord our God and to love our neighbor as ourselves. No exceptions. Next in line of priority would be the 10 commandments, none of which mention homosexuality. Next you should probably look at the sins described most often in the Bible. Homosexuality isn’t anywhere near the top. And Jesus himself never mentions homosexuality. Furthermore, the Bible doesn’t tell us to shun homosexuals, nor does it single out homosexuality as uniquely deserving of punishment. So giving it special treatment as you are doing is nothing less than taking things out of context or assigning man-made emphasis to His words.

          One thing the Bible does talk about at great length (it’s the chief crime the very righteous Pharisees were always accused of by Jesus) is hypocrisy. In order to not be a hypocrite, if you are willing to take a stand against homosexuals in Scouts or anywhere else, are you also willing to take a stand against: idolaters, the greedy, the envious, gossips, drunkards, gluttons, liars, etc.? What steps are you taking to make sure THOSE people are not allowed in Scouts. I eagerly await your answer.

        • Maybe you should learn Christianity before you claim to know it. Here’s a site to help you out.

          http://bible.org/article/homosexuality-christian-perspective

          (here are a few highlights for you from the site in case you don’t go do the research yourself…)
          Q. How does one determine if the practice of homosexuality is right or wrong?
          That depends upon who is answering the question. The Christian point of view is based solely upon the Bible, the divinely inspired Word of God. A truly Christian standard of ethics is the conduct of divine revelation, not of statistical research nor of public opinion. For the Christian, the Bible is the final authority for both belief and behaviour.

          Homosexuality must be accepted for what God says it is– sin. Some homosexuals will attempt to circumvent the plain teaching of the Bible with the reply that they are the way God made them.1 There is not the slightest bit of evidence in Scripture to support this false concept. God never created man with a so-called “homosexual need.” No baby is born a homosexual. Every baby is born male or female. In every place the Bible refers to homosexuality, the emphasis is upon the perversion of sexuality. The practicing homosexual is guilty of “leaving the natural use of the woman” (Romans 1:27), meaning that his behaviour is “against nature” as in the case of the lesbian (Romans 1:26). Inasmuch as homosexuality is opposed to the regular law and order of nature, the genetic concept must be ruled out completely. If homosexuality were a genetic problem, there would be little hope for the homosexual simply because there is no way that the genes in a person can be changed.

          —”In order to not be a hypocrite, if you are willing to take a stand against homosexuals in Scouts or anywhere else, are you also willing to take a stand against: idolaters, the greedy, the envious, gossips, drunkards, gluttons, liars, etc.?”

          Yes, I am. One because that is part of my faith and two because BSA works to maintain standards against such behaviors. Especially in our unit – I will not speak for anyone else’s but maybe if it is a problem where you scout it should be addressed. I really do not feel any of the above have a place in scouting or in my families core values. Does that mean we (me included) are perfect – of course not. But that is why we strive to be our best to live according to scripture and repent when/if we slip. Homosexuals are welcomed in the Catholic and LDS churches if they are not living an ACTIVE gay lifestyle and are looking to repent and live a more Godly life. (so please don’t try to use them as an example against me) Oh and Jesus broke bread with the sinners, prostitutes and tax collectors not to join/become one of the but to minister to them and convert them.

          Our scouts stand each week in front of their peers and recite the Oath and Law and promise to do their duty to God, to be honest and trustworthy, etc. We strive to keep all our scouts true to their words. When they are not (and it is found out) we work with them on proper scout behavior. Anyone who has been/is/or wants to be a scout or leader under the current policy and is actively gay is obviously NOT honest or trustworthy as they are in clear violation of the policy/views of BSA. The stance of BSA has been no secret, especially since the 1990′s, so who’s the hypocrite there? We are a private organization and as such can maintain our rights to ‘exclude’ those who do not align with our standards. So now they want to take away the rights of those who oppose them for their own gain. That is hateful and bullying. They have options to start a scouting organization that wants/welcomes them or start a new organization. So really we are not taking their so called rights away – we are NOT their only option. They are merely looking to seek and destroy any group/organization that strictly supports traditional values and does not agree with them and their agenda – I would have to say they (and those that claim to support them) are the hypocrites.

        • ScoutMomma, I don’t really think there’s any need to insult me for not knowing Christianity, is there? I have given ample discussion to the Bible and the priorities of God as they appear in the Bible. Yet you pull up a website that simply says that homosexuality is condemned by God in the Bible. How is this news? And how does this undo anything I said? It doesn’t.

          If you are truly barring people who exhibit those other sins from Scouts, then Scouts would have no members, yourself included. So I suggest you rethink what you have said. I also hope that you are kicking out all divorced parents as well as single parents, since they are also violating God’s code, right?

          The Bible doesn’t claim that homosexuality is inborn, neither does it claim that it is a “choice.” In fact, it makes no claim on the origin of it. Science however, has rather definitively determined that it is inborn.

          Homosexuality, like ALL ISSUES IN THE BIBLE, must be taken in context and now blown out of proportion. You are blowing it out of proportion. Surely, since you fancy yourself a bible expert, you know that. RIGHT??

          People advocating for including homosexuals are not trying to destroy anything. It may feel that way to you because you don’t like it, but that’s not a fact. Nobody wants to destroy a group they want to join.

        • Sorry if you feel ‘insulted’ but you were the one that claimed you were speaking of ‘Christianity’ not religion – so I just gave you a site (one of many with the same things to say) with the Christian viewpoint and NOT a specific religion.

          “And how is that news” well apparently you didn’t read your whole bible where you can find…”I am the truth” (John 14:6). In our Lord’s high priestly prayer for His own He prayed, “Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy Word is truth” (John 17:17). In Romans 1:26-31 twenty-three punishable sins are listed with homosexuality leading the list. (Apparently that is news to you)

          Our Lord said, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). We are obligated to take the gospel to all. I do not have experience w/divorcees & single parents in our troop that are not active Christians, and working on their own lives w/counsel from the Lord and their respective churches. And we absolutely enjoy sharing the gospel with each other. (Are the LBGT doing the same? Are they planning to? Not the ones looking to force a private organization to change and accept their selfish, deviant lifestyles.)

          You can feel free to address me again once you’ve actually read the information on the site (or any christian site) and how they view homosexuality. Find me proof that shows I’m wrong, and I don’t mean ‘man made’ rules, show me DIVINE proof. As for your so called ‘scientific’ proof: Three main studies are cited by “gay rights” activists in support of their argument2—Hamer’s X-chromosome research,3 LeVay’s study of the hypothalamus,4 and Bailey and Pillard’s study of identical twins who were homosexuals.5 In all three cases, the researchers had a vested interest in obtaining a certain outcome because they were homosexuals themselves. More importantly, their studies did not stand up to scientific scrutiny by other researchers. Also, “the media typically do not explain the methodological flaws in these studies, and they typically oversimplify the results.”6 There is no reliable evidence to date that homosexual behaviour is determined by a person’s genes.

          But hey, if you can, then get back to me once you’ve learned something. Otherwise I fear you have nothing of value to say to me in regards to this matter.

        • SMX3, you demonstrate convincingly that that the timeless values of Scouting are consistent with Christian scriptural teachings and that you are educated and well informed. What is very troubling and dangerous to the foundation of pluralistic society are pro-Glaad folks (like we have seen posting on this site) who call your sacred beliefs pollution and hate speech and who seek to bully you and everyone (BSA included) who holds different and correct values. Attached is a link to a story about the new “Gay Domestic Terrorism” occurring because of such extremist positions.
          http://americansfortruth.com/2011/10/15/breaking-brick-throwing-vandals-attack-aftah-banquet-host-christian-liberty-academy/
          Once you view the timeless values of Scouting such as being “morally straight” and “clean” as being pollution as Bodhi (and other pro-Glaad folks who are posting on this site) does, you then take the position that such teachings and positions must be eradicated and stopped as they pollute the minds of future generations. WE BETTER WAKE UP FOLKS! GET OFF THE SIDELINE AND DON’T TOLERATE THIS TYPE OF BULLYING AND INTIMIDATION!

        • SMX3, look….. I can see that you want to focus exclusively on homosexuality and not open your heart to the other things I said. You continue to suggest that in failing to share your intense focus that I am not a Christian. I’m OK with that. I don’t need to prove my faith to you. All I can do is pray for you, and that I will. God bless!

        • Angie You talk of hypocrisy you can’t even take a stand on whether homosexuality is a sin or not. I find your comments far off the subject and ducking the issue of homosexuality that is the main subject of this forum whether to lift the ban on homosexuals or not. This is the issue and the purpose of this present forum. Most commentors are not talking about any other sin you seem to be have the need to change the subject and like I stated before muddy the waters. You are a moral coward and have the gall to talk about hypocrisy. In the days of Jesus when he was on trial for Apostasy the disciple Peter was asked three times if he knew Jesus Christ and Peter denied him three times Angie for the third time of my asking do you believe that homosexuality is a sin. Trenton

        • You can forget using logic or facts here…they need not apply. 90% plus of the pro-gay people on this blog ARE in fact practicing LGBT lifestyles and/or are activists of such groups (i.e. Glaad).

        • I didn’t answer the question because I didn’t want to get into an argument based on what I believe, because it isn’t relevant to the issue about Scouts. I don’t think it’s anyone’s business on forums to ask such personal questions and I find they usually lead in directions that are not helpful on either side. If you somehow feel that incriminates me in some way on something (not sure what?), then you are welcome to feel that way.

        • Angie When people comment on this forum they have a responsibility to be honest and base their opinions on truth. Some throw out comments that they have little knowledge about and try to influence opinions that simply are not true. Angie you have every right to not answer a question but you do need to back up your statements. Clearly the subject is about homosexuality and scouting. Clearly we all have a responsibility to debate with open minds and hearts. Your comments would have more credibility if you would give honest and stick the issue comments. I have a deep commitment to the teachings of Jesus Christ I know he is the Savior of the world and I am never afraid to stand up for the values that he has died for. If a person cannot stand up for their beliefs then the any issue is lost and soon mute. Jesus knows and I know that homosexualty is a sin except there is away to overcome this sin the attonement of Jesus Christ and the process of repenting it has worked for over 2000 yrs. and it will always work till the day of the return of him who has redeemed us. The sin of Homosexuality will never pass the bar of Jehovah and should be of great concern to those who practice the sin. I have been a Scoutmaster for many years and have always counciled my boys to look for the truth and when they do never be afraid to stand up for their convictions. Always obey the Scout Law and Oath. Angie these scouts have the right to stand proud for their honesty and integrity. This is the mission of the BSA. This is what scouting is all about. Lifting the ban on homosexuals would clearly be the most divisive change in the history of the BSA. Trenton Spears.

        • Trenton, God bless you my brother in Christ. I feel you are being very swayed by some ugly things and there is nothing I can do about that other than pray. Best wishes to you.

        • Angie I am 76 years old and joined the Boy Scouts 1949 I have been a faithful member of the LDS Church and a 30 yr. member of the BSA. I will never be swayed by the doctrines of men or in your case women. Angie you have no ideal what sway’s my thoughts and no right to call them ugly because you certainly don’t know. I am swayed by the teachings of Jesus Christ if you want to call the Saviors teachings ugly that is your problem. I am swayed by the values of the BSA if you want to call them ugly again that is your problem. Like I said in a earlier statement Angie be honest and stick to the issue please be careful what you pray for you might receive an answer you may not like.Trenton Spears

      • Angie, not trying to be argumentative (and there is no right or wrong answer regarding how you form your opinion), but I am now curious how do you are reconcile your stated Christian belief with the express words of God as revealed in scripture? The law (rightly so) in construing the intent of parties to a contract, gives deference to the specific over the general. How do you reconcile your general statement about God’s love with his very clear and specific statements about the abomination called homosexuality (I have seen others do so in clear terms like God loves the sinner, but hates the sin). Please note that I truly respect your right to your own opinion (as long at is does not conflict with clear fact–in which case such opinion would best case be incorrect and in the worst instance a lie perhaps to yourself and others). We are all looking forward to hearing from you on this question.

        • Well said BSA Scoutleader. I am glad (with one a) to see you are still carrying the flag for traditional Scouting.

        • BSAS, please reread what I wrote. I discussed the specifics of homosexuality in context, which is how they should be viewed. I did not say they didn’t exist. God have us two greatest commandments: to love the Lord your God and to love your neighbor as yourself. General. Everything else flows down from those, so those should be top priority.

          Listen, I realize you people want to pin me down on homosexuality because it is most important in your minds. What you’re not understanding is that I’m saying there is no evidence that *it is foremost in God’s mind*, and, in fact, that there’s plenty of evidence that it isn’t. In excluding homosexuals from secular activities, you are going above and beyond what scripture tells us to do… you are adding to the Bible.

          I also realize what I’m saying is falling on deaf ears. And that’s OK. I’m glad I said it, because it needs to be said. God’s love needs to be discussed amply whenever the occasion arises. And biases and blind spots need to be challenged. I wish you the best.

    • My Scout troop is not Christian. BSA National, by imposing your Christian teachings on my troop, is violating the 12th point of the Scout Law: “A Scout is Reverent… He respects the beliefs of others.”

      • screen name cwgmpls (assuming your stated facts), if your troop does not support the policy, you don’t need to re-charter.

        • I said my troop was not Christian. Christian arguments supporting BSA policy mean nothing to us. And when BSA policy starts contradicting the religious teachings of our families, then BSA is violating its own policy on religious principles.

        • screen name cwgmpls (assuming your stated facts), same statement applies…..if your troop does not support the policy, you don’t need to re-charter. The Scout oath and law apply to all CO’ and Scouters and if you find that such timeless values contradict your views, you are free to leave. Hope this helps…

  14. / Yo, Bryan. Wonderful blog. Seen this web item? I ran across it not long ago. /

    Jesus stated in Luke 17 that just before His return to earth as Judge, two big “crazes” will happen worldwide at the same time: (1) insane violence (“days of Noah”), and (2) outrageous sexual perversion (“days of Lot” – see Gen. 19). Aren’t beheadings, cannibalism, and school shootings violent? And what’s more perverted than a mob trying to rape LITERAL angels (see Gen. 19 again)?! So, America, keep spitting on God but you’d better duck when He spits back!! (PS – For a bigger enchilada, Google “when DIVERSITY becomes PERVERSITY.”)

  15. Does anyone have real information as to why this issue just came up, so soon after the recent decision not to change standards?
    And why the secrecy leading up to this? With very little, if any, input from the field?
    Why the rush?

    • Because people don’t want to donate to an organization that discriminates. Sponsors started pulling out fast after the BSA reaffirmed their policy on homosexuals.

      The BSA has also been getting a lot of flak in the media for their discriminatory policies, and thousands of former Eagle Scouts have returned their Eagles in protest of those policies.

      • I wonder how many will return in protest of the change should it happen? I know the talk in our home right now is will we let our boys finish their eagles if BSA cowers to the pressures of the LGBT agenda. One son is literally in the middle of his project and the other two are set to start this spring. I pray BSA stands its ground!

        • SMX3 – I know you will think very carefully about whether to let your boys finish their Eagles if this policy changes. Making Eagle is an accomplishment that lasts a lifetime. It can affect college admission, job applications, military enlistment – and all of these can affect your boys’ families down the road. This policy may change again in a year or two, if the pendulum of public opinion sways the other way. But a boy only has until they are 18 to make Eagle. Talk as a family, take it day by day, pray. Your local troop most likely won’t change. You can decide to keep your money at the troop level, and withdraw support from FOS and other higher-level donations or activities. I understand your concerns about a policy you believe is rooted in evil. But if your boys are of Eagle-ish age, rooted in their family’s moral values, and focused at the troop level, I believe you can have some confidence that they will be OK, regardless of the policy. They have loving parents who can help them deal with any issues that may arise. I would hate to see a boy lose the opportunity to make Eagle.

        • EagleMom, SMX3 is spot on and millions of us will leave BSA as the policy change will result in a re-branding of our organization by hostile take-over. We will have anything to do with the title of “Eagle” because its meaning and value will have been hijacked. I realize that for some, the timeless values of Scouting don’t mean a whole lot, but you really need to understand that for us who love the values of Scouting and understand the mission of Scouting, it means everything. I am cautiously optimistic about the BSA retaining its current policy and know that after this conversation and consideration on the wisdom of the current policy that all Scouters will work to uphold and defend out oath and law.

        • To clarify my post above, “We will want NOTHING to do with the title of “Eagle” because its meaning and value will have been lost and hijacked.”

        • Those who have reached the rank of Eagle have worked long and hard, over many years. They have earned merit badges, held leadership positions in their troops, and spent many, many hours proposing, organizing, executing their Eagle project.

          I have the utmost respect for anyone who has earned this rank. That respect has absolutely nothing to do with whether the person’s troop is open to gay scouts now, or whether their troop will be open to gay scouts in the future.

      • Where is the traditional values of strength we teach our scouts? We are not sails in the wind to be blown any direction. We are to be a guiding beacon, our eyes focused on the mission and values that have lasted 103 (almost) years.

        • K Hendricks, super post and spot on my brother and fellow Scouter! Our timeless values are timeless, eternal, never changing and evermore. With all of the cultural pollution being pushed upon us, the opportunity for growth in the BSA as it retains its timeless values (and as most other organizations and institutions cave) is unlimited. We are seeing huge numbers of increases in our Cub and Scouting programs including minority and disadvantaged youth craving for the timeless values of Scouting. It is fast becoming one of the only places in town for families who seek a moral and wonderful program for their boys!

        • If the timeless values were “eternal, never changing and evermore” from the inception of Scouting, women would not currently be allowed to be leaders in Scouting. The values of an organization change as its membership changes and as society changes and evolves. The particular values underlying this conversation are contentious, particularly because some of the beliefs around them are rooted in religion, which people take very seriously. Not every religion in Scouting holds those same sets of values however. Given that, I’m not sure how to argue that there is one set of “values” in the Scouting program, but more a shared set of values that may or may not include any one particular value that an individual holds important to them.

        • texasaggie94, we are referring to our timeless values in the Scout oath and law. I am not aware of any such change to these and am not aware of anything prohibiting the issue you describe. We are fully aware however of what “morally straight” and “clean” as recognized by SCOTUS mean. Further, please comment on the proposed rule which is what is being considered.

      • AndyM., loss of corporate donors and bad media is all being orchestrated by the well funded Glaad, pro-LBGT and other George Soros funded folks. Let me know if you want to spitulate to this fact or if I need to give you some more back-up on this (your call, happy to help as long are you are not ever learning, but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth).
        Putting what you say aide and stipulating that the BSA has lost and will lose corporate donors by not giving into the bullying and also stipulating that the media is pro-homosexual agenda and that the BSA will not get lots of good media play for sticking to its values….let’s establish the following foundational principles:
        First, there is no place for threatening, bullying and intimidating corporate donors of the BSA by Glaad, and other organizations in the LGBT community.
        Second, there is no place for Glaad, and other organizations in the LGBT community who intentionally infiltrate an opposing organization with the intent to destroy it from within.
        Third, there is no place for Glaad, and other organizations in the LGBT community to threaten, bully and intimidate members of an organization with different values to do something that spits in the face of their timeless values and does not reflect actions that its members want (yea, we understand that 100% of Scouters do not support the timeless values, but most do).
        The actions of these outside groups is indefensible and antithetical to our pluralistic values.
        Finally, forcing and seeking to impose your opinion (and a minority opinion within the Scouting community) on the majority of Scouters IS BULLYING AND WE WILL NOT CAVE IN TO THIS KIND OF INTOLERANCE! If the Board caves, millions of Scouters will leave along with their charter organizations, and the BSA will become bankrupt from all of the lawsuits it will face including class action suits from members who have been duped into putting $ into supporting the timeless values of Scouting. The path is clear, the BSA keeps its policy and maintains an almost a monopoly position as the premier organization for families looking for timeless, traditional and eternal values! The growth potential of this market is limitless as everyone else caves to BULLIES!

      • You’re right. Donations are down. Hardly a reason to jettison core values. It’s time for the BSA to adopt a policy that it will not accept donations from any person, corporation or organization that does not affirm Scouting’s core values as expressed in the oath and law.

        And let’s talk about those returned Eagle Scout decorations. I am an Eagle Scout, who still proudly possesses his Eagle decoration. At every meeting, camp out, summer camp, retreat — in short, at every Scout gathering — I recited the Scout Oath and Law. I represented to my peers, my leaders and my community that I believed the values set-out in those statements. I affirmed that at my Eagle Court of Honor.

        I don’t see how someone gets to be an Eagle Scout, having recited this pledge hundreds of times, then suddenly “realizes” that he does not accept of believe some (or all ) of those core values, and thinks they should be changed. If you continued in the program and accepted the Eagle rank after deciding that you disagreed with the Oath and Law, then you are a liar and a hypocrite. If you came to that realization after completing the program, then I can only surmise that you really didn’t learn anything while you were participating. Either way, it takes a great deal of chutzpah to think that you have some right to demand that the BSA alter itself to conform to your views.

    • Name one time when a national council decision was not made in secret. In fact, this one-week warning that a decision would be made is more open than I have ever seen the national council. Scouts and their families have now had ample opportunity to make phone calls and send e-mails to express their input. Far more than I have seen with previous national council deliberations.

  16. BSA is a franchiser and the BSA Charter, Bylaws and Rules & Regulations have no sexual preference membership restriction. The National Council should not withhold the commissioning of a Scouter approved by a Chartered Organization because of sexual preference.
    A Chartered Organization has the right and should not appoint a Scouter if his/her sexual preference is objectionable. But they have no right to impose their stance to another Organization. Being gay is not a crime and different religions have varying views.
    Anecdotally… the best District Executive and at least two of our better Scoutmasters came out of the closet after their terms. And unfortunately years ago the hetero man I thought was one of the best Scoutmasters went to jail as a pedophile.

    • Screen name Joseph, BSA has invested billions in branding and any change in the current policy will irreparably harm and destroy its branding, the timeless values of Scouting and those who have invested in this program. Class action lawsuits are being prepared against the BSA and will be filed if anything is done to harm the brand. I strongly suspect that Board members will make the right decision on this as they have done in the past. We get it that you and the pro-Glaad folks don’t like the BSA brand and that you want to change it, but this is a private organization and we are entitled to retain our timeless values.

  17. Without getting into the discussion of which side is right. I would like to know details on how this change would be implemented. And leaving it at the CO level is not an acceptable answer. What will be the wording on the new policy? Will their be legal protection for CO’s and leaders if that unit is not all inclusive? What about those units that feel so strongly on either side, they do not want to be at the same activities?
    Again, please reply only if you can provide information. I do not want to hear your opinion on if this is right or wrong. And please refrain from replying if you want to argue your point that leaving it at the CO level is acceptable. This is a national organization, we need to know how to make it work at a national level.

    • The entire process is lacking in transparency and the poor way that things are being this is very frustrating to say the least. Does anyone in the Scouting community now have any clearer idea why this issue is even coming up again (as it was just considered several months ago and rejected), why the rush on this and what has changed since the last time this was rejected several months ago? Seems like membership is being kept in the dark on these issues and we are still not getting any transparency and holding these closed door meetings don’t help either. Turley and Stephenson need to be fired for the poor job they have done in handling this mess!

      • DantheScoutingman, wow on target! Any rule change would strike at the core of our 103-year history merits full input from all stakeholders in DELIBERATION and DISCUSSION and no rational person can assert that we are anywhere close to achieving this with just being able to call and e-mail for the past few days. The reckless acts of certain extreme members of the national committee are threatening to destroy Scouting. They need to slow down, listen to and talk to the stakeholders!

        • BSA’s public policy regarding gays is not 103 years old. It is 22 years old. And there was not input from all stakeholders the last time it was changed as well.

        • cwgmpls, again we have already covered this with you (please don’t reinvent misleading comments)…up until recent history every state in the nation has sodomy laws and homosexual acts were illegal. These laws have not been eroded until recently (starting in the 70′s). As such, the BSA’s values of being “morally straight” and “clean” have always and historically been understood to not promote or support homosexual acts. As you are well aware, the BSA policy was a necessary reaction to this and the fall out from our declining moral standards in society and confirmed our commitment to the timeless values in our oath and law. Further, BSAScoutleader had a super post…”For example, where in the Scout Oath and Law does it mention flag burning (In our long history of Scouting, we didn’t really start to see these types of horrible acts until the 60′s and like flag burning sodomy laws have only started to erode over the last 30 to 40 years)? Is flag burning consistent with the timeless values of Scouting? Does it run afoul of our timeless Duty to Country as Scouters? The obvious answer is yes when considering Scouting’s proud tradition of honoring and properly retiring the flag”

    • Brad, while I support the proposed policy, I share your concerns that:
      –Stakeholders apparently were not given a chance to provide input or concerns,
      –Details of the proposed policy, specifically how interaction between gay-friendly and non-open troops at the higher levels (summer camp, etc.) will be handled,
      –Legal considerations that may arise from the dual-approach policy,
      –Opportunities available for scouts in areas where no suitable troop is available (Lone Scout?),
      –Training available to Scouters on this sensitive issue.
      I, like many here, am interested to hear more from the BSA as to how these details would be handled. The details will determine the success (or lack therof) of the implementation of the proposed policy.

    • We won’t know any details until a decision is announced. But why is leaving it at the CO level not an acceptable answer?

      We already leave it at the CO level
      - whether to admit woman leaders
      - whether to impose specific religious requirements
      - whether to admit leaders of a specific race
      - whether to admit leaders of a specific ethnicity

      I’m sure there are units that don’t want to enter into activities with units that have black leaders, or woman leaders, or Muslim leaders. They find a way to politely decline invitations to participate with those units.

      How would leaving the decision about whether or not to admit gays at the CO level be any different?

      • cwgmpls, the answers to why the proposed rule change is not acceptable is posted all over this site. Yet you and others in the pro-Glaad community don’t seem to want to respect our timeless values. Members of the Scouting community have been very clear that any such action will destroy the timeless values of Scouting and the meaning of our oath and law. Homosexual acts are not “morally straight” and not “clean” and never will be! Clear enough?

        • In 1986, BSA national stated that a women does not meet the qualifications that boys between the ages of 10-17 need in a role model. When did this timeless value change?

        • BSAScoutleader is correct..”Homosexual acts are not “morally straight” and not “clean” and never will be.” Your post has no bearing on this and no bearing on any timeless value that I can find in our Scout oat and law. Kindly keep your posts limited to the policy change being considered.

        • cwgmpls, again we have already covered this with you (please don’t reinvent misleading comments)…up until recent history every state in the nation has sodomy laws and homosexual acts were illegal. These laws have not been eroded until recently (starting in the 70′s). As you are well aware, the BSA policy was a reaction to this and the fall out from our declining moral standards in society and confirmed our commitment to the timeless values in our oath and law. Further, BSAScoutleader had a super post…”For example, where in the Scout Oath and Law does it mention flag burning (In our long history of Scouting, we didn’t really start to see these types of horrible acts until the 60′s and like flag burning sodomy laws have only started to erode over the last 30 to 40 years)? Is flag burning consistent with the timeless values of Scouting? Does it run afoul of our timeless Duty to Country as Scouters? The obvious answer is yes when considering Scouting’s proud tradition of honoring and properly retiring the flag”

        • if you want to make the U S Supreme Court your moral compass, the Court has upheld flag burning on several occasions. But, maybe some Court decisions are to be followed , but not others . The Supreme Court also upheld “separate but equal” for eduaction and the internment camps for Japanese Americans in WWII.

          Do you agree with Rose v Wade, or was that decision wrong?

        • Flag burning is consistent with BSA’s timeless value of freedom, expressed in the First Amendment. BSA went to the Supreme Court to defend its rights guaranteed under the First Amendment. Flag burning becomes inconsistent with BSA’s values when BSA national says it is. But no sooner.

        • David and cwgmpls, this is becoming absurd. You now advocate for the BSA to support flag burning? Seriously, have you stepped off planet earth?
          First, David SCOTUS is not Scouting’s moral compass. Our moral compass is the Scout oath and law, and it appears that you have lost yours and perhaps a lot more than this; and
          Second, SCOTUS upheld our rights of association as protected by the First Amendment. The same rights that allow groups like Glaad to form. My point in referencing SCOTUS is to state the law of the land and to tell you as a factual matter that the current BSA policy is both lawful, constitutionally protected, and not discriminatory under the law. The examples you cite have zero to do with the policy change.
          cwgmpls, flag burning runs afoul of our timeless Duty to Country as Scouters and is offensive when considering Scouting’s proud tradition of honoring and properly retiring the flag. Further, like homosexual acts, flag burning is not expressly mentioned in our oath and law. However, with folks like you who seek to destroy our timeless values, I concede that perhaps a future policy may be needed to confirm that we exclude Scouts who do such things to our flag and who violate our oath and law including “Duty to Country” and BSA’s proud tradition of respect of flag. You both are revealing a lot about yourselves.

        • I do not think BSA should support flag burning. Flag burning can either be condemned, or permitted, depending on how you read the Scout Oath and Law. Since flag burning is not mentioned in the Scout oath and Law, it is up to the national council to decide. Same with gays.

        • cwgmpls, this exchange demonstrates the value of these types of posts and you clearly illustrate the dangers of the path you would have BSA National go down. While I respect your right to your own opinion, we are going to have to agree to disagree on your willingness to reject the current policy. I like most in the Scouting community would be horrified to see our Scouts burning the US flag or marching in a gay pride parade. This is not representative of Scouting and our mission. Some folks outside of Scouting choose to do so and they have a constitutionally protected right to do so, but as a private organization, not in Scouting. Such acts violate our oath and law and timeless values.

        • I assume when you say “homosexual act”, you mean child molestation. Can a heteosexual commit child molestation? If not, so under your definition, anyone committing a “homosexual act” ( I assume on boys) is a homosexual , including Jerry Dandusky, Catholic Priests and all of the men in the perversion files?

        • cwgmpls, being “morally straight” and “clean” covers it. Again, we are talking about the rule excluding practicing homosexuals.

        • You are talking about the rule excluding practicing homosexuals. BSA excludes all of them. Please read BSA’s policy.

        • cwgmpls, I have read the policy and simply don’t read it the way you do. To my point, can you point to a single example of where it was ever applied to someone who is struggling with same gender attraction, but does not engage in homosexual acts and commits to, fully supports and lives the Scout oath and law and where such Scout has been removed? I can think of none. As such, my read of the policy is consistent with its application. Are you following this logic?

        • Dan, millions of people read the policy the way cwgmpls and I read it. No gays. period. End of story. If you’re gay, and anyone knows you are gay, you are asked to leave. No matter how chaste or not you are. Let me ask you the same question: please name one gay person who is a member of the BSA.

        • Are you privy to the name of every person that has ever been excluded from the BSA and the reason(s) for which they were excluded? Right. Neither am I. Or anyone else that has posted here. The policy says no gays. What that means is, no gays. You are making things up.

        • db and cwgmpls, if your understanding of current policy is correct, I would imagine that you can point to hundreds or thousands of cases that reflect your understanding of current policy. With regard to what I have stated, can you point to a single example of where it was ever applied to someone who is struggling with same gender attraction, but does not engage in homosexual acts and commits to, fully supports and lives the Scout oath and law and where such Scout has been removed? I can think of none.

        • I’ve already pointed it out Dan. The folks who have been kicked out have been kicked out because they said they were gay. No one stopped to ask if they “active” or “abstaining” or what their particular sexual practices might be. They were kicked out because of who they professed to be.

        • db, nope they were kicked out because the held them selves as gay scouts, reject our oath and law and are working to change our core values. None involve anyone who has same gender attraction, is not acting on this, does not hold themselves out to be gay and working to reject our oath and law. Still waiting for one single example of any of this going on under the current policy and to date you have proffered none! Of course, we are going to ask the former group to leave the BSA. If we don’t, they destroy our mission and oath and law. What is so difficult for you to grasp here?

        • The BSA caved on this after much social pressure as well and it was wrong. I was a den leader when my boys were in cub scouts because no leader – male or female – was willing to take on a den. I either took on the task or my boys would not be able to participate. When my boys became scouts, I stepped back completely because I believe women should not be in leadership roles in boy scouting. As a female – regardless of my mom status – I can never teach my boys to be men. Never. So many women have had to become leaders in scouting because so many men are not. The reason is mostly because of not enough time. Therein lie our societal values & priorities- or lack thereof. We place more time away from our kids and families now than in any other time in our history and then we wonder what has happened to our society.

        • Isn’t it great that BSA’s chartering organization structure allows each unit to set its own rules with regard to women in leadership positions? I’m so glad BSA’s structure was able to accommodate your strongly-held beliefs.

      • I didn’t want to argue the point of leaving it at the CO level, because this is a national decision. What support can the CO and it’s leaders expect from national when this goes through?
        I am not looking for an argument as I stated before. I am only looking for information. I understand the CO will make the decision to admit members and leaders, but what is national going to do to ensure units that do accept gays and units that don’t can both be served by this national organization.

        • What support can a CO expect from national if they don’t want to allow women as leaders? Or if they don’t want to allow blacks as leaders? Or Muslims as leaders?

          Probably the same support will be available from national for COs that want to exclude gays.

        • cwgmpls, again apples and oranges and zero to do with the proposed policy change regarding prohibiting practicing homosexuals from associating with the BSA .

        • The question was what support a CO can expect from national if the CO doesn’t want to allow gays. If national decides that teaching about gays is no longer a core value of BSA, then I expect it will be the same support that COs get from national about any other issue that is not a core teaching of BSA. None.

        • cwgmpls, it is not that “morally straight” and “clean” somehow leave our oath and law. You redefine these terms and the policy change would turn our core values on their head, it would change the mission of the BSA and the BSA would now be forced to concede that homosexual acts are compatible with the timeless values of Scouting such as being “morally straight” and “clean” as per our oath and law. As such the legal underpinnings, to our first amendment right to exclude practicing homosexuals from BSA program will be legally challenged and lost. Since Glaad and others lost in 2000, they have been working to destroy us from within and the policy change will do just that. None of it is good!

        • I don’t know what support a CO can expect and I don’t think it is unreasonable to ask. I am asking that if the changes go through and my CO and unit do not allow gays is there any support from national? Can I be litigated against as a leader? Those are my questions.

        • Hi Brad – we don’t know the answer to your question. If your unit is chartered by a church that has strict tenets against homosexuality, and your CO does not accept an “avowed homosexual” as a member, I can not imagine anyone suing the church. If however you are chartered by a PTA or by the Rotary Club, I could see there being an issue if there were a blanket policy by your unit to prohibit membership to gays because the PTA and the Rotary Club themselves are open to everyone.

        • If your troop is chartered by the PTA, Rotary Club, or a church that does not teach against gays, your troop is violating your CO’s policies already.

        • The church that sponsors us is part of a denomination that has no unified policy on gays, they leave it up to the congregation. That stance may leave them open to litigation. While I can’t imagine anyone suing a church, I also didn’t think I would see someone sue the BSA.

        • So write up a statement that says ““our troop teaches that homosexual conduct is not morally straight”

          It worked for BSA national. It will work for you too.

        • Does your CO have any teaching regarding homosexuality? If they do, then you are safe.

          If they don’t, all you have to do is publish a statement like “our troop teaches that homosexual conduct is not morally straight”. It worked for national, it will work for your troop too.

          Nobody will litigate you over a question that was already settled by the Supreme Court.

    • I want to thank those of you that responded without arguing your side. From what I gather no one has any information on these changes. I honestly hoped that all CO’s and leaders would have access to these changes before a decision is announced publicly, but that will not be the case. The purpose of my post was not to argue but to see what details anyone knew. I am tired of arguing and it is not accomplishing anything.

      • Brad W. , putting aside our differences on the current policy, the following statement to the press sums up best the frustration that most of us have with how this is being handled … “We believe that any decision that strikes at the core of our 103-year history merits full input from all stakeholders in deliberation and discussion,” The Great Salt Lake Council of the Boy Scouts of America

        • Everyone assumes that there was not deliberation and discussion on this topic because it was not publicized and/or because they were not consulted. From the letter I received from my council executive based on the teleconference last Friday they had with the National Key 3, I got the distinct impression that there had been some significant, detailed research and discussion on the policy at National. And before everyone jumps up and down and says again that “we weren’t included”, keep in mind that National does not have to and is not obligated to seek any input on policy or other program changes from the membership. If you have questions about that, I suggest you read the Bylaws of the Boy Scouts of America, Article III, Section 1 – Authority of the Executive Board – Clause 1. “The Executive Board shall, in accordance with the provisions of its Charter and these Bylaws, be the governing body of the Corporation, manage its affairs, elect its officers, and be the final reviewing authority with respect to all matters whatsoever which may arise at any level within the Scouting movement, which in its judgment should be reviewed.”

          Now should they include input from everyone? Probably on such a contentious issue. The conversations now, however, are so partisan and (in some cases) downright rude and hateful, I don’t think that National will even be able to sort through them all to get every angle and viewpoint. Just look at this blog and imagine this as a microcosm for what National is getting via the Scouting.org feedback form.

          Just seeing Scouters berate, belittle, bully and otherwise act so far outside the Scout Oath in *the conversations about the issue* makes me sad. I just hope that none of our Scouts ever read this blog to see how some of their adult leaders really act when faced with controversy.

        • Why does the Executive Board need to review anything? Don’t they have a book of “timeless values” that they can just look stuff up in when a question comes up?

          If they don’t, maybe someone here can lend them a copy?

        • Based on what Scout executives are universally saying, everyone was caught off guard by the news that broke last week. This is further reinforced by statements over the weekend by The Great Salt Lake Council and others, “We believe that any decision that strikes at the core of our 103-year history merits full input from all stakeholders in deliberation and discussion” This is a process that will take months of input and deliberations with ALL stakeholders and much legal review to see if anything is broken with the current policy. A call for simple transparency and input from all stakeholders is the prudent and correct course.

        • We have all had a voice and some have been more rational and thoughtful than others. National needs to poll registered adult members of the Boy Scouts. Get feedback from the District Key 3′s. Touch base with all of the Council Executives. Ask what the CO’s have to say. All of the ready fire aim business needs to stop. While the organizations that work for the LGBT Community are free to offer their advice the only opinions that really matter are those of registered members.

        • cwgmpls, not sure how you can honestly take my comments that “everyone was caught off guard by the news that broke last week” and “a call for simple transparency and input from all stakeholders is the prudent and correct course” and end up with “funny hearing you complain that you haven’t had a voice.” Do you disagree with my points? If so, please explain and kindly avoid misstating my points. I am grateful for this site for input to be given on why the current policy works. However, a few individuals posting on a website hardly constitutes full input from all stakeholders in deliberation and discussion. This process will take months and will require a deep and full understanding of the benefits of the current policy and the legal and moral dangers of any change.

        • My point is that people keep saying this *should* take time and there *should* be “months of input and deliberations” but that’s now the organization is setup and not how it has ever (that I have ever heard) operated. The Executive Board is well within its obligations to the Scouting organization to make a decision now, next week, next month or next year. They do not have to *by the Scouting bylaws* (which govern the organization) do any of that. People may not like that the board can, but they have always been able to. This isn’t new and the process isn’t violating any principles of the organization. There DOES NOT have to be any transparency in the decision, whether you, I or anyone else likes it or not. They can make a decision tomorrow on whether the uniform pants are now blue jeans or to abolish neckerchiefs without any input from the membership. This is how they are setup to operate and they are charged with executing (or delegating to committees) all policies. Whether they should is another topic. We just know that there has not been public discussion at the Council level.

        • exasaggie94, no offense intended, but you take a very dogmatic approach to leadership. This in not something small like a new merit badge or a program tweak. This is creating a firestorm within the BSA and all can see that the way this whole thing has been handled is a big mess. The folks driving this will need to be FIRED. Not involving stakeholders was a big mistake and any effort to ram a change down when a majority of stakeholders strongly oppose such change will destroy Scouting. If a change happens this week lawsuits will be flying on all sides. Such action would be reckless.

  18. Without getting into the issue of why the proposed policy change is wrong and how it will irreparably damage Scouting, we are now several days past the announcement regarding the proposal being considered by the BSA national executive council and the council is meeting starting today and through Wednesday in Irving, Texas. Does anyone in the Scouting community now have any clearer idea why this issue is even coming up again (as it was just considered several months ago and rejected), why the rush on this and what has changed since the last time this was rejected several months ago? Seems like membership is being kept in the dark on these issues and we are still not getting any transparency.

    • The following statement to the press is excellent… “We believe that any decision that strikes at the core of our 103-year history merits full input from all stakeholders in deliberation and discussion,” The Great Salt Lake Council of the Boy Scouts of America said in a statement.

      It highlights the need for transparency and input from all stakeholders, especially our committed and hard working adult volunteers. It is shameful that certain elements within the national executive council kept scouting professionals in the dark on this and that they are doing the same to 1 million plus BSA volunteers. We are still being kept in the dark. This is very troubling indeed, and those on the national executive committee who are not involving the stakeholders and who are responsible for this lack of transparency should be removed from the Board.

      • The following is what I sent to the BSA at http://www.scouting.org/ContactUs.aspx …please speak up….

        I, my three sons (one is a life Scout and my youngest is a bobcat), and the members of my Pack will leave Scouting if the policy on not admitting practicing homosexuals changes.

        The entire process is lacking in transparency, and the poor way that things are being handled by the national committee is very frustrating to us in the Scouting community to say the least.

        We still have no idea why this issue is even coming up again (as it was just considered several months ago and rejected), why the rush to take action on this and what has changed since the last time this was rejected several months ago?

        We are vital stakeholders, and we need to know why we are being kept in the dark on these proposed changes and why no one asked us for our input. Holding these closed door meetings starting today does not help with the transparency problems.

        Turley and Stephenson and others on the committee supporting them need to be fired for their public statements (before the meeting) and the very poor job that they and others have been doing in handling this absolute mess!

    • Christianity, as expressed by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the largest Lutheran body in the U.S. The ELCA began officially allowing blessings of same-sex couples in August, 2009.

      • “Can anyone name a religion that requires reverence to God that also embraces homosexuality?” United Church of Christ. Moravian. Presbyterian USA. Unity. Quakers. Disciples of Christ. Reformed Church. Then there are varying degrees of acceptance and incorporation into church life and by local congregations: United Methodist, Episcopal, Evangelical Lutheran. Even the LDS and Roman Catholic are of the mind “love the sinner, hate the sin” and allow gays to be members of the church. Remember: the LDS church and the Catholic church allow gays to be members of the church. The BSA membership rule is “hate the sin, hate the sinner” and anyone who is gay is not allowed. Period. Apparently the some folks here believe that there is some BSA “don’t ask don’t tell” rule which allows gays, but there is no such official policy. And I don’t find that to be a compelling argument. If it were a rule it would break the Scout Law: Trustworthy.

      • Churches who claim to practice Christianity cannot also embrace homosexuality, so although they may practice some doctrine, it most certainly is not Christianity, which means to be a follower of Christ and his teachings. What other major religions – not churches gone astray from Christianity – embraces homosexuality? None. “Churches”, “religions” or groups who do are simply practicing their own smorgasbord religion (the kind where you just pick over the doctrine you like, disregard the others).

      • CWGMPLS: “as expressed by the ELCA” = gospel? Anyone can make up their own rules. My point is that anything not rooted in Christ’s teachings as written in the bible is by definition not Christianity. One can call it anything they want, just not Christianity.

    • Lynn, your point that homosexual acts are not embraced by most Christian denominations is noted and stipulated to. It is unfortunate that some have compromised biblical teachings based on outside pressure.

        • cwgmpls, this has already been covered in these posts, and yes, we all can see that you don’t like the answer, but here it is again… members of the Scouting community have been very clear that any such action will destroy the timeless values of Scouting and the meaning of our oath and law. Homosexual acts are not “morally straight” and not “clean” and never will be! We have little sympathy for CO’s or folks who come into the BSA knowing its position and then ask the majority of us to reject our timeless values to accommodate their minority view. It is a free Country, if you don’t like our timeless values, then don’t renew your charter agreement.

        • cwgmpls, my above comment was a response to YOUR question, “Why should Christian denominations that disagree with BSA be excluded from full participation in Scouting?” Were you asking a question? Typically a “?” at the end of a sentence indicates that a question is being asked. Hope you find my answer to be helpful.

        • BSA’s timeless values are very clear that BSA “Does not define what constitutes belief in God or the practice of religion.” BSA policy does not permit religious teachings which contradict the teachings of my family and church.

        • cwgmpls, yea the BSA will not tell us to be Jew, Baptist, Catholic, Mormon, etc. It will, however, retain its oath and law which tell us that homosexual acts are not “morally straight’ and not “clean”. Hope this helps…

      • Denominations of the Christian faith who accept homosexuality are not followers of Christ. This isn’t an opinion. It is fact. To be a Christian, one has to be a follower of Christ and his teachings. Clearly, homosexuality isn’t one of them. The churches you note have all taken a tangent path away from Christianity to their own redefined “religion”.

        • I fully accept gays and gay marriage. And I fully believe everything Jesus Christ ever taught about homosexuality.

          But your and my opinion about who is Christian and who is not is irrelevant. BSA is quite clear that it “Does not define what constitutes belief in God or the practice of religion.”

    • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints:

      “Members of the Church who have same-sex attractions, but don’t act on them, can continue to enjoy full fellowship in the church, which includes holding the priesthood”.

      • cwgmpls…yea we have already covered this fully on these posts (go back and do some reading on prior posts in case you forgot)…this is nothing new and in line with almost all Christian churches. More directly, it is 100% consistent with current BSA policy which prohibits practicing homosexuals from being associated with Scouting. LDS policy is the same.

        • No, BSA policy excludes any open gay person, whether he is celibate or not. Current BSA policy is more restrictive that LDS policy. LDS policy permits any celebrate gay person to be a full member.

        • Nope, like the BSA, and as far as I am aware, the LDS church and most Christian denominations will not allow practicing homosexuals and also reserve the right to exclude any member from preaching that homosexual acts are “morally straight” and “clean.” If someone struggling with same gender attraction commits to and lives the Scout oath and law, again, no prohibition.

        • Dan: That is not the BSA membership rule. There are no exceptions to the BSA membership rule. If you are a minister of a church who happens to be gay? Sorry, you can’t be a member. If you are a celibate lesbian? Nope. Sorry, no admittance. Because you are an “avowed homosexual”.

          You’re just making stuff up about the BSA because your learning that many churches follow the teachings of Christ are more loving and forgiving than the BSA.

        • db, if the minister is teaching that homosexual acts are “morally straight” and “clean” and if he is a practicing homosexual, BSA policy says he is out. Again, until you can point to a single example of where someone who is struggling with same gender attraction, but commits to, fully supports and lives the Scout oath and law has been removed, it is you (and I say this respectfully) that are making stuff up. Waiting for your example….

        • BSA policy bars anyone who “openly declares himself to be a homosexual”, whether he commits homosexual acts or not. A person who “openly declares himself to be a homosexual” can be a member of the LDS church. Nobody inquired about Dale’s sexual behavior when he was banned from BSA. His public acknowledgement that he was gay is all that was necessary to ban him from membership.

        • cwgmpls, what does “homosexual” mean? Do you define this as someone who merely has same gender attraction or practicing? Is it someone who promotes homosexual acts or someone who acknowledges that such acts are morally wrong? Now to my point, can you point to a single example of where someone who is struggling with same gender attraction, but does not engage in homosexual acts and commits to, fully supports and lives the Scout oath and law has been removed? I can think of none.

        • cwgmpls, still waiting to hear from you…..what does “homosexual” mean? Do you define this as someone who merely has same gender attraction or practicing? Is it someone who promotes homosexual acts or someone who acknowledges that such acts are morally wrong? Now to my point, can you point to a single example of where someone who is struggling with same gender attraction, but does not engage in homosexual acts and commits to, fully support, promote and live the Scout oath and law has been removed? I can think of none.

        • The only test BSA has is whether or not you call yourself “homosexual”. If you call yourself homosexual, then you meet BSA’s definition of homosexual.

        • cwgmpls, again, I am not aware of anyone who is struggling with same gender attraction, but does not engage in homosexual acts and commits to, fully supports, promotes and lives the Scout oath and law that has been removed. Please stop making up problems with the current policy that simply don’t exist.

        • beth, Scouters are saying that we support the current policy which works. Can you point to a single example of where someone who is struggling with same gender attraction, but does not engage in homosexual acts and commits to, fully supports and lives the Scout oath and law has been removed? I can think of none.

        • You are making up BSA policy Can you point to a policy statement that states that an open homosexual, who “does not engage in homosexual acts and fully supports and lives the Scout oath and law” is allowed to be a member of BSA?

          BSA policy is very clear. “we do not grant membership to individuals who are open or avowed homosexuals” BSA Press release, 2012

          This is in contrast to the LDS church, which does allow open, celebate homosexuals to be members.

        • cwgmpls and db, what does “homosexual” mean? Do you define this as someone who merely has same gender attraction or practicing? What does “open” or “avowed” mean? Is it someone who promotes homosexual acts or someone who acknowledges that such acts are morally wrong? Now to my point, can you point to a single example of where someone who is struggling with same gender attraction, but does not engage in homosexual acts and commits to, fully supports and lives the Scout oath and law has been removed? Be specific and provide verifiable support for us all to see. Otherwise, stop making up problems with the current policy that simply don’t exist. The current policy works just fine. The proposed change undermines BSA v. Dale and opens us up WIDE to lawsuits!

        • db, regarding your definition…mere same-ex attraction alone has not excluded anyone that I am aware of from the BSA.

        • Well, one of the earliest examples is James Dale and one of the most recent is Jennifer Tyrell. No one asked whether they were “practicing homosexuals”. And I do not know the names of everyone who has been kicked out of scouting because they are gay. Plus there’s just the blanket prohibition, there is no nuance like you wish there was. So no one who is gay is going to join, whether they are celibate or sterile or practicing or a good dancer and a lousy singer or whatever, because the policy is if you’re gay you’re out. Period. Regardless of your wishful thinking otherwise.

        • db, we are still waiting…James Dale and Jennifer Tyrell are not examples of someone who is struggling with same gender attraction, but does not engage in homosexual acts AND commits to, fully support and live the Scout oath and law. They are promoting its destruction. Still waiting…again, the current rule is working just fine.

        • Who says they are practicing or if they are celibate? Do you have security cameras that we don’t know about? There was never any discussion about their sexual practices, simply their sexual preference. And as others have pointed out, and as I have pointed out, there are heterosexuals that engage in sodomy. So I assume that those folks also do not meet your definition of living by the scout oath and law. The BSA has never to my knowledge revoked the membership of any heterosexual sodomites.

        • db, when the rule is enforced it is because they do and they seek push immoral ideas that violate out oath and law on other Scouters. No such question is asked on the membership application or otherwise. Hope this helps….

        • Neither Dale nor Terrell ever discussed any ideas on sexuality with scouts. Dale was outed when someone read an interview with him in a local newspaper. Terrell is simply a loving and caring mom who happens to be a lesbian. Their mere existence on the planet earth was the problem the BSA had, not anything they did while in the context of scouting.

        • Again, in neither case do we have Scouts who merely struggle with same gender attraction, but do not engage in homosexual acts and commit to, fully support and live the Scout oath and law. Similar to the facts in Dale they belong to the organization, but don’t support the current policy and are working to change it.

  19. It seems that Units that already have bylaws that state that they are Chartered by, for example, a Christian church or organization and that explain that Leaders in the Unit must be Christians in good standing with the church, would really not need to change anything, locally, if the BSA makes this National change – their standards for leadership would not be changed. The impact locally would be minimal or non-existent, other than some explanation/education.

    • That is right. And if it is not clearly stated in the bylaws of the Chartering Organization, the troop can publish is simple statement that states: “This troop teaches that homosexual conduct is not morally straight”.

      The precedent set by BSA’s Supreme Court case would protect that troop from any litigation.

      • cwgmpls, this false and an example of why the practice of unlicensed practice of law is a bad thing.The proposed change undermines BSA v. Dale and opens us up WIDE to lawsuits!

        • cwgmpls, when you say “The precedent set by BSA’s Supreme Court case would protect that troop from any litigation.” you are making a legal opinion. Please give us your legal rationale to support your legal opinion. Can’t wait to see it…

        • Please read Rehnquist’s majority opinion in BSA v. Dale. He lays it out quite nicely. It is not my opinion, it is the opinion of the Supreme Court.

          This is a nice summary:

          “The First Amendment simply does not require that every member of a group agree on every issue in order for the group’s policy to be “expressive association.” The Boy Scouts takes an official position with respect to homosexual conduct, and that is sufficient for First Amendment purposes…. The Boy Scouts has a First Amendment right to choose to send one message but not the other. The fact that the organization does not trumpet its views from the housetops, or that it tolerates dissent within
          its ranks, does not mean that its views receive no First Amendment protection.”

          One official statement from your troop is all that is needed to legally exclude gays. Even if nobody in your troop agrees, and you never talk about it again.

        • cwgmpls, yea I am very familiar with BSA v. Dale. The BSA’s official position has been, currently is and was in BSA v. Dale that homosexual acts are not compatible with the timeless values of Scouting such as being “morally straight” and “clean” as per our oath and law. SCOTUS recognized that our first amendment rights of association allow us to exclude those who violate these timeless values and seek to destroy the mission of our association. The policy change would turn this on its head, it would change the mission of the BSA and the BSA would now be forced to concede that homosexual acts are compatible with the timeless values of Scouting such as being “morally straight” and “clean” as per our oath and law. As such the legal underpinnings, to our first amendment right to exclude practicing homosexuals from BSA program will be legally challenged and lost. Since Glaad and others lost in 2000, they have been working to destroy us from within and the policy change will do just that. Any member of the national board who does not understand this risk is breaching the fiduciary duty that they owe to the organization.

        • The court was very clear that all you need to establish the values of your organization is one public statement. If the troop makes one public statement that says they believe gays are immoral, they can legally exclude any gays they want, for as long as they want.

          If this were not true, BSA would have no legal basis to exclude gays today. It is the exact argument that was used to defend BSA’s right to exclude gays.

        • cwgmpls, again, this false and an example of why the practice of unlicensed practice of law is a bad thing. The proposed change undermines BSA v. Dale and opens us up WIDE to lawsuits. The BSA as the franchisor (if you will) will be changing the mission of the BSA, and the BSA would now be forced to concede that homosexual acts are compatible with the timeless values of Scouting such as being “morally straight” and “clean” as per our oath and law. As such the legal underpinnings, to the BSA’s first amendment right to allow its CO’s (franchisees) to exclude practicing homosexuals from BSA program will be legally challenged. You are either niave or deceptive in continuing to falsely assert that Glaad and other wont’ be suing given any policy change. This is what they do!

        • As long as the exclusion of gays is expressed in the CO’s mission, it doesn’t matter what BSA’s mission statement is. Same with exclusion of women. Troops have a legal right to make “no women leaders” rule if they want to, if agrees with the values of their CO. This simply moves the rule from the BSA to the CO. But it doesn’t mean the CO can’t maintain their own rules.

        • cwgmpls, that is an incorrect legal opinion. Lawsuits will be flying on both sides if the policy changes.

        • cwgmpls, the proposed change in policy has never been considered by SCOTUS. As such, SCOTUS was not referring to the new policy in upholding the current policy. Seriously, stay away from giving legal opinions.

        • First off, its not just “your” organization, but mine too. Just because you believe differently or interpret differently, I don’t accept that you have any right to tell me that I don’t belong in Scouting or that I should leave if I don’t agree with you or that somehow me believing differently than you makes me somehow less of a Scouter than you. I only note that because when I read your responses, they keep using words like “our oath and law” and talking about the “they” generically that want to see clarification/changes. Scouting is “my” organization as well and I refuse to allow someone to attempt to ostracize me for believing something different. So while I will happily debate your and respectfully disagree with you, I would never treat you like you are treating others. The Scout Law I tells me I should be courteous.

          The other point I wanted to make is while the BSA may have done or said anything in the court cases, previous statements, etc., they still have a right to change that policy at any time for any reason. As a private organization, they can do that. If they do, then poof – the previous legal cases to some degree likely become moot going forward with respect to this issue but IANAL.

        • screen name (texasaggie94), with all due respect to your first point (and assuming at face value what you say), look you joined the BSA and with it at weekly meetings give your oath and law. Unlike, you (and based on your own statements) I (and the majority of Scouters) actually support and believe in our oath and law. The BSA has been very clear that homosexual acts are not consistent with our oath and law and it has consistently invested hundreds of thousands of our dollars to defend and protect our oath and law. Why then did you join? Your decision to join knowing what BSA is and what it stands for, puts your interest behind the rest of us who join and have invested in the BSA because we (unlike you and the other pro-Glaad folks who stalk this site day and night) actually love and support our timeless values. Your inability to grasp this concept is astounding, intolerant and not courteous of our views and significant financial and time investment.

          We can stipulate that there is a risk of some action this week, but any such action to change the current policy will not be done without legal consequence. Any policy change will result in lawsuits being filed on all sides and would be very unwise indeed.

      • Not really – I wouldn’t expect a Unit chartered by a church to have to write a statement itemizing all the conduct that would be considered immoral (lying, stealing, sexual immorality, hatred, discord, fits of rage, drunkenness, selfish ambition etc. – none of these are “morally straight” according to the Bible (and words of Christ BTW)). The Charter Org is ultimately responsible for approving and removing leaders and members. They could take on the same standards and beliefs as the Charter with regards to leaders and members.

        • I agree. If a person does not meet the CO’s qualifications for a leader, the troop has no obligation to accept them as a leader.

          It is only if a CO’s qualifications are unclear. Say, a Methodist church, where some congregations permit gays, and some don’t. If the CO’s position regarding gays is unclear, the unit may want to adopt its own position statement with regard to gays. Which it has every right of free speech to do.

        • A Scout is Brave.
          A Scout can face danger although he is afraid. He has the courage to stand for what he thinks is right even if others laugh at him or threaten him.

          Let the lawsuits fly then. We should do what is right, even if it means getting sued.

  20. I’m not particularly religious,…I believe in a higher power. My problem is and always has been with activists.

    Normal adjusted people do not want to spend a bunch of time feeling like they have to affirm someone’s sexual behavior or be forced to take a stand on something sexual publicly, regardless of what it is. Why is it the gay agenda is actively FORCING the entire planet to deal with it their lifestyle?
    In my opinion, this is some deep rooted psychological desire that stems from their own inability to feel secure in their behavior. The idea that they are openly attacking a children’s organization to condone ADULT behavior gives great credence to the idea that there is a severe issue with social adjustment within the LGBT sub culture. If homosexual men consider heterosexual institutions to be an obstacle to their interaction with children, what does that really say about them?

    The BSA changes…I will likely bow out and abandon the Scouts. Again, the ones who preach and demand “tolerance” show they are the true intolerant ones with differing opinions.

    • So why not BSA state they having nothing to do with sex.

      BSA should dump the current policy that they “teach that homosexual conduct is immoral”, and should just tell boys to follow the teachings of their parents and clergy.

      That way we can all get along and we don’t have to affirm anything about sexuality or be forced to take any stand at all.

      • cwgmpls, our oath and law are not for sale and a Scout seeks to be “morally straight” and “clean”

        Based on your prior posts, permitting Scouts to burn the US flag and march in gay pride parades is not getting along. This turn’s the program on its head and along with it the billions we have invested in it.

        • They weren’t advocating that scouts should burn flags nor march in gay pride parades. The whole flag burning thing was an example of what is legal, but that doesn’t make it right. Just like the way the BSA discriminates. It’s legal. But it’s not right.

        • db, nope. cwgmpls, is in his posts from today is clearly pointing out the policy change will take us down this path and that CO’s can decide how they want to handle these issue. My point to cwgmpls and those in the pro-Glaad community pushing for this is this… my family and I will have not part of permitting Scouts to burn the US flag and march in gay pride parades. This is not getting along, and it turn’s the program on its head and along with it the billions we have invested in it.

        • Dan, you and others trying to defend the BSA from being carjacked are to be commended for standing for what’s right. Should this happen, I will be pulling my two boys out of the BSA on the same day. Thank you for your efforts thank…you for trying to save the BSA!

        • Your desire to engage in character assassination rather than discuss the issue is the main problem with many aspects of BSA right now. I won’t be responding to your posts any more.

    • Jon-in-PA, your reasoning is correct and thanks for your love and service in upholding the timeless values of Scouting. Please be sure you e-mail the National office and share with your fellow scouters, district and council your feelings and also ask them to get involved. I can tell you our message regarding the wisdom of our policy and the mission of Scouting is being heard!

  21. It may be time to turn this thread off. Looks like the points and counter points have looped back around on themselves.

    • For those who do not know this is a paper out of Ogden Utah. You can also read a similar story in the Salt Lake Tribune and the Provo Daily Herald. Basically they take the position that any change needs to involve local Councils, Districts, and registered parents before any change in policy occurs. They take no position on the policy only arguing for inclusion in the decision making process.

      • Bingo! Thanks Andrew, the way this whole thing has been handled is a big mess and the folks driving this will need to be FIRED. Not involving stakeholders was a big mistake and any effort to ram a change down when a majority of stakeholders strongly oppose such change will destroy Scouting.

    • There you go….exactly as I stated. Parents being activists. I don’t like these rules, change them to accomodate ME!

      Bottom line, there are people out there who DESPISE the BSA for sticking to their guns all these years. The one organization that they (so far) have been unable to pollute with their philosophy. The one organization left with some values. They absoulutely will NOT tolerate the existance of such an organization. WE are the enemy, WE are discriminatory, WE are the bigots. We want to be left alone, but they cannot tolerate our existance and use the terms of hate against us.

      Why not form your own organization and with whatever rules you want? NO… let’s destroy someone else’s group.

      I am not going down without a fight.

  22. A question to those of you who are against changing the membership policy: if on Wednesday it is announced that the new policy (aka one that allows charter organizations to admit homosexuals into their Scouting units) is adopted by the BSA, what will you do? Will you leave Scouting? Will you stay?

    • If the national board changes the policy this week it will destroy scouting and you will see a mass exodus of Scouters and the CO’s. I hope that once the wisdom of the current policy is confirmed, those few who reject our timeless values leave and find an immoral organization that they can enjoy together.

      • ps…after all of the lawsuits that get filed on both sides in the event of a policy change, there won’t be much left of Scouting. That being said, we are confident that national board will see the wisdom of the current policy.

      • So, DantheScoutingman, you somewhat avoided my question. I didn’t ask what others will do, I asked what you will do. Will you leave Scouting if the policy is changed?

        • I realize this was directed at another however I will answer your question. I will wait for direction from my CO on my legal liability if any for enforcing my CO’s membership decisions, and what the exact interpretation of the Scout Oath and Scout Law is going to be for our Unit Cubs through Ventures as we continue to recruit. This will be critical so I know how to apply it equally to every Scout in Eagle Boards, Scoutmaster Conferences, and all other advancement boards as required in the 2011 Guide To Advancement. If my CO is unable to provide these answers I cannot risk my families well being and I will have to walk away. Anyone who has experiences with the LGBT Community’s brigade of lawyers will tell you they do not care about guilt or innocence. They will bankrupt a person in the pursuit of their agenda. I realize that might not be a popular position and I know there are those idealistic and naive enough to believe lawsuits are only filed for cause but that is sadly not the case. Every win build precedent for the next lawsuit. Regardless of what anyone believes I cannot risk it I do not have the money and ultimately this is how the LGBT lawyers bully good people into walking away.

        • Andrew –

          While I am in favor of the proposed policy, I do think you are right that the BSA needs to be able to advise COs as to how to write their membership policy, and how to implement it, so as to be clearly within the law. They also need to commit to backing up any CO that has legal difficulties as a result of its membership policy, so long as the policy (and the implementation thereof) is in line with the BSA’s guidelines.

          There are other legitimate concerns – training for those who will be working with multiple troops with diverse policies, for example.

          I am optimistic that these concerns will be handled well by the BSA, because I’d hate to lose any good Scouts or Scouters over this policy.

          Andrew, I think your “watch and wait” approach is a wise one.

  23. What other group of sinners take pride in their sin category and expect us to accept them? Do adulterers, thieves, slanderers, murderers, liars? I don’t know of any category of sin that has chosen to call itself righteous and expects others to accept them with and because of their sin. This is insane.

    • We’re not all Christians. So the sin of your Bible is not a sin in my religion. My religion believes in the dignity and worth of every human being, not just some humans. But the BSA is open to all religions. If the BSA isn’t going to honor all religious traditions, then they should rename themselves the Evangelical Christian Scouts of America.

      • The ECSA. You’ve just given DtSM/BSASL the name for his new organization that he incorporates later this week after the BSA changes their policy. :-)

        Truly not trying to be snarky. I just feel I need some levity.

    • Homosexuality is not a sin… at least not in my religion (which is a Christian denomination). So your argument doesn’t make sense to me.

      Homosexuals are not taking pride in a “sin,” they are taking pride in who they are and how God made them.

      • db and Marcus, point in fact…the BSA is not open to homosexual acts that are not “morally straight” or “clean”. Practicing homosexuals choose to who violate and belittle our Scout oath and law are welcome to leave!

      • God did not ‘make’ anyone gay, as for the called ‘scientific’ proof: Three main studies are cited by “gay rights” activists in support of their argument2—Hamer’s X-chromosome research,3 LeVay’s study of the hypothalamus,4 and Bailey and Pillard’s study of identical twins who were homosexuals.5 In all three cases, the researchers had a vested interest in obtaining a certain outcome because they were homosexuals themselves. More importantly, their studies did not stand up to scientific scrutiny by other researchers. Also, “the media typically do not explain the methodological flaws in these studies, and they typically oversimplify the results.”6 There is no reliable evidence to date that homosexual behaviour is determined by a person’s genes.

        • SMX3 – The gay teens and adults who have shared their stories and struggles with me have all believed that being gay is not something they chose. I have seen the pain in their eyes – the fear that they could lose friends and family and even God if they are honest and open about their struggles. Perhaps that is why I am so passionate that these kids can benefit from all that Scouting has to offer, and that our communities and churches need to embrace and support these hurting people. My own son has thrived in Scouting; I think that any boy who is willing to put in the work should have the opportunity to do the same.

        • Why would anyone willingly “choose” that type of fear and pain? Ostracism… If they could choose to be straight, why on earth wouldn’t they?

          I absolutely agree with you, EagleMom. Boys who are struggling with their realization that they are gay… Trying to come to terms with it… Coming out to their friends and family… They NEED scouting. They are so often rejected and ridiculed. A safe place for them to belong, like scouting, can literally save lives that may otherwise be lost to suicide. I think we need to have compassion for others and strive to understand them and the struggles they face. Turning out backs on them is, well, just not Christian.

      • OK. What a specific denomination teaches, whether it calls itself Christian or not, is not really relevant. The BSA has established what the values of Scouting are, and what the Law and Oath mean in that context. The BSA is on record as stating that honosexuality is inconsistent with a Scout’s duty to keep himself morally straight. Thus ends the story.

        And Marcus, homosexualilty is sin. No matter what your particular denomination may want to teach, and regardless of whether it calls itself Christian or not. Homosexuality is a lifestyle choice, nothing more. The behavior has been declared sinful since God gave Moses the Law. Jesus himself said that he did not come to change the Law, but to fulfill it, and that “not a jot or tittle” of it would pass away. Finally, the Apostle Paul discussed homosexuality on more than one occasion, never approvingly. I suppose your denominational leaders can argue that Paul was incorrect in his writings. However, when it comes to deciding whom is more likely to be in sync with God’s thoughts, I’m going with Paul over the post- modern rationalizations of modern American denominationalists.

        • A Scout is Reverent.
          A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. HE RESPECTS THE BELIEFS OF OTHERS.

          See, that’s the thing. The BSA doesn’t endorse any particular religion. YOU may believe that homosexuality is a sin. Many don’t believe that. Even within Christianity. OK, so in your opinion, they may be wrong. They still have the right to it. You may disagree with my beliefs, I may disagree with yours. We both have the right to believe them.

        • You are stating you religious beliefs as fact! Scouting is multi-faith and while you have the right to state your opinion, that is all it is.I personally don’t really care what it says in your holy book. Just because you believe in somehting does not make it fact – or true!

  24. First, what part of moral teaching don’t you understand? Homosexuality is wrong, just as lying, stealing, murder…. It is one part of the “politically correct” tripe that is weakening our country every day, whether on local, state or national level. Leaving Scouting would be just cowardly as leaving the country when the “wrong person” is elected.
    Scouting stands for values that have been part of the value system that made this country the leader in the world for so long, a position that we are not so slowly loosing today. Look at ancient Greece and Rome.
    I have people ask why I am still in Scouting years after my Eagle Scout sons are gone. As a Scout leader working now with boys in inner city and subsidized housing I see every week how important it is to maintain the values of the Scout Oath and Law. If we continue to accept the values Hollywood and Washington present to this generation as we have for the past few, then the path that our(my) country will travel will lead us to a lesser place in this world.
    Be courageous Scout leaders, citizens, stand up for the “old” values.

  25. Last Sunday was Scout Sunday at the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd and at many other houses of worship across the country. Young men in khaki uniforms and merit badge sashes helped our ushers with bulletins and the collection basket, and we publicly thanked our troop leaders for their great work.

    The only remarkable aspect of that picture is that Good Shepherd is not just the sponsor of a Boy Scout troop and a Cub Scout pack but also an inclusive congregation — a faith community that gladly includes anyone regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. We celebrated our first same-gender marriage in December after voters in Washington State backed marriage equality. We are part of a denomination that allows congregations to call gay and lesbian pastors.

    Reconciling these facets of our congregational personality can create a paradox. For a congregation to be truly inclusive, it needs to be able to welcome everyone, even those who don’t want to welcome everyone. While some people question our affiliation with the Boy Scouts of America, many of our strongest LGBT advocates see our troop sponsorship as an opportunity to demonstrate that welcome to the scouts and their parents.

    Don’t think that we accept the anti-gay policy of scouting’s national organization, because we believe it diminishes the scouting program that we cherish. No matter how hard we work at the troop level to be inclusive, the national policy will push some families away. Since scouting is part of our ministry to youth, the national policy hurts our congregation. We’ll gladly take scouting warts and all, but we look forward to the day when our troop can express as generous a welcome to LGBT families as our congregation does.

    Indeed it is hard to imagine how the national policy could actually be applied in a community that respects gays and lesbians. Are we really supposed to tell an elementary principal that he can’t be an assistant scoutmaster because of his sexual orientation? Do we exclude “avowed homosexuals” whose only vow is one of marriage, sanctioned by the state and performed by a Lutheran pastor? Do we really tell a lesbian married couple that only one mom should attend the troop meetings?

    The national policy needs to change, but it need not come at the expense of other faith communities with other beliefs. Last Sunday was Scout Sunday at the Mormon church too. It is important that scouting work for many faiths, and in fact it does. Indeed, with the notable exception of the policy toward gays, scouting has been incredibly successful at encouraging a spiritual dimension of youth without endorsing any particular faith or denomination.

    The national scouting leaders have proposed to accommodate these differences by letting individual unit sponsors make their own decisions about whether to include LBGT people as troop volunteers and whether to include gay boys as scouts. This approach respects the range of conscience-bound views held by scouting families.

    The Lutheran church followed a similar “local option” path in 2009 when it changed its policy toward LGBT clergy. The ELCA did not compel every congregation to accept gay or lesbian clergy, but it allowed a congregation to make that decision for itself based on where it saw God leading them. The ELCA recognized that the sexual orientation of their clergy was not a core matter of faith for the denomination.

    A local option approach for scouting puts the sexual orientation issue where it belongs. It is not a core value of scouting. The leaders of our scout troop are emphatic in saying that they don’t want to be an anti-gay troop or a gay-friendly troop; they want to provide the best of scouting to all the boys and their families. For some sponsoring organizations, sexual orientation may be fundamental. For Good Shepherd Lutheran and many other congregations, scouting best serves our mission to youth when it respects our welcome of all people.

  26. Is it just me or are MANY of the posts here ones that are NOT modeling respectful behavior to our Scouts? No matter what your personal beliefs are, when did it become ok in Scouting to condemn others for their beliefs?

    Can we PLEASE stop the personal attacks, and (as many of the kids in my Troop are calling the feedback they are reading here) the “I’m a better Christian than you are because my hate speech is longer” contest? I was shocked by hearing them call it that – but have to admit that their take on this, a simple as it sounds, does have a kernel of truth when you step back from it.

    When did it become ok to act this way toward one another?

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