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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. Let’s see We begin by saying “To do my best to do my duty to God…..” and we finish with “keep myself morally straight”. I don’t hear anything about hate in that. As adults we are to provide as safe an environment as we can to provide young boys the opportunity to build that relationship with God and others. Mistakes have been made, but the process works, the principle is clear, and the system is as good as we can make it based on what have learned over time. This is not the time to cave. Scouting works as long as we adhere to Scouting principles. Look at what happened when the Girl Scouts caved.

    • That part of the scout oath is referring to having good morals, and as an adult you of all people should be accepting and understanding, What if you son/daughter went right up to you and said “Dad I’m Gay” what would you do?

      • I’d give him a big hug and let him know that I love him. That statement wouldn’t change my feelings about my son.

      • I would obviously support him but he would have to pull out h our of Scouts because doing anything else would be teaching him that lying and deception are perfectly okay.

  2. Hello All

    I am a youth Life Scout, Brotherhood OA member, and someone who finds this current policy on sexual orientation pretty down right stupid. For those who brought up the bible earlier, You might want to realize that the scout law say “Reverent” not christian. Rev·er·ent [rev-er-uhnt, rev-ruhnt]
    feeling, exhibiting, or characterized by reverence; deeply respectful: a reverent greeting,Webster Dictionary.

    The whole idea of scouting is to make the youth of the world learn valuable life skills and have fun.

    AND 90% of the molestation cases around youth are done by STRAIGHT Married men in there mid 30-40, who just aren’t getting it from there wife anymore.

    Yours Truly

    A Youth Scout That Cares

    • Please quote/cite sources when you throw out statistics. Additionally I would question sources that have little grasp on English. Their, not “there mid 30-40″

      • So now we have taken to correcting grammar and spelling of a youth who is brave enough to say what he feels. I, for one, am very happy that he felt strongly enough about his convictions to post knowing he was going against the grain. I think it says a lot about what the program has done for him already. Keep on standing up for your beliefs, Youth!

  3. The biggest concern I have is the National office hanging their CO’s out to dry. What resources will they provide for the stream of lawsuits that will be filled against their member organizations. How will National protect against endangerment and libility lawsuits? How will they aim to keep their membership if the LDS Church, Evangelicals, Protestants, and Catholics which comprise well over 60 percent of Charter Organizations and over 75% of youth and adult membership decide to leave? We all know this is not the end. The LGBT Community will not stop until they get their way in every organization public and private in the U.S. . Lord Baden Powell founded the Boy Scouts on the tenants of the Scout Oath and Scout Law. Duty to God and Country. Trustworthy, reverent, and clean. These are the fundamentals of what makes Scouting great. They have remained unchanged until 2013 when all of that is out the window. Now the National Board wants to turn over the organizations standards and values to those who lie to God, are not clean, and have different morals. This is not about civil rights it is about the minority placing in jeopardy the majority. National and two board members have allowed the entire BSA to be hijacked. The SCOTUS affirmed the BSA’s ability to make its own rules. There is no inalienable right to belong to a private organization. The LGBT Community is more than free to start their own organization. This is a Pandora’s Box the BSA should leave closed.

  4. For the last 34 years, I have been Scoutmaster of a community troop chartered to a Reform Synagogue. None of our Scouts or leaders are members of the synagogue. The synagogue charters the troop as a community service.

    If you look at the Union for Reform Judaism statement of “What is Reform Judaism?” at http://urj.org/about/reform/whatisreform/ it states:
    •Reform Jews are committed to the principle of inclusion, not exclusion. Since 1978 the Reform Movement has been reaching out to Jews-by-choice and interfaith families, encouraging them to embrace Judaism. Reform Jews consider children to be Jewish if they are the child of a Jewish father or mother, so long as the child is raised as a Jew.
    •Reform Jews are committed to the absolute equality of women in all areas of Jewish life. We were the first movement to ordain women rabbis, invest women cantors and elect women presidents of our synagogues.
    •Reform Jews are also committed to the full participation of gays and lesbians in synagogue life as well as society at large.

    Different religions definitely have different positions on the sexual orientation issue. Reform Judaism believes in inclusiveness.

    The Union for Reform Judaism has told synagogues they should not charter Boy Scout troops because of BSA’s sexual orientation policy. However, our chartered partner has stuck with our troop and crew while working within BSA to try to get BSA’s sexual orientation policy changed so they can adopt rules for our troop and crew consistent with their religion. They are not asking other chartered partners to do the same. However, they definitely would endorse a policy in which “the BSA would not require any chartered organization to act in ways inconsistent with that organization’s mission, principles, or religious beliefs.”

    • this is a perfect example of why this current policy is actually antithetical the the values that are supposedly upheld in scouting.

      also a perfect illustration of why the proposed new policy makes absolute sense.

      • Because you are obviously a model of tolerance, right? Oh wait, no you are not you suggest that people who disagree with you go join hate groups…

        • yes, i suggested that a person that was looking for a group that can continue to practice bigotry join a group that practices bigotry. do you have anything else to say? move on already…

        • was it you that also continued to state that intolerance of intolerance is intolerant? i’m getting dizzy trying to sort that out. i’m actually a pretty tolerant individual.

        • Unless someone mentions their religious beliefs or has an opinion that differs from yours then you ridicule and mock them.

  5. A scout is … Trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent … The law applies to us all, adults and youth members. I would respectfully suggest that all those who have made comments here today ask themselves if their comment meets these standards. There is a little too much vitriol here.

  6. If this hapoens the nembership will tumble and boy scouts will not longer be Boy Scouts anymore because they will lose their identity. Kindly we need to protect our children’s inosense. God loves all children no matter what, but it makes Him sad when we behave in an inappropriate manner. It is sad because it affects all the children involved in scouts. Very sad indeed. Let the children be children and do not steal their inosense with agendas of few people.

    “O holy protector of the holy family, protect us children of the Lord Jesus Christ; keep far from us the errors and evils which corrupt the world; assist us from Heaven in our struggles against the powers of darkness. And as you once protected the Divine Child from the cruel edict of Herod, now defend the Church and and keep it safe from all dangers and threats. Spread over all of us your holy patronage so that by following your example and aided by your spiritual guidance, we may all aspire to a virtuous life, look to a holy death, and secure for ourselves the blessing of eternal happiness in Heaven. “

  7. I have no problem with people being gay, it’s their choice…their sin. I have sins of my own to deal with. What I do have is a problem with is what opening this door in GSA did to that program. It brought in many gay women trying to push their agenda on the program at hand and brought about a huge change. It also became a hotbed of controversy that affected the girls that the program served. It also brought in gender-confused boys and exposed young children to issues and ideas that the majority of parents bringing their girls to scouting did not sign up for.
    I have 3 young boys in BSA. They have been a part of the program since my oldest was 7 years old (my youngest were 4). We have been a part of the program for the past 7 years as parents, as leaders and as supporters. Yes, we are Christian, we believe that homosexuality is a sin, so is divorce, gluttony, greed, etc…. We have same-sex parents in our group. They are good parents, they have good kids. I cannot judge one sin as worse than another. Herein lies my problem. At ages when I a beginning discussions with my sons about sexuality I will be forced to have discussion about homosexuality?! In my opinion (my values, beliefs) I cannot teach my child to be upright if I must constantly be surrounded by those who ‘wallow’ in sinfulness and try to discredit my vow of HOLY matrimony by forcing upon me a PC version of marriage? I am sorry, but I am disappointed by the BSA’s possible choice. If this comes to pass, we will have to leave. Not for fear of somebody doing something to my children (homosexuals are not pedophiles), but rather because I strive daily to lead my children to live in the world seeking a holy living, pleasing to God…not of this world. My bible is my standard, sorry if that offends anyone. I will continue to have guarded relationships with those who live blatant sinful lives, but my children do not need to live immersed in it or a part of an organization that has no boundaries which I have held in high esteem. I am sorry if this offends anyone, but I pay taxes, pay dues to BSA and have a God-given right to voice my opinion and have it counted too.

    • your issue is that you may have to discuss the existence of same sex couples with your children? if you don’t want to discuss it, don’t. if they ask, do you need to talk about sex? if my son were to ask, at age 7, why so and so has 2 dads i would tell him that all families are different. this is ours, that is theirs and it’s their business. (that’s basically what i said when my son asked why he doesn’t have a dad). and doesn’t the fact that kids with same sex parents existing in their school mean that they don’t have to be in the scout pack or troop to cause your kids to wonder about their existence? gay people exist. they are in society. if you don’t want to talk to your kids about it, then don’t i guess. why should your insecurities exclude others from a group that you belong to? they have the right to belong as well.

      • Beth do you have respect for anyone’s views but your own. Your complete intolerance to the people who oppose the change is the same or actually worse as the opinions of those you seem to enjoy attacking. I thought the gay agenda was all about complete inclusion. Oh your agenda doesn’t? No surprise there.

        • i believe that all people have the right to their own personal beliefs. all people don’t however, have the right to take action to limit another’s rights based on their own personal beliefs. my right to swing my fist stops at the end of any other person’s nose. as does everyone else’s. i absolutely believe in inclusion.

    • and. i also pay taxes and BSA dues. i’m pleased that there may be real progress in reversing this discriminatory policy.

      • Beth,
        I have not taken action to limit another’s rights based on my personal beliefs. I have joined a group that upheld the same values and morals that I believe in. Other’s have taken the action to limit my rights based on their belief. They can start their own organization, just leave the one I chose alone. I am being discriminated upon. The rules were in place long before any of us here joined. Join or don’t join…
        It’s not discrimination…it’s a choice in a private organization. I don’t feel discriminated because I can’t join the VFW or ask money from the African American College Fund. I just know what my limits are and respect the way those organization serve their members. Sorry, if you don’t like the restrictions, move on…find/make a new organization.
        The implications of this type of caving in from our National Organization really has nothing to do with the individual boys, but rather with the funding it will lose if it doesn’t change its’ ways.
        Right now, in America, there is a push to legalize Marijuana. Some states have done so. The argument is that it harms no one, is natural and is a personal choice. My question is this; when someone, with their own agenda decides to push this issue and make it policy that we have to accept openly admitted pot smokers as leaders, how will you feel then? Really…what is the difference? How will you feel about placing your 7 year old with that person as a role model? Isn’t our current anti-smoking or anti-drinking policies discriminatory? Don’t I have a right to do what is constitutionally legal? As you can see….without boundaries anything goes. We, the BSA, are a private organization and have a Constitutional right to make our own set of rules, based on our beliefs. Up to this point I have thought the BSA and my household to believe in the same thing. IF this goes through, our belief system will no longer line up. I will be forced to make a decision about what I want to be involved in. As I said before…I have joined a group that upheld the same values and morals that I believe in. Other’s are taking action to limit my rights based on their belief. I am being discriminated against. BSA is my organization, with it’s requirements clearly stated, I understood them…I joined….

  8. I hope they do. Boy Scouts are reverent but not to a specific religion. The scouts I have been asked about this view have a hard time with the bane running up against the Boy Scout Law. Some of parents in the Pack I am in have already voted by pulling their kids out.

  9. Has anyone noticed the Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down, rating system on here is a bit segued , and it seems to align with Liberal, Pro-Gay/Lesbian view point.

  10. I joined the Boy Scouts of America in 1949 and the great things I learned as a12 yr old has lasted me all theses years I have been a Boy scout Leader for 30 yrs. and have been a loyal supporter of the BSA. I am very sad that the things I taught to my young scouts according to the policies of the BSA have suddenly become wrong in the eyes of some of the members of the BSA. I always believed that the National BSA would stand for the principles of BSA teachings that laid the foundations of morality in our youth. I am not writing about wether homosexuality is right or wrong that should be left to the choice of that individual and his concience. Everyone should have the right to chose their own path to follow however sometimes those chosen paths have obstacles and once in a while new choices require taking the choices away from established principles. How much time and money has the BSA spent to defend the policy of not allowing open homosexuals in the BSA over the years I would like to add that some of that money came from me and thousands of others. The U.S Supreme Court ruled that the BSA policy on Homosexual exclusion is constitutional because the BSA is a private organization. I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and our scouting program has a deep commitment to obey the laws of God. The Church teachings are not compatible to any changes by men if they conflict with Gods laws. Does this mean homosexuality in the BSA is in and long established Church teaching’s for our youth are out? Time will tell. The pending policy of allowing homosexuality Scout’s in the BSA program will be the most devisive issue to ever happen in the BSA. I fear a lot of Church sponsered Boy Scout units will withdraw their charters and chose a new program for their youth. How many lawsuits will be brought against the organizations that will not chose the BSA policy of allowing homosexuals in their units there will be plenty make no mistake about it. With National BSA’s indorsement of homosexual’s the groundwork for law suits are unavoidable. Sincerely,
    Trenton Spears

    • I too am a member of the LDS Church and a scout leader. I’m afraid that the views you expressed are not in-line with the Church’s teachings. Please visit the Church’s website on the matter: http://www.mormonsandgays.org/ It makes clear that you can be gay, or have same-sex attraction, and be a member in good standing (enter the temple, pass the sacrement, etc.) as long as they do not act on those attractions. In otherwords not break the law of chastity. Why then could a boy who is gay pass the sacrement but not particpate in scouting? Seem controdictory to me. If the BSA changes their policy it would bring it more in-line with the LDS Church’s current policy. I hope and pray that the BSA changes its policy on gay membership

      • Thanks for that contribution. It is an aspect of mormonism that is not often brought up in discussions such as these.

      • Exactly. This whole “gay mormon” thing is relatively new (you can probably tell me the date) but the fact that the LDS church is now trying to appear more friendly toward gays is probably the main reason BSA is considering this change now.

        It looks like the LDS church sent some of their PR people over to BSA to show them how to deal with this whole “gay thing”, and this policy change is the likely result.

      • Scouting Dave you are right about the point that you can be homosexual and still be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- Day saints. What is confusing is how can someone can be homosexual and not act upon those beliefs. Contact with individuals is very personal and hard to maintain in a same sex relationship if they are Christians. There is no way a person can be homosexuals and not act upon those chosen lifestyles. If homosexuals were that religous they would not choose that lifestyle knowing it would confict with the teachings of the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day. Dave I believe you are trying to say that it is okay that you are gay and lie about your choice of sames sex activity it is simply not obtainable if you are a Christian. It is like a members who are gay don’t pay any attention to the King James Bible or Book of Mormon their teachings are wrong and the Church supports the act of homosexuality. I believe the Church is trying to be a mediator between the person who is gay and Jesus Christ and if you choose the homosexual lifestyle please don’t participate in the sinful act just hang in there till you someday you will be completely converted to the covenants you made with Jesus Christ at your Baptism. If you attend Church, pass the Sacrament and have a current Temple recommend to attend the House of the Lord you are required by God himself to maintain your faith in all of the teachings of of the Church Dave I believe that my comments are certainly in line with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and will do my best to maintain a relationship with God the Father and his son Jesus Christ the Savior of the World. Sincerely, Trenton Spears

        • Beth if the teaching’s of any Church conflict with God the Father and his son Jesus Christ teachings I will most certainly disagree with that Church and will run not walk out the front door and leave Satan behind. Your comments lack any sustance and certainly misguided. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints does not now or ever will promote homosexualty as exceptable doctrine in any form. The LDS Church teach’s the principles of conversion and repentance for all the teachings of Jesus Christ. Just because the LDS Church except’s homosexuals as members does not mean that they except the act of homosexuality they certainly do not. Please take the time to research the LDS Church’s teachings on the matter of homosexuality. Sincerely, Trenton Spears

        • So. Like I said, if your church teaches that homosexuals are ok with god as long as they do not commit homosexual acts, why can’t they get that same deal with the scouts? If they are right with god, how is it any of your business?

        • Beth you have made a statement that is certainly not true the LDS Church does not teach that homosexuality is okay with God. It teaches that same sex relationships are a sin and must be not be acted upon if they are to remain members of the LDS Church. There will be a time and place that homosexual members will have to completely repent and renew their covenants with God and to ask Gods forgiveness for their belief in homosexuality and that it is a sin and not part of Gods plan. Beth are you saying that homosexuals members should have a pass on the sin of homosexuality just because they are not practicing the act. What is the point of being homosexual if you don’t act upon the choice of having sex with another homosexual if you don’t act upon it you are not homosexual. Lies against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are my business and I will stand as a witness of the truths of the Gospel at all times and in all places that includes my membership in the BSA.

      • Dave unlike you I am posting the position of the Mormon Church on Homosexuality that you refered to in your comments. Here they are straight the from the Mormon website. Please read it. Where the Mormon Church stands on homosexuality, Quote:
        The experience of same-sex attraction is a complex reality for many people. The attraction itself is not a sin, but acting on it is. Even though individuals do not choose to have such attractions, they do choose how to respond to them. With love and understanding, the Church reaches out to all God’s children, including our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters.
        The Church’s approach to this issue stands apart from society in many ways. And that’s alright. Reasonable people can and do differ. From a public relations perspective it would be easier for the Church to simply accept homosexual behavior. That we cannot do, for God’s law is not ours to change. There is no change in the Church’s position of what is morally right. But what is changing — and what needs to change — is to help Church members respond sensitively and thoughtfully when they encounter same-sex attraction in their own families, among other Church members, or elsewhere. Jesus Christ commanded us to love our neighbors. Whether sinner or saint, rich or poor, stranger or friend, everyone in God’s small world is our neighbor, including our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters. Latter-day Saints believe that our true commitment to Christian teachings is revealed by how we respond to this commandment. This love is tested every day of our lives. We may know individuals with same-sex attraction in our workplaces, congregations and town halls. As people with hopes, fears and aspirations like everyone else, these neighbors deserve our love. But we can’t truly love the neighbors next door if we don’t love the neighbors under our own roof. Family members with same-sex attraction need our love and understanding. God loves all his children alike, much more than any of us can comprehend, and expects us to follow.Unquote:
        I hope this clears up any misconceptions about the Mormon Church’s position on the homosexuality issue and that it is against God laws which are unchangeable as the Mormon Church believes.

    • Step 1: Get companies to have “inclusive” charitable giving guidelines. – DONE
      Step 2: Pressure companies to restrict donating, because longstanding support no longer meets new guidelines. – DONE
      Step 3: Pressure organizations to have “inclusive” membership guidelines so they can get donations back. – DONE
      Step 4: Let Chartering organizations “decide” – EXPECTED NEXT WEEK
      Step 5: Insist that the Board appoint new LGBT members to show support for new policy. EXPECTED SEPT 2013
      Step 6: Repeat steps at regional and council level.

      Zach Wahls, whose group (Scouting for Equality) has been working for more inclusive rules under the motto, “A scout is equal,” said he applauded the change.
      “It’s a step in the right direction, and good to see that B.S.A. is softening its position,” he said. “But under the policy change, it will still be possible for some units to discriminate.”

      –Yep – there is your path forward – Local units can decide, and then we will attack them.

      Your PTA can set up a Troop or Den, but your school can’t support religion, so can you just take out that whole God thing?

      Learning about sexuality is an important health consideration – something Scouts need to learn about in order to protect themselves – Prepared.ForLife right? Chap 25 in your Bear Handbook – Human Sexuality –

      Why does it seem like I have seen this all before?

  11. “Scouting for Boys” used to be just the name of Lord Baden-Powell’s book. It seems that now it will also be the avocation of some of our leaders.

        • A Scout is Reverent.
          A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.

          any my beliefs don’t say that Homosexuality is a sin..

      • Legally 16 year olds are over the age of consent. As much as youthfulnes is prized in feminine beauty, it’s even more prized by homosexuals. Open that gate and there will be a flood.

    • I hate to tell you this, but pedophiles involved in Scouting were already “Scouting for Boys”.

    • There is zero data to back up your assertion linking pedophilia and homosexuality. In fact, the BSA has long had trouble with sexual abuse, despite its ban on gays. Let’s please be respectful, rely on real data, and avoid crud humor in our discussions.

  12. from what I am reading, each unit (pack, troop, team) would be able to make their own decisions – so if a unit was chartered to a group that did not want to include gays, then they would not be forced to. OTOH, if a unit was chartered to a group that did want to include gays, they could. It would be a unit by unit decision. So you could find a unit that matched your views on the subject.

    • Yes, Martha, but allowing homosexuals in any Boy Scout troop may open the door for furthur moral degeneration.

        • No, Lisa, we should not hate homosexuals, but many families do not want their sons to grow up around them. They (and I) would rather have our sons be around people who believe in traditional marriage: thus, between a man and woman.

    • The problem is a legal one. What happens when Units cancel camp plans or Pow Wow plans because they will not put their youth in a potentially compromising position of dealing with homosexuality in a place where it has NEVER been an issue before? The LGBT Community has lawyers on standby to file discrimination lawsuits. Who protects the Chartered Organization? Used to be National. Now the Chartering Organizations would be cut loose. Some of the CO’s are community churches with limited funds. They will be forced to simply shut down their programs.

      • After reading many of the comments I have to say that most commentors have missed the main reason for the pending change in allowing Homosexuals into the BSA Program. Has anyone heard of United Way? They were huge supporters of the BSA organizations all over the United States and over the last ten years their contributions to the BSA have dried up. Many Councils relied on their support to be able to keep the Council a float including my local Council. The reason was the BSA excluded Homosexuals from the program. Money has become more important than morals and this is the reason for change by the National BSA. Many business organizations have followed the United Way in their dropping all funding for the BSA. I believe that the National has made a gamble that they will increase more members and funding if they would make the change to its program. When I look at the way our Nation is losing its moral compass it is not surprising to me that this pending change would make its way into the last stand for morality in our Nation, the Boy Scouts of America. It has been a great run for 103 years and I have been honored to be a volunteer for such a honorable and moral organization for our youth for the last 30 years. I pray that wiser heads will prevail and find a way to support the traditional BSA without giving up its principles. God Bless the BSA

        • Has anyone heard of Mormon Church and the Catholic Church? They are huge supporters of the BSA organizations, primarily in the Southern and Western parts of the country, where BSA moved their headquarters in 1979.

          BSA feared that if they admitted gays, Mormon and Catholic contributions to the BSA would dry up. Many Councils rely on Mormon and Catholic support to be able to keep the Council a float.

          The Mormon and Catholic churches are the reasons that the BSA has excluded Homosexuals from the program for so long. Money had become more important than morals and this is the reason National BSA has refused to change until now. I believe that the National has made the calculation that they will increase more members and funding if they would make the change to its program.

          When I look at the way our Nation is becoming more aware of, and welcoming of the diversity among us, it is not surprising to me that this pending change would make its way into one of the most prominent advocates for morality for the children of all families in America, not just for a few churches, the Boy Scouts of America.

        • I am a member of the LDS Church and a scout leader. I’m afraid that the views you expressed are not in-line with the Church’s teachings. Please visit the Church’s website on the matter: http://www.mormonsandgays.org/ It makes clear that you can be gay, or have same-sex attraction, and be a member in good standing (enter the temple, pass the sacrament, etc.) as long as they do not act on those attractions. In other words not break the law of chastity. Why then could a boy who is gay pass the sacrament but not participate in scouting? Seem contradictory to me. If the BSA changes their policy it would bring it more in-line with the LDS Church’s current policy. I hope and pray that the BSA changes its policy on gay membership

        • I am aware that “you can be gay, or have same-sex attraction, and be a member in good standing” in the LDS church. But that has not always been the case. Do you know the date that this statement was first published by the LDS church?

        • Where the Mormon Church stands on homosexuality:
          The experience of same-sex attraction is a complex reality for many people. The attraction itself is not a sin, but acting on it is. Even though individuals do not choose to have such attractions, they do choose how to respond to them. With love and understanding, the Church reaches out to all God’s children, including our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters.
          The Church’s approach to this issue stands apart from society in many ways. And that’s alright. Reasonable people can and do differ. From a public relations perspective it would be easier for the Church to simply accept homosexual behavior. That we cannot do, for God’s law is not ours to change. There is no change in the Church’s position of what is morally right. But what is changing — and what needs to change — is to help Church members respond sensitively and thoughtfully when they encounter same-sex attraction in their own families, among other Church members, or elsewhere.
          Jesus Christ commanded us to love our neighbors. Whether sinner or saint, rich or poor, stranger or friend, everyone in God’s small world is our neighbor, including our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters. Latter-day Saints believe that our true commitment to Christian teachings is revealed by how we respond to this commandment. This love is tested every day of our lives. We may know individuals with same-sex attraction in our workplaces, congregations and town halls. As people with hopes, fears and aspirations like everyone else, these neighbors deserve our love. But we can’t truly love the neighbors next door if we don’t love the neighbors under our own roof. Family members with same-sex attraction need our love and understanding. God loves all his children alike, much more than any of us can comprehend, and expects us to follow.

        • Let’s be clear, money has always been more important to BSA than actually bringing young men up properly, and providing good programming. My local council is notorious for preferring the money of safety, as was clear when a local scouter was awarded the Heroism award for saving the life of a Webelo, who he nearly got killed in the first place.

        • Disregard that comment. Stepped away from my computer in public. Some other student tried to be funny, but was not.

        • The United Way pulled back roughly 50% in the 90s already. There are other places to come up with money.

      • Our units have not done council run Scout camps in years and have not missed it so this is not an issue for us. In our council camp staff there are some very openly gay staffers (the two I know are great young men but nonetheless should not be Scouters because of the policy) but our Council Executives and quite a few Scouters ignore the policy and just turn a blind eye towards it. Though people complain privately no one wants to get in a conflict with council.

        • See, and here’s the problem. I’m pretty sure Jo Pop that you just invalidated the argument of one side. ‘They’re great young men’. I know the young men of whom you speak (I’m not sure if you’re right about them either way, but I know who you refer to). And I’ll agree with you, they are outstanding. So who are we to dictate whether or not they should contribute? They obviously have skills that camp needs and/or benefits from. The other Scouts look up to them – and not because of their lifestyle (or not). They don’t openly declare it so they fall under the current ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy of National which means there is nothing Council should do as far as I know. I know our Council would be poorer without those individuals. And if anything was done to drive them out, we’d all have lost something of ourselves in the process. This is the pain that I feel – we have these young men that start as Tigers, Wolves, and Bears who may not know their sexuality who develop into stellar Scouts. But we’re saying YOU can’t participate anymore because you don’t like girls? There’s no justice in that. These young men (or not, because I’m not fully convinced they’re both gay) deserve recognition for their time, energy and achievements. Why can’t we judge them based on that?

        • It’s definitely not an easy situation. With the youth we are referring to, I enjoy them both and have had a lot of time with both before they made any declarations. It actually is because of my respect for the younger of the two (who I agree is not sure what he is right now) that I am torn on the issue.

          It does bother me that the policies are being ignored and things are being overlooked because I wonder what are we teaching the Scouts who are watching this from the sidelines. But then go back to what I said about the younger one in particular.

          The people that actively support the gay agenda are not helping by being so closed minded themselves. All sides need to be respected here and if this comes to pass, the gay youth and leaders and their supporters need to be sensitive to those of us who have to accept this. But they as a group are not patient at all which will just aggravate the situation and prolong the division and carnage.

          The changes seem to be inevitable but it’s going to take time to get people on board.

          National also has a lot of work to do if they pass this before they should implement it, training, policies, youth protection rules updates, etc. If it is going to happen then let’s make sure it happens the right way.

          So did I just change my opinion? I don’t think so. But depending on how this goes and how the activists react and carry on if it does happen will decide a lot for me.

        • Sorry, lost track of this conversation – the blog doesn’t show everything active unfortunately. Jo, that’s all anyone can ask for. Thank you.

        • Jo, you seem like a wise person and an asset to scouting. If everyone, from either side, approaches the potential change as you suggest – with respect for each other, with the effort to really listen to others and to reflect on things from their point of view, and with an eye towards any change happening with full support – training, etc – done in the right way, then all should be well.
          I hope that on all levels the conversation can be as thoughtful and respectful as it has generally been here, and that folks on both sides can gently rein in anyone on their side of things who steps over the line of civility.

        • Has anyone heard of Mormon Church and the Catholic Church? They are huge supporters of the BSA organizations, primarily in the Southern and Western parts of the country, where BSA moved their headquarters in 1979.

          BSA feared that if they admitted gays, Mormon and Catholic contributions to the BSA would dry up. Many Councils rely on Mormon and Catholic support to be able to keep the Council a float including my local Council.

          The Mormon and Catholic churches are the reasons that the BSA has excluded Homosexuals from the program for so long. Money had become more important than morals and this is the reason National BSA has refused to change until now. I believe that the National has made the calculation that they will increase more members and funding if they would make the change to its program.

          When I look at the way our Nation is becoming more aware of, and welcoming of the diversity among us, it is not surprising to me that this pending change would make its way into one of the most prominent advocates for morality for the children of all families in America, not just for a few churches, the Boy Scouts of America.

        • I am a member of the LDS Church and a scout leader. I’m afraid that the views you expressed are not in-line with the Church’s teachings. Please visit the Church’s website on the matter: http://www.mormonsandgays.org/ It makes clear that you can be gay, or have same-sex attraction, and be a member in good standing (enter the temple, pass the sacrament, etc.) as long as they do not act on those attractions. In other words not break the law of chastity. Why then could a boy who is gay pass the sacrament but not participate in scouting? Seem contradictory to me. If the BSA changes their policy it would bring it more in-line with the LDS Church’s current policy. I hope and pray that the BSA changes its policy on gay membership

        • We’d probably gain a hell of a lot more money and members if we let girls join in at the Cub and Troop levels. But that’s probably an argument for a different day.

          (Yes I know there is some agreement with the Girl Scouts but their numbers are dropping and their program is lacking
          They deserve a great Christmas Scouting program as well.)

        • I am neither surprised nor sympathetic to the plight of Girl Scouts. There is something to be said for anyone (individual or group) that removes God and the morals of the bible from their lives & programs (and align themselves with Planned Parenthood) – His blessings are only for those that stay true to Him. They had a Christian program they chose to throw it away and cave to the pressures of those who felt they needed so called ‘equality’. So there’s a glimpse of what BSA will become.

          (Makes you wonder then – why did BSA go through the trouble of aligning ourselves with American Heritage Girls if we’re just going to turn around and be like Girl Scouts after all?!)

  13. My concern is the practical application. How will tenting arrangements be made? Will we need to ask an 11 year old boy if he’s gay? If we do, it opens us up to discrimination and harrassment charges. Do we allow a gay youth to tent with a hetero youth? We don’t allow hetero boys and girls to tent together in Venturing, for obvious reasons. Are we open to trouble if a hetero youth encourages a gay youth to change? What about the other way around? I’m not too worried about the adults. Adults, gay or hetero, are expected to be, well, adult. So long as they act like adults we won’t have a problem.

    • A problem I’m sure we can overcome. There are already likely boys questioning their sexuality in troops right now. What not to do? Shun them, make them feel like outcasts, treat them like dirt and immoral, for something their body chemistry is doing, and not a choice. There are one-man tents if it comes to it. We can be adults and think of ways to deal with our children, no matter their size, shape, gender, or orientation.

    • Tenting arrangements will be the same. And 11-year-old-boys will have the same conversations they’ve always had. Conversations about masturbation, conversations about making out, conversations about who looks hot. The same conversations that have gone on between 11-year-olds when no adults are around for about, I don’t know, several thousand years, probably.

      The fact that 11 (or 12 or 13 or whatever) year olds have these conversations, and always have, does not mean they will become gay. If it did, then all boys would be gay!

      At early adolescent years, these conversations don’t determine a boy’s sexual orientation, but they do help a boy, slowly, discover what sexuality is and become comfortable with his own sexuality.

      Tenting arrangements don’t need to change. Boys will have the same conversations as always. Teaching boys how to respect everyone, and how to understand themselves, in an atmosphere of mutual respect and responsibility, is the best lesson we can teach them.

      • yes, the conversations have always gone on, and will continue. The conversation is not the concern of this post. The concern is when it becomes more than a conversation.
        I’m not sure there is a good solution to address those concerns. Maybe BSA will require everyone at camp to wear a chastity belt, and leave the key at home with mom. (I know that is unlikely, and probably not the best solution, but I can’t come up with a better one right now.)

        • What if I told you that your son has already likely tented with homosexuals? I’m pretty sure just because you’re homosexual, and you’re tenting with someone who’s not, you’re not automatically inclined to force your gayness on your tent mate. That’s not how it works.

        • So then let’s lift the rule prohibiting straight male and female youth from tenting together. Why are we assuming that gay youth are more responsible or in control of their hormones than straight youth?

        • A change in policy won’t facilitate the transition of the conversation to action. If this is going to happen, then it will happen. New policy or old.

      • Tenting arrangements absolutely have to change to keep the intent of the youth protection rules in place. But this is NOT an anti gay thing. If you are going to allow same gender gay youth to tent together then we have to allow straight males and females together. Teens are teens. Hormones rage if you are gay or straight when you are a teen. It’s unfair to say that two gay youth are more responsible to keep themselves under control than the straight mixed gender pair. The rules need to be updated to make sure that all the combinations of genders and orientation are treated equally and offered the same protections. No gender or sexual orientation is any more or less capable than the others of breaking the rules or being inappropriate.

        There has got to be a solution that will make all sides feel comfortable at the least.

    • So…uh, I hate to break it to you, but hetero boys and gay boys have been tenting together in the BSA since the beginning of time.

    • It’s a valid concern. But it’s one that should be addressed regardless of any policy changes. There are now gay scouts, and there will be in the future regardless. Assuming that there aren’t is not wise.

    • Why, lots of us, actually. Many families I know have boycotted Boy Scouts because of this unfair discrimination. My son will meet gay people in the world anyway, what’s the harm in meeting them in his troop? And, maybe, there won’t be any in his troop. Stop being paranoid.

      • They have every right to boycott, and it is not hurting the BSA by them doing so. The BSA is a private organization and it has every right to restrict membership. The people who say that it is unfair can go camping on their own or even start their own private organization.
        Also, many families do not want their sons to grow up around and be influenced by homosexuals, regardless of the fact that they will meet them in the real world.

        • the BSA is a private organization. they have every right to decide to reverse a policy that they decide is discriminatory and allow LGBT individuals to join.

        • Not influenced by homosexuals? um, have you never met an interior designer? A men’s clothes designer (or women’s)? Or seen a broadway show? We’re influence by gay folks allllllllll the time, lol. Open your eyes, hears, and heart, and maybe you’ll find enough love for Jesus, cuz apparently you think your in his shoes to judge people without knowing a like about them.

        • I agree, Nathan, many of the people in those professions are homosexual. However, having openly gay leaders in your son’s troop is much more influential than seeing them on TV.
          And no, I don’t hate homosexuals. I simply do not agree with the way they chosen to live their lives. And, since you brought up Jesus, you should know that the Bible says that spiritual judgement is ok.

      • Angie, I’m concerned that my son may find himself camping with people who are sexually attracted to him. How can I know if that will happen? How can I prevent that from happening? If a unit decides to not allow gays in their ranks, will the BSA defend that unit in court if needed? It sounds like the answer will be no. So in the end, I think it won’t really be up to the individual units to decide on this issue, it’ll be up to those who choose which units to legally attack over the issue.

        • ummm, the BSA already defends 100% of its units to not allow gays, so only having to defend 75% would be relief for national!! Think about it.

          Ummm, your son may already have camped with a boy who might be gay. Just cuz a kid’s parent signed him up for Scouts doesn’t mean year’s later, when the boy hits puberty, doesn’t mean he won’t be or isn’t gay. I mean, when did you ‘choose’ to be straight? You didnt. You’re hormones chose for you. You think its different for gays? There’s hormones choose but they know society tells them otherwise. That’s why they struggle with it and don’t come out. They think if they wait, it might change. But you don’t change those things. Just like you won’t change from being attracted to women…you just are. The more open and honest, and accepting (see hermaphrodite, transgender, etc), the less scared you’ll be and maybe confronting these issues won’t be as hard.

      • There are other Scouting organizations out there that welcome gays. Why does the gay movement have to insist on forcing themselves into every aspect of our lives? My opinion is that they are the most closed minded intolerant minority group there is. If you don’t agree with them they can bully harrass threaten and label you. Then they will use their protected class status as a shield.

        If they succeed here they will walk through the carnage they created and move on to their next target.

        • You have accidentally hit on a part of the problem. The gay world has invented themselves minority status, and many have bought it. Who or what I like doesn’t make me a minority. Will you treat me special if I claim to like whips and chains? How about if I like women with big noses? How about if we leave sexual preference out of the question and I like to eat sauerkraut?
          I happen to like sauerkraut. I’m going to declare myself a minority. I’m going to get my friends to join me in an annual sauerkraut parade. Then I’m going to insist that all public gatherings where food is served MUST offer sauerkraut, because if they don’t offer sauerkraut they are discriminating against me.

        • You’re perfectly welcome to have a sauerkraut parade, and to eat sauerkraut when and where you want, as far as I’m concerned. Not offering sauerkraut is not in line with disallowing homosexuals from existing. LGBT individuals asking for equality are not asking to make YOU gay. They are just asking for the same rights as everyone else.

        • Your use of the term carnage is truly hyperbolic. You stated elsewhere that you don’t want to exclude gays from scouts. I guess if that’s true, that’s true, but you can perhaps see why people would infer that perhaps you do want to keep gays out of scouts because of your statements such as this?

        • The carnage is going to be all the lawsuits, hatred etc. Traditional units being targeted as discriminating bigots, “inclusive” units getting similar insults. With no unifying voice from National the general non Scouting public will not understand what is going on. There will be divides between units, other units refusing to go to an event because it is including “those” units. Chartered organizations dropping units just to prevent exposure to lawsuits. It will take many many years for the BSA to recover. It will but it will never have the stature it once had.

          I have not been shy to say that I personally disagree with the gay lifestyle and I don’t see good things happening with this being shoved at us.

          My primary concern when this happens, and it will because National will bend, is to make sure that all the policies and rules are rewritten to make sure that the strictness and intent of the youth protection rules are applied equally and fairly across the new gender and orientation combinations of youth and adults. That there is proper training not the typical cheesy BSA flick to help leaders understand the changes as well as help those of us with no experience with openly gay youth understand them because each are their own group with unique issues and worries. I can relate to the straight youth but not necessarily to a gay youth.

          This all has to be done with some sensitivity to those who though don’t necessarily agree with it are willing to do their best to try to make it work. All the mocking of their religions, parenting, etc isn’t helping the cause.

          People will naturally rebel toa major fundamental change. Those forcing it should try to help people who are not necessarily for it understand why they think that it is a good thing and perhaps help come up with transition plans and ideas for training and coming up with support resources for people willing to try.

          Instead I see vicious attacks on people who have expressed disagreement with the lifestyle and proposed changes.

          By the way, the gay agenda would find much less resistance if it defended and supported the rights of units to stay traditional without all of the negative labels. Then they could be in the BSA and the traditional units could be there. If we eliminated the innuendo and labeling of traditional units you might find more support for inclusive units. It does not necessarily have to be an all or nothing policy for either side.

          Sadly I think it will continue to get ugly.

        • It’s close-minded to want the same rights as other people? Not to be discriminated against? That’s a pretty weird definition of close-minded, lady.

    • They are already exposed to this. They go to school don’t they.
      They are active in their community aren’t they.

      The gay population has been and will continue to be part of our society.

      • Neither of my kids has any openly gay youth in their social circles and they are quite active with a large group of friends.

        I’ve heard them talk about a couple of the in-your-face flamboyant gay youth in school but that’s it.

    • what are you worried about? you’re not going to get gay cooties by sitting next to a gay person at a campfire. it doesn’t expose our children to anything.

      • That’s a stupid statement. No one is talking about “cooties”. People want to be part of an organization that is in line with their values. Despite what you liberal gay supporters believe, we all don’t have to agree with the gay lifestyle. That doesn’t make us hate filled or anything, it means that we don’t find ourselves in alignment with them. I’m not the least bit Italian, should I bully and sue my way into the local Italian American club or find a club I am more in align with?

        But not with the gay agenda. They insist on invading every aspect of our lives forcing themselves into places they don’t need to be because there are other organizations more in alignment with them.

        Interesting that people have spent time and money to create inclusive Scouting organizations but rather than you being a part of that and supporting their efforts you just want to force change here and let those groups fail.

        • Jo that is Exactly what we are arguing for.. I like and scout in the NE. An area that is more progressive they where ever it is you are from. In the NE Parents want their kids to be exposed to the same scouting values they where when they where kids.. before people like you marched in and declared BSA a Christian only organization, and not just christian, but a specific sect that views it is their job to impose their beliefs on others.

          People are tired of rolling over to your dogma, and they want change, so they are following the scout law to change it from the inside. They want the Scout Law and Oath to stand up for what BP intended, not as a sheltered youth program of the dogmatic few. There is nothing wrong with BSA, it has just been lead astray from the founders and people are working to bring it back. you may not like it because you want to see it remain exclusive and eventually die. But others who have GENERATIONS in Scouting, want to see their family traditions continue, so they are on a mission to remove the imposed dogma and bring scouting back to the wholesome program it once was.. on that was about raising good citizens, not about creating people who are bound by fear and exclusion..

          This change is going to bring back scouting stronger in the NE, where it has been struggling against an issue that should not have been here in the first place. But it is an issue brought on by fear of change, a fear that is owned by people like you, Jo.

          People who want to invoke hate and fear, instead of Loyalty, kindness, reverence..

          Please Jo, reflect on the scout law and oath, and understand it as the rest of the world does. BSA will return to it’s core values. I have faith in that. There are more Good people out there who want to see their children raised according to their values, and not your values.

        • Why are you attributing religious dogma to me? I’ve not made one religious statement to support anything that I have said.

          I am in the Northeast as well in a rural community. Scouting is quite active. 7 active Troops within 7 miles of me. Two of the Packs with 7 miles of me are at about 100 members each. Our Venturing Crew has 24 youth between the ages of 13 and 19.

          So raising kids by your values is better than raising them by my values? If you say so. You don’t know my values. You know my opinions based on short bursts of posts in a heated forum. But that gives you enough to judge my parenting? Interesting.

        • I believe the whole “separate but equal” argument went out of style fifty years ago. But don’t let facts or science impact your opinion. It’s definitely much better to close your mind and judge -

        • Nobody is telling you you have to “agree with the gay lifestyle” (whatever that is. It’s not like it’s something you choose, like the color of your curtains). They’re telling you that your personal preference for what sexuality someone else is shouldn’t matter when it comes to scouts. Scouts isn’t about sexual orientation. Now, if you wanted to exclude homosexuals from your swingin’ hetero sex club, well, then I think you’d be on more solid ground.

  14. Seems like passing the buck and it doesn’t even seem practical. Now instead of the Scouts as a whole being called bigots they’ll be calling specific troops/packs bigots and targeting them directly? Way to stick up for the little guy National. Glad to be paying those dues and selling that popcorn.

    Consider the logistics of events/camping trips alone. Before tent assignments, restrooms, showers, etc etc where divided by simple categories of Youth/Adult and Male/Female. How many new categories does this create? Youth,Straight / Youth,Gay / Adult, Straight / Adult,Gay / Female,Straight / Female,Gay etc etc.. You thought “Youth Protection” was complicated before. Think of the fun new lawsuits on the way.

    Now I’m not saying not to consider something because of only logistics. I’m just saying that National/Local Councils are fooling themselves if they can simply pass the buck on this and it not affect them.

    I get that other groups including the US Military have integrated. However, its apples to oranges right? Last time I checked the US Military didn’t enlist minors which is what scouting is all about.

    Why not a moderated approach? Perhaps a “venture” like program that allows gays. Give it a test run, see how it fairs in safety and practicality before those policies are every pushed on the core of scouting.

    Just my 2 coppers.

    • I see your concerns and unlike many of them on here that I have read, they are well thought and practical. Shall I attempt to tackle each of your points?
      Tenting I will admit may be a bit challenging for the troops however it is an issue that can be dealt with by the troops and their leaders. All I feel is needed on their part is to stress no sex of any kind. Any caught are left up to the judgement of the troop (possible kicking out, but that is left up to the troops and their committees). Restrooms and showers is an easy thing to fix and relatively simple. Private showers and restrooms. Im sure most restrooms are already private so what does it matter if a gay scout uses the same toilet as a straight scout? Private stalls for showering would be an almost must at this point. I have camped with scouts for nearly my entire life, thanks to my older brother, and I have noticed that even in group showers, scouts do not get naked. They shower in their swimming trunks. What difference does it make if tommy tenderfoot is gay in the shower if he will be exposed to the exact same thing in a public swimming pool?
      Why should adult leaders be categorized? Yes we need female leaders and male leaders if there are both sexes but what difference does it make if a leader is gay? With the youth categorization, do we categorize them now? Do we say, “oh youre the little straight blue eyed blonde german boy and you are the little jewish kid” and base them on that? If so, then your scouting unit is not one that I would ever want to be associated with.
      I am actually very supportive of this movement but I must admit that your idea of a trial venture crew is actually a good one. One that I would like to see. But perhaps National will do something like that. We do not actually know what the will do and nor will we until next week.

      • So are you then supporting that straight Venturing males and females can also tent together or is that only open to pairs of same gendered gay youth because somehow magically they have more control over their teenage hormones than the straight pair.

        If you say you don’t I’d really like to hear how and why that would be considered fair or equal.

      • Jo, where do you get your crazy Ideas from? in all seriousness, it seems to me that you have an issue with anyone who does not practice your religion. That is not very reverent, kind, or friendly..

        The only one here who does not want compromise is you, and those you represent, which for too long (30 years) has distracted BSA from following the scout law, because to do so would mean that you can’t claim your self appointed position as the voice of morality..

        • If you read my posts I have never quoted anything from religion.

          I’ve offered ideas on how this could be made to work and I addressed valid youth protection concerns that would need to be worked out. I’ve also suggested that serious training be developed to help people like myself understand the gay youth issues so that I can better help them because ever different group of youth have their own issues and such. Having no experience with gay youth I would need resources to help me help the youth in my units.

          Apparently your complete all or nothing right now attitude with no tolerance of anyone who doesn’t immediately jump up and down and embrace the gay agenda has blinded you from seeing things. You don’t want to compromise or work together for a solution you want it to be your dogma or none.

        • Hi Jo, You probably have gay youth in your troop already or in the past. Your troop leaders have been dealing with their gay youth issues just fine.

      • Yeah, the NERVE of them, not wanting to be discriminated against! Why, the next thing you know, they’re going to claim they have a right not to get beaten up all the time.

  15. It’s probably been said, but I really get a kick out of all those who are saying they’ll leave or start getting upset about integration issues. Yup, I remember back when the US Military made this same change and the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard all spontaneously combusted….

    • It didn’t implode obviously but it is not all happy yellow brick road with the integration in the military.

      • With change comes turmoil. It’s only been a couple of years and let’s face it – the military doesn’t exactly react or move with the speed of a cheetah to change. The real evaluation the adoption of this policy can’t happen for a few more years at least. But, my point as sarcastic as it was (apologies, I get tired and I get snarky) still stands. They didn’t implode and they’re working through difficulties created by the new rules. They’re adapting to it and finding a way to still complete their mission and serve our national interests.

        • I don’t doubt that at all. We have the best military men and women in the world.

          No need to apologize about snarkiness, I’m sure that I have made a few enemies overnight with how I have phrased things. I’ve been told often that I should relax more before getting into debates or arguments about Scouting.

          When this is all said and done I hope it doesn’t leave us completely divided.

        • “When this is all said and done I hope it doesn’t leave us completely divided.”

          Jo this is unavoidable. You can not have it both ways this will surely change BSA forever if it goes through. I know we will no longer be members.

        • I think there will be complete harmony in the Scouting for Boys movement if this passes because I believe the disenfranchised half of the participants will vote with their feet. I agree with you ScoutMommaX3.

        • Jo, I have no reason to believe we’ll be divided in the end. I think the organization we both care about though is going to have some growing pains.

    • Charles, you obviously never served in a combat unit. The fact that most of you “patriots” keep holding up the military as the example shows your complete ignorance on the subject. A) The US Military is a government organization. B) The BSA is a private organization that is free to set it’s own membership standards.

      That being said, being a former infantry sergeant I would not want to have homosexuals for subordinates. I wouldn’t want to have women as subordinates either. You see, when you have women/homosexuals integrated into combat arms units that often have direct enemy contact and come under fire it can complicate things.

      If I have a platoon that has two heterosexual couples and a homosexual couple then it is a worse case scenario. The Israelis tried it and it went horribly wrong. I have seen men shut down after seeing their teammates killed and I have seen them rise above it. It’s an emotional thing to see your best friend killed. Imagine that is your significant other. Some people will not be able to handle it. Some will ignore the mission and focus on their spouse. The support units try to manage it, but it still results in adultry, unplanned pregnancies and in some unfortunate instances rape.

      Soldiers on the front lines do not care about race, religion and gender, but at the end of the day no infantryman wants to be caught in the crossfire of some girlfriend/boyfriend or homosexual drama between two squadmates. It’s my experience that people should stick to what they know and it’s obvious you don’t know a thing about our military.

        • and some of us believe that they are actually going to follow the scout law, and not just pay it lip service. This is not about political correctness, it’s about allowing people to be honest, and uphold their morals. If you want to run a unit that is exclusive to only people from your church, that is something you can do. If my PTA wants to run a unit that includes all students in the school regardless of theirs or their parents orientation, and does not want to demonize the parents in the eyes of their children. Then they can do that.. Heck they can have a unit that includes ALL religious beliefs.

        • There are still many religions and religious denomiations that consider homosexuality a sin, leaving it highly unlikely that a unit will be able to include gays and still welcome all religious beliefs. When the unit picks one, it will tend to exclude the other.

        • My pack already does.. You see a scout is reverent, this means that he allows for all religions, this also means that the scout does not preach or dictate the dogma of any one, but encourages a scout to talk with their parent or religious leader about reconciling the world with their beliefs.

          My pack and troop handle it simply.. we leave religion, along with sex as a family matter.

        • and those religions and religious denominations will still be free to exclude gay members if they wish, according to what national has said on the issue today. if a unit isn’t dedicated to a certain religion and wishes to be inclusive, good for them. win-win.

        • In a private organization that you join by choice it is the members responsibility to follow the tenants of the organization not the other way. Do not like the requirement? Do not join. There is no right to join a private organization.

        • yes.. and the private organization is being redefined as the Unit, which is where it should be, after all does the BSA OWN the unit? no.. the chartered Org does. The BSA don’t own the unit’s Gear.. the Chartered org does. The Unit is not under the BSA 5013c, it is under the the Chartered Org’s 5013c.

          So why shouldn’t the Chartered Org decide who to let me leaders and who not to? After all IT owns the unit. Not the BSA.

        • There is still the unanswered question of legal liability. You are kidding yourself if you think the LGBT Community will sit quietly while one Unit “discriminates” against another when they will not interact willingly or in good faith. Funding is competitive and many CO’s do not have the funds to fight the endless streams of litigation.

        • Well honestly the Legal Liability was always on the Chartered Org. which is why so many backed out when the discrimination policy came to the for front..

        • I totally agree with you, Andrew. It seems that people would rather attack private organizations instead of leaving them be.

        • EXACTLY then why are they try to JOIN AND CHANGE it!!?? DON’T JOIN GO START THE GAY SCOUTS OF AMERICA!

        • This may seem obvious but let us all be really clear on this one point, there is no right being violated here i.e. the BSA is a private organization and no one has an inherent civil right to belong. I see many comments that use segregation, and exclusion. Again there is no inherent civil right that says you have a right to join the BSA. The “civil rights” argument does not apply as per the SCOTUS ruling.

      • No they are hoping for a gain of money, pure and simple. They are probably trying to see if the cost of the backlash will be outweighed by all the money at end of the rainbow. But once they force the carnage upon the BSA that pot of gold is going to move on with the movement to their next target while we figure out how to repair all of the damage and bad feelings.

        Chartered organizations that thought that National and Council was their “partner” are going to wonder exactly what the unit charter fee pays for and when they will actually receive council support that is mentioned in the annual charter agreement.

        Already cash strapped councils are going to get deluged in legal battles if National ducks and hides leaving local councils, chartered organizations and units to fend for themselves.

  16. I have been involved with the Boy Scouts since 1966. This potential change in policy has no place in the Boy Scout program. Our organization is fundemental to the well-being of young men and is instrumental in the common belief that as adult leaders our responsibility is to teach and demonstrate moral behavior in our actions and our policies. I am shocked and beyond ashamed of the “new” leadership (Wayne Brock)in our program to even consider this change. Lord Baden Powell must be rolling over in his grave right now! I’m certain if it had been known that his agenda was to change the character and history of the Boy Scouts, he would have never been selected to this position. Perhaps the decision to put him in this job needs to be reconsidered!

      • There are no official substantive references or sources you could point to that would give your statement any weight. Even the latest biography by Tim Jeal is unclear as to the historical certainty of his orientation. Jeal himself concedes this.

      • Yeah he married Olave Soames when he was 50 and they had a nice family. He met her on a cruise.

    • The Brits allow lgbt and girls in.. and that was many years ago.. and they seem to be doing just fine.. maybe we could learn something else from the people on the other side of the pond.

    • Unless someone can prove to the contrary, I don’t believe Lord Baden-Powell ever suggested the exclusion of gay members.

      • Being “gay” wasn’t quite the “in” thing back then like it is now. So it was not an issue that he had to tackle.

    • Perhaps, Mr. Turner, you might want to direct your attention to the head of our national board, who has said he wants to see this policy overturned. I confess, though, that I don’t understand why, in these days of declining membership and opportunities, we would seek to further isolate ourselves. If your chartering organization doesn’t want to allow gay members, then don’t. It’s as simple as that.

      • It’s not “as simple as that”. Without the unified voice of the organization as a whole and the support of National, most units and chartered organizations are going to eventually be forced to capitulate. Because the gay agenda is not going to be satisfied with some units being traditional.

        Hell look how this is breaking down on all the message boards. There’s likely to be a divide of traditional units and “inclusive” units (because its not actually inclusive if we still discriminate against girls being in all levels of the program). Look at how the pro gay people are labeling the traditionalists as intolerable hate mongers who should join the KKK. How are these very two opposing sides going to plan district events together or have roundtables together and so on.

        • We don’t think you should join the KKK, we think you should take a lesson from some of the people you are trying to exclude. Have you ever met a “gay” person? I personally have many homosexual friends and most of them are nicer than my heterosexual friends.

    • what about the well being of young gay men? Who’s to teach them about character, leadership, and morals? The non-scouts? Dont we wish all young mean would follow the Scout Law…even gay ones?

      Have you looked at your own actions? The one who doesn’t know or understand biology isn’t black/white? Have you never read about hermaphrodites? You know (or don’t), those people, those humans, born with both sets of genitalia? Are they male or female? straight or gay? Your God made them in his image, right? A straight couple procreated them?

      • There are Scouting organizations that have been founded with hard work and money and caring that are inclusive and supporting of gay youth. But none of the gay supporters are helping, joining or supporting them. No they insist on creating carnage in the BSA. They could care less about those other organizations because they already accept the gay agenda so there is no reason to get involved with them. So the people who actively tried to create a program that welcomed gay youth get ignored and will eventually go away having wasted a lot of time and money.

        Could you imagine the level of program those other organizations would have now if all of the resources wasted attacking the BSA were used to build up and support the organizations that were trying to support the gay youth?

      • Hey Nathan. Again you attribute religion to what I’ve been saying. Is English your second language? I have not made a single religious or god reference supporting anything I have said.

  17. I appreciate people being concerned about the logistics of homo boys in tents with hetro.. however, this is not a new issue, it’s just going to now be ok to talk about it. Maybe we can turn to the Brits to see how they resolved this many years go..

    It will also allow may PTA, and non-Church organizations feel good about stepping up and chartering unit’s again. If the christian based pack/troop does not want to allow LGBT in.. well they CAN start their own pack/troop/crew.. it’s a win win.. no more money wasted on law suits and no more units needing to deal with angry parents because some people in a different part of the country don’t feel comfortable.

    • The only way it would be fair is that if gay youth are allowed to tent with other youth of their gender that youth males and females have the same option. Two gay youth of the same gender who are just friends have the same raging hormones as the straight male and female who are just friends. So both situations have a chance of hanky panky. But with the proposed plan, one pairing will be ok but not the other?

      • Is that what your afraid of? Have you ever been camping with scouts? are you even really involved in the system? all 14 year old boys and girls I know are not really interested in hanky panky.. Secondly You seem to be the one with a problem here.. No one said sex was ok.. sex has no place in scouting.. and any one caught doing hanky panky.. regardless of gender/orientation would be dealt with accordingly..

        Are you just afraid that people will say it’s OK for gay boys to have sex when camping? If so, then you are sadly mistaken.. Also, a Tent, in the winter, with other people right around you? yeah that is about the dumbest Idea of when to have hanky panky..

        Seriously Jo, do you have any scouting experience?

        • Hey John.

          Thanks for letting me know about this reply.

          First I guess you should understand that I am mostly now on the Venturing side of things so I have mixed genders between 13 and 19 years old.

          I agree that sex has no place in Scouting. Our Crew has very strict rules (that the youth came up with) regarding relationships between Crew members in regards to Crew meetings and activities.

          However we have very strict rules in place to protect the youth. If we introduce gay youth into the equation, then the rules need to be modified to reflect this apply the same standards and protections across all combinations of genders and orientations.

          So if we do not allow straight youth males and females to tent together to avoid any even appearance of impropriety, then we have to apply that standard equally to same gender gay youth pairings or remove it.

          This is not an anti gay issue. This is wanting to make sure that all the youth are treated equally and fairly, and more importantly, that they are protected equally.

        • Forgive me, Jo, I honestly do not understand what you are arguing for, if you say you want all to be treated equally and fairly. Yes! Protect them all! If things need to be modified to accommodate openly gay individuals, so be it. I know that venturing youth protection is different, and may be difficult to integrate this but are you saying that if something will be hard, then we should just throw up our hands and say to forget it? If we believe it to be right, then we must work to find the solution. There are so many intricacies involved in this, but a reasonable solution is attainable if we work together to find it. If you don’t want to deal with it, there is still the option of keeping your unit closed. But why deny the opportunity for individuals to join another unit that will deal with it?

          The simple fact is, that many people who are gay, and even those that are straight, have struggles with finding their identities. They may not know who they are at the age we are dealing with them in scouts. That doesn’t make them dishonest. “Coming out” as gay is a complex process full of emotions and impulses that often leaves kids feeling isolated, abandoned, sometimes from their own families that shun them. They NEED a place to belong. I would LOVE to have scouting be the place that we can give them the acceptance they so fundamentally need. I’m sure we can work this out! I feel that it’s so very important to do so!

        • Not at all I have said repeatedly that we need to work out those issues, preferably in a way that meets the worries on all sides of the issues.

  18. If homosexuality is a sin, like, dosent god forgive you for those? and diddent jesus DIE for our sins? i mean, he diddent just die for the heterosexual sinners. everyone sins. some sins are not more sinful than others…useing the lords name in vein, and killing someone is basically the same in gods eyes, and if you ask, he will forgive you!
    so everyone, just think of the scout law. Also, bible teachings shouldent matter, because scouting caters too all religions! And really, if a scout was gay in my troop, it would have VERY little impact what so ever. Start loveing, stop hateing, and stop fearing the things you dont understand.

    • Yes, Jesus did die for our sins, but that is no reason to sin freely! God does not want us to sin. Romans 6:12 tells us: “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions” (ESV).

      Asking for forgiveness and then continuing to sin is to be hypocrite.

      • Andrew, when did you choose to be straight? And i don’t mean when was your first kiss. When did you make a conscious choose to be straight over gay? When did you sit down and make a list of pros and cons? Or, did it just happen? In puberty. And your hormones kicked in, and you just sorta started to take notice of girls. You never chose. So, why do you think gay people choose if you didn’t? Or do you just not understand biology? You can take classes on biology and biochemistry. Heck, you can look in the dictionary for free on issues like hermaphrodites, transgender, transexual, and open up your eyes that the world of biology is not black and white. You might find in your heart that it is you that are sinning. You cast stones. You read the Old Testament and do not read the Gospel. You haven’t learned a thing about Jesus. You’re fire and brimstone and no compassion. You’re not the follower of Jesus, the Jesus who helped those shunned by society. You fear what you do not understand, and that will hold you back in your faith.

    • You noted “if you ask, he will forgive you!”
      With that statement, I have to presume you are expecting the homosexuals to ask for forgiveness, would that be correct?
      I doubt that was your intended thought, but it does seem odd to say if you do not believe homosexuality is wrong.
      Also, why are so many referring to the Scout Law???
      Yes, as a Scouter, we respect all religions…however, I don’t know of any religion which encourages being a homosexual. And the religions which take no position on the subject are saying neither is it OK or not.
      MY religion clearly states in Leviticus 18.22, “No man is to have sexual relations with another man; God hates that.”
      [The Good News Bible, Today's English Version, Broadman Press, 1976.]
      So then, would you think it Ok to not respect my regilious beliefs and tell me that I should accept what the bible clearly states is “hated” by God?
      This is a none issue for me as the 2 Troops I am a party too are Chartered by Veterans groups, and their position is clear on the subject of homosexuals.
      My concern is with Nation tossing this on the COs to handle… this is the cowards way out.
      They should either stick to their long-held traditions, or tell everyone they must tow the National line; which they will not do becuase they KNOW they will lose COs [e.g., Many churches, Veteran's Groups, etc.]
      Lawsuits will be brought by this, of that you can be certain and of that I have no doubts.
      My doubts is where National will stand on defending the rights of the COs to support their own choices; which I believe they will “throw under the bus” at the first sign of cost to them.
      And…as for homosexuals just “starting another unit”, I am a Founder of a Unit and it is NOT all that easy when you are in a small community so PLEASE do not make it sound like it is simply the matter of dropping a piece of paper in the mail.
      In a small town, you will be hard-pressed to find enough to start a second Unit; and it will most likely be discouraged by Council as they will have 2 Units trying to sustain membership with a limited available amount of boys.
      My oponion is quite simply that the Traditions have held for over 100 years, the methods of Scouting has changed, but the Traditions have not………………….. KEEP the Traditional stance.
      .
      I do not kid myself into believeing there are no homosexuals in Scouting, but IF there are, they are keeping their lifestyle to themselves and are causing no issues.
      As an Eagle, I would never cause any harm to befall anyone just because they are homosexual…BUT, I do NOT have to accept their lifestyle.
      And, for the record… It has been well-documented that the vast majority of pedophiles are straight men…NOT homosexuals.

  19. I must say that I welcome this with great relief. It means that many Christian denominations who do not believe in bigotry in any form will be able to form Packs, Troops and/or Crews without worrying about who is LGBT, or anything else. It becomes a who cares position. I only demand 2 things from any would be leaders that is they take and follow the Youth Protection Training required by BSA and that they are willing to submit themselves to a Criminal Background check also required by BSA. I will encourage them to take the training specific to their position. For the youth I will not discuss issues of sexual orientation or anything else regarding that topic. Again the BSA has rules against that for our own and the youth’s protection. I will help him/her with anything that I can otherwise, including protecting them from bullying.

      • You can’t mock God and win. It really makes no difference how we “feel”. There is fundamental wisdom in protecting our children to the extent possible until they become adults.

      • morals are a very personal thing. as far as i’m concerned, good moral behavior means not lying, cheating and stealing. what i or anyone else does in the privacy of my own home doesn’t make me or anyone else a bad person. if an individual is gay, how does that effect some other person completely uninvolved in that person’s life? it simply does not. morality is basically being a good person and treating others well. gay people are still good people. they just love people of the same gender. period.

        • The problem is that gay people want to require all people to except and honor their choice of lifestyle without regard for anyone else’s freedom to choose their beliefs or lifestyle.

        • NO! that is not true! LGBT individuals aren’t asking for more than anyone else has. they don’t want to change anyone else’s beliefs. if you think that it’s wrong to be homosexual because of your religious beliefs, then fine, have those religious beliefs. what you CANT do is to tell someone who is gay that they don’t have the right to be gay because of YOUR religious beliefs. do you see the difference? they aren’t trying to tell you that you have to be gay. they just want you to let them be gay. live and let live.

        • I’ve never had a gay person try to force me to be gay. But plenty of straight people try to force gay people to be straight.

        • And they have their options and Scouting organizations that were formed to welcome and support them. But rather than support them back you and the rest of the gay movement want to force carnage on the BSA.

  20. I have to agree that the organization, BSA, is an umbrella organization, but its structure is rock solid if it is to remain true to the principles that B-P founded the organization upon. Homosexuality is NOT a part of the BSA principles: never has been but that is changing so it appears. Let the lawyers argue (and get paid by whom?) but the national leaders decide this based on the oath. The Scout oath does ask us to be “help other people at all times.” But helping how? That dove tails into the Scout Law. Within the twleve laws of Scouting as in the Old Testament,
    the Hummardi Code and the other philosophical and reglious laws, law speaks of relationships: man to God and God to man. We are to honor life but we are to protect it’s principle. God is creator. Homosexuality was NOT created by God for man’s pleasure because it defiles the individual. God created both male and female
    and made that relationship what is it. Homosexuality is not a derivate creation of God but of man. Scouting principles doe not reflect homosexuality. If another organization wan’t to aspire to the same level with Scouting but “gender and sexual preference free” then let it do that. Leave Scouting a homosexual-free organization. Life is confusing enough for a young boy but to expose that age to the a decision that he cannot truely make at that age thru some “instructions written in a charter” is ridiculous. Boys are to be lead, leaders are to lead, parented in a path straight for good, not evil. Therefore, we must remain structurally and organizationally, top to bottom, bound by same principles. The national organization cannot negate its leadership role by the choise which seems to have been made or directed by lawyers. The Supreme Court has already stated its position on the matter. The Scouting principles are there for a purpose. They must be practiced and carried out by the same leaders who are chosen for their moral integreity, not by their sexuality orientation. Boys, as pointed out by others, are not military aged individuals. They must be lead by men/women of moral integreity, religious forthrightness and principled character. Homosexual behavior and orientation must remain outside the membership privileges of the BSA organization. Confusing situations on the local level will only develop if National leadership does not take up its own mantel and lead according to what Scouting is all about: developing boys into men, doing the right thing, living honestly and forthrightly, and developing life skills which will help produce a good citizen, a rounded and trustworthy invididual who honors God, family and country.
    R/Y,
    John W. Owen, Sr
    Eagle ’62
    BS for Life

    • Um, John, sorry to break it to you, but God created gay people. He creates people who are born with two sets of genitalia (hermaphrodites). God creates people who’s gender does not match their sex, and their sexual orientation that doesn’t match either. God creates people born without limbs. God creates people born with unspeakable abnormalities. God creates babies that die before being born. God creates mentally unstable people who kill others. God creates diseases. God creates horrible death and destruction.

      How? Because it happens every day. How we cope with it is how God judges us. Yet, you cast stones. Straight people create gay people every day through reproduction. You fear what you do not understand. You must fear God, because you do not understand Him.

      I know gay people who have far greater love and respect for God than you ever will. They, too, are God’s children, and they know full well the depths of hatred and ill well that consumes men like you.

      • Gender is determined by chromosomes not someone’s feelings of what they wish to be or what surgical modifications or mutilations are done.

      • Nathan judge not less you be judged. My God created the Bible that teaches that homosexuality is a sin and there is no living proof that people are born that way. Homosexuality is a creation of man not God while we are all children of God we are also children of our own choices. Trenton

        • Actually, if you believe in the Christian dogma God sent the message. Man wrote it down. Man is fallible…

  21. It is unfortunate that a minority can rule the majority. What happens now with Youth Protection and a Scout is Morely Straight???

    • nothing happens with them.. this has been just fine in the UK for many years.. Also, this isn’t a minority that is ruling a majority… it is a majority that is taking it’s voice back from a minority..

      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.

      A Scout is Reverent.
      A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.

      • The UK scout oath and law does not and has never mentioned anything about being morally straight or morally anything at all. If we go the UK route, I think we’ll need to remove the morally straight portion of the scout oath. The UK scouts have also been considering an alternate oath for atheists, so I’m sure that’s on the horizon for the Boy Scouts as well.

    • Morally straight. Learn how to spell before you cast stones. How about people who don’t lie, don’t cheat, don’t abuse others, don’t treat others with disrespect, don’t steal, etc. That’s pretty moral. Loving in a mutual relationship isn’t something I’d immediately call immoral, just because i don’t understand it and have a hard time putting myself in their shoes. Isn’t it immoral for a 95 year old man to marry a 25 year old, but our society celebrates Hugh Hefner, a pornographer. Oh, that’s ok because he’s straight. So, a gay person, who’s in a committed relationship, wants to wait to get married before having sex (oh yeah, cuz straight people do that alllllll the time, hahaha), doesn’t lie, doesn’t cheat, is a leader, gives back to the community, and its just awesome, is immoral because God gave them a set of hormones that made them attracted to the same sex?

      By the way, if everyone follows Youth Protection, there will never be an issue. Keep pedophiles away from kids!

      I mean, am I to assume that because you’re a straight male than you might molest and abuse little girls? I’ll be sure to never let my daughters around straight men.

    • When the Scout Oath and Law were written, “straight” did not have the same connotation it does today. According to usscouts.org:

      . . . and morally straight.

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

      (http://usscouts.org/advance/boyscout/bsoath.asp)

      Respect and defend the rights of all people? Sounds like an admirable thing to do.

    • If you don’t have an umbrella policy covering you for lawsuits, get one now. If you already have one up the coverage, this is going to be a legal nightmare.

        • I am referring to National passing the buck. I believe lawsuits will happen if this policy is pushed through to appease the activists without implementing a transition time, proper changes and updates to youth protection to equally and fairly protect all of the youth and training for leaders without much experience with gay youth to understand their unique issues and so on.

          Plus there will be lots of residual lawsuits against units and chartered organizations that choose to stay traditional and so forth.

        • Hi Jo- I was wondering how you felt about the quality of BSA training on how to deal with heterosexual youth and their issues? What? There isn’t any? That’s right. Your whole argument about needing training on how to deal with gay youth is very disingenuous. Youth are youth. Gay or straight. Cool or nerdy. You have encountered youth who are gay. You just don’t know it because they’re not proclaiming to the world that they are gay. Sexuality is just one aspect of what makes up their personality. Very little would change in scouting if this policy were adopted, except that I’m hoping we might get more access to facilities and resources that have been closed to us because we discriminate. And I won’t be ashamed of the BSA’s membership stance the way that I am today.

    • *Morally Straight.
      That is referring to a scout having good morals and has nothing to do with sexually orientation.

  22. Major cave-in by national, passing the buck to the local units. Good luck with the facilities and accomodations at Jamborees and the like. I look forward to the guidelines on how a unit is supposed to advertise its membership stance and screen on the issue. The lawsuits we were seeing at the national level will now be targeted to the local units and chartering organizations.

    • Brad, do you currently let your straight boys shower with other boys? Most kids I know are pretty private. I know I was when I was in scouting or in sports. Heck, most men in a 24hr fitness try to cover up modestly. If everyone follows YPT, there shouldn’t be problems. As if boys who don’t join a troop pre-puberty don’t find out they’re gay while in a troop at 13 or 14, lol.
      It’s already happening every day across this country.

      • There is a whole host of youth protection issues that open up. We don’t allow straight youth males and females to tent together or be “buddies”. Are we going to impose this same standard on gay youth? Do I now need to ask each their sexual orientation so that I know who can tent with who or who can be a buddy with who? We have the strict standards between youth males and females to try to avoid putting them in a situation where something could happen. We were all “horny” teenagers at one point in our lives. Two gay youth are just as likely to engage in hanky panky as the straight male and female youth are.

        That’s really my core issue here. This is going to be a nightmare. If I there is a pairing between youth and because they were not honest about their sexual orientation (gay or straight) and something happens, what is the legal exposure? It looks like National may just make this happen then see how lawsuits and such sort out before changing the rules. I think if the rules are going to be changed due to money that they really need to think out all of these issues and scenarios and come up with clear and concise guidelines.

        • One really needs to be aware of youth-on-youth issues regardless of the BSA membership policies. Bullying and other inappropriate adolescent behavior occur in today’s troops. We deal with it now. It won’t be any different if the membership policy changes.

      • Nathan I was a Scoutmaster at the National Jamboree in 2010 and the boys showered in a certain location in the Western District and they certainly showered together like they do in their home school gyms. The men showered together at different time schedule’s than the boys YPT was certainly in force at all times. Trenton

  23. As for the question of WWJD, the Bible tells us in John 8:11 when addressing the prostitute He said “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.” Now prostitution is spoken of in the same context as homosexuality in almost all verses of the Bible, hence making it a sin too. So WWJD to the gay Scout or Scouter? He would tell him to sin no more.

    • So…you’re assuming that a gay person is a prostitute? That’s a pretty far reach there, buddy.

      When you can tell me when and how you chose to be straight, i might listen to you.

      • Is that your only argument? In the wild, animals that deviate from the norm are killed and eaten. That’s biology. Yeah I’m sure the gay supporters will pull out a few very rare examples that are exceptions to the rule.

        We’re humans so we don’t kill and eat those that deviate but it’s not a normal thing for humans to be gay. Organisms exist to reproduce. Those that can’t reproduce go extinct. That’s how you can tell that it is not a normal trait.

  24. This is a HORRIBLE idea. Homosexuality is damaging to families and morality. My basis for that claim is here: http://creation.com/arguments-against-homosexuality

    The BSA is a private organization and should uphold the values that it was founded upon. I DO think gays and lesbians should be able to live the way they choose, but corrupting the morals of a private organization is preventing others from living the way that they choose. If homosexuals want to go camping, there is nothing preventing them from doing so. In fact, they can create their own camping organization if they want to.

    God Bless

    • let me remind you of the values the BSA was founded upon..

      A Scout is Trustworthy.
      A Scout tells the truth. He is honest, and he keeps his promises. People can depend on him.
      A Scout is Loyal.
      A Scout is true to his family, friends, Scout leaders, school, and nation.
      A Scout is Helpful.
      A Scout cares about other people. He willingly volunteers to help others without expecting payment or reward.
      A Scout is Friendly.
      A Scout is a friend to all. He is a brother to other Scouts. He offers his friendship to people of all races and nations, and respects them even if their beliefs and customs are different from his own.
      A Scout is Courteous.
      A Scout is polite to everyone regardless of age or position. He knows that using good manners makes it easier for people to get along.
      A Scout is Kind.
      A Scout knows there is strength in being gentle. He treats others as he wants to be treated. Without good reason, he does not harm or kill any living thing.
      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.
      A Scout is Cheerful.
      A Scout looks for the bright side of life. He cheerfully does tasks that come his way. He tries to make others happy.
      A Scout is Thrifty.
      A Scout works to pay his own way and to help others. He saves for the future. He protects and conserves natural resources. He carefully uses time and property.
      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.
      A Scout is Clean.
      A Scout keeps his body and mind fit and clean. He chooses the company of those who live by high standards. He helps keep his home and community clean.
      A Scout is Reverent.
      A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.

      No where does it say a scout is not gay

      • You are correct, John. However, you cannot ignore the Scout Oath, in which every scout pledges, on their honor, that they will “keep themselves…morally straight.”

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

          So you are also making an oath to follow the scout law..

          morals plural of mor·al (Noun)
          Noun
          1 A lesson, esp. one concerning what is right or prudent, that can be derived from a story, a piece of information, or an experience.
          2 A person’s standards of behavior or beliefs concerning what is and is not acceptable for them to do.

          So being morally straight means that you are sticking to your standards of behavior or beliefs of what is right or wrong..

          your morals may be dictated by your religious beliefs.. and they may say that you should not practice homosexuality.. and be being Reverent.. I’m ok with you following your religious beliefs and not being Gay..

          But my religious beliefs may say that God does not care if your Gay.. and you being a reverent scouter should also be ok with that..

          We are BOTH being morally straight to our beliefs.. and because we are scouters, and reverent, we can allow for this to happen.

          That was BP’s dream.. that was his vision..

        • Andrew – That’s not correct.

          ‘Straight’ as a term to describe sexual orientation was created in the 1950′s by homosexuals (go ahead, look it up, I’ll wait). Boy Scouts was founded…when? Morally straight references how a Scout shall always do the right thing as per his moral upbringing. Hopefully, that means he won’t lie, cheat, steal or commit acts that society has a law against.

          Can we PLEASE stop using the ‘morally straight’ argument? Please? It’s a timeline thing – Lord BP did not craft this phrase to be abused in such a way every time this argument arises. Of course, if Lord BP were a timelord and had a Tardis, than my argument would be moot. But he wasn’t and he didn’t.

      • Respecting others beliefs doesn’t mean that a reverent scout lays aside God’s laws. A scout is kind, but kindness can be in saying truth.

        • So because it is your God it is the truth? But when it is a different person’s God it is a lie?

          That is not very Reverent, or kind.. and it really isn’t Friendly either..

          “There may be many difficulties relating to the definition of the
          religious training in our Movement where so many different
          denominations exist, and the details of the expression of duty to God
          have, therefore, to be left largely in the hands of the
          local authority.” (Aids to Scoutmastership, 1919) from the later day BP

        • Just because Andrew has a religious outlook that doesn’t support your desires, you label him as irreverent and unkind. And earlier you said you respected all religions…

        • I have no problem with him having his beliefs, but he needs to allow me to have mine also with out feeling the need to justify invalidating them. It is not kind to tell some one else that their beliefs are wrong. Would you like it if I told you that your belief in a singular God was wrong? I would not think so..

          Reverence is having your faith, being active in your faith, and allowing others the same in their faith.

          But telling me I’m wrong in “God’s Law” is not reverence..

    • Your ignorance damages your poor children that have to grow up in such a close-minded household. I shudder to think what you teach your kids….cuz it ain’t biology or chemistry.

      • You make assumptions on children are raised at home and if they are not indoctrinated to accept your gay agenda you say the kids are being damaged?

        For the record before this afternoon my 15 year old did not know my views on these issues. They weren’t relevant and there was no need to address it.

    • In fact several gay friendly Scouting organizations have been created to welcome and support gay youth. But they aren’t getting any help or support because the gay movement wants to force their way into the BSA.

  25. I had to go all the way to the end of the second page of comments to find one that touched on what should REALLY be concerning any adult leader of a Scouting unti that has a religious chartered organization (Protestant church, Catholic church, LDS church/ward, etc.). If this plays out like it seems it will, National will leave it up to each UNIT (i.e. the unit committee, which in turn MUST follow the wishes of its chartering organization) to decide if it will allow gay members, leaders, etc. Beyond the argument about sexual orientation relative to religious values, there is a very real chance of a unit NOT allowing gay members and then being sued by someone for not “letting them in…”. As a great number of churches that charter units are from denominations that do not condone homosexuality, this could end up being a rather nasty result. Will National pledge its support to these chartering organizations and the associated units? If the national umbrella of “no, we don’t allow that…” is removed, will we see individual units be threatened by legal action? Will those religious chartering organizations decide to drop Scouting as they want to minimize the risk of such court action and the associated costs they cannot affort? Something to think about if you take a step back from the religious hyperness and less-than-mature name-calling I’ve seen on this thread thus far. And for the record, I’m a unit leader for a Troop sponsored by an LCMS Lutheran church and school. You can probably guess where I might stand on the issue based on that, but as you can see there are other important aspects to this debate that need to be discussed in a rational manner.

    • Much like many PTOs, United ways, Boys and girls clubs, Christian churches and many many others dropped their unit’s when they national forced the discrimination policy on them. I think your going to find more support for it then agents it. Right now you have people attempting to gain access to the program. If there are people in your area who feel that your chartered org is being exclusive, then they have a choice.. they can start a unit. Now all they have is the options to whole cloth start their own scouting like organization.

      In the end I don’t see law suits against the chartered Org, because their will be the option to start their own unit. Where the BSA currently stands there is no choice.. This is going to solve a lot of bad press and wasted money on legal bills..

      • ” If there are people in your area who feel that your chartered org is being exclusive, then they have a choice.. they can start a unit. Now all they have is the options to whole cloth start their own scouting like organization. ”

        If this is true then why has the Gay community not simply made their own camping/outdoor group rather than cause so much of a problem. Would it not be easier, and cheaper. You could have rainbow colored tents and everything!!!

        • There are several gay friendly Scouting organizations that were formed to welcome and support the gay youth. But the gay movement ignores them and chooses to spend tons of money and resources forcing their way into the BSA and ignoring the people who spent time and money coming up with a solution.

          Typical intolerant liberal activists.

    • Um, can a person sure the LCMS church because the church doesn’t allow gays? If the answer is no, then, no, a gay person cannot sue the LCMS for not allowing them into the LCMS boy scout unit.

      • So if they don’t sue they will bring on the gay agenda hate machine to bully and harass, talk about, etc. Then they will go after the local Councils for allowing such an evil Scout unit to exist.

    • This is going to be a lawsuit jungle. Only the activists, lawyers and National will profit from it.

      • I agree on this point. And I think National will be named in many of the suits to come. So I think they’ll actually lose out in this.

        • I worry about the cash strapped councils that will be named and affected once National says that they have changed their policy at the National level so people need to contact the local councils and chartered organizations.

    • The exact same thing with blacks in BSA happened in 1974. You can look at that history to see what the results were.

      If a church is willing to stand up and state, clearly and publicly, that gays are not welcome in their youth programs, then a troop chartered by that church will have no legal problems. They will only have the same PR problem that the church already has.

      However, if the church and the troop want to avoid the embarrassment, and expense, of being labeled “anti-gay”, the church may have to consider revising their policy toward gays. This is the exact same thing that happened with the LDS church, with regard to blacks, in 1974.

      • cwgmpls Blacks both male and female were always allowed to be members of the LDS Church and males were allowed to hold the priesthood in 1978 after a revelation to the Church Prophet President Spencer Kimble at that time to change its doctrine. Sorry the LDS Church will never change its position that homosexuality is exceptable in Church doctrine The LDS Church has already considered its position on Homosexuality and has made the decision to help homosexuals to repent of the sin of homosexuality and to renew their covenets when they were baptized . Trenton Spears

      • “If he thinks these rules and laws are unfair, a Scout tries to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobeying them.”

        BSA is trying to change the rules in an orderly manner. Sounds EXACTLY like what being obedient is all about.

        • Yes, I totally agree. My reply was intended for the poster who claimed “many units will not abide” the proposed changes. Sorry for the confusion :)

  26. When does the majority stop caving to the minority? We need strong leadership NOW. And don’t look across the pond for anything, there already gone.

    • The minority gets special legal protections that it uses as a weapon and a shield. If the majority used their tactics we’d be accused of being haters, etc.

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