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

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

“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. SO If I can sum this entire thing up.. here are the key points that are being brought up.

    #1 Religion in Scouting. My God V. Your God. BP said it should be a local issue.. aka Family and Unit.. not national..

    #2 Fear of kids having hanky panky. This has not changed because of this change in policy. there is no sex in scouting.

    #3 Fear of pedophiles. We have the YPT, and two deep leadership.. this has cut back on incidents.. changing the rules will not change this either..

    #4 Fear of legal repercussions against Local units. If a child was abused then the chartered Org was on the hook, along with Council and national.. nothing changes here..

    #5 Fear of being forced to allow gay members into units, via law suit.. Why would people waist money to sue the church over membership when they have the option to form their own unit?

    #6 Fear of having to explain why Person X is Gay to your son.. Well they probably have already had that discussion with their friends.. so your too late for that..

    Have I missed anything?

    • Well since we are no longer a “Christian nation” as declared by our president, your logic is consistent and may win the day. And a sad day that will be.

      • Right. Our country is made up of members of many different religions and many different denominations within these religions. As it always has been.

      • Steve, this is not about the USA being a Christian nation.. this is about the scout oath and law, which was never meant to be exclusively Christian..

        So you can read this as what it is.. I’m not biting that bait, as much as I would love to have that discussion at length.. I say again this is about the scout oath and law.. a scout is reverent (does not say a scout is christian.. )

    • Well said. I have a really hard time understanding the fear. Open your hearts, live by the scout law, and enjoy scouting and what the program has to offer.

    • Boils down to – Is “sexual orientation” a moral choice or an inborn attribute like hair color, gender and skin color. If it is a moral choice, then it makes sense to use it as a criteria for leadership. If BSA National decides that the Scouting position is that it is not a moral choice, then they will remove it from their membership policy. By leaving the definition of morality up to the local charter organizations and units, they will enable the locals the opportunity to develop moral criteria for their leadership and membership.

      • not really, it boils down to, “is it in line with the scout law and oath to exclude people because their beliefs don’t agree with mine”

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

        > ** > Bruce commented: “Boils down to – Is “sexual orientation” a moral > choice or an inborn attribute like hair color, gender and skin color. If it > is a moral choice, then it makes sense to use it as a criteria for > leadership. If BSA National decides that the Scouting position” >

        • I understand, but then you end up with “A Scout is …. [refer to local Unit for what they believe]“

        • Nope. There is nothing in the scout law that says a scout is not gay. It will survive just fine if this policy changes.

  2. I’m not a Bible thumper so I won’t go there. However, my idea of morality and what I teach my sons does not include homosexuality. I just don’t want my kids knowingly exposed to that behavior or life style. I brought my kids to Scouting because the BSA espouses the same views and ethos that I was raised with and those that I wish to pass on to my sons.

    Scouting has always been a bastion of the defense of moral behavior. I am firmly against the BSA changing it’s century old standard of moral values.

      • Why is it reasonable to let 1-3% of the Population dictate the values and policies of a private organization. Why should we have to look for a troop that agrees?

        • Ash, it’s not just 3% who want this change. Those of us who have friends, family members, and respected fellow scouts who are gay would like to see them welcomed. Many religious organizations, such as the Catholic church, urge us to love and respect our gay family members, and feel that a gay person can lead a moral and honorable life through chastity. The BSA is responding to those *inside* the organization, who feel that it is time to change the policy.

        • Quite right. Remember that in the last election, three states voted to legalize same-sex marriage. In some parts of the country, there is widespread, majority support for including gay folks in community life, including church and scouting. This policy will allow the BSA to reflect the moral values of each CO, and of each region of the country, without forcing a policy one way or another on any particular troop.

        • Mike and ASH, you do a nice job of pointing out the intolerance of some vocal bully types who have no respect and reverence for our right to live and promote the timeless values of Scouting.
          It is examine offensive for Scouters to learn that outside (agenda driven) and well funded groups are targeting the BSA and seeking to take it over and destroy our timeless values?

          What is happening to the BSA can be compared to efforts to turn a vegetarian group into a group that eats meat. If you want to eat meat, join the meat eater’s group. Don’t seek to come in to the vegetarian group and take their name and program and money and tell vegetarians who now want to leave the organization to be more tolerant. This called theft. It is not friendly, courteous or kind to seek to do this.

          Can you imagine (if the shoe were on the other foot) what reaction we Scouters would get if we joined the LGBT and told them that they were intolerant of our Scouting values like being “morally straight” and told them that they need to change their policy to allow LGBT chapters to form that have the ability to set their own policy on homosexuality to include chapters that teach that homosexual acts are immoral and that those who have same gender attraction should not act on such attractions and should be morally straight? EagleMom and cwgmpls, are you willing to write your LGBT folks and post for days on (without it seems taking time to work) end telling them to be more tolerant of the Scouters that are coming to join LGBT and who coming to bringing with them the Scout oath and law to change their organization?? Please specifically answer this question. For your own good, you really need to openly and honestly answer the question that you keep avoiding, and I ask it with the hope and prayer that you will open you heart and examine the soundness and correctness of the current BSA position even though you disagree with it. The current proposal does not work, it is extreme and offensive to the timeless values of Scouting.

        • BSALS – I still cant figure out what you mean by “join the LGBT” – see my earlier post asking you about this. LGBT is not an organization. It’s an abbreviation for “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender”.

        • Yes, but LGBT consider themselves a ‘community’ just like BSA scouters consider themselves a ‘community’ he is not incorrect in how he is referring to it.

        • EagleMom, regarding you question and the point made by ScoutMammaX3, you can start with the below links….let us know if you need more help with this….

          More directly, can you answer the following…can you imagine (if the shoe were on the other foot) what reaction we Scouters would get if we joined the LGBT and told them that they were intolerant of our Scouting values like being “morally straight” and told them that they need to change their policy to allow LGBT chapters to form that have the ability to set their own policy on homosexuality to include chapters that teach that homosexual acts are immoral and that those who have same gender attraction should not act on such attractions and should be morally straight? EagleMom and cwgmpls, are you willing to write your LGBT folks and post for days on (without it seems taking time to work) end telling them to be more tolerant of the Scouters that are coming to join LGBT and who coming to bringing with them the Scout oath and law to change their organization? Please specifically answer this question so we can better understand how you define tolerance.

        • SMX3 – If BSALS is referring to the LGBT community when he says LGBT, then he should say LGBT community, or LGBT people, yes? Because it sounds like he is under the impression that LGBT is an organization, like GLAAD. At least, that’s the only way I can make sense of what he’s saying – though I might (or probably!) have it wrong.

          LGBT people don’t all belong to an organization, like BSA Scouters belong to the BSA. You can’t “join the LGBT” the way you can join the BSA. LGBT is just an abbreviation of “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender” – usually you would say “LGBT people”, but that doesn’t make sense when you say “join the LGBT” as if it’s a club. Some LGBT people are members of GLADD and other gay political organizations, but some of them just want to live quietly in suburbia. Some are liberals, some are conservatives. They are not a monolithic group of people who think and act the same way as each other. I don’t understand how you would go about “joining” them.

        • Well interesting comment EagleMom, now I’m confused. Cause if you’re as heterosexual as you claim to be, then you’re against them (LGBT people) completely. So you’re not for them at all, UNLESS (stay with me here) you’ve ‘JOINED’ with them – which is it? please clarify, cause there are a lot of folks on this forum claiming to not be gay but demanding that we let the gays in BSA, are they not ‘JOINING’ with the LGBT’s? (and their agenda to destroy BSA)

        • SMX3 -
          I am heterosexual. I’ve been married for 25 years to my wonderful husband, who is also heterosexual. I was a Girl Scout as a child, and my husband was a Boy Scout. My mother was in scouts – she likes to tell my kids they had it easy as she had no latrines at camp! All three of my heterosexual children have been scouts – one Girl Scout, two BSA. My sister is currently Cookie Mom for her daughter’s troop. One of my sons is an Eagle scout and has worked at summer camp for several years.

          I do not know why you would assume that because I am heterosexual, I am “against” LGBT people “completely”. I know LGBT people sprinkled among my friends, my extended relatives, my husband’s co-workers, my neighbors, my children’s friends and classmates. I am not “against” them. They are like all the other people I know – I agree with them on some things, and not on others. Many heterosexual people in this country are OK with LGBT people being welcomed into various community organizations. As an example, more than 50% of Maine voters were for gay marriage in the last election; the same was true in Maryland and in Washington state. Most of these voters are not LGBT themselves.

          I think the BSA is on the whole an excellent organization, and I think that any boy who is willing to put in the work can benefit from being a Scout, and should have the opportunity to do so. I’d like to see my (straight or gay) friends who do not believe that homosexuality is a sin be able to put their (straight or gay) sons in a scout troop, without compromising their family’s moral beliefs. The proposed policy will allow them to do that, while still allowing you to belong to a troop that doesn’t conflict with your own family’s values.

          I don’t think anyone wants to destroy the BSA. Change it? Yes, clearly some in the BSA want to see change, at least for some troops. But I think the proposed policy makes it clear that the BSA wants to continue to allow troops to exclude gay members if they so choose. Will that change in the future? Perhaps, but I think the proposed two-policy system will, if passed, be in place for many years to come, to give scouts and their families the choice of either option.

        • Then why are you trying to say people can’t ‘join’ LGBT in their agenda? Clearly YOU have. And I wouldn’t touch GSA and their sick partnership with Planned Parenthood even if it meant saving my life! I’d rather die – but knowing you’re involvement with them and their liberal views/agenda it makes sense you would try to help tear down BSA traditions to teach ONLY traditional family values. That said, leaving you with this thought…..

          “Wrong is wrong even if everybody is doing it, and right is right even if
          nobody is doing it.” – St. Augustine (354-430)

      • The difference Angie is that they will be exposed to it on the PARENTS terms NOT yours or BSA’s or anyone else!

        • SMX3, I’m really interested in knowing… how exactly do you shield your children from everything that you don’t want them to know about? And at what age do you think it might be appropriate for a boy to be aware of the existence of homosexuality.

        • Excellent and involved parenting. I know my children are a gift from God, not my ‘right’ to have them but blessed to have them. I have viewed them as seeds that were planted and needed love and nurturing to grow strong. I think we all know what would happen of a seedling was put out in harsh whether (either to hot or to cold) before it was strong enough to survive on it’s would die. Our children are guided and nurtured and taught what they need to know by us when it’s appropriate. My children where taught about healthy traditional marriages and the relationship between a man and a woman when they were ready. With that did come the issue of homosexual behaviors that some (including some in our own family) choose. They do not understand why but they know there are people that choose to live this way (or not since they too are Catholic and are not ‘active’ gays). So Beth that is how my boys have strong and healthy views of the world they will be dealing with. It is for EACH family to decide when to teach their children these realities and no one else’s. BSA is and has been a safe place for my family to enjoy the scouting activities without homosexual issues around to cause distress. We pray it will remain that way.

        • And you never take them out in public where they may see two people of the same sex holding hands?

        • On the contrary Beth, our lifestyle allows our children to be more socialized then the average american child. However, like all other important decisions in parenting comes the question ‘where is the best place we feel we can raise our children?’ For us it was NOT a liberal progressive area that would spit in the face of the traditional family values. We choose somewhere that allows for their healthy emotional growth, along with good stimulus and educational opportunities, and like minded families. We enjoy educational trips to places like Chicago and our nations capital and other large cities, but always go under the blessings of the Lord. And we have truly NEVER witnessed homosexual behaviors in the cities you would most likely encounter them. We are blessed! We strive to keep our children pure (we’re not perfect by far and make no claims to be) and we are grateful and humble to our creator that he has granted us this prayer. That is why when we were led to join BSA we were so pleased that it aligned with traditional family values. I see no reason to take away one of the last safe havens for families that want to instill this in their children. The LGBT community are (sadly) gaining so much ground in other areas that this just makes them hateful and greedy. They will not stop until they feel they’ve destroyed anything/anyone that does not accept them and their lifestyles, and wants to maintain a wholesome, pure, traditional family environment.

        • LGBT individuals are not trying to destroy anything. They merely seek the same recognition under the law that everyone else has. They want to have families. Ironic, since those that argue against them often speak to their deviance and promiscuity in misguided attempts to delegitimize their hopes to settle down in stable environments. Have you ever heard Zach Wahls speak? He lives in Iowa. He is the son of two lesbians. He is a remarkable young man, and expresses himself very well. He is an Eagle Scout.

        • Yes,we have heard of him before. As an example, Hitler also was good ‘speaker’ and expressed his agenda in a convincing way, he convinced many to join with his ideals and we all know how that ended. Again, why do we have to lose our rights for them to have theirs? Our right as a private organization to stay as we are.

        • SMX3 –
          I really don’t think an Eagle Scout who speaks his mind on a controversial issue can be compared to Hitler, who led a government who killed millions of people. Let’s remember that the reason this issue is so controversial, is that there are good people on both sides.

        • So the proverbial death/murder of an entire organization that stands for traditional family values is not also devastating?!? Evil is evil regardless of it’s source and t is easy to fall to the deceptive words of evil if you’re not spiritually strong. (It’s called ‘temptation’ for a reason.)

          An excellent speaker is simply someone who can easily persuade others to their own side of a debate by playing on one’s emotions, weaknesses and ignorance.That does not make what they are doing right, moral or factual.

          “Wrong is wrong even if everybody is doing it, and right is right even if nobody is doing it.” – St. Augustine (354-430)

        • Keep going SMX3. I have used up my arguments, but I will cheer those in the cause of good vs evil. It amazes me how persistent evil is. We know how this comes out in the end. But we still have to fight the good fight while we can.

        • SMX3 – I don’t believe that allowing those troops who wish to do so admit gay scouts will result in the “death/murder of an entire organization”.

          My experience with gay teens has been that it’s just not a big issue to have them around. My experience with scouts has been that those who choose scouting are on the whole good people. I can’t imagine that a few gay scouts will bring down the whole organization.

          If people leave scouting over the idea that a few troops – not even their own troops! – may admit a boy or two who is gay, well, it seems like an extreme over-reaction to me. We don’t kick gay kids out of our public schools, or our Catholic schools. We don’t kick them out of sports, or drama clubs, or school bands. We don’t kick them out of scouts, unless we find out that they’re gay. Even the Catholic church welcomes them, and encourages their families and communities to do the same.

          Scouting can survive this change, and come out of it stronger than ever.

        • First – thanks Steve! I know I feel like a broken record, but I will try not to tire of defending traditional family values.

          Second, EagleMom are you familiar with multi level dam systems? (gonna try a new analogy to ‘shake things up’ a bit) Anyhow, they can be found all over the world, they can be very effective but very dangerous when not properly maintained. On the chance that this actually passes, and national is cowering in the corner counting their money and placing the responsibility of the CO’s to decide which units allow gays and which doesn’t, we will risk the same catastrophic reaction of a dam breaking once our upstream dam (aka national) breaks. Let me illustrate…

          The greatest risk with multi-dam management is not simply that these large rivers have dams. It is the fact that they have MULTIPLE dams (that would be us the ‘multiple’ CO’s/troops), most numbering in the dozens (okay for BSA that number of CO’s/troops is much larger of course). But there is great risk of a catastrophic cascade failure initiated by the collapse of a SINGLE upstream dam (aka national). Like a chain, a multi-dam water management system is only as strong as its weakest link. And when that weakest dam is far upstream – which it usually is, generally in a remote and sparsely populated area, far from critical eyes – the downstream risk is magnified.

          While you (and those who want to share your argument) can continue to try to minimalize the ‘downstream’ effect this change will have, it will in fact be devastating! It will, forever destroy scouting for the families that one do not share your point of view. And two, it will have steamrolled the rights of those who do not agree with the change to favor those who do favor it.

          I’ve said it before but here goes again…How is taking away the rights of one group of people to get your own rights not wrong? If these gay individuals had the true spirit of scouting in their hearts (and damaged souls) they would abandon this hurtful mission – they would respect the traditions of BSA and exercise their right to scout somewhere else outside BSA. So that EVERYONE gets their to keep their rights. So NO ONE will convince me that this is nothing more then hateful reverse bullying!

          Also I AM an active Catholic, so I am well versed in our church’s stance on homosexuality. Like the LDS church a person cannot be living an ‘actively’ gay life. (Hate the sin but love the sinner) As for the other activities/groups you listed, they are NOT private organizations and BSA is. And if a gay member knowingly joins BSA then they are choosing to practice deception and thus are NOT living the Oath and Law, which states a scout is HONEST and TRUSTWORTHY.

        • SMX3 – I love your multiple dam analogy!

          I think the difference between us is that you see this policy as breaking the most upstream dam (the BSA national) and I see it as, in practice, only affecting a few downstream dams (the troops). If you’re not living on a river with one of those affected dams, it won’t affect you. And if it turns out you are, there will be enough notice to move (which fortunately won’t be as arduous as changing houses!)

          I do understand that you feel that the most upstream dam will be damaged, maybe severely. I don’t expect to convince you to change your mind. I can only hope that you can understand that there are good people on both sides of this debate. You and I are both scout moms, who want the best for our boys.

          I’m glad that you understand the Catholic church’s stance on homosexuality. As you know, Catholics are encouraged to welcome celibate gays into their families, their communities, and the church. The BSA is not currently doing this. I think that is morally wrong, and against the teachings of the Catholic church and many other Christian and non-Christian denominations. It’s a difficult issue. I believe the BSA is doing the best they can to serve families from a variety of faith traditions, and a variety of beliefs on this issue. It’s not a perfect solution.

        • EagleMom, while I appreciate that you like my analogy I fear you don’t understand dams and what they do. They hold back at times millions of cubic feet of water. Think tsunami wave when a dam breaks. The immense pressure of the water wipes out anything down river of it causing severe devastation. Any member of BSA is currently on this ‘river’ anyone affiliated with BSA is on the river. There will be no sparing anyone. If you’re a member this will effect you – period. There is no way to not be affected by the change. Which again I address your comment that, we’d ‘have enough notice to move’, with why do the people in BSA that joined under a clear understanding of the policy and accepting it need to ‘move’? Why don’t we just get the ‘dam breakers’ out and so we can continue to maintain our dams that are just fine?

          As for the church policies vs. BSA proposed change, are you telling me that you seriously think BSA is going to ask/enforce a ‘non actively gay’ policy? Even if they did this to put the new policy into place it would only be a matter of time before the LGBT member would argue how THAT was violating their rights. And if it’s a gay adult couple then they are obviously living actively gay. I have watched this so called ‘community’ seek and destroy anything and everything ‘traditional’. Once they got their foot in the door it would not stop there and eventually if any CO that is opposed to the change actually hung around (doubt they will) they would find a way to force them out or to get on board. I will not be deceived or romanced into believing this policy is a simple ‘rainbows and unicorns’ policy that will make the world a better place and we’ll all magically get along. Evil is evil and it usually presents itself as something good and positive, thus deceiving the weak and ignorant. The difference is many of us know better and it is our job to fight the evil from getting in the door.

        • –>>”As for the church policies vs. BSA proposed change, are you telling me that you seriously think BSA is going to ask/enforce a ‘non actively gay’ policy?”


          The Catholic church, like many churches, believes that sex outside of marriage is immoral. Despite this, the BSA does not deny membership based on whether or not scouts are having sex outside of marriage.

          The issue is left between a scout and his God. This, I feel, is as it should be.

          And just as the BSA does not inquire into the sexual activities of its heterosexual members, so I believe it should not inquire into the sexual activities of members who are attracted to those of the same sex. The BSA should leave that area of morality between the scout and his God.

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        • Actually I am comparing the whole LGBT agenda to Hitler he just happened to be the ‘pawn’ mentioned here. Tonight’s thought I am ending with to help those so blinded by evil…

          “Wrong is wrong even if everybody is doing it, and right is right even if
          nobody is doing it.”- St. Augustine (354-430)

          May God have mercy on your soul.

      • Angie, I say this respectfully, but we don’t follow your point. Mikes point is that BSA’s policy should not change and that the BSA has the right to protect, defend and teach the timeless values of Scouting. Mike is 100% spot on in this regard!

        The BSA policy is (and correctly so) that ”homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the values of the Scout oath and law and particularly the terms “morally straight” and “clean”. The BSA does not want to promote homosexual conduct as a legitimate form of behavior.” See, BSA v. Dale, 530 US 640. (2000). SCOTUS clearly recognized and upheld the BSA’s right to oppose or disfavor homosexual conduct.

        We are witnessing a complete lack of transparency from BSA National board members. The Board is advised not to take any action (which certain extremist Board members seek to do in a hurried manner and before opposition can be mounted, with little thought, no input from Scouting professionals and no input from volunteer Scouters) on this next week and thereafter, and yes we can and will stop radical members of our Board from irreparably damaging our Scouting program. The posts on this site are clear about legal action that is being prepared to put a stop to this hostile take over and theft of our Scouting program.

    • SCOTUS found that (after looking at all of the facts and BSA documents/positions/statements) the “mission statement of the BSA is to “instill values in young people”, and a Scout vows to keep one’s self “physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.” See, BSA v. Dale, 530 US 640 (2000). Further, the US Supreme Court also found that ”homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the values of the Scout oath and law and particularly the terms “morally straight” and “clean” and that the Mike Milo, you are correct about the need to protect and defend the timeless values of Scouting. The BSA does not want to promote homosexual conduct as a legitimate form of behavior.” See, BSA v. Dale, 530 US 640. (2000). The Court clearly recognized and upheld the BSA’s right to oppose or disfavor homosexual conduct.

      The proposed policy change will destroy the legal underpinnings that resulted in the BSA being able to successfully protect and defend its expressive association message, and charter organizations that prohibit practicing homosexuals will be sued. Our BSA program, and our values will be lost.

      The National Board is on notice of the irreparable damage that it will inflict on Scouting and its timeless values if it takes hasty and reckless action nest week. It is advised to govern its actions accordingly!

      Further, we call on all members of the Board who are reading these posts and who are honest of heart to do the right thing and call for a DELAY ON ANY ACTION until we can get some transparency in this process. This will only serve to make Scouting stronger! Millions of eligible class members who (are part of US Scouting and have nothing to do with other scouting groups) have donated time and money based on the timeless values of Scouting in the US, will be part of the lawsuits that will be filed immediately if wrong action is taken by BSA National. We are aware of the foul play going on, improper influence by outside groups and and the reason behind the rush to change the policy before rational voices from adult member volunteers can be considered (see posts on this site and do your research). We are wide awake to the dangers and implications of what is going on, and we WILL NOT be moved! Are you listening National Board!

    • You say you don’t want your kids “exposed to that behavior or life style.” So what are you going to do if they have a gay teacher at school? Or if they need help and go to a gay police officer? What if one day they have a gay congressman representing them? What about all the gay actors, athletes and musician on TV? Are you just going to shun all these people and pretend they don’t exist? Gay people exist – you shouldn’t try to hide this fact from your kids or else they’ll be in for a rude awakening when they eventually do enter the “real world.”

      Now of course I would be upset if a gay leader was sharing the details of their homosexual sex life with the Scouts… but I would also be upset if a straight leader was sharing the details of their heterosexual sex life with the Scouts.

      You may feel homosexuality is immoral (I, and many others, don’t). Why shouldn’t gay people have the opportunities of Scouting as well?

  3. I’m sad to see this in an organization which I have been a part of for 25 years + . I’m not sure l can be a part of BSA if they go through with action. It is going against the Scout Oath “Duty To God”.

    What more can l say!

    • I am a straight Eagle Scout. My God loves gays, and accepts them as they are. How can I fulfill my Duty to God in Scouting? Or is Scouting only for your God, and not for mine?

        • Beth earn your own group & respect instead of trying to take over the BSA. The BSA was never a personal agenda.
          Very Sad that this is a forced issue. This was not the founding agenda. Love of nature, camping and having skills not to be forgotten were written into the scouts cread.

      • 1 Corinthians 6:9,10 (NIV), 1 Corinthians 6:11 and Romans 1:24-27, 32 ARE New Testament. Be clear that God loves the sinner but HATES the sin, he ministered to the prostitutes and sinners to convert them NOT join them. He loves them indeed, so much so, that he gave His only Son to teach them and guide them to change their ways, and ultimately give his life for us to follow Him, not become one of them.

      • cwgmpls, the BSA policy is (and correctly so) that ”homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the values of the Scout oath and law and particularly the terms “morally straight” and “clean”. The BSA does not want to promote homosexual conduct as a legitimate form of behavior.” See, BSA v. Dale, 530 US 640. (2000). SCOTUS clearly recognized and upheld the BSA’s right to oppose or disfavor homosexual conduct. If you don’t agree with BSA policy, then with all due respect leave BSA.

        You demand that all of us to abandon our timeless Scouting values and recognize homosexual conduct as being “morally straight” and “clean”. This is offensive and intolerant of our views and our BSA policy.

        Think about it this way….if the shoe were on the other foot, what reaction would Scouters get if we joined the LGBT and told them that they were intolerant of our Scouting values like being “morally straight” and “clean” and told them that they need to change their policy to allow LGBT chapters to form that have the ability to set their own policy on homosexuality to include chapters that teach that homosexual acts are immoral and that those who have same gender attraction should not act on such attractions and should be morally straight?

      • If you took a vote it would be either the LDS or Catholic one since those are the largest voting blocks.

        • Good point. Is BSA run by LDS and Catholic church, or is it run by the families of the United States? I’m sure that is the argument going on right now in Irving, Texas.

        • OK. Are you a member of the LDS church? or the opposite…. the catholic church? If we ‘take a vote’ and the LDS church wins, then, well, the LDS church wins. Catholics are out.

        • I don’t talk about my religion with anyone outside of my family.With the amount of youth I lead and oversee I do not want to influence them one way or another.

        • By the way, the LDS church has allowed open gays to be members in good standing, and even hold adult leadership positions, in the LDS church since at least 2010. So if BSA continues to ban gays, it is probably the Catholics holding things up, not the Mormons.

        • cwgmpls Sorry you have the wrong opinion on the position of the LDS Church. You state open gays not active gays of which the LDS Church has complete opposition to the sexual active Gay and consider it a sin and something that the active gay member must repent of before the Resurrection comes. If you are a sexually inactive Gay member in the LDS Church then you are in good standing with the LDS Church. As a member of both the LDS Church and the BSA I believe that there are many obstacles facing the pending change to allow Homosexuals into the BSA program. I would like to address the position of the LDS Church on Homosexuals as members of the Church. The truth is that as a homosexual member they cannot be active in their lifestyle the Church is quite clear on this. The LDS Church accepts the homosexual member but not the sin of an active homosexual. As a Scoutmaster I believe that The Nation BSA should not be making changes in its present position of not allowing homosexual members because they cannot exclude active Homosexuals from its program. This is the difference between the LDS Church and the BSA. I am quite confident that the LDS Church will reject any promotion of active homosexuality in its Scouting programs and I hope that next week when the National BSA Board meets and votes on this issue they will keep the present position of protecting the values of 103 years of scouting and stay the course of honesty and integrity in supporting moral and decency in all of its programs. Sincerely, Trenton Spears

        • I agree with you. LDS allows open, sexually inactive gays to be members in good standing to the LDS church. Under BSA’s current rules, BSA does not allow open, sexually inactive gays to be members of BSA.

          The current BSA policy is more restrictive than LDS policy with regard to membership of open gays. BSA allowing each CO to set its own rules regarding membership of gays would allow Mormon troops to have a membership rule that matches the teaching of their church.

        • Do you concern yourself with whether or not a scout or leader is having premarital or extramarital heterosexual sex?

        • If it could potentially harm my child and disgrace the program that we’ve brought our youth into then yes! We have dealt with that within our organization and they are no longer with us or BSA. It’s not just about the ‘gay’ adults, my boys have the right to be comfortable when they are at scouts and scouting events. Who will be able to guarantee a boys comfort level anymore? Even if they are not the target they may witness something they do not need to know or be exposed to. That has been the beauty of BSA for us up till this moment.

      • BSA does not recognize any religion. The 11th and 12th points of the Scout Law make these “alternate lifestyles” conflict with mine. I am sure that is where they will conflict with others as well. I have never asked any person to tell me their sexual preference to be my friend or fellow scout. That’s theiir personal business. I just don’t want MY BSA trashed with it or my nose rubbed into it.

        • Actually it was the United States Supreme Court that said the BSA can exclude gays. This is a money deal not a gay rights deal. Big money donors want this ban to be lifted. So now Nationals is going to get it off their desk and have the pressure applied at the local level

        • The thing is, it isn’t just YOUR BSA. It belongs to all of us. That’s good that you don’t ask others their personal business. Changing this policy will make that official. Gay people don’t conflict with MY interpretation of the 11th and 12th points of the Scout Law. The best part of the proposed policy change is that the BSA will still allow individual units to decide what is best for them. You are still able to be a part of a unit that is in line with what you deem to be appropriate.

    • God says that eating pork is wrong (it is in the Bible). That’s why I subscribe to a Kosher diet. By your logic we should kick all bacon-eaters out of the BSA because eating it is going against the Scout Oath “duty to God.”

      • That is part of the old covenenant, not the new. Please dont cite Scriptures unless you use them in context, not just to male a poorly conceived point. Besides, there is no we in bacon, you may not have any of my bacon, bring your own.

        • No Leviticus is Old Testament, however 1 Corinthians 6:9,10 (NIV), 1 Corinthians 6:11 and Romans 1:24-27, 32 ARE New Testament. Be clear that God loves the sinner but HATES the sin, he ministered to the prostitutes and sinners to convert them NOT join them. He loves them indeed, so much so, that he gave His only Son to teach them and guide them to change their ways, and ultimately give his life for us to follow Him, not become one of them.

        • Ok. And what if my religion doesn’t adhere to that bible you quote? Where in the BSA policies, or in the Scout Oath and Law does it say that I have to follow your bible?

        • “Scouting is nothing less than applied Chrisitianity” – Lord Baden Powell Founder of Scoutiong for Boys

        • Is that one quote a part of the current policies of the BSA? No. I have the right to my religion, even if it isn’t the same as yours.

        • You do realize that the United States is pretty much the only country that has “boy” only scouts. If you have ever attended an International Jamboree you would have seen that all of the other countries have both boys AND girls in their units — and not waiting until the girls are 14 and putting them into a Crew only! They are not BOY scouts, they are SCOUTS!

        • Well then what bible do you adhere to? What bible can I go read that promotes homosexuality as acceptable? Cause no one has been able to show me one yet….

        • There are several Christian denominations that are accepting of LGBT individuals. The Episcopal church, for example. Another poster here has pointed out an aspect of mormonism, where if a person identifies as homosexual but does not act on this, he is down with his religion, right with his god. If he is right with his god, I don’t really see how it is of any one else’s concern.

        • I really cannot go into the intricate details of the various covenants made bewtween God and his people(s), the transcendence from saved by acts to saved by Grace, what applied to Jew, Gentile, pre/post Christ, etc. with someone who doesn’t know Leviticus being Old or New Testament. The time factor alon is unsurmountable, much less the ability to grasp from such an unknowledged position. Besides, your point was a straw man arguement at best, a non-sequiter most likely. I would fully expect to not eat bacon at a troop that is from a synegouge or mosque and would not offer a Jew or Muslim Scout the same.

        • You really shouldn’t make assumptions about the knowledge of people with whom you are discussing a topic on the internets.

          If you would not expect to eat bacon at a troop from a synagogue or mosque, why would you deny scouting altogether to a boy that belongs to a religion that doesn’t have a problem with homosexuality?

        • Beth, I am Catholic and we too ‘accept’ LGBT people on the same terms – if they are not actively living a ‘gay/homosexual’ lifestyle – but the WORD of God in the Bible does not change. Where in SCRIPTURE does God change his position on this? “Jesus is the same YESTERDAY, TODAY AND FOREVER” Hebrews 13:8, you choose the edition, (NIV, KJV, NASB, MSG, NLT) they’re all basically worded the same.

        • I don’t understand. If you accept LGBT individuals on those terms in your church, why would you seek to exclude them from scouts on the same terms?

        • Beth, for some reason I cannot reply to you directly so I am hoping you see this response to your last comment…

          Because we live and teach according to the Bible and these individuals are there (our church) because they too are seeking the Lord and to ‘straighten’ (no pun intended) out their lives – not continue to live as a homosexual. WE are ministering to them and changing their lives because they sought us out. That is NOT going to be the case with BSA and this movement.

          These people are not looking to live Godly lives according to scripture. They are looking to bully their way/lifestyles into a place that is not an option to them right now. Why could they not just start their own organization? Because it is truly about forcing their beliefs onto us (while hypocritically accusing us of the same) There would be NO roadblocks for them to start their own ‘Gay’ scouting organization in today’s society, maybe you’d even get some ‘straight’ supporters to leave BSA and scout with them. But probably not and they know it. A GAY scout organization would just that and they know it. It’s about forcing us to make them welcome and ruin our organization and nothing more.

        • ScoutMommax3… it is NOT about ruining anyone’s organization. Gay people can want to be involved in scouts just as anyone else might. If there are religious organizations that accept gay members, then it is absolutely not a stretch to think that they could then have gay members in scout units that they partner with. More so, Units that aren’t chartered by religious organizations at all may be fine with gay members as well!

        • And how do you propose the interaction of those ‘accepting’ versus ‘non accepting’ units will happen? Who will be ‘staffing’ day camps/ summer camps, philmont, jamborees? Will we have the ‘accepting groups camp’ and ‘non accepting groups camp’? You can not have it both ways Beth. This is a wedge that is so large BSA can not gap it. It would forever change Boy Scouts of America and take away from those who founded the program and supported it all these years. Again, let them go start their own scouting program.

        • Gee, all these years I thought God wanted us to love everybody. For some reason, I also thought that we were not supposed to judge one another. All along I thought God was going to make that final judgement. So, please explain again, who does God want us to hate and when do I get to make the final judgement on whether YOU go to heaven?

        • ScoutMommaX3 – It might help to understand that there are *already* gay scouts – working at summer camp, going to Philmont, serving the BSA in all kinds of ways. This policy change would allow them to be open about it. This might be uncomfortable, but the experience of our military has been
          that it’s better for all when the information is out in the open.
          That said, the policy does not change the fact that there is no place for sexual *activity* within scouting.

        • I’m Jewish. I don’t follow the “New Testament.”.I live Kosher lifestyle. But I go to a BSA summer camp where they serve ham and bacon and pork; yet I don’t complain. It’s about tolerance. As the BSA handbooks say: “Scout is reverent… he respects the beliefs of others.”

        • Does BSA say that it adheres to the New Testament of the Bible? So does that mean all the Jewish Scouts and Muslim Scouts, etc. are out?

    • I thing most people are missing the point. The same reason why we don’t allow homosexuals is along the same reason why we don’t allow females. Scouting is about teaching young boys and young men, skills that will last a lifetime in an outdoor setting. Our mission has never been of a sexual nature. The amount of time and energy that would be given to manage boys who bring their relationships to camp (as they would with girls) is too much and is outside the scope of the program. If a boy comes home and reveals that he is gay as a result of an encounter, that could generate a lawsuit. If a scout leader falls in love with a tanned and strong boy scout and crosses that line, that is a lawsuit. For one, I don’t wish to spend the night conducting tent checks or to see if Bobby and Johnny creeped away for an interlude; the same as if Bobby and Sally did the same thing. Keep Sex out of the BSA.

      • Ray, you do have some valid concerns, that wise leaders need to consider. But two things haven’t changed. The first is that there are *already* gay scouts – the situations you describe could happen *now* and savvy leaders should be keeping an eye out. The second is that there will still be no place for sexual activity within scouting. That hasn’t changed. Just as the BSA can manage girls working at summer camp, they can manage this policy change.

        • There ARE females in Scouts – Venturing. And we have specific YPT regulations. My co-ed Crew gets along just fine – we don’t do tent checks to see if someone has crept off – and yes there are relationships but there is a time and place for everything and Scouts is not the place and they know that. Someone breaks the rules they are removed – simple as that. YPT is YPT – doesn’t change because of sexual orientation or gender.

        • You say “Scouting is about teaching young boys and young men, skills that will last a lifetime in an outdoor setting.” Why shouldn’t young gay boys be able to learn those same skills that will last a lifetime in an outdoor setting?

        • Absolutely, Mark. I don’t know if EagleMom has replied to you, but she has been commenting on this forum in advocacy of that position as well.

    • I am a Christian and I don’t believe being gay is against the Scout Oath’s “Duty To God.”.There are many religions (including my Christian denomination) that believe being gay is not immoral.

      However I do think the current policy of excluding gays is in odds with the value of Scout Oath and Law.

  4. The Boy Scouts of America should stick to the standards that have worked for them for over 100 years. If one doesn’t like those standards then let them form their own organization. I’m sure that there are others that may support them. I would call this organization the Scouting Movement of the United States.

    Next, don’t let money break our standards. If we can not run the program because of expenses or lack of supporters then let us go into the history books as a good program.

    • Standards that have worked for over 100 years? Ok, I agree. The scout oath and law. Which say nothing about excluding gay individuals. The anti-gay policy is about 30 years old.

      • Ma’am-
        There are organizations throughout the country that I will never be able to participate in because of their membership requirements. One example is the Sons of the American Revolution. If you’re not a veteran of the military you can not join the VFW or American Legion. Is that discriminating? How about Freemasons? They do not allow women, but have Eastern Star. I haven’t sued PETA because they discriminate against carnivores. It’s silly to say that anyone in BSA discriminates against homosexuals. They are simply not allowed to join & neither are atheists. They are both free to start their own organization. Perhaps they will have greater success than BSA. That’s what’s great about a free society. We don’t have to agree & you are free to vote with your pocket book or your feet. It’s not your place to push your views on a group that has been consistent on this issue for 100 years. It only became an issue 30 years ago because homosexuals became more open 30 years ago & the organization was forced to deal with it.

        • The BSA is also free to choose to reverse their policy if they deem it to no longer fit their needs. This is what they are doing now. We shall see where they come down soon enough.

        • Wow you are trolling. You have some serious issues with people who have religious convictions and show no respect to them. You keep wanting to know what god and bible and so on. Well why not tell everyone the name of your bible and your god that is supporting your views?

        • I’m absolutely not trolling. I am simply making the point that the BSA does not endorse any one religion. It would be perilous for them to do so. My personal belief is that each individual person has the right to their own religious beliefs and tenets. your religion can’t tell me what to believe, just as my religion can’t tell you what to believe. That’s all there is to it. You are perfectly welcome to believe whatever you want!

        • Ma’am- You seem to get very upset that others in Scouting that observe & respect past practices & policies won’t accept your point of view as their own. You also seem to be very intolerate of their point view. It’s pretty funny to me considering that you’re accusing these same people of being intolerant & close minded.

        • You are not correct Beth. The BSA cannot choose to reverse 100 plus years of history without legal consequence. If the BSA reverses its policy, it will face lots of litigation, not the least of which will be class action lawsuits from donors who will ask for past donation money to be returned. It will get ugly.

        • How did any of you get “trolling” from this well-written and well-thought-out reply? I think it’s clear here who the real people are who can’t “tolerate” dissent!

        • The problem with that argument is that young boys who join cub scouts really have no idea about their sexual orientation. They just know that cub scouts sounds fun and they want to be a part. By the time they have an inkling that they might be “different,” they have been involved in scouts for years. So then they get kicked out of an organization they love because of a policy that they didn’t even know they were violating when they first joined? Something is just not right about that. The other organizations you listed target adult membership, adults who know from the start if they meet the membership requirements.

        • Brad Great Comment yes there are requirements and some we have to just live with. Lately we have had a rush to make changes to some organization’s to fit the needs of a few. How is it that discrimination can only be solved by discrimination of others should not Devil worshipers be allowed to be Scout leaders they might be good leaders but just have a different belief than others. Should we include athiest they certainly have an argument to become a part of the BSA. How about nudist they might be good scout leaders they just have different lifestyle’s. How about pediphiles they might be good scout leaders they just want to satisfy their sexual desires where would it end. Does the BSA have to include anyone and everyone? I believe if the BSA continues its path down this trail it will soon find itself overwhelmed in legal problems that will sky rocket and even bankrupt the organization. Sorry I believe that the BSA is throwing the baby out with the bath water on this pending change. BSA National Board of Directors when you meet next week I hope you won’t gamble with the morals of our Scouts and continue with the Values that the Boy Scout of America never left, these are your own words.
          Brad on another subject I am a member of the Sons of the American Revolution and the only requirement is that you be a blood relative of someone that served in the Revolutionary War or those blood relative’s who have helped in the war efforts. Check your geneolagy and you might find a link to your eligibility. Sincerely, Trenton Spears

        • I’ve looked into it and I don’t have family. It’s an organization that I have a great deal of respect for and wish I could join. However, my family didn’t immigrate to the US until the 19th century. Thanks.

        • Brad, My family is of similar beginnings, in the US, or so I thought. My immigrant ancestors married into families who, in fact, had ancestors from the American Revolution. Check it out, if you want. There is more to your heritage than you may realize.

      • Beth you could not be more wrong. The Scout Oath and Law does not represent the homosexual lifestyle. Its values have already been established over 103 years ago and is the standard of the BSA. Beth if you were to place your hand on a Bible and swear to uphold its values would you not be making a covenant to God that you would be obediant to that covenant. So it is with the Scout when he raises his right hand to the square in the Scout sign he is making a covenant to uphold the these’s Oath’s and Laws. The Scout Oath and Law in no way supports the homosexual lifestyle and clearly is in opposition to it. In reality the National Board BSA will have to make changes in these’s pledges to accommodate the any change in allowing Homosexuals in the BSA. Beside Church’s the BSA is the last strong hold for morality in this Nation. Beth I would like pass on a article by the New York Times on January 30th you will see that the change will always be a problem for the BSA and it would be in the best interest of the BSA to leave things as they are. I hope that all scouts on this website reads this.
        Even the New York Times does not like this proposal ” Quote”
        This article states clearly that even if the current proposal is approved, the battles are far from over… “Sadly, though, the change the organization is contemplating falls far short of the clear and strong renunciation of antigay bigotry that is called for. It said it would no longer “dictate” an antigay policy to local scouting groups, but would let them decide whether to permit participation by openly gay people. In other words, whether to persist in barring gay youngsters and their families would become a local option: an unprincipled position that would continue to send a message that discrimination is perfectly acceptable even if it is no longer mandatory under national Boy Scouts rules.” “Board members should reject the idea of allowing local chapters to continue to exclude gay scouts and troop leaders. Instead, the board should establish a firm anti-discrimination policy and make clear its determination to see that the principle is followed at the local level. If the Boy Scouts of America is serious about repairing its bigoted image and serving all boys and their families, further discrimination cannot be an option.” Unquote”. Beth so we just won’t win on this change proposed by the National BSA Board. Sincerely, Trenton

    • I agree. The policy that sexuality was a topic left to one’s family and clergy worked fine for about 70 years, until BSA national started to push their own sex teaching about 30 years ago. Let’s go back to the traditional teaching of leaving sex up to the family and move on together!

      • The problem with that is that 1-3% of the populatin (gays) are responsible for 33% of the sexual abuse victims. A huge disparity. So even if it is OK to let openly gay men be leaders, it statistically increases the potential for sexual abuse.

        I just read that the gay communityis far less dangerous than the hetrosexual community as evidenced by the recent release of the ‘perversion files’. Is the absurd assumption of this statement that women were responsible for more of these instances of abuse than gay men?

        • Your numbers are wrong. Most homosexual (male against male) rape, is conducted by men who present themselves as heterosexuals. The instance of homosexual rape committed by people who are openly gay and present themselves as homosexual is quite small, similar to the instance of heterosexual rape.

          Openly gay men do not account for 1/3 of all rapes in the country. Almost all rapes are conducted by men who call themselves straight, and who admitted to BSA, the church, and other places as straights. Banning people who are openly gay does nothing to stop the rapes caused by straight men, which is almost all rapes.

    • Scott – Those standards are what we’re here discussing, among other items. Standards can be wonderful things – but my understanding and application of the Scout Oath and Law likely has slight differences over yours. That is no different then having a difference of opinion over a portion of the US Constitution.

      Councils are filing for bankruptcy or near enough. Is this potential policy shift only driven by money? I don’t know. Will changing the policy help cash strapped Councils? Again, I don’t know.

      But I think that if that is a primary consideration, it’s being done for the wrong reason. Then again, it won’t be the first time that money was the root of a bad decision.

    • National is doing this for money. I will no longer contribute to FOS or sell popcorn for National. I think others should do the same. If a few big business are trying to change to include gays then those opposed should cut off our funds. Seperatly may not be much but together it could be alot.

  5. Heaven forbid your son has a gay scout leader. That must mean your son will have to earn a badge by writing an essay about his scout leader’s sexual history. It’s 2013. Either change or get out of the way. And if you think for even one second there aren’t a bunch of gay scout leaders and members…you’re dead wrong.

    • You are probably right. They are there by lying and deceit. Great traits in leaders.

      By the way if you want people to respect your opinions then you need to respect theirs. Your are coming off as close minded as those you are calling close minded.

      I have yet to see anyone who is pushing this change try to show sensitivity towards the other side for which this proposal came out of the blue. No one pushing the agenda offering suggestions on how to implement the changes to make it easy on everyone should it be passed.

      Instead those pushing this agenda have mocked people’s religions, gods, upbringing, told them to move out of the way, suggested they go join the KKK. And you claim to be “all inclusive” and telling everyone else that they should be compassionate? No you all want it to be an immediate global change and you expect everyone to suddenly be for it?

    • Progressivism is the real problem in this country. You progressives think the Constitution is outdated, Republicans are racists, polar bears are drowning and Scouters that want to keep with traditional family values are homophobes. Why don’t you go start your own scouting organization?

  6. If a parent is concerned about their sons going on camping trips with gay leaders then there is a simple solution, GET INVOLVED AS A VOLUNTEER!!! Don’t use the Scouts as a babysitting service. Become an Assistant Scoutmaster or Troop Committee Member.
    Some Troops have problems finding enough adults to go on trips. Become a volunteer with your sons Troop and get out there with them. Who knows, by sharing in the experience of camping with your son you might actually form a bond with your son. God forbid you become close. If you don’t know how to camp then that’s ok, your son can teach you.

    After years of working alongside of gay people in the military and civilian life I have never had a problem.

    • Now you are mocking people’s parenting skills suggesting that they might get to bond with son if they go camping as to imply they might not already have a wonderful and healthy bond with them?

      What’s next, mocking their grandparents?

  7. While the situation you describe is tragic, it likely has nothing to do with homosexuality. That was bullying of a boy that a group of boys deemed to be weaker than themselves. The boys who perpetrated that act may or may not be/have been gay. The boy that was the victim was surely that, a victim. Sounds like the scoutmaster was as well. Gay boys are actually much more likely to be victimized than straight boys. Any boy perceived to be different can be targeted and victimized. This is a problem we have in society as a whole, not just in BSA. It should be addressed on a widespread level. Opening our doors to those who are different, and sometimes perceived to be different will actually help prevent acts such as the one you describe.

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

    That was BSA’s position on sexuality for the first 70 years of its existence. Teaching about sex should happen at home, and nothing BSA teaches should contradict what the family teaches.

    BSA abandoned this policy in 1991, when they adopted the statement “We believe that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the requirement in the Scout Oath that a Scout be morally straight”. That set BSA up as a teacher of sexuality, and set up BSA to be in increasing conflict with family and church teachings as time went on.

    It is time for BSA to get back to Scouting, and leave sex up to a boy’s family and clergy to deal with.

    • I can honestly say I haven’t had the birds and the bees talk with any of my Scouts (with the exception of my own children in my own home and on our own time). So, pray tell, explain to me how it is that we suddenly turned into sex ed teachers and I missed the memo?

      This is a poor argument and has no place here. We are not educators of sexual choices or behavior. It’s not our role now, and it won’t be if this comes to pass.

      • Are you accusing BSA of lying when they told the Supreme Court that BSA “teaches that homosexual conduct is not morally straight”?

        • Let’s flip that question. When was the last time you opened a training manual or took an ITOLS course when the book or instructors said, “It is your job to teach youth that homosexuality is bad and dirty and not allowed in Scouts?” It’s a general policy, but not one that we as leaders need to execute to the point that we are teaching sexual values. Our current responsibility is if a Scout or a Leader steps forward and says, “I lead a different lifestyle,” than it is our job to report said person to Council and watch as they are removed from Scouting. And to be honest, I can’t ever recall being taught that at a training session either – but perhaps I missed that change.

        • That is not the question the court asked. The court asked if BSA teaches about sex. BSA said they do. The court based its ruling on BSA’s answer to that question. If BSA does not teach about sex, BSA has no legal basis to exclude gays.

          If you are right, if BSA does not teach about sex, then the court reached a false conclusion, based on false testimony from BSA, and BSA has no legal basis to ban gays. But I don’t think you really believe that.

    • This did not set BSA up to be in increasing conflict with families and church teachings, it set the BSA up to be in conflict with a small population of gays that want their way, and got it by forcing a few church denominations to split.

      • And in conflict with the families of gays. And in conflict with the friends of gays. And in conflict with the churches of gays. And in conflict with the employer of gays. And so on. BSA’s earliest policies on sexuality were clear that BSA should never “contradict what is being taught in the family and by the youth’s religious leaders”. Why did they change this and decide to enter into conflict with others over sexuality in 1991?

        Just return to BSA’s founding values of not contradicting families and clergy about sex, and BSA will be fine.

  9. I never read the policy as no gays allowed. I also think that the majority of most boys scouting age do not know if they are gay. Those that come out with that declaration at an extremely early age have obviously had some sort of help coming to this conclusion. We should be less interested in putting labels on people and more interested in helping them become responsible members of societly.

    • National, Regional and Local scouting offices read it as excluding gays, though. I agree with your sentiments. very well said.

    • Here is BSA’s latest policy that says “no gays allowed”

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

      Sure, the majority of 11-year-olds don’t know if they are gay or not. But a lot of boys do know it by the time they are 17, when they are still in Scouts.

      I agree that we should not be putting labels on people. That is why BSA would be wise to dump this whole “avowed homosexuals” thing, whatever that is supposed to mean, and get on with Scouting

  10. Will this lead to quotas? Each council being required to have a certain number of gay people in leadership positions, or employed within the council.

      • But they do try to count them. I don’t know what they do with the numbers but they are being recorded somewhere.

      • Blacks and women scout masters as a group are not attempting to exert moral relativism on the BSA in order to force the BSA to accept them. There’s no need for that since they typically accept the conventional and Christian view of good morals.

        In order to be accepted into the BSA, the gays must reinterpret the meaning of the scout oath and law to align with their own views, discount the value of conventional morals, or say that anybody’s idea of morals is as good as anyone else, and no one should condemn anyone else based upon moral values. Hence, the morals of a prostitute are as good as those of the most devout Christian, or so they would seem to believe.

        • There was a time when some chartering organizations of BSA troops taught that blacks are morally inferior to whites. BSA allowing blacks into Scouting was viewed as moral relativism for them. But we all seem to get along just fine now.

        • It’s a common tactic to compare discrimination against homosexuals to discrimination against black people during the civil rights era. It’s an insult to compare the two.
          Your argument is also an example of an association fallacy… Because one thing is true, the other must be as well.

        • Bruce, the BSA is not a Christian organization. There are many scouts who have different faith traditions, which teach different moral values. Some of these religions have to problem with homosexuality. In addition, many mainstream religions, including the LDS and Catholic churches, believe that gay people can lead a moral life, though choosing chastity. We do not ask heterosexual scouts whether they are chaste, or base their eligibility for the BSA on it.
          This policy allows those churches which feel homosexuality is morally wrong to exclude gay scouts from their chartered troops. Similarly, it allows those churches which feel that gay scouts should be included to do so. I think it’s a good compromise, which will allow each church to choose their policy in accordance with their beliefs. It won’t be easy to blend these at the council and higher levels, but it respects the religious beliefs of all, and allows each troop to follow God as they see fit, which is appropriate.

        • 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.

    • Yes. The quota for the number of required gay leaders will be the same number as the number of stupid leaders we are required to have.

      • You seem to have nothing positive to offer the conversation. Why not troll somewhere else. Out of curiousity, what does the “db” stand for? I would guess, but I’d probably be way off.

    • Bruce you point out a flaw in the thinking at BSA National. We do not know what the litigation burden will be from this. I work closely with those who are trying to figure this out as we all debate. Essentially what National has done is pass the burden onto the CO’s and walked away. I know lawyers who work closely with the LGBT Community and they tell me their next round of discrimination lawsuits will be aimed at CO’s that continue to exclude ANY male member for any reason. National used to provide assistance for the CO’s however under the proposed policy they will no longer have an obligation to assist they will simply walk away. Anyone who thinks this solve sthe LGBT issue is naive and has no grasp of what is happening on the ground in local Districts and Units.

      • But it is only some COs that are complaining about gay in Scouting. Why should all of BSA carry the burden for the COs that don’t want gays? If the COs have a clear, stated position against homosexuality, they will have no problem maintaining their right to exclude gays in court. The precedent set by BSA on this matter is solid: if you hold an expressed message regarding homosexuality, you do not have to admit homosexuals as members to your group. Nothing will change that precedent, and COs that hold this position will have no problem in court. In fact, I doubt there will be a court case in these instances.

        The only COs that have to worry are those that don’t have a public message opposed to homosexuality. But if they don’t have a public message opposed to gays, why would they not want gays in their troop?

        There will be no legal problem for COs that have a clear message opposed to homosexuality. Since they are the only ones complaining about gays in BSA, why should the entire BSA carry the burden for these few COs, when it is only these COs that will really care about the issue?

        • I understand your position however you are advocating a have versus have not scenario. Traditionally National protected every CO under their umbrella because all CO’s were untied. Those that weren’t were and are in no danger. You have conceded that CO’s will be able to prevail in court if they are consistent. The problem is some CO’s will not have the funds to mount their own defense. Their alternative will be capitulate or close their doors. Most will simply withdraw rather than face oblivion. You may find no problem with this but outside of the LDS Church Catholics, and Southern Evangelicals most of the remaining CO’s are very small. Essentially what National is saying is LGBT or bust because we will not support you. any longer. I do disagree with you about the court cases. There will be additional lawsuits over access, exclusion, discrimination, funds, and using public facilities. Should National appease the very small minority it will not end there but that comes from my experiences with the LGBT attorneys.

        • Yes, organizations that express a message opposed to homosexuality have a first amendment right to exclude gays form membership.

          At the same time, organizations that want to have a right to enter into association with homosexuals when it does not restrict the rights of others.

          The current situation, where gays can not join any Scout troop, even when the troop and COs want gays to join, is out of balance. COs are having their right to associate with others trampled upon, in order to preserve the rights of other COs. Allowing each CO to form their own position with respect to gays is much more respectful of everyone’s rights.

          For those whose rights are being denied, and who can’t afford their own legal representation, the ACLU can provide resources needed to restore your rights.

        • 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.

        • You’re wrong about it not being a problem for those CO’s that do not want to accept gays. They may win a court case, but many of them could not afford to take it to court. If sued, they would simply have to shut their scouting program down or sacrifice their ideals.

    • Absolutely it will! As soon as gay rights advocacy groups decide there are no other big fish to fry and circle back around to Scouting.

  11. While the situation you describe is tragic, it likely has nothing to do with homosexuality. That was bullying of a boy that a group of boys deemed to be weaker than themselves. The boys who perpetrated that act may or may not be/have been gay. The boy that was the victim was surely that, a victim. Sounds like the scoutmaster was as well. Gay boys are actually much more likely to be victimized than straight boys. Any boy perceived to be different can be targeted and victimized. This is a problem we have in society as a whole, not just in BSA. It should be addressed on a widespread level. Opening our doors to those who are different, and sometimes perceived to be different will actually help prevent acts such as the one you describe.

  12. The bottom line is what is guiding this potential chnage in policy. National wil cause the Charter Organization to defend their position with very limited resources. If a Chater Organization refuses to admit a gay adult leader the ACLU will step in and force the C.O.’s to accept the individual in question. Since the he C. O. will not be in a position the defend their ideology that may result in the unit folding their tent.

    If the base is lost Scouting will not see the next hundred years.

      • The C.O. CAN defend their ideology. What they CAN’T is to be able to afford to carry the fight through the court to uphold their ideology. Not everyone has deep enough pockets to fight long, drawn-out legal conflicts.

      • Because it’s the current position of the BSA! And changing that position and leaving it to the individual COs will leave them on the financial hook to defend a position they were founded on.

        • If a C.O. was founded on a position, they already defending that position in other the other programs that it operates. I don’t know of any C.O. that only operates a Scout troop and does nothing else. They are already defending their ideology in its other programs. Unless its position is indefensible. If so, that is not BSA’s problem.

        • It is not the CO’s founding position, it is the BSA’s position that was adhered to and accepted when the CO chartered the Troop or Pack. It was the CO that decided the BSA’s principals and position was worth adhering to. If the BSA changes it’s position and the CO does not then the defense of that position falls on the CO. If the CO cannot afford a legal battle then the CO has limited choices; it can fold the Troop/Pack and be done with scouting or it can submit.

        • Actually Mike, many CO have been chartering units for decades prior to the current controversy. The BSA was open to everyone, until it wasn’t. When the BSA moved its corporate HQ to Texas, it began to reflect the conservative values of Irving TX and the LDS church rather than reflect the makeup of this diverse country. The BSA has spent the past 30 years actively alienating large portions of Americans. This is one small step in accepting that there are opinions and belief beyond the boundaries of their insular headquarters.

        • If the CO can’t afford a legal defense regarding its free speech rights, I’m sure the ACLU will help them out. Seriously. ACLU has even lead free-speech defense efforts an behalf of the KKK. (and no, I am not making any comparison between KKK and BSA, I’m just saying ACLU will stand up for anyone’s free speech rights, including COs who needs some help.)

      • National and Council are “partners” with their chartered organizations. One of the things chartered organizations are supposed to get is Council and National support.

        • Of course the ACLU has helped the KKK. The KKK was created by white democrats to scare blacks after the Civil War. The ACLU is the pro bono law wing of the Democratic Party. Both organizations have an interest in shaping the US in the image that contradictory to the founding principles.

        • You don’t seem to know your history very well, Brad. The Democrats were the conservative party during the civil war. Around the turn of the last century, that changed. When Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act in the 60s, he commented that he knew he’d lost the South for the Democrats for a generation. And so it is true. The Republicans even devised a “Southern Strategy” to play on white fears to push through Republican initiatives and win voters to being Republicans. It’s all right there in the history books.

          At any rate, the ACLU is exactly what it claims to be: dedicated to civil rights. Even the civil rights of racists and other repulsive types. As for the KKK… doubt you’d find too many Democrats among them these days, but, since I can’t claim to know any, can’t say for sure.

        • Angie- I found this on PBS’s website. I knew if I went to another source you would accuse it of some conservative bias. If I know anything, I know my history. I read both sides since progressives like yourself have spent the last 100 years perverting it.

          At the time of Ulysses S. Grant’s election to the presidency, white supremacists were conducting a reign of terror throughout the South. In outright defiance of the Republican-led federal government, Southern Democrats formed organizations that violently intimidated blacks and Republicans who tried to win political power.

          The most prominent of these, the Ku Klux Klan, was formed in Pulaski, Tennessee, in 1865. Originally founded as a social club for former Confederate soldiers, the Klan evolved into a terrorist organization. It would be responsible for thousands of deaths, and would help to weaken the political power of Southern blacks and Republicans.

          Racist activity in the South often took the form of riots that targeted blacks and Republicans. In 1866, a quarrel between whites and black ex-soldiers erupted into a full-fledged riot in Memphis, Tennessee. White policemen assisted the mobs in their violent rampage through the black sections of town. By the time the violence ended, 46 people were dead, 70 more were wounded, and numerous churches and schools had been burned. Just two months later, on July 30, a similar outbreak of violence erupted in New Orleans. This time, a white mob attacked the attendees of a black suffrage convention, killing 37 blacks and three whites who allied with them.

          In this violent atmosphere, the Ku Klux Klan grew in size and strength. By 1868, the Klan had evolved into a hooded terrorist organization that its members called “The Invisible Empire of the South.” The reorganized Klan’s first leader, or “Grand Wizard,” was Nathan Bedford Forrest, who had been a Confederate general during the Civil War.

          White Southerners from all classes of society joined the Klan’s ranks. In the name of preserving law and order in a white-dominated society, Klansmen punished newly freed blacks for a variety of reasons, including behaving in an “impudent” manner toward whites. They whipped the teachers of freedmen’s schools and burnt their schoolhouses. But first and foremost, the Klan sought to do away with Republican influence in the South by terrorizing and murdering its party leaders and all those who voted for it.

          In the time leading up to the 1868 presidential election, the Klan’s activities picked up in speed and brutality. The election, which pitted Republican Ulysses S. Grant against Democrat Horatio Seymour, was crucial. Republicans would continue programs that prevented Southern whites from gaining political control in their states. Klan members knew that given the chance, the blacks in their communities would vote Republican.

          Across the South, the Klan and other terrorist groups used brutal violence to intimidate Republican voters. In Kansas, over 2,000 murders were committed in connection with the election. In Georgia, the number of threats and beatings was even higher. And in Louisiana, 1000 blacks were killed as the election neared. In those three states, Democrats won decisive victories at the polls.

          Nevertheless, the Klan’s violent actions proved to many Northerners that the South had not learned its lesson in the recent war. In this way, the Klan’s activities actually backfired. People realized that harsher laws would have to be passed in order to stop the violence and protect Southern blacks. And those laws were soon in coming.

          In the 1868 presidential election, Republican Ulysses S. Grant won the office with the slogan, “Let Us Have Peace.” Republicans also won a majority in Congress. Many Northerners, disgusted by Klan violence, lent their support to the Fifteenth Amendment, which gave the vote to black men in every state, and the First Reconstruction Act of 1867, which placed harsher restrictions on the South and closely regulated the formation of their new governments.

          Other legislation attacked the Klan more directly. Between 1870 and 1871, Congress passed the Enforcement Acts, which made it a crime to interfere with registration, voting, officeholding, or jury service of blacks. More than 5,000 people were indicted under these laws; a little more than 1,000 were convicted.

          In 1871 Congress also passed the Ku Klux Klan Act, which allowed the government to act against terrorist organizations. Grant did not rigorously enforce these laws, although he did order the arrest of hundreds of Klan members. But with the overwhelming support of the Klan in the South, convictions proved difficult to obtain, and the financial panic of 1873 would distract the North from the problems of Southern racism. In 1882 the United States Supreme Court declared Ku Klux Klan Act unconstitutional.

        • I could provide you with several sources that prove that Nixon was not a racist and the Southern Strategy was not to attract conservative democrats, but I believe that you would balk at my sources. The lie has been told for so long it would take me a long time to find a source you would trust. However, by your own admission you believe that White, Conservative, Racist Democrats had already jumped ship in 1964. If that is true then why would Nixon have needed a Southern Strategy in order to gain the votes of people that had already supposedly joined the Republican party?

        • As far as Johnson goes I can find quotes with him dropping the N-word and one of the most famous is regarding the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

          Here’s an example of a more tame quote after “taking the teeth” out of the 1960 Civil Rights Bill. “These Negroes, they’re getting pretty uppity these days, and that’s a problem for us, since they’ve got something now they never had before: the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we’ve got to do something about this — we’ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference.”-Senator Lyndon B. Johnson.

          There were two CR Acts brought forward during Eisenhower’s administration. Johnson fought it multiple times while serving as Senate Majority leader. Johnson saw the writing on the wall by the time he signed legislation on Civil Rights that was written by Republicans. The membership of the Democratic party had been shrinking since the 1930s.

          It would be hard to argue that there were no racists in either party. However, it was young, middle class Southern Democrats that began jumping ship long before the civil rights act was signed and long after.

          I’m still scratching my head about the Conservatives being Dems during the Civil War. The position of Republicans has not changed until the last 10-20 years. The perception is what has been changed. There is not a lot of difference between either of the two parties’ establishment. We could argue this all day, but the bottom line is that both parties are lost and that’s why years ago I became a registered Libertarian. Small government, fiscal responsibility, total freedom with as little government interferance.

  13. Fine…now what?…what do we do in an outing? separate tents for gays and non gays? Lets take bigger steps…BSA should change to SA and lets do what everyone else in the world is doing…girls allowed…I don’t think so…

      • Yes, we do enforce respect…that is not the problem. To have open gays as members will now require to have the same setting as for Venturing Crew with an added gender…it will then inply that BSA will no longer be BSA…it will be SA…good bye only boys allowed…good bye boyhood and all the crazy things olny boys do…it will became a girlly thing

      • Hmm. I notice someone rated this a thumbs down. Apparently, that person doesn’t like Venturing. Oh well…

    • I’m on the Venturing side of Scouting so I am fully in support of more female youth joining Venturing at all levels.

      • I’ll agree and add a small comment. Helping to run a station at a Klondike that is open to GSA and Venture crews, I have to say that some of the best Scouts I know are female. They tend to work better as a team than many of the Boy Scout patrols and overall seem to be more willing to ask important questions of the Mayors. Venturing is an outstanding program.

  14. I don’t care if someone is homosexual or straight or a eunuch…. They do not have the right to pressure any organization by telling them that they can not practice their faith/beliefs as a group if it doesn’t include the things or people that they don’t believe in… Period!!!! As a American…. I have the right, as does every citizen of this great nation, to dictate who I want to be around and who I don’t…This is a big ole country…with lots of land…full of straight people…gay people… freaks… and everyone of them have the right to go out and start their own organization if they want… and they should instead of always trying to invade someone elses party…..To be honest… Parents of gay kids…should do that instead of forcing their children to be surround by nothing but heterosexuals…. Forcing them to not feel normal while silently hoping that they change minds even though they “except them”…. I mean seriously… it should be considered a form of mental child abuse…. no wonder this poor kids are killing themselves left and right… How demeaning is it to constantly be surrounded by people that even you yourself mistakenly deem as “normal”… and for all of you adults pushing for these boys to be an open gay person in an all Christian enviroment, is not only sadistic but friggin cruel…. Good things happen in good time and eventually everyone will be excepted by everyone(probably only after we drink the koolaid but still…) either way…. get your own path and leave everyone elses alone…… Gay people are being excepted more and more everyday… but forcing people to except things that inherently go against the beliefs of their God is just plan wrong and it violates their 1st Amendment rights regardless of whether it is socially exceptable or not….

    • Carrie, the BSA is not an “all Christian environment”. My son works at summer camp, where last year they hosted, among others, a Jewish troop and a Hindu troop.

      However, this proposal does allow individual troops to decide for themselves whether to allow gay members or not. So if you prefer a “no gays” troop, you are free to have one. It will require some adjustment on the higher levels, but I think the organization can handle it. Scouts are resourceful, and can figure out the details of respecting troops who allow gays and those who do not, just as they respect and allow troops and scouts from a wide range of religious traditions.

    • So, then it was cool for black people to have to start their own restaurants, clubs, and…. water fountains, because they shouldn’t demand that white share theirs?

      The problem with your argument is that civil rights are usually an issue when an organization has exceptional power, influence, etc. Starting your own thing is never going to bring you what that other group has. So people are right to ask that discrimination against them be ended.

      In the case of Scouts, the discrimination isn’t based on any anything that actually has to do with Scouting… scouting activities or behaviors. It only has to do with one area of a person’s life — their sexuality — and the feelings of *some* of the people in Scouts. The proposed solution… to allow some units to discriminate (‘adhere to their beliefs’) while Scouts as an organization doesn’t actually respects both views.

  15. This will kill the BSA. I’m not sure who they think will be joining Scouts in the future. Do they understand who their core membership is?

    They are throwing a core moral issue back in the faces of the significant majority of their membership. No one involved in Scouting is ignorant of the BSA’s stance on homosexuality. But they still enrolled their boys.

    This effectively turns Scouting into a camping organization. It will really help church youth groups though.

    • BSA has been appeasing its “core membership” for the last 30 years, and the membership numbers over that time speak for themselves. It is time for BSA to re-visit their charter of being a club for all American families, not just a club for the religious core. That is never what BSA was intended to be.

      • BSA has been appeasing its core membership since it was founded. Every organization appeases its core membership. That’s why its core membership are members. That’s why an organization exists. It is self defeating for an organization to offend its core membership. That organization will cease to exist.

        If the BSA wants to change its core membership, this is one way to do it. I think they will find that they won’t have a core anymore. Actually, I’m positive they will find that they don’t have a core anymore.

        Maybe they will gain traction again. But they will do so at the expense of their historical values and the values of the overwhelming majority of their members. That seems like an exceedingly stupid path.

        • I put “core membership” in quotes for a reason. Religious conservatives are not BSA’s “core memnbership”, and never have been. BSA’s core membership is the families of the United States, and always have been.

        • BSA’s core membership are those who are actually members of the BSA. “Families of the United States” are not members unless they are registered members. The BSA is a voluntary association. It exists for its actual members. Not those whom you would like to be members.

        • I’m sure they are. Just like we are here. That’s really all this is, deciding who the BSA really represents.

        • Doc- This stance and argument is pedantic and fails to take into consideration a similar model. Might I ask, how does your stance match against the change adopted by the US Military?

        • Charles,

          The US military is free to adjust its membership requirements however it sees fit. Although, as it is an official government institution I suppose that it has less legal freedom than the BSA to set those requirements.

          The military is also a voluntary organization (at least right now). Those who choose to associate in such an organization are free to do so, or not. If the military felt that its core membership would disappear as a result of their membership requirements (assuming they weren’t contractually obligated to stay) they would most likely not change those requirements (again, assuming they weren’t legally required to).

          I am not entirely sure, but I think you might be trying to equate the membership of the military with that of the BSA. They aren’t the same. I’m sure there’s overlap. And I’m sure that there is more overlap between the military and the BSA than the military and Code Pink. But that really doesn’t matter much.

          The motivations for joining Boy Scouts and for joining the military are vastly different. Parents enroll their children in Scouting for the purpose of character development and maturation. Young men and women join the military as a profession. I’ve never been in the military, so I’m not really qualified to talk about why people join. But I think that equating the two programs is a mistake.

        • I took for granted what I thought was a simple question. Let me rephrase and respond. Did the US Military cease to function as the world’s greatest fighting force on the planet as a result of the change accepting openly gay/lesbian members to enlist? And the answer is…no.

          I make the parallel because you and others here voice a concern ranging from, “I’ll leave Scouting” to “I’ll sue the BSA” to “The Boys Scouts will fold or fail or cease to be a great organization…” or my personal favorite, “I’ve been involved in Scouting for a lifetime and this will kill the organization, mark my words”. I am asking if, in a reasonably parallel situation – a similar change in policy and an organization that is similar in size that despite your protest DOES work with a largely volunteer force – is it not worth considering that these arguments are largely invalid?

          I’m not trying to actually equate the membership or the motivation for joining. I’m equating that there is a similar precedent of success for a like decision. I’ll agree, they aren’t exactly the same. For one, we don’t get to drive tanks (much to my chagrin). But the parallels are pretty similar from where I’m sitting.

  16. I welcome this change, and hope it happens. The youth of our country need good role models, and safe organizations to help them grow as young people. There is nothing about being gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc., that would make a person not fit to be a good role model for my sons. If you disagree, you can make sure to volunteer with a pack, troop, or crew that is sponsored by an organization that has chosen to exclude the LBGT community.

    Just think of the youth who have invested years in Scouting, only to figure out they are gay. Let’s welcome them, and show them that it’s ok to be who they are. They have a lot to give the world, and Scouting is poorer for trying to exclude them.

    • The idea that Scouting will be segregated into units that allow and disallow homosexuals is untenable. Who exactly is going to be working at Philmont? Who will be manning the stations at the Klondike? Who will be on staff at the council summer camp? What kind of changes will we see in Family Life merit badge? These are significant issues. Scouting can not exist in this type of fractured environment.

      At this point, those of us who disagree with your premise that there is nothing that would disqualify a homosexual from being a good role model have had the BSA to turn to. The BSA has been that organization. You are proposing eliminating an organization that has been a haven for those of us who maintain the moral values that the BSA has historically espoused.

      Many of us find homosexuals to be unsuitable role models because we understand homosexuality to be morally wrong. It’s not that homosexuals can’t be trustworthy, or thrifty, or patriotic role models. It’s that homosexual leaders represent acceptance and normalization of a moral position which most members of the BSA consider wrong. It is similar to a leader who was openly cheating on his wife. I don’t want that guy as a scout leader either because he represents values which are inconsistent with my own.

        • Then people who believe homosexuals are inappropriate role models will probably always be uncomfortable signing up for a scout troop that openly admits gays. You will always be able to find a troop that agrees with your values. You don’t have to personally agree with every CO that has a Scout troop, you just have to find a CO that aligns with who you are, and sign up there. That is the beauty of BSA.

        • That’s the problem, you won’t be able to find a CO that doesn’t admit gays because they’ll all be run out of town with lawsuits. If there are gay scouting organization options now and they’re not willing to look at those, why should we think they’d behave any differently when looking for a unit within the BSA? Rather than select a unit that admits gays, wouldn’t they select a unit that doesn’t, and go after them instead? The rationale might be…. “there are no units in my area that accept gays, so I’ll sue the nearest one until they either let me in or shut their doors.”

        • The Catholic church will still have troops. Southern Baptists too. They seem to have plenty of money for lawsuits. And nobody doubts that Catholic church or Southern Baptists reject gays anyway, so lawsuits about that would be pretty unlikely.

        • The Southern Baptists have already said they will not support this change. Prior to the announcement Wayne Brock asked Frank Page, the head of the Southern Baptist Convention, to not oppose the change and Frank refused. The Southern Baptists will shut down their scouting programs. I expect the Catholic church will do the same.

          They’re shutting down their scouting programs because the BSA is in their view no longer an organization that respects traditional morals.

        • Why would there be lawsuits? The BSA has already confirmed the right of a private organization to exclude whoever it wants – that won’t change. It will just be on the local level instead of the national level. Any lawyer worth his salt would avoid such a suit, knowing that there is no chance of winning.

        • There have been lawsuits against the BSA in the past for their stance against accepting gays. There will be lawsuits against individual units now for not accepting them. Many (perhaps most) CO’s will not have the cash and perhaps not have the will to take this to court to defend themselves. Instead, they will simply shut down their program. Eventually, you’ll end up with only units that accept gays, which I think will be very pleasing to the gay population.

          My point stands, if they are willing to sue the BSA why wouldn’t they be willing to sue an individual unit? The BSA had the cash to go to court and defend themselves, many and perhaps most of the individual CO’s are defenseless and easy pickings.

        • I am not LDS and I would be comfortable joining a mormon troop. I would expect and give respect for our differences. But my real question is this,”What the sam hill are you talking about, CWGMPLS”

      • Hi Doc- this happens today. There are troop leaders who are chauvinists and misogynists and I don’t want my son exposed to them, either. Yet every year at camporee we see these guys, even though they are lousy role models. And as you say – there are scout leaders who cheat on their spouses and their are scout leaders who are alcoholics. Yet every year we go to summer camp and they’re in attendance, too, proudly wearing their scout shirts.

        • This happens in every organization, pretty much. The difference is that BSA does not condone misogyny, cheating, or alcoholism. I’m pretty sure that the BSA actually teaches that these things are wrong.

          You can’t escape bad role models. But you don’t have to endorse their behavior either.

        • But these scout leaders described by db are not kicked out for their bad behavior. Why not? Is there a double standard?

        • Charles,

          Do you have children? Even if you don’t, imagine you did. Who do/would you trust to instill them with those morals you practice? Would you chose someone who actually practices those same morals?

          You could say yourself, of course. And I would wholeheartedly agree with you on that. But who would you choose outside of yourself? Would you choose someone who taught that homosexuality was morally wrong? I’m guessing not.

          Boy Scouts has offered an organization where I have felt comfortable sending my children. They have stood up for a traditional moral stance which I happen to agree with. It’s not like they invented some crazy new religion. Homosexuality has been pretty universally viewed as morally wrong for millennia.

          You may disagree. And you are free to associate with whomever you want who shares (or doesn’t) your point of view. You may also choose to attempt to transform the BSA into an organization that fits your moral viewpoint. But “Wow. Just… wow.” isn’t very convincing. It really doesn’t make much of a point. Why don’t you tell us what you think so that we can discuss your view?

        • Fair enough, Doc. I’ll reply. On my way to a Troop meeting tonight, so I’ll have to get back to you in a few hours.

        • Doc-

          Sure, I have two boys. One aged out recently. Worked camp staff, went to Jambo, and climbed 2 peaks at Philmont. The other has only been in Troop for a year, but expects to follow his brother’s footsteps.

          Morals. That’s a good series of questions in your first paragraph. Yes, I’d expect that I would hope someone with the same moral judgment would teach them. But I don’t think that should be exclusive. I raised my boys to make decisions for themselves. I expect they’ll make mistakes. I expect they’ll receive tutelage at some point that goes against my or their moral beliefs. I also expect them to still be able to make informed, correct decisions. And when they don’t – they’ll learn. That is what life is about, learning from our missteps.

          But here is the problem. I don’t define morality the same way you do. Morality to me is the difference between right and wrong. It’s not a sexual preference. It’s the ability to ‘know’ that stealing is wrong. Lying is wrong. Deceit is wrong. Sexuality, on the other hand, has to do with personal choices regarding love and personal fulfillment. So to answer your question in full, I don’t have a problem if my sons learn how to tie a knot from someone who believes in homosexuality – so long as they can teach them how to tie the knot. We’re going to differ on this point, and that, in my mind is alright. I have relatives and friends who are homosexual. Should I preclude them from my life, from my kid’s life, because they choose a different lifestyle? By your definition I probably should. But the funny thing is – I’ve witnessed their generosity, their willingness to teach and I admire them all. I have no concerns about leaving my children in their care. I know that their morals, as I define them are similar to mine. Who they choose to spend their life with has no bearing on their ability to teach the differences between right and wrong.

          And blanket statements irk me. Homosexuality has been viewed as many things, but there are times in history where it has been more accepted than others. The less the church has to do with doctrine, the more it becomes less of a social stigma. As we learn more about the human condition, as we spend more time understanding our humanity and the world around us, we spend less time worrying about homosexuality. I think what really blew my mind earlier was the statement, “Many of us find homosexuals to be unsuitable role models because we understand homosexuality to be morally wrong.” I can provide you with a list of well known and strong role models – all of whom are homosexual. Football players, senators, industry leaders. Should all of them be shunned? (Very tongue in cheek comment – perhaps the politicians…).

          I’d thank you not to push your values as the status quo. What we value as a nation has changed over the past 50-100 years. What we think of as moral is different than what we thought when Scouting was founded. I ask, rather I beg, you to consider that the values of the Scout law include not only Reverent (which has a place in this discussion overall) but also: Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Cheerful – all of these qualities should be remembered before we cast stones or deem a person morally wrong because of their preferred partner on date night.

        • Charles,

          I think you hit the nail on the head, you don’t define morality the way I do. Although maybe we define it the same way, but what constitutes morality differs. I wholeheartedly agree with your statement that morality is the difference between right and wrong. You and I don’t agree on what is right and what is wrong. You are willing to concede that stealing and lying are wrong. I concur. But you go on to suggest that sexuality is not a moral question. I disagree. I think we agree to disagree on that. But that’s really the crux of the issue, and I don’t think we really agree to disagree about it.

          I’m glad you know and trust a number of homosexuals. I do not distrust homosexuals. I know there are lots of decent human beings out there who are also homosexuals. I also do not exclude them from my life or the life of my children, nor did I ever suggest such a thing. I fully expect my boys to come into contact with decent people who don’t share their morality. That’s not a big deal. But I will not send them to be taught morality by someone who doesn’t share mine.

          I have worked with homosexual Scout leaders who were great at teaching knots and swimming. They were also good at teaching boys to be cheerful and kind. But, since I define sexuality as a moral issue, who they choose to spend their life with does have a bearing on their ability to teach the differences between right and wrong.

          I would be willing to bet that you don’t even really believe that statement. I think you would like to, but I’m sure there are limits to what you’ll consider acceptable sexual behavior. I’ll give you a true story, and you tell me if you think it has any bearing on right and wrong. My brother in law (wife’s sister’s husband) was married to my sister in law for about 15 years. They had two children, 12, 9. He decided to have an affair, publicly. He brought his girlfriend to his house, with his wife and kids. He brought her to church, with his wife and kids. I’m sure if he had been a Scout leader he would have brought her there too. Tell me about his fitfulness for teaching ethics. He was totally honest about his relationship. Let’s assume he was really good with knots, compass, pioneering, whatever. Does who he chooses to spend his date night with affect his suitability to teach children right from wrong? Do you want him to teach your boys how to fulfill the Scout Oath? Feel free to extend this to any type of sexual behavior you may find morally deviant. I’m sure there’s something out there that you would find objectionable. We just draw the line in different places.

          We are at a point now where people in a troop would probably say something to my brother in law. It is morally objectionable to behave in such a fashion. We have no issue teaching that this kind of behavior is wrong. Let’s pretend that the BSA decides that adultery is an ok position for them and mandates that adulterers be accepted. This means that my brother in law’s behavior has been granted moral acceptance within the organization. He can now teach my boys not only knot tying, but also the joys and fulfillment of adultery. This is what BSA is discussing right now, from my point of view.

          It is really irrelevant that blanket statements irk you. You don’t have the ability to modify history even if you wish it were different. I’m not arguing you on whether history was good or bad. I’m just telling you the way it was. And frankly, my values have been the status quo in the BSA. That may change, and soon. But it hasn’t exactly been a secret where the BSA has historically stood on this issue. On the contrary, it is you who are seeking to push your values as the status quo. Our society, and you included, may be redefining what is socially right and wrong. But I’m not on that train. And Boy Scouts hasn’t been either.

          I’m not really sure where you’re going with the casting stones bit. I haven’t been unfriendly, unkind, or discourteous in any of my posts. Just because I disagree with you does not make me unkind. While we’re at it, why do you take friendliness, kindness, and cheerfulness to be positive qualities? Essentially, justify your morality.

        • Well argued.

          I still don’t agree with a number of your points – as you don’t agree with mine. But I think I’ll move on from this conversation as I don’t see benefit in continuing. You are an intelligent person, Doc, and I do appreciate the discussion. As we have both stated though, there is a difference in how we define morality and I don’t see either of us convincing the other today.

          I will state before I go that I’m saddened by the experience you related. I don’t have a similar situation to draw from so I can’t pretend to know what the answer is. I think I’d feel upset by some of the actions of this person. Adultery is painful and does hurt the the family unit and those around it.

        • I can tell you it was horrible. I have never been so mad at a person. It ruined a family. And their church didn’t address it at all. Terrible.

          I know you haven’t suggested this, but I feel like a lot of people who want to allow homosexuals into Scouting assume that those of us who are opposed are hateful or bigots. And that’s really not the case. Well, it’s not the case with anyone I’ve talked to.

          I’m an Eagle. I worked at my council summer camp for 9 years. I made lots of good friends with lots of young men and women. I have a group of friends from that time who still gets together. All 8 of us are Eagles. We all worked for Scouts for at least 8 or 9 years. One of the guys is a Council Field Director. We don’t all agree on this, or on (a)theism. I know that several of the guys were really disappointed in the Supreme Court ruling. And I know that several of them are avowed atheists and have been as long as I’ve known them (pretty much the same group).

          Scouting has been able to accommodate people like me and people like them. None of them or their parents were ignorant about what Scouting was, or where it stood on homosexuality and atheism. But that didn’t stop them from participating. I guess their parents didn’t look to Scouts as an organization to support their morality.

          On the other hand, if Scouting had a different stance on those two issues I know that my parents would not have involved me. And I won’t involve my boys either. And I don’t think I’m alone. Our pack is the largest in the district. If the BSA switches on this I’m pretty sure our pack will lose at least 2 den leaders, the Cubmaster, the Committee chair, the treasurer, and about half of the boys. That is a recipe for disaster for the BSA. And it has nothing to do with our CO, a Baptist church. They might pull the charter. I have no idea.

          People can’t just leave the military if they change a policy. But people can walk out on the BSA in a second. I really think this will kill the BSA. But maybe not. I don’t know. It won’t be my concern anymore. But it will be very sad for me.

      • Obviously these are issues that would have to be discussed, and you would have to make your own decisions. If you cannot deal with a gay person working at Philmont, and that is the situation, then don’t go there.

        Your view that this would eliminate BSA as an organization as a haven for people with your views may be correct. In the last several years the organization has certainly lost many families due to the emphasis on excluding the LBGT community. It also has (and is losing) many youth who grow up in scouting, and then realize that they cannot agree with the exclusion. Is our mission one of supporting our youth in growing into fine young members of the community? Of course it is. Our mission is not to support any one religion over others. Frankly, I don’t think many gay and lesbian adults will want their children to join, but the population this will really benefit will be the boys who have been in Scouting since they were 6 years old, and now realize they are gay.

        Assuming this passes, your church or other religious organization may choose to start (or strengthen) a youth organization to fill this void for you. The option to remain with your unit, sponsored by an organization with values in line with yours, remains.

        • Carla, please tell me WHY on earth do we (those who want scouting to remain the same, who joined it because of it’s VERY clear principles/morals) need to leave and ‘choose to start (or strengthen) a youth organization…’ That’s WHAT BSA IS FOR US – are you dense? Take the LGBT and YOU go ‘start or strengthen’ a group for them. It just baffles me that the somehow you people think WE need to leave OUR organization. Go start the LGBT Scouts of America. That’s all this is about forcing us to change. While you’re at it go tell the Free Masons to change and allow women, and then tell VFW halls to let everyone in not just Vets (cause I support our troops too ya know) oh and when you’ve gotten them changed go tell the African American College fund to stop discriminating against Whites, Asians, & Latinos.

        • Hmm, you’ve insulted me without meeting me, and tried to bring in several unrelated arguments, which I will ignore.

          Tell me, why do you think BSA is more your organization than mine? BSA policy did not address sexual orientation explicitly until 1991, and even then, the policy was ignored in many circles.

          Several friends and I are, and have been, members of BSA for many years, and we would welcome this change. It is not YOUR organization. “Morally straight” may mean different things to different people. Many people within BSA are not of the religious ilk you apparently are, and it is perfectly acceptable. This new policy, if passed, would bring official policy more in line with the differing religions and views making up the organization.

          Feel free to talk amongst yourselves, I will not further comment to people who use insults.

        • ScoutMommaX3 -
          The issue is that although the BSA as an organization has held this policy for some time, there are many, many folks within the BSA who do not agree with the current policy. Many of them have friends and family who are gay. In some areas of the country, openly gay folks have been included in community life for many years now – in schools, in the workplace, in churches, and yes, in scouting on a “don’t ask, don’t tell” basis. This policy would allow each BSA troop to reflect the values of the chartering organization. Just as the BSA has Catholic troops and Jewish troops and even Hindu troops, which do not share the same religious views, so it can have troops which differ on this issue. Scouts are good people – they can respect each other and make this work.

        • Really? You compare differing religious views to LGBT issues? Hardly the same! I know all about the ‘gay community’ I have a gay sister, along with several cousins, aunts and uncles who are all gay (we’re a large family). Yet they all respect BSA’s policy – they support my scouts (and the other boy scouts in our family) when they can, through popcorn sales, attending ceremonies, etc. They get that some organizations have limitations.

          As you can tell by this forum there are also plenty of people that DO agree with our policy. As I’ve stated above I would not expect any other private organization to ‘change’ their rules for me when there are other options available to me. I am not trying to force my way into a group that so clearly has rules (upheld by the Supreme Court) that does not welcome me. I make known what organizations align with me and my families and avoid the others. If people feel so strongly AGAINST BSA – DON’T JOIN! There is no one saying that there cannot be a LGBT scouting organization – go start one – leave this one alone. If there are so many that feel strongly about this, then they will be a very successful group. But how many ‘straight’ people who claim to be such huge gay supporters would go join a LGBT scouting organization? I would bet none.

          Let’s face it this is only about wanting to reverse the ‘bully’ mentality and destroy a group that is well established and supports only ‘traditional’ values. It really grinds them that the Supreme Court upheld the decision so they started to ‘bully’ the businesses that support BSA. They will not stop until they’ve ruined anyone or anything that does not share their point of view on their lifestyles. Hypocrites.

        • I don’t think anyone who is working for this change from within scouting wants to destroy the organization. No one wants to bully anyone. These are folks who love the BSA. Many of them also support the First Amendment, which allows the BSA and other private organizations to make any policy they want regarding membership. It’s not hypocritical to believe that an organization is for the most part extraordinarily good, but that there is one thing that might be able to be a bit better.

          In many areas of our country, the BSA does not reflect the values and moral beliefs of the majority of its members. More importantly, many troops are struggling with the fact that the BSA does not reflect the values of their CO.

          The proposed policy is a good compromise that won’t require anyone to join a troop they aren’t comfortable with, or any CO to sponsor a troop that doesn’t uphold its values – on either side.

        • Outstanding comment ScoutMommax3! and yes, we still live in a pluralistic society, not a dictatorship.

        • Let’s get this straight. If the straight community wants to “fill the void” we can start our own organization? Isn’t that what we hold out to the gay community? Start your own organization. Why do we have to change for you?

        • Steve that is EXACTLY my point. BSA is a private organization that’s policy was upheld by the supreme court in July. The people fighting for this change keep saying that we (who do not want to change the program) can ‘leave’ start a new program. WE already have a program that fits our standards and morals. They need to go start their own scouting program. It is all about bullying their way in and forcing change and their lifestyle/agenda (whatever you want to call it) in a place that does not want/need it. They will not rest until they have destroyed anything that stands for ‘traditional’ families/life!

        • For the record, the Supreme Court didn’t hear a case regarding this issue recently. BSA v. Dale was in the year 2000.

  17. I agree with the change, I only wish it had happened last year before we lost our CO, a PTO that had chartered our pack for over 30 years. If CO’s own the unit and provide leadership they should be able to choose the correct path for themselves. I wonder how much of this decision is actually based on pressure from World Scouting and the hosting of the World Jamboree in 2019(?). Did boycotts threats from other Scouting Organizations bring this around again this year?

  18. I have been reading most of the comments on this blog and am appalled at the vitriol and the dearth of logical and critical thinking. First, this change is NOT inevitable unless those in leadership positions vote for the change and/or give up the fight. Second, as it is imperative in any discussion of the constitution to refer to The Federalist Papers, in discussing a fundamental change to the BSA we all must look to Baden Powell’s vision, and founding principle’s when he founded the organization. Here are some of his quotes,

    “Scouting is nothing less than applied Christianity”
    “When asked where religion came into Scouting and Guiding, Baden-Powell replied, It does not come in at all. It is already there. It is a fundamental factor underlying Scouting and Guiding.”
    “No man is much good unless he believes in God and obeys His laws”.

    What is clear is that the BSA was founded upon Christian principles. Thus, having a starting point and since the Bible is the “rulebook” for Christians, it is clear that the change contemplated by the National clearly destroys the Boy Scout Priciples.

    Please do not call me names as I am sick of the “bigotry” label being thrown around on the blog and don’t tell me I am being discriminatory because I follow my religion and so was B.P when he started the BSA. We all discriminate everyday.

    FYI: Once the BSA adopted the policy of allowing openly gay scouts in one troop or pack then the entire organization must admit openly gay scouts to every pack and troop because separate but equal access is not legal.

    • Well, gays may be allowed in every troop, but I am a straight, white male and I can guarantee you there are some troops I would not be expected in, and would not want to join, because of the teachings of their C.O. I’m sure that will be the same with gays too. Gays will figure out pretty soon which troops really want them, and which ones don’t.

    • Separate but equal is perfectly legal for a private organization. Allowing troops to choose whether to accept gay members, based on the values of their CO, is a very good way for the BSA to remain a strong organization into the future. It is a self-correcting policy. If there is a large interest in no-gay troops, there will be many to choose from. If the majority prefers a gay-ok troop, they will vote with their feet. Either way, folks can choose the option that best fits their beliefs. It’s a good way to respect the moral beliefs and concerns of all scouts on this issue.

  19. As someone who was strongly influenced by the BSA, and former venturing scout, local camp counselor, Philmont ranger, and leader in my council, I will be very glad to once again support the BSA if they remove discrimination from their practices. I hope that all youth can have opportunities to grow and learn with the BSA.

  20. Are we going to remove “morally straight” from the oath? How can they do their duty to God when their leadership is defying Him? Homosexuality certainly isn’t “reverent,” and I won’t even mention “clean!”

    • . . . 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.

      What does that have to do with Gay? nothing.. please read the scout law and oath and try to live by them..

  21. As an asst SM and parent of two Scouts, I believe this will be a HUGE mistake by National. On a personal level, I will not continue to be a leader if they cave to the pressure. Then I will be forced to make a hugely difficult decision on whether to allow my sons to continue for their Eagle. I also think National is doing an incredible disservice to their units and COs by exposing them to the threat of lawsuits. I have already heard at least three gay activists say the phrase “this is a good start”. If National thinks this change would end the gay attacks on BSA, they are either naive, ignorant, or both. Sad day if this happens…

    • I think you will be doing your sons a disservice if you stop them from becoming Eagle Scouts because you dislike a certain segment of our population. A scout is kind.

      • James, a Scout is honest and putting words into Mack’s mouth is simply dishonest. Please do not take offense at what I am going to point out to you, but read again what Mack posted. Mack never said that he dislikes a certain segment of our population. This is not something that you can refute or is what we call a fact. Further, can you recognize the difference between rejecting sin and amoral acts and loving the sinner? Loving the sinner is how we as Scouts are kind. Hope this helps clarify. I have three sons, and we -like Mike-are out of Scouting if BSA National caves to those who would bully us on this issue!

        • This is unfortunate Scoutleader, because I really would like to share a cup of coffee with you, and everyone here, around the campfire. I am tolerant of others ideas and beliefs, and respect yours. These discussions are happening all over, in many organizations, and I think it is good for the country. I am sorry to see you leave scouting, we should be coming together, not apart.

        • No offense intended James, but it is clear from your above-post that you failed to apologize for putting words into Mack’s mouth. I find it odd that you then go on and talk about coming together….. just after you tell Mack (with zero basis to judge him this way) “you [he] dislikes a certain segment of our population.” I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but seriously you need to apologize to Mack. It is easy for us to come together as we all uphold the traditional and moral values of Scouting. James, will you please come together with us on this when the Board makes the right decision next week?

  22. This Cyclical argument is really boring me.. it’s simple.. the scout law and oath.. neither have anything to do with sex.. let’s leave it that way.. and Reverence should not be confused with Religious..

    If anyone wants to chat outside of this.. well this is my fb.. I have nothing to hide..

    • John,

      This is too simplistic. You can’t pretend that sexuality is somehow outside of the domain of morality. The two are closely intertwined, and the way we conceive one greatly affects the way we conceive the other. Boy Scouts is an organization that aims to promote value and character in boys. It is inherently moralistic. We can’t pretend that this isn’t an issue. It’s an enormous issue, which is why we’re having this discussion.

      This is a debate between those who think homosexuality is morally wrong, and those who find it morally acceptable or benign. Those who find it immoral have historically defined the values of the BSA. And those who find it morally acceptable want to redefine those values. This can’t be smoothed over by saying that Scouting has nothing to do with sex. The debate is not really about sex. It’s about right and wrong. And Scouting has a lot to say about right and wrong.

  23. The number to call and let your voices be know is 972-580-2000
    This is for BSA home office

    • I tried several times today, They did not answer. Here is the list of Executive Board Members From the 2011-2015 Strategic Plan, Not sure who the Current Board Members. Ominously difficult for Google to find! Lets look them up and email them asap!

      Steve Weekes, Committee Chairman
      John Gottschalk
      Tico Perez
      Jack Furst
      Wayne Perry
      Keith Clark
      Nathan Rosenberg
      Steve Hanks
      Bob Reynolds
      Mike Daniel
      George Francis
      Ed Lewis
      Ron Yocum
      Margaret Lifferth

  24. The Bible clearly states that homosexuality is a sin. To take an oath to God would infer deceitfulness. If we are to teach morality to our boys we cannot allow homosexuality because it is not. Society does not dictate right and wrong. What kind of society would allow morality to change with every whim? A dying one. My boys will not attend if this is enacted.

    • What does BSA have to do with the Bible? The Bible is the foundation for many chartering organizations, but not for the BSA. That is why this issue rightly belongs at the chartering organization level, not at BSA national.

    • Amen Leslie! Scouting will either stand firmly on its timeless values by clearly reaffirming that Scouting will not allow its charter organizations to condone amoral homosexual acts by its scouters or scout leaders, or Scouting will elect to plant the seed of its ultimate destruction. We love Scouting, its timeless moral values and the clear moral compass that it provides our youth. The Soros bloggers on this website better not underestimate our ability to preserve it!

  25. This will destroy Scouting. Why would anyone allow a gay male leader into a position of authority over a group of young boys? How about putting your young boy in a tent with a homosexual boy? This is MADNESS.
    Young boys can be confused by inappropriate contact. In 2001, the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior published a study entitled Comparative data of childhood and adolescence molestation in heterosexual and homosexual persons. The abstract for this article states the following:
    In research with 942 nonclinical adult participants, gay men and lesbian women reported a significantly higher rate of childhood molestation than did heterosexual men and women. Forty-six percent of the homosexual men in contrast to 7% of the heterosexual men reported homosexual molestation.
    This policy will GUARANTEE more molestation and other problems. After all, molesters are more likely to molest.

  26. If you have a half-baked policy at the troop level, then what will be the policy at summer camp, high adventure base, camporee, and jamboree?

  27. Does anyone think for a minute that this “agenda” ends here? Will it even be three years before BSA morphs this policy into all out embracement of the gay agenda?

      • It’s available on the liberal media! [and probably being pushed by, as Time Magazine called him, "The Gay President"!] :) Many of these folks seem to be getting much of their information from Mr Beck and company. “If it’s different from what I think, then it must be wrong.” It is interesting also to note that so many of the participants in this conversation are apparently members of the Westboro Baptist Church and are furvent homophobes.
        Also note which side seems to be more rational and is coming from a more fact based and less emotional standpoint.

  28. When is the bullying going to end? The Gay/Lesbian/Atheist community is bullying businesses, politicians, schools, organizations, etc. We are opposed to changing the BSA policy on homosexuality and atheists. Why does everyone think they are being discriminated against if they can’t join a particular group? It won’t stop with just letting them join and be leaders. It will work it’s way from each unit being able to decide on their own “policy” to being forced to meet quotas. The previous post on all the organizations that have policies as to who can and cannot join…that’s a great post!

    • LGBT individuals are typically on the receiving end of bullying. All they are doing, in actuality, is standing up for their rights.

      • Let’s see if I understand this they are standing up for their “Right to Sin”! I am not sure I can get there. I did not make the rule, and I am not going to challenge the Being that did.

        • Their right to sin? In the eyes of whom? It is not up to me to decide that. The BSA does not make it their business to decide amongst sinners, either, as they do not endorse any particular religion.

      • And that’s what are we doing too Beth! See we have rights too! But it IS bullying on their part. They have been fighting and gaining more rights for years now – when will they say ‘we’re good, we don’t need to be EVERYWHERE’!?! – they will not stop until they’ve ruined anything that values ‘traditional family’ values. Or else they would abandon this fight and leave BSA alone and start a new scouting organization that aligns with their values, not destroy mine and millions of others.

        • Why SHOULDN’T gay people have rights? What people who oppose gay people are doing is fighting for the right to take rights away from others. Which, really, isn’t a right at all.

        • Beth are you even reading and comprehending what most of us are saying?! They HAVE rights – the RIGHT to go start their own scouting program that can allow whoever and whatever they want use whatever values they want – WE have the right to be left alone to a program that has been around for 100+ years. WHY do they need to stomp on our rights in order to ‘claim’ their own? That’s what this is about taking away our rights to ‘prove’ their own or else they would be putting their energy into a new program. AGAIN it’s about destroying any group that wants to uphold ‘traditional values’ – You people can talk all you want, but that is the clear fact! I have read NOWHERE on this board where someone is denying them a scouting program/opportunity we’re just asking them to leave this one alone. Can you see that?

        • Yes, I am reading what is being said. I comprehend what is meant. I respectfully disagree that gay people starting their own camping group is a viable solution. Others have outlined the reasons why, and I won’t go in to that in this post, because I haven’t the time. The simple fact is, the BSA leadership itself is currently considering changing the official policy that excludes a segment of our population from the BSA as a whole. This organization no more belongs to you than it belongs to me. I, for one, and many more like me, want this policy to change. No one is trying to destroy the organization.

        • As a PRIVATE organization BSA can include and exclude whomever they wish. Similar to Freemasons; I meet all their requirements except being a male. So I cannot join their order. That’s discrimination is it not? OR rather then force my way into the Freemasons I could join one of the various options associated with them for females. Alternative options allow everyone to have their rights protected without destroying an organization that has existed for many, many years. However, it is much easier to overtake an existing organization than to start a grass roots movement of a gay scouting group. If the gays really believe in their cause/need for a gay scouting program then it would work. The fact remains they are the minority here in scouting and there is not enough real interest, other than to ruin a group focusing/teaching their sons about traditional family values. Any of the reasons that would not make them successful on their own will be the demise of having them in BSA, if it wouldn’t work as a stand alone program it will not work in this organization. So again, their goal flat out is destruction of traditional values.

        • I agree with you… a private organization has the right to discriminate. What is happening right now is that the BSA leadership is deciding what the official membership criteria are to be, moving forward. If they can choose to discriminate, they can also choose to not discriminate.

          Do freemasons discriminate against women? Yes, they do. I personally don’t think they should. I also don’t think the BSA should discriminate against LGBT individuals. I am a member of the BSA, and I have been for years. I believe that all people should have the right to be members if they would like to. They want to be scouts for scouting purposes. Not because they are gay. Because they are scouts. The two aren’t mutually exclusive.

        • They are deciding this (again) because pressure was put on major financial sponsors by the LGBT community! It is a seek and destroy mission. If they truly just wanted to be ‘scouts’ they would happily start their own organization that would want/welcome them with open arms. I accept the standing of Freemasons because, one there is an alternative option for me (and other women) and because I am okay with the fact that sometimes in life we have limitations to learn to live within – to tolerate – BSA’s current policy would only be hurtful to the LGBT community if there were no other options. Clearly society (in the bigger picture) is more accepting so there is no reason to not go off and start a new program. You know it, I know it and they know it. However they would rather take away the rights of one group for their own. THAT is selfish and hurtful so it makes me disrespect them more.

      • If LGBT’s way of “standing up for its rights” is to spit in the face of the rights of others including the right of the the BSA to maintain its timeless values as embodied on our Scout oath and law, then the LGBT is properly classified as an in tolerant bully. As Scouters, we will never back down from a bully and we say to LGBT and others, if you don’t like what we stand for, then LEAVE and don’t let the door hit you on the way out!

        • It is not only LGBT individuals asking for this national ban to be lifted. There are many of us already involved in scouting that feel that this ban is wrongheaded and would like to see a policy change.

          I am simply amazed by the simple failure of so many to realize that another group asking for their rights to be recognized does not take away anyone else’s rights.

          The plain difference is that they are not saying you must be gay to be a scout. You are saying they can’t be gay and be a scout.

        • Beth, what you don’t understand and/or acknowledge is that these beliefs are contradictory and therefore cannot exist together. Those who believe that homosexuality is wrong have already significantly compromised their beliefs! We have accepted gays in the Scouting organization as a compromise, with tolerance.

          But that is not enough for you who believe otherwise. It has reached the tipping point and you folks do not acknowledge that!

        • Spot on GreegO! Beth’s intolerance is remarkable and very dangerous to our pluralistic society. She is an extremist.

        • It’s quite clear that this is a well-organized effort to hijack and destroy the BSA!

          To go about making such reckless changes via secretive backroom dealings illustrates the evil nature and intent of some of the men on BSA’s board. These actions taken James Turley (CEO of Ernst &Young) and Randall Stephenson (CEO of AT&T) and other willing to do their bidding, speaks volumes about the extent through which Soros funded left wing extremist groups such as Glaad ( and others are willing to go through to destroy anyone or any group affiliated with traditional values like that of the BSA. Make no mistake…this is just a harbinger of things to come for those that love and stand for truth and righteousness.

          The negative consequences of these actions WILL RESULT in more than a house divided…IT WILL SADLY LEAD TO THE UTTER DESTRUCTION OF THE BSA. Art of War author, Sun Tzu, would be proud Mr. Turley and Mr. Stephenson for the underhanded actions. What better way to keep your enemies close than to sit on their board.

          PEOPLE THAT ARE FRIENDS OF SCOUTING BETTER WAKE UP BECAUSE THE BSA IS AT STAKE! You can also be rest assured it will not stop here!

        • beth, regarding your first point, your inability to grasp obvious distinctions is remarkable. There is no place for threatening, bullying and intimidating corporate donors of the BSA by Glaad, and other organizations in the LGBT community, there is no place for Glaad, and other organizations in the LGBT community who intentionally infiltrate an opposing organization with the intent to destroy it from within, there is no place for Glaad, and other organizations in the LGBT community to threaten, bully and intimidate members of an organization with different values to do something that spits in the face of their timeless values and does not reflect actions that its members want (yea, we understand that 100% of Scouters do not support the timeless values, but most do). The actions of these outside groups is indefensible and antithetical to our pluralistic values. You either acknowledge this simple truth or you demonstrate your extremism. Let’s now turn to your second point,
          First, active homosexuals have no “right” to an association with the BSA. See, BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA V. DALE (99-699) 530 U.S. 640 (2000) (May I suggest that you stop proffering opinions that are incongruent with fact, it reflects badly). Second, the proposed policy change DOES change Scouting and its mission, and further, it destroys our timeless values including that of a Scout being “morally straight” and “clean” (you can take the position that you think that this policy change is a good idea, but you cannot assert that the policy change does nothing…of course it does and this is why what is being discussed is newsworthy). Let’s review the facts, the “mission statement of the BSA is to “instill values in young people”, and a Scout vows to keep one’s self “physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.” See, BSA v. Dale, 530 US 640 (2000). Additionally, the US Supreme Court also found that ”homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the values of the Scout oath and law and particularly the terms “morally straight” and “clean”. The BSA does not want to promote homosexual conduct as a legitimate form of behavior.” See, BSA v. Dale, 530 US 640. (2000), and the Court clearly recognized and upheld the BSA’s right to oppose or disfavor homosexual conduct. Finally, yes, we have some within our ranks that do not favor the current policy, however, they decided to join the BSA knowing what we are about and our timeless values. As a point in fact, millions of us in the Scouting movement are a part of this organization and have invested time and money because we like, agree with and desire to involve ourselves and sons in such a program that teaches and instills in them these timeless values. As such, the rights of those who seek to defend the institutional values are superior. Let me describe it this way. A certain development is built next to a dairy farm that has been operating for decades. A new home buyer knows of the dairy and elects to move into the neighborhood. After a while the home owner tells the dairy farmer that it needs to shut down because the home owner does not like the smell. Any idea what the dairy farmer and the law will say to the home owner….if you don’t like your decision, then leave and don’t let the door hit you on the way out. With all due respect screen name beth, we firmly and lovingly say the same to you. Hope this helps..


          inf .First, the BSA gets to define what the

  29. Wow, lots of fear in this discussion. Here is some news, there are gay people in scouting right now. There always have been. They staff summer camps, philmont, jamboree. They participate in OA, ceremonies, and service. They are camping, hiking and providing exceptional leadership. They are not out to “turn” anyone gay, “molest” anyone, or start “Project Runway” merit badge. They are in Scouting the same reasons we are. Can we all accept that?

    • I think it is understood that gays are in scouting. But it also needs to be undestood that compromising these principles in this way threatens the fabric of Scouting, and compromised the safety of our youth. 1-3% of the population is responsible for 33% of sexual child abuse. A grossly disproportunate rate. Scout Leaders, including the BSA Executive Board must address the issue of Youth Protection. Abuse was totally avoided in our society until 30 years ago. The Boy Scouts responded appropriately then. Blew it by protecting pedafiles on occasion, and are now leaving that standard to apease that same 1-3% of the population. I AM NOT SAYING ALL GAY MEN ARE PEDOPHILES! I am saying a disproportunate number of gay men are perpitrating male victims.

      • So if you understand gay people are in scouting now, what are you against? The gay people in scouting now are the same people that will join tomorrow. It isn’t about gay/straight, it is about a person who wants to participate in scouting. News flash, the flood gates are not going to open and a million gay people are not going to join scouting. Those who want to will and already have joined. Those who don’t will not. The world goes on, and my son will have a great scouting experience just like his brother did, I did, and my father did. I don’t see what the problem is.

    • With the utmost respect…kindly don’t marginalize the importance of what is being decided next week. Scouting will either stand firmly on its timeless values by clearly reaffirming that Scouting will not allow its charter organizations to condone amoral homosexual acts by its scouters or scout leaders, or Scouting will elect to plant the seed of its ultimate destruction. We love Scouting, its timeless moral values and the clear moral compass that it provides our youth. Don’t underestimate our ability to preserve it.

      • Us and Them. Good, let’s divide our family instead of coming together for the good of scouting. My point is scouting is bigger than this. We will survive, but we should do so united. I see no reason to be a divided group.

        • James, can you be more precise about what you think that BSA needs to do to be united for the good of Scouting?
          1. Are you merely referring to love and support for those who have certain tendencies and choose not to act on them and who are committed to seeking after and living a moral life (if so, then I for one-and I suspect the larger Scouting community-am with you my brother); or
          2. Are you advocating for the BSA to support and condone amoral and disgusting homosexual acts by Scouts and Scout leaders? and
          3. If it is #2 above, do see such disgusting acts as being consistent with the timeless values of Scouting?
          If your answers to questions #2 and #3 above are “yes”, then with all due respect and love…Scouting is not the place for you. Amoral homosexual acts “spit in the face” of our Scout oath and law. A bright line in the sand exists and it will not be crossed….Scouting cannot condone amoral homosexual acts. To do so would turn Scouting on its head!

        • Ok “BSAscoutleader” you and I have argued against the policy change.


          That being said, you are obviously much more radical than I and way overly concerned about specific sexual behaviors which is kind of creepy to say the least.

          I know I have some strong views and reading over what I have posted in the last couple of days, I probably didn’t express them as eloquently as others, making me look as wacky as some of the people I was arguing with.

          But my concerns are not really about what sexual acts are being done, but how this change, if passed, can be done to assure fairness and respect for all sides, including those who disagree with the gay community. Not to mention how we can minimize the disharmony, fractionalization and bad feelings on both sides after this happens.

          I don’t like how this is happening, as it is being primarily driven by money and pressure from outside activist groups.

          So thanks for making me not look so radical.

          Now, if you want people to take you more seriously, stop using a handle and use your real name. If you are going to say it, at least stand behind it.

        • Jo, I’m on the other side, but I agree with your post. This part in particular:

          “But my concerns are not really about what sexual acts are being done, but how this change, if passed, can be done to assure fairness and respect for all sides, including those who disagree with the gay community. Not to mention how we can minimize the disharmony, fractionalization and bad feelings on both sides after this happens.”

          I think that, with thoughtful, intelligent folks like you in the organization, the BSA will weather this storm just fine, and come out the better for it.

        • “EagleMom”, I say this with no intent to offend, but call it as it is…so here it is….based on an objective review of ALL of your posts from the past several days (when do you find time to work?), you and Jo are in the same extreme camp that seeks to change Scouting. You are both intolerant of Scouting’s rejection of an amoral life including disgusting homosexual acts by Scouts and Scout leaders (I reference this as this is the issue being considered next week by BSA National). You want the BSA to change its views because they don’t fit your personal views. If you don’t like the values of Scouting, then leave.

          Do you also agree with this part of “Jo’s” post:
          “Now, if you want people to take you more seriously, stop using a handle and use your real name. If you are going to say it, at least stand behind it.” If so, I make the same offer to you, and at the same time, respectfully point out to “Jo” that his mean-spirited and unfounded comment to me was discriminatory in nature as it was directed at EagleMom, CWGMPLS,db and others who hold his extreme views on Scouting.

        • I would say well said Jo! The world is constantly changing, this is a great thing IMO. As we discuss this, I love our open, honest communication. But I hate the fact that scouting is being torn apart because of this.

        • A scout is honest “James.” We are all looking forward to your response to the post from DantheScoutingman from last night at 11:28PM. The timeless values of Scouting (including honestly James) are called “timeless” because they never change. Homosexual acts have always violated the Scout oath and law and will always violate the Scout oath and law. If you don’t support the values of Scouting, you can choose from any other number of organizations. This is one of the few places where we can raise our boys in the timeless values evidenced by our Scout oath and law.

        • “Jo” (assuming this screen name is your real name), with all due respect it is you who is extreme in your views. It is you who is intolerant of Scouting’s rejection of an amoral life including disgusting homosexual acts by Scouts and Scout leaders (I reference this as this is the issue being considered next week by BSA National). You want the BSA to change its views because they don’t fit your personal views. If you don’t like the values of Scouting, then leave. Don’t force your amoral views on Scouting. You are the radical as you seek to change the good and moral nature of Scouting. To be clear, “Jo” or who ever you are…is not and will never be radical to teach and live the ideals of the Scout oath and law. It is called that which is good, right, just and true. You “Jo” are the radical as you (and those in the minority like you) seek to ram your amoral values upon us. If you don’t like what Scouting stands for, then find another organization to join! This is one of the last places in America where I can raise my boys in a wholesome environment and everyone knows this. This is why we join and this is why the BSA is being attacked. A Scout is morally straight, and as Scouters we do not compromise the ideals of virtue and chastity. As far as who you really are “Jo”, my post offer still stands…post a copy of your driver’s license, BSA member id number and phone number and let me verify who you are and I will do the same. Also, glad to see that you agree that EagleMom, CWGMPLS and db need to do the same for others to take you and them more seriously. Until such time stop using your screen name “Jo” and give us proof of your real name per my offer to you. If you insist on going down this path, then at least stand behind your words and accept my offer.

        • Scoutleader, what I advocate is for the love and acceptance of anyone who wants to join scouting. My point is this, boys do not join scouting for sex, they join for the adventure, fellowship, and spirit that scouting provides. I know this from friends, eagle scouts, camp staffers, good, honest people who only wanted to participate in the program. They were not interested in any sexual encounters with us.

          The thing is, for #2, I do not consider this amoral or disgusting. With all due respect, I have friends and family members who are gay and love them the same. I do not pry into their private sex lives, nor do they mine. So I fail to see the problem with this. I think this is where we differ.

        • We can all love and support those who have certain tendencies and choose not to act on them and who are committed to seeking after and living a moral life. However, you are not tolerant of the BSA view to not support and condone amoral and disgusting homosexual acts by Scouts and Scout leaders. This is simply not consistent with the timeless values of Scouting. If you disagree, that is fine and I can still love you and those who disagree, but we can be honest with each other and say that Scouting is not the place for you. Amoral homosexual acts “spit in the face” of our Scout oath and law. This is a private organization and you should respect our values. A bright line in the sand exists and it will not be crossed….Scouting cannot condone amoral homosexual acts. To do so would turn Scouting on its head!

      • While we’re at it, let’s get rid of those amoral, divorced scout leaders. Our timeless values are quite clear on the fact that “Every one who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery.”

  30. The evidence (basic math) indicates that homosexual men molest boys at rates grossly disproportionate to the rates at which heterosexual men molest girls. To demonstrate this it is necessary to connect several statistics related to the problem of child sex abuse: 1) men are almost always the perpetrator; 2) up to one-third or more of child sex abuse cases are committed against boys; 3) less than three percent of the population are homosexuals. Thus, a tiny percentage of the population (homosexual men), commit one-third or more of the cases of child sexual molestation.

    The arguement will be that statistics lie, but even if the Gay Lobby’s false claim that the Homosexual polulation is 10% instead of 1 to 3% were true, the statistics say this change in policy is dangerous for our youth.

    It is unreasonable under these conditions to believe that the National BSA Council can continue any legitimate Youth Protection Policies with this policy. It is not reasonable! The BSA Executive Board is passing an insideous and dangerous buck to the Chartering Organizations and Units.

    The news will shortly read, ” Small Rural Church anc Chartering Organization Rep is sued by family after an approved gay scout leaders molested their Scout. Glaad, a gay rights organization pays for Scouters defense, Church folds under financial pressure of law suit. Young Scout lives the rest of his life wounded from the abuse after being betrayed by his Scout Leader and lose of support from his folded Church. National BSA commented by saying “the Boy Scouts (did) not, under any circumstances, dictate a position to units, members, or parents” , (so its not our responsibility.) “

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