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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. From the 1914 Scoutmaster’s Handbook:

    “The Scout Movement is not antagonistic to any civic enterprise, but rather seeks to cooperate with all other good movements in the interest of the boy. The Movement is wholly non-sectarian and plans to work with every sect and creed alike; it is non-military, and seeks to promote Peace Scouting and to develop educational character-building for good citizenship. It is wholly non-partisan. It cannot favor one interest against another and cannot countenance interference on any debatable questions, whether social, religious or political.”

    Thank you

    • You forgot the rest of the meaning. That same manual also specifically lays out a Scouts Duty to God, and the tenants of the Scout Law. Ultimately those are the things that matter. There is no ambiguity in the Scout Law or Scout Oath. It means what it means. Baden Powell made that abundantly clear in his writings and in the way he ran his Troops.

      • yes andrew he did.. you should read this..
        “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. But there is no difficulty at all in suggesting the line to take on the human side, since direct duty to one’s neighbour is implied in almost every form of belief.”
        (Aids to Scoutmastership, 1919)

      • Oh, so gay people cannot worship the God that created them? You silly, boy. When you grow up to be a man and truly understand the nature of Scouting, God, and morality, check back in. Until then, don’t cast stones. Jesus comforted those shunned by society. You are like the crowd shouting for Barabas – quick to condemn and light on thoughtfulness.

  2. There are plenty of opinions here, and plenty of reasons to pick from to support those opinions. I must say that I’m disappointed that an organization I saw as having a moral compass, and a firm idea of what that means, seems to be considering caving in to the current spirit of the age.
    I make a prediction. This will not help the Scouting movement in America. It will cause great dissension among units, districts and councils; not to mention the sudden uncertainty units from more conservative areas will now get to experience at say, national jamborees. I also predict a future splinter movement, such as a possible boys’ counterpart to the American Heritage Girls program.
    I hope that there is still time for the BSA to prevent this failure of leadership.

    • S, gay people cannot have a moral compass? They were created by God and a heterosexual couple, after all.

      Or do you mean that straight people, who write Bible passages about gay people needing to be put to death, are the only ones that can have a moral compass?

    • We only need to look at the GSA as an example. They became “inclusive” years ago. Did their numbers jump up? Did the money at the end of the rainbow appear? Nope. Their numbers continue to drop, Councils closing up, etc. Girls Scouts used to be so prominent in the communities, now, at least around here they are basically non existent except the occasional brownie selling cookies.

      Do you know what is still prominent around here, especially in comparison to the Girl Scouts? The BSA.

      Canada became all inclusive and saw a significant drop in membership and money.

      National is hoping for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I guess they need it to support the National Executive’s salary of what, $1.6 million dollars a year?

      • I heard this past weekend from a GSA recruiter that there are 3.2 million girls in GSA, how many are in BSA

      • What have our numbers done over the past 10 years under the current policy? Locally, I’ve seen things drying up as well. I think this has more to do with competition for a youth’s attention than it does this one issue. In fact, Boys Life/Scouting Magazines have touched on this numerous times in recent years – “How does a unit compete effectively for a Scout’s time?” is a common theme.

        • I believe you are correct in that the numbers are more affected by kids being in so many activities. Scouting has also lost some of its cool factor too. Both of those are significant. Add in the current issue as well and that could add up to some significant membership losses.

  3. This is the most reasonable compromise imaginable. It allows those chartering organizations that don’t believe that homosexuality is right to form their unit around that principle, and those COs that understand that homosexuality is not a “lifestyle choice” or a moral failing can allow homosexuals to be part of their units. BSA, please do the right thing and stop discriminating against homosexuals. Approve this policy and the BSA will be a stronger organization.

  4. We are arguing whether we should include gays, yet my straight black son had to fight an uphill battle to be allowed to become an Eagle Scout. For 2 years the leadership for the troop he belonged to tried to keep him from completing his project and then from getting his paperwork done and then again to get his board of review set up. Also even though our cub scouts have many hispanic kids or by scouts have none. If they bridge over it does not take long for them to quit.

    We need to address discrimination of all types within scouting and make sure that any boy who wants to belong is allowed and feels welcome.

  5. I proposed to my church leadership to charter a Cub Scout pack. There final question to me: is there any downside? There wasn’t any yesterday, but there is today if BSA goes ahead with this policy change. They have just transferred all the risk in lawsuits from National to the local chartering organizations. Churches, synagogues and mosques, may be able to survive as chartering organizations which do not allow homosexual leaders. However, non-religious organizations like VFW, American Legion, schools, which do not have a religous objection will be targeted by homosexual activists to serve as leaders and then the lawsuits will begin. BSA National Board needs to think long and hard. The radical homosexual movement will view this as a victory. They have no interest in our movement, only its destruction.

    • A scout is honest.. and I TRUST that you honestly believe that. But I can tell you for a fact.. that you are wrong. there is not radical homosexual movement out to destroy the BSA and America. There are just regular people, who don’t want to have their children be called bigots for something that they don’t believe in. That was decided by people in a different part of the country..

    • Wait! You mean you church can currently ban homosexuals and not face lawsuits??

      Sooo, therefore, a youth group within that church can suddenly face a lawsuit when the parent group cannot? You make my head spin, lol.

      • Non religous groups who do not already have their own membership guidelines for homosexuals will not be able to legally impose a no gal leader requirement. They will not have a leg to stand on in a court battle.

        Religous organizations which do not allow gay membership will be able to continue.
        National, however, has handed over all the risk of lawsuits to the chartering organizations when previous it was handled by National. Most chartering organizations do not have the resources to fund this type of lawsuit. Therefore, they will either capitulate to the gay rights movement or drop Scouting altogether.
        I put before you hte case of the GSUSA. If you think BSA numbers are bad, take a look at GSUSA. They jettisoned both God and prohibition on lesbian leaders a long time ago. Hasn’t helped them grow one bit.

        • This was already the case. The Chartered Org has always been on the hook legally. There will be no more law suits because those who feel disenfranchised by one chartered org’s way of doing things can go start their own unit now.. so are you really afraid that you will loose members?

          And GSUSA has lost members well because their program, not because of their stance on sexual orientation.

  6. Simply said, the approval of a new policy will cast a dark gray cloud over the future of Scouting and will result in many religious chartered organizations reconsidering their affiliation with the BSA.

  7. I wholeheartedly support National’s consideration of allowing membership for gay youth. It would have been better to have considered this long before now, rather than having to stand accused of bowing to media and social pressures. All boys can benefit from the scouting experience, and gay youth have been present in the BSA, probably since its very origins; the only change is that they may now be able to admit it.

    I believe that National’s proposal to allow units to set their own policies provides a great compromise, not an example of “passing the buck”.

    I’m proud to be the scoutmaster of a great group of scouts who collectively show respect and tolerance for those with views and beliefs other than their own. With proper leadership and guidance this is, and should be, a non-issue.

    Boy Scouts is a great youth organization of which I will always be proud to be associated with.

    • National is only doing this because of the social pressure, the media attacks, to get out of lawsuits and pass them on to local councils, chartered organizations and units and the hope for a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

  8. Public schools cannot discriminate, so a decision to allow gays in scouts seems to indicate that every unit whose chartered organization is a public school (or any other government entity) will automatically accept gays.

  9. What a huge disappointment. We are supposed to be teaching boys to be men, to stand firm and keep high moral values. I pray that National does not go down this road.

    • Hey Nathan. Gender is determined by chromosomes, not what some wishes they were.

      You like to keep bringing up hermaphrodites, a very rare condition where a person has both sets if genitalia. This is defect in biology and not a normal condition. Many hermaphrodites have surgery at a young age to correct this.

  10. There is a lot of association of “Morally Straight” with the principles of specific christian sects. but I believe that they are not properly interpreting BP.
    “Development of outlook naturally begins with a respect for God, which
    we may best term “Reverence.
    Reverence to God and reverence for one’s neighbour and reverence for
    oneself as a servant of God, is the basis of every form of religion. The method of expression of reverence to God varies with every sect and denomination. What sect or denomination a boy belongs to depends, as a rule, on his parents’
    wishes. It is they who decide. It is our business to respect
    their wishes and to second their efforts to inculcate reverence,
    whatever form of religion the boy professes.
    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. But there is no difficulty at all in
    suggesting the line to take on the human side, since direct duty to
    one’s neighbour is implied in almost every form of belief.”
    (Aids to Scoutmastership, 1919)

  11. While this may appear as a step forward for the BSA the reality is just the opposite. Many Scouters and Scouts have passionate feelings on this issue. I am certainly no different. I have spent my valuable time involved in an organization that until today has always upheld the highest of standards. Lord Baden Powell set forth those standards more than 100 years ago. They mean the same today as they did then. Baden Powell understood that when society turns on one another the only thing that can save it is adherence to a strict moral and ethical code. When the world changes in directions that are antithetical to that code it takes courage to stand against the tide.

    Today we live in a world that says the Boy Scout Oath and Law are antiquated. The world says the organization must change to meet the needs of the individual. Baden Powell understood the opposite was true. The first Troops were highly selective. Only the best and the brightest were allowed in. Each boy was placed on his honor to do all he could to uphold the values of Scouting. The BSA Executive Board is populated with some men who believe that the entire organization must change to legitimize unacceptable behavior that runs contrary to 100-year-old beliefs. They are concerned with their own personal legacy as opposed to standing firm against the tide.

    As a Scouter I do my best to do my duty. I teach my Scouts to respect their fellow citizens. I encourage them to do good works wherever they can. Treating people with respect does not mean I have to sacrifice my standards and values to make someone more comfortable. Contrary to the world view I can love my fellow man and still shun the sin. What National is asking all of us that believe in the Scout Oath and Law to do is select which parts to follow. There is more to living a morally straight life than sexual preference. There is more to cleanliness than personal hygiene. Being trustworthy means more than completing some checklist and Baden Powell understood this truth.

    The BSA is a private organization with the full protection of the Supreme Court and the Constitution. Despite those valuable protections, National has decided that the fight for Scouting will be transferred on the hundreds of Chartering Organizations around the nation. They are turning their backs for a disgruntled few that never intended to follow the tenants set forth 100 years ago. Many of the stories we read in the media today are littered with Scouts who believe because they completed some list they are “entitled” to Eagle. They tell of how they lied or hid the truth about themselves to gain through false pretenses and malicious intent an award they did not earn ethically or morally. National is now rewarding their lies and deceit while slapping the CO’s and members that have stood steadfast with Baden Powell and the Scout Oath and Law.

    What does it say about an organization willing to throw away 100 years of good works, tradition, and honor. Baden Powell did not allow those who followed him to observe only the fashionable or applicable tenants while ignoring the unpopular hard ones. My son and tens of thousands like him earned Eagle Rank the way Powell and the founding fathers of Scouting intended. They helped to build the boy led tradition the old-fashioned way. Now we are faced with a new generation of Eagle Scouts. The “entitled” generation filled with Scouts who deny and besmirch the history, tradition, and honor they claim to know. This is the Wayne Brock version of Eagle Scout that rewards lying and distortion. A version that says it is okay to ignore the Scout Oath and Scout Law. A version for sale on the altar of a world that says lower the standards while elevating the unworthy. A version that runs contrary to all that Scouting was founded upon.

    None of us who believe that Scouting should stand strong support hatred or bigotry. We are passionate and kind. We have genuine heart felt disagreements. We are cursed and labeled in vicious and shameless ways. We have been demonized and slandered with the full faith and blessing of Mr. Brock. We believe that if you do not like the tenants of the traditional Boy Scout vision please do not join. You have that right. Please go and form your own group. Put in the sweat, blood, and tears to make it all you can. Please have the courtesy and decency to leave my organization alone. We understand your need for acceptance and respect. Please remember that respect is earned not taken through litigation or force. Destroying my organization is an anathema to the American way. You are free to form your own path. We are not villains. You will find millions of Scouts willing to serve and make a difference in the world regardless of your politics. That is the Scout way. Just leave us in peace as we follow the full faith and credit of the Scout Oath and Scout Law.

    • I am sorry but disagree on one simple point, and I will state it again.. “Morally straight” you are basing this on morals that are dictated from your religious beliefs.. and where that is ok for you.. it is not alright for others, who’s religious teachings are different.

      When it comes to religion BP in his own words said.. “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. But there is no difficulty at all in suggesting the line to take on the human side, since direct duty to one’s neighbour is implied in almost every form of belief.”
      (Aids to Scoutmastership, 1919)

      His definition of Morally straight was based upon the individuals religious beliefs as they are taught to him by his family and local community.

      his solution to this problem is the same solution that national is proposing.. that it should be a local issue, and we should trust that the principals of what makes a decent human being are taught by all religions. Not dictated by one.

      Nothing is being thrown away, but the dogma dictated by one group.

    • Very well said. Sadly the intolerant closed minded gay movement won’t accept a word of it.

  12. Beth you have been on here for hours. Is your gay lifestyle so unfulfilling that you have nothing better to do than troll around and harass Boy Scouts? While you were doing that, I attended a Boy Scout meeting and a committee meeting. We discussed ways we could help the youth be successful scouts. Not one word was mentioned about gays in scouts because there just isn’t a place for it. You shouldn’t have twisted my statement. The Bible is the truth . It states homosexuality is wrong.

    • i didn’t twist any statement. i have been reading this blog for a while, because this is an issue that i feel passionately about. i am not gay. i am a straight ally. i believe in equal rights for all.

      do you need to see my scouting resume? i am an assistant scoutmaster and committee chair for my son’s troop, a committee member for two cub packs, on my district committee with two offices. on the board of my council’s university of scouting. my son is a den chief. i am a woodbadger. i have been awarded my district’s award of merit. i believe in this program. i believe that all boys have the right to be included in it.

      i had no scout events today. i’ve been kind of sick, actually, so i have not done much today other than laundry and make dinner. i had a little time to kill. yesterday i went to a cub scout meeting and a cub scout day camp planning session. today i did work on both a troop and pack charter. it’s complete aside from three people that i have been after to complete YPT.

      you believe that the bible is truth. not all believe that. the BSA does not advocate for any one religion. there are many variations, even within christianity. not all exclude gay individuals. it is not up to you or any individual to decide who is on the moral high ground and are therefore worthy of inclusion in the BSA. why can we not leave other people alone and not worry about what they do behind closed doors in their own homes and bedrooms?

        • No, your assumptions are way out there. I think they want everyone to know they are gay. By making their sexual preference known it creates influence.

          In my opinion, it is a mental illness. People are not born that way, regardless of what the song says.

        • my assumptions are not way out there. i was making a rhetorical point. most gay people don’t walk around telling everyone that they are gay. people that are going to want to participate in a gay pride parade are probably not the same gay people that want to join a boy scout troop. sexuality will continue to NOT be a topic of conversation for boy scouts. people simply exist. there will be no discussion of homosexuality in scouts, just as there should be no discussion of heterosexuality in scouts.

          your opinion is wrong. the medical and psychiatric communities do not classify homosexuality as a mental illness. people are born that way. not because of a song. because of science.

        • I’m aware of what the science and psych communities say. I still disagree. I also don’t agree that alcoholism is a disease. Its easier to let someone believe that are how they are because of someone or something else instead of them having to face they are wrong. Then the psychiatrist doesn’t have to deal with a defensive/combative person….easy money.

        • Look up Intersex, or hermaphrodite. It’ll blow your small mind. People are born many different ways, not just male or female and straight, lol. Look up transgender and transsexual.

          By the way, when did you choose to be straight? Like seriously choose between that or gay? Or did your hormones kick-in, without your choice?

        • Nathan. You like to ask the same question over and over. I was born straight. That is the normal condition. If someone is born gay then that would be a genetic defect because a “mating” pair of same sex humans can’t reproduce, which means they wouldn’t survive.

        • I think that normal teenagers want to have sex quite often. Male or female, gay or straight.

      • Oh you are such a wonderful person Beth. Have you suggested any other hate groups for people to join that disagree with your all or nothing stance?

        How much time and money have you spent helping those other Scouting organizations tha were formed to help gay youth? Or is your only goal to force change on the BSA and not support those organizations?

        • Unlike your all or nothing stance Jo? your only goal is to protect your right to exclude gay youths and leaders.. which under the new policy it is protected.. so I’m still not sure how this hurts you..

        • John you have obviously not read all of my posts. Though I don’t like how this is being forced upon us and the tactics being used by the gay movement, my concerns are based on how this will work logistically to preserve the intent of youth protection.

          For example straight youth males and females are not allowed to tent together to prevent any potential hanky panky. They are also not allowed to be buddies. So now we introduce gay youth. Can two gay youth of the same gender tent together if they are only friends? Sounds easy, right, sure they can. Okay so can a straight male and female who are just friends tent together? Really? Why not.

          Can two gay youth of the same gender be buddies to leave the site together? They can? Then can the straight male and female be buddies for the same reason?

          We don’t allow male leaders to be the only leaders when girls are present and vice versa with boys. For obvious reasons. So can a pair of gay male leaders be the only leaders for a group of boys only? Or girls only?

          I am not, and have not implied that being gay makes someone more prone to be a predator or to do anything inappropriate. Being sick and evil is what makes predators.

          There are so many issues that need to be worked out, guidelines and policies made with input from all sides of the issue, not just Beth’s side before any change should realistically be implemented.

          That being said, I am personally opposed to the changes. I don’t agree with nor do I understand that lifestyle.

          But if National puts this through and gives good guidelines and training that address these issues with the same level of strictness on all the combinations of genders and orientation then I would try my best to give it a shot.

          This is going to be a legal jungle and we are treading new ground. It can’t be rushed through.

        • Jo, I have actually read all of yours.. you have not read all of mine, like when I addressed the last time you brought up hanky panky.. Infact, did you get ANY sleep last night? I know Beth got a little.. cause there was a break in her posts..

        • Hi John. I actually have been getting very little sleep. My son Doug returned home from a week in the hospital after suffering violent seizures and cardiac issues related to post concussion syndrome after his 3rd concussion in a month. So he is under cocoon therapy for the next several weeks to months until he recovers. So while he sleeps I sit in the darkened room and use my tablet to keep me busy. Probably more than you cared to know, but you asked. :-)

          By the way lesson learned to pass on. Take ANY head hit seriously. He wants to take on concussion awareness as part of his Eagle project.

        • Well. Since I am a volunteer in the BSA, and there is no chapter of any of the other organizations that you have referred to locally, I have not supported them. I have never heard of several of them. My son is friends with others in his boy scout troop, and other troops in our district and council. This is the organization that we belong to. I would simply like to see it live up the the values that it states it espouses through the scout oath and law. I truly don’t understand why inclusiveness is seen as a problem.

        • You joined the organization knowing the policies and values it publicly stated and thought they would magically change?

        • Actually, when I joined it was because my first grade son came home and said he wanted to be a cub scout. To go camping, shoot bb buns, fish, and tie knots. The thought of any controversy of whether or not gay kids or adults were allowed to participate never crossed my mind. Now that I have been involved for years, I am aware of the policy and feel that it should be changed. The new proposed policy seems like a good solution. Those that want to remain in units that exclude gay members, they can do so. Those that want to be in scouts and not deny who they fundamentally are in the process can find a unit that allows them to participate.

    • another thing. i have never in any circumstance discussed any aspect of sexuality with any youth in this program or outside of it, aside from my own son. since it is my job, as his mother, to teach him what sex is all about and what is right, and what is wrong. i don’t want him having sex with a boy or a girl at the age of 14. that’s what i teach him. a boy in my unit that is very religious once tried to engage me in a discussion or why he believed homosexuality was wrong. my reply to him was that this was not the place to discuss that and i was not the person to discuss it with. there are two other adult leaders, both trusted friends that i have discussed the gay ban with, simply to tell them that i have been very conflicted about being involved, so heavily, with an organization that very openly discriminates against people that i love, both friends and family members that are gay. (and in loving committed relationships, even). in short, i completely agree that there should be no mention of gays in scouts or in fact of any sexual activity in scouts. there is simply no place for it. there is also simply no place for excluding anyone from this program because of who he (or she) was born to be

      • Feedback is a gift….

        Beth – I agree wholeheartedly with everything you’ve written. But… could you please us capital letters when you begin a sentence? It just makes it so much easier to read!

        Not being snarky.. just a polite request.

        thanks!

        • LOL. Feedback is a gift, indeed. I tend to not capitalize beginnings of sentences in my writing. I consider if poetic license. I know the rules, and I can break them if I see fit. But sure, why not. I will make an effort to capitalize the first word of a sentence. However, I’m not sure I have anything left to say that I haven’t already said, so I certainly hope I am not going to remain on this topic. I should really stop looking at it and do something more protective than try to win the internet this morning. :-)

          Have a good day, Fred.

          YIS

      • So a youth comes to you to explain his feelings on a matter that you are broadcasting your opinion if all over the internet and you just shut him down? And you are a leader? Obviously if a youth is talking to you about it to tell you his feelings on the matter you are either doing as you are doing here, showing hatred and intolerance for anyone who doesn’t agree with your pro gay agenda overtly trying to convert youth to your point of view.

        I’m glad my sons don’t have you as a leader. I’d like to think that my sons leaders wouldn’t just shut him down when he tried to express himself.

        • So if your son were to attempt to speak to one of their scout leaders about sex, you would want them to discuss it? OK… My feeling was that this was a topic that he should discuss with his family. Not me. The boy brought it up because he knew that I am a democrat, and he said that he disagreed with Obama on LGBT equality. I said a scout meeting wasn’t the place to discuss that. Are you now saying, after railing on this blog post over and over about keeping the idea of homosexuality entirely separate from scouts, that we SHOULD talk about it? Yes, I’ve been talking about it on a forum for adult scout leaders. That is VERY different from discussing the issue with my scouts. I’m really confused. It seems that you are arguing with me for the sake of arguing. I have never tried to overtly convert a youth member or scouts (or an adult member, for that matter) to my point of view. If that had been my intent, would I not have actually discussed it with him? You’re truly making no sense.

        • I never said that we should keep gays entirely out of Scouts. I personally don’t want to see the change but I know that it is inevitable because the BSA is going to bow to the pressure. What I have asked repeatedly, in detail, is how are we going to work out all of the logistical, youth protection and legal issues to ensure that the intent and strictness of the G2SS is applied equally across all combinations of genders and orientations. What additional training and protection is going to be offered to the volunteers to limit their exposure?

        • That is in all honesty going to take a little time.. from the start I don’t see it as being any different then it already it.. we don’t have a problem with is currently.. I don’t see that changing.. peer pressure is still going to keep that in check..

          We will need to see what the real issues are that come out of this change, and not just the hypothetical ones being thrown around on here..

    • Jennifer – the Bible also states many things which you chose to ignore. Or should we just ignore certain parts of the Bible like these? Oh wait…you said the Bible, not just parts of it, is the TRUTH!

      A woman should learn quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man. 1 Timothy 2:11-12

      I have two virgin daughters. Let me bring them out to you and you can do what you like with them. But do nothing to these men because they have come under the shelter of my roof. Genesis 19:8

      Anyone who dishonors father or mother must be put to death. Leviticus 20:9

      Anyone who works on the Sabbath must be put to death. Exodus 35:2

      If evidences are not found of virginity for young women, they shall be stoned to death. Deuteronomy 22:13-14, 20-21

      If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife, both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death. ~ Levitics 20:10

    • Sexuality is not a choice. Come into the 21st century please. Open your mind and possibly your heart. Ignorance is not pretty.

      • It is a choice. Its wrong. I don’t buy into the out with the old mentality gays promote. Wrong is still wrong, no matter what century it is.

        • Ok. Fine. It’s wrong for you. And your family. It’s not wrong for others. And their families. But you believing that it is wrong does not give you the right to not allow others the same rights that you have because of who they are. Honestly, it doesn’t even matter if it’s a choice or not! It would still be ok for others, even if it IS a choice!

      • You’re right, ignorance isn’t pretty. Please find the medical journal and cite where it states that homosexuality is a genetic condition. I am one of those people that values facts over opinion.

  13. By opening up membership, Chartered Organizations will no longer be protected by a national policy upheld by the highest court in the land. Chartered organizations will be open for lawsuits for refusing to admit homosexuals.

  14. The “slippery slope” of this decision is that it one that brings forward the pitfalls of moral relativism. That is, what does “morally straight” mean if there are hundreds or thousands of groups defining morality for themselves – or becoming amoral. What does it mean to be “obedient” if there are a wide variety of conflicting standards to obey? Most importantly, what does it mean to be “reverent”? It seems to me that if the BSA caves to the vocal minority of those pressing the homosexual agenda on Scouting, that the next step will be to cave to those who are offended by recognizing God in any way and remove the requirement of faith in Scouting. “A Scout is Wishy Washy?”

    The practical concerns, of a variety of parents and families, is what happens to the larger community of Scouting? If each unit declares their position on homosexuality and morality, do they then strive towards compatibility of belief concerning sexuality in group events: summer camps, jamborees, klondikes, etc. Does the BSA add a person’s sexuality to registration forms so there can be a designation next to names on a merit badge councilor list so Scouts can work with leaders who are compatible with their faith? It seems like such a decision will either drive groups with firmly held beliefs out of scouting, or worse would keep all the groups together with a divisive split, rather than unite the ranks of scouts with a core set of common beliefs.

    • You have interesting versions of various points of the scout law.

      I’m Catholic, and while we do believe it is a grave sin to practice homosexual acts and we do not support gay marriage, we do accept that people are homosexual and are tasked to accept and pray for them.

      I wonder why this sin is so important to some but other sins are ignored? I know I’m not without sin so I won’t be the one to cast the first stone. I am amazed at the number of stones being cast though.

      • Absolutely. If sinful people were not allowed in churches and temples then they would be empty. We’re called to love and serve people no matter who they are. But the same is not true for putting people in leadership and teaching positions.

      • This is not about casting stones. This is not about hate as is the charge against those who would exclude the gay community are pommeled with. It’s about protecting children. When we swim at the beach in the surf we get out of water when we see fins. It’s fundamental threat minimization whether it’s from “non-gay” pedophiles or gays. Not all sharks bite either.

        • It is not about protecting children. A straight man is just as likely to be a pedophile as a gay man.

        • That is exactly what I just said Beth. A threat is a threat, regardless of sexual orientation and Scouting has kept a blacklist of pedophiles, hence the background check. That is a specific threat that usually can only be identified after a violation has occurred. With the gay community it is a matter of probability. Sure you can swim with sharks, but the risk goes up.

        • No, the risk doesn’t go up. You apparently read my first sentence and not the second. I’ll repeat it… A straight man is just as likely to be a pedophile as a gay man.

    • A scout is hateful? A scout is prejudiced? A scout is intolerant? A scout is ignorant? Oops, must’ve missed that training.

      • So starts the name calling? Why do those who preach “tolerance” end up being “tolerant” of only those they agree with? Why do those who disagree with others jump to accusing others of “hate” or “ignorance” while themselves becoming “prejudiced” in the process? I guess if you can’t attack or defend the actual ideas, you can only hope to attack the people representing the ideas? And yes,your training should have included something about not name calling and trying to be a “bully” – actually the updated Youth Protection training covers it quite well.

      • The BSA has a lot of other things that are considered discriminatory.

        1. Girls are not allowed to join Packs or Troops.
        2. Female assistant Scoutmasters under the age of 21 can not be elected into the OA though male assistant Scoutmasters of the same age can. (Females can get elected after the age of 21)
        3. Unmarried couples are not allowed to tent together.

        I don’t see any giant movement forming to force those changes.

    • It would be awful for the wife to discover that she’s been married to a gay man? Perhaps so. It does happen, though. My point being that you can’t just look at someone and know that they are gay. On the other hand, there are women who are married to gay men, know their husbands are gay, and are just fine with it. To each his own. Live and let live, and all that.

  15. The goal of the LGBT community is not to gain membership, but to destroy an institution that represents everything that they despise. If homosexuals are admitted and people stay they win. If they are admitted and there’s a max exodus BSA will fold and they still win. It’s no different than the military. It’s all about “fairness.” We “owe” it to them. Last time I checked scientists still have not find the “gay” gene. So it’s either a conscious choice or a psychological condition. Either way, it’s unnatural and something I’d rather discuss with my children when I’m ready, not when some other parent’s kid brings it up. My family will leave Scouting if this ban is lifted. It is a matter of principle to me.

      • There’s a good Scouting attitude… You say you support “tolerance” but actually you only support people you agree with.

        • Not so. He must act according to his beliefs but I must not be forced to act according to HIS beliefs.

          “I may not agree with what you say but I’d defend to my death your RIGHT to say it.”

          We are ALL equally right to have and express our own opinions.

          I merely stated that if he were unwilling to stay and demonstrate tolerance for others, then I was content to let him go. I’m equally content to let him stay and differ in our opinions. He, on the other hand, will not stay because he chooses to be intolerant of differing opinions.

          Viva la differences!

        • The rules were already set in place. Who is in violation of the Scout Oath. The Scouts and Scouters that joined or remained knowing they joined under false pretense or those that understand and follow the rules. I don’t see why Scouting needs to bend to the will of such a small percent of the population. I disagree with homosexuality because I believe it is a conscience choice by individuals, not nature. I still have to interact with homosexuals and when I do I am respectful and polite. I don’t see why left wing, radical atheists and homosexuals feel that they need to force their beliefs on every person and organization that disagrees with them. I don’t want to be put in the position to explain why a Scout has two dads/moms to my seven year old. It is a discussion to have, but not at that age. Furthermore, if two Scouts are dating, one is 17 and the other just turned 18 and is now an adult leader, then we do have to make it our business for liablity reasons. Yes, it is a matter of principle, but I wouldn’t understand liberals to understand what that means.

    • The LGBT community does not despise the values represented by scouting. You’re welcome to discuss sexuality with your children on your own terms. If you think that your children won’t know homosexuality is a thing if the BSA continues to discriminate, you’re wrong. It is a matter of principle to me, and many others within the ranks of the BSA that this current policy is wrongheaded. When this policy is changed, discussion of homosexuality in scouts will not change. It will still not happen. Just as discussion of heterosexuality in scouts is not to happen.

      It’s been asked here before… when exactly did you choose to be straight?

  16. This proposal has sparked an outpouring of comments, and appropriately so.

    I consider it incredible that this proposal is under consideration, so soon after it was so soundly defeated recently. A new sheriff in town?

    Despite what the accountants at Ernst & Young might be urging, Scoutmasters like me actively involved in the program on a weekly basis see this proposal as very ill-advised from the perspective of the Scout Law and totally unworkable from a practical perspective.

    Despite the impression one may get from the average Twitter participant, homosexual behavior is far from being embraced by our religions and our culture. The vast majority of people in our American culture still profess Christianity: to cite just one example from Scripture, the first chapter of St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans is crystal clear on the matter. Nature itself excludes this type of behavior as perverted and contrary to our God-given nature. We have always considered homosexual behavior, in fact, any sexual activity outside of a monogamous marriage, as a violation of the Scout Law–a Scout is Clean. Even socially speaking, the overwhelming majority of states in our country have roundly rejected the notion of “gay marriage” through the democratic process. Those afflicted with these urgings have our sympathy, our friendship, but the behavior does not have our approval.

    The proposal is unworkable practically from a youth protection standpoint. Homosexual adults going on backcountry hiking trips or overnight campouts pose a direct danger to 15-, 16-, and 17-year-old boys, even if one holds the belief that homosexuals are not predisposed to child sexual abuse. Physically speaking, a 15-year-old is no longer a child. To believe that homosexual men are not attracted to boys of that age group (say 15-17 year olds) is to put one’s head in the sand. The proposal endangers Scouts!

    Finally, simply giving local units the authority to continue the current stipulations on membership criteria will strike a very heavy blow to National and Council camps, where almost every staff member will now come under suspicion by those of us whose overwhelmingly top priority is child protection. Consequently, many of the country’s best units will simply stop attending Council camps and resort to holding their own “clean” summer camps where they are sure the lads will not face such insidious dangers.

    My best regards to all those involved in the decisionmaking process.

    Kirby Smith
    (Just a run-of-the-mill Scoutmaster)

    • There seems to a thread through many of these e- mails that some how homosexual men are all sexual predators. While I am sure, unfortunately, some homosexual men are predators, I think statistics bear out the heterosexual men are as likely, if not more likely to be sexual predators.

      All sexual predators must be banned , whatever their orientation. Sexual predators must be reported to the police immediately, not hidden away in secret preservation files for decades.

      Asserting that all homosexual men are sexual predators is plain wrong and you are hiding the truth.

      Open the preset ion files, how many of those predators are homosexual?

      • Though I have been very vocal that I have issues with the proposed change, I want to make it clear that I do not believe or support the idea that if someone is gay that they are more likely to be inappropriate or a predator. It takes being evil and sick to be a predator.

    • Well I’m nothing more than another run of the mill Scoutmaster too. I wonder if you are teaching your troop your version of the 11th point?

      So let me ask you what you think is going to happen if this passes. How are you going to be able to tell if someone is homosexual? How will their presence affect the program?

      Are you naive enough to think there are no homosexuals in the program now?

      Which side of the fence did you stand on not so many years ago when the BSA allowed female leaders in Boy Scouts?

    • Scoutmaster’s like me? You don’t represent me, so please don’t make it sound as if you do.

  17. So if the comments here are any indication of the thoughts and feelings of the Boy Scout Units at large, why would BSA make a change of this magnitude, that would upset the vast majority of its existing members, only to placate a vocal group of people outside of the BSA? If they are after new members? Would the increased interest from the homosexual community be greater than the people of faith that would leave?

    • because Bruce, the comments here are only from those who feel strongly enough to voice them. There are many more parents and scouters who feel that the BSA is not holding true to it’s Oath and Law. this group is working from the inside to raise the morals of the BSA back up to what it should be, and maybe get us off this Sexual orientation hangup that is currently killing scouts…

  18. I would prefer to pay more for my sons to stay in the troop than see a change in the mission statement. My fear is that once this door is opened, we will see court cases involving young boys/men claiming they were bullied. This is merely passing the buck to the local units that now have to stand their ground in what they believe. If someone chooses to be homosexual, that’s their choice and if they don’t agree with the principles of a “private” group than they should find their own group to join. The United Way may help bring in monies for the organization, but, in my opinion they have too much overreach (do as we say or we don’t support you.) At what point do we say “enough is enough” and quit giving up our beliefs for others who don’t support us? I’m disappointed in this decision. I have been involved with scouts my entire life with 3 boys earning their Eagles. CD

  19. Prudish? Not at all, you’ve shown your intolerance and hatred towards people who disagree with you by suggesting that they join the Klan.

      • That is no where near appropriate? are you that afraid of change that you are now going to attack a Decent scouter by making things up? Need I remind you the OATH AND LAW that you are supposed to be following?

        • Have you read the content of her comments? She has brought things into the discussion that are not appropriate. Things I would not even repeat. Don’t talk to me about appropriate. I simply made an observation from all the info and filth she has dished out.

        • i’ve dished out filth because i am in favor of allowing LGBT individuals into scouting? my KKK comment was extreme, yes, but it is a hate group. i simply said if someone wants to be part of a hate group, that is a valid option. honestly, though, if that offended someone, i’m sorry for that.

        • I will talk to you about appropriate, I have read her comments and I have not seen as personal or appalling attack as you just committed on her innocent child. you madam should be ashamed and should apologize your actions are out of line.

        • They are the terms you learn in 6th grade biology. I don’t see anything wrong with them.

      • wow. my son isn’t gay. how nice of you to throw an attack at a 14 year old boy that you’ve never met. (to clarify… i call it an attack because that’s how you see it. name calling. i personally don’t care what others think of me). my only goal is to promote equality. period.

  20. If recent memory serves, it was the so-called religious-minded units that covered up sexual abuse of their scouts for quite a long period of time. Pedophiles, who by the way, were heterosexual male adults, supported and continually sponsored by their chartered organization long after allegations were made. Being gay does not make one a pedophile. Being gay does not make one promiscuous and being gay doesn’t mean lying in wait to pounce on your precious son on a camping trip. Being religious should mean accepting all tenets of that religion, no? Judge not lest ye be judged. Love thy neighbor. Show compassion. Hatefulness and ignorance are the real sins. I’d rather have gay leaders and scouts that exemplify scouting ideals around my kids than any of the close-minded hateful people involved in scouting who have posted on this thread. Choose love and acceptance, people. Hate and prejudice weren’t taught by Jesus, right? Or do you only practice your religion when it suits you? Shame on you.

    • You may have to educate me on gayness, but doesn’t being gay mean being attracted to the opposite sex? If the pedophiles were men and sexually abused boys, wouldn’t that make them gay, or at least bisexual? It seems to me that you are changing the definitions around here to support your views.

      • Men who identify as heterosexual, and are married with children are just as likely to be sexual predators as men who identify as homosexual. There is no changing of definitions going on. Typically, sexual abuse isn’t about sex. It’s about power.

      • Yes. But pedophiles who identify themselves as heterosexual and have adult relationships with the opposite sex can still prey on children of either sex. It’s about being inappropriately attracted to their youth, not their gender.

  21. The FAQ section of the Scouts Canada web site states:

    “Do You Have to Believe in God to Join Scouts Canada? Is Scouting a Christian Organization?

    No, but you must have a basic spiritual belief. Spirituality has been one of the three main principles of Scouting around the world since its inception more than 100 years ago. Scouts Canada is proud of its commitment to diversity and welcomes members of many different faiths and denominations.
    You need not belong to an organized religion, but all members must take the Scout Promise in good faith and leaders may include some form of spirituality in their program for the youth. “God” represents spirituality and for some may represent an actual deity, but it may also mean an expression of your personal spirituality.
    “Duty to God” as defined by the World Organization of the Scouting Movement, means “a person’s relationship with the spiritual values of life, the fundamental belief in a force above mankind.”

    Are Homosexuals Allowed to Join Scouts Canada?

    Scouts Canada does not discriminate for reasons of gender, culture, religious belief or sexual orientation.”

    Scouts Canada does not have a chartered partner system like BSA does, so their national association sets the policy. That policy is not the BSA proposal. The BSA proposal is that each chartered partner be allowed to set the policy for the units they charter. It is, however, interesting that Scouts Canada seems to have survived all the problems that people are predicting here.

  22. I am very disappointed in how many people here claim to be scouts, but lack the basic understanding of the scout oath and law. instead of taking it as written they twist it to their fit their own religious needs. Not very scouterly.. and very disappointing..

  23. Baden Powell is often quoted as saying that Scouting at its core is that “We aim for the practice of Christianity in their everyday life and dealings, and not merely the profession of its theology on Sundays.”. The main argument here doesn’t seem to be saying that Scouts should remove “God” from Scouting, but that the BSA should not identify with a particular God/faith that defines a particular sexual morality. It is true that Scouting has stated that any belief in a concept of “God” is sufficient, and the only requirement is that a Scout declares a belief in something beyond themselves. Scouting has not, yet, become a secular organization – separating faith and practice – but this decision will be a large step towards such a decision.

    Many faiths are different, but one thing that devout Christians, Jews, Muslims, Mormons, Catholics, etc. agree on is God’s creation of the world, design and creation of man, and intentions for sexual activity. This is often summarized as “one-man and one-woman for life”. Would a Scouting leader, mentoring boys on building character, be a good example if they were sexually immoral? and further if the news and example of this is being revealed to the boys? There are certainly a wide range of immoral sexual behavior beyond homosexuality – and I’d argue that leaders engaging in any ongoing immoral behavior should be restricted – but living an openly homosexual lifestyle is clearly considered immoral to the vast majority of religious faiths, and has historically been recognized as such by the BSA for the physical and moral safety of Scouts.

    • you should keep reading that Bruce.. cause later he says..

      “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)

      • Right – leave the religious training out of Scouts – leave that to the churches. But the core of Scouting is morals which means that the leaders in Scouts should be of good moral character.

        • And what about those volunteer couples who cheat on spouses, divorce, flirt? I see this constantly during roundtables, campouts etc. I have seen scout “volunteering” destroy a marriage and family. Kick them out?

        • I, personally, believe that leaders should be held to a high standard – if they are exhibiting behavior that is immoral then they should not be in leadership. This is really the issue. If we have 100 definitions of “God” in Scouts then we’ll have just as many definitions of what is “moral”.

        • and we do Bruce.. and that is not a bad thing.. it’s very good.. the more we are introduced to differences in a positive way, the more peace we can create here on earth.. that was BP’s plan after all..

          On Tue, Jan 29, 2013 at 12:24 PM, Bryan on Scouting wrote:

          > ** > Bruce commented: “I, personally, believe that leaders should be held to > a high standard – if they are exhibiting behavior that is immoral then they > should not be in leadership. This is really the issue. If we have 100 > definitions of “God” in Scouts then we’ll have just a” >

        • If it’s done where the youth were well aware of what was happening and during unit meetings and events absolutely.

        • yes they should be.. and it is the parents responsibility to watch over that.. don’t think for a second that I would not move my son to a different troop or pack, if my son’s adult scout leadership was going against my morals. It is my responsibility to teach my son morals.. not yours..

        • See we can see eye to eye.. so this new policy is allowing me to have a unit that I agree with morally and that you agree with morally.. and they don’t have to be the exact same thing..

          On Tue, Jan 29, 2013 at 12:24 PM, Bryan on Scouting wrote:

          > ** > Bruce commented: “Agree, 100%.” >

  24. I strongly agree with Trent Jones. Scouting has been a huge moral compass for many youth and even adults through the 103 years of existence. I am an Eagle Scout of 50 years and this announcement disturbs me greatly. We have fought for many years to keep the principles of Scouting intact and moving forward. Lord Baden-Powell is probably rolling over in his grave as he sees his vision being torn apart due to need for money and to escape legal liability. Next, they will want to remove “Duty to God” from the Promise. The Girls Scouts did this many years ago due to pressure and I have not bought their cookies since.
    Another thing to consider is this, your unit might not allow homosexuals to register with them, but other units might. So are you putting the youth at risk when you go to a Camporee. Summer Camp, Jamboree, Philmont or another Scouting event. Is BSA National going to guarantee that nothing will happen? They do not want any liability at all in this mess. It is almost laughable now that they promote “Youth Protection”. This weekend I just renewed my certification online. I suppose, as long as the adults have that training, everything will be ok. NOT!
    BSA is stepping into dangerous territory with this decision and potentially putting youth and even adults in harms way. I have worked with abused children over the years and the children have a very difficult journey overcoming the trauma.
    So if BSA wants to go down that road, many will not follow.

  25. Finally, BSA will follow the Scout Law. I am a firm believer in scouting, and have participated all my life, but I am glad we are treating everyone with respect and kindness.

  26. I wonder if people who are responsible for this decision read and participate in this debate in these same forums. Whether it’s Bryan on Scouting or Facebook or elsewhere. Or do they sit in an ivory tower? I’d love to know that at least some of this conversation is worthwhile from a standpoint that it is viewed by those that have to bear the burden of reviewing this policy.

    • Well, as I understand there is a lot of discussion between the local Council Exec, their boss, the Council committee chair, and the National Board.. so if this is coming up in national it is because there are enough local council’s that feel it is time to have an honest discussion. Either way this comes out have have a LOT of respect for them addressing this topic. It is obviously emotionally charged, and when ever emotions enter thinking tends to stop.

    • I would highly doubt that those in charge are listening to these forums. If they wanted to listen to our opinions they would have asked us before announcing to the media what thier intentions were.

    • That’s a good question. I guess we won’t know unless someone from National reveals themselves.

  27. Unfortunately this is about the golden rule: Those that have the gold make the rules. This is about money not about the boys. Plain and simple.

    • It’s absolutely about money. Seven months or so ago they shut down the issue, now after losing a couple of higher profile donors this comes up?

  28. It pains me that BSA must defend its policy of honoring God as part of its core principles. At the heart of it, that is what is being debated here. Do we accept the fact that there are standards that can and should be applied to determine whether a person is of good character? Or, for fear of offending someone, do we accept whatever behavior someone else thinks is right? Is there a right and wrong? Is there a godly standard to be applied?

    Is it appropriate to apply Biblical principles to make these determinations? You can push it down to the unit level (and the chartered organization level), but is it appropriate for the BSA organization to implicitly condone an activity (homosexual relations; sodomy) that is clearly against Biblical principles? Without a standard, how can you say anyone has good or bad character? If a unit wanted to permit avowed (openly displayed or openly discussed) unfaithful husbands to be leaders, would this be condoned? If a unit wanted to permit the use of occult ceremonies at campouts, would this be condoned? Of course not. Just because our society has allowed the issue of homosexual relationships to become mainstream, must an organization, which has built its foundation on maintaining that there IS a standard for good character, condone behavior that is clearly against God’s standard? It is no longer possible to be vague or unclear about that standard. BSA has always honored God (a core principle), and now we must clarify what that means. Honoring God means to follow God’s principles, and those principles are clearly stated in His Word. We need to be clear on that.

    • What we also need to be clear on is this. Your god is not my god. My god is loving, caring and supports all. He doesn’t judge. And thankfully, there is room under the big tent that is Scouting for all people who believe in a higher power. It’s encouraged and a founding principle. So what happens when my god and your’s…don’t agree on this issue? That is a principle argument in this discussion. Until you can rationalize that conundrum, please stop thumping.

        • Though he and I have some obvious disagreement Charles is a good Scouter so I have no doubt that you’d enjoy chatting him up. I had the privilege of working with his son briefly at summer camp, and he is a fantastic young man.

        • Thank you Jo, I’ve enjoyed working with your boys as well. I think very highly of you and of them. Disagreements, well they come and they go. Tomorrow, we’ll still wear the tan (or green or blue) uniform and we’ll still be teaching kids how to tie square knots.

        • Ah, one more thing. For what it’s worth, I think you’re on target with many of your points in terms of discussion. I agree that there are going to be legal issues. I agree that integration issues can and will be complicated. And I feel, I think as you do, that the number one goal in the end is to serve the Scouts. I think (I’m restating here but it was a while ago and I no longer see it) that this won’t go through this time because of legal concerns – whether that is what National publicizes or not. I’m personally encouraged that this is a topic of debate again. And I think – again, I’m trying to predict the future a bit – that this will eventually come to pass. I know too many Scouts, both in the program, active and outside of the program currently who give and have given too much for this to become an issue that we ignore. And if we can figure out ways to take boys and girls camping (as in Venturing) I’m sure we can find ways to make an openly LGBT person welcome if that’s how we as adults wish to approach it.

          It will be challenging – no doubt. From my side of the argument, I consider the value of the person to be worth these difficulties of implementation.

          Of course, in my mind we have to get past the problems of ‘limited integration’ that is the current proposal being discussed. That’s a path doomed for failure.

      • On a lighter note, I’m picturing a parody skit in my head of a bunch of BSA big wigs trying to come up with the official BSA publication “Guide to Who’s Right – When God’s Disagree”

        Sorry I couldn’t resist.

        • That’s just it! There is no need for a Guide to Who’s Right! Everyone is right! The BSA already has a way to deal with this. They don’t endorse or advocate for any particular religion. There is no need to! You have yours, I have mine. You don’t have to believe mine, and I don’t have to believe yours. Problem solved.

    • “It pains me that BSA must defend its policy of honoring God as part of its core principles”

      To which god do you refer? What religion is endorsed by the BSA as the one true religion?

    • I am sure you know there are now, and have always been, unfaithful leaders, gay members, and those who do not follow the 10 commandments in BSA. This is not news. I have participated in scouting my entire life, yes, with gay members. I was not “turned gay” nor did I participate in a “sodomy” activity. We were a group of friends, loved the outdoors and had fun together. These are lifelong friends. You should please review the word of God and the scout law before passing judgement.

      Consider an OA ceremony some time. Is this “occult”?

      • Not anymore. From what I have been told parents are allowed to attend all OA ceremonies involving their son.

        • Sorry, I meant the ceremony as one where another God is worshiped. Nothing to do with parents attending.

    • As a Scout Commisisoner from another country it is interesting to see all the comments on the forum, with fellow Scouters arguing their case/expressing their fears over the potential change in your National policy.

      Just a few thoughts:

      1) There are many people on the forum quoting texts from their holy book to boltser their arguement and for some reason stating the holy books contents as fact. In Scouting in the area of Faith and Belief ,there are no “facts”. You can believe what you want, but no matter how fervently you believe something, it does not make it a fact or the truth. Thats is why at the World Scout Jamboree you have a “Faith and Belief Zone” – you won’t find a “Truth and Fact Zone”! Scouting is multi-faith and as Scouts I would hope that we all tolerant of other Faiths.

      2) The proposals (if accepted) would have no affect on the troops/sponsors that disagree with them, as they would not be forced to adopt them. If a prosepective Scout/Prospective Scout’s parents want their child to join a troop that allows gay members, then they would logically choose a troop that chose that guideline – as opposed to taking legal action against a troop that didn’t agree with the policy. They may choose to do so, but as there are troops available that cater for that view I would be suprised if the litigation succeeded.

      3) It would be sad state of affairs if the BSA ended up being split into Councils/Districts/Troops with 2 different sets of views that did not mingle co-operate – a Scout is a brother to all Scouts – regardless of their sexual orientation! A persons sexuality is a private matter and has nothing to do with their activities as a Scout. The only reason it seems to be an issue is people have been forced to declare something that has little relevence to what being a Scout means. I have many friends in Scouting who I admire who are gay – the fact that they are gay is not relevent, as there is no relevence. They are Scouts, nothing more.
      That is all.

  29. So our unit may say ‘no, not acceptable’ to this policy but others will say ‘yes’ and then what we start separate scouting camps, two different Jamborees, etc. to accommodate these different views? Seems to me like BSA is suddenly ‘running scared’ because they’ve lost some big financial backing. (God will provide to those who stay true to his word.) God loves the sinner, but hates the sin – as do we – so if they feel there needs to be a ‘gay’ scouting organization, let them go start one! LEAVE OURS ALONE!

    • I think you are going a bit overboard. BSA lost that financial backing a long time ago when they decided to break with United Way. There have been gay scouts since the beginning, no news here. What has happened is BSA has decided to follow the scout law. As we all should.

Comments are closed.