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Boy Scouts of America to reconsider national membership policy

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • I heard the last review took two years to complete and decided against accepting gays in the BSA. My question is… what changed? Why are they looking at this again? What new information do they have now that they didn’t have when the review was done? What new information could possibly render the findings of the last review obsolete?

      • In a word * MONEY! The decision was upheld in July and by November both UPS and Intel both pull

        • Sorry we lost internet for a short time (mid thought) To finish it is that UPS and Intel both pulled financial funding from BSA because THEY felt we were ‘discriminating’ – Really? but apparently they did not feel that way when they started funding BSA. Just a bunch of cowards to afraid to stand for morals!

      • There are two high ranking executives building a personal legacy. Do not be fooled. This is not about the youth it is about personal ego and hubris.

  1. Just a Sunday ago, one of my Methodist Ministers gave a children’s sermon about children with two mothers and two fathers.
    I cannot abide inculcation of the normality of homosexual behavior to my children, particularly young ones who cannot distinguish tolerance of persons who sin from tolerance of sinful behavior.

    If there were a social equivalent of bomb shelter I would be building it.

    I never wanted to belong to a liberal or conservative scouting or church or much of anything else. But if our society is running as quick as it can, like lemmings over the moral cliff, I and my children are not going to follow.

  2. Here is the 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. That means the burden shifts and National plays Pontious Pilate to those who have stuck by them over many years. Anyone who thinks this solves the LGBT issue is naive and has no grasp of what is happening on the ground in local Districts and Units. Many are arguing that by following the new guidelines National will continue support their partners. The legal system does not work like this in discrimination cases. The individual CO becomes the defendant not National. That means the CO foots the bill. There will also be a new round of lawsuits focusing on which CO’s can or should be able to use schools or other tax payer funded venues. Essentially there will be a “have and have not” division where that was not an issue. Additional litigation can include Camps, Pow Wows, Leadership Training, Jamborees, and Conclaves. VOA programs and OA programs will also be subject to additional baggage were none existed before.

    • Andrew you are right on target this is a way for the National organization to pass the libility on to individual Councils and Church and civil Charters. As a BSA recruitor it has been difficult to recruit in public schools. This will completely shut the doors. Thanks National

      • The only reason public schools shut you out is because the National BSA policy conflicts with the school’s own nondiscrimination policy. Moving the decision to each CO will allow your CO to craft a nondiscrimination policy that no longer conflicts with the school, if it wants to. This will actually open the door to more schools for your troop, not less.

        Of course, if your CO does not want to agree to the school’s nondiscrimination policy, you will still be shut out. But now the decision is yours.

  3. Instead of yelling at each other why not call the National Scout Exec at 972-580-2000 ext .2002

    • smruss don’t you think that the executives are not reading these comments. Most of the comments are constructive and will give the National Board of Directors something to think about. Most of the comments want the BSA policy to remain as is excluding homosexuals from the organization and this is a fact. Thanks for the phone number I will be contacting him soon. Trenton

  4. If the BSA bends to pressure from such amoral interest groups, it will face class action lawsuits from its donors, members (like me) and charter organizations who will leave in mass numbers and demand a return of past payments/contributions given to BSA to promote the timeless values of Scouting as reflected in our oath and law.

  5. Any leader or scout who has same gender attraction and WHO ACTS on it by engaging in gross, despicable, and amoral homosexual acts “spits in the face” of our Scout oath and law. Does the proposed rule change apply equally to practicing and non-practicing homosexuals? To be clear, there is zero room in Scouting for PRACTICING homosexuals. My three sons and I are gone if BSA gives charter organizations the ability to bring PRACTICING homosexuals into Scouting. We are a Scouting community, we attend summer camps, camporees, jamborees, woodbadge, etc. and other events together, and allowing PRACTICING homosexuals to take on the Scout name places a moral stamp of approval on this amoral lifestyle. The simple truth is that homosexual acts are amoral and will forever be amoral. I will not be a part of any organization that puts our future generation of men at risk or that promotes, allows or condones these despicable values! I will also join a class action lawsuit against the BSA to seek an apology and a refund of every dime we have put into this organization under false pretenses.

    • Oh, but it was okay to keep quiet about all of the child molesters who were leaders over the years??

      • Yes, there is ZERO room in Scouting for PRACTICING homosexuals, child molesters, etc. The clear and simple truth is that homosexual acts are amoral and will FOREVER be amoral. Do we need to talk in real and honest terms about the disgusting and filthy nature of homosexual acts. If the BSA bends to pressure, I will go to the mat on this and will join a class action lawsuit to sue the BSA in order to seek an apology and a refund of every dime my family and I have put into this organization under false pretenses.

        • Should the BSA make public immediately all of the perservion files , up to today? ( not just the old ones, but files though 2012)

          Should the molesters be prosecuted? Removed from Scouting?

          All officials that hid the perversion files prosecuted and removed from Scouting?

        • Again, there is ZERO room in Scouting for PRACTICING homosexuals, child molesters, etc. If you (like me) fully support our legal process (which is designed to punish criminals/bad actors) then you have your answers. The law also gives me and my family rights, and that is why I will take this fight to the mat and plan on going to join a class action against the BSA if the BSA bends to pressure. We are a Scouting community, we attend summer camps, camporees, jamborees, woodbadge, etc. and other events together, and allowing PRACTICING homosexuals to take on the Scout name places a moral stamp of approval on this amoral lifestyle. The clear and simple truth is that homosexual acts are amoral and will FOREVER be amoral. No one can honestly claim that these amoral acts have any place whatsoever in Scouting. This is a bright line in the sand that will not be moved!

        • pss… i did answer all questions…I (and I presume you agree with me on this as I didn’t get your answer to your own questions or any comment from you on the simple and clear truths that I have stated) FULLY support the legal process.

        • ps…do we (in order to be FULLY open an honest in our discussions about the amoral nature of homosexual acts and in order to avoid attempts by many to disguise or conceal the truth about the nature of these disgusting homosexual acts) require that BSA National leaders (before they vote next week) view homosexual acts being performed so they can better appreciate and understand how sick and disturbing these acts are and to better motivate them to keep our Scouts and our future men of moral character FAR away from this kind of filth and disgust?? Again, the clear and simple truth is that homosexual acts are amoral (and will FOREVER be amoral) and are not consistent with the timeless values of Scouting as reflected in our oath and law!!

        • My gosh, can you simply answer the questions?

          No where in my questions is homosexuality mentioned.

        • Wow, what about…I (and I presume you agree with me on this as I didn’t get your answer to your own questions or any comment from you on the simple and clear truths that I have stated) FULLY support the legal process do you not seem to understand? My gosh…still don’t have any comment from you on the simple and clear truths that I have stated, which truths are directly relevant to the issue being decided next week. The fact is that any leader or scout who has same gender attraction and WHO ACTS on it by engaging in gross, despicable, and amoral homosexual acts “spits in the face” of our Scout oath and law. This is not the only example of how one can “spit in the face” of the Scout oath and law and as you point our child molesters are also in this camp!

        • Any molester, whether heterosexual or otherwise has no place in Scouting, should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

          Homosexuals do not molest any more than heterosexuals .

          There are evil heterosexuals ( Jerry Sandusky, catholic priests that molest) as thre are evil homosexuals that molest.

          The issue is not orientation, but rather molesters and hiding their evil acts I perversion files exposing countless your to their heterosexual molestations for decades

        • Again David, you are talking about apples and I am talking about oranges. The fact is that any leader or scout who has same gender attraction and WHO ACTS on it by engaging in gross, despicable, and amoral homosexual acts “spits in the face” of our Scout oath and law. Allowing PRACTICING homosexuals to take on the Scout name places a moral stamp of approval on this amoral lifestyle. The simple truth is that homosexual acts are amoral and will forever be amoral. I will not be a part of any organization that puts our future generation of men at risk or that promotes, allows or condones these despicable values! I will also join a class action lawsuit against the BSA to seek an apology and a refund of every dime we have put into this organization under false pretenses.

        • If those files are protecting any pedophiles or predators that are still in a position of being with youth, absolutely.

        • Great!

          We finally agree on something.

          The molesters need to be brought to light and prosecuted. And the officials who hid them removed.

        • How could anyone be against that? I would go to almost any length to protect any youth that are entrusted to me.

  6. I am a Canadian. I am married with 2 boys in the Scouts program. I am not a leader but plan to join next year. This is a quote from an American friend regarding Ontario’s first woman Premier and Canada’s First Out LGBT Premier” but I thought it was applicable and wanted to share. .” People are not born with bias, fear and hate. i want the smartest doctor, the smartest lawyer and the smartest political leaders. i don’t give a hoot what they look like or what they are doing when they aren’t looking at a medical test result or trying to solve huge problems.” In response to this another friend said “I don’t believe the people of Ontario judge their leaders on the basis of race, colour or sexual orientation – I don’t believe they hold that prejudice in their hearts. They judge us on our merits – on our abilities, on our expertise, on our ideas – because that is how everyone deserves to be judged. That is how we want our children, our grandchildren, our nieces and nephews to be judged.” Whether this is true yet or not, I can not say, but hope that this is the lofty goal we all should strive to achieve not matter where we live. ” My hope is that over time society will grow to be more accepting. God help some of the parents who have commented here. Because if your child ever comes out to you I hope you will find it in your heart to be accepting of who your child is.

    • Dawn, can you be more precise about what you think that BSA needs to accept and condone?
      1. Are you merely referring to love and support for those who have certain tendencies and choose not to act on them and who are committed to seeking after and living a moral life; or
      2. Are you advocating for the BSA to support and condone amoral and disgusting homosexual acts by Scouts and Scout leaders? and
      3. If it is #2 above, do see such disgusting acts as being consistent with the timeless values of Scouting?
      If your answers to questions #2 and #3 above are “yes”, then with all due respect and love…Scouting is not the place for you or your boys. 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.

    • Does your wife support and condone amoral and disgusting homosexual acts by Scouts and Scout leaders? Does your wife see such disgusting acts as being consistent with the timeless values of Scouting? If your wife upon hearing these questions answers “yes”, then with all due respect and love….Scouting is not the place for her or your boys. Amoral homosexual acts “spit in the face” of our Scout oath and law.

        • No offense was intended, and I hope none was taken. My comments (as i cleared stated and intended) were given with all due respect and love. That being said, my response is honest and true. If someone is looking for an organization that will support and condone amoral and disgusting homosexual acts by Scouts and Scout leaders and if someone looks at the BSA as a place where such disgusting acts can be viewed as being acceptable and consistent with the timeless values of Scouting, then (for that person) Scouting is the wrong organization to join! A bright line in the sand exists and it will not be crossed….Scouting cannot condone amoral homosexual acts.

  7. I have never been happier as a Scouter than the moment I read about this unexpected, but welcome, change of heart. I will never be prouder of being a Scouter than I will be the day the new policy is adopted.

    In my community this policy has become a troubling matter of conscience for many of us in Scouting. The only way we can justify participating in a discriminatory organization to our friends, neighbors, and families has been to commit to being voices for change from within.

    As a practical matter, continuing the discriminatory policy is having an ever-increasing impact on recruitment and retention in Scouting in our community. All of us know families who boycott Scouting as a moral stand exclusively over this issue.

    Thanks to all in Scouting who are freeing us to serve all our sons and secure the future of Scouting in our community.

    • Does it matter to you whether or not the proposed rule change applies equally to practicing and non-practicing homosexuals? Do you support and condone amoral and disgusting acts by Scouts and Scout leaders? A bright line in the sand exists and it will not be crossed….Scouting cannot condone amoral homosexual acts. There is zero room in Scouting and in our Scout law and oath for PRACTICING homosexuals. We are a Scouting community, we attend summer camps, camporees, jamborees, woodbadge, etc. and other events together, and allowing PRACTICING homosexuals to take on the Scout name places a moral stamp of approval on this amoral lifestyle. The simple truth is that homosexual acts are amoral and will forever be amoral. I will not be a part of any organization that puts our future generation of men at risk or that promotes, allows or condones these despicable values! I will also join a class action lawsuit against the BSA to seek an apology and a refund of every dime we have put into this organization under false pretenses.

      • Unfortunately, we differ so widely in our views on homosexuality that I doubt discussion between us will lead us to much common ground. I am simply glad that my Pack and CO, which shares my views, may soon have the privilege to offer Scouting to all.

        • In order to better understand your views, do you support and condone amoral and disgusting homosexual acts by Scouts and Scout leaders? Do see such disgusting acts as being consistent with the timeless values of Scouting? If so, I find this to be a very odd and extreme position indeed.

        • You find homosexual acts amoral. I don’t. Neither do my fellow scouters and scout parents in my community. We view this very differently from you.

        • This gets us to the core issue being decided next week, and this is precisely why Scouters (unlike the George Soros funded bloggers on this website) are going to fight tooth and nail on this issue! There is ZERO room in Scouting and in our Scout law and oath for PRACTICING homosexuals. We are a Scouting community, we attend summer camps, camporees, jamborees, woodbadge, etc. and other events together, and allowing PRACTICING homosexuals to take on the Scout name places a moral stamp of approval on this amoral lifestyle. The simple truth is that homosexual acts are amoral and will forever be amoral. I will not be a part of any organization that puts our future generation of men at risk or that promotes, allows or condones these despicable values! If the BSA caves on its values next week, I will go after the BSA and will join a class action lawsuit against the BSA to seek an apology and a refund of every dime we have put into this organization under false pretenses. I further propose (in order to be FULLY open an honest in our discussions about the amoral nature of homosexual acts and in order to avoid attempts by many to disguise or conceal the truth about the nature of these disgusting homosexual acts) that all BSA National leaders be required (before they vote next week) to view homosexual acts being performed so they can better appreciate and understand how sick and disturbing these acts are and to better motivate them to keep our Scouts and our future men of moral character FAR away from this kind of filth and disgust! All those who are reading this post and who are actually Scouters repeat after me…”On my honor I will do my best, to do my duty, to GOD and my Country, to keep my self physically strong, mentally awake and MORALLY STRAIGHT! and then contact the BSA national office ASAP….Erik has told you what this fight is about!!!!! Get off your chair and take action now!!! If it is not for the boys, it is for the birds…..

    • Wow Erik, so if BSA’s policy is ‘discriminatory’, tomorrow I (a white female) will be heading down to file a lawsuit to get the money from the African American College Fund I was denied. See I grew up feeling like I was really a black person trapped in a white persons body (apparently ‘God’s’ fault just ask the LGBT’s that’s who they blame) but, I just KNOW I should’ve been born black and it’s not my fault I wasn’t, so they obviously discriminated against me by not allowing me to qualify for their programs. Then I’ll take on the Free Masons because I meet all their requirements (oh except being a male – hello – discrimination!!) Ooooh and the VFW won’t let me join either something about not being a Veteran and/or taking part in a foreign war – discrimination! I totally support our troops and what they do why can’t I be part of their organization? why is it just for them?! Pesky details all these groups have that ‘discriminate’ against someone -OR – could it be that they are PRIVATE ORGANIZATIONS (like BSA) that have rules and I must learn to grow as a person and ACCEPT sometimes there are limitations?! Maybe accept that the world is not fair and will not keep changing the rules to suit me and what I WANT.

      And as a ‘practical matter’ we also know how many families chose scouting because it aligns with their morals and will walk away if they change. No one is denying the LGBT community the right to a scouting organization – just let them start their own with their own rules and if any of these ‘non gay hatin’ people want to leave the ‘gay hatin’ BSA to go join/support them go ahead but let’s face it – they won’t. They’re a bunch of hypocrites looking to push an agenda.

      • We’re just happy that our Chartered Organization will hopefully be able soon to offer Scouting to all, which is what our community’s values teach us is the right thing to do.

        • So please take your CO and go start the LGBT Scouts of America and leave BSA to us. Obviously according to your previous comment you don’t agree with BSA policy as it is (and has been), you feel you have to ‘defend’ your position to other, so get out, leave, I’ll hold the door for you and your ‘community’ We will not miss you when you’re gone. Rather we can breath a sigh of relief that your twisted morals are not tainting our organization. Bye bye now….

        • Exactly what ScoutMommaX3 said…you should just start LGBT Scouts of America where you can reshape your values to reflect whatever, but don’t hijack the BSA.

        • Well, ScoutMommax3, as it happens I just turned in our recharter paperwork on Monday. While my District Executive and I were going over it, I duscussed with him how our Unit feels about the proposed change. After a good talk he accepted our application, signed it, and we shook hands. So I guess to my District and Council, who actually decide what is or is not a CO and who is and is not a Scouter, we’re still a Unit, I’m still a Scouter, and Scouting is stuck with us for at least one more year.

        • Erik, can you be more precise about what you think that BSA needs to do to offer Scouting to all?
          1. Are you merely referring to love and support for those who have certain tendencies and choose not to act on them and who are committed to seeking after and living a moral life; or
          2. Are you advocating for the BSA to support and condone amoral and disgusting homosexual acts by Scouts and Scout leaders? and
          3. If it is #2 above, do see such disgusting acts as being consistent with the timeless values of Scouting?
          If your answers to questions #2 and #3 above are “yes”, then with all due respect and love…Scouting is not the place for you or your charter organization. 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.

        • BeAScout, you have clearly and forcefully expressed your views.

          I don’t think it would profit us for me to take up your questions here in turn, because I already gave the only answer that matters above: I, and my fellow Committee members, and my CO, don’t feel being or, since you insist, “practicing” as a gay person is immoral. Since we don’t think it is immoral, it is, to us, no reason to bar someone from being a Scout or Scouter.

          I’m not trying to change your mind. I am just speaking up for other views on this issue that my community of Scouters–yes, Scouters, not outsiders–hold just as sincerely.

        • The views that I have clearly and honestly expressed are simply the timeless views of Scouting as embodied in our oath and law–yes, not your views or the views of a minority of people like you who seek to pervert and damage Scouts and Scouting. I am not seeking to change your mind. This discussion is very good as it is highlighting for the Scout community the real agenda behind what is going to be decided next week. You have clearly and forcefully advocated for the BSA to support and condone amoral and disgusting homosexual acts by Scouts and Scout leaders. This is an extreme position and goes well beyond tolerance and support for those who struggle with same gender attraction, but remain resolute and committed to the morals of Scouting. As a community of Scouters, we reject this extreme and amoral position and say to you with love and firmness that will not be moved that the Scout oath concludes with being “morally straight,” which means we do not deviate or compromise standards of chastity, virtue, or wholesomeness.

        • BSA Scoutleader -
          I’m curious, do you feel that celibate gay youth should be allowed to be scouts? Do you feel that sexually active (non-celibate), unmarried heterosexual youth should be allowed to be scouts?

        • Excellent question–this is where we can all find common ground….the Scouting program promotes the timeless values of the Scout oath and law….Scouters have always been and should continue be encouraged to not deviate or compromise standards of chastity, virtue, or wholesomeness.. this applies to all Scouter including those with same gender attraction. As such, ANY boy who desires to develop the moral character and timeless values of the Scout oath and law is welcome in the organization. Sadly, this is not the type of compromise being discussed next week. As a community of Scouters, we reject the extreme and amoral position which departs from over 100 years of BSA tradition and seeks for the BSA to condone amoral and disgusting homosexual acts by Scouts and Scout leaders engaged in by PRACTICING homosexuals. This is simply and extreme and wrong position and will destroy Scouting!

    • Again David, you are talking about apples (I completely disagree with the faulty study you cite, but with all due respect it has nothing to do with why PRACTICING homosexuals have no place in Scouting), and we (actual Scout leaders and not George Soros funded bloggers) are talking about oranges. The fact is that any leader or scout who has same gender attraction and WHO ACTS on it by engaging in gross, despicable, and amoral homosexual acts “spits in the face” of our Scout oath and law. Allowing PRACTICING homosexuals to take on the Scout name places a moral stamp of approval on this amoral lifestyle. The simple truth is that homosexual acts are amoral and will forever be amoral. I will not be a part of any organization that puts our future generation of men at risk or that promotes, allows or condones these despicable values! I will also join a class action lawsuit against the BSA to seek an apology and a refund of every dime we have put into this organization under false pretenses.

  8. I am a scouter at heart.but we’ll quit scouts & pull out both my boys. Even if the Mormon church continues. National events cant protect them from the exposure of the LGBT life style. The scouts should be the one place we dont have to have this conversation

    • Spot on Blondie…a bright line in the sand exists and it will not be crossed….Scouting cannot condone amoral homosexual acts.

    • Agree with you Blondie. We are in a similar situation. One of my sons just moved up from Cubs and is loving the whole Scouting experience. I have another in Cubs about to move up. If this happens, I’ll be pulling them both out regardless of the position my church.

    • Please understand – there are gay scouts in the BSA now, they are just not open about it. As an example, my kids went to high school with a gay Eagle scout. Scouting was a huge part of his childhood, and his family was very involved in scouting. He even went to Philmont with his brother and his dad.
      In addition, many scouting families have gay family members – siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles. They also have gay co-workers, teachers, neighbors, and other community members.

      Your children may already be making friends with fellow scouts who are gay or who have gay friends or family members, just as you may already know people from church or your community who have gay friends or family members. You can’t completely insulate your children from this.

      Under the proposed BSA policy, though, you *would* be able to join a troop that does not allow gay youth to be members, so their primary relationships within the BSA would be with those who share your values on this issue, even if they eventually may run into folks at higher levels who differ. In the same way, they will eventually run into folks at camp who have vastly different religious or political views. Meeting people from different walks of life who share a common bond in scouting is one of the major advantages of being involved with the larger scouting movement.

      • We have family who is gay, you are trying to tell me something as if I lived under a rock. I am in the world, please do not insult me,
        Scouts should not ever be about sex or sexuality. That should be left at home and has no place in a pack, troop or den meeting.
        I send my sons there to learn how to be leaders, to gain skills, NOT to be taught about the gay lifestyle. Leave that at home where it belongs.
        Under the proposed new BSA policy my unit could choice to not allow the LBGT lifestyle but if we go to philmont of anywhere else … we can encounter it.

        • We’re not talking about adding discussions about sexuality into scouting. Nothing would change. There’s not going to be a big influx of gay scouts wearing pink neckerchiefs with sparkles. Your troop will have the same members it has today going on campouts just like they ever did. Are you saying you prevent your kids from ever meeting someone who might be gay? Your children never can go to a public school or university? You never go to a grocery store? Or the library? You never go out to eat? You never go to the shopping mall?

        • I agree that scouts should not be about sex or sexuality. It *should* be left at home, and you are right that it doesn’t have any place in a pack, troop, or (God forbid) den meeting. This policy would not change that. No one is suggesting any “teaching about the gay lifestyle”.

          You are right that your unit might encounter gay scouts at Philmont if the new policy passes. (Or, in fact, even if it doesn’t. I know a gay Eagle scout who went to Philmont with his dad and his brother.) But if you have gay family members, then you know that they don’t go around discussing their sexuality constantly. You also know that kids nowadays are used to interacting with gay peers, and it’s generally not an issue.

          We can trust scouts with different beliefs on this issue to nonetheless work together in scouting. Because we know that scouts are kind, friendly people, hard workers, and thoughtful leaders.

        • It WILL be left at home. Just as it is now. The aren’t discussing making it a topic to be covered in scout meetings. Leadership and scout skills will still be the topic. The same things they do now.

  9. Dear “friends of scouting”, I would like to ask for prayer. My husband and son have been involved with scouting since 2006. We have decided that if the membership policy is changed, we will leave scouting. My husband is a Webelos II leader and the boys adore him. I am sure when we go, many will follow. We know our son will be crushed. He wanted so much to be a Patrol leader and to get his Arrow of Light, February 23, 2013. We however, understand it is more important for him to learn the cost of being a disciple of Christ i.e. taking up our cross and following Him, not an agenda. We could never be a part of an organization that allow homosexuals to mentor our sons. I feel as though someone I loved has died and it really hurts to see this organization fall. God help us. Thank you.

    • Kim – if your troop does not want homosexuals in leadership positions, they have that option under the proposed policy. Yes, you might encounter some at camp, for example, just as you may encounter some leaders who are Jewish, or Muslim, or HIndu. But if so, it’s because they have earned the position, by showing thoughtful leadership qualities and other scout skills. And even with the policy change, the vast majority of mentors within scouting are heterosexual.

      Give it a chance – take it one day at a time. Your husband can accompany him to activities beyond the troop level, to monitor the situation. You can always leave if you encounter a specific problem, or when he begins to spend significant time in activities beyond the troop level. And you may find that it will be less of an issue than you fear. At least let him stay until he is awarded his Arrow of LIght – it’s only a few weeks away.

  10. Before I sign off for the evening, I just want to add a thought. While we discuss this matter back and forth, we need to remember that anger is not a solution. Discourse on this topic should be freely exchanged, without malice. I, myself, have occasionally wanted to rant at some posters for their position. Largely I’ve contained my emotions (although I’ll admit a comment or two slipped out). I want to thank my friend Jo, who sees this from a different point of view but still takes a strong and healthy stance that doesn’t lower himself as a Scouter.

    As I write this, I’m hopeful that the meetings that will occur over the next week or two bear some positive and open discussion. I hope that those that have been entrusted with this decision maintain the wisdom of Solomon. And I pray for all the BSA to come to terms with what may be the most challenging issue they’ve faced.

    I hope their wisdom leads them to a path that satisfies the goals of the BSA both now and for the next 100 years. Regardless of the outcome, I hope that we all can find a way to sit by the campfire and tell our favorite Scouting stories.

    Before I go, I want to remind everyone – regardless of the outcome, we all joined Scouting for our boys. And in the end, it’s our influences and morals that they will most likely take home at the end of the day. So let’s comport ourselves as such, regardless of how much we challenge one another to think about a problem from a different point of view as we continue to discuss this in the days ahead.

    • 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.

        • The decision to be made by BSA National next week is not a game being played. When you say… “Regardless of the outcome, I hope that we all can find a way to sit by the campfire and tell our favorite Scouting stories.” ..you fail to grasp the significance 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 cause a grand exit from the program and it will plant the seed of its ultimate destruction.

        • Actually, I grasp it just fine. I know that it has a chance to fundamentally change the organization. I realize that there are those who believe either way that it will be for the better or worse. I understand that people in this forum feel strongly about one side or the other. I wasn’t marginalizing. Marginalizing would be – the outcome doesn’t matter, your opinion doesn’t matter. Fail to grasp the significance? No, that’s not true either. This will fundamentally change Scouting and there are many who believe just as strongly that it will be for the better as those who believe it will be for the worse. So again, thanks for playing, but I really don’t agree with your continued stance of beating up on people in this forum. Although you’re still welcome to come and sit at the campfire.

        • Marginalize means to relegate to an unimportant or powerless position within a society or group. When you say… “Regardless of the outcome, I hope that we all can find a way to sit by the campfire and tell our favorite Scouting stories.” …you fail to grasp that 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 reject its timeless values and thereby cause a grand exit from the program. Nothing personal directed at you or anyone else, but we in the Scouting community will not be sitting by the campfires if BSA National abandons the timeless values of Scouting. Specifically to your point, the Scouting community is not so powerless that we will go along happily with this singing at the campfire together. You will see lawsuits and millions of Scouts and leaders leaving! Although I don’t agree with your continued stance of attacking the messenger and not the message, you likewise are always welcome to come and sit at my campfire. It just won’t be at a BSA campfire if we in the Scouting community are abandoned by BSA National. All the best,

  11. At the troop level, BSA is about good folks volunteering their time and money to help build character and leadership in young men. Beyond the troop level, BSA is all about the dollar. The National Executive Board is trying to pimp the volunteers just so they can get back into corporate America’s pocketbook. In the end, neither party will have any respect for BSA, and they will be bankrupt within ten years.

  12. Before I sign off for the evening, I just want to add a few thoughts. As issues are being discussed back and forth, you should acknowledge that you have no way to determine who is actually a Scouter and who (is not a Scouter on this website and) is seeking to shape your opinions and the general opinion within the Scouting Community. As such, you should carefully consider the merits of what is being said, and then listen to what your heart is telling you about what is correct, moral and just vs. what is amoral and repugnant to all that Scouting stands for.

    Recognize that the decision to be made by BSA National next week has nothing to do with loving and supporting those who have certain tendencies and choose not to act on them and those who are committed to seeking and living a moral life. We as Scouters instinctively reach out in love and support to all such individuals.

    Recognize that the decision to be made next week by BSA National (if wrongly decided) will result in BSA support for and condoning of amoral and disgusting homosexual acts by Scouts and Scout leaders. A Scout is Brave…have the courage to stand up and clearly state the truth. Being honest and truthful in our communications with other is a way to manifest our love for others. A Scout is clean and reverent…the simple and honest truth is that homosexual acts are ugly, amoral and disgusting. Any such acts by Scouts and Scout leaders are not consistent with the timeless values of Scouting.

    Finally, your voice matters, and if we stand firm and true to the timeless values of Scouting, BSA will make the correct decision. We do this for the boys and if it is not for the boys, it is for the birds. If, however, the BSA caves to outside pressure and allows PRACTICING homosexuals within charter organizations to take on the Scout name, it will place a moral stamp of approval on this amoral lifestyle and the BSA will have lost its moral compass and with it a large portion of its membership base. If such is the decision BSA National, then it must face the consequences of its decision. Not the lest of which will be many lawsuits. I for one will be forced to join a class action lawsuit against the BSA to seek an apology and a refund of every dime we have put into this organization under false pretenses. Now is the time to speak up and remind BSA National of the following…”On my honor I will do my best, to do my duty, to GOD and my Country, to keep my self physically strong, mentally awake and MORALLY STRAIGHT!

    • “As issues are being discussed back and forth, you should acknowledge that you have no way to determine who is actually a Scouter and who (is not a Scouter on this website and) is seeking to shape your opinions and the general opinion within the Scouting Community.” I use my name – so who are you? Hiding behind a nom de plume, on either side of this argument shows a fear. There is at least one other Scouter – on the other side of the fence that can confirm who I am and my roles in Scouting. You could be anyone…including the type of people you rail against.

      Oh, and this ‘Morally Straight’ bit? Please stop doing that. You’re revising history. ‘Straight’ as a term to define sexuality was first used by homosexuals in the 1950s. As Scouting was created much earlier, the use of it in this argument is null and void. Lord BP meant to be able to make moral decisions – to know right from wrong, to not steal, lie, and deceive. It had nothing to do with sexuality.

      • Charles (I am ONLY assuming that this is your real name. We who are in the Scouting community have no way to verify who you are unless you want to post a copy of your driver’s license together with a copy of your BSA membership card and phone number..at any time feel free to post a link to this information so we can verify, and if all of the other Soros funded folks on this site do the same and I can verify real names and real Scouters by talking to you on the phone, I will do the same)…in the meantime, with all due respect the following statement is honest and accurate….”As issues are being discussed back and forth, you should acknowledge that you have no way to determine who is actually a Scouter and who (is not a Scouter on this website and) is seeking to shape your opinions and the general opinion within the Scouting Community.” You failed to comment on the most important part of the first paragraph…”As such, you should carefully consider the merits of what is being said, and then listen to what your heart is telling you about what is correct, moral and just vs. what is amoral and repugnant to all that Scouting stands for.” Within the Scouting community, our hearts and minds tell us that homosexual acts go against everything that is good and moral as embodied in the Scout oat and law.

        • Okay if you have been following this blog for the past couple of days you know that Charles and I have quite differing views.

          That being said, I can assure you that he is who he says he is. We are members of the same council, OA lodge and so on. He is well respected and dedicated. I have worked with his eldest son (a fantastic young man) and he has worked with my sons who hold him in high regard.

          Both of us are using our real names. I wi

        • (Hit post too fast)

          I wish we all used our real names here, or better yet, had our “myscouting” accounts linked here to verify who is actually part of the BSA and who is not.

          So we use our real names. Why not stop hiding and reveal yours? That goes out to everyone on both sides of the issue.

          If Charles wants to let you know which council we are a part of, then you could call and verify.

        • Yea, lots of different screen names are bring used on this site. I concur with your suggestion regarding linking our “myscouting” accounts as a way to verify. Until such time, my prior offer stands (again, I can ONLY assume that Jo is your real name). We who are in the Scouting community have no way to verify who you are unless you want to post a copy of your driver’s license together with a copy of your BSA membership card and phone number…at any time feel free to post a link to this information so we can verify, and if all of the other Soros funded folks on this site do the same and I can verify real names and real Scouters by talking to you on the phone, I will do the same.

        • Interesting. I’m going to actually take on face value that BSASL is an actual Scouter. On the other hand, I still think it shows a fear of his/hers that he/she will not offer their name when they post. I will say the belief that most of those in here posting on one side of the discussion are funded by Soros (or a similar entity) is laughable at best. Just as I’m done for the moment talking to Doc, I think I’m going to also refrain from engaging with BSASL at this time. Nothing to be gained from it.

        • Hi Charles–Erik is my real name, but I choose not to identify myself, my Unit, or my CO more out of discretion rather than fear. I have spoken with the other leaders in my unit and I know their views on this issue. But I have not asked them or my CO for permission to “fly their flag” in public debate. So, I try to share my thoughts for what they are worth on their own merits, without claiming permission to speak on the record for my Unit.

        • Charles, in response to your post regarding BSASL, he is my brother-n-law of 20 years and yes he is an attorney. He has also dedicated a significant portion of his life to the BSA or at least what he thought was the BSA. I myself have been involved as a leader for more than 10 years and have one crossing over and another approaching his Life. I’m very disappointed in the BSA and, along with thousands of others, will be pulling out of scouting if your side wins. There’s not one single leader I’ve been in contact with that is in favor of this tragic proposition. Maybe the agenda is to simply destroy the BSA since we are already well on our way.

        • Very convenient for you to say that you take at face value a screen name as a way for you to avoid my offer. Again, screen name “Charles Featherer” or whoever you are, 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, db, etc. (others on this site who also hold your extreme views) need to post a copy of their driver’s license, BSA member id number and phone number so we can verify that they are Scouters and also so they can met the fear test that you have also failed until you accept my offer. If you insist on going down this path, then at least stand behind your empty words and screen name and accept my offer. Until such time, I fully stand by what I have said and to this point you have given us no reason not to carefully consider the posts and then listen to what our hearts are telling us about what is correct, moral and just ….”As issues are being discussed back and forth, you should acknowledge that you have no way to determine who is actually a Scouter and who (is not a Scouter on this website and) is seeking to shape your opinions and the general opinion within the Scouting Community. As such, you should carefully consider the merits of what is being said, and then listen to what your heart is telling you about what is correct, moral and just vs. what is amoral and repugnant to all that Scouting stands for.”

        • This is rich. If you see others’ words as empty because you don’t know exactly who they are, especially those who have posted their full names, what does that say about you, “BSASoutleader” if, in fact, that is your REAL name. Comical, in the least.

          Also, I’d like to point out to you, that throughout this forum, you have repeatedly stated that you feel homosexual acts are amoral. In which case, I would deduce that you really have no problem with homosexuality. Amoral means neither moral nor immoral. If you don’t believe it to be immoral, what’s the problem?

        • Glad that we agree that screen names can be invented and that we have no way to determine who are Scouters and who are Soros funded folks seeking to shape opinion in the Scouting community. I like your suggestion on using our “myscouting” accounts. Until such time, my prior offer to Charles still stands and I will make the same offer to you Jo (again, assuming this is your real name). That being said, however, we should all be more concerned about the substance of what is being said in considering the decision to be made next week and then listening to our hearts in making correct, just and moral decisions as we defend the timeless values of Scouting.

        • I don’t believe BSAScoutLeader is a member of the BSA. I think he works for Tony Perkins and the Family Research Council, and he’s flooding the comment section of this blog with his homophobia and bigotry.

        • You want me to give you, someone hiding behind a screen name, a copy of my id’s? Why not start by posting a link to yours?

          You want my phone number? Give me your real name and email address.

          Jo is short for Joseph by the way.

  13. Do I care about the new policy? No, makes no difference to me. What bothers me is the appearance (and my belief) the BSA sold out its moral, values, and stance because of money.

    I’ve read many comments about God and Christian organization. If any god will work, not just the Christian God; why not homosexuals or no god. Where is the outrage over other religions being allowed in the BSA.

    Why are so many that do not follow or adhere to their religion allowed to stay in Scouts? They are doing their duty to god. It is because the “sins” we aren’t tempted with are not as bad as the “sins” we tempted with. Example: Homosexuality is a horrible unforgivable sin; however, adultery – well that’s not so bad …..you see there were these circimstances, it just happened (a few dozen times), it’s all right because I am a “christian” and we are not perfect.

    • Jo and OldManDan (again, assuming you are Scouters and that these are real names and that you are not the same person logging on to another PC in your house with a different e-mail address) your counter-offers are declined, but I STAND by my original offer (also, the webmaster has my e-mail address and can confirm my “myscouting account”..this is all that I really care about as I want BSA National to hear from us volunteers who are in the Scouting community and who speak for the majority of us). Let me know.

      Failure to accept my offer and respond to the content of my message is telling. In the Scouting community, we are aware of what is at stake next week. We will not be distracted, and we simply and resolutely will not allow the BSA to condone amoral and disgusting homosexual acts by Scouts and Scout leaders. The simple and honest truth is that homosexual acts are ugly, amoral and disgusting. Any such acts by Scouts and Scout leaders are not consistent with the timeless values of Scouting.

      • “We will not be distracted, and we simply and resolutely will not allow the BSA to condone amoral and disgusting homosexual acts by Scouts and Scout leaders.” I couldn’t agree more!

  14. Jo Poplawski and BSAScoutLeader have been very vocal and repetitive in their objection to any change in the BSA membership policy.

    I’d like to point out how the BSA membership policy breaks the last point of the scout law. A scout is reverent.

    Mainstream protestant churches do not kick out LGBT folks. Most of the denominations now will ordain LGBT ministers and pastors and bishops. Many of these denominations will marry and bless same sex unions. Clearly these churches have a much different view of what is moral than that of the person who calls himself BSAScoutleader.

    The BSA has declared gay ministers and clergy as unfit to be members of the BSA. I can’t think of anything the BSA could do that would be more insulting to the beliefs of these churches.

    It is time for the BSA to honor their congressional charter and welcome all Americans. It is time for the BSA to obey the scout law and welcome all religious beliefs.

    • Let’s be clear, the churches that are making these ‘changes’ are ‘man-made’ changes NOT scriptural changes. The Jesus (and the bible) are the same “Yesterday, Today and Forever” (Hebrews 13:8). Many churches and denominations welcome and accept LGBT who are not living an active homosexual lifestyle. Jesus did not eat with the sinners, tax collectors and the prostitutes to ‘join’ them He was looking to convert them – to give them an opportunity to get ‘clean’ and ‘morally’ right with Him.

      So, please take yourself and all the so called LGBT that feel the need to scout and go start the LGBT Scouts of America. BSA has never hidden their stance people know it going in so if you feel it doesn’t fit your lifestyle then DON’T JOIN!

    • db, can you be more precise about what you think that BSA needs to do to be “reverent”?
      1. Are you merely referring to love and support for those who have certain tendencies and choose not to act on them and who are committed to seeking after and living a moral life; or
      2. Are you advocating for the BSA to support and condone amoral and disgusting homosexual acts by Scouts and Scout leaders? and
      3. If it is #2 above, do see such disgusting acts as being consistent with the timeless values of Scouting?
      If your answers to questions #2 and #3 above are “yes”, then with all due respect and love…Scouting is not the place for you or any such charter organizations. 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.

    • I couldn’t agree with you more. I believe that several aspects of the Scout Law are neglected with the current exclusionary policy.

      A scout is brave… I believe that in undertaking this potential policy change we are living up to this point, especially. Do what is right, even if you are called out for it.

      Thank you.

  15. Please do not allow a vocal minority determine the dictates of the total organization. BSA is a private organization, and are entitled to follow what the majority of its members want. As a former boy scout, and parent of a current scout, I do not support this.

  16. I see a parallel with the Episcopal church. Inclusion has not improved their numbers. Whole districts and councils will leave, or would if they had a spine.

    Jeremiah Wright got his wish. Do you think it will get better after they take your guns?

  17. I have been in the Scouting program for over 40 years now, and I’ve seen many changes througout the years… Some good, some bad, and some just plain stupid! When making decitions that affect the program we must ask ourselves “is this good for the Scouts?” When the “powers that be” decided to move the program towards “urban Scouting” by taking the OUTING out of Scouting back in the early 70′s, they nearly destroyed the program (one of the “stupid ideas” I spoke of). So I look at the question being considered now and ask myself “how is this going to help the Scouts?

    It’s NOT! First of all, we all are part of this wonderful program because we are people of LIKE VALUES. I belong to the organizations I choose because they represent my ideals and values. Scouting has always represented what I hold to be what’s right for me and my family AND my country! If there are people in the BSA that do not have the moral gumption and backbone to stand up to those who wish to destroy our program, then it is they who should “pack their bags” and leave and NOT try to pass the problem off to the Chartered Organizations! This is an ill concieved ploy that will ultimately cost the BSA many thousands of members and will only serve to alienate those Chartered partners who see through this obvious attempt to “pass the buck” to them. Once again we have someone who is letting a few people dictate what the majority of the members do not want. What’s next, are we going to told that the 12th Scout Law can no longer be observed?

    So… Is this decision “good for the Scouts?” No, it’s only good for the execs and lawyers at the BSA who are giving up the fight for what’s right and passing the problem off to others to deal with. Shame on them!

  18. I find it very exciting that there ever be a debate on homosexuality. Tolerance should be our guide! Not condemn the people! In Germany, such a discussion would be unthinkable. Also we discuss. But rather on the content, not about exclusion. And when we discover exclusion from scouts, we go against it.
    Yours in scouting
    Germanscout

    …sorry for my english…

  19. The US Supreme Court ruled that BSA is not discriminating & has the freedom of association. In typical progressive fashion the LGBT community has chosen to bully businesses & organizations into dropping BSA from grant programs. BSA will cave to them just like they caved to women that just didn’t understand why only a man should be scoutmaster. It’s not discrimination, it’s a point of view.

    Scouting has tried to uphold that only men should be mentoring boys. It would be like me teacing a childbirth class compared to my wife.

    If we allow homosexuals in then the next obvious step would be for the ACLU & Freedom From Religion crowd to threaten businesses that support Scout troops that do not allow atheists. The LGBT crowd talks about how it wasn’t an issue until 30 years ago. It really wasn’t acceptable to be LGBT in any part of the country until 30 years ago. I assume that most of you are from the west coast or New England due to the fact that you continue to speak of the level of acceptance in your “community.” Nothing is stopping you from joining Baden Powell S.A. The frustrating part here is the fact that LGBT crowd on here keeps talking about tolerance, but they really mean is us tolerating their point of view.

    • No. The Supreme Court did NOT rule that “the BSA is not discriminating”. They ruled that the BSA was free to discriminate because it was a private organization and not subject to the New Jersey public accommodation laws.

    • The parents of Cheverly Cub Scout Pack 257 strongly urge BSA change its policy. Cheverly Cub Scout Pack 257 does not discriminate. Period. However our program will not survive the exodus if the national council fails to alter its policy, so as to accommodate families which will not tolerate discrimination. The future of scouting in our area depends upon our standing by our values. v/ r-D

      ——————————————————————————–

      Local pack and troop committees–with the support of council leadership and with the benefit of screening tools and research infrastructure provided by BSA–are able to discern what is safe for their children. BSA has been doing the right thing in its youth protection training and policies. Now let’s get rid of the discrimination based on sexual orientation that undermines BSA’s future.

      It is not just a practical issue. I and many others in Scouting see this as a moral issue.

      As an Christian, an Eagle Scout, and an American, I’m appalled when the cultural baggage of 30 A.D., 1780, and 1910 usurps the core values articulated by founders and early followers of these progressive movements. Whether it is against the principles of respect (Baden Powell, founder of Scouting), equality (Jefferson and other founding fathers), or treating others as ourselves (Jesus, Paul, and followers), well-meaning adherents can disrespect, repress, and injure in the guise of upholding traditional values.

      That Jefferson owned slaves is a testament to the prejudices of his time, not a guide for interpreting the Declaration of Independence. Real relationships with the “other” undermine our prejudices and allow us to live more fully—straight–into moral principles that have stood the test of time. Historians have observed that Abraham Lincoln’s relationship with Frederick Douglass
      may have strengthened his resolve to lead the nation out of slavery. In the face of countless relationships as well as social research, the equation of homosexuality with sexual immorality/predation that supports discrimination in the BSA is fast losing its ground and leaving everyone associated with it looking hypocritical.

      After BSA took a hard-line stance in 2012, part of me wanted to keep my 7-year-old out of Scouting. But that would be a capitulation to the insanity of the phenomenon I describe. The tradition is too rich for me, the grandson of a West Suburban Council executive, to abandon. I’m not the only one taking pause. In an otherwise civic-minded community filled with kids—and other youth clubs like girl Scouts, Roots and Shoots, etc.–our tiger den is hanging by a thread. One member comes from 25 minutes away to participate every week because there are so few packs. Am I recruiting? No. I would be much more enthusiastic in promoting the program if this draconian policy were ended.

      Yours In Scouting,

      Daniel
      Tiger den leader, Pack 257
      Eagle Scout, 1993

      • Daniel, just curious, in what state and BSA counsel are you located? You are certainly entitled to your opinion. In fact, would you agree that it would be wise for BSA National to survey all of its volunteer leaders before acting rashly and caving to financial bullying by outside groups. GreggO was spot on in his comment that “If this is an argument on tolerance, where is the tolerance for those who believe that homosexual acts are wrong? It is clear that this is not about true tolerance – it is about ‘selfish tolerance’. “my way or the highway” is what we are being offered.” I agree with GreggO that Scouting already allows for homosexual participation. If a Scout who has same gender attraction issues commits to the timeless Scouting values, he is not prohibited from participating. If, however, such a Scout is promoting homosexual acts and engages or seeks to engage in homosexual acts with other Scouts, then such Scout must be removed from Scouting. Please be tolerant of our point of view.

        • “If, however, such a Scout is promoting homosexual acts and engages or seeks to engage in homosexual acts with other Scouts, then such Scout must be removed from Scouting. Please be tolerant of our point of view.”

          Right… so the Scout is promoting homosexuality by being gay.

          Just like tall people are promoting being tall by being tall. Or how black people are promoting being black by being black.

          “Gender attraction issues”

          The World Health Organization has long ago stated in no uncertain terms that homosexuality is not a disorder, and that same-sex attractions are natural.

          And, how, exactly, is the proposal of ending the ban being intolerant of your views? It’s not stating you can’t have them – in fact, it was made clear very early on that the BSA would let chapters decide for themselves whether or not to allow homosexuals. You are not being told that you cannot espouse your views. You are not being told that you must hide who you are from those you are close with or risk being kicked out of the BSA. Gays never chose to be that way. You are perfectly capable of changing your opinion on homosexuality; homosexuals are not capable of choosing who they love.

          Is it truly so hard to understand the principle of live and let live? If your chapter chooses to allow homosexuals and you don’t approve of that, then just go to a chapter that doesn’t. If your chapter doesn’t allow homosexuals, and you don’t approve of that, go to a chapter that does.

          As an openly gay teen who would currently be an Eagle Scout if not for unexpected issues that arose that made attending BSA functions and thus membership in the BSA impractical (in hindsight, this was probably for the better, because otherwise I would still be closeted), and the personal confidant of another teen Eagle Scout who is well-known on our state level for his accomplishments, and who happens to be gay and in the closet, I support an end to this unjust ban.

        • Thanks for your comments Andy. Best wishes to you. I hope you will soon be able to be an Eagle Scout.

      • You’re real funny David. The exodus will take place when the policy is altered to meet the demands of the homosexual crowd. The Scouts were created to help boys become upstanding, moral men. Homosexuality is not upstanding, nor is it moral. Let open homosexuals enter some Packs, and it gives boys the message that National Council is saying homosexuality is moral, upstanding, and good.

        • Paul you are 100% correct. I pray that BSA National is listening to its volunteers. We don’t need any corporate sponsor that seeks to change our core values. Scouting will be stronger and better without this money. BSA National, are you listening???? Don’t go off the cliff next week!!! Stay true and be morally straight!

        • National is not listening to the Councils around the west. I called every Council in Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, and Colorado. Every single one of their Public Affairs/Media Relations offices confirmed they have received no survey or questionnaire from National in regards to this policy change. The Great Salt Lake Council and Utah National Parks Council are very concerned that National is not seeking input. The news article in one of the local papers in Utah the quote that struck me hard was from Kay Godfrey (PR Great Salt Lake Council), “This whole thing caught us off guard.” So I ask what is the rush?

      • David, I couldn’t agree with you more. I married into a Scouting family — my husband and his brother were all Eagles in the 1970s, an era when Scouting had no such discriminatory policy. Their own father was a Scout in his time.

        My son is a Life Scout now, determined to make Eagle, but deeply troubled by Scouting’s intolerance to so many of his friends. There is nothing in the oath, slogan, law or motto that bans homosexuality. If you believe, as he does, that one’s sexual orientation is given by God, rather than chosen, then discriminating against anyone on the basis of sexual orientation directly contravenes the tenets of Scouting. To pretend that DADT is an acceptable solution is to scoff at the Boy Scout Oath. From the usscouts web site:

        “…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.”

        There is much that is good in Scouting, but the current ban on homosexuality is not good at all.

        • BSA had no written policy at that time because homosexual acts were still illegal. It would have been tantamount to issuing a BSA position on tax evasion or double parking- it was the law in most of the land and that was that. But, to your point, BSA has never in it’s history condoned, promoted, or allowed homosexual behavior amongst it’s members. No matter where you stand on the issue, it’s good to get your facts straight. The current written policy is no different than the unwritten policy BSA has used since inception.

        • Beth, you are certainly entitled to your opinion, but you (and those who are pushing this extremist agenda) are not entitled to change Scouting’s core values. GreggO was spot on in his comment that “If this is an argument on tolerance, where is the tolerance for those who believe that homosexual acts are wrong? It is clear that this is not about true tolerance – it is about ‘selfish tolerance’. “my way or the highway” is what we are being offered.” Beth, think about the shoe being on the other foot…..and be honest with yourself….will you be tolerant of Scouters that joint the LGBT and tell them to change their policy to allow LGBT chapters to form that can set their own policy on homosexuality to include chapters that teach (correctly, I will add) that homosexual acts are immoral and that those who have same gender attraction should not act on such attractions and should be “morally straight?”

        • Dan, everything you accuse others of, “my way or the highway,” etc. can be turned back to point at you. You don’t want gays to be accepted into Scouts and THAT is a my way or the highway position. Hiding it under babble like “people who are tolerant should also tolerate intolerance” doesn’t cover up that your point is mainly an emotional one: you don’t like gays, don’t want to be around them, and resent that you might have to be.

      • Thanks for your thoughtful post. With folks like you involved, the BSA has a better chance of meeting the needs of boys in our communities, regardless of their sexual preference.

      • David,
        Thanks for your thoughtful post. Contrary to the suggestion in some of the other posts, ending a discriminatory policy is not about BSA endorsing a particular sexual preference, it is about BSA living up to its values of citizenship and tolerance. We live in a country where the President of the United States has spoken out against such discrimination, where our Armed Forces have ended such discrimination, and where the Federal Government prohibits it. In addition, many localities, including my own, prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and students in our schools are taught tolerance. I realize that some families may decry these changes, but they have happened and our public institutions have endured and many would say, been strengthened. How can Scouting profess to teach our scouts citizenship if it engages in the kind of discriminatory conduct that our military, federal and many subsidiary governing institutions prohibit?

        • “How can Scouting profess to teach our scouts citizenship if it engages in the kind of discriminatory conduct that our military, federal and many subsidiary governing institutions prohibit?”
          So, since the government can’t discriminate regarding religion or creed, you’re all on board for allowing atheists as well, right? And don’t give me that “it’s against the Scout Law” thing, since BSA can change that just as easily as it did away with the Cub Oath and Law of the Pack this summer. Discrimination is discrimination, unless you’re pushign a particular agenda.

        • I would not use some of the things our government has done lately as a guide to go by. A quote from Henry Ford may apply here, “Anyone who thinks a big government can bring them happiness and prosperity should look closely at the American Indian.”

    • To Wayne Brock etal
      AS A FORMER SCOUT AND SOME OF MY CHILDREN AND GRANDSONS THAT ARE FORMER SCOUTS THIS IS A VERY TRAGIC AND SAD DAY FOR OUR YOUNG BOYS AND MEN AND SCOUTING. I NEVER THOUGHT THAT THE BSA WOULD FOLD ON THIS MOST MAJOR ISSUE. How could a parent ever send their son into a possible environment that would destroy the rest of his life e.g. Penn State’s Coach Jerry Sandusky. Homosexuality is Sodomy and Sodomy is condemned by God.

      Even more tragically is the fact it is based on the new god of America; MONEY. Another article from MEWSMAX quotes BSA; several local chapters and some members of the national board, including corporate CEO Randall Stephenson of AT&T and James Turley of the Ernst & Young accounting firm, called for a reconsideration, USA Today reports. This is what happens when an orginazation compromises it’s core values for the sake of “cash”.

      The three major promises of the Scout Oath are:
      Duty to God and country,
      Duty to other people, and
      Duty to self (to keep oneself morally straight)
      EVERYONE NEEDS TO WRITE AND CALL BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA AND TELL THEM NOT TO CAVE IN AND DO THIS ESPECIALLY BECAUSE OF MONEY. BSA, be forewarned, there is a tremendous backlashes coming with this decision and major withdrawal of support way more than this compromising of your core principles; “Be 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.” God will hold you accountable for these actions.
      GOD HELP OUR YOUNG PEOPLE.
      ##########

      • Taylor, you are saying that homosexuals are pedaphiles and there is no proof to that at all. Sandusky is not homosexual, nor were most of the priests or Scout leaders convicted of molesting children. Two deep and youth protection protects our boys from molesting by any adult and this subject should not even be part of the discussion.

        • That is like saying Hitler was not a Nazi!
          He was and is a Homosexual, a Sodomite, you are playing word games and you know it. So werer the priests and anyone male who molests a young boy is committing Sodomy. But, then you know this.

        • So, anyone who molests is a homosexual? Jerry Sandusky? ( I think he is married), Catholic Priests ? and all the men listed on the secret perversion files are homosexuals? Really? I am not sure that Jerry, the Priests or the men in the perversion files would agree.

          The problem is child molesters, not homosexuals.

          ( Also, not all Scouts are Christian )

        • Jerry Sandusky is married. He identifies himself as heterosexual, as do the vast majority of pedophiles. What he did is horrific. The current membership rules of the BSA would have allowed Sandusky to be a member until it was revealed what a monster he was.

      • Taylor. Your main compaint is about “sodomy”. Yet sodomy is also practiced is heterosexual relationships. So by your rationale any members of the BSA who practice Sodomy in heterosexual relationships should also be barred from BSA membership. If this is the case how would you put it into place? I can imagine that many people being asked that question would reply – “none of your business!” and that’s the crux – it’s not!
        You have every right to your opinion, but at the end of the day, that is all it is.

    • I mention these three scenarios because they will happen. We know they will. No one is willing to address the what then? No one is willing to look and say wait a minute maybe we need to rethink this. Has anyone asked who and how the Scout Oath and Scout Law will be re-written because I can tell you from experience multiple definitions will cause problems at the District and Council level. Specifically when it comes to Eagle Board of Reviews. The Districts are not rubber stamps for the Units nor should they be. We know from the posted conversations on this blog that Units are not following the rules. We know that Unit leaders are following bad information e.g. you completed the requirements, had a decent project, and you are 18 so you can have Eagle Rank. So what then? Who cleans up the mess? National is walking away so it falls to the Districts and the CO’s.

      Scenario #1. Two Units in the same District and Council. One CO has made the decision no homosexuals. The other has decided to follow the new proposed guidelines. So far we would all agree both CO’s are within their rights under the proposed policy. No harm no foul. Time for the fundraising for summer camps, equipment, etc. As the funds total up one Unit has raised far more money than the other and a major reason is the National policy. What then? We all know that lawsuits will be filed and there will be divisions across the board. Both following BSA policy yet clearly discrimination.

      Scenario #2. Same two Units as above. Two young men have completed the requirements for Eagle Scout. One openly gay Scout passes the Scoutmasters Conference, lives their CO’s definition of morally straight and is forwarded onto the District for the Eagle Board of Review. The other fails to meet his CO’s definition of morally straight and is denied. Lets further complicate matters and say both pass their Scoutmasters Conference because their leaders fail in their duty and the District has to make the choice. The Eagle Board of Review through the course of the process learns that one of the boys has violated the morally straight interpretation of the Scout Oath and Law as applied by their CO and is denied at the District level. Lets go one step further. The Board of Review members are split on what is defined as morally clean. One boy is openly gay and clean while the other is straight but got caught drinking a beer. What then? Both completed the same requirements but one fails in the morally straight category. Since Eagle Rank is NOT supposed to be a right of passage or reward fro completing some checklist what happens? We all know that appeals will be made, lawsuits will be filed, and there will be divisions across the board. Both following BSA policy yet clearly discrimination.

      Scenario #3. Same two Units again. Scout Camp. Two deep leadership and all other BSA guidelines followed. 2:00 am and the Scouts are awake (we all know it happens so be honest) discussing the things boys discuss. Billy and Johnny are friends but in different Units due to the the new policy. Scoutmasters are friends as well and for logistics they book two campsites adjacent to each other. Both Units working together and around each other and enjoying Scout camaraderie. Billy is gay and Johnny is straight. Since camp jumping is not unheard of both end up in a tent together with some other boys. Locker room talk ensues. Uncomfortable questions are asked. Feelings get hurt. No laws were broken, every attempt to follow policy was made yet there is discrimination. Billy “feels” bullied and discriminated against and demands to leave because everyone is intolerant. What then? We know lawsuits will be filed when mom and dad find out.

      • Scenario 1 – I assume that it’s not uncommon for different troops to have different funding levels. If nothing else, different troops are in different income areas, geographically. How would it be any different if the reason was this policy? (I am genuinely asking – I don’t know how this is handled now – is there any kind of subsidy, or scholarships, provided that might become an issue?)

        Scenario 2 – A legitimate concern, worthy of consideration. These situations will no doubt arise. However, a scout who is nearing Eagle would be wise to consider this up-front, and change troops to one that is in agreement with his and his family’s moral values. For what it’s worth, no one is asking scouts if they are celibate outside of marriage now before awarding Eagle; presumably that won’t change.

        Scenario 3 – I don’t feel what you’ve described is “discrimination”, so much as it is unkindness. If everyone remembers the core scouting values of kindness and friendliness, things should go well, or if not be able to be handled appropriately after the fact, in the skilled way most scout leaders already handle similar situations. In addition, most gay kids learn pretty darn quickly how to handle inappropriate questions, and to have a thick skin. And by the time they are old enough for this kind of talk, boys from either kind of troop should have had some instruction/discussion on how to behave around people who have differing values than themselves. One of the most valuable things about camp is meeting folks who are quite differerent than yourself.

        While it won’t be perfect, I trust the individual leaders, and the scouts themselves, to handle themselves appropriately and to work out any conflicts that may arise. Scouts are good people, on the whole, regardless of their feelings on this issue. If you believe that, all the details will fall into place.

        • Excellent points on all three scenarios. It won’t be perfect, you’re right. Just as it isn’t now. That is something that will NEVER change, no matter how many times policies are revisited.

      • Andrew, nicely done and very helpful. If our policy gets changed, lawsuits will be filed and what you identify is just the tip of the iceberg. The only moral and correct path for BSA National is to remain true and loyal to our timeless values of Scouting. Thank you for the thoughtful way that you outline some of the concerns with the policy change. Also, check out Tenton’s post…we “have just signed a national petition supporting the BSA’s right to set their own policies and govern as they see fit, and am urging BSA officials to stand firm against this latest attack by pro-homosexual activists.
        http://www.grassfire.com/252/petition.asp?PID=38175808&NID=1
        In response to a massive petition delivery by pro-homosexual activists said to include 275,000 citizens, Grassfire Nation officials are moving to counter this effort by mobilizing at least as many who support the Scouts. They will deliver petitions to the BSA headquarters as they reach their goal.”

    • IGNORANCE BREEDS INTOLERANCE!

      When will BSA have sensitivity training curriculum, modules, and supplementary literature available?

      Our Scouts must “Be Prepared” to be tolerant of others, for the coming Jambo, and for each scouts future Council and District activities!

      Specifically;

      Major Religions of the World;

      Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Folk religions, Taoism & Confucianism, Shinto, Sikhism, Judaism, etc….

      Irreligions;

      Atheism, Agnosticism, Secular humanism etc….

      Sexual Orientation;

      Heterosexuality, Homosexuality, Bisexuality, Pan sexuality, Poly sexuality, Androphilia & Gynephilia, Inter sexuality, Third gender, Bestiality, etc….

      • Tom – While I support the proposed policy change, I don’t think teaching about sexuality should ever be a part of scouting. Leaving it up to families is, and always has been, the sensible path. Scouts can be friendly and kind without these details.

        • Absolutely EagleMom. These things should not be taught in Scouting. But I am nervous, that this new change and some of the groups outside promoting this change will force this issue as well. Their websites already claim this new policy is not enough. Will the BSA be strong enough to stand up to those protests when we don’t stand united on this one?

        • What if the BSA simply stops making homosexuality such a big issue? Then everyone can go on learning all the many things Scouting teaches without all of this drama. Ultimately, this is about doing the right thing. It is morally wrong, I believe, for a major organization to kick out a boy who has been with them since childhood simply for realizing he is gay. I hate the hurt that this creates, I hate the way someone is considered trash simply because of their sexual orientation. I hate the message this sends to my brothers and sisters out there and I think it reflects poorly on BSA. There will always be people who don’t want to change, who want to say they are standing on their “beliefs,” but BSA should not cater to these people. Many inside and outside BSA want these policies to change.

        • I would emphatically argue that it is your point of view that should not be “catered” to or indulged. You have implied that those who oppose this policy change are somehow unworthy and unwelcome in the “new” Boy Scouts. Who do you think built it? Who did 100 years of hard work? You are entitled to your opinion but do not ever claim your version of the Scout Oath and Law is the traditional one. Those of us battling to keep the traditional policy understand that the Oath and Law work collectively as a seamless collection of values. We know that you do not get to pick and choose what to follow and what to selectively alter. Baden Powell was very selective about who he allowed to join. He was abundantly clear that you met the whole unedited standard or you did not. He understood as do we that if a volunteer organization did not meet your views you walked away. Everything we do in Wood Badge, Philmont, Sea Base, and all the other trainings that tradition and adhering to the traditional view of the Oath and Law is how Scouting survives the world. Those who claim otherwise have missed the point. As I have posted time and again I do not care about your God or my God. None of us are qualified to even know what God will do or say. You want gay Scouts fine I do not care. There is no civil right to join the Boy Scouts. How will you rewrite the Oath and Law? How will you make it apply evenly across the board? You cant

        • I would emphatically argue that it is your point of view that should not be “catered” to or indulged. You have implied that those who oppose this policy change are somehow unworthy and unwelcome in the “new” Boy Scouts. Who do you think built it? Who did 100 years of hard work? You are entitled to your opinion but do not ever claim your version of the Scout Oath and Law is the traditional one. Those of us battling to keep the traditional policy understand that the Oath and Law work collectively as a seamless collection of values. We know that you do not get to pick and choose what to follow and what to selectively alter. Baden Powell was very selective about who he allowed to join. He was abundantly clear that you met the whole unedited standard or you did not. He understood as do we that if a volunteer organization did not meet your views you walked away. Everything we do in Wood Badge, Philmont, Sea Base, and all the other trainings that tradition and adhering to the traditional view of the Oath and Law is how Scouting survives the world. Those who claim otherwise have missed the point. As I have posted time and again I do not care about your God or my God. None of us are qualified to even know what God will do or say. You want gay Scouts fine I do not care. There is no civil right to join the Boy Scouts. How will you rewrite the Oath and Law? How will you make it apply evenly across the board? You cant because if you separate and parse them out the entire program fails. There are good people who have values and morals that you summarily dismiss that have valid concerns that matter. We understand that we would never join an organization that we disagree with then demand they change. We would never destroy an organization with behavior contrary to 100 years of demonstrable good. Yet today you demand that we give you our organization and desecrate all we have done to make it great. I vehemently oppose the way this has come about. I strenuously oppose being called vile names and being told I do not know what BP had in mind. Any person that allowed any young man to acquire ANY rank including Eagle by telling that young man to lie, obfuscate, distort, hide, manipulate, or con the remnants of the Oath and Law for any reason I say get out of my organization. The ends do not justify the means, ever. BP understood what values and standards built young men. I will have honest disagreements all day long but they will be based in fact and history and not edited, false, rewritten garbage that says allow questionable behavior because we cant hurt someones feelings or some boy might get excluded. There is no right to join the Boy Scouts. There is no right of inclusion.

        • Who did those 100 years of hard work?

          People like this.

          People like me.

          People like my friend, an Eagle Scout who is well-known and still active in the BSA, who is forced to remain closeted.

        • I will simply say again ANYONE in Scouting who attained Eagle Rank (or any rank) through willful and deliberate lying, stealing, obfuscating, misleading, cheating, hiding, or in ANY way misrepresenting themselves should walk out the door. Any leader that encouraged such character traits should also walk out the door. The ends NEVER EVER justify the means, period. I do not care who they are or what they have claimed to do. This applies to gay, straight, obtuse, short, tall, big, small, or anything in between. Gay does not matter. Why? Because they violated more tenants of the Oath and Law that I care to mention or rehearse with someone who is willing to reward bad behavior or personal preferences. Anyone in Scouting truly following the Oath and Law would never put themselves or their own desires ahead of 100 years of clear and consistent meaning. Actions have consequences despite today’s world telling us differently sometimes as adults we have to hold the line and hurt feelings along the way. Sometimes we have to be the adult and say congratulations you met half the standard that is not good enough. Come back when you meet all of them. Baden Powell would never advance a boy who failed to meet EVERY standard set forth and neither should we no matter whose feelings get hurt. Gay or straight should never matter.

          As for who has done 100 years of work if you haven’t figured that out by now you most likely never will. We will agree to disagree and move forward.

          Again I could care less about the gay issue. My posts have been consistent against the process and legalities involved. I have been consistent in talking about the 100 year meaning of what Scouting has always been about. I reject the revisionist reality you live in because it is not consistent with the tenants and standards created by Baden Powell and upheld by 100 years of traditional Scouters.

          I reject your position that anyone has an inherent right to belong to an organization that is volunteer based. I reject the argument that Scouting is for everyone even those who fail to meet the standard. I reject the idea that we need to be more enlightened. I reject all of these ideas not because they lack validity but because they do not apply to what Scouting has been and what Scouting is. These arguments are designed to tear down the Scout Oath and Law one line at a time and reward bad behavior. These arguments are designed to do nothing more than destroy what others have built. These arguments are put forth by individuals who knew that Scouting had standards and demand that the entire organization change just for their own personal minority because they feel entitled.

        • Don’t like being told you might be immoral, huh? Doesn’t feel very good, does it? Perhaps you should reflect on that the next time you are talking about how “immoral” gays or their supporters are. I certainly hope you will let some softness into your heart: I described a rather heartbreaking scenario about somebody being forced to leave the Scouts he loves because of a technicality, and all it did was cause you to redouble your efforts to say that it is immoral and opposed to Scouting.

          Shame on you. Shame on you for caring about your narrow interpretation of the Oath more than about people, more than about CHILDREN.

        • The Scout Oath and Scout Law are technicalities. They are the reason that the Boy Scouts have been great, and different. As adults we have to tell children and young men no, even when it is hard and it is the right thing to do. We inflict tremendous damage when we fail to teach the value of no. You do not always get what you want. Sometimes you have to break some hearts. Life is not fair but that is the real world. I would rather hire a young man that failed at being an Eagle Scout but upheld EVERY aspect of the Oath and Law than hire a young man who cheated his way there because the truth was just too hard. You want to fixate on being gay but if you read what I posted I could care less about gay or straight. What is immoral is joining an organization knowing you do not meet the standard then demanding that that standard be altered because you are offended. What is immoral is ANY member of the Boy Scouts regardless of age, religion, sexual orientation, color, size, IQ, or gender lying, cheating, stealing, obfuscating, distorting, misleading, or through trickery attaining a rank that they did not meet the requirements to have. There is more to being an Eagle Scout than finishing some list of requirements. Anyone who knowingly helps ANY young man do this needs to leave their uniform and membership at the door because trustworthy, obedient, reverent, and morally straight was totally obliterated.

        • Andrew, I am replying to myself here because there is no more room in the right-hand column. Your comments about eagle scouts who are gay and who had to hide it being unworthy of being called Scouts are particularly ugly. You’ve created a no-win situation for them. As openly gay, they are not allowed to participate because they violate, in your mind, Scout principles. But if they hide their sexuality, then they should also not participate because in doing so they are violating Scout principles. This double-bind is completely crazy, damned-if-you-do and damned-if-you-don’t.

    • As an Eagle Scout I sent the National Executive Board a message imploring them not to change the policy. I think it will eventually lead to troops chartered by Mormon, Catholic and Evangelical Churches to split from the national association. While each chartering organization can mandate the membership requirements for their troop they cannot impact what happens in the OA Lodge or at the Council summer camp. The Lodge is more problematic than the summer camp as the camps are troop based and the Lodge Advisers come from all troops in the Council. I think the change will cause disunity and eventual schism. The Southern Baptist Convention is openly decrying the proposal and predicting an exodus of Evangelical Scouts. The Mormons refused to comment on ‘a proposal’ and the President of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops was ‘unavailable for comment’. Mormon, Catholic and Evangelical make up the vast majority of chartering org. Joining the BSA is ‘highly encouraged’ by the Mormons and they sponsor more troops than anyone. Its sad that we are bowing to economic blackmail. When the United Way of South Florida defunded the Council in Miami and Dade County schools kicked us out the community responded and made up for the lost funding via direct donation. These corporations are only concerned their bottom line. They have no moral base. They are afraid of alienating any segment of consumers. We must not bow to this economic blackmail. It is a capitulation that will result in the serious damage to the BSA.

      • cpc, you are spot on..also, please check out Trenton’s post and sign the “national petition supporting the BSA’s right to set their own policies and govern as they see fit, and am urging BSA officials to stand firm against this latest attack by pro-homosexual activists.
        http://www.grassfire.com/252/petition.asp?PID=38175808&NID=1
        In response to a massive petition delivery by pro-homosexual activists said to include 275,000 citizens, Grassfire Nation officials are moving to counter this effort by mobilizing at least as many who support the Scouts. They will deliver petitions to the BSA headquarters as they reach their goal.”

    • Dear Scouters I am returning to this forum with some important information I hope that all whom support leaving the current policy of not allowing homosexual as is will go to the Grassfire website and send a message to the National BSA Board that you do not support the pending lifting the ban on homosexual members in the BSA. Homosexual activists are aggressively targeting the Boy Scouts of America attempting to strong-arm them into amending their membership policies to include gays.
      The Boy Scouts of America has a long-standing policy of not admitting homosexuals believing it would be a distraction to the mission of the Scouts. In fact, they write in their membership policy “same-sex attraction should be introduced and discussed outside of its program with parents, caregivers, or spiritual advisers at the appropriate time and in the right setting.”
      I have just signed a national petition supporting the BSA’s right to set their own policies and govern as they see fit, and am urging BSA officials to stand firm against this latest attack by pro-homosexual activists.
      http://www.grassfire.com/252/petition.asp?PID=38175808&NID=1
      In response to a massive petition delivery by pro-homosexual activists said to include 275,000 citizens, Grassfire Nation officials are moving to counter this effort by mobilizing at least as many who support the Scouts. They will deliver petitions to the BSA headquarters as they reach their goal.
      Sincerely, Trenton Spears

      • Trenton, outstanding post! Just signed the petition. This is a call to action… we all need to facebook, twitter and e-mail this link to everyone. I might suggest that they also add a place for our BSA Member ID as this message is more powerful when they can document that it is coming from within the organization from the adult volunteers. I would like for the site to also call for a delay in any action by the Board on this and call them to slow the process down so we can all get some transparency and to educate the Board on the legal risks of any such proposed and hastily made change. We should also all be pressing our executives to e-mail this link to all adult scouters so their voice on this KEY ISSUE can be heard loud and clear!!! Super work!!!!! We will not cave to outside pressuring and bullying.

        • BSAScoutleader, while I understand what you are shooting for bay calling for our BSA information, what about my friends/family and others with boys that are not yet scouting age but have every intention of becoming members based on the current policy? That eliminates the voice of future generation scouters who ALL deserve a say as well. So I say there should be a spot to indicate if you’re a current member/future member/etc. and if you have BSA info put it in.

    • Brad you are spot on! db, with all due respect and with no offense being intended, your statement regarding the holding in BSA v. Dale, 530 US 640 (2000) is simply false.

      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 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!
      http://www.glaad.org/blog/send-message-boy-scouts-its-too-late

  20. If this is an argument on tolerance, where is the tolerance for those who believe that homosexuality is wrong? It is clear that this is not about true tolerance – it is about ‘selfish tolerance’. “my way or the highway” is the real message by those promoting this change. Scouting already allows for homosexual participation. That already intrudes on the beliefs of many/most of us in Scouting. Please be tolerant of our point of view.

    • I think the BSA’s proposed policy *is* being tolerant – of both views. Each CO can choose which approach to take with their own troop. No one is forcing a CO to accept a policy that is contrary to their values – on either side.

      • EagleMom, It is not tolerant of both views. Although a CO could choose their approach, that control does not extend beyond the Pack/Troop/Crew. And Scouting is not limited to the local CO group. It goes beyond in a number of ways – Jamboree, High Adventure camps, OA events, Leadership Training events, etc. Given this change, the CO cannot assure their beliefs are upheld and that a safe environment for those beliefs can be maintained. Therefore many, many COs will no longer hold charters for Scouting.

        • Greg, my Eagle has worked at summer camp for many years and is in OA, so I know that scouting is much broader than just the troop level. But honestly, I don’t think it will come up much in day-to-day scouting. I’d hate to see troops throw the baby out with the bathwater, just because someone at an OA weekend might mention their significant other in passing with a “he” instead of a “she”. The actual, in-real-life gay folks I know aren’t particularly interested in forcing the details of their lives on people who do not approve of them. They’re actually amazingly skilled at avoiding the topic altogether. Give it a chance. The military did, and it largely proved to be a non-issue. If they can do it with grace, so can the BSA.

        • EagleMom, you just hit the point…but in reverse. It is not the Troops that would be “throwing the baby out with the bathwater”. It is the gay community doing so. This is the tipping point.

          I would be shocked that someone in OA who uses the wrong pronoun would be removed from Scouting. At the same time, if I mention in passing a propensity for some inappropriate behavior, I do expect the possibility of removal from Scouting. For example, if I begin to use inappropriate language or badgering boys for their failures, I know I will be taken out of leadership.

          Scouting cannot be equated to the military. Scouting is for youth not adults. There is a difference which needs to be respected.

          (btw GreggO not Greg)

        • I’m sorry about dropping your “O”!
          I saw it and thought I typed it but obviously not!

          I agree with your middle paragraph. And if the BSA had a formal DADT policy, perhaps that could be a workable compromise, although there would issues to be considered. The important thing is that these discussions can help get us all beyond the initial “this is great”/”this is awful” reactions and understand each others’ concerns, so that we can respect them as much as possible.

        • GreggO, spot on and well said my friend! EagleMom and everyone on this blog is aware of what damage happens if the door gets opened next week to permit practicing homosexuals in Scouting. In addition to the problems and conflicts that you point out, BSA National would be in effect saying that practicing homosexual Scouters are able to live the Scout oath and law. This can never be. Homosexual acts are not compatible with the Scout oath and law and never will be. There is no resolution to this concern other than remaining true and faithful to the ideals of Scouting! EagleMom, for the majority of us who clearly and lovingly tell you that homosexual acts are not compatible with the Scout oath and law and never will be, what workable compromise can you offer us? Would you be willing to compromise on this…those who have same gender attraction, do not act on this attraction and commit to the morals and ideas of Scouting are welcome in Scouting with open arms and those who seek to force homosexual acts into Scouting can join another organization? I think we all know the answer and the off the cliff direction that the decision (next week if poorly decided) will take Scouting. Wake up National Board and listen to your volunteers!

        • DantheScoutingman –

          The BSA does not now inquire into the details of heterosexual scouts’ romantic relationships. Some are no doubt waiting until marriage; others are not. The BSA leaves this area to the scout and his God, where I believe it belongs. Most scouts are of an age where this is not an issue anyway.

          Many churches, such as the Catholic and the LDS church, believe that those with same-sex attraction can lead an honorable, moral life if they choose celibacy. I see no conflict whatsoever with the BSA for scouts who follow this path, and I would hope that most of the folks in this discussion could agree that these scouts should not be excluded. I would argue that for these folks, being open about their same-sex attraction should not be an issue either, assuming they don’t make a huge deal of it.

          While your proposed compromise makes sense on some levels, I don’t think it would be appropriate for Scout Masters to feel that it is part of their job to keep informed as to a scout’s sexual behavior, regardless of sexual preference. Frankly I’d be concerned about a SM who displayed interest in discussing such details with a scout. Thus, on a practical level, the idea of differentiating between sexually active scouts and celibate scouts just doesn’t work.

          Rather than exclude those homosexual scouts who are in good standing with their church’s doctrine, in order to avoid those who are not, I think it would be better to include homosexual scouts on the same terms are heterosexual scouts are included – that sexual acts of any kind are not appropriate within scouts, and sex outside of scouts is between the scout and God.

          I think some are forgetting that the people we are discussing are SCOUTS. They are involved, or want to be involved, in the BSA because they love all that it has to offer – camping, hiking, badge work, community service, leadership. .

          Get to know a gay scout or two. You might find that you have a lot in common, and that his sexuality really isn’t an issue..

        • EagleMom, is not content with “those who have same gender attraction, do not act on this attraction and commit to the morals and ideas of Scouting are welcome in Scouting with open arms and those who seek to force homosexual acts into Scouting can join another organization?” She and radicals like her seek to force her amoral values upon us. They will also force these amoral values on our boys if the BSA makes the wrong decision next week. Any Scout or Scout leader who promotes or engages in homosexual acts that come to the knowledge of a Scout leader must leave and is not welcome in the Scouting program..just like any other Scout who does not want to follow and live the Scouting ideals. Can you imaging a future rainbow patrol of sexually active Scouts at summer camp, camporee, jamorees, OA events, etc. Such actions spit in the face of our Scout oath and law. Homosexual acts are not compatible with the Scout oath and law and never will be.

        • Why is it that we who believe this is morally wrong be forced to change. Homosexuals are free to form a youth organization of their own.

        • einhard – In some parts of the country, I believe a *majority* of scouts and adult leaders support this change. After all, three states just voted for legalizing same-sex marriage. In other parts of the country, a majority would like things to stay the same. Rather than forcing the same rule on the entire country, the BSA is trying to help troops reflect the values of their communities. If you are part of a troop that supports the current policy, that won’t change. If you are part of a council in a “red state”, chances are there will be very few troops who choose to change. There aren’t a ton of gay kids out there to begin with. I think this will end up being much less of a change than many fear.

        • einhard, you are spot on and your views are 100% in line with America’s legal, moral and proud tradition of pluralism.

        • Throughout history man has loved the dark and stayed away from the light. And throughout history man also has rationalized sin as OK. But, EagleMom, just because a majority of people believe it to be true or right, does not make it so. Nazi Germany, the antebellum American South are but two examples from history. Lastly, just because your son was an Eagle Scout, doesn’t make it your right to tell my kid what is right and wrong and if scouts allows gays in, that is exactly what you are doing.

        • >>”…just because a majority of people believe it to be true or right, does not make it so.”

          This is true. We must each reflect upon the issue, and pray for guidance. Each of us must advocate for what we feel is the right moral path. Ideally, the BSA could create a policy that allowed each of us to work within a troop that reflects our moral standards. This policy doesn’t do that, because troops come together in activities like summer camp. But the BSA must do the best it can to respect the moral beliefs of *all* its members.

          >>”…just because your son was an Eagle Scout, doesn’t make it your right to tell my kid what is right and wrong and if scouts allows gays in, that is exactly what you are doing.”

          I think that *everyone* involved with scouting, regardless of which side they feel is morally right, should advocate for what they believe is the right path for the BSA on this issue.

        • BSA has never wanted to be compared to the military. It is recommended to refrain from calling the tan, button, field shirt as “Class A” although it is common to do so. Both entities, the BSA and the military have very different aims and goals.

      • Eagle Mom, National BSA is not even being tolerant of it’s own stated rules, which are rooted in Judeo Christian morals. By allowing this influx of homosexual activists (which is what it will be– homosexuals flooding into the scouts to push the envelope even further), there’s is no tolerance for the vast majority base of scouts. But I think that’s the objective of homosexuals– get inside the organization in order to destroy it, ie, Obama tactics at destroying America.

        • Paul, do you have kids? My teens are *busy* people. They have school, scouts, sports, friends, church, and family activities and obligations. It’s a huge juggle, not to mention a huge family commitment (of time and money), to fit all the activities they want to do into our schedule. They have to carefully pick and choose their top priorities and let the rest go.

          My teens, and their peers, have absolutely no time for infiltrating organizations to destroy them.

          If you’re involved with BSA, you know being a scout is hard work, and kids who aren’t interested and willing to put the time and work into it don’t last long.

          Remember that homosexual scouts are SCOUTS – interested in badge work, outdoor activities, leadership, and all the other things scouts do. I think you’ll find that gay scouts are pretty much the same as other scouts. In fact, if you’re involved with scouting, there’s a good chance you already know some.

        • ps….einhard…Trenton Spears gave a super post….”I have just signed a national petition supporting the BSA’s right to set their own policies and govern as they see fit, and am urging BSA officials to stand firm against this latest attack by pro-homosexual activists.
          http://www.grassfire.com/252/petition.asp?PID=38175808&NID=1
          In response to a massive petition delivery by pro-homosexual activists said to include 275,000 citizens, Grassfire Nation officials are moving to counter this effort by mobilizing at least as many who support the Scouts. They will deliver petitions to the BSA headquarters as they reach their goal.” Stand up and act now to save Scouting. Sign the petition and e-mail the link to this to all of your friends on facebook, twitter, etc. also press your executives to make this information available to all adult BSA volunteers so their voice can be heard. All the best to you my friend!

        • BSAScouter here is another petition website
          http://www.ipetitions.com/…of-james-turley-and-randall
          James Turley, CEO of Ernst & Young, and Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T, must be removed from their positions of honor on the BSA National Executive Board. Much of the current pressure to put homosexuals in leadership roles is coming from these two national board members. Stephenson is slated to become president of the BSA national board in 2014. The BSA Board meets Wednesday, February 6, 2013.
          Despite the fact that the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the BSA’s ban on homosexuals in 2000, and in light of all the reports and litigation over the abusive predation on boys by homosexual adults in leadership positions with churches and other organizations, the notion that the BSA is considering lifting its ban on homosexuals holding such positions is shocking.
          These BSA board members are endeavoring to force their social agenda on 3.6 million Scouts and adult leaders. They want Scouting to comply with their corporate policies, which have adopted the homosexual agenda under pressure, primarily from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance against Defamation and the so-called “Human Rights” Campaign.
          We must unite the 3.6 million members in the 290 Councils and the more than 115,000 religious and civic groups under which BSA Troops are chartered and call for a change in the Executive Board not a change in our policy.
          Please add your name and join us in proudly standing our Scout oath:
          “On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.” Sincerely, Trenton

        • How do you know that the priests that molested boys ( and I assume all of the miles terms in the Boy Scouts own perversion files kept secret for years and I guess Jerry Sandusky ) are homosexuals?

          Or is it that you classify all molesters as homosexuals?

          Can a heterosexual be a molester? Or dies a heterosexual become homosexual when they molest?

        • Trenton, superb work!! Just tried to sign the petition, but the site does not work. Do you have a better link? Yes, I am proud to add my name and join Scouters in proudly stating our Scout oath:
          “On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.”

        • Paul, excellent comment! As Glaad and other pro-homosexual (living) groups lost big-time in the SCOTUS in 2000 and the legal door was closed to them, they began working hard to destroy the BSA from within. We are now seeing the fruits of their amoral works. This is a fact (not opinion)…for starters take a look at…http://www.glaad.org/actions/list.

          What is remarkable to me is that we have folks (supportive of outside groups like Glaad and others) posting on this site who are fully aware of what these outside groups have been (and are) doing and support the attempt to hijack and destroy the timeless values of Scouting from within the organization. Our eyes are open to what is really going on, and we will not allow anyone to destroy Scouting and its timeless values.

      • Brad, could you explain your feelings? I don’t understand how a policy that allows a CO to decide whether to either continue with the current position or to allow gay members isn’t tolerant? Surely folks can just choose to join a troop that reflects their values – something we encourage when we advise new scouts to shop around for a troop now.

        Do you have thoughts or suggestions as to how the policy could be different, but still include a place for scouts on both sides?

        • I am stating there is no tolerance for those that support the current possition because national is now considering dropping the position(if they have not already). Those that support the current position will be forced to accept openly gay scouts or leave the program when the announcement comes out. While they may not have to accept them in their unit(for now), they will be at scout functions. Unfortunately, the divide is too great and any policy will not be acceptable for either side.

        • I think I see your point, and I guess I understand your concerns, at least a bit.

          Brad, my kids have a few gay friends (including one Eagle), and it’s just not a big issue. You probably couldn’t even pick them out from the crowd when we have a group of teens over. You may find, should this change be implemented, that you’ve already been interacting with gay scouts and just not known it. Or you may not – it often simply doesn’t come up. I don’t honestly think a whole lot will actually change in day-to-day scouting activities.

          Most of today’s teens have grown up with kids who turn out to be gay (no matter how much their parents may have wanted to prevent it). They know gay friends, cousins, classmates, and even fellow scouts. About a quarter of our population lives in a state that allows gay marriage. And lately three states actually passed it by a majority vote. For many of these people, who personally know and love good, moral gay folks, it’s just not the huge moral problem it was for their elders.

          If our military men and women can handle this change, I know the BSA can too. It might be uncomfortable, and there will be details to work out. It sounds like national is trying their best to think it through.

        • Eagle Mom,
          While I appreciate your thinking that this is no big deal, it is to me. I joined this organization because it’s beliefs and policies were closely aligned with mine. Just because something is accepted by society does not make it right. While I am not so naive to believe that there are no gays in scouting, I am very worried what will happen if the policy changes. Have you looked at the websites of the organizations pushing for this change? They state this is a good start. What does that mean? Is acceptance in the organization not enough? Like I said before, the two sides are so far apart there is not going to be a solution that is acceptable to both sides. Your comparison between the military and the BSA are totally off base. The military is government run and open to all, the BSA is a private organization.

        • I also joined this organization because it’s beliefs and policies were closely aligned with mine and because BSA has held itself out to be such. BSA National needs to strongly consider its significant financial exposure from class action lawsuits that will be filed if it now changes its policies. Make no mistake -volunteer members will seek a refund or past donations made and monies invested in things like BSA uniforms. BSA National would be wise to take a very close look at this and not rush into a very bad decision.

        • But, Brad, most people I know who join Scouts do so because they love the idea of being a part of something, of reinforcing common values like honestly, courage, etc, and because they want to learn all the skills Scouts offers. Or they join because their parents were in Scouts. Many, many more of us would love our sons to be in Scouts but are opposed to the current anti-gay policy. If you picked Scouts purely because they exclude homosexuals, then I just have to say that that’s an unusual choice. At least among the people I know.

        • Angie, I did not join purely because the excluded homosexuals. Strange how you twisted that when I said I joined this organization because I agreed with it’s beliefs and policies you only assumed that meant excluding homosexuals, Since you are one of the people pushing for this change can you please seriously address my concerns instead of going off topic.
          Have you looked at the websites of the organizations pushing for this change? They state this is a good start. What does that mean? Is acceptance in the organization not enough?

        • EagleMom, do you interact with these “military men and women” that are supposedly “handling” the change in DOD policy? I’m retired military, I continue to work in the DOD amongst service members from all four branches daily, and while the higher leadership directed a change, it’s “handled” by being forced upon people. If you don’t accept homosexual behavior as normal and make any comment or any action counter to it, you’re singled out, counseled and a paperwork trail is started that can lead to your eventual dismissal from the military. You have to attend (or complete online) multiple tolerance and consideration classes every year. You can be investigated for intolerance (another possible career killer, depending on the outcome) as easily as someone reporting you, with little to no evidence to legitimize starting the investigation.
          This is the reality of the military “accepting” the policy change. Is this what you want for Scouting?

        • I do interact with military men and women who are dealing well with the change in the DADT policy. We discussed it just this week, in consideration of the proposed BSA policy change. No problems were noted. Your complaint is that you can’t express your intolerance of others? So would it be the same if someone were to make derogatory statements against individuals of a different race or religion? Women?

        • Well Beth, I certainly don’t know about your interactions, but I can say that between the 3 commands where I work, we’re talking well over 2,000 active duty and reserve soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coastguardsmen. While I certainly haven’t spoken to all of them, I can confidently say I’ve spoken to or listened to several hundred that expressed their disagreement with the policy change. I’d say sample size is important.
          I’m pretty confident you regularly express your intolerance of others. What are your feelings on pedophiles? Thieves? Arsonists? Murderers? Rapists? Go to the library and pick up a copy of the DSM IV, then read about how many of these “illnesses” are thought to be something one is born with, not unlike the claim of many homosexual supporters. We (and I’m guessing you) have no issue with discriminating and punishing these conditions with which people are born, but you won’t hold homosexuals to the same standard. What’s good for the goose is not good for one’s favored gander, I guess.

        • Steve, this is how things always are when change is implemented. Same thing when blacks were integrated into the military. My question would be, why do people in the military have to go around spouting off their opinion about how wrong homosexuality is? They are the ones creating the problem by thinking they can verbally intimidate others they don’t agree with. Those are common tactics used by people to try to push someone out again who has recently been given access to something.

        • That is so true, Brad! They talk about acceptance and tolerance but it’s only for those who accept and tolerate the homosexual agenda. They will go after the charter organizations after making inroads into the individual units. Following that will be required “quotas” per council.

        • @EagleMom, that position is not tolerant because it forces an acceptance of a belief. It is exactly the same complaint that gay members are stating, that is, Scouting is currently not accepting their beliefs (although that is not fully true).
          Since the two beliefs are in direct contradiction, there can be no full acceptance and tolerance. Only compromise is possible and that has already been implemented.

        • GreggO, could you explain what you mean by a compromise that has already been implemented? I was unaware that there is already a compromise policy in place. But maybe I’m misunderstanding?

        • The compromise policy already in place is that gays are allowed to be members. They have been members and continue to be members of Scouting groups. (in fact the video you posted is clear evidence that this is true). No one is asked of their personal preferences (except possibly by particular COs) and no one tries to find out (to my knowledge or experience). It is only those people who feel compelled to reveal or broadcast their sexual preference that cannot join Scouting. We who do not believe in this lifestyle must live with the fact that there are those who do within Scouting organizations. That is a compromise but it is apparently unacceptable to the gay community.

        • GreggO –
          Hmmm. So you’re saying there’s a defacto, unwritten, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy? I think it would be stronger if it was a formal policy, rather than a “we say one thing, but actually do another” type thing.
          Do you think that a formal DADT policy would be a good compromise?

        • It is formal. Just not well publicized. But the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell isn’t a long term solution that has proven to work in other settings over the long term.

        • Okay Eagle Mom you oversimplify. So, there’s a pack (we’re not called “troops”, that’s the Girl Scouts) and its leaders decide we’re opening up this pack and it’s dens to openly stated homosexuals. Half the members disagree with that policy. It’s half that agree and half that disagree.. Who calls the shots? Isn’t that the reason why the national policy makes it clear we are a unique organization designed for a specific purpose. Our rules do not allow certain elements that bring down the morals and character of our group. You’re free to disagree, but since you refuse to comply with our rules as an open homosexual,, you are not welcome to stay. But feel free to go start your own club– which excludes straight men as leaders. That’s fine, do as you wish, but leave our organization alone.

        • Yes, in Cub Scouts we are called packs. in Boy Scouts, we are formed in troops, the same terminology used in Girl Scouts.

        • As I understand it, Cubs have Dens, Scouts have Troops.

          If half of a troop decides to be open and the other half wishes to be closed, then under the proposed policy, the answer would be to split the troop into two. In that way, each scout (and their family) can find the troop that best fits their family’s values and religious beliefs.

          Please understand that it is NOT just the few gay Scouts and Scouters who oppose the current policy.
          In my part of the country, MOST Scouting families oppose the current policy. I assume the numbers differ in other areas of the country.

          Please don’t assume only gay people oppose the current policy.

    • I am fully Tolerant of your view, but Boy Scouts is not yours. I am Married man, 3 kids, 2 boys in the program. I will not allow my son to have his Eagle removed because it turns out he is gay…he did not choose that,but he did choose to be a scout at age 6. He is currently 12, ASPL and a fine Scout. His morals ans values are right in line with the program. I would be ashamed if the program kicked him out and turned him away because he was part of the 10% that turn out different in ONE way.
      I am tolerant of your view, but Boy Scouts is my sons, and I have no idea where life will take him, but I know scouts will prepare him for it, and will support him his whole life, no matter what.

  21. For those like Bruce that are worried about lawsuits against Chartered Organizations – most of the lawsuits filed are not against the BSA, but are filed against local governments who support scouting financially. They are often against cities that give favorable terms to the BSA for leases and parks and moorages. The argument is that taxpayers don’t believe the government should be subsidizing an organization that discriminates. The BSA joins in the defense of these suits. It’s quite possible that these suits will continue, since the BSA Nationally will have a policy that still discriminates. But the CO isn’t going to be brought into it as a defendant. If local councils adopt non-discrimination clauses, then you could expect that such lawsuits would cease – for example, the case of Bolboa Park.

    • BSA National also better consider the lawsuits that will be filed by volunteer Scouters if they try to abandon our Scouting values.

      • DantheScoutingman, could you elaborate on what grounds National and COs could be sued by volunteers who are against the change?
        Their troops could remain exactly the same; it would only be at the higher levels that they would experience any difference, and even then only if there is a troop in their area who changes to be open to gays. I think it would be hard to show any kind of adverse impact; keeping in mind that at these events scouts are already exposed to other scouts who hold widely different religious beliefs, and the BSA not only allows but encourages this, and embeds it in its interpretation of “reverent”.. .

  22. I can see by these comments that this has already created a fracture in this organization. Arguments are being made by both sides and it is just creating a larger fracture in the organization. No organization can be everything to everyone. Whatever the result of this upcoming vote will be, the organization will never be the same, the damage has been done. Sexuality has not been a part of the program and by changing the rules now it will be a part of the program. Applicants will need to ask if the unit they wish to join accepts gays or the unit will have to ask the applicants if they accept gays.

    • Brad, it will be fairly straightforward for a CO to have a “We Believe” statement, that members can sign acknowledging that they are aware of the stance (open or closed) of the troop they are joining. This is common in many organizations. There need be no discussion of sexuality; the statement will speak for itself.

  23. Scouting has basically been functioning under a don’t ask don’t tell mantra for 103 years. Sex does not come up in conversation period in a well-run unit. So in essence this has not been an issue until someone wants to flaunt their sexual preference (usually a gay preference) and challenge the moral principles of the organization. I am beginning to understand that this is a money thing. Which means the BSA is being sold out by confessing it has no principles. If the Supreme Court upheld this position, who are the people on the board to reverse that decision?

    • I have to agree. I am not so naive as to believe that there weren’t homosexuals in the military or BSA when I was younger. However, it was “don’t ask, don’t tell” for heterosexuals and homosexuals. It should never be brought up. I find it ridiculous that some people choose to use sexual orientation to identify themselves. I don’t run around telling people I’m a heterosexual or I’m straight. And I certainly don’t need my own month observed by the Federal government. I’m sure people would be upset if their tax dollars were used to make posters observing “White, Heterosexual Male Month.”

      • Brad, SPOT ON! This is the DIFFERENCE!! For some reason, the “homosexual community” has a compelling need to be identified by their sexual orientation. They seem to act as though they desire to be a member of a discriminated group to have any value or to be appreciated. I’m sure the young man in the video posted by EagleMom has received wonderful feedback from youths at the camps where he served. Why isn’t that enough? – it is for me.

        • I think he just wanted to not have to fear for his job, and in fact his whole life in scouting, if he slips up and says “he” when others expect him to say “she”. That’s a lot of pressure to live under, especially around your friends. Honestly, the gay kids I know in Real Life really, really don’t want to make a big deal about it. Really.

        • EagleMom, someone is making a big deal about it! So much so that BSA is considering a change most likely because financial support is diminishing because of the bullying and badgering being done to corporate sponsors. If gays dont want it to be a big deal, they need to call-off their leadership.
          We all can have fear for our job. I may fear that if I cuss too much, or at all, I will loose my position. I may fear that if a Scout’s Own service given by my Scouts includes to many direct references to Allah, I would loose my position. What is the difference?

        • It’s a big deal right now because there have been some very highly publicized cases where people have been excluded because of this policy. On a day to day basis, however, most people who this would directly affect do not want to make a big deal about it.

        • LGBT individuals don’t want to be discriminated against because there is a history of society discriminating against them. They don’t want to be discriminated against.

        • There is also no medical evidence showing that this is genetic condition. If it’s not a choice then explain how bi-sexuals sometimes favor one sex over the other, but are open to both. Explain how it is that heterosexual men in prison can bring themselves to having sex with other heterosexual men. It seems like there isn’t a lot of evidence to support that people are born homosexuals unless you chalk it up to a condition of the mind. Furthermore, most liberals that support “gay rights” also believe they are born like that and believe in evolution. Evolution completely contradicts their theory that homosexuals are born homosexuals.

        • Evolution and homosexuality are NOT antithetical.

          I will grant you, there are many intricacies associated with a topic so complex as human emotion and sexuality.

        • But Beth, by insisting on changing BSA, the LGBT community is discriminating against me and others! Why is the LGBT community’s view more important, significant, or valid than ours?

        • No, the BSA would not be discriminating against you and others. You would still be free to belong to a unit or units that holds the same values that you hold.

        • But how do you suppose we will handle council, district, and national activities when the various scouting units would usually come together? You CANNOT have it both ways. NO national policy means we are not united any longer!

        • Really?! Cause right now I don’t have to explain to any of the boys in our troop/pack about boys with two moms or two dads or why ‘johnny’ is holding hands and kissing boys, while ‘billy’ has a girlfriend. So NO, not the way we deal with it now.

        • Does the current policy exclude children that have two moms or two dads? I don’t believe it does. It addresses gay scouts and scouters. A boy scout shouldn’t be holding hands or kissing a boy or a girl at scout events. These things shouldn’t be an issue.

        • Will YOU guarantee it?! Once you open the Pandora’s box that this is, it’s all downhill from there. Boys see each other outside of scouts as well so it will be seen no matter what. The difference now is that so far we have not encountered it because either these people avoided BSA or under the current unspoken DADT I keep reading about on this forum it is kept under wraps (but certainly in our 10 years of scouting it has not been an issue – yet). That will no longer be the case if this policy is changed. It will be like opening a dam, you will see an increase in the ‘openly’ gay participants to test the waters and push the boundaries – thus ruining the program for all of those who are one against this policy and two have invested many years, time and dollars into it and by the time the ‘storm’ passes it will be to late. BSA will be nothing more then a disgraceful joke.

        • Yes, it is seen no matter what. I agree completely. So you may still have to explain it to your sons, unless you lock them in a room.

          Will I guarantee it… of course not. Misconduct of all sorts occurs. When it does, it is dealt with accordingly.

        • I am a former scout and some of my sons and grandsons that are former scouts
          I have never seen so many comments on an issue, but there certain individuals that seem to have far too much time on their hands. Some of defend homosexuality and LBGT so vigorously that one has to assume you are involved with them and one of them. This is a little long, but please take time to read and digest it.
          This is one of the most important issues facing parents and it is up to you to educate your children and warn them of the signs and dangers of predators.
          THE BOTTOM LINE.

          The bottom Line to all of this is whether homosexuality (LBGT) is a moral issue or an immoral issue. The vast majority of you believe it is an immoral issue and so does the BSA at least until they started allowing wealthy businesses and business men to become involved and on their board and this is the results.
          This is what happens when an organization compromises it’s core values for the sake of “cash”.

          The Boy Scouts of America was founded on Godly Christian principles.
          The three major promises of the Scout Oath are:
          Duty to God and country,
          Duty to other people, and
          Duty to self (to keep oneself morally straight)

          I deal only with facts, but today the majorities are not interested in the facts. Founding President John Adams said many years ago, “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclination, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”
          Regarding Homosexuals serving as leaders in the Boy Scouts of America, they are a private organization and have held to the standard for a century. The organization has fought numerous court battles over the last decade ago for its right to set standards for leaders who interact with children.
          In 2000 that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Boy Scouts of America is a private organization and has the right to enforce a “morally straight” standard, even if prevented homosexuals and atheists from being leaders.
          Homosexual activists have stolen the word “gay” because it enhances their desirability and attractiveness. So, let’s look at the facts and the truth.
          Frist, “Columbia University psychiatry professors Drs. William Byrne and Bruce Parsons stated: ‘There is no evidence that at present to substantiate a biological theory’.”
          The claims that they are “born” homosexuals is completely false and an outright lie. It is a behavioral decision and yes there are some environmental issues that can have an effect, but the bottom line is it is a decision on an individual’s part. There are consequences to this behavior (AIDS AND HIV just for starters) published by the American Pediatrics Association and sent to all Superintendents of Education in the U. S. and are available if you are interested in the facts..

          Regarding that homosexual assaults on young boys some say, “All male child sexual abuses are not committed by homosexual men, they are committed by pedophiles”. That is correct in that a pedophile is an adult who has sexual desire for children or who has committed the crime of sex with a child. Now, there may be a very small percentage of this crime that are women, but for arguments sake let’s say it is 95% men who are male homosexuals. This is why the Scouts have taken this hard line stand for 100 years, but seem to now be folding because of money.

          Dictionary definitions of Homosexuality:

          Gay (gay) Webster’s 1913 Definition: Excited with merriment; manifesting sportiveness or delight
          Up until the last quarter of 20th Century “Sodomy in the first degree was a Class A felony.”

          “Homosexuality is the condition of ‘sexual desire or behavior directed toward a person or persons of one’s own sex’.”
          Definition of HOMOSEXUAL
          : of, relating to, or involving sexual intercourse between persons of the same sex
          1bug•ger
          Definition of BUGGER: : sodomite, a : a worthless person
          Merriam-Webster Dictionary

          Medical definition of BUGGERY: sodomy
          Merriam-Webster Dictionary

          Sodomy (sodomy)
          1. Carnal copulation in a manner against nature; buggery.
          SOD’OMY, n. A crime against nature.
          Webster’s 1913 Definition
          You may not agree with this and that is your choice. But, base your opinion on facts and not on emotions or propaganda from the media.
          #####

        • I am not saying families will not have to explain it to their children EVER (sadly that is what the world has become) but instead of me deciding when (and cubs are FAR to young) BSA will force the hands of many families (if they stayed) sort of like stepping on my rights as a parent now huh? If you want to be part of BSA here’s what you must do….

          Oh and, who will deal with it? I mean if there’s no longer a national policy to cover ALL the CO’s who’s responsible? The individual? The CO? The camp it maybe occurred at? national if it happens at a jamboree? WHO will deal with it?

        • ScoutMommaX3 – But didn’t you say you had a number of gay relatives? So you have some experience including these folks in your family. It’s pretty easy to simply say “Aunt Sue and her friend Mary are in love. I know that seems odd – it seems odd to me too. In fact, we don’t approve of that, because our religion teaches that it’s wrong. Nonetheless, we love Aunt Sue and we will be kind and friendly to her, and to Mary.” It’s that simple. No need to go into further details.
          I know it’s scary, but you may find that many of the scouts already have gay friends or relatives, and their parents have already talked about it with them. If the policy changes, I’m assuming that the BSA will come up with some training around these issues, which can help scout leaders to have pre-thought-out answers ready for common questions that may arise. This won’t destroy scouting. The good kids who love scouting can handle this in stride. Really.

        • First, my children have very little interaction with these family members and those they do, being Catholic do not live ‘active’ gay lifestyles. My boys understand what the LGBT is about and are grateful they had a place to go that was ‘safe’ from this lifestyle choice. Yes it’s a choice to either live actively gay or not to. Churches such as LDS (got most of my knowledge of them on this forum from it’s members) and the Catholic church accept gays that are NOT actively living gay. It sounds like BSA is not looking to do that, they fear they must have an ALL open door. That stomps on the rights of the families that have joined and invest in BSA looking for that type of program. Those who’ve joined and feel different have only tried to deceive themselves and others. The policy has been clearly put, why did they join if they don’t align with their families values? I’ve been saying go start your own group but according to another comment here there is a scout program that accepts/wants them, but they come here (BSA) for the ‘prestige’, because when you say ‘Eagle Scout’ it has clout. Well that my friend is deception. NOT honest or trustworthy. NOT true scouts. No this won’t destroy scouting it will destroy BSA the program that was for boys/families that had traditional values.

        • Those of us who chose the BSA, even though we disagreed with their policy, did it the way we choose all activities for our kids – we weighed the pros and cons, and found the pros far outweighed the cons. We then did what we could to minimize the cons – in my family’s case we donated generously to the troop (with did not discriminate) but did not participate in FOS or any fundraising where the money went beyond the troop level. We discussed it with the Scout Master, who understood that we had to do this because of our moral beliefs, and fully supported us in doing so.
          This is a strategy that may work for you, if you want to support your local troop but not the higher levels, should the policy change.

          No activity is perfect. We as a family choose those we think are, on the whole, the best-if-imperfect fit for our kids, then work to improve the areas we feel are lacking.

        • So then why force BSA to change now? You said it yourself, it’s not a perfect fit for you, but you made the choice to join anyhow. So leave it alone or leave. Personally we chose virtue and values for our children and do not ‘compromise’ our family values. Either something aligns with us or it doesn’t. If there’s something we don’t agree with withing a group we skip participating in it (we do the same with where we shop). That way we never feel slighted we feel we choose wisely, and accept our limitations because there will be limitations in life. Not everyone needs to have the same values we do, but we do not need to welcome them in our everyday lives either. We NEVER force our way on or into a place it is not wanted. BSA made a clear stance in the 90′s but people chose to continue to join and chose to compromise their families. They have options they can continue to accept what BSA is or go to another organization. Those in support of the change keep saying we (those who do not support the change) can leave but why, for over 2 decades this program has had a open policy that WE agree with why should we leave? How about those who compromised their families in the first place go.

        • >>So then why force BSA to change now?

          Because many people, after years of reflection, study, and prayer, feel have changed their minds on the issue, and now, in my area, the majority of scouting families believe that the current policy is morally wrong, and should be changed.

        • This is some of the most twisted logic I’ve heard in awhile. It is people like you who object to them joining that are making a big deal about their sexual orientation. They’re saying let us join regardless. They’re saying it shouldn’t matter. You people are saying it’s so important that it’s worth excluding them for.

    • The Supreme Court upheld the BSAs right to set their membership criteria. That doesn’t mean that the BSA can’t at a later date decide to change their membership criteria as they see fit.

      It isn’t necessarily a question of ‘flaunting’ someone’s sexual preference. Do you have a wife? If so, people likely assume that you’re straight. If a man has a husband, well, what is the assumption? Gay people have families. You can look at the composition of a person’s family and see that he is gay, even if he doesn’t dress in rainbows and attend gay pride parades.

  24. Scouting has basically been functioning under a don’t ask don’t tell mantra for 103 years. Sex does not come up in conversation period in a well-run unit. So in essence this has not been an issue until someone wants to flaunt their sexual preference (usually a gay preference) and challenge the moral principles of the organization. I am beginning to understand that this is a money thing. Which means the BSA is being sold out by confessing it has no principles. If the Supreme Court upheld this position, who are the people on the board to reverse that decision?

    • “Sex does not come up in conversation period”

      If you are right that sex does not come up in Scouting, period, then the board is doing the right thing by moving the issue to each CO. Sex is not a core Scouting issue. It is a CO issue.

      The only way BSA national can have a nation-wide position with regard to gays is if sex is a national Scouting issue. But you just said sex never comes up. Which is it? Is sex a national Scouting issue or not?

      • But sex is coming up in this conversation by national. That is what they are voting on. Are we going to allow OPENLY gay members? We will now need to ask sexual orientation questions of applicants to determine if they fit the guidelines of the CO.

        • Sex first came up in conversation by national in 1991 when they publicly stated:

          “We believe that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the requirement in the Scout Oath that a Scout be morally straight and in the Scout Law that a Scout be clean in word and deed, and that homosexuals do not provide a desirable role model for Scouts.”

          BSA brought sex into the national Scouting conversation. It has been downhill for BSA ever since. Trying to move sex back out of the national conversation, and back to the CO where it belongs, is the right move.

        • I disagree with your stance. There needs to be one policy for the entire organization. Not multiple policies depending on the unit. With the current policy, the issue is not raised at the local level because it has already been addressed by national policy.

        • So you DO want a national BSA policy about sex. Fine. Then let’s stop pretending that BSA does not currently have a policy about sex.

          That is how things are right now. BSA has a national position about sex, and a majority of American families don’t want to sign their 11-year-old boys up for a youth club that teaches about sex. That is a big reasons why families are staying away, and national if finally figuring that out.

          You can keep your national position about sex, and you can keep having families go elsewhere, because national statements about sex are not what families are looking for.

          I really don’t think that a standard policy about sex is what Scouting is about.

        • Chartering Organizations have always held discretion in selecting both youth leaders as well as adult leaders for their troop. Having the CO decide whether or not they want gays is no different then having the CO decide whether or not they want woman leaders, or Jewish leaders, or any other quality that they currently use for selecting leaders. The CO is free to select any leadership criteria they want, just as they do now, as long as it is in accordance with the values of that CO.

        • I suppose if the CO has concerns, they can ask the person. They are responsible for determining who they feel is appropriate for their organization. There’s no need to change the application. There is a national ban right now, and it isn’t on the application.

      • There is a policy in effect, and yes it is a National Policy. It has worked for 103 years. If you don’t like it you can form your own group. As I have heard on this board several times if the straight community doesn’t like the change let us in and “go create your own organization “again””. Seems like an inefficient way to go.

        • @swgmpls says: The CO is free to select any leadership criteria they want, just as they do now, as long as it is in accordance with the values of that CO.

          Yes, so why make any change?

        • Because right now a CO is not allowed to select a gay leader, even if he fulfills all other requirements of BSA and fully meets the standards of the CO.

    • Steve, it’s actually more complicated than just sex itself. I found this video, of a gay camp staff member discussing his experience as a gay person in scouting to be very interesting. He is not asking for sex to be part of scouting – just to be able to share little things about his life with his fellow scouts.

      • Sharing that is not a part of Scouting. He chose to press the issue just as I described. Sex is NOT a part of Scouting period. Don’t rub it in our faces and expect us to accept it.

        • Steve – did you watch the video? All he was asking for was to be able to go out to the movies with his fellow staff and mention that a particular actor was cute, or to be able to mention when he got a text from a boy he was sweet on in the same way his friends would mention a text from a girl they were sweet on. That hardly rises to the level of rubbing anything in someone’s face, or pressing an issue, or anything to do with sex per se. It’s just normal teen conversation.

          Most kids nowadays are used to being around out gay kids anyway – it’s not a huge deal to them. I’m guessing this will be harder for the adults than for the scouts.

      • Eagle mom The postive things that Derek Nance talked about are occuring all over the scouting adventure as for the activity in camps and scout gatherings they have nothing to do with homosexuals in the scouting programs. Derek seems to promote that the homosexuals have made a difference just because they are homosexuals thier lifestyles have nothing to do with the success of the Scouting Program the last 103 years is the difference . The things that bother me is that homosexuals have violated the Scout Oath,Law and moral fiber of Scouting. If they were so proud of their homosexual lifestyes why did they hide their homosexuality from the BSA. These are not the ideals that scouting represent’s I would have more respect for scouting homosexuals if they would have not remained in a secret lifestyle that was a lie to the ideals of scouting. Sincerely, Trenton Spears

        • They hide because they wanted to be in Scouting, and this was more important to them. I have gay friends, gay scout friends, have staffed camps with gay eagle scouts. It isn’t easy when you have to hide who you are. Usually from adults, the boys (I was one) didn’t care at all.

        • James What happened to building charactor If I had to hid my core beliefs I would either not join the BSA or look for something else. Camping and adventures are not an exclusive BSA thing they were around long before scouting. Look at the Assembly of God Church they have the Royal Rangers and is a very successful organization. As far as the withdrawing funding to the BSA by huge Corperations like AT&T of which supports homosexuality. What if AT& T decided that the BSA must include Atheist or they will with draw their funding. One of the most powerful legal organizations is the ACLU and they are standing by to represent the Atheist to push there way into the BSA. Where will it end when will it stop. Sorry BSA you are going the wrong direction. You will need more lawyers on the payrole than Scout Adminstrators. What a mess this is. Trenton

    • Steve you statement is at best speculative. Don’t ask don’t tell is a law that Clinton put in in 1990′s for the military and has nothing to do with the BSA. I was a Boy Scout in 1949 and I never heard of homosexualty. At that time they were refered to as queers and something to fear and stay away from. I no longer fear the gay movement as I believe that it is a personal choice for that individual. What I fear most is the divisiveness in todays world it always leads to failure and the loss of great organizations. I believe that things will work out if we stay the course and let each individual work out their beliefs in their own way. If they are gay and want to remain in the BSA just leave their preferences to themselfs. It is a persons concience that is important and if we have had homosexuals in the scouting program for years and things worked out let it lie we don’t need a change in policy to legitimize a life style in the end everyone will be accountable for themselves not a bureaucratic measure like the National BSA is proposing. If anything make me angry it is a person that stands in my face and says I am this and you have to accept it or I will threaten you or sue you or take away your funding. That is what is happening now in the BSA. Sincerely, Trenton Spears

      • Trenton I understand Clinton coined the phrase and applied it to the military in the 90s. Sex having no part in Scouting was effectively the same thing. When I was a scoutmaster and a scout nobody brought it up because it had no place in the program. I agree with you that this issue does not need to be pressed or policy changed. I don’t know of anyone that has gone searching for gays to ferret them out of the program. It is only when they want to flaunt their counter beliefs that an issue follows.

    • Well, currently the “moral” principles are “flaunting” the virtue of the heterosexual orientation. If you are discriminating against someone purely because of their sexuality, then you are the one with the problem. They’re asking for the group to not be “flaunting” the heterosexual preference and to just accept everyone. Simple as that.

      • Angie I have seen know evidence of the BSA fluanting heterosexual preference. The BSA has been supporting the values of honesty, duty to God for a 103 years and some who don’t like it are pressuring the BSA to change theses God given values. We would have to have a new slogan America is doing away with values that Scouting used to represent. Angie we just can’t accept that Scouting is format for everything and every position there must be a foundation of core values that are truly timeless. Sincerely Trenton Spears

        • Trenton, by making heterosexuality mandatory to participate in BS, BSA is, by default, “flaunting” heterosexuality. BSA does have a foundation of core values, and those don’t have anything to do with homosexuality, but with other values. That’s what attracts people to BS. That’s what attracts GAY people to BS (or that makes kids who started in scouts and later discover they are gay want to stay). Leave sexuality out and you are still left with a great set of values. Let’s focus on those and leave the hand-wringing over someone’s sexual behavior out of it.

  25. “Boy Scouts of America to reconsider national membership policy”

    And I guess I will be, too…

  26. BSAScoutLeader keeps harping on the “disgusting” sexual acts of homosexuals. I’m curious as to what sex acts he’s obsessed with? Heterosexual couples engage in the same sexual acts. So does BSAScoutLeader have a suggesting on how we keep heterosexuals who participate in “disgusting” sex acts out of scouting?

    • OldManDan- Being as I think most of us are adults, we all have a pretty good idea what he is referencing. I think this is suitably ‘gray area’ material that we need not go any further down this road.

      • OldManDan makes a valid point. These ‘disgusting acts’ are certainly things that take place between opposite sex couples, as well as same sex couples. (or even more than just couples). How are we to know who is doing what? We aren’t to know! Because it is none of anyone’s business. Just the same, it’s none of anyone’s business what gay folks are doing. They don’t come in wearing a tshirt with their favorite positions. They aren’t trying to publicize their sex lives. They come in to be scouts. I’m not arguing with you, Charles. I agree with largely every post of yours I have seen. I just think that OldManDan is illustrating a very good reason why this policy is due to change.

        • Beth, understood. I just have a feeling that if you leave the door open for discussion, it will get graphic fast. I wasn’t looking forward to BSAScoutleader actually answering question 1. It’s not that I can’t take it, it just doesn’t belong here. My opinion anyway. I find OldManDan’s point taken in full context to be a justifiable argument.

        • Understood, and agreed. I did my best to keep it from becoming graphic while still illustrating the point as best I could.

    • While you all focus on the adults please remember this is a ‘BOY LEAD’ organization. How do you stop raging hormones of ANY sexual orientation!? Up till this point when scouts are at meetings/outings it is all boys. Can they be disgusting – yup – I’m the only female in our house where loud belches and farts = eruptions of hysteria (and it is the same at any scout event I’ve attended) They can be boys, being boys. At home and or with their scout buddies they can talk about girls and how confusing girls are – they can be boys. Now you want to add to that mix two (or more) gay youth with raging hormones with the same attractions (maybe to each other) who’s going to regulate that?! It’s a Pandora’s box. A train wreck waiting to happen. Yes YPT helps when dealing with Adult/youth interactions – NOW we’re going to need to address Youth/Youth interactions. My son doesn’t want to tent with a boy that likes boys – anymore then I want to tent with a woman that likes women. I have a family FILLED with gays but we respect each others comfort levels. HOW WILL THIS POLICY ADDRESS THAT AND STILL NO BE ‘DISCRIMINATING!! YOU CANNOT HAVE IT BOTH WAYS! My heterosexual children and I have rights to. I will always say – GO start a gay scouting organization where they will be wanted/welcomed with open arms and leave this one alone.

      • Scouts are friendly and kind. They can respect each other’s comfort levels, just as you and your family can. And their leaders can thoughtfully guide them to do so. There aren’t *that* many gay kids interested in scouting, and the ones who are interested tend to be friendly and kind just like other scouts. And again, most teens nowadays are used to interacting with their gay peers. It really won’t be a huge issue.

  27. I have two sons in Scouting, one an Eagle and the other currently Life. They’ve been in Scouting for more than a decade. We live in a conservative part of the country. I am an assistant scoutmaster in our troop and, in more than 10 years, I have never observed the sexual orientation of any Scout in any troop be an issue to any other Scout. As best as I can tell, BSA’s position is intended to keep a Scout’s sexual orientation exactly what it is, that is, a non-issue among most Scouts themselves.

    I grew up during the school integration fights. My father joined the military soon after President Truman integrated the troops. The arguments of those who oppose BSA’s position largely resemble the arguments of school integration opponents or troop integration opponents, essentially “they’re different and must be excluded”. During the integration fights, we students endured bomb threats, protesters, and outside agitators. We soon realized that most students, regardless of race, just wanted to go to school, see our friends, and otherwise be left alone. I understand that most soldiers don’t care whether another soldier is white or black, or gay or straight but, instead, is focused on one question: when the shooting starts, does the soldier next to me have my back? After 10+ years in scouting, It appears to me that our Scouts just want to be Scouts, hang out with their friends, have fun together, and otherwise be left alone. I believe this is a reasonable approach. While I support BSA’s new position, I will respect those with different opinions and hope and trust that those whose position is different than mine will respect my opinion. Thanks.

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