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Boy Scouts of America to reconsider national membership policy

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. I think everyone is forgetting the youth – and the youth of gay parents. Take your personal belief system and put it on the shelf for a minute – let’s face reality.

    Gay marriage is probably going to be recognized as legal by the Federal Government before too long and already has been in some states. What about the youth of married gay parents? I personally know 4 couples that would love to get their sons into Scouting – some were in Scouting themselves when they were young – Eagles, Members of the OA, etc.

    Let’s be clear – these youth are not gay nor are we talking about gay leaders.

    Under the current climate they are unable to do so – no, there is no “Are you gay” question on the membership application but Tigers are required to have Adult Partners – correct? Currently can a gay couple comfortably go camping with a Pack, Troop or Crew with their son or daughter? If gay marriage is recognized as legal by the Federal Government then under YPT & GSS they are perfectly eligible to stay in a tent together.

    I feel that this is a practical issue more so than a moral issue. Those children & young men should not be excluded and neither should their families. Most of the arguments I see on here from both sides are religious in nature – but remember Scouting was founded in the USA by Boyce who wanted boys of all races and creeds be included. Scouting was focused on teaching self-reliance, citizenship, resourcefulness, patriotism, obedience, cheerfulness, courage, and courtesy. [excerpt]

    All of those things can be achieved regardless of your sexual orientation or gender for that matter. As I see it we are really just going back to what our US founder wished for when he started the program on this side of the pond.

    • Kathy, why must they join Scouting? Why must they be included into a group that does not believe in their beliefs? Why must they insist that Scouting agree with them?
      I really don’t understand why they would want their children to associate with a group of people who have no desire to accept their lifestyle or beliefs.
      Please also be aware that the the legality of gay marriage is not equivalent or meaningful to gays participating in a youth organization. There is a difference between youth and adults that must be respected.

      • Maybe they just want to be scouts. The gay scout friends I have had no goal of converting anyone or seducing anyone. They know scouting is a conservative organization, they are not insisting scouting agree with them. All they wanted was an opportunity to camp, learn leadership skills, staff camps, go to philmont, and generally have a good time with other kids. I see nothing wrong with this, I have camped with gay scouts, the issue never came up and never changed anything.

        • Right James! Those gay scout friends of yours have been in Scouting! So why make any change? There is no need!

      • Your argument sort of reminds me of how segregationists wondered why black people had to get into “their” clubs, why they couldn’t just form their own. Because everyone wants access to the best, not to be second-class citizens. If you think Scouts is so great, can’t you see why they want to join? And it’s not just gay people who want to be included, it’s people like us who want our sons to be able to join Scouts but are opposed to the exclusionary policy. Basically, we’re sick of the hatred. Change is a-comin’, and it will only be for the good.

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

        • Andrew, you seem to have a very limited understanding of what civil rights are (and I see you have posted this same response to everyone who has mentioned the term). Civil rights do not apply just to public entities. The civil rights movement in the 50s sought access to whites-only private entities like restaurants, clubs, hotels, etc. If you are relying exclusively on what SCOTUS said about BSA in a prior ruling, are you then willing to change your mind if it rules differently? My guess is not. My guess is that you are happy to exclude gays and welcome any technicality that legitimizes that stance. Fortunately, BSA leadership seems to be coming around to the broader and more sound definition of civil rights: equal access to all. So it is circumventing the legal issue altogether.

        • Actually I have no problem with homosexuality or women in the BSA. What I oppose most vehemently is the manner in which this has come about. This was not some grass roots movement that gained a majority of the members. This is a result of legal terrorism and extortion. I oppose that no matter who it is. We are not talking about a group being denied anything because the BSA is voluntary and that distinction is crucial. I also oppose National simply transferring the legal liability to their member CO’s. There is still a tremendous legal liability. I see language like great first step, more is needed, change is good, not quite there yet, does not go far enough, etc. The NY Times has even come out and said the proposed policy is basically rearranging the deck chairs because it does not go far enough. I make no judgements on the morality of homosexuality only God is qualified for that task. I merely look at the context in which the Boy Scouts were founded. I follow the beliefs and morality of the man that founded it. I look at the inherent traditional meaning of the Scout Law and Scout Oath and apply it. You cannot remove that context because that context is key. As I have mentioned before I believe in the competition of ideas. If the LGBT Community and their supporters do not like the BSA’s policy form your own group and compete. Beat the BSA the old fashioned way and do the hard work. Show them how wrong they are by taking their donations and make them work for your organization.

        • Do you have inside information as to what actually led the board to reconsider this policy? Yes, there have been several corporate sponsors that have pulled funding. There have also been quite a few petitions directed toward the BSA started on change.org. So do we know what their motivation really is? Perhaps it is a combination of both.

        • Angie, it may remind you of the segregationists but that is where you are wrong! Segregationists assigned attributes or characteristics to black people that were not true. I am not making anything up about homosexuals. I don’t believe in what they do and how they want to promote it! TOTALLY DIFFERENT!

          You may be “sick of the hatred” but don’t assume that because I want to have an organization that does not allow people doing things I and other members disagree with, doesn’t mean I/we hate them! You don’t know anything about my reaction to gay people. I have no hostility towards them at all EXCEPT when they become bullys! I hate bullys not gays.

          I simply don’t want my children nor those for who I am responsible be exposed to the gay lifestyle or the acceptance of it. My desire is no different than not wanting those same children to be exposed to drinking, smoking, explicit sex, violence, etc! And yes, I join organizations that help me protect children from these actions!

        • Gregg, segregation was evil because it treated one class of persons as inferior to another and it denied equal access to the good things in society. Furthermore, it denied them access because of an immutable characteristic: race. Sexual orientation is similarly immutable, unlike smoking, drinking, etc. If you don’t believe that fact, which science continually supports, then you are doing what you accused the white racists of doing: assigning characteristics to them that aren’t true. At any rate, do you object to Scout leaders who smoke? Or those who occasionally drink? What about those who enjoy explicit sex in the privacy of their own homes? ;-)

          All this is to say that your kids being around homosexuals would not be witnessing homosexual acts. All it would be is the being around other people much like themselves. Right now you seem very afraid of homosexuals, even if you say you aren’t bothered by them. That is very similar to the way racists felt about blacks. Remember, racists didn’t mind blacks, as long as they were kept “in their place” and had their own schools, water fountains, etc. Something for you to think about.

    • Kathy, I will never put my “moral belief system on a shelf.” Unfortunately, that’s what National BSA looks like it’s about to do next week and I think it’s going to stay on that shelf and forgotten. Appeasers don’t make good leaders.

  2. Well guys, I am going to sign off. I have spent way to much time on this, and have enjoyed the conversation and discussion, but I have crossovers to attend to and new scouts to accept into our troop. So encouraging to see scouting continue to thrive!

    I do want to express my appreciation for everyone who expressed their views, this is what makes our country great! The part that really bothers me is this (what I consider) small issue is going to drive a wedge in BSA. This hurts me. I am an eagle scout, my father is an eagle scout, my older son just got eagle, and my youngest son crosses over to scouts in a week. We are a scouting family. I would love to sit around the campfire with each and everyone of you, the scouting family, and discuss this and other pressing topics like cobbler and coffee.

    Please, do not let this topic drive you away. Let it make us stronger, and build a bigger and better scouting program!

    Scout on everyone!

    • James, all that is needed for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing. While you sign off for the night fellow Scouters like myself will continue to work to protect our boys and the timeless values of Scouting. I (like most) work hard all day and try to raise my family in the values expressed by our Scout oath and law. If you don’t agree with these values, then join another organization. We are not going to change your mind, and based on your comments, you are not tolerant of the moral traditions of Scouting. Sitting around the campfire will not help you learn that homosexual acts are not in harmony with Scouting values. Perhaps if we were to show you a video of these types of gross acts being performed your conscience would speak the truth to you. I hope and pray so. Teaching our boys that homosexual acts are good and moral and consistent with the Scout oath and law is a lie and it will not make Scouting bigger and better. It will destroy our future Scouting generations, and we will not stand by and do nothing to stop this.

      • Danthescoutingman, Your comments are like a breath of fresh air. What a clear and right on target your message is. I hope that there are more Scouters on the voting Board next week like you. I fear that the National Board has already made the decision to lift the ban on homosexual’s in scouting. I believe that they have discussed this issue with large organizations like the LDS Church and have been assured of their support to remain in the BSA program. I believe this based on the content in LDS websites and this forum. I also believe this matter would not be an issue if they did not have the support of long time supporters. I am a member of the LDS Church and I certainly do not support the allowing of homosexuals as members of the BSA or as Scout leaders in my Church. Thanks for your support. Trenton Spears

      • I never expected you to change your mind Dan, simply that you would learn to accept other people for who they are. I see that will not happen, and I am sad you are so against others. No one is teaching anyone to be a homosexual, please re-read and understand what is going on. I pray for you as well.

        • But you are seeking to change Scouting and you are saying that homosexual acts are consistent with the values of Scouting. Danthesoutingman is 100% correct, “Teaching our boys that homosexual acts are good and moral and consistent with the Scout oath and law is a lie and it will not make Scouting bigger and better. It will destroy our future Scouting generations, and we will not stand by and do nothing to stop this.” We all know what is going on here and BSA National better be listening loud and clear to its local volunteers!

        • No, we are saying homosexual acts are irrelevant to the values of Scouting. Just as irrelevant as left-handed acts, or Latino acts, or Norwegian acts.

      • You are right that all it takes for evil to prevail is for good men (and women) to do nothing. That is why good people have been fighting prejudice, hatred and fear to allow decent people who also happen to be gay to join Scouts. It is the right thing to do, the moral thing to do. I look forward to the day when opinions like yours will be the minority or you will see the light.

  3. From purely a organizational standpoint and not factoring in Religion or Politics… basically national kicks it down to the individual charter organizations; most of which are affiliated at churches (especially in the Southeast) and who view scouting as youth outreach extension of their church – even if the unit isn’t overtly Christian. National doesn’t even have the decency of instituting a national policy so now any charter that refuses membership can be subjected to discrimination lawsuits. The charter organization ends up dropping their charters for fear of reprisal. The Boys Scouts are no longer a unified program so what is the point? Why continue? The standards are different and you no longer have the protection of the national organization. Why pay a chartering fee? Why pay for overpriced licensed material? We might as well start individual camping clubs. We now have autonomy to decide who we let in and who we don’t; don’t we?. What other policies can we ignore or bend because someone doesn’t like it? I say we take out the camping and pretty much all the outdoor stuff. Give rank solely on age and not merit; because we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Let’s make Eagle so watered down that everyone, regardless of time in scouting, gets Eagle if they are 17 years old – No scout project, no pesky patrol leaders! The point is; the national council did not have the guts to own their own mandate. If it was a national policy have the guts to own it. It moved from long held belief and policy to selective discrimination. Those charters that hold out get picked off and then you have an integrated policy anyway. We need another alternative because the leadership has lost their nerve. Either be for it or against it all the way! Our scouts deserve decisive leadership. We expect more.

  4. I have given this discussion some thought, in our forced downtime. Here are a few items I wish to share. Some are being repeated, others may be rephrased or borrowed.

    Morally Straight – Has no bearing in this discussion. ‘Straight’ as a reference to sexual preference was first used by homosexuals in the 1950s. So please, stop using it here as an argument.

    A Scout is… – The Oath and Law are important in this discussion. As we’ve seen it used, it’s easy to turn around for either side of the argument. I think we could all do with a little bit of study though as to what was originally meant by the terms and phrases used. I’m wracking my brain, but I can’t remember the word homosexual coming up at any point in “Scouting for Boys.” If someone knows of a passage where it is spelled out, please let me know. I would like to read it for myself.

    Lawsuits – On both sides, there are fears and threats of litigation. I agree with many of the previous posts. I think if National follows through with the plan currently under consideration that Charter Organizations will be opened to possible litigation for either failure to open their doors to failure to close their doors. Knowing the legal system and tricks of lawyers, they’ll also go on to name the Scout Leaders, Committee Chairs, the local councils, and National as targets (along with everyone’s sister’s, mother’s, cousin’s best friend from grade school). Apologies to lawyers present who don’t follow this mantra, but basically the more people they name the more money they can win.

    Reverent – Means different things to different people. For me, I understand that there are faiths that accept homosexuals as members in good standing. People here may not agree with that stance, but fact is they do (including but not limited to many Methodist, Episcopalian, and Jewish groups). As BP’s belief was that one had to subscribe to a higher power but specifically stated it can be any of them, if we’re going to move forward from here we should remember that. Your belief may conflict with that. Your reading of the bible or chosen text may conflict with that. But while the RCC, the LDS and others may hold a significant presence in Scouting, they don’t own it.

    National Events – The arguments, “Well, what about Jambo?” are interesting. I don’t know if anyone has outright used this position in answer, but Two Deep Leadership doesn’t stop happening at those events. Guide to Safe Scouting is there at all times. If you fail to follow it as a leader, than that’s an issue. But Youth Protection is the rule at all times, and being at a National event or camp – or even at your summer camp doesn’t suddenly equivocate those guidelines we all have to follow.

    Homosexuality/Pedophilia – I won’t give this argument any more breath. Those that believe there is an increased correlation I don’t think can be argued with to accept otherwise.

    Scouting Will Die – No. It won’t. It will change, but it won’t die if this revision goes through to the national policy. Ten scouters from your unit and their friends may leave. But for every one that leaves, one will join. It’s not only LGBT families that would join in the wake of a change like this. There are many non-LGBT families who have not joined out of protest of a policy they find discriminatory.

    You Wouldn’t Want Your Kid w/ a Homosexual – Please. 1 in 20 to 25 male boys are homosexual by some accounts. My sons do know some other boys in their age group who are and likely for every one they know there are two others. My boys are tolerant and understanding that some people are different from them. They have been taught that they can make their own choices in life in this regard and their parents will still love them. By the way, homosexuality isn’t a liberal or a regional thing. It’s in every state, county and city of this nation – people can’t hide from it. People can ignore it, that’s a choice. But it is a facet of humanity that will persist whether someone wants it to or not.

    Other Programs – Yes, there are other ‘programs’ open to youth who wish to learn Scouting skills. None of them have the backing, funding, history, resources or personnel that Scouting has. And not by a long shot. Scouting is desirable to those in the LGBT community because it is established and reasonably well supported nationwide. When one hear’s of an ‘Eagle Scout’ – that is almost as recognizable as Mickey Mouse. We know what it means. Employers and colleges look for it. Joining one of these pseudo-scouting organizations does not confer any similar designation.

    Funding – Perhaps, just perhaps the biggest pressure faced by National to change this policy is fiscal. I’m sure that organizations that have EEO hiring guidelines find it difficult to continue to support Scouting if they haven’t already dropped them from the the groups they offer financial help to. Money could be the driving force – and if it is no amount of poking holes in each other’s arguments here will matter.

    Lord BP – We really haven’t talked to much about him. This organization is his legacy. I know that biographies offer conflicting viewpoints regarding the man, so I suggest anyone interested should review the numerous books that are available on his life. I’m going to search for one before the end of the week and apply myself to reading it.

    I believe that Scouting will open its doors. I don’t think it will happen with this review in policy (although if it wasn’t close, I don’t know that the story would have been leaked to every news outlet that it was under review) – but I feel that it will happen. I think that the legal challenges will force this back to the discussion table at least one or two more times. Even if it does come out, it will likely take anywhere from 3 months to a year to become policy.

    Anyway, I’m going to try to pull back from this discussion some. My friend Jo Pop said he’d being doing so as well – although I would expect he may answer a point or two of mine here. It just gets to the point where I know there are some people with opinions I can’t change. Before frustration sets in, it’s always best to take a little breather.

    • For starters, telling us what “straight” does not mean in the phrase has nothing to do with the definition of “morally straight”. Let me define “morally straight”… it means that we as Scouters do not deviate or compromise standards of chastity, virtue, or wholesomeness. “Straight” meaning that we do not deviate or compromise standards (which is oddly what you clearly advocate that BSA National do next week). “Moral” meaning chastity, virtue or wholesomeness. Homosexual acts are not and will never be moral. As Scouters, we should all be able to agree that remaining true to our Oath and Law has everything to do with the conversation and the issue to be decided next week. Our oath and law is what should unify us. If you don’t agree with the Scout oath and law, don’t enter into it. Hope this helps!

      • I would like to add that changing the policies of an organization to secure donations is NOT morally straight.

        • The same dynamic was at work in the 1990s when BSA banned gays to secure donations from the LDS and Catholic church.

          Organizations need money to survive. As impure as that fact is, there is some consolation in the idea that at least money gives the people most dedicated to Scouting a way to express their needs. It even happens in church: “I’ll donate ten thousand dollars, as long as I get a voice in saying how it is spent.” There are a lot of “morally straight” churches who fall for this trap every day.

          It is a sad fact that, at least in the U.S., money talks. Money shaped BSA policy in the 1990s, and money will continue to shape BSA policy in the 21st century. You may think that is sad. But it is pretty much the way most things are run in the U.S.

          I would take your complaint more seriously if you were equally upset when the Catholic and LDS church shaped BSA policy toward gays in exchange for money in the 1990s.

        • So you’re dismissing my complaint because I do not agree with you? This is exactly what I meant by saying there is no tolerance of those that support the current policy.

        • I am not dismissing your complaint. To the contrary, I am acknowledging your complaint, and pointing out that what you are complaining about is the way BSA has always operated.

          In 1991, when BSA sold their values to the highest bidder at that time, I felt exactly the same as you feel now. I’m with you, brother!

      • That’s a pretty self-serving definition of morality. The two greatest commandments include this one: love your neighbor as yourself. That means loving homosexuals and treating them as fully human as yourself. The emotional angle of your point of view comes through crystal clear… you just don’t like homosexuals. To protect your tender emotions, you are willing to exclude, demonize, and call them “immoral” just so you won’t have to deal with them. I call that cowardice. Is cowardice a Scout virtue?

    • Thank you for this excellent summary. It will be helpful to those who will be advocating for a change in the policy. Like you, I have enjoyed this discussion, but only have so much time to continue it. In the end, I think it’s helpful to remember that we’re talking about SCOUTS – teens and tweens who love badge work, camping and other outdoor activities, community service, and working *hard* alongside other scouts to create the summer camps, jambos, and other activities that are the BSA. These are good kids.

      There is no place for sexual activity at scouting events, and that isn’t going to change.

      Our teens already know gay kids – siblings, cousins, friends at school and church. It’s just not a big deal to them to work alongside gay peers. They can weather this change just fin. We as adults need to lead the way. We need to change the policy, so our boys are not embarrassed to be part of an organization that excludes their gay friends and relatives, something that many of us feel is simply not friendly, kind or morally straight.

      • Thanks EagleMom for the kind words and examples. That last paragraph hits on a topic I talked about in these forums the last time this came up 6 months ago. Kids…most just don’t care one way or the other. So who are we protecting if we keep the BSA closed to LGBT? I know I’ll never get one here, but I would like to see an honest comparison survey. Take 1,000 Scouts (let’s keep it fair and ask only 14-17 year-old Scouts so at least they better understand the question), 1,000 Eagle Scouts, and 1,000 Scouters, randomly selected. Ask the question – Do you have a problem with LGBT groups joining Scouting? The numbers would be interesting. I think on both sides of this argument there are people that would be shocked by the outcome. (I’m hoping it wouldn’t be me – but who knows?)

        • Can you tell me that if the youth does not care either way, why I have heard from several that are upset with this change?

        • And I’ve heard from many who aren’t. Anecdotal evidence will only get us so far, Brad. When I mean randomly selected, I’m suggestion a nationwide survey, not randomly selected in one geographic area or another. Everyone on both sides of this argument would agree that the NE (and likely California) would go one way, the South and Utah would go another, and then it’s a matter of filling in the blanks from there. Again, I’m not an expert in this, I just think that it would be interesting if it could be conducted.

        • Brad, I agree with Charles. There is a huge geographical difference on this issue. In the northeast, gay marriage is legal in most states; in some cases due to a majority vote. California is probably similar. We’ve been comfortable with gay friends, relatives, and co-workers for many years, and the BSA’s position seems outdated, unnecessary and even cruel. We understand that in other areas of the country, things are quite different.

          But when you look at nation-wide surveys on issues like gay marriage, you’ll see that there is a huge generational difference. It’s just not that big of a deal for the nation’s youth. If scouting is to survive, it needs to listen to the concerns of the scouts themselves. I think that, while some areas of the country differ, the overall trend in our schools, communities, and churches, is towards welcoming gay youth. The BSA is wise to seek ways to reflect the values of the communities it serves. The proposed policy is clearly a compromise, designed, if imperfectly, to do just that.

          We should all support the BSA’s efforts to try to work with the concerns of folks from both sides. It’s not an easy thing to do. While none of us *love* this policy (as we’d all like to see BSA completely on our own side, whichever side that may be) , they are faced with an increasingly difficult situation. They are trying. Let’s try to support them.

        • I’m sure there are many that are not pleased with the proposed change. I can assure you that there are also many that are not pleased with the current rule. There are probably many that don’t care either way.

      • Amen.

        In some ways, it is unfortunate that BSA is not purely a boy-led organization, in the true spirit of the “Scout Method”. If it were, I’m quite sure this change would have been made long ago.

  5. I’m appalled at the deceit of the National BSA Executive Council. I believe someone leaked this development the day before yesterday, but it was supposed to be a secret until after the new policy was sneaked through under the cover of darkness. When I called the national office the person asked me whether I supported the changes to the existing policies or not and said they were polling everyone. Oh, so now they want to know what we think– when the vote was going to be taken at the earliest, next Monday from the getgo? Something smells rotten here and I think the national leaders are pulling a fast one on us. On something so controversial and contentious why didn’t the leaders have this “poll” of active scout members done much earlier? I’ll tell you why– the Exec. Board (consisting of AT&T Execs. and other hot shot company CEOs who require sensitivity training for their organizations and fun “gay day parades.” doesn’t care what the members all over the country think. It’s obvious that there will overwhelming support to keep the rules as they are. Those in Scouts tend to be more conservative, religious, and moral. Will BSA be transparent with the results of their informal poll or not? Will the Scouts be transparent about which Board Members voted to scrap the common-sense existing policy? I think if board members are so apt to disregard scout rules, they should be relieved of their positions.

    Sample Email post

    • Paul, I agree 110%. Working right now on something to call for the removal of these rotten Board members. I am also aware of other action being planned. Anyway for us to communicate off line?

      • I am interested to hear your thoughts on a strategic response to this devistating policy change. How do we get in touch without being sewed by GLAAD for talking freely?

    • There was no call for input when BSA created their policy banning gays in 1991. Did you complain then?

      BSA has always been run by a strong national council, made up of representatives from its largest private and religious supporters. All decisions have always been made in secret by this closed council, with no direct input from Scouters at large.

      This is how BSA has always been run. Why do you suddenly, now, want to turn BSA into a democracy?

  6. The homosexuals can start their own group called the “Gay Scouts of America.” Their logo could be a flamingo waving a rainbow colored flag. If flaming homosexuals want to be scouts they should make their own organization, their own rules, etc. Then they can keep those bad, judgemental, hateful heterosexuals out of their club.

    • There is a group that allows anyone in. Unfortunately, people would rather force their way into an organization and make them change their policies. Rather than using all of their time, energy, and money to change this organization, they could use those resources to strengthen the other group.

    • You don’t get it. Gays are trying to get sexuality OUT of Scouting, after BSA National inserted it into Scouting in the 1990s. Gays don’t want Gay Scouts. They want Scouts, the way Scouts used to be before 1991.

        • Getting sex out of Scouting would actually open up BSA to people who hold all views about the topic. Getting sex out of Scouting is the most tolerant position BSA could take.

        • She wasn’t being intolerant of you, she was disagreeing with you. Please give up the victim mentality.

        • I would love to take the sex out of scouting, but in my opinion this current proposal is not the way. I think the topic of sex will come up more and more as each unit has to make it’s own policy.

        • Well, a CO is free to make the policy: “we don’t talk about sex” That would pretty much take care of it.

          It is only the COs that want to ban gays that will have to keep talking about sex.

        • And the only reason they have to keep talking about it is because gays are being forced on them. It is abundantly clear that we will not agree on this issue or how it is tearing this organization apart. I’ve gone back and forth with you on a few occasions and I don’t feel it has been the least bit productive. There has been no meaningful exchange on how these two extremely different sides could ever manage to coexist in one organization.

        • The same way troops who disagree with woman leaders, or Muslim leaders, or black leaders, co-exist with those who do agree with those leaders since the founding of BSA. It is quite simple. BSA has been operating with troops with widely divergent beliefs since its founding. That is the beauty and strength of BSA’s chartering organization structure, to permit people with extremely different beliefs to organize around the shared values in the Scout Oath and Law.

    • What the hell is a “flaming homosexual”? And how is that different from a regular homosexual who wants to be a Scout???

  7. The policy change proposed is to let local Councils and charter organizations decide the policy. No national policy means no uniformity. Why not let them decide Youth Protection, Safe Scouting, Rank Advancement, and Uniform policy at the local level as well? Really then the question becomes, what do we need National for anyway? Be careful what you ask for because you just may get it.

    • The COs and Units that leave BSA because of this change WILL decide all the issues you listed on there own.

    • They are not throwing away all national rules. Just rules about sexual orientation.

      There are currently no national rules about religion, or race, or gender of adults, or disability, or ethnicity. Why should there be a national rule about sexual orientation?

  8. Even the NY Times doesn’t like the BSA’s current proposal. Why? They claim it simply doesn’t go far enough and the battling will continue. Even if the proposal is approved, the Times predicts that the money won’t be restored, the banter will continue, and local units expressing their preference for basing their morals in scripture will be hounded until they change or leave scouting.

    DON’T BELIEVE ME — READ IT FOR YOURSELVES.
    http://troop113.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/even-the-ny-times-doesnt-like-the-bsa-proposal/
    or
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/30/opinion/the-boy-scouts-fall-short-in-policy-on-gays.html?_r=0

    • The NYT article is pretty accurate. However, it fails to recognize that leaving discretion to the local CO is an essential part of how BSA is organized. In the 1960s, BSA never told COs that they MUST admit black scouts, they let the local CO decide. In the 1970s BSA never told COs that they MUST admit female leaders, they let COs decide.

      The same now with gays. BSA is structured to allow each unit to reflect specific teachings of its CO. BSA does not dictate non-core teachings to each CO.

      BSA is removing sexuality from its core teachings, just as it has treated race and gender of leaders in the past. That is the way BSA is intentionally organized, and the way BSA functions best.

        • Exactly. And in 1949, some troops did not allow blacks. That is my point. BSA national let each CO decide if they wanted blacks or not. That is what they are proposing to do with gays, and it is the right thing to do.

        • cwgmpls Those troop’s who did not allow blacks were wrong and their decision to not allow those blacks was not based on immoral issues. To compare racial discrimination to immoral discrimination is completely different and you know it. Trenton

        • Many COs who prohibited blacks in Scouts did so because they felt blacks were a morally inferior race. They believe blacks were cursed by God for all generations in Genesis 9:25, because of the immoral behavior of Ham, the forefather of blacks, in Genesis 9:22.

          For these COs, the exclusion of blacks was based on the belief that all blacks are morally inferior. It was, and is, a moral issue for those who hold those beliefs.

        • cwgmpls Our dialog could go on forever. If a black is denied joining any organization it will be won on racial discrimination. Biblical Quotes would not be used and so it is with this issue most people who support the Homosexual movement have tried to link sexual choice discrimination with racial rights discrimination just as you are trying to do in your support for the upcoming pending change by the National BSA Board next week. Whether they vote to change the exclusion or vote to keep things as they are it will not be the end to this discussion. I firmly believe that this is a lose lose situation and the BSA will regret bringing this to a vote. Sincerely, Trenton Spears

        • Protection of gays and protection of blacks always get written into the same nondiscrimination statements for specific legal and moral reasons. That fact that you don’t like it doesn’t make it not true.

        • Hi Trenton Spears – You say you are a member of the LDS church. Then you of all people should know that mistreatment of people of color has historically been based on scripture. Religious people used the moral teachings of their church and holy books to justify their actions. Even slavery was justified from excerpts of the Bible. Was it moral? To those who read their Bible in a certain light it was. There were others reading the same Bible and came to a different conclusion. What was true then is true now. Please let us whose church teaches us that we are all God’s children and that every human is worthy of love and kindness to apply our moral values to the problem at hand. You are welcome to be part of a scout troop that decides differently. Unless you are afraid that your CO is going to make a national decision that you disagree with?

        • db I am a member of the LDS Church and I would like to explain some misconceptions. First the Church has always allowed blacks in the Church. The male blacks were not allowed to hold the Holy Priesthood prior to 1978 .This was changed in 1978 by a revelation to the Prophet of the Church. It was based on Biblical scriptures and till this revelation was revealed to the prophet of the Church the Church was bound by scripture to abide by the scriptures and thus it was finally lifted and blacks were allowed to hold the Holy Priesthood. The other misconception is the matter of homosexuality in the LDS Church. The Church is quite clear on the its position regarding the membership of homosexuals being members of the LDS Church. The homosexual must not be active in any same sex activity. The Church has given the homosexuals a opportunity to live a Christian life in the Church. The homosexual is in reality on a path to repent and convert to and live by the teachings of Jesus Christ. The Church admonishes any sinner to repent no matter what the sin is. The Church teaching’s in regarding sex it should be performed only within the boundries of marriage between a man and a women. The Church will always treat its members the same. All Scout leaders in the Church are subject to the law of morality and any homosexual that practices any same sex act will be removed from their position no exceptions. I hope that the National BSA Board will consider the same expectations that the LDS Church has for its homosexual members. Trenton Spears

        • You said “If a black is denied joining any organization it will be won on racial discrimination”. That is simply not true. Private organizations are allowed to structure their membership any way they like, and exclude anyone they like, for any reason. The Supreme Court reaffirmed this with the BSA case. Private country clubs, for example, can and do continue to exclude people based on race or religion. Much of this has died out because it has become socially unacceptable, and these clubs have either changed or closed, as people have decided that they do not want to be associated with such organizations. Decisions to exclude do have consequences, as members and outside funders, including government funding sources, may decide to discontinue their association with the organization. But private organizations are within their rights to choose their membership as they see fit.

  9. The purpose of the homosexual movement is not to gain acceptance by the Boy Scouts, but to destroy another moral-based organization and attempt to gain acceptance and normality within our society of (what I and many others consider) immoral behavior. This is the straight forward tactic of “death by a thousand cuts.” Now that local units and chartered organizations will be separated from the National Council, it will be much easier to litigate the Boy Scouts into obscurity as they will not be able to survive the expected onslaught of discrimination lawsuits. We do not specifically blame the Boy Scouts for the current situation, but we do expect them to stand on their time-honored principles as they have encouraged so many young men to do for so many years.

    Homosexuality is inconsistent with our religious values, the Scout Oath and Scout Law. If/when the Boy Scouts changes its policy, my wife and I will end our 40-year affiliation with the Boy Scouts. We will not subject our boys to this immoral lifestyle nor will we support it with our time, effort or funding.

    • Homosexuality is not inconsistent with the religious values of all scouts or scout families.

      BSA’s Declaration of Religious Principles is quite clear that BSA teaching must never contradict the religious instruction of a boy’s family or religious organization. BSA’s current gay ban does just that. Removing religious teaching from BSA national, and moving it to the local CO, is exactly how BSA was designed to operate, and will put BSA back into compliance with its own DRP.

    • So you think homosexuals have nothing better to do with their time than try to “destroy” something you have? Most of them are too busy trying not to be depressed because of all the hatred they are exposed to on a daily basis. And, by the way, it is also heterosexual people, like myself, who want it to change. So our sons can join a group that isn’t discriminatory.

      • The other curious thing that the homophobes in this discussion is that they think there are a bunch of gay folk who are going to rush out and join scouts? No. That’s not what this is about. That’s crazy thinking. This is about accepting people who are already in scouts for who they are. The folks who hate homosexuals apparently enjoy kicking boys out of scouts after they come of age and realize they are gay. The existing BSA policy is to do just that. A young tiger cub joins scouts and hasn’t a clue if he is gay or straight. They spend five years in cubs and get the arrow of light. They cross over into a scout troop and work their way through the ranks. Maybe they are a Life scout. Maybe they’ve already achieved Eagle. And then they come to terms with their sexual orientation and realize they are gay. Maybe they’ve known for awhile. In either case they can’t tell anyone because the BSA must kick them out. That’s the policy that exists today. Is that moral? Is it just? No. Its bigotry pure and simple. A fine young man who has spent ten or more years in an organization he loves says he is unworthy and unfit to be a member.

        • db – Calling people names (homophobes, bigots) is not helping the discussion. There are good people on both sides. Please keep it civil.

  10. The Boy Scouts of America has a strong youth protection policy that prohibits openly homosexual men from serving as volunteer leaders.

    This is a sound policy.

    I urge the Boy Scouts of America to reject any changes to this policy. If the BSA departs from its policies on allowing homosexual scoutmasters and boys in the program, it will destroy the legitimacy and the security of this iconic institution.

    • Please re-read your manual. The banning of gays is not found in BSA’s youth protection policies. The banning of gays is specified elsewhere.

  11. I am a libertarian and I struggle to deal with some issues more than others. I do not care what others do in their own home or business they own. Boy Scouts are free to decide what they wish to do with their own organization. Just like many other organizations that set membership based on gender, military service, academic status, etc.

    I think the biggest problem that I have had with this policy issue is not the fact that homosexuals and some heterosexuals want the policy changee. The issue is how people are adressing it. Calling people ignorant or telling them that beliefs that they grew up reading in the Bible are wrong is not the way to go about it. You couple this with political activist groups like Unions, Communist Party of America, LGBT groups, the ACLU calling you racists or homophobes whenever you disagree and you begin to feel like there is nowhere in the country where you and your family can go that shares your values.

    I do not agree with anyone on here that uses pedophiles as their argument. Statistically most pedophiles are heterosexual. I believe that homosexuals are good people and just like heterosexuals you have some people you don’t want to associate with your children. I can see why some of the people on the opposite side of the argument are saying some of the things that they are saying. I don’t believe that using the Bible is necessarily the best way to argue it either and it’s not because some are saying Jesus is okay with homosexuality. It has more to do that there are so many different types of and views on religion. Myself, I’m a Deist.

    I do not think that homosexuals would make poor examples of Scouts. If that was the case then BSA would not send Scouts to the World Jamboree or host foreign Scouts at the National Jamboree. Keep in mind, we’re one of the few Scouting organizations that do not allow homosexuals. My struggle with it is because I just feel like there is a bit of liability in the camping situations and if you have young Scouters (18-20 something) that are close in age to some of the older Scouts. It’s not perverted, it’s not bias. I would have the same issue if it was heterosexuals. It’s nature and when you’re young sometimes it’s too easy to give in to those hormones….even when you’re a Scout. I also have a bit of a problem with discussing homosexuality with my seven year old son, I will when I feel it’s an appropriate time.

    I found myself on the defense when I first read many posts and in some cases I probably shoudn’t have posted anything until I found myself in a better place. I truly believe that most of us in this country have become too politicized in the last decade. There are a lot of groups out there taking advantage of this fracture of our society. Most of us want to be free to live our lives, free of interference from the government and political activist groups. I think that’s something that both sides can find common ground on.

    I know my concern is the political extremists would attempt to exploit the policy change. Perhaps I need to trust that there are people within the LGBT community who are just as fearful of this. There are good people within the LGBT community, just like there are good union members, etc. We just need to trust each other and look out for each other and respect each other. I believe that if both sides can prove they are trustworthy that we will be able to keep the organization the way it has always been.

    I watched the video of the Eagle Scout that was a camp program director. It left me conflicted. If there is a way to work on the camping aspects and liability issue I might be able to come to grips with a new policy. I just wish BSA would’ve given this more thought about how to handle it. Hopefully they learn that there is a better way to go about policy change. I have decided to stay in Scouting no matter what for my sons. Like someone else said on this blog, I think the boys just want to hang out with their friends, have fun and run around the woods.

    • Brad, thank you for this most excellent post. You are clearly an intelligent, thoughtful person whose main concern is what is best for your sons and the other scouts. The BSA is lucky to have you. Sometimes the media leads us to believe that those who disagree with us are shrill extremists out to insult us. In fact, most of us “regular folks”, and especially those of us in scouting, are reasonable, sensible people, who agree on most things. It is in you, and others like you, that I place my trust in the BSA.

      As I’ve said in other posts, if a kid is wiling to put in the many hours of *hard* work – badges, community service, and leadership – that scouting entails, then that kid is sure to weather this storm and come out better for it – whether he is straight or gay. Scouting raises good kids – we can trust that they can handle this.

    • Brad, thanks for your comments here. Very thoughtful. Your concern about the logistics of having young fay scouters and older gay scouts at camp together is not unfounded. But. We have straight young men and straight young women on staff as well. There is as much opportunity for misconduct now as any change in policy would provide. I don’t understand why it all of a sudden presents as more of a problem than it ever has. The potential for misconduct has and will continue to exist whether the policy is changed or not. If misconduct occurs, it must be dealt with.

    • Brad, I think the problem is that most people who say they believe homosexuality is wrong because of the Bible don’t really mean that. They don’t like homosexuality because they think it’s icky. And probably because they’ve been raised hearing so much about how homosexuals are the devil that they now see them as dangerous aliens rather than as fellow human beings, especially fellow human beings who suffer a lot of discrimination and therefore are deserving of the love and comfort of Christians!

      If they really were serious about the Bible, they would note that homosexuality is mentioned only about 5 times, whereas other sins like greed, dishonesty, lust, and not caring for the “least of these” among us are mentioned dozens if not hundreds of times. They would put homosexuality in perspective, rather than letting it crowd out everything else (everything else being, of course, sins they might themselves be guilty of).

      So I’m sorry if you have felt that these people’s beliefs were being disregarded. As a Christian, I believe if you are truly living a Christ-filled, love-filled life, you must feel uncomfortable with what the Bible says about homosexuality, and at least must make an effort to wrestle with that. Those who don’t make that effort are those who find it too easy to hate others, and to use the Bible to back up their hatred. Somehow, I can’t see Jesus doing that.

  12. What’s next? We have to change the requirements of the Family Life Merit Badge to fit into this as well? We have to use that to explain that there are some families with 2 daddies or 2 mommies? We do not allow male & female Venturing Scouts to sleep in the same tents or use the same showering/bathroom facilities. Do we segregate the homosexuals as well? I spoke to my son, a Life Scout, about this, asking his opinion. We have raised our children not to judge someone because of their race, creed, or sexual orientation; however in this context of allowing homosexuals in Scouting when my son was asked about it by my wife and I he displayed some uncomfortable behavior. He does not like the idea of having to share a tent with someone that is gay. I posed a further question, what if he found out today that another Scout (who he has known for years) was homosexual or a mentoring leader was, would it change his mind. He said “no”, but admitted that it would, in fact, change the way he dealt with them. This change will create more problems than it will fix. This change will make this issue something that has to be addressed with our youth members, as well as our adults, and many of them are not prepared; mentally or emotionally, to handle this kind of discussion and this type of discussion should not be held with children. This is a discussion that should be held within the family environment, not the Scouting environment.

    • There is nothing in any of the seven requirements for the Family Life Merit Badge that has anything to do with sexual orientation.

      (I guess our church sponsors haven’t gotten around to re-writing it, yet, thank goodness!)

      So I don’t see anything to worry about.

      What’s next? Your CO will now be free to express their teachings about sexuality to your troop, if they want to. Or, your CO can elect to keep sex out of Scouting, if they want to. Instead of having sex policy dictated by national, your CO will now have control over how sex is handled, or not handled, in your troop. That is what is next. Sounds like a good thing to me.

      • What about requirement #7: Discuss the following with your counselor:
        a. Your understanding of what makes an effective father and why, and your thoughts on the father’s role in the family
        b. Your understanding of the responsibilities of a parent.

        How can you discuss this with a family that has no father?

        • The scout, his family, and merit badge counselor involved will decide how to deal with that. One can certainly discuss the role of a father even if there isn’t one present in the household. This is already an issue for many families. Mine, for example. I’m a single mom. My son has never met his father. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t understand the concept of what a father is. He has other male role models that he can look to for guidance.

          Furthermore, a scout with two moms in his house is already NOT excluded. The scout himself wouldn’t be excluded if he is straight (as most boys raised by only women are). His mothers may be excluded from being leaders, but they can easily have a child in scouting and not be a registered leader.

        • In much the same way you do now with a boy who has no father, due to death, divorce, abandonment, or other circumstances. If I remember correctly, the requirement does not give a “right answer”, rather encourages the boy to consider the question, in part because he is likely to take on the role of father himself eventually. The question is not asking “is your father doing his job”, rather it’s asking, “how will YOU become a good father to your children”.

        • Because divorce is immoral. If we’re going to be sticklers on biblical morality here, gotta throw that one in.

        • Gene, I think what point you’re really trying to make here (sorry if I’m wrong but if I’m right I totally agree with you) is that this is simply another attack to take down traditional families and traditional family values. It’s not enough for them to be making grounds in some states to legalize gay marriage they need to steamroll any organization that still want to teach the importance of traditional marriages and families.

        • ScoutMommaX3 – It’s not just coming from “they”. It’s coming from other scouting families who have gay friends, family, classmates, neighbors, and co-workers who they interact with in other venues just fine. If we can work side-by-side with LGBT folks in other places, it feels wrong to us to exclude these folks from the BSA. We are not “steamrolling” the BSA. Rather, we are using our dollars and our influence to advocate for what we believe is a positive change, consistent with the basic values the BSA has always stood for.
          I am part of a large extended Catholic family, just like you. Just like you, we have extended gay family members who we love and value. For us, including LGBT folks in the BSA is very much in line with our family values.
          Get to know us – we’re not that much different than you. Really.

        • Wait – I thought Scouts taught camping, woodworking, knot-making, and virtues like hard work. You’re saying they teach the importance of traditional marriages and families? That actually sounds kind of… gay.

        • Really? I’ve discussed this with many scouts in families that have no fathers.

          The phrase “help other people at all times” seems to be an empty recitation by way too many folks that profess to embrace the ideals of scouting in these comments.

  13. Most of the comments That I am reading her seem to be the opinions of adults. In scouting we teach our scouts to be strong, independent, and free thinkers. Has anyone taken the time to ask the people that we serve, the scouts, what they think? I think that their answers might surprise a lot of people.

    • The National Policy on this issue always used the statement (to paraphrase) that human sexuality was not a topic that was to be discussed in Scouting. I have spoken to my own son about the prospect of a change in the policy to gauge his opinion, but I will not be bringing this topic up to the Cub Scouts or Boy Scouts under my leadership. This is not a topic to be discussed with the youth. If National changes their policy any discussion of making a policy for a specific unit lies with the Chartered Organization and NOT the Scouts or Leaders.

  14. Observation – We are in the midst of our Friends of Scouting drive. Since the announcment, all our donors are indicating they will not donate if there is a policy change and some have requested re-fund of thier donations. BSA is going to take this in the pocketbook as well as the membership roster.

    • ” BSA is going to take this in the pocketbook as well as the membership roster.”

      Starting about two years ago, the LDS started admitting open gays as full members to their church. I’m pretty sure LDS accountants are using the same math as BSA accountants. I’m guessing they both ran the same numbers, and came up with the same answer.

      I know that sounds crass. But if you reduce the question to one of finances, I’m pretty sure they’ve already done the math.

      • Brian makes a great point, and in regards to “Starting about two years ago, the LDS started admitting open gays as full members to their church” that should read that the LDS church allows “Celibate, non practicing Gays to join” , there are NO Openly Gay Practicing members of the LDS Church, and no,money has had zero effect on that decision.

        But I do think that FOS contributions will be affected if the change does happen. Many CO members will vote with their wallets, and do what another post said, shift contributions to the troop, instead of the Council/National.

        Since the proposed changes are “not going far enough” for the LGBT groups (see the NYT article posted before) the previous moneys withheld would not be restored, National will be looking at a serious shortage of funds. I really am curious to know if National really looked at their “Proposal” and what effects it will have to the future of BSA.

        What I really want to know is why now?
        We just had a “2 year review”, that concluded just a few months ago, and the decision was for no changes to the current policy.
        So, what happened between now and then?
        And who is leading this charge and why?

  15. We all know the basic root of a possible new national membership policy is money – it always is.

    Real Scouts and Scouters must remain true to the Scout Oath and Law. We must not deviate or compromise our standards for the sake of money. A change in policy to admit openly gay or lesbian people to the BSA simply to placate those groups and the monied, morally corrupt corporations that support them will show how far America and mankind have strayed from His teachings and that of Baden-Powell,

    I hope the members of the National Executive Committee are reading this blog. They would be well served to properly interpret the true meaning of the Scout Oath and Law. Otherwise, they have no honor, show no duty to God, and certainly do not know what is right and true and love what is good and consciously choose it.

    Members of the National Executive Committee who vote in favor of a new national membership policy should be removed from their positions.

    • There is no need to divide Scouts into “Real Scouts and Scouters” vs. “Non-Real Scouts and Scouters”. It is possible to be a “real” member of the BSA and have different opinions on *any* proposed policy; this one is no different. Neither side is more “real” than another. We all care for the BSA – that’s why we care about the policy. The pressure to change is coming in part from outside organizations, including funding sources, but it is also coming from within – the scouts themselves, their families, and their CO churches. It’s not “us vs. them” – it’s “what is the best way the BSA can serve scouts, families, and COs who have different deeply-held moral beliefs on this issue”.

      • This Eagle Scout believes that Scouts, Scouters, and even National Executive Committee members who properly interpret the Scout Oath and Law know that openly gay and lesbian people have no place in Scouting. If that divides us between “Real” and “Non-Real”, so be it – that’s what an opinion is.

        Again, in my opinion, the basic root of a possible new national membership policy is money. The BSA must not deviate or compromise its standards for the sake of money by admitting openly gay or lesbian people simply to placate those groups and the monied, morally corrupt corporations that support them. The BSA should simply fold up their tents and go home if they think admitting openly gay or lesbian people is the best way to serve Scouts, families, and Chartering Organizations.

        • What about all the gay scouts currently in scouting, including eagle scouts? Are they “not real”? Realness is Scouts is defined purely by heterosexuality? Not by how one embodies any of the other Scout traits? Or how many badges a person has won? Listen to yourself. What you are saying is quite ridiculous.

      • Sorry Eagle Mom, but the vast majority of comments on this blog (and many others) advocating for a policy change are activists…you may be one too for all I know. I have seen their same screen-names and almost word-for-word comments on other Scout related sites. The post above is just saying that those of us who have dedicated our lives to Scouting should have a say in the policies that govern “our” organization (i.e. those who are currently in it) to have a say over the “static” generated by agenda-driven non-Scouters. As your observation indicates, the discussion is certainly about and between Scouters and non-Scouters.

        • Bryan, for what it’s worth, I’m not an activist. I’m the mom of an Eagle scout, as my screen name implies. I completely agree that those involved in scouting should have input on this, and all, proposed scout policies. I agree that outside voices should be largely treated as “static” and the BSA should focus on the boys they serve and their families. I’m actually surprised to find that the BSA doesn’t seem to have a structure already in place to gather input on all kinds of policy changes – things like badge requirements, etc.

          However, many on this site who are against this proposed change seem to think that the only people who want the change are those who are not involved with scouting. My experience is the opposite – most of the scouting families I know would welcome the change. I understand that in some areas it’s the opposite. The members of the BSA are divided on this issue. How divided? We will see if the policy is passed. My guess is that many “red state” areas will have largely no-gays troops, and many “blue state” areas will have largely “gays-welcome” troops, but I also think it’s likely that many areas will have a mix.

          The proposed policy will let scouting families vote with their feet – they can join a troop that reflects their family’s values. If the vast majority of scouting families prefer a no-gays troop, then the vast majority of troops will be no-gays. It’s even possible that some councils could have only no-gay troops.

          I don’t think we have to worry about a large influx of gay scouts to the BSA. For one thing, most teens are very busy nowadays. If they didn’t start in scouts as cubs, they are unlikely to join now that they are older. And of course boys of cub age generally don’t consider themselves gay or straight – they are too young for all of that.

        • Because people who feel differently from you but as passionately about their side as you are “activists”? Then I guess you are an activist too!

    • So cwgmpls, since you know so much about the LDS church, you would know that the Mormon church has never shunned anyone from joining and/or participating, including gays, but it’s not just some club where anything goes and only members in good standing are afforded full participation (e.g. holding leadership positions, entering the temple, etc.). Members are expected to must follow the commandments, and homosexuality is considered and remains a “sinful behavior” which would remove them from good standing. The main REQUIREMENT for membership in the LDS is baptism and a gay person would have had to fully repent of and abstain entirely from their homosexual lifestyle to be baptized. If they were to return to living that lifestyle, they would be subject to disciplinary action by the church (just as any other member for commission of sinful behavior) up and to including excommunication (see also “good standing” above).

      After many years of working with and associating with LDS Boy Scout Units, it would be hard to imagine that they would continue their association after BSA enacts the reported policy change. Wikipedia shows that the LDS church sponsors ~38K units consisting of ~421K youth…with just the registration alone, that would equal a 23% loss in participation and funding alone, not to mention the millions in donations provided by LDS members, volunteer service by LDS leaders at all levels of the organization, etc. I would bet this will be a prime consideration when they walk in to the board meeting next week.

      • Bryan I am a member of the LDS Church and thank you for such a great explanation of the position of the LDS Church. With all the controversy about homosexuals in the LDS Church there needs to be clarification and yours was most truthful and informative. I am not sure what the future of the Scouting program will be in the LDS Church. Seven years ago the Salt Lake Presidency sent out a letter to all of the Stake Presidents in the Church to advise the Youngmen Presidents and Scout leaders to attend a Woodbadge course as soon as possible. This was a unpresidented move by the leaders of the Church and many Scout leaders signed up to complete the Woodbadge Training there were 17 scout leaders signed up in my Stake alone in 2006. At the time I did not give much thought about it as I had taken the Woodbadge course years before. Another LDS member and I was discussing this move by the Church and we came up with a thought that in the years ahead the Church would need well trained leaders in order to run its own Scout program. As you know the LDS Church is always planning things way ahead of need and maybe this is the result of having well trained Scout Leaders to run the Scouting program in case the
        National BSA either made changes that conflicted with the teachings of the Church or the BSA might close its doors in either case the LDS Church has made preparations for any scenario like is going on now with the vote next week by the National Board on lifting the ban on homosexuals. Will it happen? Time will tell. Thanks for your support Trenton

      • So you are okay with gays who do not engage in homosexual behavior being members of BSA, right?

        Why not let BSA have the same policy toward gays that the LDS church has?

        Right now, gays are excluded from BSA, even if they never engage in homosexual behavior. Why not let gays who agree to remain celibate be members of BSA, just as they can now be members of the LDS?

        • cwgmpls There has been many comments about the position of The LDS Church allowing homosexuals in the Church. As the teachings of Jesus Christ have revealed through the Bible his mission is to save every soul and come onto Christ so it is with the LDS Church their mission is the same as the Savior. The Church only allows inactive homosexuals as members if they declare before their baptism that they engage in the act of sexual conduct as homosexuals they will not be allowed to be baptized to become members of the Church there for exclusion. Will they cheat and sin against their covenant to remain sexually inactive after their baptism only God and their concience knows. As with any serious sin that goes on without repenting those members I can assure you if they do not repent and sin no more will certainly face dicipline and can lead to excommunication from the Church. The BSA has a different role in homosexuality it has no diciplinery action as it should be they are not a Church as it should be. If the ban is lifted the BSA would have no control over active homosexuals and the harm they would bring to the values of the present BSA position. I hope that this information will be of beneifit to explain the position of the LDS Church. Shifting values lead to no values in the end. Sincerely, Trenton Spears

        • “The Church only allows inactive homosexuals as members ”

          I agree. And BSA does not allow inactive homosexuals as members. That is my point. BSA policy is more strict than LDS policy.

        • cwgmpls My comments about the mission of the LDS Church were for clearification of the Church doctrine.The BSA does not have a mandate to convert homosexuals to change their lifestyle as the LDS has. As a private organization the BSA has no control on a persons life outside of the BSA only when they want to join this private organization can they asks those who want to join to live by its rules. The BSA does have the mandate to run there organization the way the see fit the Supreme Court has ruled so. I hope that this will clear up any misconceptions about the difference between the LDS Church and the BSA. There are major differences as I have stated in my recent comments and to try to link the LDS Church position and the BSA pending change to lift the present ban on exclusion of homosexuals is not the same Please don’t keep misleading the commentors on this forum. Whether the ban is lifted or not I believe that the BSA and its future will be fractionized and I fear that division will be the future of the BSA. Like I have said shifting values will turn to no values in the end. Trenton Spears

        • BSA’s and LDS’s policies regarding membership of homosexuals speak for themselves. I am not leading or misleading anyone, just quoting official policy.

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

          BSA: “We do not grant membership to individuals who are open or avowed homosexuals”

          The policies speak for themselves, no matter how you try to spin them.

        • cwgmpls I am along time member of the LDS Church and what I know about the Church is not spinning. I am also a long time member of the BSA 30 yrs. What I know about the BSA is not spinning. I can see that no amount of conversation will convience you that what I say is true. I respect you right to say what you want I don’t respect some of the things you say. If anyone is spinning it is you. I have listen to other commentors regarding you comments and what they have to say is a clear negative endorsement of your comments. Trenton Spears

  16. 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. 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.

    • You raise interesting questions. I’m not going to jump in with my thoughts. Rather, can I ask for a clarification of #1? What is the logic behind one unit raising more than the other? Fundraising typically breaks down to how hard one works. Surely there are other considerations, but I’m not getting the leap in logic here that is presented. Any help understanding this situation would be appreciated.

      • The jump I was making is that you will have organizations that will donate within their ideological realm. Scenario #1 could go either way e.g. businesses donating more to the “traditional” as opposed to the new policy. Basically if a straight troop raises more funds BECAUSE they are straight and the BSA’s policy factors into that then you have a discrimination and bias issue where there was none before. That in turn could lead to a massive lawsuit directly challenging the proposed policy being debated now. Yes there will always be some Units that will have more based on socio-economic and geographical situations but National is changing the dynamic. I would remind you to look at the language being used by the other side. Good first step, more is needed, the BSA can do better, change is good, come into the 21st Century, etc. What do you suppose that means? In my mind it means the BSA will have to adopt the GSA’s protocols of anyone anytime regardless.

        • I can see that one troop or another may raise more funds because of their position on the policy. In some parts of the country it will skew one way, and in some parts another.

          But I can’t quite see how this would lead to lawsuits. What would be the grounds? It’s not discrimination when I or my company gives to one troop over another, for any reason. Same for giving to other organizations – many folks give to organizations that reflect their stance on various issues, and avoid giving to organizations they differ with. In the US, we encourage such “voting with your dollars”.

          There might be a concern if certain areas did not have a mix of troops, but rather had only one option, presumably because of the local culture. In that case, I would hope that boys in areas where there is not a nearby troop that allows them membership (or that the Scout could in good conscience join) would be able to be Lone Scouts.

  17. We are against the BSA cowering to another political agenda group. What we want to know is why the BSA, with it’s millions of MEMBERS, were going to quietly decide on this issue at a board meeting where just a few would have a say in this 103 year old institution.

    • Another good question, one that was asked last time. I don’t know if anyone here can answer it satisfactorily.

    • Because quietly making decisions at secret board meetings is how BSA has been making decisions for 103 years. I don’t like it either.

      That is why, even if BSA makes this change, I’m still not sure I would sign up my three boys for Scouting. I think I’d rather have them involved in a local club where there is more transparency about how they operate.

      BSA has a great philosophy at its core. Unfortunately, its organization is based on an industrial age, top-down structure. There are very few institutions structured this way that will survive the 21st century. I might just hook up with a local club where I know everyone and have some say in what goes on instead.

      • cwgmpls, just wanted to say you’ve been a force of nature on this board and I’ve appreciated everything you’ve said. Keep fighting the good fight!

  18. My religion (along with countless others, including Episcopals, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Moravians, Quakers, Unitarians, the United Church of Christ, Buddhists, Anglicanisms, the Disciples of Christ, the Reformed Church of America, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church, to name but a few) support homosexuals and are not of the belief that being gay is in conflict with the word of God. So to me (and many other Scouts), someone can be gay and still do their duty to God. Based on my religious teachings, being gay and being a good Scout are not in conflict.

    If you say gay people can’t be Scouts because they don’t subscribe to YOUR duty to YOUR God then you truly don’t understand what it means to be reverent (respecting the beliefs of others). Perhaps Jewish Scouts should petition to have all non-Kosher Scouts removed from the program (as they feel eating pork is going against the word of God, and is not being clean or obedient) or perhaps Muslim Scouts petition to have all Scouts that don’t observe their daily prayer calls removed (as they feel not practicing Salah is against the word of God and is not being reverent or obedient).

    The BSA welcomes Scouts of all faiths who believe in a higher power… and not all faiths believe that being gay is wrong.

    • Nice words Steve!

      I’m from the UK, where being female, gay or LGBT is not a barrier to being a member of the Scout Movement, as Scouting is open to all – both my daughters are Scouts.
      I spent a wonderful summer in the USA on Summer camp in 1994 in Ohio and still have good friends in the BSA. I have read many of the posts and can see both sides of the argument.

      You have the people who feel betrayed as their personal Religious faith condemns the gay lifestyle and they feel that they are being forced to betray their principles and are being bullied into condoning something that is against their beliefs.

      You have the people who believe that Scouting is open to all and that being gay or LGBT should not be a barrier to experiencing the amazing adventure that is Scouting.

      I am a Heterosexual male. My sexuality has no bearing on my role in Scouting, as by their very nature Scouting activities are not sexual. Just as being black or Muslim or having special needs has no bearing on being a Scout, as Scouting is ethnically diverse, multi-faith and seeks to empower those with special needs.

      If I was a Homosexual male, my sexuality would have no bearing on my role in Scouting, as by their very nature, Scouting activities are not sexual…

      If the motion is passed and people feel that they can no longer be members of the BSA, I would like to ask them to consider if their personal views are more important than making sure that the children in their care get the best start in life. I know they care or they would not be posting on the forum.

      If they feel they have to leave the BSA please accept this grateful thanks for all your their hard work and devotion from a fellow Scouter from across “the pond”

    • Beg to differ, Steve, but the Reformed Church in America (it’s “in America”, not of America) does not support homosexuals and does believe that being gay is in conflict with the word of God. Please see
      https://www.rca.org/homosexuality, where you can read the article,
      “Summaries of General Synod Discussions and Actions on Homosexuality and the Rights of Homosexuals”.

      In part, it says, “In 2012, General Synod voted to affirm its position on homosexuality: While compassion, patience, and loving support should be shown to all those who struggle with same-sex desires, the General Synod reaffirms our official position that homosexual behavior is a sin according to the Holy Scriptures, therefore any person, congregation, or assembly which advocates homosexual behavior or provides leadership for a service of same-sex marriage or a similar celebration has committed a disciplinable offense; and further, that the General Synod Council shall oversee the creation of an eight member committee made up of representatives appointed by each of the regional synods to pray and work together to present a way forward for our denomination given the disagreement in our body relative to homosexuality. The purpose of the committee is not to revisit our stated position, but shall operate with the understanding expressed earlier in this recommendation and issue a report with practical recommendations to the General Synod of 2013 (MGS 2012: 149-150).”

      • Steve, I also beg to differ… the Presbyterian Church is split on the beliefs regarding homosexuality. In fact, there are two major denominations of the Presbyterian Church (PC USA and PC in America) that have significantly differing views on this topic (and some others). This has been a major point for many of the major denominations in the country, so you cannot generalize that religious teachings support the gay lifestyle!

        • My congregation has a gay pastor… so obviously there are Christian denominations and religions that support homosexuality. They may be the minority, but they exist. Why shouldn’t members of those religions be allowed to be in Scouts? They aren’t going against their religion or their duty to God.

          By your logic (excluding gays because your religion says it’s wrong and you’re in the majority), then we should also exclude all Jewish and Muslim Scouts because they don’t believe in Jesus Christ as their lord and savior (and your religion says that’s wrong and, again, your’e in the majority there). But we don’t we respect the beliefs of others and don’t exclude or force of beliefs on others. It’s called tolerance!

        • Mark, in answer to your question regarding why shouldn’t members of christian churches that have caved on biblical teachings be allowed in Scouts, please note the following:
          First, obviously there are members of Scouting who do not support the timeless values of Scouting, and currently no policy exists prohibiting such from joining (although I would advocate that we consider such a policy to stop infiltration of the BSA by Glaad and other groups who seek to destroy the BSA)
          Second, no one asserts that 100% of Scouters support the current policy. Finally, the current policy correctly prohibits practicing homosexuals from associating with Scouting. If your church does not like the policy, it does not need to participate in Scouting. Your group came to the BSA and the BSA is a moral organization that teaches our boys to be “morally straight” and “clean” and the BSA position is that homosexual acts violate these standards. Seriously Mark, this logic is really not very hard to follow.

        • BSA your argumentation isn’t hard to follow, but I think it’s a stretch to call it logic. Your argument is basically this: I, BSAScoutleader, believe the BSA rules have always supported my point of view, it’s the only way to view things, things should stay exactly as they are, and if you disagree with me you are attacking me and trying to destroy me. You’ve rejected the sound logic that cooler heads on here have offered and keep falling back on your paranoia that homosexuals are out to “destroy” Scouts. I understand that that’s your fear and that’s where you’re coming from, but please don’t try to pass it off as “logic.”

        • GreggO, thank you for your contribution and information. Happy to see that certain denominations of the Presbyterian Church are not giving in to intolerant and extremist bully organizations like Glaad and other pro-LGBT groups! I hope that these denominations are aware of the agenda that seeks to treat such true and correct positions as being hate speech and not protected by the First Amendment. Don’t doubt me on this, their intolerance will not stop with the BSA. They will be coming after such denominations of the Presbyterian Church if they succeed in destroying the BSA.

        • I agree with you 1000% BSAScoutleader and GreggO! I won’t stop here! These people are well funded and organized via secret combinations that the average God fearing person trying to rear a family in today’s world can’t even begin to understand. BSAScoutleader, what can be done legally to fight this board if they go through with this?

      • Thank you for your contribution and information. Happy to see that the Reformed Church is not giving in to intolerant and extremist bully organizations like Glaad and other pro-LGBT groups! I hope they are aware of the agenda that seeks to treat such true and correct positions as being hate speech and not protected by the First Amendment. What a wonderful message regarding “compassion, patience, and loving support should be shown to all those who struggle with same-sex desires.” This message demonstrates grace, compassion and tolerance for all.

  19. 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.
    #####

    • You may be right that opposition to homosexuality is a “Godly Christian principle”. But Godly Christian Principles, or any religious principles, for that matter, are to be left to the CO, not taught by BSA National. Please re-read the Declaration of Religious Principles.

      • If that is the case why has it been their policy for over 100 years. You are injecting your personal beliefs into a policy they have fought for in courts and even Supreme Court which they won. This is a moral issue and battle and it is not a Civil Rights battle. If they allow this it will expose young boys to extreme danger and will destroy the Boy Scouts of America. If homosexuals and lesbians want a scouting group they can start one.
        Thhis battle is in the schools across the country and Hollywood is glamorizing it.

        • It has been official BSA policy since 1991. Prior to that official BSA policy was to leave teaching about sex to parents and clergy.

      • As a Christian, I don’t think it is a “godly Christian principle,” unless you are only deciding for yourself whether to engage in homosexual acts or not. When it comes to other people, it should be judge not, lest ye be judged.

  20. This is what I sent to the national office (personal data redacted):

    I oppose the change in policy by the National Council.

    Background: I’m an Eagle Scout, 35+ years in the program, Scoutmaster, father of a Life Scout/Lodge Chief, Council Executive Board member, Silver Beaver and James E West Fellow. I’ve worked with 6 troops in 3 states plus Germany. I’ve had Eagles from my troop who came out as gay later, and I’ve also dealt with the after effects of sex abuse of 8 of my Scouts by a Red Cross Swim instructor (reference – Troop 5, Bremerhaven, Germany 1991).
    My current troop (T-xxx) has 35 youth members, is chartered to the Catholic church and will not change its membership policies.

    Justification: This policy will directly impact my troop in several ways.
    1. MY MEMBERSHIP WILL DECLINE. It will make it more difficult for me to “sell” Scouting to new parents. Parents are becoming more and more concerned with their children’s safety, from requiring cell phone calls to check in to injuries from football, etc. It is already hard for me to convince many parents that their 11 year old child will be safe with me at a week-long summer camp without them wanting to hover. How do I tell them it will be OK, not knowing if the other leaders or boys will leave her child alone? I know we have policies and procedures, but this is just one more reason for people to not trust their sons with us.
    2. MY TROOP WILL ATTEND FEWER SCOUT CAMPS. We will likely have to start producing our own summer and winter camp for our boys so that we can control the scouts and leaders our children come in contact with. This means lower attendance at Council Camps and High Adventure Bases. We camp 40+ nights a year now – we will just eliminate the ones I mentioned.
    3. MY TROOP MIGHT NOT RECHARTER. I have already heard from other churches that they don’t want the liability that comes with rejecting homosexual leaders. Since they won’t change their religious beliefs and the BSA will not take the heat for a charter organization’s decision, this makes the individual churches targets of lawsuits. Rather than bear that cost, it’s easier for them to drop Scouting from their church ministry. I don’t know whether the Catholic church will do that, but I have scouting friends whose troops are not re-chartering this month as scheduled. You can confirm that with our Scout Executive X X.

    Finally, until this is resolved, my annual FOS contribution of $xxxx will not be made, nor will several others in my council. That is not a threat, that is simply a fact.

    I know you are being bombarded with thousands of emails pro and con, but my heart bleeds for Scouting and hate to see this happen.

    • Flash, spot on with your letter and great work, but don’t stop! We are in the middle of a major battle and we cannot let up! This should be posted on facebook, twitter, etc. WE REALLY NEED TO PRESSURE BSA NATIONAL NOW NOT TO TAKE ANY ACTION NEXT WEEK. Class action lawsuits are going to be filed immediately if wrong action is taken by BSA National, but it is better for BSA National to delay the vote and provide transparency. There is all kinds of foul play going on (see posts on this site and do your research), and we need to call for transparency and demand that no action be taken until we get a real and formal poll/vote from the adult volunteers on this.
      http://www.glaad.org/blog/send-message-boy-scouts-its-too-late

  21. I like to see how many people professing Christ on here and yet being complete and utter Hypocrites at the same time. To say you are a professing Christian and to also say you support Homosexuality?? Not sure how you manage to miss the boat on this one. The Bible specifically states numerous times on the issue of Homosexuality, going so far as to call it not only a sin but a detestable sin (Lev. 18:22). It also states you cannot serve two masters i.e. the world and Christ (Matthew 6:24). So pick one. Be on either side of the fence not playing in both fields.

    Also lets be honest here, if Homosexuals want a boy organization they are free to make on themselves. Nothing prohibits them to create their own. They could also work alongside the BSA if they so chose just like the AHG (American Heritage Girls) chose to do after they broke away from the GSA. So the argument here is pretty easy. Make your own group. Its not discrimination to say that this PRIVATE organization desires to only allow certain members into it. That is why its a club. You think everyone can be a Free Mason? Or how about join a Frat or Sorority? I don’t think so. All this endless whining and debating over the subject is both ridiculous and self-serving. If anything we scouters SHOULD be proudly standing up for our organization not tearing it down and contributing to the destruction of its principles.

    As an Eagle Scout and a scouter for over 18 years (yes I am young), working for years at GSA and within my own district as well as helping train many leaders I am saddened by what I read from my fellow adult leaders. How can you lead your troops and packs and yet hate the organization? What are you teaching them? Are you being truthful? How about Loyal? You certainly aren’t being helpful or Kind? I could name all 12 points but lets end with Reverent? Reverence is respecting other people’s religious beliefs. You think this discredits and discounts those of the Christian faith? I don’t see any small print on the page stating that. I never learned that Reverence works for Muslims, Atheists, Agnostics, or anyone who wasn’t a Christian. Stop being two faced! Its a shame that shouldn’t even be seen.

    TO the BSA,

    Keep up the fight. You have done so well over 100 years of prejudice and hatred has hardened you and kept you going strong. You have blessed us and kept us going in times of hardship. I am proud to serve an organization that refuses to balk to the scum of the earth who would treed on my values simply to raise the values of someone else. Keep it up and keep on fighting. And if Homosexuals want a group encourage them to start their own. In its infancy the BSA started out on its own, they can too. Maybe they might form their own group that may survive 100 years. But there is no reason YOU the proud BSA should have to lower YOUR standards to fit their lifestyle.

    • Hi David. I would like to specifically address two of your points.

      First, those that are involved in scouts and support a change in the current policy that works to exclude LGBT individuals do not hate the organization. What we are teaching our scouts is to follow the Scout Oath and Law. We throw in scout skills and have fun along the way. We don’t talk about sex in scout meetings. We leave that up to their parents.

      We aren’t disrespectful of Christians. Most of us ARE Christians. We may be a different brand of Christian than you. We respect your right to believe differently than us. Do you respect that we have the right to believe differently than you?

      • Beth, you and several others keep beating this falsehood to death. Let’s flip this around and ask you the same question, “Do you respect that we have the right to believe differently than you?” If “YES,” then leave us alone and start your own organization. If “NO,” then forceably hijack the BSA. Oh…wait a minute…you’re already doing that one. BTW..are you sure that you and Angie aren’t one in the same?

        • As I believe I stated in the post you replied to, though I can’t see the entire thing currently to verify, I stated that I believe we all have a right to our own religion, our own values, our own very beliefs. Yes. You have the right to believe differently than I do. This is the value of the new policy under consideration. It allows each chartering organization to determine what is best for them. You don’t have to belong to a unit that doesn’t hold the same values that you hold. I don’t have to belong to a unit that isn’t in line with my values. Win-win.

          Angie isn’t even my middle name. I can’t speak for her, but she’s not me. Thanks.

        • Beth, with the shoe on the other foot…..does this belief system that you tell us that you believe also extend to Scouters who seek to join the LGBT, tell the LGBT folks that they are intolerant of our Scouting values like being “morally straight” and then dictate to the LGBT folks that they need to change their policy to allow LGBT chapters to have the ability to set their own policy on homosexuality to include chapters that teach that homosexual acts are immoral and that those who have same gender attraction should not act on such attractions and should be morally straight? If so, then please preach your set of beliefs on the LGBT folks…trust me…they REALLY need to hear from you. If no, can you please share with us whether you also believe that it is good to be a hypocrite? To be clear, we stand BSA v. Dale, 530 US 640 (2000) and recognize that the BSA is a private organization and is free and able to teach correct principles as contained in our Scout oath and law and which timeless values include the teaching that homosexual acts are not morally straight and not clean.

        • The difference is, LGBT individuals aren’t telling you that you can’t be scouts unless you’re gay. You are telling them they can’t be scouts if they are gay.

        • Beth, please honestly answer the question and stop evading…in the above-example, should the LGBT be forced to admit non-gay Scouts as members and allow LGBT chapters that will form in the schools that will teach Scouting values like being “morally straight” and that will teach that homosexual acts are immoral and that those who have same gender attraction should not act on such attractions. Do you support the rights of Scouts to do this?

        • –>”…in the above-example, should the LGBT be forced to admit non-gay Scouts as members and allow LGBT chapters that will form in the schools that will teach Scouting values like being “morally straight” and that will teach that homosexual acts are immoral and that those who have same gender attraction should not act on such attractions. Do you support the rights of Scouts to do this?

          I’m sorry, I don’t understand.

          Should the LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender] be forced to admit non-gay Scouts as members of WHAT?

          Allow LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender] chapters of WHAT?

          Are you asking, “Should gay people be forced to admit non-gay Scouts to the gay community, and then require groups of these gay people and the straight Scouts into schools, where they will teach that gay people should be celibate in order to live a moral life.”?

          There are organizations of gay people who believe that gays should live a celibate life already.

          I know you are frustrated, but I *am* trying to understand your question so I can answer it.

    • >>>>I like to see how many people professing Christ on here and yet being complete and utter Hypocrites at the same time. To say you are a professing Christian and to also say you support Homosexuality?? Not sure how you manage to miss the boat on this one.

      David, different Christian denominations have different interpretations of the Bible when it comes to homosexuality, just as they have different interpretations of many, many other issues. In fact, these differences are *why* there are different denominations. The BSA does not favor any one denomination’s views over another’s. In fact, the BSA doesn’t even favor Christianity over any other religion.

      A Scout is Reverent; he respects the beliefs of others.

  22. Can someone please make a moral argument for or against sexual intercourse between children during Scout campouts? Assume that those involved are both/all old enough to understand what sex is and how it is done. Assume that those involved both/all consent. Refrain from using religious texts as not all here ascribe to the veracity of these documents. I’m just really curious how people think about this.

      • I can’t think of an answer.

        So I wanted to hear from people who come down on the other side of the question. I just want to know if they have a good answer. I want to know if they have an ethical objection to their children having sex on Scout camping trips. And if they do, why. And if they don’t, why.

        • Fair enough. I’m not a Venturing Crew leader, so I don’t know what the answer here is – beyond that I think there are supposed be be separate arrangements for sleeping to help prevent this. Since I don’t run a Crew though, I won’t comment further as a result.

        • I’m looking for more than just a rule stating it should be this way or that way. I really want to know why people think it should be one way or the other.

          Here’s how I think the argument has to go (if you want to make an honest argument):

          Homosexuality is good. This has to be taken as self-evident, something equivalent to “people are valuable.”

          If homosexuality is good, homosexual behavior is good. Again, this has to be taken as self-evident.

          Since homosexuality is good, and homosexual behavior is good, there is no reason to circumscribe it.

          You can extend that argument to heterosexual behavior as well.

          I want to know if there is something I’m missing. I don’t personally take the goodness of homo or hetero sexuality to be self-evident. So I don’t need to follow this logic in making a moral case about sex between children.

        • Doc, if you really believe what you are writing you have be homosexual. Either way for young boys to have sex witheach other is Perversion. Here is an answer to your question.
          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.
          #####

        • Taylor, if you’ll spend some time looking, Doc has been a proponent of maintaining the current rules (at least, that’s my take). He’s got an honest question that he would like answered. So please – A. Don’t repost your letter just to prove a point you feel you need to make, we’ve all seen it, and B. Let Doc get have his conversation. Anything less is rude.

        • Taylor, not that this has anything to do with the BSA and its clear and undisputed legal right to retain its timeless values in our Scout oath and law, but let me help Doc and perhaps Charles see what some would say…all people have bad thoughts and people have bad thoughts for lots of reasons. Having bad thoughts does not make you bad. Doing bad things makes you bad. If you are having bad thoughts, then learn to exercise a thing called self discipline and put the bad thoughts out of your mind and replace the bad thoughts with good thoughts. This takes effort and work and with God’s help our condition is improved. This has broad application and hope you find it useful in your exercise. Scouting is a tool to help our young men do good things and to become moral men of conviction. This is exactly why glaad, pro-LGBT and soros folks are working hard to bully us and push us off the cliff. We in the Scouting movement are wide awake and see what is occurring, and we will not stand for this. Taylor take action to facebook, twitter, e-mail, call and do all you can do to STOP ANY VOTE FROM HAPPENING NEXT WEEK!!! We don’t want to have to do this, but class action suits WILL BE filed if the BSA takes any action to harm our boys and the timeless values of Scouting!

        • How is this relevant to the discussion? And why are you haranguing people for “not having an answer” when you yourself don’t have an answer?

    • Sexual activity has no place during campouts. That’s the rule now. That will still be the rule if this policy changes. That is something both sides generally agree on. No one here is arguing that this rule should be changed.

      • I’m not asking for a rule. I want to know why there is a rule. Why should there be a rule? Please tell me why sexual activity has no place during campouts.

        • Doc-

          Between youth? My answer here would be because sex between minors, even consenting minors, should not be allowed to occur under the watch of qualified leaders. We’re there presumably, to provide a safe environment for their activities. Not to provide a method for an unsanctioned rendezvous.

          We’re also there to teach them the importance of good citizenship and help them develop strong values. They are there to learn, grow, and be exposed to new experiences they can’t find at home (I’m trying not to leave this one open ended, take it for the literal meaning please). Developing interpersonal sexual relationships can’t be argued as a path any of that. I don’t see how it has a place on a trip yesterday, today, or in the future under any set of rules or circumstances.

          (Honestly Doc, I’m not sure where this line of questioning is going, but I am trying).

        • Because Scouting is for youth members (adult leaders not withstanding) and yes, I would have a problem with my son having sex during a camp out. Sexuality, sexual intercourse, any type of discussion about the topic has no place in the Scouting program or on a Scouting camp out.

    • I’m sure Venturing has faced this question before. They have mixed-gender outings, and the age of participants is from 14 to 21. Certainly prime hormone ages!

      I’m not aware of a national rule in this regard. Certainly, sex between consenting people of legal or similar ages is not illegal in most states.

      And then you’d have to define “sexual intercourse”. Seriously. People can get pretty creating in how they define this. Just ask Bill Clinton!

      In my experience, every youth outing has an acceptable behavior policy that everyone agrees on before they leave. This policy is usually written by the local unit or CO and everyone is aware of it and agrees with it. This policy may not have specific language about “sexual intercourse” but there is almost always a clause about people spending private time together, as well as a general clause that an adult has authority to intervene when any behavior is considered unreasonable, even if that behavior is not specifically listed.

      So, it is not so much of a moral issue, it is an issue of following behavior guidelines that everyone agrees on. “Sexual intercourse” would be outside of the bounds of any behavior that I can imagine. I guess the moral argument is that you should always follow the rules.

      • cwgmpls,

        Can you please explain if you think that this rule is a good idea or not, and why? I want to know how you think about this, not what some policy says about it.

        • I believe it is a good idea to let each unit or chartering organization make specific behavior guidelines for each outing.

          The details of expected behavior can vary quite a bit from one CO to the next. Some may require youth to attend daily prayers. Some may prohibit any public display of prayer. Some may require boys or girls wear specific type of clothing (or underclothing!). Some may require boys and girls to sleep, eat or wash in different locations. Some may be okay with boys and girls sharing a single tent, shower, latrine, or quinzee.

          Specific behavior rules should be set and enforced locally. As long as they don’t violate applicable laws, or violate national Scouting policy.

        • cwgmpls,

          You are evading the question. Tell me what you think. I am beginning to think you don’t really have a good answer.

        • At any youth outing my youth would be involved in, I think any intimate contact between two participants (including sexual intercourse) should be prohibited. It is neither the time nor the place for this type of behavior. It is a matter of common courtesy. Like prohibiting spitting. Or intentional burping at the dinner table. Or public urination. Or any number of other discourteous behaviors.

        • Hi Doc, The argument against minors engaging in sexual activities is that there are consequences to sexual activities and the youth are unprepared to deal with those consequences. Unintended pregnancy. Disease. To name just two. But the list is long. Simple display of affection have negative effects on group activities. Cliques. Distraction. Gossip and then the fall out when relationships end. I don’t have experience in how coed Venturing crews deal with this – but the youth group in our church has rules that restrict couples from public displays of affection and from isolating themselves. This is for the good of the group. You can’t control what they do on their own time, but you can enforce rules for your troop, your crew and your church youth group while they are meeting.

        • db, your 1/31/2013 at 6:09pm post does a nice job of giving all of us who support the timeless ideals of Scouting just a hint (on so many levels) why the policy change being considered is an absolute joke. Unreal! This isn’t the dating game..it is Scouting and sex needs to stay out of it.

        • Dan, I don’t understand your objection to what db said in his post above yours. He makes a case for why sex doesn’t belong in scouting. Which you agreed with in your last line in your above post. Clarify exactly what you disagree with, please?

    • OK, let me respond to myself, because this page display is crazy.

      I am asking you guys personally. I’m not looking for a reference to some rule.

      You are arguing for adding homosexuals to the BSA. This (I’m assuming, for some of you anyway) is because you find homosexuality to be morally acceptable. I do not. I am searching for a common moral ground on sexuality. I want to find out if there is something out there that you might find morally objectionable. I felt like kids having sex might be objectionable to most here, maybe not. I want to see your logic on where you draw the line on sexual morality.

      I believe that cwgmpls is saying that he/she does not have a moral objection to kids having sex. The reason he/she does not want it happening is because it is discourteous to others.

      I believe that db is saying that he/she does not have a moral objection either. The reasons he gives are practical, not moral.

      I think Charles thinks kids shouldn’t be doing this, but I’m not entirely sure why. He does list character development as something good and apparently opposed to this. But I’m looking for a why.

      I am asking if people think this is good or bad. Not if it has this consequence or that consequence. I think we (again assuming) agree that lying is bad in and of itself. Even if we get away with lying such that there are no bad consequences. It is inherently wrong. I want to know if you guys think that kids having sex is good or bad, right or wrong. I want to know where you choose to draw the line between what is morally good and what is morally bad.

      • Doc…a fair question…the obvious and historical result of their approach is that the line continues to move further and further from what is moral and good (for example, sodomy was a crime in all states in the US when Scouting was founded and things have just started to erode in states since the 1970′s) and deeper towards moral decline…the destructive path that Chales, db, cwgmpls and others like them would take Scouting leaves us with terms like “morally straight” that meaning nothing, absolutely nothing. However, the BSA is one of the few remaining places where likeminded parents and families can adhere to the timeless values of Scouting. Any guess why so much outside pressure is being brought to destroy Scouting? Can you imagine (if the shoe were on the other foot) what reaction we Scouters would get if we joined the LGBT and told them that they were intolerant of our Scouting values like being “morally straight” and told them that they need to change their policy to allow LGBT chapters to form that have the ability to set their own policy on homosexuality to include chapters that teach that homosexual acts are immoral and that those who have same gender attraction should not act on such attractions and should be morally straight? Charles, db, cwgmpls, EagleMom and others like you, are you willing to write your LGBT folks and post for days on (without it seems taking time to work) end telling them to be more tolerant of the Scouters that are coming to join LGBT and who coming to bringing with them the Scout oath and law to change their organization????

      • Ah, the morally acceptable argument. We’ve covered this ground before, Doc. I appreciate you define it differently than I do. So I’ll not go into it again.

        I don’t see Scout trips now as permission for kids to have sexual relations. It’s not tolerated in Venture Crews that are co-ed, so what leads you to fear inclusion of LGBT families/Scouts would lead us down this road? In fact, if Venture Crews can operate now as a co-ed unit, does it not prove that we would be able to find a way to prevent it from being a problem at the Troop level?

        • Again Charles,

          I’m not asking you for some sort of method for preventing this type of thing. I’m not afraid of it either.

          I want to know why you believe differently. We discussed previously that we had different senses of morality, but we never addressed why.

          Is there some way to bold the word “why?”

          I want to know why you believe what you believe. You are arguing for a looser or more open sexual morality. I want to know how loose you’re willing to be and why. I want to know why you believe that homosexuality is good, but that teens having sex on Venture Crew trips is bad. I want to know where you draw the line.

          It is my conjecture that you don’t have a good reason for where you draw the line.

        • Hi Doc- You’re still wondering when is sex wrong. One thing that I can say is when it is hurtful. Kids shouldn’t be having sex because it isn’t going to end well. So yes – its immoral. Basic morality says that if something is right for me, then there’s no way I can say it is wrong for you. Most kids have sex by age 17. But most don’t get married until their mid-twenties. So most folks in this country apparently do not find pre-marital sex immoral. Others believe it is immoral. Do we kick everyone out of scouts who ever had pre-marital sex?

        • Doc-

          No, you misunderstand where I’m coming from, so I’ll try to clarify. If this doesn’t explain my position than I don’t know how else to make it clear.

          LGBT Scouts and families are currently blocked from entering or participating in the BSA (with the exception of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell rule, which has little bearing on the current question).

          My argument is allowing them to enter doesn’t diminish the values of Scouting. The values of Scouting will remain. The purpose of Scouting, to teach the ability to make moral and ethical choices over a lifetime, will remain.

          Scout trips are not going to become orgies. Leaders are not going to be expected to teach sexual education classes. Boys will be taught how to fish, cook a tin din, interact with adults in a respectful manner and overall, business as usual will take place on trips and in meetings. The Two Deep Leadership rule won’t suddenly burst into flames.

          Homosexuality isn’t good. It’s not bad. It simply…is. Just as heterosexuality isn’t good or bad. Sexuality, as it enters into the argument, is something that should still be taught about in the classroom at school or in the home. Parents should teach their children what it means to be a responsible adult in this regard. Scout Leaders…we should teach respect (not that it’s not taught at home, but it becomes more important when it isn’t), citizenship, and how and when to make a taut line hitch.

          On trips, sexual behavior isn’t encouraged now, what makes you think that adding one demographic of the population will change that? I think that many people who argue here against it (and I’m not pointing a finger at you, Doc, I’m stating a belief that I have) are uncomfortable with either their own sexuality or are to some degree uncomfortable with homosexuality. It’s not a curse or a plague on mankind – it’s a state of being for some people.

          One of my points, as I continue to try to make it, is that the BSA serves all faiths. Some faiths out there accept and support families and individuals who are LGBT. So it’s a case of ‘good for some, but not good for all’. It bothers me that we’re exclusionary for that reason. I know Scouts who are LGBT. I’m sure that if you know enough youth, you do as well (whether or not they admit it to you or you know that they are). Do we currently have problems with sexual situations in Scouts as a result? I have yet to see or hear of any.

          I’ve been in Scouts for 14 years as an adult. I’ve seen some of the pain that this policy brings with it, on both sides. Parents that refuse to sign their kids up – not because they themselves are LGBT or because their son is homosexual – but because they don’t care for the current policy of the BSA. For every family like that, there is a kid who is missing out on the greatest adventure I think a boy can have.

          To say that I’m arguing for a looser more open sexual morality isn’t the way I perceive it. Rather, I perceive it as I’m asking for a more open environment where people of all walks of life feel welcome. Sexual morality, as you put it, isn’t something that enters into the conversation for me. The opportunity to serve more youth does.

          I’m starting to ramble a bit…happens when I’m tired and typing. I don’t know if I’m making my position any clearer to you.

          It pains me, to know that there are Scouts in the program that have to hide who they are while in Scouts. While they are at home, while they are at school, they don’t have to hide. Their friends, of both sexes, accept them (or don’t) for who they are. But while a Scout, they have to keep a secret to stay. When they’re at school, their hetero friends aren’t targets of their affections. So why would it be different while in Scouts? This is the problem I think. I’m not afraid of what homosexuals joining Scouts would mean. I’m who I am, and I know that I’m not interested. Scouts aren’t any different.

          Here’s the last thing I’ve got to say on this topic tonight. Generations change. As we get older, new generations come forward. The youth of today don’t feel the same level of stigma associated with homosexuality that adults of various ages do. And the older the generation, the greater the difficulty we have as a population. It’s not that morality is changing – although I think that does happen. But in this regard, I think that perceived fears lessen. Youth these days have fewer fears about what it means to be homosexual or to have a friend who is homosexual or a teacher or a guidance counselor or a relative…

          Kids do make fun. The become uncomfortable talking about sex and sexuality. But not as much as they used to years ago. And their fears are not as strong as they once were. Sure, in some more sheltered or shuttered environments this may not be as true. But nationally, taken as a whole, it’s an absolute. So who are we protecting from homosexuals? Us? Our kids? Our sensibilities??

          Feel free to tear into this some more. I don’t think though that I can explain myself any better at this point. Doc, I do appreciate talking with you – again, I’ll state that I think you represent an intelligent other side of the argument. I hope to meet you on the path of Scouting one day.

        • Charles, it is not an argument to state that homosexual acts are not consistent with the timeless values of Scouting, it is the simple truth. I recognize that you don’t like this fact, but facts are stubborn things. In BSA v. Dale, 530 US 640 (2000), the BSA (not USSCOUTS.org) successfully argued that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the values of BSA, which is a private, not-for-profit organization. The Court found the BSA to be an “expressive association” as its adult leaders seek to inculcate Scouts with the BSA’s value system. The BSA successfully and correctly stated 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. The Court gave deference to the BSA’s statements regarding the nature of its expression and recognized the BSA’s right to oppose or disfavor homosexual conduct.

        • You say it’s a fact that homosexuality is inconsistent with the values of scouting. Its actually your opinion.

        • Beg to differ..First, the BSA gets to define what the Scout oath and law mean. see, BSA v. Dale, 530 US 640 (2000). Second, the BSA successfully argued in that case that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the values of BSA. Specifically, the BSA successfully and correctly stated 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. I stand with the BSA, and you seek to change the BSA. Can you now see the difference between fact and opinion?

        • You do realize the BSA has been backing off all the statements it has made in the past denigrating homosexuality? It was interesting to note when the BSA announced the results of its secret two year commission last year it didn’t say homosexuality was immoral or inconsistent with the oath or law. The BSA said it was continuing its membership policy because that’s what a majority of its members wanted. There was no moral reasoning behind it.

        • BSAScoutleader: Finally Beth has some facts for her to think about. I am not sure how long Beth has been in Scouting but her comments seem to be of one who has not had much experience in the history of the program. I am sure she is a great person and hope that she is a scout leader we need more leaders. This is my last comment on this present forum and have enjoyed all the comments. No matter what the outcome next week it is forums like these brings out the best in a person and everyone should be congratulated for their comments it only shows how dedicated scouters are to the youth of America and the First Amendment has given all of us a voice. I will wait for next week vote and certainly put my big mouth in the thick of things as always after the vote. Sincerely,
          Trenton Spears
          Scoutmaster Troop 144

        • db, the “reasoning” behind our policy is that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the values of the Scout oath and law and particularly the terms “morally straight” and “clean”. Everyone knows that BSA v. Dale, 530 US 640 (2000) is good law and that BSA has not changed its policy. Hence, the reason why glaad, pro-LGBT and soros groups are working so hard to name call and bully to be able to push a change through next week and before the Scouting community can act to protect its program. Our response..a Scout is BRAVE!
          The fact is that NOW is the moment to take action and save Scouting. Now is the time to stand firm and we WILL prevail. This is our organization, and we love the values of Scouting. I ask members of the Board who see these posts to be wise and not take any action next week given the improper and amoral influence on our organization from these outside groups…have tons of links I can send..this is a real effort to kill Scouting…
          http://cnsnews.com/blog/j-matt-barber/lefts-orwellian-censorship-campaign
          http://www.catholic.org/comments/news/45290/?page=4
          http://www.glaad.org/blog/send-message-boy-scouts-its-too-late

        • Beg to differ again..the BSA has made no change to its position in BSA v. Dale, 530 US 640 (2000) where it successfully and correctly stated 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. What you don’t seem to be grasping is that timeless values don’t change. If you are aware of a policy change, please share it with the rest of us? If you along with Glaad, pro-LGBT groups and other Soros funded groups continue to push and pressure for a rush for a policy change next week, we will take all legal and other steps necessary to oppose this action. We all see what is going on, and we are not going to let our Scouting program be taken from us! Are you listening Board members??

        • BSAScoutleader finally Beth has some facts for her to think about. I am not sure how long Beth has been in Scouting but her comments seem to be of one who has not had much experience in the history of the program. I am sure she is a great person and hope that she is a scout leader we need more leaders. This is my last comment on this present forum and have enjoyed all the comments. No matter what the outcome next week is forums like these brings out the best in a person and everyone should be congradulated for their comments it only shows how dedicated scouters are to the youth of America and the First Amendment has given all of us a voice. I will wait for next week vote and certainly put my big mouth in the thick of things as always after the vote. Sincerely,
          Trenton Spears Scoutmaster Troop 144

        • The Scout Oath and Law have not been defined to exclude homosexuals. That is a separate policy. Which the BSA leadership may soon overturn. I am fully aware of the difference between fact and opinion.

        • DantheScoutingman, please be careful when using facts with beth, db, cwpgls, EagleMom, Angie, Charles Featherer and other LGBT activists as they will confuse it with fiction! Like 99% of the folks on the left, facts are discarded as bath water. They aren’t going to let facts get in the way of their supporting their LGBT ideology. Facts have no place at this fireside! I still can’t believe that this is even being discussed.

      • You misrepresent my position. I believe discourteous behavior is immoral. So I do have a moral objection to people having sex when there has been a common understanding they will not.

      • You are setting up a straw-man argument. You are arguing as if there is some disagreement about the morality of kids having sex at a Scout event. When, in fact, everyone is in full agreement that they should not. And nobody, besides you, has ever hinted that kids should be allowed to do so.

    • Doc, raging hormones are raging hormones whether it’s between two heterosexuals, homosexuals or kids who are ‘unsure’ what seems like a good idea when your in that phase (ie, inappropriate behaviors) that turns into something you may regret after the fact. By then the damage is done. I was no saint as a teenager and I made poor decisions – ones you can not take back. While BSA does not ‘teach’ sex anymore then schools, church groups etc. we ALL know there are incidents occurring the issue is to avoid or control them. The difference now with BSA (not going to go into Venturing) is that it is all boys (with the majority heterosexual – though I hear people talking about a DADT – that is not an issue where we scout) Now you have to deal with tent/sleeping/showering/changing after swimming issues with boys who prefer boys. No they aren’t all coming to BSA to ‘troll’ for a date but there will be a clear violation of the boys who are uncomfortable in these situations causing – you guessed it – more discrimination when there needs to be gay vs non gay tent arrangements, showers/baths and changing rooms. You cannot have it both ways there is always going to be someone that feels that their rights have been violated and they have been discriminated against. Letting the CO decide will not solve it because what happens at events outside your troop on a larger level? Who’s rights get to prevail then? Who’s liable when a boy feels like he’s been ‘hit on’ by a gay scout from another troop? It’s a Pandora’s box Doc. That is the best I can do without being biblical about it.

      • ScoutMammax3 – you do raise sensible concerns. But many, many organizations have figured out ways to minimize the problems, without excluding anyone. Schools, 4H, travel sports teams, colleges which run dormitories, and even our military – they all have to work on these issues. In fact, even under the current policy, it is wise to assume that there *will* be gay scouts on any given camping troop, simply because most gay boys aren’t aware of their sexual orientation when they join the BSA as cubs. If other organizations can do it, I *know* the BSA, with all it’s intelligent, thoughtful leaders, and hard-working, kind and friendly scouts, can manage it.

    • Guys,

      Some of you are on here arguing for changing this rule. Some of you are on here defending it. The argument goes something like this:

      “We need to change this rule because it isn’t fair.”

      “No, we shouldn’t change it because homosexuality is wrong. My holy book says so.”

      “I don’t believe in your holy book.”

      I agree with those who want to change the rule that citing a holy book is not particularly convincing if you are not a member of that religion. But no one who is demanding change has offered any explanation for their source of morality. I want those who are arguing to change this rule to explain why they think homosexuality is good. After that, I want to hear where they draw the lines on sexual morality, not consequences, not practicalities, not rules, MORALITY. I want to know how they know that lying is bad and homosexuality is good. I want someone to justify why teens having sex on campouts is not ok using the same moral framework they used to justify homosexuality (just some sexual situation that I considered possible, and that people might object to).

      Nobody does this. No one on the change-the-rule side is ever asked to justify their moral framework.

      • Hi Doc. We’ll agree that lying is bad. But we’re not on here arguing that “homosexuality is good”. Homosexuality is one aspect of humanity. Just like being left handed. I’m not old enough to know first hand, but I’ve heard stories that teachers used to whack kids with rulers if they tried to write with their left hand. They were forced to learn to write with the right hand. Is being right handed “good” and being left handed “bad” ? No. It has nothing to do with morality. It’s not even scientifically understood how or why people are left handed. God just made them that way.

      • Sexuality, right or wrong, good or bad, is completely irrelevant to Scouting. One’s source of morality on the subject is irrelevant, because the subject has no place in Scouting.

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

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

    • Correct. However, there are arguable parallels that can and should be examined as we discuss this.

      One point I haven’t tried making yet, but others have is this one:

      When the discussion started on allowing women into Scouting as leaders, I’m sure some of these things were said: we’ll have to have separate facilities, we’ll have to be more careful about things we say, we’ll have to stop our trek to skinny dip at the one lake, leaders will have sex on camp outs, what if a female leader touches one of my kids, etc, etc, etc,.

      I can make almost any sentence a parallel here. My point is, women didn’t kill Scouting. They revitalized it. Those that couldn’t accept the change left. And change – did come at a cost. Concessions had to be made. Policies had to be adopted. But the organization survived. Imagine that.

      We may be a private organization, but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn from our mistakes. And there are many people in this room right now that thing barring LGBT is a mistake that should be corrected.

      • You gave him too much credit, Charles. Civil rights never have and never will apply only to public entities. The blacks who marched for civil rights held sit-ins at diners and other whites-only PRIVATE organizations. If the government gave full access to black people at its facilities but hotels, restaurants, clubs, and private bussing organizations still had whites-only areas, that would not be civil rights.

        I don’t know exactly how legal experts draw the line between civil rights that must be legally enforced and those that are not (i.e., allowing private entities to bar whomever they choose), but I do know that Fair Housing/Fair Lending laws, for example, bar owners of apartment buildings or banks, etc. from discriminating based on race, gender, etc. So obviously those private entities are not allowed to choose. My guess is that, because BSA is a voluntary organization and not essential to basic well-being (the way housing is, for example), that that’s why SCOTUS went the way it did.

        But all of this is irrelevant. BSA is opting to voluntarily change its policy. Clearly they have seen the broader civil rights issue and are not being bound by narrow legal interpretations of what “civil rights” are.

        • You hit the nail right on the head. The BSA is a private volunteer organization and that is exactly why this is not a civil rights issue and should not be framed in the way it has been framed. This is an access issue and the two are different precisely because of the volunteer status. The interpretation you so easily dismiss today may be critical to another group tomorrow. This is one of the things I believe Charles was also hinting at.

        • A few clarifications and observations…First, the statement that “the BSA is a private organization and no one has an inherent civil right to belong to it” is 100% correct and is properly classified as being a “fact”. Further, the BSA is within its legal and moral right to exclude those who have no desire to adhere to its timeless values. Second, none of the above has anything to do with one’s “civil rights.” No “civil right” to join scouting exists, and the BSA can legally exclude a person who has no desire to adhere to the values of Scouting. For example, a boy who has sex with another boy at a campout and then brags to other Scouters about doing this (at least for now and assuming BSA national makes the right decision) can be removed from the troop and the BSA and that youth cannot claim that his “civil rights” were violated because he was kicked out of Scouting. As for the bizarre statement that what BSA national is considering next week constitutes the “BSA” is opting to voluntarily change its policy, first, what is occurring is a result of pressure and bullying from outside of BSA and second, how do you define the “BSA”? BSA National is getting pounded by its volunteer members (keep up the great work!!!)crashing servers and bring down phone systems. Given this reaction, BSA National must do a formal and full poll of all adult member volunteers before voting on this issue, and it is clear that the vote next week must be delayed and simply cannot go forward.

      • I agree there are things we can learn but one of the things that is wrong on many opinions expressed here is the way they are framed. I happen to believe that in America you compete on a level playing field. The LGBT Community does not like the BSA’s policies that is fine. Start your own organization. Do the hard work. Build it up. Use the money spent in lawsuits and the passion trying to change the BSA and pour it into a better organization. Defeat the BSA in the area of hard work and ideas. Many believe that there is an inherent civil right granting immediate inclusion to the BSA. There is no such right. We can make a case for or against changes in BSA policy but we must do it in a manner that strengthens the intended position. When you start off with a fallacy it diminishes the overall outcome.

        • Andrew, and here is the problem. Why does there need to be a redundancy? Do you have any idea how many people there are in the BSA right now that don’t want the current policy to continue?

          It’s not just people who want in. It’s people who are in that want the change as well. And most of those people aren’t LGBT. (Arguing blindly, I know, but I’m trying again). Those of us that are in the BSA that would like it changed see the potential to be greater through opening our doors. You think it would lessen us. But if you’re heart is strong, if your will is true, you can make it stronger as well.

        • Charles, Yes I do know and it is the majority. Their reasons may vary but to them they are valid reasons. I am in the BSA and have been for well over 20 years as a Scout and Scouter. My son is an Eagle Scout with 4 Eagle Palms. He has earned his Denali and he is half way to Venture Silver. I am looking for a community Venture Crew for my oldest daughter so she can participate. I have had every Unit position you can hold except COR and I am a District Chair. What lessens us is turning away from the historical context of the Scout Oath and Scout Law. Understanding who Powell was and what his message was. The Oath and Law are meant to be an anchor in times of trouble. Today due to nothing more than legal terrorism that anchor is being redefined. I believe in the principles contained in the Scout Oath and Law. I do not parse them out or pick and chose which one works and which one doesn’t. They work together. Any Eagle Scout that lied, hid, obfuscated, or misrepresented himself should never be made an Eagle Scout period. The ends do not justify the means. Our tradition and our heritage sets us apart from all other youth organizations. The BSA should never lower its standards if people want to join then raise yourself up to meet the criteria. There is the GSA and the AHG on the girls side, two redundant organizations. There is no reason why the same cannot be done on the boys side. So I say again compete in the arena of ideas. Create a group that does everything you want and take the BSA by storm. What makes most people angry is the way this has all been done, Many feel as if they are being mugged and left hanging in the wind. I do not blame them one bit. They are not homophobes or bigots, They have deep personal feelings that are legitimate. If you look at most of my posts they focus on the process and the legalities. They focus on the potential damage no one wants to discuss.

        • Thanks for a rational argument. I’m going to offer one idea though that has been floating around in my head for a day or two. When we talk of Baden-Powell, do you think that he meant Scouting to be for all boys? I’d like to think he did, without the qualification that people seem to want to place on it.

        • When Scouters (who uphold the timeless values of Scouting) talk of Baden-Powell, they do so with a desire to uphold and teach the moral values of Scouting to our next generation of moral and good men and fathers, and yes, these values are for ALL boys, including those who are confused about sexual orientation or have same gender attraction. It cannot be disputed that Baden-Powell would have us teach all boys to be “morally straight”, yet you and extremists like you would have BSA take the position that homosexual acts are ok and consistent with the Scout oat and law. As you well know, sodomy was and has been a crime in all states until in the 1970′s when some courts started the path of our current moral decline.

        • Let’s explore….I concur that you are in the same extreme camp that seeks to change Scouting. You are both intolerant of Scouting’s rejection of an amoral life including disgusting homosexual acts by Scouts and Scout leaders, and you want the BSA to change its views because they don’t fit your personal views. Have I misstated what you have already said in your posts? I think that the question asked by Danthescoutingman to others on this site is a good one and would be helpful to us in seeking how you view tolerance, inclusion and respect: how do you feel about Scouters who “joined the LGBT and told them that they were intolerant of our Scouting values like being “morally straight” and told them that they need to change their policy to allow LGBT chapters to form that have the ability to set their own policy on homosexuality to include chapters that teach that homosexual acts are immoral and that those who have same gender attraction should not act on such attractions and should be morally straight?” Your thoughts on this are very helpful to better understand your views on tolerance, inclusion and respect.

        • Dear BSAScoutLeader: the BSA policy would allow you to have a troop charted to a church that does just that. If your chartered organization teaches that homosexuality is a sin and you wish to not allow homosexuals into your troop, then you would be free to do so. During Scout’s Own services you can preach the virtues you hold dear. All we’re asking is that you allow those of us who believe an opposing Christian viewpoint to have the same opportunity.

        • db, we are fully aware of the implications of the proposed action to be taken by the Board and understand why we will NOT let this happen. The more interesting question for those who seek to force these amoral values on Scouting is this…if the shoe was on the other foot… and we had Scouters who joined the LGBT and then told the LGBT that the the LGBT was being intolerant of our Scouting values like being “morally straight” and “clean” such that the LGBT folks need to change their policy to allow LGBT chapters to form that have the ability to set their own policy on homosexuality to include chapters that teach that homosexual acts are immoral and that those who have same gender attraction should not act on such attractions and should work to become “morally straight” would YOU support this? and if so (if not, you would be a hypocrite, correct?) please spend your time at the LGBT site and preach to them YOUR standard for tolerance, inclusion and respect. As for me and my fellow Scouters, we stand with the US Supreme Court and support the right of the BSA (a private organization) to teach and live by its own moral, correct and true Scout oath and law.

        • I don’t know. It’s kind of a crazy question, isn’t it? I guess the answer to your question is that these “chapters that teach homosexuality is immoral” already exist – so yeah – go ahead – form them. These chapters that exist already preach exactly what you’re espousing and you’re free to join them if you’re not already a member. There are many churches that fit the bill.

        • I do not know. The first Troops were extremely selective. Only the most dedicated and talented ones were allowed to join. Powell himself was said to be very demanding. The first generation of leaders that trained under Powell were equally tough. They demanded perfection and they did not sign off on a skill until it was demonstrated perfectly. Clearly the tenants he set forth still apply today. The man was a spy, a soldier, an author, a naturalist, and a teacher. In his world loyalty, honesty, and duty were not treated as buzz words or out of date terms too difficult to live up to. The Scout Law and Scout Oath are a direct result of experiences gained in the most demanding of situations. Both in their entirety embodied what Powell believed made boys into men. Given the social norms of his day, and his religious beliefs homosexuality would never have entered the equation. It would have been unheard of for anyone to admit that abhorrent behavior (please remember the 1900′s context) in public and then openly seek or demand approval. Powell was specific when it came to sex and morality, it was to be taught at home and had no place in Scouting. He also was clear that morally straight meant morally straight. There was nothing ambiguous. Atheists would never be allowed either because an atheist lacked a duty to God. Women were excluded yet he encouraged and help create the Girls Scouts. At the end of the day anyone who did or said anything that detracted from the mission he set forth would never have been allowed to participate. At the end of the day I think Powell would shake his head, chastise all of us for focusing on the wrong thing, and then teach us all how it is supposed to be done. I believe his words would be if you meet the standard and are dedicated then you have a place. If you do not meet the standard keep trying until you do. I wonder if we as leaders would make it under Powell’s watchful eye. I also wonder if today’s BSA Executive Board would meet muster.

        • To the person who goes by the screen name “Charles”. Do you ever go to work or does Soros pay your bills? Here is what we know (I have been on the phone with our Council CEO who is not happy about what is going on)…BSA National is getting pounded by its volunteer members (keep up the great work!!! I am getting reports that our voices are being heard loud and clear!) crashing servers and bring down phone systems. BSA National just set up today a new e-mail address for BSA members to log complaints about this bizarre action being contemplated next week. What we also know is that BSA National is being bullied by the pro-LGBT groups into taking a hasty vote next week. BSA national would be wise to slow down and formally poll ALL of its adult volunteer members on this issue. Given this reaction, BSA National must do a formal and full poll of all adult member volunteers before voting on this issue, and it is clear that the vote next week must be delayed and simply cannot go forward.

        • Another Soros fan. Yes, I work. Let’s move on from that concern. Your Council CEO is not a CEO. He or she is a Scout Executive. Yours feels one way, perhaps mine feels another.

          I’ve suggested that a poll would be a good idea as well. Go ahead and scroll back if you like. However, my suggestion for a poll is different than yours. Either would work equally well. A poll may be the fairest way to help determine the future of our beloved BSA. But I don’t think they’ll do it. Instead, National is going to make a determination in a conference room just as they did before. They’ll weight different arguments, form opinions and cast a vote. And we’ll all need to live with it.

          (A word on that. The decision may already be made if it is financial pressures that are forcing the reconsideration of position).

          Everyone will have a choice. If they don’t approve the change or if they do, we’ll all have a chance to say – this isn’t for me anymore. And our Charters will have a chance to do the same. When this was first discussed 6 months ago, I could see the writing on the wall. The BSA will change. I thought it would take another 2 to 5 years, but I felt strongly that it would make the change to policy to allow LGBT families to register. And here we are only 6 months later. Just 6 months. If that doesn’t tell you something, I don’t know what will.

          By the way, I still find it funny how people poke at who I’m registered as from behind nom de plumes. But I won’t change your mind about that. If you’re not willing to share with who you are, how can I take anything you say seriously?

        • Charles: Dan here sounds quite a bit like BSAScoutleader, don’t you think? Talking about Soros, implying that Charles probably isn’t your real name, and I think I’ve seen multiple references to the “timeless values of scouting.” Ironic that BSAScoutleader accused others of logging in multiple times with multiple email addresses to comment over and over.

        • The only thing missing is a repeated reference to the “amoral” behavior of homosexuals. Which, considering the definition of amoral means neither moral nor immoral, leads me to believe that he shouldn’t really have a problem with homosexuality. Have a nice evening. :-)

        • It is clear from your countless posts that You, Beth and others seek to create a false sense of division with in the BSA on the correct position that homosexual acts violate the Scout oath and law and have no place in Scouting. Only by doing a fair and open poll of all adult leaders of the BSA can BSA national properly consider this issue. This rush to reconsider (only after a few months have lapsed since the last vote.. what has changed) smells bad. It smells of back-room deals and big-time pressure from those groups who hate Scouting. All of the LGBT groups (are prepared for this and appear to be working in concert with bad apple Board members) like glaad ganging up on us now and are telling their members to (twitter, facebook, call and e-mail bomb the BSA to) pressure this change and push us off the moral cliff (google their websites these folks are all working in concert we even have some of these folks posting on this site all day long without going to work). The fact is that BSA is feeling a lot of pressure from the majority of Scouters who hold fast to the timeless values of Scouting. I see no legitimate way for any vote to occur next week. By the way, please share with us how you and Beth feel about Scouters joining the LGBT and telling them that they were intolerant of our Scouting values like being “morally straight” and told them that they need to change their policy to allow LGBT chapters to form that would have the ability to set their own policy on homosexuality to include chapters that teach that homosexual acts are immoral (amoral for Beth) and that those who have same gender attraction should not act on such attractions and should be morally straight? Are you and Beth willing to write your LGBT folks and post for days on (without it seems taking time to work…do you really want me to go back an pull all of your posts and list the times of day you are posting?) end telling them to be more tolerant of the Scouters that are coming to join LGBT and who coming to bringing with them the Scout oath and law to change their organization???? We will not abandon Scouting, and we are going to fight to keep it from being perverted!

        • Danthescoutingman is spot on…given this outside interference by Soros, Glaad and tons of other pro-LGBT groups, BSA National must (it is not a suggestion) not take action next week. Full transparency from our Board is required and it is being demanded by the Scouting volunteers. A full accounting of the backroom dealings is needed as is the undue influence going on, and we (actual Scouters who love the timeless values of Scouting) need to be able to communicate our views to our Board. The 1.4 million e-mail blast from glaad folks to our Board creates a false sense of support from within the BSA to abandon our timeless values. We call on all members of the Board who are reading these posts and 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 and get some real polling/voting from our volunteer leaders on this issue. This will only serve to make Scouting stronger! As for Charles’ comment that we will all get a choice, that is simply not true..unless a formal poll/vote is conducted of all adult volunteers. The legal and real effect of the Board action (if wrongly decided) will be that the BSA condones homosexual acts and finds these acts to be compatible with the Scout oath and law. This is a cliff that we can not come back from without significant litigation and destruction of the BSA. DO NOT TAKE ANY ACTION NEXT WEEK!

        • Seriously. You are using a screen name. Both Charles and I have been using our real names. (We’re not in complete agreement on this issue by the way.)

          We’ve given enough details in addition to our real names that you should easily be able to research and find our connections to Scouting.

          I can assure you that Charles is a real Scouter and is using his real name.

          I’d certainly like to know who’s paying people to post their opinions here, no one offered me anything. Perhaps I wasn’t vocal enough? :-)

          So why don’t you post your full real name?

          By the way Jo is short for Joseph. Most people in my area of Scouting know me by the name of “Mr. Jo Pop” or just “jopop”.

        • Thanks again, Jo Pop.

          I promised myself last night I was done, but I felt drawn back into it today. I really do need to back off some, there are enough people here with valid viewpoints that one voice either way isn’t necessary. You see me in here tomorrow, you have my permission to smack me around next time you see me. (For those that don’t know him, Jo’s a big guy – so I have reason now to behave for at least 24 hours).

        • Danthescoutingman, I suggest that whatever person is using screen name “Jo Poplawski” and “Charles Featherer” post a copy of their driver’s license, BSA member id number, and phone number and let all of us verify who they are and we can then all agree do the same including EagleMom, CWGMPLS and db, etc. All agreed??? No counter offers will be accepted and please stop with more empty words..just the facts. If Jo and Charles (or whoever they really are) insist on going down this path, then at least have the courage to stand behind your empty words and accept my offer which will put your personal attacks to bed. We all know what is happening on this site, and what outside groups are trying to do to our Scouting program…
          http://www.glaad.org/blog/send-message-boy-scouts-its-too-late

        • BSAScoutleader, I have been very careful to avoid personal attacks here. I am the mom of an Eagle scout. I don’t see GLADD’s discussion of this issue as a bad thing. Their mission is to eliminate discrimination against LGBT folks. That’s what they’re trying to do. No doubt there are groups on the other side who are doing the same. It’s how our great country works. We are allowed – and in fact our culture encourages us – to speak out when we would like to see change. We are allowed to advocate for a boycott, or to shun a company or organization, if we feel they are doing wrong. It’s a peaceful way to raise an issue. Organizations are free to listen or not, agree or not, as they see fit. I love our country, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

          I’m hoping that the BSA is keeping their focus on their members’ concerns on both sides, and on the best interests of Scouts, but they do not seem to be particularly transparent on this issue, so I don’t know.

        • Pointing out that screen name “Jo …” and “Charles …” are only critical of my screen name (because I support the timeless values of Scouting) and not EagleMom, CWGMPLS and db, etc. is not a personal attack is what we call fact. No offense was intended and I hope none was taken. Now that we have addressed this, perhaps you will join with us in declaring firmly to the Board that there is all kinds of foul play going on (see posts on this site and do your research), and that BSA National should be listening to its adult volunteer leaders who are firmly opposed to what is happening and not cutting deals with outside groups like glaad, pro-LGBT and other soros funded groups. WE MAKE A DEMAND FOR TRANSPARENCY and further demand that NO ACTION be taken until we get a real and formal poll/vote from the adult volunteers on this. 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!

          Glaad needs to respect the decision in BSA v. Dale, 530 US 640 (2000) where the US Supreme Court found that ”homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the values of the Scout oath and law and particularly the terms “morally straight” and “clean” and where the Court recognized BSA’s right to oppose or disfavor homosexual conduct. As such and with all due courtesy, acknowledge and accept BSA’s rights under the law and please do not use words like discrimination. Why? Because a Scout is HONEST.

  24. I’m going to suggest something novel here…If BSA is truly a boy run organization, let the boys decide free of coercion (either way). It is their organization.

    • Because the unit may be youth led (if it is a Boy Scout troop or Venturing crew) but the unit ultimately belongs to the Chartered Organization. The youth members should have no say so in the policy set down by National or by the Chartered Organization. That is one of the reasons I believe in the standing policy, because human sexuality and discussions thereof have no place in Scouting and should not be discussed with the youth members. That topic is for families to discuss, we are there to teach them citizenship, character, outdoor skills, conservation, and other Scout Skill, not human sexuality.

    • The amount of pressure that the pro-LGBT groups are putting on right now is crazy. The smell blood in the water given certain plants and bad apples on the BSA Board (who by the way MUST BE FIRED. We need to identify them and tell them to leave the BSA) and they are pushing all out to destroy the BSA next week. Go to their websites and verify what I am saying, they are calling for over 1 million e-mails to blast the BSA. As the BSA is getting hit by folks who are not even registered Scouters and given all of this outside pressure and influence on our Organization, BSA national MUST do a formal and full poll of all adult member volunteers before voting on this issue. Otherwise, it will have no credibility. BSA needs to slow down. talk to its adult volunteers and think about what they are doing as class action lawsuits are being prepared and will be filed against the BSA if it takes action to harm the organization. The pro-LGBT folks don’t want this process to slow down as they are trying to catch us flatfooted and off-guard. These groups are well funded and have slowly been working to destroy us from within since they could not do so using the legal system. Do you see a little more clearly what is really going on here?

    • I have no doubt that, if left up to the scouts I know, they would change the policy immediately. They have grown up with gay friends, classmates, and co-workers, and in many cases family members – aunts and uncles, cousins or even siblings. They even know a few gay scouts. They have lived and worked side-by-side with these boys (and girls!) for many years, and respect them. They have no reason to exclude them from scouting.

      I know that things are different in other parts of the country. I think the proposed policy is trying to make sure that, at least at the troop level, no one who is uncomfortable with this change has it forced on their troop. By the time scouts are working above the troop level, they are capable of working alongside others who have very different beliefs – Christian next to Jew, Muslim next to Hindu. That’s part of what scouting at the higher levels is all about. I have the utmost faith that good scouts everywhere can find a way to live with this policy, even if they aren’t happy with the change.

  25. Pulled directly from USSCOUTS.org

    DUTY TO SELF: Keeping yourself physically strong means taking care of your body. Eat the right foods and build your strength. Staying mentally awake means learn all you can, be curious, and ask questions. Being morally straight means to live your life with honesty, to be clean in your speech and actions, and to be a person of strong character.
    Doesn’t say anything about sex or sexual orientation

    A Scout is Helpful.
    A Scout cares about other people. He willingly volunteers to help others without expecting payment or reward.
    A Scout is Friendly.
    A Scout is a friend to all. He is a brother to other Scouts. He offers his friendship to people of all races and nations, and respects them even if their beliefs and customs are different from his own.
    A Scout is Courteous.
    A Scout is polite to everyone regardless of age or position. He knows that using good manners makes it easier for people to get along.
    A Scout is Kind.
    A Scout knows there is strength in being gentle. He treats others as he wants to be treated. Without good reason, he does not harm or kill any living thing.

    A Scout cares about other people. Respects them even if their beliefs are different. A Scout is polite to everyone.
    Maybe we all could do with a refresher course. Take a deep breath and enter the 21st century.

    • Keith, with all due respect and please do not take offense, but are you a Scouter? In BSA v. Dale, 530 US 640 (2000), the BSA (not USSCOUTS.org) successfully argued that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the values of BSA, which is a private, not-for-profit organization. The Court found the BSA to be an “expressive association” as its adult leaders seek to inculcate Scouts with the BSA’s value system. The BSA successfully and correctly stated 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. The Court gave deference to the BSA’s statements regarding the nature of its expression and recognized the BSA’s right to oppose or disfavor homosexual conduct. You asked for a refresher so…..hope this helps.

      • This is correct. But it is a bit odd that people are arguing that a line of argument that was expressed in the year 2000 somehow expresses the foundational principles of Scouting.

        Keith is asking us to reflect on the foundational values of Scouting. Not on a line of legal argument that was constructed by some church leaders and a few lawyers in the year 2000.

        • cwgmpls, fyi..2000 is the year that SCOTUS heard BSA v. Dale. What is correct is that AT LEAST as of 1978-the year James Dale (the party in the case) entered Scouting-the official position of the Boy Scouts was that avowed homosexuals were not to be Scout leaders. See, BSA v. Dale, 530 US 640 (2000). Don’t re-write history. This whole gay issue is an invention of the last 30 to 40 years and is being shoved on us by glaad, pro-LGBT and other Soros funded groups. The BSA made this policy to deal with the declining moral culture in the past 30 or 40 years and the BSA has never changed. Further, we will not allow this to change next week or ever!

        • The Boy Scouts have repeatedly and publicly expressed its views with respect to homosexual conduct by its claims and dollars spent in prior litigation. For example, Curran v. Mount Diablo Council of Boy Scouts of America, No. C-365529 (Cal. Super. Ct., July 25, 1991); 48 Cal. App. 4th 670, 29 Cal. Rptr. 2d 580 (1994); 17 Cal. 4th 670, 952 P.2d 218 (1998). The BSA policy on this has never changed and this is why glaad, pro-GLBT and other Soros funded groups are piling on right now and working hard to kill Scouting. Newsflash for these folks, Scouting will not allow this hijacking to occur next week or ever!

  26. We will be leaving BSA when this is adopted, which in my opinion is a done deal. I don’t see a future for us in this new BSA. Our Troop is in agreement with this. But we are like family and we are determined to proceed growing our boys in leadership, learning skills and having fun without BSA. However, I’m interested in forming an alternate national organization similar in structure and programming to BSA with values like AHG (our sister group) that are based in churches to move our guys into as soon as possible. Something where we honor everything they have done in BSA and the interim period so they can keep working on their own or with their current Troop and receive as soon as we can get it together. Does anyone know of others interested in doing this? It is a huge undertaking and will require lots of money and paperwork but I’m not about to let our boys down. I will put the 20 hours a week or more that I spend working on our three BSA units working to get a national alternate up and running asap.

    • abetterbsa, I agree 100% with your concern and yes you correctly see the problem, but solutions are needed….this is a critical time for you and your troop to turn this into productive energy to fight for our boys and the timeless values of Scouting. All of the LGBT groups like glaad ganging up on us now and are telling their members to (twitter, facebook, call and e-mail bomb the BSA to) pressure this change and push us off the moral cliff (google their websites these folks are all working in concert we even have some of these folks posting on this site all day long without going to work). You and your troop are needed in the fight! Come join the fight! Don’t give in to the vocal and amoral minority. The BSA is feeling a lot of pressure from the majority of Scouters like us, and we are winning. BSA National just set up today a new e-mail address for BSA members to log complaints about this bizarre action being contemplated next week. BSA national would be wise and should continue to be pressured to slow down and formally poll ALL of its adult volunteer members on this issue. Given this reaction, BSA National must do a formal and full poll of all adult member volunteers before voting on this issue, and it is clear that the vote next week must be delayed and simply cannot go forward.

    • abetterbsa, I’m in the same boat. I hope it doesn’t come to it, but count me in if you need help forming an alternate org.

      • Thanks abetterbsa and Allen n TX, your words mean a lot and Scouters appreciate what you are saying. I would only add that NOW is the time to take action and the policy has not changed. If you abandon Scouting and form a new group, what will stop or prevent Glaad and others from doing to this new organization in say 5, 10, 20 or 100 years what they are doing to the BSA now. We have countless of billions into the BSA and the branding of BSA and outside groups are seeking by hostile take over to steal our timeless values. This action is offensive. You need to get in the fight and get on facebook, twitter, e-mail call and talk to your Packs, Troops, and friends to call on all members of the Board who are honest in 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, but it is better for BSA National to delay the vote and provide transparency. There is all kinds of foul play going on (see posts on this site and do your research), and we need to call for transparency and demand that no action be taken until we get a real and formal poll/vote from the adult volunteers on this. We are wide awake to the dangers and implications of what is going on and we WILL NOT be moved!
        http://www.glaad.org/blog/send-message-boy-scouts-its-too-late

  27. Beth, EagleMom,

    Thank you for all the time and thought you’ve devoted to this thread over the last few days. You’ve been patient and kind, often in the face of hysterical fear-mongering. Please know that there are many who share your views of tolerance, inclusion and respect.

    Yours in Scouting,
    Fred
    ASM, Eagle ’82

    p.s. – Beth – thanks for the capitalization! ;-)

    • Fred, can you more clearly define your views of tolerance, inclusion and respect:
      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.
      Further, I think that the question asked by Danthescoutingman to others on this site is a good one and would be helpful to us in seeking how you view tolerance, inclusion and respect: how do you feel about Scouters who “joined the LGBT and told them that they were intolerant of our Scouting values like being “morally straight” and told them that they need to change their policy to allow LGBT chapters to form that have the ability to set their own policy on homosexuality to include chapters that teach that homosexual acts are immoral and that those who have same gender attraction should not act on such attractions and should be morally straight?” Your thoughts on this are very helpful to better understand your views on tolerance, inclusion and respect.

      • BSAScoutleader, I can take a stab at your question regarding the LGBT being tolerant if the roles were reversed…they would have a nuclear meltdown! Their ideology is like a religion to them and they will not stop until all that oppose them are removed from existence. Sad to say it, but it seems to be the current trend in today’s world. If not the BSA, where is our refuge outside of church?

        • Allen in TX – Did you watch the video I posted elsewhere in this thread, of a gay camp employee? He is not having a nuclear meltdown. He doesn’t seem to have an “ideology like a religion”, and he certainly doesn’t seem to want to remove anyone from BSA. He’s just a regular scout, who seems to love scouting, and is clearly respected by his scouting peers, given that he is Program Director at his summer camp. If the BSA changes, it will change for and because of scouts like this, their families, and their scouting friends. – not for or because of some outside force that knows nothing about scouting.

        • EagleMom, here is an honest question that you need to seriously ask yourself so you can better understand the deficenices in your view of tolerance….will you be tolerant and understanding 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?” How do you feel about Glaad, pro-LGBT, and soros folks and their effort and meddling in BSA affairs to bring in 1.4 million names/people in a petition to influence, bully and coerce BSA Board members in to abanding the Scout oath and law?
          http://www.glaad.org/blog/send-message-boy-scouts-its-too-late

        • I will try to answer your questions.
          –>”will you be tolerant and understanding 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?” ”

          I’m not sure I understand your question – what do you mean by “Scouters that joint the LGBT”? Do you mean will I be tolerant and understanding of troops that choose not to allow openly gay Scouts? If so, then yes, I understand that CO’s can choose to exclude those who they feel do not reflect the values that scouting entails, and I think such decisions should largely be left up to the CO’s. Clearly different CO’s have different ideas of what “morally straight” encompasses, on all kinds of issues. I’d rather have a wide variety of troops available, than to exclude from BSA those who do not agree with me on this issue. Scouting is enriched by this kind of diversity. Christian and Jew, urban and rural, black and white, and so on – the opportunity to work on common goals, alongside others who are different than you, is part of the reason my family values scouts.

          –>”How do you feel about Glaad, pro-LGBT, and soros folks and their effort and meddling in BSA affairs to bring in 1.4 million names/people in a petition to influence, bully and coerce BSA Board members in to abanding the Scout oath and law?”

          I don’t know who soros is, so I can’t comment on that.

          As for Glaad, I assume outside organizations on both left and right are advocating for their point of view, as is common when controversial issues arise in our country. Of *course* the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation would have an opinion on this issue, and would encourage their members to speak out about it. However, I think the BSA needs to listen to their *members*, first and foremost, rather than outside voices.

          In my area of the country, I think most BSA members would welcome the change. Here, our kids go to school with gay kids, they have gay relatives, and sometimes gay teachers, so it would be no big deal to them to have gay scouts in their troop. I realize that the opposite is true in other areas. I think this is why the BSA is proposing this “each troop can choose” policy, rather than a more blanket policy that would force all troops to take the same policy. I’m OK with that.

        • EagleMom, thank you, but we already know that you support the proposed policy change. You really need to answer the question put to you (all reading this post see that you are avoiding a question that makes you very uncomfortable with what you seek to do to our Scouting organization) and honestly tell us how you would react if the same policy change was being considered in for LGBT chapters…so..here it goes yet again…”will you be tolerant and understanding 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?” With all due respect, we are still waiting for your answer? It will help us better understand your views (and the views of pro-Glaad, etc. folks posting on our Scouting website) on tolerance.

          As for Glaad, pro-LGBT, and other well funded Geoge Soros folks who are targeting the BSA and seeking to destroy it from within (after they lost the SCOTUS case in 2000), your view of tolerance says that this is ok, that this is fair, that this is honest, that the BSA be targeted by outside groups. You say that this is how we express tolerance, that this is how we demonstrate respect for the beliefs of others, that this is how we are kind. This acts mock the meaning of tolerance, respect and kindness. As such and based on you position, you must (to be consistent in your belief..which you are not..you talk only in terms of a one way street. my way and my belief system or the highway) support any 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.”

          We Scouters who hold fast and firm to the timeless values of Scouting declare clearly and respectfully that a hostile take-over of the timeless values of Scouting by outside groups is not compromise, it is not honest, it is not reverent, it is not tolerant. It is WRONG, and we will not let this happen. Further, we will hold to legal account anyone who tries to do so!

        • You’ve asked again, ”Will you be tolerant and understanding 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?””

          I still don’t understand what you mean by “join the LGBT”.

          “LGBT” is an abbreviation for “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered”. It’s not a club or organization. So I don’t know what you mean by “joining” it.

          So I’m reading your question to be “”Will you be tolerant and understanding of Scouters that joint the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered and tell them to change their policy to allow Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered 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?””

          What do you mean by “join the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered”?
          The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered WHAT?
          Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered chapters of what?
          Of the BSA?
          Of a BSA-like group for LGBT members?
          I’m trying to answer your question, because it seems important to you, but I really don’t understand what you are asking.

        • Allen in TX – I read the article you linked. I’m not sure I fully understood it. Basically, was it saying that liberal people and organizations advocate vigorously in an effort to get people to agree with them, and/or to make it unpopular to express conservative views?

        • That’s what I got from this article as well, EagleMom. That, and that liberals are bad for doing so… (Although it is also what others who feel strongly about a certain position do as well, including conservatives.)

        • EagleMom and beth, I also read it and am disturbed at what is going on. Let me put into context the article link that Allen in TX posted..from all of the posts you have both made, it is clear that you support Glaad and don’t like the current policy, but can you examine squarely how offensive is it for Scouters to learn that outside (agenda driven) and well funded groups are targeting the BSA and seeking to take it over and destroy our timeless values?…. This is like working to turn a vegetarian group into a group that eats meat. If you want to eat meat, join the meat eater’s group. Don’t seek to come in to the vegetarian group and take their name and program and money and tell vegetarians who now want to leave the organization to be more tolerant. This called theft. It is not friendly, courteous or kind to seek to do this. Can we agree on this? If not, help us see why? Can you imagine (if the shoe were on the other foot) what reaction we Scouters would get if we joined the LGBT and told them that they were intolerant of our Scouting values like being “morally straight” and told them that they need to change their policy to allow LGBT chapters to form that have the ability to set their own policy on homosexuality to include chapters that teach that homosexual acts are immoral and that those who have same gender attraction should not act on such attractions and should be morally straight? Are you willing to write your LGBT folks and post for days on (without it seems taking time to work) end telling them to be more tolerant of the Scouters that are coming to join LGBT and who coming to bringing with them the Scout oath and law to change their organization?? Please specifically answer my questions. For your own good, you really need to openly and honestly answer the question that you keep avoiding, and I ask it with the hope and prayer that you will open you heart and examine the soundness and correctness of the current BSA position even though you disagree with it. The current proposal does not work and is extreme and outside groups need to STAY away from the BSA!

        • Hang in there BSA Scoutleader. They can’t handle facts, logic, and reason. And this argument is not about any of that. It’s just fundamentally good vs evil. The Scouting policy currently in effect stands for good.

      • Anyone care to speculate why Fred does not want to more clearly define HIS views of tolerance, inclusion and respect? Perhaps because His view is a one way street? As Scouters we support and defend our rights to have timeless values such as being “morally straight” and “clean” in our pluralistic society and also to allow those groups that disagree with our values to exist. However, we DEMAND that they reciprocate this respect and tolerance! Any questions?

    • Thanks Fred. Your words mean a lot to me. I think if those on both sides try hard to understand the others’ fears and concerns, and if they can work together to find solutions to the inevitable snags that will come up, the BSA will find a way to allow all scouts to belong to a troop that reflects their values. It will be harder on the higher levels of scouting, where troops blend, but I’m convinced it can be handled with grace and thoughtfulness. The most important thing is to remember the basic scouting values of friendliness and kindness. Those words *mean* something. Sometimes it takes hard work to live by them. But it’s so, so worth it in the long run.

  28. Interestingly enough, if you review the charter for the Boy Scouts (http://usscouts.org/aboutbsa/bsacharter.asp), the purpose of the Scouting organization as chartered by Congress as a Patriotic and National Organization is as follows:

    The purposes of the corporation are to promote, through organization, and cooperation with other agencies, the ability of boys to do things for themselves and others, to train them in scoutcraft, and to teach them patriotism, courage, self-reliance, and kindred virtues, using the methods that were in common use by boy scouts on June 15, 1916.

    Morality, religious beliefs and many of the other things mentioned here that some feel are being “betrayed”, “trampled on” or otherwise sullied are not even mentioned as part of the purpose. Scouting in the US was formed and exists under the rules and guidelines of this charter. Everything else – all of the policies and guidelines are set by the Executive Board. It has been this way since the beginning. It is not a democracy and never has been. The Board has always been free to adopt and amend bylaws for the organization. There are no rules required to do so, no basis for the guidelines, no religious underpinning – at its core, the BSA is simply another corporation with specific rights and privileges spelled out very clearly in their charter. The Board isn’t circumventing anyone or somehow doing something immoral, illegal or otherwise shady. They are operating EXACTLY how they are allowed to and supposed to. The fact the some people don’t like a potential decision (that hasn’t even been made yet!) by the organization is simply a result of people failing to understand the workings of the organization they are a part of.

    As an aside, I also did some quick searching and noted from Wikipedia:

    “Homosexual people are not restricted from membership or leadership positions in Scouts Canada, the Baden-Powell Service Association in the United States, Scouts Australia, and most European associations, including The Scout Association of the United Kingdom, Ring deutscher Pfadfinderverbände of Germany (German Scout Federation), and the Swedish Guide and Scout Association.[10]“.

    The World Scouting movement hasn’t apparently suffered from such a policy and Scouting seems to be just fine, with some 30 million Scouts worldwide (~2.8 million in the US).

    I also wonder that just because people who believe a certain way (either side of this issue), do they really have a right to try and say that anyone with another viewpoint can’t be in the organization? The organization exists due to an Act of Congress and is a perpetual organization. It has seen many changes over its lifetime and will surely see many more. Some people will be happy and some will not. Some will leave, some will threaten to leave; others will join to take their place. The organization will survive no matter what. No one person or group or prevailing set of beliefs “owns” the Boy Scouts of America. It is made up and owned by the citizens of the US (all of them, not just a majority or minority) and, as such, will change over time as the population changes.

    • Just to add on to what texas aggie is saying – many of the folks who are against change are saying “go create your own scout group”. The BSA has used this congressional charter to sue and put out of business any competing scout group. That’s another reason why the BSA should be open to everyone – because they have a congressional monopoly. Either that or they should give up their congressional charter and help competing groups rather than sue them out of existence.

      • db, just to add..your comment is not true…go join royal rangers, royal ambassadors, pathfinders, christian service brigade, calvinist cadet corps, awana, woodcraft rangers, navigators USA, etc. or start your own youth group….leave BSA alone. Based on your posts, your tolerance is “my way or the highway”… 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?” I reject your idea of tolerance and say stop bullying and leave alone one of the very last places in the entire US where we are are able to freely teach our youth the timeless values of Scouting. If you don’t agree, then don’t join. Further, we call on all members of the Board who are reading these posts to BE BRAVE AND HONEST and do the right thing and call for a DELAY ON ANY ACTION until we can get some transparency in this process. We are wide awake to the dangers and implications of what is going on and we WILL NOT be moved!

        • Actually – this solution is not my way. This is a compromise solution. I would prefer it if the BSA had a comprehensive non-discrimination clause that included everyone that every unit had to observe. But I’m willing to compromise so that my unit doesn’t have to be a bully and mistreat gay teenagers. Are you willing to compromise?

        • Yea, we remain “morally straight” and “clean” and if you don’t like the current policy, leave BSA. Seriously, we already don’t ask folks about gender attraction so if you are not active and you are seeking to be clean BSA is a great place to learn the timeless values of Scouting. in case you missed it…”Even if the proposal is approved, the Times predicts that the money won’t be restored, the banter will continue, and local units expressing their preference for basing their morals in scripture will be hounded until they change or leave scouting. In case anyone is blind, the agenda here isn’t compromise……see the below from a current post…
          DON’T BELIEVE ME — READ IT FOR YOURSELVES.
          http://troop113.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/even-the-ny-times-doesnt-like-the-bsa-proposal/
          or
          http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/30/opinion/the-boy-scouts-fall-short-in-policy-on-gays.html?_r=0
          Guys, this is the ball game. Do you LOVE Scouting? If so GET TO WORK AND FIGHT LIKE CRAZY OVER THE NEXT WEEK OR SO TO SAVE SCOUTING NOT JUST FOR THE BOYS IN YOUR CHARTER ORGANIZATION, BUT FOR ALL BOYS AND THE FUTURE OF SCOUTING! CALL, E-MAIL, FACEBOOK, TWITTER…SPEAK-UP! THE pro Glaad, pro-LGBT and soros funded groups are organized, have all the media support and well funded, and they should be taken very seriously in what they are and have been doing to Scouting.

        • Steve, you are spot on! Get your packs, troops and friends into the fight…use facebook, twitter, e-mail, calls and call on all members of the Board who arehonest of heart to do the right thing and DELAY ON ANY ACTION on a policy change 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, but it is better for BSA National to delay the vote and provide transparency. There is all kinds of foul play going on (see posts on this site and do your research), and we need to call for transparency and demand that no action be taken until we get a real and formal poll/vote from the adult volunteers on this. We are wide awake to the dangers and implications of what is going on and we WILL NOT be moved!
          http://www.glaad.org/blog/send-message-boy-scouts-its-too-late

        • db, you made a false claim by asserting that folks cannot create their own program if they don’t like the BSA and BSAScoutleader called you on it. You need to apologize for making a false claim. Scouters seek honestly and truth. None of us Scouters buy into your Glaad, pro-GBLT and other Soros funded talking point nonsense about what is being considered is a compromise position. This is another false claim. We all realize that what is being proposed will destroy the timeless values of Scouting and all of the legal underpinnings in BSA v. Dale will be lost. The Glaad, pro-GBLT and other Soros funded folks know this and that is why they are fighting to push this on us so suddenly next week with their full time bloggers pounding our BSA websites trying to dishearten and deceive us and mis-shape opinion. Such acts are despicable!
          http://www.glaad.org/blog/send-message-boy-scouts-its-too-late

        • I didn’t make a false claim Dan. You can’t create an organization in the US and call it scouts, without the BSA suing you. This goes back to the founding when Hearst’s USBS – the United States Boy Scouts. The BSA sued USBS in 1917 right after the BSA got their federal charter. And they’ve been doing it ever since. Here’s one of the most recent examples: Youth Scouts.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wrenn_v._Boy_Scouts_of_America

          So Dan – I’m patiently waiting for the apology from you.

        • db, please..you said nothing about calling the name of the new group BSA…of course you cannot steal someones name. What you said was “go create your own scout group”. This a false claim, you can go out and great you own scout group.” It a free Country (and becoming less free each passing day), you just cannot (as is should be) call yourself BSA if you are not chartered by the BSA. Again, go join royal rangers, royal ambassadors, pathfinders, christian service brigade, calvinist cadet corps, awana, woodcraft rangers, navigators USA, etc. or start your own youth group….leave BSA alone.

        • Actually, as an Eagle Scout and leader for over 20 years, I don’t feel I should have to leave *my* organization just because someone else in my organization feels differently than I. I respect that you have a different opinion than I do, but that doesn’t mean your opinion is “right” or “wrong” – just different. I just wouldn’t have the audacity to ask or suggest you to leave Scouting simply because you disagree with me. It is as much “my” organization as it is “your” organization and I have a right to help work to change it to adopt policies that are in line with my world views as much as you are free to do the same. At some point, however, National is going to have to find some compromise because the viewpoints are at odds with each other just like they did when women were first put into leadership roles (and I’m sure if we had social media back then there would have been just as much uproar over that).

          As for transparency in the process, the organization is acting within the bylaws from what I recall. There is exactly as much transparency as there has always been and this is in line with the charter. National does not have to (please correct me and cite the bylaws if I am wrong) run all policy decisions past the membership, put them up for public comment or even explain them. Now, should they? That’s another question. But to somehow imply that the executives are violating the bylaws of the BSA or being dishonest is, I believe, patently wrong. The fact that you don’t like the potential changes that might be coming doesn’t mean that they would have been enacted unfairly. The BSA could decide tomorrow that no one under 12 can be in Scouting or that no Scouts without siblings can join. They are completely free to change their membership criteria at any time as a private organization for any reason, just as they have done in the past when women were admitted to leadership positions and (more recently) when background checks were required for adults.

    • Beg to differ with your incorrect conclusion/assumption…the mission statement of the BSA is to “instill values in young people”, and a Scout vows to keep one’s self “physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight. See, BSA v. Dale, 530 US 640 (2000). The US Supreme Court also found that..”homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the values of the Scout oath and law and particularly the terms “morally straight” and “clean” and that the BSA does not want to promote homosexual conduct as a legitimate form of behavior.” See, BSA v. Dale, 530 US 640. (2000). The Court recognized the BSA’s right to oppose or disfavor homosexual conduct.
      Further, we call on all members of the Board who are reading these posts and 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, but it is better for BSA National to delay the vote and provide transparency. There is all kinds of foul play going on (see posts on this site and do your research), and we need to call for transparency and demand that no action be taken until we get a real and formal poll/vote from the adult volunteers on this. We are wide awake to the dangers and implications of what is going on and we WILL NOT be moved!
      http://www.glaad.org/blog/send-message-boy-scouts-its-too-late

      • Who decided to amend the BSA charter in 2000? Why didn’t they start their own scouting organization, instead of messing around with the core values of BSA?

    • texasaggie94, nice try, but we have already covered this ground and are all well aware of the purpose of Scouting as decided by SCOTUS (who by the way looked at all of the facts, without cherry picking). I strongly suspect that you are acquainted with the SCOTUS dissent, but as you are aware the dissent is not law. Presenting half truths and omitting any consideration of what SCOTUS as the ultimate finder of fact decided on this issue is not being truthful…so…here you go…Danthesocutingman said it best, “I stand with the ultimate finder of fact (SCOTUS) and do not stand with those who would destroy the core values of Scouting in saying (by the way not my words, the legal conclusions of our highest court after reviewing all of the Scouting documents and not just the ones you think support your position) “the general mission of the Boy Scouts is clear: “[T]o instill values in young people.” Ibid. The Boy Scouts seeks to instill these values by having its adult leaders spend time with the youth members, instructing and engaging them in activities like camping, archery, and fishing. During the time spent with the youth members, the scoutmasters and assistant scoutmasters inculcate them with the Boy Scouts’ values-both expressly and by example. It seems indisputable that an association that seeks to transmit such a system of values engages in expressive activity.” See Roberts, supra, at 636 (O’Connor, J., concurring).” 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 recognized the BSA’s right to oppose or disfavor homosexual conduct. We as Scouters did not join Scouting outside the US and have no desire to do so, but perhaps you and others who want to change our policy should consider doing so… we won’t be offended. Please understand our desire to live our timeless values. Thanks for your desire to respect our timeless (meaning they DON’T change and if someone tries to do so improperly they need to consider the legal implications of any such improper action) Scouting values.

      • The comments from a court case do not get to rewrite what the BSA is. I appreciate the court case references but they are just that – court cases. They are other people’s (judges’) opinions of what the BSA purpose is and may apply only in the context of that court decision. Courts rule on what is in front of them on the issues at hand. The bylaws of the BSA govern day to day operation and what the Scouts can and cannot do. They are set by the BSA executive council and can be changed at will. I found a copy of the bylaws of the BSA here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/8919588/Charter-and-Bylaws-of-the-Boy-Scouts-of-America

        Section 2 covers the purpose. It reiterates what is in the congressional charter and adds: “In achieving this purpose, emphasis shall be placed upon its educational program and the oaths, promises and codes of the Scouting program for character development, citizenship training, and mental and physical fitness.”

        I understand the desire to live by values but that doesn’t mean that the Scouting program and message can never change over time. We have to change as society changes.

        Also, I don’t get the legal implications argument that is thrown around. The COs today have always been able to apply whatever criteria they desire to leaders, etc.. I cannot, for example, have my son join an LDS unit because he is not an LDS member. I cannot join some units in my area because they are for homeschool students and parents only. COs already accept legal liability for accidents, membership, and all other aspects of having a unit. This doesn’t add or change that – it is a red herring. Anyone can sue them for anything they way, regardless of this proposed policy change.

    • Beg to differ with your incorrect conclusion/assumption…the mission statement of the BSA is to “instill values in young people”, and a Scout vows to keep one’s self “physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight. See, BSA v. Dale, 530 US 640 (2000). The US Supreme Court also found that..”homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the values of the Scout oath and law and particularly the terms “morally straight” and “clean” and that the BSA does not want to promote homosexual conduct as a legitimate form of behavior.” See, BSA v. Dale, 530 US 640. (2000). The Court recognized the BSA’s right to oppose or disfavor homosexual conduct.
      Further, we call on all members of the Board who are reading these posts and 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, but it is better for BSA National to delay the vote and provide transparency. There is all kinds of foul play going on (see posts on this site and do your research), and we need to call for transparency and demand that no action be taken until we get a real and formal poll/vote from the adult volunteers on this. We are wide awake to the dangers and implications of what is going on and we WILL NOT be moved!
      http://www.glaad.org/blog/send-message-boy-scouts-its-too-late

  29. There are some very strong feelings on this subject, both for and against including gays. But what I don’t see is any guidance on how to implement this plan. I don’t think this was thought through very well. If we let each unit decide and a unit says no gays, what happens when a boy says he is gay. What then? Do we kick him out of the unit and tell him to go elsewhere?
    Also, no one has ever addressed my concerns about some of the groups pushing for this change. 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?

    • Brad, yes there are serious and legal causes for concern about Glaad, pro-LGBT and soros funded groups putting all kinds of pressure and money into the destruction of Scouting’s timeless values. Transparency is required and given all of these outside influences, no Board action can be taken (and none will be respected) until we get some transparency and we have a real and formal poll/vote from the adult volunteers on this (folks outside of BSA should not be driving and dictating our internal decisions). Board members at BSA National who hold fiduciary duties and who are pushing an outside agenda are advised to slow down. When pro Glaad, pro-LGBT and soros funded groups say this is a good start, they mean that the say. Don’t be naive! If the BSA caves on its values, it will not be able to undo the damage and the legal underpinnings in BSA v. Dale, 530 US 640. (2000) will be lost. As they have done before and in other settings, these groups will work to have homosexuality be taught by the BSA to be natural, moral and they will work to have anyone who teaches traditional values prosecuted for hate crimes. The lesson…never compromise your values and all that is needed for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing. We are wide awake to the dangers and implications of what is going on, and we WILL NOT be moved!
      http://www.glaad.org/blog/send-message-boy-scouts-its-too-late for our program.

    • To add to my post, the HRC rates companies that donate to organizations based on those oganizations support of gays. They state they will change thier rating system to rate those companies that donate to the BSA as not gay friendly even if the changes go through.

    • Brad asked what do units that do not allow homosexuals do when a teenage boy comes out of the closet? Would they kick him out following the new rules? Yes. They would do exactly what they do today. They kick him out. But now the kid has an option of trying to find a different unit to join.

      • And who would pay the legal fees when the leaders, unit and chartered org are sued? And what happens if there are no units in the area that are open to him? There are a lot of variables that still need to be addressed before this decision is made.

        • Why should the whole of BSA cover the legal fees for a chartering organization that not all members of BSA agree with?

          If a chartering organization has strong beliefs, they certainly feel strongly enough about them to defend the in court when asked to.

        • I’m just asking, because this was not thought through by the BSA. I think a lot of places will revoke their charter if there is a threat of lawsuits. I for one would not have the financial means to defend myself in court and some organizations that charter units do not either.

        • What would stop people from suing a scouting unit and it’s leaders when the ask a boy to leave because his sexual orientation does not align with the chartered org?

        • Actually until the liability issue is answered it is very likely that an individual CO (church or .community) will face litigation. The next step is attack the “discriminating” CO’s at a local level to force additional change.

        • Why do you assume the board hasn’t thought about these things? I’m sure they take their responsibilities very seriously.

        • I’m not saying they don’t take their responsibilities seriously. I don’t think this was handled well which leads me to the conclusion that this was rushed and not thought all the way through. The last time it took them over 2 years before they came out with a decision. I have a lot of questions and I’m sure others do as well. I would have liked to see how this was going to be handled before they announced the upcoming vote. And leaving it up to the CO is not enough of an answer.

        • The reason you do not want the CO’s defending themselves in the courts for following BSA policy is many CO’s will not risk the liability. The LDS Church, and the Southern Evangelicals will simply leave. Both of these faiths charter more Units collectively than any other. When you add in the potential liability to the individual volunteers the risk grows exponentially. National is effectively walking away from their CO’s and leaving them defenseless. Until the liability question fro following the proposed policy is answered in full I cannot risk my family and my home because Johnny does not meet the current defined standard. The District I reside in has more registered boys than 80% of the Councils around the nation. Worst case scenario is the BSA will be facing a back breaking exodus in dollars and manpower.

        • I am looking for the same information on what happens to those that ask a boy who does live by the CO’s beliefs to leave the unit. I would not risk my family’s home or assets either. I have a feeling I know the answer, but I sure hope I am wrong.

        • Andrew, what you site is not the worst case scenario. Wost cast scenario for the BSA if it is harmed as you described by breaches of fiduciary duty of its National board members (who are being improperly influenced by bad actor groups like Glaad and who are seeking to improperly act on this before opposition can be properly mounted) is that certain BSA directors face personal liability and a massive class is certified such that the BSA folds because it cannot pay the massive damage claim. Groups like Glaad and other Soros funded folks cannot effectuate a hostile take-over of the BSA with impunity.

        • The BSA’s right to set it’s own policies was upheld by the supreme court in 2000. If they change their policy. This will still be their right.

        • I don’t see it, because I’m not on that page, but it was something about people suing individual COs for discrimination.

        • beth, your description of the holding in BSA v. Davis is remarkable and not accurate or truthful. In BSA v. Davis, SCOTUS held that BSA is an expressive association as BSA adult leaders inculcate its youth members with its value system. It found that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the values embodied in the Scout Oath and Law, particularly those represented by the terms “morally straight” and “clean,” and that the organization does not want to promote homosexual conduct as a legitimate form of behavior. The Court give deference to the Boy Scouts’ assertions regarding the nature of its expression, see, Democratic Party of United States v. Wisconsin ex rel. La Follette, 450 U.S. 107, 123—124. The Court then inquired as to whether the homosexual adult’s presence as an assistant scoutmaster would significantly burden the expression of those viewpoints. The homosexual by his own admission, is one of a group of gay Scouts who have become community leaders and are open and honest about their sexual orientation. His presence as an assistant scoutmaster would interfere with the Scouts’ choice not to propound a point of view contrary to its beliefs. See Hurley, 515 U.S., at 576—577. This Court rejected the New Jersey Supreme Court’s determination that the Boy Scouts’ ability to disseminate its message would not be significantly affected by the forced inclusion of this homosexual. First, contrary to the state court’s view, an association need not associate for the purpose of disseminating a certain message in order to be protected, but must merely engage in expressive activity that could be impaired. Second, even if the Boy Scouts discourages Scout leaders from disseminating views on sexual issues, its method of expression is protected. Third, the First Amendment does not require that every member of a group agree on every issue in order for the group’s policy to be “expressive association.” As the Boy Scouts’ expression would be burdened, the Court then inquired whether the application of New Jersey’s public accommodations law ran runs afoul the Scouts’ freedom of expressive association, and concluded that it did. Now that we all understand what SCOTUS decided in 2000. What certain pro Glaad BSA National Board members seek to do next week under the cover of darkness has nothing to do with the holding that the BSA’s has the right as an expressive association that uses BSA adult leaders inculcate its youth members with its value system to keep active homosexuals out. 100 plus years of our BSA value system that we have invested in will not be destroyed by the National Board. Certain members of the BSA national board who are seeking to use improper means and seeking to take improper action next week are well advised to slow down and listen to its adult member volunteers, not the Glaad, pro-GLBT folks and Soros funded groups who are working day and night (just got back from a date night with my wife and looks like the same extreme posters are making the same tired posts again and again…seriously..we all see what is going on save your energy for the legal battles coming if Scouters anyone attempts to betray or harm Scouting) to take us off the cliff. The class action bar is licking its chops right now!

    • Brad, I think you raise some good concerns. I would *assume* that before the BSA actually implemented such a policy, they would think through these kinds of issues and have some guidelines in place to deal with them. If not, then I think both sides would be upset, and there would be any number of unfortunate incidents.

      As to what happens when a gay scout ends up in a “no gays” unit, I think for the benefit of all he would have to be referred to another troop (which is a nice way to say, kicked out of the old one). If there isn’t a suitable troop nearby , I would hope he could become a Lone Scout.

      As to the outside groups advocating for this change, presumably gay advocacy groups *would* prefer that all troops would be open to gay scouts, That’s not surprising. There are also outside advocacy groups that would prefer that all troops be closed to gay scouts.

      The proposed policy is a compromise between those within scouts who feel that accepting gay scouts is immoral, and those within scouts who feel that NOT accepting gay scouts is immoral.

      Whether the policy eventually is changed to make one side the rule for all troops remains to be seen. Our country has changed dramatically on this issue over the recent decades, and most of the change has been in the direction of more acceptance of gays in our communities. If this trend continues, then BSA could decide to push things further down this road. Conversely, if those who disagree push back, BSA could decide to move in the opposite direction.

      However, I think neither will be the case. You see, the nice thing about this compromise, is that to some extent it is self-regulating. If more scout families prefer a closed troop, there will be more of those troops. If more scout families prefer an open troop, then those troops will grow in number. Different parts of the country are likely to have different ratios of open/closed troops. In this way, the BSA can let the scouts decide, with their troop selection, where the balance should lie. This kind of policy could work for a long time to come, and avoid the need for the national organization to force further change in one direction or another.

      • So you’re assuming the boy asked to leave the unit would just quietly walk away and join another unit with no backlash against the current unit or it’s leaders? I would like to hope that would be the case, but I am not so naive to believe there wouldn’t be some lawyer licking his chops over the opportunity to sue.
        I would like to know what this would mean for summer camps, jamboree and high adventure camps. If a troop is so strong in their feeling about not having gays in their unit, summer camp would force them into contact with troops that do. Would there be gays welcome weeks and no gays allowed weeks? What about jamboree where boys from all over the council are organized into new troops? What is the answer there, if you don’t accept gays, don’t go? Our council also organizes treks for Philmont the same way. What then? Summer camps, jamboree and high adventure camps are only months away. Money has already been spent, gear has been purchased, vacations planned around those dates.
        You speak of this as a compromise, I would like to know what the people that want gays allowed are compromising?

        • Brad, your analysis on the legal implications of the proposed policy change is 100% correct. Thank you for helping the Board better understand and appreciate the need to slow down on this!

        • Is there any recourse, check, or balance if the board does pass this other than a quick lawsuit?

  30. Wondering, if the decision to allow homosexuals into Scouting is largely based on the “born this way” and “civil liberties” argument, but also leaves open the ultimate decision on the inclusion/restriction of homosexuals is left up to each Charter/Unit, would a Charter that chose to exclude homosexuals be then logically equivalent to one that would exclude scouts based on race? Can/do units exclude scouts based on race? Seems like they shouldn’t be able to. Wouldn’t a unit be in serious trouble and looked down upon if they did this? How would exclusion of homosexuals be any different?

    • Bruce, in BSA v. Dale, 530 US 640 (2000), the BSA successfully argued that homosexual conduct is not consistent with the values of BSA, which is a private, not-for-profit organization. The Court found the BSA to be an “expressive association” as its adult leaders seek to inculcate Scouts with the BSA’s value system. The BSA successfully and correctly stated 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. 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 Board is on notice of the irreparable damage that it will inflict on Scouting and its timeless values if it takes reckless action nest week. It is advised to govern its actions accordingly!

    • Yes, a chartering organization can legally exclude people on the basis of race, if the presence of people of a certain race would significantly interfere with group’s freedom of expression.

      Would a unit be looked down upon if they excluded based on race? Yes. But the First Amendment protects all speech, not just popular speech. In fact, it is usually unpopular speech that is in greatest need of legal protection.

      • ps…cwgmpls, with all due respect you mis-state the law. Further, the holding in BSA v. Dale, 530 US 640 (2000) is limited to the BSA’s right to exclude practicing homosexuals from the Scouting program. Again, the BSA successfully and correctly stated that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the values of the Scout oath and law and particularly the terms “morally straight” and “clean”. The BSA does not want to promote homosexual conduct as a legitimate form of behavior.

        The proposed policy change (which is what we are addressing) will destroy the legal under pinnings that resulted in the BSA being able to successfully protect and defend its expressive association message. Charter organizations that prohibit practicing homosexuals will be sued, and our BSA program and our values will be lost. The Board is on notice of the irreparable damage that it will inflict on Scouting and its timeless values if it takes reckless action nest week. It is advised to govern its actions accordingly!

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