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BSA membership policy resolution released, will be voted on in May

The Boy Scouts of America’s Executive Committee today released its membership policy resolution, which proposes removing the restriction denying membership to youth on the basis of sexual orientation alone and maintaining the current membership policy for all adult leaders of the Boy Scouts of America.

The resolution, if passed, would be effective Jan. 1, 2014. You can read a summary below or see the complete text at this link (PDF).

Next up, the resolution is sent to all voting delegates, a group of volunteers from every BSA council, who will put it to a vote at the National Annual Meeting next month.

The resolution comes after a lengthy review process in which the BSA gathered perspectives from inside and outside the Scouting family. The five-page Membership Standards Study Initiative Executive Summary (PDF) explains in detail the key findings from this review.

For those with questions, the BSA has prepared this comprehensive list of FAQs (PDF) about the resolution.

Here’s the resolution:

Youth membership in the Boy Scouts of America is open to all youth who meet the specific membership requirements to join the Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, Sea Scout, and Venturing programs. Membership in any program of the Boy Scouts of America requires the youth member to (a) subscribe to and abide by the values expressed in the Scout Oath and Scout Law, (b) subscribe to and abide by the precepts of the Declaration of Religious Principle (duty to God), and (c) demonstrate behavior that exemplifies the highest level of good conduct and respect for others and is consistent at all times with the values expressed in the Scout Oath and Scout Law. No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.

BSA media statement

In February, the Boy Scouts of America embarked on the most comprehensive listening exercise in its history to consider the impact of potential changes to its membership standards policy on the organization and gather perspectives from inside and outside of the Scouting family.  This review created an outpouring of feedback from the Scouting family and the American public, from both those who agree with the current policy and those who support a change.

Scouting’s review confirmed that this issue remains among the most complex and challenging issues facing the BSA and society today.  Even with the wide range of input, it is extremely difficult to accurately quantify the potential impact of maintaining or changing the current policy. While perspectives and opinions vary significantly, parents, adults in the Scouting community, and teens alike tend to agree that youth should not be denied the benefits of Scouting.

For this reason, the Executive Committee, on behalf of the National Executive Board, wrote a resolution for consideration that would remove the restriction denying membership to youth on the basis of sexual orientation alone and would maintain the current membership policy for all adult leaders of the Boy Scouts of America.   The proposed resolution also reinforces that Scouting is a youth program, and any sexual conduct, whether heterosexual or homosexual, by youth of Scouting age is contrary to the virtues of Scouting.

The voting members will take action on the resolution during the Boy Scouts of America’s National Annual Meeting next month.

America needs Scouting, and our policies must be based on what is in the best interest of our nation’s children. Throughout this process, we work to stay focused on that which unites us, reaching and serving young people to help them grow into good, strong citizens. Our priority remains to continue accomplishing incredible things for young people and the communities we serve. 

May 8, 2013 update: Thanks to everyone for their feedback on this post. The comments section is now closed. -Bryan

1,287 Comments on BSA membership policy resolution released, will be voted on in May

  1. Scout Mom #147 // April 19, 2013 at 10:12 am //

    I am so disapointed! As a woman, I have never been restricted from boy scout leadership positions. If the Boy Scouts are so concerned about sex among leaders and scouts, they would need to restrict women leaders just as they are restricting gay male leaders. If the Boy Scouts are concerned that gay men would corrupt a boy scout into becoming gay, they are totally missing the scientific fact that homosexuality is not a choice, but something you’re born with. This new policy is almost as exclusionary and bigotted as their old one. My 12 year old son and I have discussed this, and if he wants to quit boy scouts I will support him.

    • Deanna L. Druyor - Wetzel // April 19, 2013 at 10:15 am //

      I hope he does not quit but becomes a friend/mentor to any boy that joins because of the change to the membership policy.

    • Jacob Tysz // April 19, 2013 at 10:17 am //

      I support your position, but I urge you, as I am doing, to try and cause change to the BSA from within. If we remain part of the conversation, we will HELP the needed change come!

    • I don’t think it’s a matter of sex among leaders but more of opening a breeding ground and more law suits. If you look at the news reports of adults in leadership position (such as teachers, priests, and scout leaders) then the question becomes, how do you protect these scouts?

      Is the money they lose by not changing the policy, going to be more or less than the amount of listed in numerous lawsuits by allowing adult leaders.

      • JoeC, what exactly do the scouts need protection from?

        • Matt how about protection from being fondled, raped, and otherwised abused by these admitted sexual perverts

        • Protection from a deviant lifestyle that does not follow nature. Deviant means outside normal operating procedures.

      • Dear Joe: isn’t that why we have a Youth Protection Policy in place, one that we tout so strongly when these “old” cases come back to “haunt” the BSA? If this is the concern, then perhaps our policy is not as sacrosanct as we say it is.

        • Star Scout Mom // April 19, 2013 at 11:21 am //

          That doesn’t protect scouts from eachother when they are two to a tent with no adult supervision in the tent after lights out.

        • WPK, Yes we have YPT, but when parents decide to not attend campouts and treat the BSA as baby sitters of America, where is the check and balance?

          This is why I go on all my sons campouts, because it’s my duty as a parent.

        • Star Scout Mom: this new proposed change doesn’t exclude homosexual scouts, only homosexual leaders.

      • There is obviously a culture of hate at work here. I’ve heard all kinds of crazy reasons for why every homosexual adult MUST be a child molester. (Why do we not allow ONLY gay women to serve in Boy Scouts then? Sorry, tangental.)

        But I guess the real statement I need to make is if “doing the right thing” should be based on any financial or longevity consideration at all.

        • Why is this considered a culture of hate?

          This is a matter of not wanting to be apart of something I do not agree with.

          If this is considered a culture of hate, than it could be said the same thing because I don’t hang around the local jail or prison, or because I don’t go to Lowe’s or Kmart, or Wendy’s.

          There may be some that do hate the gay group. And there are some that hate the fact that the gay community wants to invade and change something because they feel slighted.

          Isn’t there a group setup for gay scouts already? What’s wrong with that organization that has the same values and actions?

      • gottwiser // April 19, 2013 at 12:08 pm //

        So, so sad. So it’s about the money now and not about right and wrong.

        I’m so disappointed. Is this supposed to be seen as the political first step towards change (baby step), or should it be viewed as an organization afraid to be leaders and taking strong measures towards change?

        So a declared homosexual can get to enjoy all the benefits of showing his leadership qualities to become Eagle and, oh, by the way when you turn 18, we don’t need or want you anymore. How truly sad to exclude an entire class of leaders based on one attribute of who they are! Still feels like discrimination to me.
        …i agree with “db”, this pleases no one.

    • You may even consider starting a separate organization. Many successful organizations have been created from similar challenges. With half the effort to change an existing organization that you may disagree with, you can create a spectacular organization that opposes the challenge. Well wishes!

      • Gabriel I agree with you .Taking exactly from the scout criteria ” (b) subscribe to and abide by the precepts of the Declaration of Religious Principle (duty to God),” how does that agree with duty to god when the bible states “Thou shall not lay with another man”

        • It is not my intention to discredit the Bible, but this is more of a privately owned organization issue. A privately owned organization can make unpopular decisions to support the beliefs or moral values of it’s owners. If one disagrees with the owners beliefs or moral values, they have the opportunity to create another privately owned organization.

        • The BSA is not a Christian organization. Just because you and your religion believes homosexuality to be immoral, does not mean that me and my religion believe the same.

        • Apologies if I did not clarify my perspective. I did not state that the BSA is a Christian organization. Simply that it is a privately owned organization. The owners (I am not certain) may be Christian. Regardless of their perspective on life, they are still the owners of the privately owned organization. They have the final say in how their organization operates.

        • I didn’t say that you did, Gabriel. I was actually replying to allison.

      • I noticed some thumbs down for your comment, yet few comments. Why is that?

        • Not sure. I thought it was a great idea. Why ‘fight the power’ when one can simply empower themselves to a level of respect that cannot be ignored?

      • Soon to be former Scouter // April 19, 2013 at 1:17 pm //

        That is the way they work. Take whatever is good and defile it.

    • Soon to be former Scouter // April 19, 2013 at 2:23 pm //

      There are no scientific facts to support this. You are believing a lie. Have you read these ‘scientific’ facts or are you relying on the word of CNN, ABC, CBS and NBC and all of the other Liberal media?

      • It is important to note that BSA states (in the Executive Summary) that this is not a youth protection issue, either with respect to abuse, ‘role modeling’. (Read the Executive Summary, linked to by Brian in the story)

        • Karen Zeller // April 20, 2013 at 1:19 pm //

          I posted this already in response to another comment, but with so much conversation, I know things are sometimes missed. I do not claim in any way to be an expert on scientific study of sexuality, but I do know that the statements about the origin of sexual orientation of preference are from people doing peer-reviewed science over several decades. Again, not my area of expertise, so I am summarizing below material from David Myers.

          Dr. David Myers is a professor of Psychology at the Reformed Church in America’s Hope College, New Holland, MI. His basic text, Psychology, is widely used at Christian colleges and other schools nationwide. In that text, Myers assembled the following references:

          M. D. Storms, 1983, established that homosexuality is not the result of a domineering mother, an ineffectual father, a hostile father, rejection of the other gender, levels of sex hormones, molestation or sexual victimization. Bell & Hammersmith had already determined in 1981 (“Sexual Preference: Its Development in Men and Women”) that parental relationships, childhood sexual experiences, dating experiences, and peer relationships were not the reasons. Ludwig, 1995 (“The Price of Greatness”), did find that homosexuality was about 10 times more likely among men who were poets, fiction writers, artists, or musicians than in the general population.

          Three studies have determined that brothers born later in the family are progressively more likely to be gay than the older brothers: Blanchard, 1997 (“Birth order and sibling sex ratio in homosexual and heterosexual males and females,” Annual Review of Sex Research) and 2008 (“Review and history of handedness, birth order, and homosexuality in men,” Laterality), and Bogaert, 2003 (“Biological versus nonbiological older brothers and men’s sexual orientation,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences). This only holds when the brothers are biological, not adopted. This effect does not appear in women.

          Bagemihl, 1999 (Biological Exuberance), identified several hundred species of animals in which same-sex relations appear. Between 6% and 10% of rams on ranches display same-sex attraction, according to Perkins & Fitzgerald, 1997 (“Sexual orientation in domestic rams: Some biological and social correlates,” in Ellis and Eberts, Sexual Orientation).

          A blind study of brains of homosexual and heterosexual people (blind meaning that the researcher did not know which brains were from which categories of people) found a cluster of cells in the hypothalamus that is reliably larger in gay men than in other men or in women (LeVay, 1991, “A difference in hypothalamic structure between heterosexual and homosexual men,” Science). Savic & Lindstrom, 2008 (“PET and MRI show differences in cerebral asymmetry and functional connectivity between homo- and heterosexual subjects,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences), also established that in lesbian women and heterosexual men reliably have right brain hemispheres that are larger than left, while gay men and heterosexual women reliably have more balanced brain hemispheres. Rahman and Wilson, 2003 (“Born Gay?” Personality and Individual Differences), established that brain differences develop very early in life.

          Twin studies are the gold standard for establishing heritability (genetic factors) of our characteristics. Langstrom, 2008 (“Genetic and environmental effects on same-sex sexual behavior,” Archives of Sexual Behavior), established that identical twins (those whose genetic material is essentially identical) share the same orientation more often than fraternal twins (who have had as much common life experience as identical twins, but only as much genetic similarity as any siblings). There are measurable differences between homosexual men and heterosexual men, as populations, in spatial abilities, fingerprint ridge counts, auditory system development, handedness, relative finger length, and body size. A study of 200,000 people worldwide found the same kinds of differences between the , two populations world-wide (Lippa, two studies reported in Archives of Sexual Behavior in 2007, and another in 2008).

          This Christian professor at this rather conservative Christian college concludes, “Regardless of the process, the consistency of brain, genetic, and prenatal findings has swung the pendulum toward a biological explanation of sexual orientation.

        • Karen Zeller // April 21, 2013 at 7:51 am //

          SR, I read the site to which you linked. It dealt with some of the studies Dr. Myers referenced. In each case, it set up a sort of straw man, by pointing out that the study did not determine that x or y or z was *the* biological cause. That isn’t what any of these studies claimed to do. Each of them either found no statistically significant correlation between homosexuality and something that has commonly been claimed to be a cause (such as domineering mothers), or found a statistically significant correlation between a biological factor and homosexuality. I’m sure that you know that this is the way science works: not by proving in one study what the cause of something is (that would take experimentation, and we don’t set up controlled studies where we subject babies to procedures we think may determine their sexuality), but by incrementally describing and exploring different aspects of problem.

          The way the page dealt with LeVay is instructive here. Myers also notes that LeVay is homosexual. And then he describes the way in which the research was done: blind examination of a large number of brain scans, without labels. Without knowing whose brain was which, leVay identified a structural difference that was reliable, and when the scans then were identified with the individuals, that structural difference proved to be reliably associated with gay males. Your link does not deal with the method of the research at all, but only with two data points: that the research was gay, and that he said that he had not proven *the* cause. Claim A expects us to reject the research because the researcher is gay, and Claim B misunderstands how scientific research works.

          Your link also relies on Exodus International as proof for its assertions, but Exodus International since January 2012 has changed a number of its positions, and it might be worth looking into that.

          All aspects of human behavior have complex causes, made up of both nature and nurture. What Dr. Myers has said is that the amount of significant and reliable data pointing to a contribution from genetics, from brain structure, from prenatal environment is large and growing, and significant enough to warrant the statement that homosexual orientation is at least in part biological.

  2. Deanna L. Druyor - Wetzel // April 19, 2013 at 10:13 am //

    Thanks Bryan for providing this information.

  3. This is not what I expected. So the policy says – gay youth, you’re okay. Gay adults, you’re not okay. What a mess. This pleases no one.

    • Actually — it pleases a lot of people. Check the survey results that are attached to the article. More than 200,000 people submitted surveys and what they wanted was a change in the youth policy, not in the adult policy. The whole issue is about the best assurance of safety for the youth and when you entrust your children to adults, you just have to take your best shot in doing what you think is the right thing for your kids.
      I agree with the change in the youth membership. As far as the adult membership…I think you must do what the majority of the parents of scouts want. It is THEIR kids who are affected.

      • Soon to be former Scouter // April 19, 2013 at 1:23 pm //

        Doing a survey is a bad idea to begin with. The policy should be determined on what is right, not allowing homosexual scouts or scouters, and not based on the culture wave and a few corporate thugs with deep pockets. From the beginning it disappointed me that this ever came up. BSA has failed by lacking integrity and it will never be the same again. So in the end, everyone loses.

    • Rob Skrobola // April 19, 2013 at 10:57 am //

      Disagreed. I’m far more pleased with this policy than I was with the last proposal. This allows my boys and I to remain in Scouting, which the last proposal did not.

    • db, this is simply a half step by the Executive Committee in order to appease some chartered orgs. I’m very disappointed with this resolution, I just wish there were a way to vote “Yes”, “No”, or “Try Again” in Texas in May. I think they need to “Try Again”.

  4. Jacob Tysz // April 19, 2013 at 10:15 am //

    As a Cub Scout leader and a parent, I strongly support a change in the national policy to include ALL Americans in the BSA!

  5. Thank you so much! I am so proud of Scouting for considering this step. I’m the mom of a Bear Cub who wants to be an Eagle and we are a family who considers discrimination wrong.

    • Please why you call this discrimination.

      There is another established organization that supports the gay community, have you looked into joining them?

      • discrimination = The unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, esp. on the grounds of race, age, or sex.

  6. What about Adults, and their role in the Scouting Movement? It would be great to pass this resolution, I am all for that wording, however, when a gay scout obtains his eagle, stays in a crew, or not and wants to become an adult leader, what of that boy then?

    Then what about the parents of scouts that are not straight, dedicated, live up to all the expectations of the program, can they be a leader in their sons’s Den/Troop/Pack/Crew/Team?

    Did I miss something?

    • Deanna L. Druyor - Wetzel // April 19, 2013 at 10:23 am //

      Excellent point. What does that say to a young man that finds so the program worthy as a boy but unable to pay back the program that assisted him in becoming a fine young man.

    • After reading the full text this is my reaction…
      … to say I am disappointed is putting it lightly. BSA is still passing moral judgement on people and placing families with homosexual members (even extended members, aunts, etc) in a very awkward position that will result in boys not being exposed to a program that can really benefit every boy. This saddens me greatly.

      • Bryan, I think you said exactly what I wanted to say.

      • I would have to disagree with your statement that the BSA is passing moral judgement. So the fact that AARP doesn’t accept someone age 48 or 49 is also discriminatory?

        All they are doing is reinforcing the joining policy that people want to be apart of and accept.

        • The AARP is an organization that is primarily concerned with age-related issues. Hence, they select their members based on age.

          The freedom of association laws say that you can indeed restrict your membership in ways that are fundamental to the organization’s purpose. The courts can’t (and won’t) force a Catholic church to ordain a Gay, nor to ordain a Methodist. The Catholic’s have a clear and consistent set of beliefs that are core to being “Catholic”. That same line of reasoning also dismisses the argument that admitting Gays means that the BSA would have to admit girls.

          From what I’ve read, until the Dale case the BSA had never argued that sexual orientation was a fundamental part of the program. Indeed, even now the BSA’s policy is that it’s irrelevant to the program. The BSA’s current “weak don’t ask don’t tell” policy would seem to indicate that the Dale decision was wrongly decided, since sexual orientation is irrelevant to the program. (See “A Right to Discriminate”, Koppelman and Wolff).

  7. The proposal “… would remove the restriction denying membership to youth on the basis of sexual orientation alone and would maintain the current membership policy for all adult leaders … ” does not go far enough since it is maintaining the status quo against adult leaders. That is wrong, prejudicial, and discriminatory.

    • This is not discrimination. It is a grouping of people with the same interests and morals.

      The requirements are clear as a private group. Same as the requirements for driving a car, everybody has to meet these requirements. Can the blind drive? What about 10 years, are they allowed to drive.

      If that is something that cannot be met, then there is nothing stopping you from starting a similar organization with your own rules.

      • It is absolutely discrimination. Just because it is a private organization doing it, doesn’t make it OK. Yes, I believe they have the right to have the policy, but it is still wrong, and shameful, and frankly in violation of the Scout Law.

        • to approve this is against the Scout Law, the Scout Oath, etc. the 3 points of the Scout Law can not be upheld if you allow these perverts into the organization, the 12th point of the Scout Law can not be upheld with these perverts. To Approve this would be a travesty

        • No where in the scout law does it say “not allowing gays to join”. Scouts are still going to be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.

          Being brave means standing up for what you believe in regardless of what others around are choosing to do. Compromising by allowing those that aren’t morally straight to join isn’t being brave, it’s being cowardly.

          What is being called discrimination is an accepted set of rules for joining. So where is all fuss over laws preventing 10 and 11 years old children from driving? Is that not discrimination according to your example?

          I find it amazing the first word people want to use is discrimination. The correct wording is accepted rules of the group. this means they have something in common that all are choosing to abide by. If anyone feels left out, then don’t forget that option of creating your own group.

        • so what about not allowing atheiests , is that discriminatory also , do u think the bsa should allow them in also .

      • Being gay does not make one immoral, that is what the BSA is saying, that is what the majority of the Religious Chartered Partners are saying, and the non Religious ones as well. To state that being gay is immoral is ignorant and intolerant, and smacks at the Scout Oath in that it most certainly is not being “Mentally Awake”

        • Not sure where you saw the article verifying “majority of the Religious Chartered Partners are saying, and the non Religious ones as well”, but I would have to disagree. Please site your reference.

      • What you’re saying is that any private organization can discriminate and it should be ok? Please tell me when the KKK becomes acceptable, seeing as they are a private, discriminatory organization.

        • Is the KKK a private group? It has a constitutional right to exist. Not one that I support. But that is a red herring and off topic.

          However, the point here is simply this, this is a group that has certain aspects that when joining, you agree to. It is a group of common bonds, likes and possible dislikes.

          There is a LGBT groups for people who obviously have or want to be a part of a group with other people who also have a common bond, like and dislike.

          Dopes that meant the two are compatible? I would probable say no. Just like there are people who like Ford’s and others who like Chevy’s. They are private car groups that also discriminate.

      • When the Supremes sided with the BSA in Dale (et. al.) they noted that the policy was indeed discrimination and that they did not agree with it but still a question of free association of a private organization. They were right.

      • MT_Momma // April 19, 2013 at 4:30 pm //

        Ah, but the thing is, Joe, that we don’t all have the same morals. We all agree to the Oath and Law, but our interpretations of what those mean may be very different.

  8. This is a cop-out.

    Where is the moral leadership our youth need to show them that our morals are more important than money?

    Was it not Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego that gave us the example of holding strong to our convictions?

    Society is quickly losing it’s moral compass based on God’s law and religious based groups and people are becoming the minority.

    If “morally straight” is kept and youth are allowed to join with these tendencies, then is that not hypocritical?

    Our schools are littered with liberal and radical ideas, such as evolution. Yet, there is no evolution, or reproduction, when men “lay with another man as a woman”.

    The Boy Scouts of America’s Executive Committee needs to be leaders, not CEO’s, and if that is not possible, then step down.

    • beardozer // April 19, 2013 at 10:39 am //

      Don’t apply your Christian values to Scouting. There are other religions that don’t discriminate against people because of their sexual preference. Scouting is not an exclusively Christian nation.

      Discrimination, for any reason, is WRONG!

      • beardozer // April 19, 2013 at 10:53 am //

        Sorry I said “nation” when I meant “organization”. Scouting accepts youth from all religions. Just because yours is full of bigots don’t assume they all are.

      • So your saying girls and pedophiles should also be allowed because that’s discrimination and they can’t join?

        • beardozer // April 19, 2013 at 11:13 am //

          Girls can be venture scouts and pedophilia is illegal. Not sure why you insist on linking homosexuality and pedophilia?

          Correlating gay adults with pedophiles is the same as saying “you’re heterosexual, therefore you’re attracted to 12 year old girls”

        • Pedophilia is a crime against nature as children aren’t physically capable of understanding or handling sex.

          I did not link them together, you did. I only listed other groups that could claim discrimination because the rules that are in place.

      • Rob Skrobola // April 19, 2013 at 11:05 am //

        For ANY reason? Really? So a convicted murderer is ok? How about a Holocaust denier? How about a man convicted of molesting 8 year olds?

        I suspect you didnt mean “ANY”. So basically, we’re agreed that we should discriminate. The question is, on what basis. For me, I’m going to follow a combination of common sense and God’s law.


        • beardozer // April 19, 2013 at 11:16 am //

          Murderer = criminal.
          Holocaust denier = loon but everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

          Which “God’s Law” are you applying because BSA isn’t exclusive to Christianity?

        • Deanna L. Druyor - Wetzel // April 19, 2013 at 11:33 am //

          Thanks for the giggle beardozer.

        • It’s winter still, cobwebs and sluggishness are keeping some people from understanding that their cup doesn’t hold water.

          Murder is a crime against nature.

          God’s Law is natural. Unfortunately, people want to pick and choose what things they want to believe. So I’ll say it straight forward like this and break it down potato-head style:

          If you charge an item on your visa card, you have so many days to either pay it off, return it, or accept the interest charges. You can pick and choose which ones you think are appropriate or correct, however, they all are still in affect.

          When a man lies with another man as you would a woman, there is no ability to reproduce naturally. When a woman lies with another woman as she would with a man, there is no ability to reproduce naturally.

          This is the most basic value of nature. Any species that cannot reproduce will become extinct. Is there anything right in this situation?

      • Yet I read a doc authored by BP that indicated he did just that. Yes BSA is open to all religions but the core values are based in Christianity according to BP.

    • It is absolutely discrimination. Just because it is a private organization doing it, doesn’t make it OK. Yes, I believe they have the right to have the policy, but it is still wrong, and shameful, and frankly in violation of the Scout Law.

      • If the rules of scrabble say that you must make a word known to humanity, then you can’t put a hodge-podge letters down for points. Is that also discrimination?

      • Rob Skrobola // April 19, 2013 at 11:12 am //

        No, it actually isn’t. The policy says that boys of any sexual “orientation” must be celibate. For a 15 year old scout to have sex with a girl or boy is to break the oath. So, how is that discriminatory?

    • If you are allowed to join with these tendencies? Don’t be so naive. Young gay men are already in the Boy Scouts. The question is whether or not to allow them to be honest about who they are.

      I am an Eagle Scout. I am also gay. I knew I was gay when I was in Scouts. I also knew that I had to lie to stay in Scouts. It was a terrible situation to be in.

      • You should give back the Eagle rank, which still belongs to the BSA, as you have committed an honor violation

        • Deanna L. Druyor - Wetzel // April 19, 2013 at 11:34 am //

          He did not break any rules. The BSA currently and since 1991 has been under a don’t ask, don’t tell policy. The BSA does not actively ask about orientation.

        • SR121, you are the honor violation here, make no mistake about that. How embarrassing you are to the Scouting program.

        • I hope you’re not truly as small and angry a person as you’re coming across in these posts. I’m proud to have earned my Eagle Scout badge, to have been a Vigil member of the Order of the Arrow, to have led a troop to the National Jamboree and at the Sea Base High Adventure, and to have served for two years as a staffer at Boy Scout summer camp. Your spite takes nothing away from what I’ve achieved.

        • SR121 they may have you on the gay issue but the Eagle Application clearly requires a letter of recommendation from your religious leader as part of the application so assuming you don’t support atheist in BSA feel free to …

          But you have them on the morality issue as they were intentionally deceptive but a fine line if they don’t ask/don’t tell.

        • the rank belongs only to the person that earned it. carter earned it in this case even if he had to keep silent or face persecution for his beliefs. he is a hero in my book and i am glad he stuck with it and continues to fight against this discrimination.

      • Deanna L. Druyor - Wetzel // April 19, 2013 at 11:14 am //

        Carter, thank you for sharing your story. It must have been very difficult. Congratulations on your Eagle.

      • Congratulations on your Eagle and I am sure you earned it. I stand with you brother Eagle.

      • Surely you weren’t asked by BSA if you were gay or not. If you were, that would have been an inappropriate question and against the current policy that “BSA does not proactively inquire about sexual orientation of employees, volunteers, or members”. You would have been well within your rights to decline to answer a question because it is against policy to be asked.

        The current policy only excludes open or avowed homosexuals. In my opinion, keeping your same-sex attraction private means it was not open or avowed. No lying required to keep it private.

      • good for you, Carter.

    • The “Law” of the old book was replaced by the love and tolerance as shown in Jesus. Your hatred of “the other” is wrong, and you are on the wrong side of history. No doubt you are the type that would have been against BSA letting black youth participate a few decades ago.

      • Rob Skrobola // April 19, 2013 at 11:09 am //

        Have you actually read the Bible at all? There is no possible way you can interpret the New Testament as NOT saying that homosexual behavior is sinful. Indeed, you also must interpret it as saying that ANY sex outside marriage is sinful (something the BSA policy reflects nicely) To read it any other way is to do violence to the text. I can quote passages and context if you like, but I suspect you don’t actually care what the Bible says. Or, in the case of Catholics, what the Church has taught from the Bible for 2000 years.


        • Rob that’s only considering a Christian viewpoint. What about the Jewish viewpoint, Buddhist, Taoist, Shintoist, Wiccan, and any other multitude of qualified religious viewpoints? They all have old books too that have been interpreted over the millennia.

      • The Law set forth by Jesus was “go and sin no more”.

        There is no hatred “of other”, it is simply a matter of being in an organization that has like values and expectations. If I wanted to be around “other” then that is where I would hang out.

        So now the gay community is intolerant of the BSA because they want to get in when there is already an organization that accepts them of the same value. Amazing how “intolerant” the gay community is.

  9. Judy Burns // April 19, 2013 at 10:19 am //

    Are they kidding!!! A youth can be gay and an Eagle Scout, but once he turns 18 he can no longer be a scouter. Scouting should have a neutral position on sexual orientation for EVERYONE. This is so sad. I am sooo disappointed in the leadership of this otherwise great organization.

    • No different than before with the “don’t ask don’t tell” policy. It should be open to all youth, but Homosexual leaders don’t fit the profile we would expect as role models in the BSA.

      • anyone who teaches that homosexuality somehow makes someone a negative role model is not the type of person that should be in the bsa.

        • Dewey, Without the morally upstanding adults who volunteer to lead the front line positions there would be no BSA. Thank God for the men and women who choose to be leaders in the BSA and thank God for their dedicated service and committment to the oath and law. you don’t have to choise to mold your character to the principles of the BSA. The BSA doesn’t have to mold to you.. good luck in your new organization.. they’ll be happy to have you and I’ll be happy to see you go..

  10. I have to agree with Scout Mom #147. I’m disappointed. I find this half-measure cowardly. By submitting a resolution that states “No youth may be denied membership…” the executive committee is trying to have it both ways. They’ll claim success, because no one will want to vote against “youth.” But they also want to be seen as supporting those who oppose change. Unfortunately, I think this is far from over.

    • You’re right, they are just prolonging the argument and not dealing with it. It’s shameful.

  11. Wood Badge C2-271-12 // April 19, 2013 at 10:22 am //

    falls short. So a gay scout who earns Eagle and is otherwise the very model of what Lord Baden-Powell envisioned in scouting is precluded from participation once he becomes an adult? It doesn’t even make sense. Such a disappointment that an organization that brings so much to the table in terms of youth development and leadership cannot seem to get the hell out of its own way on this one point. A disappointment – only word that comes to mind.

  12. What happens when openly gay scouts turn 18 and are technically, under current BSA guidelines, no longer considered youth? Many of these men want to continue to be involved with their troops or crews as adult leaders. Would they need to quit at that point due to this new policy?

    Also, will units chartered by religious organizatins which believe homosexual acts to be wrong still be allowed to uphold these beliefs within their programs as long as they allow any openly-gay scouts?

    This policy change is not at all what I expected and is, in my opinion and based on an initial reading, filled with some potential dangers.

    • I think by the ridiculous and contradictory decision here, that they have not thought about those situations in the least. Critical thinking seems to be missing at the highest levels of the BSA.

  13. So, when a gay youth turns 18, he isn’t allowed to remain involved as an adult leader? If so, this makes no sense.

  14. Star Scout Mom // April 19, 2013 at 10:26 am //

    This is such a disappointment. This is about money. What happens when a gay scout grows up and wants to be a leader? It just opens a whole other debate and further break down of the BSA.

  15. why do I see this as attempt to please everyone and will in the end please no one? I want supportive people in my sons’ lives…..I don’t care about their sexual orientation.

    • It’s about money and caving to those that want to scream discrimination and don’t want to follow the rules of membership.

      • Joe, those who screamed discrimination will still be able to if gay adults are still banned. So, this proposed policy change changes nothing. Groups that are holding back funds because of the current policy will continue to because in their eyes, the change doesn’t go far enough. I just happen to agree with them.
        Eagle Scout 1987
        Woodbadge 2005
        Active scout/scouter for 30 years

  16. Carla Scouter // April 19, 2013 at 10:29 am //

    I know this is a tough decision for an organization that made such a stand a few years ago, but I am very disappointed. This will help those boys already in the organization, but how can they feel accepted when they will be kicked to the curb and not wanted as scouters when they turn 18 or 21? Be on the right side of history, the side that works to end all kinds of discrimination. Pass this resolution, but stand up and make the next move.

  17. What a disgraceful mixed message this is sending to our Scouts. In essence, we’re telling them, it’s ok if you’re gay, you can be a Scout. BUT, if you’re an adult, it’s ok if we discriminate against you.

    I’m fairly certain Baden Powell would be appalled by this decision.

    • Glad you know what BP would do

  18. Soon to be former Scouter // April 19, 2013 at 10:37 am //

    Is there no end to the Homosexual Agenda? Start your own program instead of defiling an existing one. Being Homosexual is a choice but the argument will continue anyway. This ruling has to be all or nothing or it will not please anyone.

    • Star Scout Mom // April 19, 2013 at 10:48 am //

      They already have a scouting organization they can join, but that isn’t enough. It will never be enough.

      • Jacob Tysz // April 19, 2013 at 10:50 am //

        Who’s “they”? I am a Cub Scout leader and a parent and not gay, but I support inclusion for all. Am I part of the “homosexual agenda”?

        • Deanna L. Druyor - Wetzel // April 19, 2013 at 10:55 am //

          Sadly Jacob, many that will comment here will call you a “homosexual activist” because you support inclusion for all. There are some that are quite vocal against those of us that support inclusion and label us thus.

        • Star Scout Mom // April 19, 2013 at 10:55 am //

          Yes, you are promoting the agenda.

        • yes you are part of the problem Jacob

        • Jacob Tysz // April 19, 2013 at 11:02 am //

          I do wonder who else you on the other side would like to exclude (if you could), given the chance…sad.

        • so , do u feel that atheists should be allowed ,in scouts .what about convicted felons .

    • Charlie A // April 19, 2013 at 10:48 am //

      What proof do you have that it’s a choice? And by that I mean real, scientific proof. Not a story on Fox News about a study by the FRC that says it is.

      • Star Scout Mom // April 19, 2013 at 10:51 am //

        It’s a redefined mental illness.

        • wow, that’s incredibly moronic to say

        • The majority of the human population is geared to acts with members of the opposite sex to reproduce. A change in the wiring causing acts with members of the same sex and not being able to reproduce indicates an agreement with your statement and an end to the human species.

        • It’s absolutely not a mental illness.

      • Soon to be former Scouter // April 19, 2013 at 11:43 am //

        Oh, please. Is this how you justify yourself? You can’t help it you were born that way?

    • beardozer // April 19, 2013 at 10:54 am //

      So is being a Christian, a Muslim or Jew. Should we start discriminating based on religion as well?

      • A scout is reverent, which is accepting of other faiths including those of the non-faith.

      1. Equality.
      2. See #1

      yeah, i do support the agenda…

  19. So what about the Boy Scout who is also a Venture Scout? He’s a youth in the Venture program until he turns 21, but an adult in the Boy Scout program after he turns 18. So from 18-21 he can no longer participate with the Boy Scout program in any way, but he can still be a Venture Scout. When he reaches the age of 21, he’s out completely. How absurd!!!

  20. Andrew G. // April 19, 2013 at 10:40 am //

    I’m a Boy Scout, and I wouldn’t feel comfortable tenting with and around boys who find me attractive. Gay boys should start their own organization for camping if they really like it that much.

    • Star Scout Mom // April 19, 2013 at 10:45 am //

      My son feels the same way. There is already an organization they can join – The Navigators.

      • I am an Eagle Scout. I am also gay, and knew I was gay as early as 12 years old. Somehow, I managed to keep my hands to myself during my years in Scouting. As did the other gay kids in our Troop. Shocking, I know.

        • turn in your Eagle badge for a moral infringement, it still belongs to the BSA

        • SR121, know that the Eagle badge is the property of the young man that earned it, not the organization. you need to move on to some other organization that would love your talents, like the KKK. You’d fit in there.

        • Matt, it is never the property of the individual, it remains property of the BSA, and must be returned if they dishonor themselves or the BSA

        • SR, Carter has not committed any moral infringement. From what he has said here, he has followed BSA policy. I see no reason for him to turn anything over. You seem to be forgetting aspects of the Scout Law, however.

        • Beth, I have forgotten nothing, he can not do his duty to God, he can not be reverent, and he has committed an violation of his honor code, upon which he swore his honor. When presented his Eagle award, he was reminded that the rank did not belong to him, that it belonged to the BSA and was only entrusted to him, that if he should ever dishonor himself, or the BSA, that he was duty bound to return it to the BSA. He did break the code becoming a scout, and he is duty bound upon his honor that he pledged to return his Eagle to the BSA. It is the same with all Eagles.

        • He can be reverent and do his duty to god. He may not be doing his duty to your god, but the thing is, he has no duty to your god. He has a duty to his god.

        • God and I are on good term, SR. Thanks. It is not your place to judge my religious beliefs. One can be a reverent person and disagree with your moral values, SR.

        • Carter, you can’t do what is sin, and be on a good relationship with God. Jesus died for your sins, but you have to accept him, and repent of your sins, you can’t repent if you keep living the same sinful life. Salvation aside, you can’t be an Eagle Scout if you have dishonored the Oath and Law you have sworn yourself to. You made a promise when you accepted that Eagle badge that if you ever did anything to dishonor yourself, or the BSA, that you would return it. The honor that you swore to, is why you must return it to the BSA. You are unworthy to be counted as an Eagle since you have disgraced yourself, your uniform, and the BSA. Of this there is absolutely no question.

        • Karen Zeller // April 19, 2013 at 8:45 pm //

          The BSA’s Declaration of Religious Principle, adopted more than 100 years ago, says in part, “The Boy Scouts of America maintains that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God and, therefore, recognizes the religious element in the training of the member, but it is absolutely nonsectarian in its attitude toward that religious training. Its policy is that the home and organization or group with which the member is connected shall give definite attention to religious life. Only persons willing to subscribe to these precepts from the Declaration of Religious Principle and to the Bylaws of the Boy Scouts of America shall be entitled to certificates of leadership.” Unless you are willing to respect the religious beliefs of the Bahai, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, practitioners of Native American religions, and the more than 28 varieties of Christians who are members of Boy Scouts, you do not meet the qualifications for membership in the BSA. This Declaration was adopted almost 100 years ago. BSA is absolutely nonsectarian, and in a Scouting context (no problem on your own time, just not in a Scouting context), it is not appropriate to tell someone that he can’t be right with his God unless he agrees with your doctrine.

        • Karen Zeller // April 19, 2013 at 8:46 pm //

          Correction: adopted almost 100 years ago, not more than. Should have proofread better.

        • SR, my church welcomes gay people and blesses our marriages. It is one of the oldest, most important Christian denominations in our nations history. We may not believe what you believe, but that is our right. You don’t get to determine whether or not another person’s belief in God is good enough or proper enough to “count” as far as Scouting is concerned. Also, you just explicitly accused me of molesting children, which is both completely untrue and a completely hateful thing to say. That sort of uncharitable, discourteous behavior is a true affront to Scouting. I am proud to have earned the rank of Eagle, even if it does mean I am tangentially associated with as poor an exemplar of the Scouting ideal as you.

        • Karen Zeller // April 21, 2013 at 10:10 pm //

          Since you still don’t understand, SR, I will try it again. You used a term that is universally considered derogatory. When it was brought to your attention that it was a derogatory term, and that you were using it in such a way, you repeated it, many times over. It was your intent to harm with language. You are not communicating in a way that befits a Scout. We Scouts do not talk this way, and you know that is true, because you teach Scoutlike communication — you must, in order to teach the program.

          Other people don’t *make* us behave in an unScoutlike way by their difference from us. You are not forced to violate your Scout ideals by what someone else does. You can always choose to behave in a Scoutlike manner in every circumstance, and I’m sure that is what you tell your boys. We all accept a great challenge when we commit ourselves to being Scouts at all times, and we need to live up to that at all times — no circumstance changes that.

      • The Navigators? Never heard of them. And when I google it, all i get is a website for an international interdenominational christian organization.

        • for the navigators or for the baden powell scout association. both are positive program for all youth regardless of gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation.

        • Looks like you found your new home. Its for the best that you go. If choose not to want to mold your character to fit the BSA Oath and Law then you should leave rather than expect the BSA to lower the bar for you, me or anyone. There’s no sense of achievement if someone just gives you everything you want. Those who want to change the BSA to include them in the membership are essentially very selcish in trying to take something away from everyone else who accept the BSA for what it is and still strive to mold themselves to those ideals. good luck in the navigators. I’ve never heard of them; maybe there’s a reason for that?

    • beardozer // April 19, 2013 at 10:56 am //

      Andrew, as a Scoutmaster I would never ask one of my Scouts to tent with someone they aren’t comfortable with. That said, I wouldn’t go so far as to throw them out of the troop.

    • So don’t share a tent with a gay boy. You should not ever be required to share a tent with anyone else that makes you uncomfortable. Just because a boy is gay, however, doesn’t mean he finds you attractive. In all reality, it is much more likely for a gay boy to be a victim of bullying or assault at the hands of a straight boy than the other way around. What are you afraid of?

      My son is a boy scout also, and he doesn’t think its right to discriminate against other kids or adults. We’ve had this conversation.

      • Deanna L. Druyor - Wetzel // April 19, 2013 at 3:48 pm //

        Beth, I have had the same discussion with my sons. They just have to speak with the Scoutmaster before a camp out to say who they would prefer not to tent with.

      • Fear being assaulted sexually by a homosexual youth. less likely to be assaulted by a homosexual adult whose learned restraint to zome degree. when I was in scouts I knew a 15 year old who molested a 11 year old.; the 15 year old was a homosexual, th 11 year old wasn’t and the 15 year old deceived the 11 year old and tricked him into performing acts which were deceptively wrongful. It happens and when it happens to your son you can flush all tje stats down the toilet because for your son it was 100% if the time and you’ll all never forget it. Everyone else will be gone and have moved on and uour son will live with the scars of molestation for the rest of their lives. Parents should be fearful and scoutmasters will be caught up in the middle of it all.

        • Again, a gay kid is far more likely to be a target than an aggressor in any attack.

        • God said “man should not lay with a man as with a woman” (Leviticus) and that they will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corithians). THAT’S IT! There is no other mention of homosexuality in the Bible (which actually is debatable about those two verses, but let’s stick to what YOU think you know). It also says that the greedy, the drunkard, the SLANDERER (that’s you), the adulterer (which includes those who divorce) will not inherit the kingdom of God. Are the greedy deviants? Do you treat the drunkard the way you treat homosexuals? Because in the Bible THEY ARE ALL denied the kingdom of God. NOWHERE does it say that homosexuals are perverts or criminals. Just that the act is “detestable” and they should be “put to death”, as is being greedy, being an adulterer, being a drunkard. Being and adulterer and being a drunk are covered MORE often than being a homosexual in the entire Bible. Who else does the Bible say should be put to death? Adulterers (which include those who have been divorced and remarry or those who marry a divorced person), those who work on Sunday, for being a disobedient son, not being a virgin (females only of course). Yet you only target homosexuals in this way.

          Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments. (Matthew 22:37-40)

          For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. (James 2:10)

          And who is your neighbor? Jesus tells us that, too!

          Jesus replied and said, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead. “And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. “But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him. “On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.’ “Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?” And he said, “The one who showed mercy toward him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do the same.” (Luke 10:30-37)

          Did the Samaritan stop and ask the beaten man if he was an adulterer, a homosexual, a murderer? No he did not. He helped him, showed him kindness and love. I should not know this better than you…

        • You are funny to me jcal. its typical for a left winged liberal to try to define me in a way that suits their needs but its a definition based on lies; yours. I don’t think I’ll consider your definitions and teachings of the Bible any differently as you also attempt to define God to also suit your needs; selfish needs. There is a newer part to the Bible you might want to read and consider; a whole new part for you to try to change and define to also suit your needs. But that’s the part that matter most my neighbor; its the part that promises salvation and eternal life to you and me if we choose to believe in Him. But its also inclusive of freedom; something this country was inspired and built on. I’m really not sure why your in this blog? Are you even a member of the BSA ir are you just an aggressive militant homosexual activist? I won’t define you but if you’d like to define yourself I’d be curious to know the base of your anger. By the way, if every written book of the Bible was burned on earth it wouldn’t change the fact that its the book if God’ s only true word to us and its written on the hearts of all Godly men. Truths never change. Homosexual behavior will be an abomination to God’s creation on this modern day, on April 22nd 3013 just as it was in April 22nd 1013 and April 22nd 0013.. Just like salvation will never change either jcal. Live free and let others live free too. You can’t control everything in your world; I guess your finding that out neighbor..

        • Wallace, as I’ve mentioned, specifically to you several times, MY SONS ARE BOY SCOUTS. That would be why it matters to me, why I’m here? Reading comprehension, Pharisee, get thee some.

        • I have no idea what your talking about jcal. I’m glad your boys are in the BSA though and I hope they all earn the Eagle Rank. I am shocked hearing your perspective regarding permitting homosexual males into the membership of the BSA. I will never agree with your opinions.. You have no idea what kinds of problems your struggling so hard to bring into the BSA. Having 5 sons in the BSA I woul think you would have more respect for the BSA and all they’ve done for your boys.

        • And by the way, Pharisee, don’t call me a liberal. I’m a Constitutionalist American. Something neither the democrat nor republican party represent.

  21. Star Scout Mom // April 19, 2013 at 10:44 am //

    If this passes, we are out. Glad I haven’t paid Philmont in full yet! We will donate the money to another organization with good moral standing. Gay scouts should join the Navigators, they are welcome there.

    • Jacob Tysz // April 19, 2013 at 10:46 am //

      It’s a pity that you live in fear of something that will never cause you harm.

      • Star Scout Mom // April 19, 2013 at 10:52 am //

        It’s not fear, it’s disgust.

        • Jacob Tysz // April 19, 2013 at 10:55 am //

          Disgust of what? Love?

        • beardozer // April 19, 2013 at 10:58 am //

          Clearly your son will never embrace all the tenants of the Scout Oath and Law. Maybe it’s better for you to leave.

        • Glad to see others holding tight to their moral compass and the scout oath and law. To bad the BSA EC is being swayed by money.

        • Did I disgust you when I was building shelving for a battered women’s shelter to earn my Eagle Scout rank? When I taught kids how to swim at summer camp? When I helped organize Christmas carols at local nursing homes? When I joined my fellow OA members (some of whom are also gay) rebuilding the swimming dock at the local Scout camp?

        • Soon to be former Scouter // April 19, 2013 at 5:20 pm //

          Carter got Eagle for building shelves?

        • MT_Momma // April 19, 2013 at 5:31 pm //

          Soon to be, if you can’t follow the Scout Law (you know, Courteous, Kind, etc.), perhaps it would be better if it were sooner rather than later… What gives you the right to judge Carter’s project? Obviously, it met with the approval of his Eagle board!

        • Building shelving to creat a storage room for the women’s shelter was only part of my project.

    • Ray Seltz // April 19, 2013 at 10:58 am //

      Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Bigots should not be in Scouting

      • Star Scout Mom // April 19, 2013 at 11:11 am //

        Stating the truth does not make me a bigot. Homosexuals practice perversion. We will not compromise our beliefs to coddle the mentally ill. If the policy is adopted we will leave and take our money elsewhere.

        • Definition of BIGOT: a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance

      • Soon to be former Scouter // April 19, 2013 at 11:54 am //

        And neither should homesexuals.

      • Are you saying that the gay community isn’t also bigoted?

    • Hey Star Scout Mom, I too may quit if it passes,…. because it doesn’t go far enough to end the discrimination..
      -Lou (Eagle & Eagle Dad)

    • Stick to your guns, Star Scout Mom! It’s a sign of our times that some people think that destroying time-honored institutions is more important than practicing what they preach; to wit: tolerance. They say we don’t tolerate them but in fact the opposite is true; we don’t seek to destroy their associations as they continually seek to destroy ours. And, sadly, there will always internal saboteurs like “beardozer” who choose to ignore or subvert inconvenient parts of the Oath and Law to enable the attackers. Don’t worry, if the vote goes the wrong way, you’ll have plenty of company heading for the exits.

      • Soon to be former Scouter // April 19, 2013 at 11:52 am //

        “Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions”. G.K. Chesterton

      • Bob, great call. The truth will set you free.

  22. I am incredibly disappointed in the BSA.

    Liberal groups (like my Chartered Org and our Council) will probably vote against it because it still does not allow Gay Eagle Scouts to participate as leaders, and it still tells some children that their parents are not welcome.

    Conservative groups will probably vote against it because it does not allow their Chartered Org to set policies that are consistent with their religious beliefs.

    In the end, this may fail catastrophically, but leave the BSA able to say “We tried, but no one wanted change.”

    • Let me add … Please Read the Executive Summary! It’s important, and it explains a lot of the details. It explains how the BSA got to this proposal, and why.

  23. Charlie A // April 19, 2013 at 10:46 am //

    Brian, it seems that the way this worded in the last paragraph, it’s already been approved and adopted, effective Jan. 1.

    • That’s the resolution wording. The voting members will decide whether to adopt or reject that resolution in its entirety.

      • Deanna L. Druyor - Wetzel // April 19, 2013 at 10:56 am //

        Thank you for that explanation.

  24. If we leave the values of scouting, then scouting should fail! Hopefully funding will dry up if BSA approves this, and another organization with the values of Scouting will emerge. Hopefully if the BSA approves this that they will cease to exist in short order.

    • Jacob Tysz // April 19, 2013 at 10:54 am //

      Actually, funding is likely to go up…the decrease in funding is one of the things driving this change. I certainly hope that the BSA does the right thing and moves forward with this, as imperfect as it is….

      • Hopefully the majority of Americans will be disgusted with the addition of sexual perverts, and will defund the organization as a protest to the decline of morality.

        • Jacob Tysz // April 19, 2013 at 11:04 am //

          Nope, the majority of Americans realize that all should be welcome.

        • This will be end of a valued establishment.

        • Jacob, just because you make up a fact trying to say most Americans this or that certainly does not make it to be so!

        • Jacob is correct, the studies have shown recently that the American public are more inclusive, and accepting of gays and lesbians. The percentage of Americans that have a positive opinion of homosexuality is greater than the negative, and the spread between the two is widening every day. We, as a country, are evolving to a point of enlightenment.

        • Soon to be former Scouter // April 19, 2013 at 5:26 pm //

          I shouldn’t have read Matt’s reply after dinner….making me sick. Just because the majority, and I question the statistic, approves doesn’t make it right. Homosexuality is wrong period!

        • The majority of Americans are now in favor of gay marriage… a change which has come about in the last 3 years. If they think gay people should be allowed to have equal civil rights, why wouldn’t they think gay people should be allowed to be boy scouts?

    • Funding may increase but membership will be cut in half if not more. It won’t be feasible to have all those paid leaders, and property, with such a mass exodus.

      • Star Scout Mom // April 19, 2013 at 11:18 am //

        That’s right Joe. The belief that the majority of the population approves of the homosexual agenda is nothing but mainstream media hype.

  25. I see this policy change as movement forward, surely a compromise but movement forward nonetheless. Hopefullly, this resolution will pass and we can all get back to focusing on the business of providing a quality character development program to our nation’s youth.

    • Sorry, this is a step backward. Compromising your values because of money isn’t what makes leaders or upstanding youth. We tell our children that if their friends are going to step off a cliff, not to follow them because they are their friends.

      This does not follow moral leadership.

  26. At what point in a boy’s life does he know he is gay? I have known college age boys who have struggled with the question. Who determines his status? This resolution goes against all of the scouting principals since scouting was founded. What would Baden Powell think of this?

    • At the point in time that he gives up being morally straight, and accepts a lie from the devil, stating that perversion is ok. There are no born perverts, they make that decision.

      • beardozer // April 19, 2013 at 11:59 am //

        There’s also never been a person born into a religion. That has to be taught. Should be start discriminating based on religion as well?

        • Really? Wow the concept that people know some version of right and wrong, and the reinforcement by family and society, is part of the basis of religion. We teach children, and reinforce sharing, and caring for others, do not steal, do not kill, do not lie…

          So in fact, your statement is incorrect. Survey says, Try again.

    • For most gay kids, the first recognition occurs during puberty. Many struggle for years to come to terms with their orientation. I realized it when I was 12, didn’t outwardly acknowledge it until I was 24. That’s later than usual.

      • Soon to be former Scouter // April 19, 2013 at 5:14 pm //

        Absent father, overbearing mother or both?

        • MT_Momma // April 19, 2013 at 5:29 pm //

          Soon to be – how incredibly rude and presumptious of you!

        • Neither. Do you really think you’re setting a proper example for Scouts by insulting and denigrating my parents?

        • Your statements are disgusting. I’m glad you are “soon to be a former scouter”. I know many gay people from loving families. I’d rather have gay leaders who care about the kids than have someone like you indoctrinating our sons into hatred and bigotry.

        • Karen Zeller // April 19, 2013 at 11:45 pm //

          Several people have advanced the claim that there is no scientific support for the idea that sexual orientation is inborn. I do not claim any personal expertise at all. But the standard academic sources seem to agree that much of the source of orientation is biological.

          Dr. David Myers is a professor of Psychology at the Reformed Church in America’s Hope College, New Holland, MI. His basic text, Psychology, is widely used at Christian colleges and other schools nationwide. In that text, Myers assembled the following references:

          M. D. Storms, 1983, established that homosexuality is not the result of a domineering mother, an ineffectual father, a hostile father, rejection of the other gender, levels of sex hormones, molestation or sexual victimization. Bell & Hammersmith had already determined in 1981 (“Sexual Preference: Its Development in Men and Women”) that parental relationships, childhood sexual experiences, dating experiences, and peer relationships were not the reasons. Ludwig, 1995 (“The Price of Greatness”), did find that homosexuality was about 10 times more likely among men who were poets, fiction writers, artists, or musicians than in the general population.

          Three studies have determined that brothers born later in the family are progressively more likely to be gay than the older brothers: Blanchard, 1997 (“Birth order and sibling sex ratio in homosexual and heterosexual males and females,” Annual Review of Sex Research) and 2008 (“Review and history of handedness, birth order, and homosexuality in men,” Laterality), and Bogaert, 2003 (“Biological versus nonbiological older brothers and men’s sexual orientation,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences). This only holds when the brothers are biological, not adopted. This effect does not appear in women.

          Bagemihl, 1999 (Biological Exuberance), identified several hundred species of animals in which same-sex relations appear. Between 6% and 10% of rams on ranches display same-sex attraction, according to Perkins & Fitzgerald, 1997 (“Sexual orientation in domestic rams: Some biological and social correlates,” in Ellis and Eberts, Sexual Orientation).

          A blind study of brains of homosexual and heterosexual people (blind meaning that the researcher did not know which brains were from which categories of people) found a cluster of cells in the hypothalamus that is reliably larger in gay men than in other men or in women (LeVay, 1991, “A difference in hypothalamic structure between heterosexual and homosexual men,” Science). Savic & Lindstrom, 2008 (“PET and MRI show differences in cerebral asymmetry and functional connectivity between homo- and heterosexual subjects,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences), also established that in lesbian women and heterosexual men reliably have right brain hemispheres that are larger than left, while gay men and heterosexual women reliably have more balanced brain hemispheres. Rahman and Wilson, 2003 (“Born Gay?” Personality and Individual Differences), established that brain differences develop very early in life.

          Twin studies are the gold standard for establishing heritability (genetic factors) of our characteristics. Langstrom, 2008 (“Genetic and environmental effects on same-sex sexual behavior,” Archives of Sexual Behavior), established that identical twins (those whose genetic material is essentially identical) share the same orientation more often than fraternal twins (who have had as much common life experience as identical twins, but only as much genetic similarity as any siblings). There are measurable differences between homosexual men and heterosexual men, as populations, in spatial abilities, fingerprint ridge counts, auditory system development, handedness, relative finger length, and body size. A study of 200,000 people worldwide found the same kinds of differences between the , two populations world-wide (Lippa, two studies reported in Archives of Sexual Behavior in 2007, and another in 2008).

          This Christian professor at this rather conservative Christian college concludes, “Regardless of the process, the consistency of brain, genetic, and prenatal findings has swung the pendulum toward a biological explanation of sexual orientation.”

        • Thank you, Karen. Very interesting look at some of the science involved.

  27. beardozer // April 19, 2013 at 11:02 am //

    Far all of you supporting this decision with regards to the adult leaders, take this test. Replace the word “gay” with “Black, Mexican or Jew”

    • OrthoScout // April 19, 2013 at 11:10 am //

      This is a specious argument. Can you how me where in the bible it states that being a Black, Mexican, or Jew is a problem?

      • beardozer // April 19, 2013 at 12:02 pm //

        Again, you’re making the mistake of associating the Christian bible with Scouting. The BSA is NOT an exclusively Christian organization.

        • OrthoScout // April 19, 2013 at 1:09 pm //

          Wow. Here you are wrong, and wrong LOUD. I’m Jewish, and take my values from the Torah, not from popular culture or the media.

          The BSA is most certainly not an exclusively Christian organization — they bend backwards to accommodate our needs, and, in turn, we wholeheartedly endorse all the points of the Scout Law. The BSA is an organization that demands from it’s members a life lived in awe of the creator. Our only documentary evidence of what that creator wants is pretty clear on homosexuality. I will grant that you may not accept the Bible as documentary evidence of the desires of the great and holy, but I’m involved in the BSA because they do.

          I would ask you to refrain from telling me what or who I’m associating with. In the meantime, I’m logging off for the Sabbath.

    • Wow! Comparing apples to oranges. Where does “Black, Mexican or Jew” fit into being MORALLY STRAIGHT?

      Where does this fit into the very basics of life in reproduction offspring and the basic tenets of a species survival? Surely being “Black, Mexican or Jew” allows that measure.

      • beardozer // April 19, 2013 at 12:03 pm //

        “Morally straight” does not refer to sexuality. You might want to read the BSA literature.

        • Morals don’t come from a BSA manual! The fact you have to cite this means you don’t have or understand this.

        • Beardozer, it’s you who need to pull back out his old handbook. The handbook is very very clear, on the 12 points of the Scout Law, on A Scout is Clean, it talks about even reading material, our thinking, it speaks of pornography, as well as physically clean. On Morally Straight on the Scout Oath, it talks about much of the same, it goes on to tell us about sex being part of marriage, and for scouts to be morally straight that they must wait for marriage for sex. There certainly can’t be marriage, nor procreation among perverts.

        • SR121, there certainly CAN be marriage between gay people. In areas where gay people cannot be married, they can still have committed relationships, which can be likened to marriage. How ironic that people tell gay people they can’t have sex because they aren’t married, and then to say that they can’t get married. Gay people CAN have families.

    • serioulsy , lol ,,did u forget that being homosexual is a CHIOCE , your skin color is not .seems u people will stop at nothing to push your agenda ,

      • beardozer // April 19, 2013 at 12:00 pm //

        Religion is not a choice? And “u people”? Exactly what people?

        • Your in denial. Based on the totality of your emails, “u people” means those wishing to allow something the group as a whole does not accept, but yet you are not willing to join a group designed to support your views and perspectives.

      • It is not a choice. I certainly never chose to be gay. Unlike you, I know many gay people.

        • Soon to be former Scouter // April 19, 2013 at 1:10 pm //

          That’s what the Left continually teaches. If you tell that to yourself enough times it must be true. You did choose it but you are in denial. There is a way out but you must seek it.

      • Tell me, when did you all choose to be straight?

        • Fred Cooper // April 21, 2013 at 8:43 am //

          God made me that way for the purpose of pro-creation of the Species to join in life-long marriage with a female of the same Species and raise children to love all people but to be set apart as a moral and ethical example to preserve and continue a moral and ethical society.

          I know homosexuals believe they were created that way in the womb. What do they think their purpose is based on the statement above? All people are worthy and have a place in moral and ethical society with justice for all The “place” as in raising up and training children is where we disagree.

        • So the only person God has in creating any person is for pro-creation? I don’t think that’s the case. Perhaps he has another purpose in mind when he creates homosexuals. I’m sure we can’t know here on this earth.

        • Fred Cooper // April 21, 2013 at 1:11 pm //

          Beth, I think I asked the question as to where homosexuals think they fit into God’s plan. I don’t know. Maybe one day I’ll get to ask him. Probably to serve God through his Word.

      • being gay isnt a choice. believing the bible is truth is a choice.

    • Soon to be former Scouter // April 19, 2013 at 11:50 am //

      How about we replace the word ‘gay’ with homosexual and call it as it really is.

      • The words *kind of* mean the same thing…

        • Fred Cooper // April 21, 2013 at 1:25 pm //

          I agree with STBFS. Gay is homosexual only in the Urban dictionary sense. Homosexuals have co-opted the word all the way now to Merriam-Websters now. Up until the 60’s counter-culture it meant happy. I’m sure they are unhappy homosexuals so to describe them all as “gay” in the historic meaning is certainly not descriptive of all homosexuals and homosexuality if the behavior.. .

        • The actual linguistic meaning of the word “gay” was NOT happy either..

        • Fred Cooper // April 22, 2013 at 10:00 am //

          Come on, you really want to make an argument of that? I’ve been through these fine-tuning of definitions to try to make the downplay the primary use of a word throughout history to mean the urban dictionary, progressive definition more palatable.

          SInce Merriam Webster has been quoted:

          Number 1 definition of gay.
          1a : happily excited : merry
          b : keenly alive and exuberant : having or inducing high spirits

          You can string it out if you want to, but the #1 definition works for me and most folks. Sure, folks assign traditional words to many things. One weakness of English speaking people and the English language itself.

        • I didn’t argue the point, I just fine tuned it. YOU are the one who wants to go back to it’s “original” definition..I was just pointing out that what you think is its “original” definition is wrong.

          If you want to talk linguistic origins, let’s get it right. It was first used to mean homosexual in the 1300s it meant “beautiful”…from the 1400 until until the 1800s then it meant “happy”…in the 1800s it meant immorality (female) and “those addicted to social pleasures” (males), though it’s a bit more complicated than that…

          See, one of my hobbies is origins. I like to know where EVERYTHING started. When I was hearing I would only listen to songs sung by their original artists. So, if you want to go back to it’s “original” meaning, then it would go back to meaning “beautiful” as that is it’s origin. I’m not trying to make anything more palatable. I’m just really particular in this area. It extends to everything, as you should have noticed when I brought up religion in relation to cave paintings…

        • Fred Cooper // April 22, 2013 at 10:48 am //

          I noticed that. A popular saying is “Words mean things” but clear universal, right in every instance and appropriate for every use definitions are elusive. Just look at the definition of “Truth” and “moral.”

          This is my favorite quote on that issue.

          “I think the original concept behind the word ‘Gay” has been irretrievably lost and is something we need back, but cannot ever reclaim.”

          I prefer in daily use Definition #1. You can use anyone you like and I will still prefer definition #1 as being the most descriptive for common usage. Doesn’t help your argument to parse words anyway. You seem to be a “fair” person that is willing to listen to both sides, not pale with blond hair.

        • Fairness is kind of part of my belief system, though I don’t always achieve it. I’m far too argumentive and volatile, and yet extremely logical minded. It can make conversation with me difficult, as you can attest. But I strive for it (the fairness, not the difficulty).

          Words make it more difficult, especially these days. People use words that do not mean what they think they mean and it becomes a common usage and some words can actually send me into a state of complete stupification. I do not hold well with PC terminology and the word “privilege” used by many people will make me turn my back on people and dismiss them and anything they have to say.

          BTW, I’m a tan redhead..probably where the volatile and argumentive came from…Irish/American Indian roots 😉

  28. Not in the best interest of BSA.

  29. OrthoScout // April 19, 2013 at 11:08 am //

    I’ve been dreading the release of this, and I’m not nearly as upset as I could be. This is a difficult situation for all. From my perspective (Trust me, as my nick name should clue you), I’m not Christian, but my scouts and I hold to the Bible in every way we can. Thus the issue: I don’t want to discriminate against gays, but I also don’t want someone being held up as a role model who is unfit to be such. I would not want a gay rabbi, I would not want a gay scoutmaster.

    The issue of what to do with a gay scout who wants to be an adult leader is something that we’re all going to have to wrestle with.

  30. A possible future ex-Scouter // April 19, 2013 at 11:11 am //

    So basically we’re telling people that it’s OK for the youth, but not the adults? This is a whole new form of bullying, BSA. You’re saying it’s OK to be a part of the program until you’re an adult, then we’ll cast you off. What kind of message is this? Shame on the BSA for continuing this type of exclusion.

    • So now it’s discrimination AND Bullying? Really?

      Wow, how is that bullying anyone? I don’t see the BSA going out and attacking the LGBT community.

      I see the LGBT community trying to bully the BSA to get their way and make the BSA accept their rules.

      • Exactly. Well said, Joe.

      • Social bullying, sometimes referred to as relational bullying, involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships. Social bullying includes:

        Leaving someone out on purpose
        Telling other children not to be friends with someone
        Spreading rumors about someone
        Embarrassing someone in public

  31. I would like to thank the BSA for being COWARDS. As a scout in my youth and a Scout Leader today with two sons in the program, I am disappointed that I will need to tell them that the organization they love still promotes discrimination based on sexual orientation. At six and twelve they already know that discrimination is wrong. Why can’t the BSA leadership show courage and honor and announce definitively that bigotry and discrimination will have no place in their program? To allow gay youth to join while still clinging to the notion that gay adults are somehow unworthy is the height of hypocrisy. I’m also stunned that the BSA is attempting to slip this announcement into the news stream when no one else would be looking due to the tragic events in Boston. Well BSA, if you think you had a fight on your hands, just wait to see what comes next.

    • Michael: Why do you believe that discrimination is a bad thing? Each of us do so everyday. Even God discriminated against satan. Because I must be clear, I am not comparing homosexuals to satan so please no accusations. Not every person, group or organization must be all inclusive to be valid. Churches discriminate against athiests and I am sure athiests do not hand around with religious fanatics. Because the organization was started with certain religious principles in mind, the loosening of morals in our society should not cause the changing of the BSA. So by teaching your children that discrimination is wrong, you are not giving them tools to make right decisions.

      • by teaching his children to think for themselves and allow their beliefs to not be dictated by religion he is absolutely giving them the tools and environment to make the right decisions.

      • Joe, my children are taught to judge others on their actions, not their race, religion, gender, or sexual preference. They are taught that as Americans, they should support equality for all people. My children are blessed to have a wide circle of friends from all races and religions. We have friends and family members who are gay and others are straight. They don’t care that they are gay or straight. They care that they are friends. We are Catholic, but have friends who are Muslim, Jewish, agnostic, or atheists. It’s a non issue. Do we ever debate about issues? Sure. But my children understand that people can disagree without it leading to discrimination or turning our back on others. My children are taught to respect others. So, if this constitutes my “not giving them the tools to make the right decisions”, I’m sorry you feel that way. I intend to raise loving respectful children who embrace their fellow man as opposed to turning their back on them.

    • Michael,
      How about, “Do not change a thing?”. Are closet homosexuals leaving now or in the past because of the current policy? Will they leave if the policy changes? Will you leave? Why try and destroy BSA if they do not do what YOU want? If like homosexual association, then create a youth group to compete with BSA.

      These are the problems created when time tested morals by every major religion for thousands of years are fluid to suit someones new and recent set of standards.

      • many are leaving because bsa is known for its discriminatory and hateful policies. even if these policies dont affect you directly you likely have friends or family members who happen to be gay. and certainly you really need to show the support for them and not harmful policies.

        • Dewey Said: “many are leaving because bsa is known for its discriminatory and hateful policies. even if these policies dont affect you directly you likely have friends or family members who happen to be gay. and certainly you really need to show the support for them and not harmful policies.”


          IMO you are projecting your own personal hate and bigotry. I find your argument not only to be hate filled but immature. It is the type of argument I expect a teenager to make when they scream at their parents, “I hate you, you don’t understand” when their parents are standing firm and have far better understanding than their child.

          Because you drop the words hate and bigotry so easily it is clear that you have no argument and only emotion. You are of the immature and mistaken belief that if some one holds an opposing view to yours then it can only be motivated by hate.

          How sad is that?

      • The time tested morals of every major religion have changed over the years. We no longer burn witches, thank God. Change is not a bad thing if it leads to the equality of all people and the elevation of mankind into a more tolerant and peaceful world.

        • All very pretty, Michael, but you still have not explained why a successful, time-honored organization should abandon its core beliefs to accommodate your personal foible? Why not create your own organization with your “enlightened” and “evolved” set of values and let the people decide which to join? Why cast out all those who agree with the principles upon which the BSA was founded rather than show some tolerance for their beliefs and opinions? Why should yours out weigh theirs?

        • Michael said: “The time tested morals of every major religion have changed over the years. We no longer burn witches, thank God. Change is not a bad thing if it leads to the equality of all people and the elevation of mankind into a more tolerant and peaceful world.”


          Consider this: Conformity is doing what everybody else is doing regardless of what is right.

          Morality is doing what is right regardless of what everybody else is doing

          Tolerance is a virtue, but like all virtues when taken to extremes and exaggerated become vices

          “We need to be careful of the tolerance trend, so that we do not get swallowed up in it, The permissiveness afforded by the weakening of the laws of the land to tolerate and legalize immorality does not reduce the serious spiritual consequence that is the result from a violation of God’s law of Chastity.” Boyd K Packer

    • So the discussion was all a scam, then. Shame on National. As for the survey, only one member of our family received it. All who would have given negative input did not.

      Make sure your Council knows your feelings. I think the decision was made a long time ago, and doubt it will do any good, but it’s time to inundate them with phone calls.

      The National leadership needs to step down — they obviously do NOT uphold the Scout values of honesty, loyalty, trustworthy, and reverent. Shame, shame, shame on them.

      • well yes most of the bsa policy changes are a complete sham and seem to be decided entirely in texas without really considering the true purpose of scouting and that its intended to be a outdoor youth program for all boys. telling council how you feel sadly isnt the most useful as they dont even have to listen and its the local council/cor’s that actually have the power not the either youth of adult members.

    • Did anyone else notice that “THE LARGEST” CO’s the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints seems to have NOT been counted in this analysis… “The Chartered Organization Study Group was charged with listening to the voice of the national-level leadership in the BSA’s major chartered organizations. The BA contacted 64 religious chartered organizations and 54 nonreligious chartered organizations. The BA’s largest chartered organization, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is not included in these totals”

      It seems that if you want to make a decision shouldn’t you consider the opinion of your LARGEST member organization?

      • In my opinion, I don’t believe the LDS Church will change there moral policy if the National Council changes. And I don’t believe the Catholic Church will change either. Religions that have a strong moral code don’t bend to every fad. But the BSA isn’t a religion, but Duty to God is an important part of the Scout Oath. The BSA policy has changed ( But the National Council has to approve the new policy ),if they don’t change any more in the next 3-5 years the BSA might survive.

        • I believe that BSA will die if the DO change the policy. It must stay the way it is or the organization will die. Another alternative would be to split in 2. Let the Gays have their organization and those with morals keep the current BSA.

      • as the bsa is primarily controlled by the lds their opinions are well known. what is actually important is the scouts and scouters not the charter orgs.

    • Leave the BSA alone. Gays are welcome at other organizations. Just let them join those organizations. The BSA organization should stand up for morality and what is right. BSA is NOT hypocritical now but they will be if this policy is changed.

    • Michael, since discrimination is wrong. Should BSA also lift the ban on excluding girls in cubs and boy scouts because that is discrimination? Should BSA also lift he require for a belief in God? Because that too is discrimination. What do your boys say about public and private institutions that discriminate against the BSA?

  32. Being a good Leader means having to make hard decisions that you know may not be popular but know its the right thing to do. This proposal is nothing but a half hearted attempt to please everyone but what it really shows is that the national committee are just cowards.

    • yes this decision is nothing more than a half hearted attempt to please a few and certainly not an attempt to actually have equality. as written it will continue to discriminate based on sexuality and continues the incorrect belief that homosexual behavior makes one not the type of leader capable of helping develop new leaders. i applaud not national which has taken the cowards way out on this decision but to the councils and units that have actually adopted a nondiscrimination pledge of their own.

  33. I am a Trangender Eagle Scout, Yet I am forbidden to participate in the B.S.A. anymore for the fact i am Transgender, and date both Males and females. I wonder if my local Girl Scout Troup needs some more Adults. At least the Girl Scouts welcome All.

    • Why not give it a try? (I’m betting the parents won’t be thrilled.) Or why not volunteer your time to Spiral Scouts? They are growing, they are welcoming of all people with open arms, and they’ll surely appreciate your help.

    • girl scouts, spiral scouts, navigators, bpsa all are more inclusive than the bsa.

      • Absolutely, Dewey. And they need volunteers, and additional members. Those who disagree with the stated tenets of BSA should join. I know that Sprial Scouts is ready for BSA to uphold its policy and hopes to gain members from that decision. I think that’s great. People should not be hypocritical — they should join organizations with whose core values they agree. You can find a circle here:, or start your own. They’ll help you.. And they are wholly inclusive, wholly.

      • Good for them. Different strokes for different folks. Tell you what: I won’t demand Spirals or Navigators give up their principles if you stop demanding the Boy Scouts give up theirs. That’s the way the Freedom to Associate works, see?

    • You should certainly look into it and join them. I’m a heterosexual Eagle Scout and will be proud to fill the vacuum left by your departure and teach all the scouts what morally straight means, what biblical principles are, what loyalty and a promise to do my duty to God and My Country actually means. I didn’t lie when I stood proudly and accepted my Eagle Rank; did U?

      • Deanna L. Druyor - Wetzel // April 20, 2013 at 2:15 pm //

        Wallace, teaching scouts what biblical principles are would be against the BSA Declaration of Religious Principles. It would be improper to teach the boys about one holy book over another. Scouts are to learn about religion from their family and their church not their Boy Scout Leader.

        • Do you understand that I have a Constitutional Right to practice my faith; my Christian Religion. Do you understand that men and women have sacrificed tremendously for my Cinstitutional Rights. Do you understand that the BSA or you will not take my rights away from me. I teach scouts to know their right as Free Americans. Always someone whose going to try to steal them away like you.. Understand that I don’t check my faith in at the door when I attend our scout meetings, outings, etc. If that bothers or scares you then be bothered and scared. Scouting in the BSA is run by a vast majority of Christians. I won’t be bullied by aggressive homosexual activists who are trying to destroy the BSA with their homosexual agenda. I won’t be leaving either because I have too much fight in me; my American heritage. If confused youth are permitted to join the BSA I may be one who can minister to them and help them along their journey. Will show them the love of a true Christian; me. If their seeking their salvation then I’ll help them find it; I know where salvation is found.

        • Deanna L. Druyor - Wetzel // April 21, 2013 at 10:29 pm //

          I am not taking away your rights. Just reminding you of the BSA Declaration of Religious Principles that state the job of teaching the Scouts about biblical principles lies with the parents or their faith leader not their Scout leader.

      • Wallace, you’re probably the type who feels that the bible should be taught in school, forcing your religious thinking on those younger than you, and less likely to form their own critical thinking. I suggest you take your book and go to Sunday services and stop worrying about preaching and proselytizing your beliefs to the scouts you “lead”.

        Your constitutional rights only apply to you. You are free to practice your religion. Not to force it on others.

        • If your fearful of biblical principles being taught through the example I am to the boys I lead in our troop then fear me. The BSA is an excellent place for me to share my Christian Faith. I have neve had a problem with any of it so far. I know my knowing my freedoms irritates many if you who want to control the rights of Christians but give it up or live a tormented life because you won’t cintrol me. I’ve been involved in scouting for decades and plan to be involved for decades to come. Some can fear that and some will appreciate that. I’ve only ever felt appreciated by the units I’ve served.

  34. The BSA seems to fall under condemnation no matter what policy changes they present or dismiss; what an extraordinarily divisive issue! All I wish to add is that the majority of comments here are very “all-or-nothing” in nature; everybody’s inner activist seems to be sounding off. Certainly a policy change will have some impact, but probably less than the rhetoric would suggest. Politics and Religion divide us. The most import message of Scouting is contained in the Scout Law and Oath; all parties concerned can unite around those principles. If we can’t unify through Scouting, then what’s the point being involved?

    • Shaman, you’re missing the point — there is no grey here. Either you consider the practic of homosexuality to be alternative or you consider it to be wrong. People who consider it to be wrong cannot continue to be members of an organization whose core treats it as just an alternative.

      • KS is right. Black and white do still exist even though the media, Hollywood, college campuses, focused activists, etc. have been constantly working on us trying to incrementally “normalize” homosexuality. Almost every show on regular TV, not including cable, has “normal” homosexual couples kissing, or they are in bed together, or they are adopting and raising children. If anyone has a problem with them or doesn’t agree with their lifestyle, then that person is portrayed as being insensitive and mean-spirited and who would want a label like that (brainwashing). Because of the intensity that homosexuality is being pushed, you would think that 25% or more of Americans are homosexuals and that is not the case.
        I will not stand with an organization that no longer shares my values or its own and I will not enroll my son in a program that condones and embraces homosexuality as a lifestyle.

    • That is just the point, Shaman. In May the BSA will be voting on whether or not to abandon the Scout Law and Oath. If they approve the proposed policy change, they will be saying that the Oath and Law are no longer applicable to Scouting and that does not sit well with many scouts and scouters. It really is binary; you either believe and uphold the Scout Law and Oath or you think they are out-dated and that the bar must be lowered.

  35. As an Eagle Scout who owes who I am today to the Scouting, I would rather have seen Scouting disbanded than to have them cave in to the pop culture. Scouting has always gone against what was popular to do what was right. With BSA giving on this issue, they have shown they can be bullied into caving on other issues. It won’t be long until God is removed from what is left of Scouting and then Boy will be removed and then what will be left: what Girls Scouts is today — cookie sellers, and that’s all.

    • Gil, I was right there with you until the end. If it wasn’t broke, don’t change it.

      Girl Scouts are a WHOLE lot more than just cookie sellers. Check into the requirements for the GIRL SCOUT GOLD AWARD. The hours & achievements required to earn this award, has to be achieved by the GIRL, herself. True, she can get others to help her—but the 50+ hours is hers and hers alone. Girls do service projects, canoeing, backpacking, camping, rappelling, etc.

      I do feel it is STUPID on BSA to allow the youth and not the leaders. Another LIBERAL bow down! In the past, we have tried to encourage 18 yr old youth to become leaders–with this proposal that is out. BSA should just throw out Youth Protection training, too!

    • As an Eagle Scout is an atheist and supporter of gay rights (though not gay myself), I disagree. In a changing world, the BSA (along with other organizations, including our own government) are going to have to make some changes. We’re beginning to enter a sort of transition point in our society where the baby boomers are being moved out by the next generation (mind that this process still has a long way to go). Different cohorts represent different ideas and values. It’s quite likely that many ideals that you hold would not be held by your parents (just generalizing here). Scouting means so much to me. It made me who I am today more than anything else. I learned so much about being a moral (though not necessarily religious) person, being a cohesive unit of society, and about living life in general. I know that without scouting in my life, I would not be attending college right now.I would not have a good crowd of friends (most of whom were in Scouting with me). Scouting, to me, and many others,was not about god, but enjoying the company of our friends (for a lot of us, it was the only place we could fit in), learning how to be successful, and giving back to the community.

      • Jared: Why? Should we change for change sake? Why must the BSA ‘s beliefs become watered down because the world around us is in decline morally? This is the same argument being made to the catholic church. Specifically, that the church must get into the 20th century and be more tolerant. But can anyone say for certain that God would agree, especially since the Bible is clear. What this change does is change the Boy Scouts into something “Not the Boy Scouts”. I didn’t sign up for this.

        • Joe, you are right about one thing. The Bible does make it clear. It may say something about homosexuals, but it says 1000 fold more about being a just person and treating others like actual human beings whom are equal to yourself. If there is any decline morally, I would say it is with the people inside the church. Those inside the christian religion have all but forgotten exactly what it means to be a christian. To treat others kindly. The Bible isn’t even meant to be taken literally. Almost half the new testament is parables which are stories to compel one to think about life, and the others around him or herself. As far as what the bible says, outside of the old testament, its hardly about worshiping a God, and more about living your life with kindness and decency towards others. Honestly, I would say, if i believed in God, he would probably be very disappointed in what people say in his name. A book written by man should not be used to interpret the wants of your creator. I think the compromise here is, well, the best they can do. Discrimination is wrong on all levels and I’m sure your God would agree with me completely. Oh, and for the record, before someone says anything about it, I was raised a Christian, I have read the entire Bible, and I’m an Eagle Scout.

        • The Boy Scouts are a secular organization and not a Christian organization. There are troops sponsored by non religious groups as well. Though I’m a Christian we must take into consideration the bigger picture of religion regarding homosexuality. Not all Christian faiths ostracize gays. Regardless, my personal opinion is that this is a step in the right direction. All youth should be allowed to join. The chartering units, as they always have, should be the deciding authority for adults.

        • William: You couldn’t be more wrong. The Bible doesn’t say be a good and just person and everything is OK. And I guess it is your interpretation that the Bible isn’t meant to be taken literally. To be Christian means to spread the Word of God. All of it. Not just the parts you like and agree with. Also, the Bible was written by men under the inspiration of God. Thus it must be perfect. And thus homosexuality to Christians is an abomination. I didn’t make this up. But as Christians we love the sinner & hate the sin. And we are therefore perfectly OK with discriminating against those that go against our beliefs. Unfortunately you are one of the convenient believers. Love you but can’t abide by your new religion.

      • Jared, you want the benefits of Scouting without adhering to its principles. Were you an atheist while in Scouting? If so, you should not have passed your Boards of Reveiw. The principles of BSA have withstood the test of time. Everyone who is currently involved with Scouting agreed to adhere to those principles. To degrade them now is to destroy Scouting. PS Outside of LA, NY, many media sources, and higher instutites of learning, the “real world” is quite different. It’s not about age — it’s about indoctrination. That wears off when people begin to think for themselves — usually after they have a child.

        • the principles of bsa are ever changing. the fact that requirements, rules and all their documents seem to change several times a year every single year should make that clear. also just because we joined scouting doesnt mean we actually agreed to or understood the bsa’s principles. have you actually read the complete rules and regulations as well as every other document that prescribes how you must act and think. there are several thousand pages of that stuff. i joined scouting because i loved the outdoors. hiking, camping, canoeing – thats why people around here join scouting. not because they want to go do more church stuff or do indoor classroom based merit badges.

        • The whole mention of homosexuality wasn’t a part of Scouting’s official declarations of purpose until the 1990s (1980s?). That means the organisation stood for 70-plus years without worrying about it. It wasn’t until the rise of the Moral Majority and its ilk that this became an issue that Scouting felt the need to address.

          If the organization could live without mention of homosexuality once, it can again also.

        • Fred Cooper // April 24, 2013 at 9:21 pm //

          I believe it was more the rise of radical homosexual activism that cause the 90’s policy. People BSA did not want kept knocking on the door to be let in until BSA had to scream “You’re not welcome here. Please leave.”

      • Baby boomers will be the power vote for many years to come. Funny how that is; constitutional rights and all. Don’t be too sure society is going to break your way. We are free in this country; and that option includes becomming a far more conservative. The more difficult things become in the world the more people choose to follow God’s will for their lives. That means accepting and following biblical principles. Ever wonder why singing God Bless America became so popular at MLB games? Remember 9-11-2001? Gotta love freedom.I do!!!

    • gary m. kubancsek // April 19, 2013 at 2:14 pm //

      I dont appreciate your negative reference to the girl scouts. I am a leader of a girl scout troop – dedicated to helping young ladies develop in character and citizenship. I am a boy scout leader as well.

      My dedication to the scout oath and law prohibit me from speaking what I think of your commentary.

      Gary K.
      Eagle Scout – class of 1976

      • The Girl Scouts have changed since there homosexual policy has changed. The Girl Scouts are now more into promoting the Liberal agenda, abortion, etc. than developing character and citizenship.

        • Karen Zeller // April 19, 2013 at 4:07 pm //

          As a Girl Scout leader for the last 12 years (and Boy Scout leader for 15), I would strongly disagree with that, Ron. The Girl Scout program teaches leadership through a systematic process; outdoor skills; high levels of skill in communication, civic involvement, and financial literacy. It has awards that support girls understanding and following their own faith. We have a patch program for asthma, but although I am a state-level trainer, I have *never* seen anything that promotes abortion. My Girl Scouts are, if anything, more deeply involved in citizenship than my boys. Unless you are a leader in the program, you must be speaking based on rumors, rather than on a careful examination of the handbooks.

        • As the proud parent of a Gold Award recipient, I think your comments our off base. She spent four years as an intern in the State Legislature through a GSA program, and did just as much work earning her award as our son did earning his Eagle. It’s an excellent program that suffers from all of the same issues as Boy Scouts (finding good volunteers, competition with other youth activities, insufficient funding, etc).

        • I was a Girl Scout leader for 2 years. Ron is 100% correct when describing Girl Scouts. At least in my area. They actively spread a Liberal agenda and that is why I left.

        • Karen Zeller // April 19, 2013 at 7:24 pm //

          Wow, this is really weird! There are two people who don’t like the fact that my Girl Scout troop does a good job? Do they want my Girl Scout troop to be bad?

      • I earned my Eagle Rank the same year gary m. kubancsek. March 13, 1976…

    • Fred Cooper // April 19, 2013 at 5:34 pm //

      i agree with you. My wife and daughter left Girl Scouting became a battling racism group, partnered with Planned parenthood abandoned the Outdoors almost entirely. Lots of good people we know are still involved but they ignore the National curriculum and policies and deceive themselves that Girl Scouts as it was still exists.

  36. I’m always astonished at the amount of hate that this discussion brings about.

    So many people are so passionate about this issue that they seem to forget that a Scout is friendly, courteous, and kind. I’m reminded of an occasion during a Woodbadge competition when I got too “involved” and was asked to repeat the Scout Law. Maybe we ought to all take a time-out and do the same.

    Please, please, please, read the Executive Summary (linked by Brian above). It offers very valuable insight into this decision. I don’t agree with it, but I can see how we have the proposal we have.

    Also, please remember that not everyone shares the same religious beliefs. We are all free as Americans and as members of the BSA, to follow our own beliefs.

    • Kevin- You say “we are all free as Americans and as members of the BSA, to follow our own beliefs”. I am sorry but if you follow this to it’s logical conclusion, the Boy Scouts of America (as originally designed) will cease to exist. I happen to hold the belief that homosexuality is not appropriate. As a member of the BSA, I CAN NOT follow my own belief, becuase the BSA is now going to force me, if I wish to saty a member of the BSA, to accept those that do not share my position. It is sad.

      • M. I strongly believe that the BSA should act as though “Tolerant” and “Accepting” were the 13th and 14th points of the Scout Law.

        I just wish that we could conduct the conversation in a more civil manner.

        • Fred Cooper // April 19, 2013 at 5:59 pm //

          i strongly disagree with your statement. We should be civil in our discussion, yes, but there are many, many behaviors, beliefs and (lack of) values that many of us can neither “tolerate” or “accept.”

        • Fred,

          I prefer not to judge (but I also accept that I’m not perfect, and that I do sometimes judge when I shouldn’t.) I lead my life by my own code of ethics. Others have their own code of ethics. However, I’m not bound by their code, nor are they bound by mine.

          Further, my religious beliefs are not binding on anyone else, nor are the religious beliefs of anyone else binding on me. I respect their beliefs, for example by following their conventions if I attend their worship. But if they tell me that I must believe something, or there will be eternal consequences, I politely decline.

          That (in my opinion) is being tolerant and accepting, and the lack of those two qualities at is at the core of much of the angry rhetoric that I see in this forum.

          Language matters. In your response, you mentioned “lack of values”. In this context, I take that to mean that if I disagree with you on this issue (which I believe I do), that you see that as a character flaw on my part – in fact that I’m not entitled to my beliefs.

        • Fred Cooper // April 19, 2013 at 6:41 pm //

          Kevin, it was a specific statement addressed to your specific statement. If you are now expanding your statement to include a description of your religious beliefs, after reading your description of your religious beliefs, i disagree with a single point but agree with the rest. You can believe what you like in America and follow any religion, faith or belief. No one here as far as i can tell want to deny you your religion. Your conclusion based on “(lack of) morals ” has no basis in fact. I was referring to negative behaviors, beliefs and (lack of) values. I don’t even know yours.

          the point I disagree with you on is that for me a belief in Jesus Christ is the most important part of my life. If asked, i tell anyone about the Gospel. Our Church holds evangelistic events on our property and go into the Community to feed and house homeless people and include the Gospel. I don’t tolerate or accept other beliefs I don’t attack or try to deny folks their beliefs. I disagree. Unlike many on this list that love to marginalize Christians and downplay their very committed involvement with young people in Scouting and many other programs..

        • I apologize if I read too much into your comments.

        • Fred Cooper // April 19, 2013 at 9:10 pm //

          Kevin, no need to apologize. It gets strident on these discussions and I really did not mean to offend.

        • Kevin said: “M. I strongly believe that the BSA should act as though “Tolerant” and “Accepting” were the 13th and 14th points of the Scout Law.”


          So do you tolerate and accept cheating?

          Do you tolerate and accept lying?

          Do you tolerate and accept disrespect?

          Do you tolerate and accept pedophilia?

          Do you tolerate and accept zoophilia?

          Do you tolerate and accept bullying?

          Do you tolerate and accept tyranny?

          Do you tolerate and disobedience?

          Do you tolerate and accept drug abuse?

          I am just wondering where and how you draw the line.

        • I believe that we see this differently. The questions I would ask are:

          Are you accepting of persons with different faiths as you?
          Are you tolerant of their religious beliefs?
          Do you accept people who are different from you?
          Are you tolerant of diversity?

          By the way … to answer your specific questions … there are several of those that I tolerate or accept, depending upon the circumstances. Lying, Cheating, and Disobedience can all be the right thing to do under certain circumstances. Take for example, Gandhi and Schindler. Not an everyday occurrence, but there are no absolutes. Would you lie to prevent someone from being bullied (“no, he’s not gay, leave him along”)? Would you disobey an order that conflicted with your personal beliefs? Does Abu Graibe ring a bell? How about disobeying an authority figure? Absolutely called for under some circumstances.

          I’m comfortable with the ambiguity that is inherent in those cases. By the way, isn’t that a classic Eagle Board of Review question? What do you do when trustworthy and loyal come into conflict (lying and obedience)?

          However, the fundamental question behind all of your questions (I believe) is do I tolerate or accept victimization? That answer is no. That’s why pedophilia and rape are illegal, and homosexuality is not. The key phrase is “consenting adults.”

        • Deanna L. Druyor - Wetzel // April 26, 2013 at 11:47 pm //

          Excellent reply Kevin.

      • So, you’re saying that to be able to believe as you do, you cannot have gays around you? It is unfair to you for us to merely exist and be present? You may believe what you want, but you may not demand that the world pretend that those of us who are both part of the Scouting family and gay do not exist. Whether you like it or not, Scouting is mine, too. I’m an Eagle and a Vigil. You cannot take those things away from me, or the commitment to Scouting that they represent.

        • Well, if nothing else, this discussion is certainly a slap in the face to those of use sitting on Boards of Review. We apparently have not been paying nearly enough attention to the “Duty to God” and “morally straight” portions of the interview. Duly noted, thanks.

  37. It certainly would open the question of the BSA catching up with the rest of the world by not denying youth “on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.” That could VERY easily be construed as letting girls in. Yeah it says “the specific membership requirements to join” but I would take it that they have to make those requirements gender neutral. This should be interesting.

    • The BSA is the only western scouting org that doesn’t have a co-ed program. Scouts UK have had a co-ed program for a very long time and they don’t have issues with it, it has only made their program stronger.

      • stephenie // April 19, 2013 at 12:48 pm //

        It’s my understanding from conversations with people from national that BSA has talked about going coed in the past and GSUSA has advised them not to do so to avoid legal implications. I believe tha tif BSA went coed, GSUSA would lose a large portion of its membership.

        • I think you’re probably correct. There’s also been rumors that GSUSA was in a state of serious decline and was thinking of a merger with BSA. Now THAT would be some interesting change right there. I’m sure it was just a rumor however, since those friends of mine involved in GS say they’re not going anywhere.

        • The Girl Scouts have lost a lot of the membership because of the Liberal stance on homosexuality. Also they promote every Liberal agenda idea from abortion, planned parenthood, etc. The Girl Scouts have lost a lot in the last few years.

      • BSA has a co-ed program. It’s called Venturing.

        Perhaps you should know something about the organization before you decide it has to change.

        • yes they have a coed program but its only for a limited age group 14-21 and has relatively few members compared to the other sections. while there might be 100 troops in the county here, there might only be a handful of crews.

      • You mean, other than Venturing and Learning for life, right?

        • MT_Momma // April 19, 2013 at 2:48 pm //

          But Learning for Life is the branch we never discuss – you know, the one that prohibits any discrimination based on sexual orientation. 🙂

      • You are simply wrong. My daughter is a Venturer. It is an excellent program that is co-ed through BSA.

      • Fred Cooper // April 19, 2013 at 6:06 pm //

        For the Supporters of Canadian and UK Scouting, they are far smaller groups than USA and saw long declines in membership after adoption of immoral and pop culture policies. A small increase recently yes, but a shadow of their heyday.

        • they are smaller primarily because they have a lower population, and in Canada that population is significantly more spread out. geographic distances as well as the harsher weather makes scouting a more difficult endeavor there.

    • Karen Zeller // April 19, 2013 at 12:54 pm //

      Wait, being a girl is a sexual orientation or preference? Really? Don’t orientation and preference denote who a person is interested in and not the anatomy of the person with the orientation?

      • Karen Zeller // April 19, 2013 at 7:27 pm //

        Is it true that two people don’t like the idea that having XX chromosomes is not a sexual preference? Huh? You really don’t like “being a girl” not being a sexual orientation? Hi, my name is Karen Zeller and my sexual orientation is “I’m a girl.” I really don’t think that’s what the term “sexual orientation” means, but I guess to at least two people out there, that’s what it means.

        • Karen Zeller // April 20, 2013 at 1:31 pm //

          Okay, this is getting weirder and weirder. First someone claims that not keeping people out based on “orientation and preference alone” means we will be forced to let in girls. I question the idea that being a girl is a sexual orientation — because to me it is obvious that being a girl is *not* an orientation — and two people don’t like that, now three people. So does that mean that three people think we should consider seriously the idea that being a girl is a sexual orientation? I question that, trying to point out that XX chromosomes produce female anatomy, but that anatomy and who one prefers sexually are two different things, and one person doesn’t like that. I’m seriously trying to figure out the argument here. Are you thinking that orientation is chromosomally determined, that all girls have a certain orientation? Or do you not like someone talking about chromosomes? I really feel like Alice in Wonderland here. Where is it being taught that “girl” is a sexual orientation?

  38. Well, as noted, we seem to have made things worse with this resolution. What I do not see here is the leadership approval being put totally in the hands of the Charter Organization. For me, that was the real problem, and if this passes, still is. Not a word anywhere about what initially was called “local option” in regard to leadership. If that simply addition was added to this I would find it acceptable. As is, I see nothing but more problems. The transition from youth to adult problem is already noted in numerous postings, and that does not appear to have been even thought about, though it may have been.

    Tend to agree that this is just a big refusal to deal realistically with the problem, bending to both sides and accomplishing little. Back to the local trenches, and just try and keep the program alive.

    • The executive summary of the surveys says:

      • Parents, teens, and the Scouting community do not favor a local chartered organization option.

      • the chartered organization solution is a broken model and only results in one additional outside group having a say and entirely different set of standards than the group they might give space to.

    • I think and hope that this was a very carefully crafted resolution in the hopes that it will be common ground that can be adopted. It seems to have been designed to address one large problem – homosexual youth – while still allowing units that condemn homosexual behavior the out of asserting that sexual conduct by youth is not in keeping with Scouting values. It skirts the large arguments of ‘divide and conquer’ or CO lawsuits under the local option. In addition, so many of the comments that I have seen on this and other venues center around ‘the safety of our boys’. These are heartfelt concerns, whether they are empirically valid or not, and would have been a big stumbling block for the local option because of units coming together at camps, etc.

      This resolution is not all that I had hoped it would be but I certainly suppport it as a step in the direction of inclusion and of following our own policies of respect for the faith values of others.

      • Momma: Where do you see an “out” for the CO’s that condemn homosexuality. I don’t see it. Also, since separate but equal was ban in Brown v. Bd. of Education, once the door is open, there is no “out”. WHat will happen is that many CO’s will lose their Church affilaition and close down. THen if any CO does not accept a gay or transgendered youth, the lawsuit starts. I think those wanting this change should be careful what they wish for.

        • MT_Momma // April 19, 2013 at 2:59 pm //

          Joe, I read that in the statement that says, “AND WHEREAS, Scouting is a youth program, and any sexual conduct, whether homosexual or heterosexual, by youth of Scouting age is contrary to the virtues of Scouting”

          If you have read through the comments on Bryan’s listening phase post, we heard time and again that “it isn’t the attraction that is immoral but the homosexual act” and this, IMO, is a nod to that sentiment.

          I refuse to enter into ‘slippery slope’ or ‘the sky is falling’ type of thinking. Since even the LDS church has a policy that same sex attraction is not wrong if it is not acted upon (“The Church distinguishes between same-sex attraction and behavior. While maintaining that feelings and inclinations toward the same sex are not inherently sinful, engaging in homosexual behavior is in conflict with the “doctrinal principle, based on sacred scripture … that marriage between a man and a woman is essential to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.””), I don’t see why COs would lose church affiliation over this. Nor does the policy address transgendered youth in any way.

        • Momma: This policy change is a one shot deal. If we open the door, it cannot be changed. Because the BSA doesn’t address transgenderism and sticks its head in the sand, there is no doubt that the LGBT crowd will use it as a sledgehammer. We must take into account all aspects of the change and use the crystal ball because eventually it will become reality and bite us in the …… Also, what I read from open and avowed is those that seek to advocate for the behavior. If you go to the New York Gay Pride Parade, you will know what I mean. What do you think the reaction will be when a transgendered boy/girl comes to a scoutmeating and wants to join? Use your crystal ball. If you don’t think about it now, it will be too late when it actually happens.

        • the solution is simple of you charted organization would not want to allow membership to a youth of adult based on their sexual orientation than you simple should NOT HAVE A BSA SCOUT GROUP. start a church youth group since scouting it is not.

    • Wes, I tend to think that’s the right approach. I think for everyone, we need to realize that Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither are major policy changes completely decided and adjudicated in a day. We should be patient when it comes to changes such as are being proposed.

      I think the BSA is right to ensure inclusion for all youth. I feel like they should let the chartering organization, as they always have, make the decisions regarding adults. Employ two deep leadership as the mechanism to prevent abuse.

      Regardless, I’m glad that the program is looking after the youth.

  39. So sad to hear the capitulation by the Boy Scouts. Another great organization lost to the fluid morals of todays generation. Considering that many if not most of the CO’s are under the auspices of the local churches, this new policy will cause a number of Troops to be unchartered. Also, this is start of many lawsuits against the BSA and every one of its leaders if a CO decides not to accept an openly gay or transgendered scout. I for one do not want to be named in a lawsuit and if the policy is approved, I will resign my position. Throwing out morals over money is the downfall of our society.

  40. Dan Kurtenbach // April 19, 2013 at 12:01 pm //

    Well, let’s look at the actual language of the proposed new youth membership policy:

    “Youth membership in the Boy Scouts of America is open to all youth who meet the specific membership requirements to join the Cub Scout, Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, Sea Scout, and Venturing programs. Membership in any program of the Boy Scouts of America requires the youth member to (a) subscribe to and abide by the values expressed in the Scout Oath and Scout Law, (b) subscribe to and abide by the precepts of the Declaration of Religious Principle (duty to God), and (c) demonstrate behavior that exemplifies the highest level of good conduct and respect for others and is consistent at all times with the values expressed in the Scout Oath and Scout Law. No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.”

    So what do we learn from this? A youth is required to “subscribe to and abide by the values expressed in the Scout Oath and Scout Law.” But because, under this proposed policy, a youth may not be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone, then this policy, if adopted, would clearly state that simply being gay or lesbian is not contrary to “the values expressed in the Scout Oath and Scout Law.”

    In other words, under this proposal, open or avowed homosexuals — at least those who are youth — can indeed be “morally straight” and “clean.”

    Hmmm. But if BSA recognizes that a gay youth can be morally straight and clean, doesn’t that mean that a gay adult can be morally straight and clean too? And if an open or avowed homosexual adult can be morally straight and clean, what is the basis for excluding such an adult from leadership?

    • Dan, that thought all but breaks down here…
      AND WHEREAS, Scouting is a youth program, and any sexual conduct, whether homosexual or heterosexual,
      by youth of Scouting age is contrary to the virtues of Scouting;

      Sounds like if you have sex before you are out of Scouts, you are not living up to the values of Scouting, and If you have Gay Sex, then not only can you not be a scout but you can’t be a scout leader.

      Sounds like we are teaching Abstinence and to not accept homosexuals to be among us at the same time.

      • Sure, this proposal advocates sexual abstinence for all youth. No problem there. And it perpetuates discrimination against gays and lesbians by not letting them be leaders. And it even continues to treat homosexual youth differently: While a youth can’t be denied membership based on sexual orientation “alone,” he could be denied membership based on sexual orientation plus some other little trivial issue.

    • Dan: I am confused if one is open or avowed: To acknowledge openly, boldly, and unashamedly; confess, how can one also fulfill all of the requirements you repeat above? If one is an avowed homosexual or trangendered person, doesn’t that definition imply that he/she agrees and advances those choices? This would by every definition and comparison go against the policy set forth. What we then have is the BSA turning into lawsuit central.. . . . again.

      • Choices. I disagree with the notion that it is a choice. The only choices I see are ones where a person is willing to accept who they are vs. what they believe society wants them to be.

        • Bryan, the PRACTICE is a choice. (Excepting rape), every time you engage in a sexual act, it’s a choice. That’s why the “open and avowed” phrase is there — I have yet to meet a person who had romantic feelings for the same gender, but had not acted on them, be considered open and avowed. The people I know in that category are still trying to get a handle on what exactly they do feel, and why. The practice of homosexuality is a CHOICE.

        • you can be a open heterosexual even if you have never had sex just as you can be an open homosexual even if you haven’t had sex. the act itself is also not an actual indication of ones true sexuality as one can experiment either way even with someone they arent sexually attracted to.

      • Dan, I think individuals are perfectly capable of self-identifying as homosexual long before they engage in any sexual conduct. At what age did you know that you were attracted to the opposite sex (and talk with your peers about your attractions)? [This would be the ‘open and avowed’ part.] I would venture to guess that it was a decade or more later before you actually had sex.

        • MT_Momma // April 19, 2013 at 3:02 pm //

          Sorry – my comment above should have been addressed to Joe and not to Dan. 🙂

      • Just my interpretation of the proposal, but I think the idea is that BSA is no longer going to toss out youth because of “sexual orientation or preference alone.” Rather, there would have to be some behavior or other disqualification. Behavior could be related to homosexuality, of course, such as being caught having sex, or perhaps even simply engaging in gay activism that was too much of a “distraction” (as in the current policy). But simple openness about one’s sexual orientation or simple expression of opinion that there was no problem with a gay lifestyle or a statement of intent to engage in gay sex upon reaching adulthood would not seem to be enough under this proposed policy.

        • Now can you just imagine that a Scout Leader denies that “proposed scout” membership. Will you be the scoutmaster that volunteers to be sued? I think not. This is not a fix and really there is no problem if the policy stays as it is.

        • This is far less about the youth than about putting the practice of homosexuality on the same level as heterosexuality. It’s yet one more attempt to classify it as normal.

    • I did get a kick out of this line in the resolution: “the Boy Scouts of America does not have an agenda on the matter of sexual orientation.” Really? So all of this fuss is about something that doesn’t matter to BSA? Or does that mean, “We have other agendas that are adversely affected by this issue.” Or does it mean, “We don’t have an agenda on the matter of sexual orientation, so our policy on sexual orientation is not based on any principles.”

      • Karen Zeller // April 19, 2013 at 2:20 pm //

        I suspect, Dan, that it is just a matter of the changing usage of the term “agenda.” It used to mean, as its Latin root suggests, just a list of things to be done. Your DayPlanner in the 1980s might also have been called your agenda. But now it is part of the lexicon of loaded diction used to accuse people of nefarious purposes, and BSA doesn’t want to be labeled as “having an agenda,” with that connotation. Of course, all of us have lists of things we want to do, prioritized and timelined. I don’t think they are using agenda in that sense.

  41. SR121: Watched the video and am amazed that with the proof that we already have, change the policy = 50% or more scouts leaving the program, why would we even contemplate this change? Isn’t the scouts the reason for the program? I would rather have the scouting program with its current policy, even if our troop had top raid every dime it spent and was limited to public facilities for camping and other activities. This is a travesty.

    • Would appreciate those that gave me a thumbs down actually reply. If the proof of the devestating losses due to the policy changes is a fact for both out northern neighbor and our friends across the ocean, then those that disagreed with me must want that to be the outcome for our BSA. Am I wrong?

      • Jim in NE // April 19, 2013 at 1:19 pm //

        Joe, I didn’t give you a thumb down, but I’ll respond anyway.

        BSA’s numbers are already down 30% in the last 15 years and continuing to fall. People keep repeating the ‘70% of units sponsored by faith-based organizations’ as if its a good thing. That number was 62% only five years ago. We are losing the community sponsored units at an alarming rate. The only faith-based sponsor that is showing any growth is the LDS church – all others are showing a decline.

        Will the proposed changes eventually turn those numbers around? I don’t know. But I do know that there is no room for growth down the current path and the anti-gay membership policy is a major factor in organizations dropping support for Scouting.

        People will leave in May no matter what happens.

        • Jim: How do you make the leap that because most scouts come from faith-based organizations and numbers are down, that the faith-based organization is the cause? The logic isn’t there. On the contrary, the faith-based organization are keeping the numbers from going down further. I think the reasons are varied but our declining morals, parents with no time or patience for their children, single parent homes, etc are partly to blame.

        • joe, he’s saying that membership is down period, the only growth has been in the LDS units. Fewer faith based units as a percentage (sans LDS) than 15 years ago or so. The BSAs Hay Day was in the mid 70’s, and we’ve lost membership every year since more or less. Back then almost every church had a scout troop, now it’s a little over half, and that coincides with the lower membership in churches as well, at least in youth membership in churches, those numbers are way down.

        • Jim in NE // April 19, 2013 at 9:20 pm //

          Joe, I never said faith-based charters were the cause of membership decline. I simply pointed out that BSA is losing community sponsored units at an alarming rate and since traditional churches are all in decline, there’s no growth potential without something changing. If you can’t make the program marketable outside of conservative churches, it will continue its slide into irrelevance.

          For the record, I welcome and support our faith-based sponsors, but we can’t rely exclusively on them.

        • If the B.S.A. needs to market to the current society at large, then what’s the point of the B.S.A. We are supposed to be leaders/shapers of society, not a dandelion seed blowing in the wind.

        • John F. Kenney // April 26, 2013 at 9:56 am //

          Recall what happened when United Way stopped brokering for BSA. Private donations easily made up the difference. Again I plead “Shoemaker stick to thy last”. We will be stronger for our trials faced by being resolute. Vote no change!

        • Fred Cooper // April 26, 2013 at 10:10 am //

          LDS should not try to be coy. This is also significant:

          “In spite of the LDS statement, the Great Salt Lake Council’s Scout survey shows that rank and file BSA members overwhelming support the existing policy and do not want open homosexuality in the Boy Scout program. That survey showed:”

          * 82% of BSA members opposed a policy change allowing open homosexuality in the BSA.

          * 47% Said they would leave the program

          * 22% said they would be less involved

          Nationwide, the BSA’s own official “Voice of the Scout” survey shows respondents support the current policy by supermajority of a 61% to 34% margin. Additionally:

          * 72 % of chartered organizations support the current policy

          * 64 % of council and district volunteers support the current policy

          * 62 % of unit leaders support the current policy

          * 61 % of Boy Scout parents support the current policy

          * 50 % of Cub Scout parents support the current policy

          These are the only numbers that matter. Again, I think its clear BSA is looking to the least experienced Scouters and most immature Scouts for this decision.

        • Fred, Are these results from the survey that was solicited to the BSA membership about a month ago?

        • Fred Cooper // April 26, 2013 at 10:37 am //

          To the best of my knowledge, it is the results. It came from a trusted Scouter. The bottom part percentages are directly from the report.

          Fred Cooper

          Date: Fri, 26 Apr 2013 15:33:10 +0000 To:

        • Fred Cooper thanks for the numbers. Just because the LDS Church has given their approval to the new proposal from the BSA doesn’t mean that the rest of the LDS Units will go along with the vote to approve the BSA proposal. The Church has no vote in itself it can only give an opinion and that is all. The BSA Councils through out the Nation is the key to defeat this measure. Please don’t give up for the first time in my LDS membership I will do all I can to see this proposal defeated. I believe there is to much at stake. Sincerely Trenton Spears

        • Fred Cooper // April 26, 2013 at 11:30 pm //

          I encourage everyone to get the survey results for their Council. Mine was 18 pages of very interesting information and an affirmation of what I believed about my fellow Scouters here. 83% support the current policy. I’m surprised it was that low. Support all the way down to the Cub Scout level.

        • Wallace I for one do not agree with the proposal to lift the ban on Homosexual Youth from the BSA. I believe the LDS Church have placed a unnecessary burden on the LDS Church Scout leaders and the missionary efforts of the Church. You cannot replace Godly correctness with political correctness I believe that is what the LDS Church has done. I am a LDS and as a Scoutmaster how do I address the subject of a homosexual Scout. If it is brought up at our Scout meeting do I tell the Scout that as long as you do not practice the act of homosexuality you are ok. Is it proper to address the subject with other non-Homosexual Scouts in the Troop? In my many years with the Church I have faithfully followed the doctrine of the Church because it did not conflict with God and his Son Jesus Christ. My heart is heavy with this new burden that has been placed on me and possibly others . It will be a struggle to remain a Scout Leader in my calling and I will pray heavily that this BSA proposal will not become a reality in Scouting. Faithful but challenged. Sincerely, Trenton Spears

        • Trenton, It is heart breaking but I’ll wait till the BSA makes their final decision on the membership policy. Fred Cooper put up some numbers on the results of the survey the BSA conducted and it appears pretty conclusive that the membership don’t want to change the Membership policy. Practically thinking about what a change in membership might mean I’m assuming there won’t be many openly homosexual boys joining the BSA or participating in the BSA. I’ve only known one who eventually earned his Eagle but didn’t “come out” until he was in college. If less than one percent of the population are homosexual and just under half of that number are male then I can’t imagine many wanting to join the BSA anyway. I guess with those numbers its not likely to be an issue in most troops as a whole but there will be significant problems if the membership policy is changed. Doesn’t take much vision to anticipate what some of those problems will be. I honestly see myself stepping away from much involvement if it becomes an issue. Godly men with divine inspiration created the BSA to serve for His purpose and the BSA doesn’t have to survive continuously if He chooses to lift His blessing from the BSA; a spiritual sodom and gomora. It can be destroyed by this policy change and then be reborn in time. Its truly a spirited organization that can always be recreated and rebuilt. I’m praying for the BSA too Trenton. It’s heavy on my heart too.

        • Wallace, According to the Executive Summary of the report:

          “They estimate a membership policy change that includes both youth and adults could cause the BSA to incur membership losses in a range from 100,000 to 350,000. It is believed any gain in membership because of a change to the membership policy related to youth and adults would be in the range of 10,000 to 20,000 youth.”

          And one point to remember, that the original proposal was for the policy to be punted to the local councils. This policy change – especially as it is worded – is going to come across as the “Key 3” trying to shove their agenda down the local councils’ throats. At least in my opinion.

          If those numbers are anywhere near accurate, even the BEST case shift in membership will be devastating.

          You know, the principle of being “morally straight” has nothing to do with sexual preference. It has to do with things like integrity and rightness before God. Taking the narrow road rather than the wide road and not compromising on principles or character. In this the Executive Council has completely let us down.

        • membership is dropping because parents are over committing their kids in sports and other activities. Scouting is not a priority to most people nowadays. The exclusion of gays within BSA has ZERO to do with the decline in numbers particularly in Texas. In fact if this policy is changed I know numerous people who will drop BSA. I predict that if the policy is changed you will see at least a 30% drop in membership. It may not happen immediately as people like to determine the alternative but it will happen.

        • You forgot video games too. Local 4-H extension leader told me he learned long time ago that they were a 3rd tier organization these days., Means kids will pick 2 other activities before they choose 4-H.

          Sports is #1 because it is mandatory attendance and if you don’t show you don’t play. Son sat the bench for 4 games after his trip to Boundary Waters last year. It only gets worse in high school. We had HS softball games the week of spring break.

        • sadly you are right on and its one of the main motivators for those who are still in scouting to stay and continue to fight for equality. if they continue to leave and bsa is left solely with the most conservative groups then bsa will never change. the percentage of bigots will continue to increase solely by pushing out all who opposed them.

        • dewey said: “the percentage of bigots will continue to increase solely by pushing out all who opposed them.”


          I find that to be a rather bigoted statement in and of itself. How ironic. Why is your bigotry better than the people you oppose?

      • Membership is increasing in the Scout Association in the UK
        Canada changed a lot of things at once to try to stop membership decline. The BSA is not proposing to do anything like what they did. And we also need to take into account that both the BSA membership and US society, at least according to the surveys taken this year, are behind this policy change.

      • MT_Momma // April 19, 2013 at 1:45 pm //

        Joe, please see my reply above to SR121 re Canada and membership.

      • Fred Cooper // April 19, 2013 at 5:28 pm //

        Joe, i was a thumbs up. The opponents of what you believe would rather snipe around the edges that logically challenge your argument. Lots of emotion on the homosexual proponent side.

      • I would imagine that they are giving you thumbs down because they don’t like the message, Joe. Progressives do not like to be confronted by data or facts. How they – and only they – feel about an issue is what matters. The fact that millions have enjoyed a safe, wholesome camaraderie for a century doesn’t matter; they don’t like it so it has to change. Then they’ll leave anyway because the uniforms are the wrong color or something.

      • loosing the most conservative members is hardly something that anyone should be worried about. the majority of mainstream American society doesn’t discriminate based on sexuality so neither should the scouting program. an ever increasing percentage of the population does believe in equal rights for gays and more every day in support of gay marrige. this momentum isnt going away.

    • your troop already has to raise every dime it spends, all funds donated to council and national, and most funds even on popcorn etc go to council and national, the local troop gets a small amount for popcorn, but all donations unless given to a specific troop go to council or national.

      • Yes, I was a little unclear. If our costs would go up because we had to raise extra funds because of the idiotic policies of some companies that pulled funds from the national, I would be willing to step up to keep our organization as it is. I have also written previously, where are all of the conservative run corporations with their donations?

        • I agree, and believe that the conservative corporations will leave if this is enacted

        • well since corporations by law are required to not discriminate on the basis of age, nationality, sexuality, gender etc. the only ones left are those like chickaflick

        • Fred Cooper // April 19, 2013 at 6:44 pm //

          Hey Dewey. There is no requirement in law that prevents corporations from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation. Only small-minded discriminatory City Councils that added that provision require corporations and individuals to violate their moral beliefs to make a living in these “discriminating” cities and communities.

        • There are public accommodation laws, and in some states they include LGBT individuals.

        • Fred Cooper // April 19, 2013 at 9:06 pm //

          That is true but federal discrimination law supercedes all state and local law as imposed by force of arms some 150 years ago and federal law allows discrimination based on sexual orientation and while the federal government imposes acceptance and promotion of LGTB in hiring and workforce, it has not yet imposed it on every American.

        • its a state law and probably the most moral think most lawmakers have done

        • Fred Cooper // April 19, 2013 at 9:53 pm //

          in your opinion. Certainly not in mine.

        • the most conservative corporations have continued their donations but really these have zero affect on your local program. most money given by the large corporate donors goes right to the council/national who spends it on professional salaries.

    • That youtube video is hyperbole and not giving all of the facts. It’s a propaganda piece and should be treated as such.

    • I haven’t heard of this video – can you post a link?

        • Deanna L. Druyor - Wetzel // April 20, 2013 at 11:23 pm //

          I love how a picture of Andy Griffith is used in the beginning of the video. He would not agree with the FRC.

        • Fred Cooper // April 21, 2013 at 12:40 am //

          On this I agree. The themes on the Andy Griffith Show are compatible with Scouting. Andy Griffith as a person did not live up to those values and would not have taken part or been asked to take part in this video.

        • Deanna L. Druyor - Wetzel // April 21, 2013 at 11:03 am //

          In what manner did Andy Griffith fail to uphold the Scout Oath and Law?

        • Todd Kunze // April 21, 2013 at 11:57 am //

          I guess because he let Floyd cut his hair 🙂

        • Fred Cooper // April 21, 2013 at 12:38 pm //

          Y’all do know that the Sheriff Andy Taylor character on the show was fictional right? Before you get to giddy, I loved the Andy Griffith Show and the values it represented. I loved the Matlock show too, my mother probably watched it 1,000 hours.

          But, Andy was a Democrat who supported Democrat causes. I just don’t think he would stand with the current policy which is where i believe BSA needs to stay.

          He was a good man as far as I know just supported democrats which I don’t. Griffith starred in a web video with director Ron Howard, reprising their roles from “The Andy Griffith Show” to endorse Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

          In 2010, Griffith pitched President Obama’s health care law in a 30- second ad aimed at older viewers.

        • Todd Kunze // April 21, 2013 at 12:43 pm //

          Fred are you alluding that democrats are also not worthy of Scouting?

        • Fred Cooper // April 21, 2013 at 12:50 pm //

          No, I’m alluding that Andy Griffith the person probably would have supported the proposed policy. Nice try though 😉

        • Deanna L. Druyor - Wetzel // April 21, 2013 at 7:12 pm //

          I never mentioned the show, I mentioned Andy Griffith, not Andy Taylor. I asked however, how he failed to uphold the Scout Oath and Law, which you have not answered. Unless of course your answer is that he was a democrat or that he supported a health care law.

        • Fred Cooper // April 21, 2013 at 7:20 pm //

          DLDW. That is my answer. Any person who would back Obama and deceive old folks on Medicare would jump at the chance to seek full inclusion of homosexuals in Scouting. I believe that wholeheartedly. Obama has already said he supports homosexuality in Scouting. I believe Andy Griffith would track right along with him.

        • Deanna L. Druyor - Wetzel // April 21, 2013 at 10:13 pm //

          So all Democrats are not worthy to be involved in Boy Scouts?

        • Todd Kunze // April 21, 2013 at 7:14 am //

        • Fred Cooper // April 21, 2013 at 8:51 am //

          This is too ludicrous to even warrant a response. A far-left show with far-left production and an imaginary President played by a far-left actor who while claiming to be personally Catholic, supports Pro-choice causes and same-sex marriage.

        • Todd Kunze // April 21, 2013 at 11:54 am //

          The passages he quotes from the Bible are equally ludicrous if they were upheld today. So just who gets to determine which ones we keep and which ones we don’t? Jesus made it real easy and said to just love on another.

        • Fred Cooper // April 21, 2013 at 12:22 pm //

          BSA gets to set the Policy and I did not bring the into it. You did. I responded to what you said. I will repeat again, I don not believe BSA is a Christian organization. My Church sponsors our Troop because Boy Scouts of America current Policies are compatible with our Christian beliefs and I do believe BP was intentional with that. If BSA adopts this new policy, we will most likely surrender our Charter. We would have for certain with the first proposal.

          Jesus said a lot more than “love one another.’ Obedience to His Word requires a lot more than that and if you are Christian you know that.

        • Compatible with *whose* Christian beliefs? Many churches believe it is fully Christ-like to “hate the sin and love the sinner”. Loving the sinner fully means *including them*.

        • Jesus never said it was ok to allow homosexuals to be members of the BSA. If he were here today do you actually believe He would? He didn’t come to change the Jewish laws but to offer forgiveness of sins so believers could have an eternal life with God and Himself in heaven. It wasn’t an issue then because nobody questioned how the Jews felt about homosexuality. I think when the book describing the history of your nation describes a city being burned to the ground by fire and brimstone that’s good enough to convince you that homosexuality isn’t what God intended for His creation to do with their bodies. Jesus wasn’t a Christian; He was a Jew. I think I’ll follow Him and take my chances on His promise of salvation; the alternative isn’t for me; I hate hot weather…

        • This video clip is neither reverent nor promotes a belief in God both contrary to the the mission of Boy Scouts.

          And this is what you use to promote your agenda and win points for your side of the argument.

          Bad form.

        • My “load of crap” comment was directed at the FRC propaganda video

    • Because they don’t believe that people will actually leave. They’re sorely mistaken, but they apparently believe it is a bluff.

      • many will continue to stay even if the decision is contrary to what they believe in as they view the other aspects of the program to be most important and are just not willing to make change.

    • Bob,SR501-19 // April 20, 2013 at 9:53 pm //

      What video are you talking about Joe,and how do I access it?
      Thanks Bob,SR501-19

    • After 35 years as a BSA volunteer I will leave scouting over this Issue. Either BSA is morally straight or it is not.

      • It’s great that you are willing to stand up and quit because you find a discriminatory policy immoral. It’s too bad more here aren’t like you. You’ll join many Eagle scouts who have returned their award because they also feel it is inexcusable to exclude any boy from scouting.

        • Fred Cooper // April 22, 2013 at 10:21 am //

          and what percentage have returned their medals? and what percentage have not? Sad, yes but that is the right of an Eagle Scout to return or keep. Its becoming a little clearer where they are from and what they are taught.

          My son has not and agrees with the current Scout Policy. Every Scout he knows does so if you are looking for an opposite response to all those decrying Scouts not agreeing with the current policy, not a single Scout or parent supports a Policy change. They see it clearly as a moral issue and an right of association issue.

        • Deanna L. Druyor - Wetzel // April 22, 2013 at 10:56 am //

          Can you clarify, “Every Scout he knows does so if you are looking for an opposite response to all those decrying Scouts not agreeing with the current policy, not a single Scout or parent supports a Policy change.”

          Are you saying that no current Scout or parent supports a Policy change?

          I think the results of the Voice of Scouting questionnaire proves that many do support a Policy change.

        • Fred Cooper // April 22, 2013 at 11:29 am //

          Not what I said at all DLDW. A lot posters have posted the outrage of a Scout having to return his medal because of the “discriminatory” policy of the BSA.

          Well, it’s not the majority or even a significant minority and that is their choice. I think its wrong-headed but they have that right and I support their right to express it. Its not the majority choice and so much like homosexuality, its a minority of choice and opinion. That is all I am saying and thought it was clear.

        • Deanna L. Druyor - Wetzel // April 22, 2013 at 8:11 pm //

          Your post is not clear.

        • I’m an Eagle Scout and freely choose to keep and appreciate what the rank and what scouting has meant throughout my life. My son recently earned the rank of Eagle and describes his journey as the most significant part of his life so far; he recently became an adult and a leader in our troop. I’m very proud of my son. He supporta the current membership policy and sees a change as reaulting in sexuality becomming a topic of discussio within the scouting ranks which he says has absolutely no place or significance to him in scouting conversations now. He’s the future of scouting and we’ll do whatever we can to defend and preserve it to be what it is and has always been. Some traditions you don’t throw away or change because pop culture or the media dictates you should or have to. Some are worth fighting for and we come from a long line of fighters in our family going back to the creation of this Great Nation and beyond.

        • All parents would agree that sexuality should have absolutely no place in Scouting. If BSA adopted a policy that said “sexuality has absolutely no place in Scouting”, debating homosexuality would no longer be an issue.

          The problem is, BSA told the Supreme Court in 2000 that BSA teaches that homosexual conduct is immoral. And to this day, including in the proposed changes, BSA continues the teaching that homosexual conduct is immoral.

          BSA has inserted sexuality in Scouting. Homosexuality in would not be an issue for Scouting if they had not. BSA can remove the issue from Scouting if they want to, but they refuse to do so.

        • Homosexual behavior is immoral and will always be immoral; that will never change. Doesn’t mean homosexuals are any less the sinners we all are. A big difference I see is that I don’t try to convince our largely Christian culture that my sins aren’t sinful but acceptable behavior that should be tolerated and accepted by everyo e just because i say so and want it to be so. I choose freely to try to mold my character to be more like the character if Christ. Truth of my heart tells me I fail but I continue to try. You can’t expect Christians to accept homosexual behavior to not be seen as sinful behavior because you want it to be that way. You also can’t expect Christians to abandon their principles or to leave scouting. I believe if a homosexual wants to be in scouting they need to mold their character to the principles of scouting in the same way a homosexual can certainly choose to mold their lives to Christian Biblical Principles. There are homosexual Christians looking forward to an eternal life with God same as I am. Everyone is free to either act upon their temptations or not to act upon their temptations. But Christianity, and other faiths rooted in God’s word provide boundaries we choose to mold our lives to in order to live a better life. Scouting also has standards that provide guidelines for living a better life by molding your life to a higher standard; a higher moral standard. Everyone’s free to choose or not to choose but your wrongful when your out to destroy the standards; the mold. RESPECT what other people have come to learn to respect about scouting and that is that it gives boys a place to grow into a mold that will lead them to live a more fullfilling life of service to God, Country and Family.

        • “Homosexual behavior is immoral and will always be immoral; that will never change. ”

          According to who?

          If a boy attends a church that teaches otherwise, how does that boy fulfill his duty to God in BSA?

        • In many Pagan beliefs there is a god and a goddess. A heterosexual has more of one than a straight female would have more goddess energy and a straight male more god energy. A homosexual is a balance of both energies.

          Now, we do disagree sometimes, but even those that don’t believe the above tend to believe that all acts of love are sacred. Homophobia and intolerance are considered harmful and not a part of any good Pagan’s life. So the BSA does make it hard for the boy to fulfill his duty in that situation.

        • The Episcopalian Church in the U.S., and the Evangelical Lutheran church in the U.S., both teach that homosexual behavior is not immoral.

          BSA’s teachings on sexuality contradict the moral teachings of these two churches. Are members of BSA really okay with closing off BSA to Episcopalian and Lutheran families? Wouldn’t it be far wiser to advise boys that sexuality should be taught by their parents and church, not by BSA, which was the policy of BSA until the 1980s?

        • Todd Kunze // April 22, 2013 at 4:51 pm //

          For Episcopalians, Duty to God means I do not discriminate or exclude based on sexual preference. Baden Powell did not designate a religion when Scouting was setup. So Scouting is not purely a Christian nor LDS, nor fill in the blank organization. It belongs to people of all faiths and should be in line with those faiths.

        • So, what is sounds like you are saying is that the BSA is really in the business of moral relativism…clinging to whatever is popular in the current society?

        • So, what is sounds like you are saying is that the BSA is really in the business of moral relativism…clinging to whatever is popular in the current society?

          “the home and the organization with which the member is connected shall give definite attention to religious life.” — BSA Declaration of Religious Principles.

          If you think a family being free to choose their own religion is “moral relativism”, then yes, BSA is in the business of moral relativism.

        • Their teachings are not in line with the Bible; the book they profess to be using for their disciplines. These are sinful churches who will eventually disolve because as members are becomming to realize what these churches really stand for and how those beliefs contradict biblical principles they are leaving these churches and moving to churches that do follow biblical principles in their church disciplines. Report the membership stats on these churches since their declines began; their acceptance of non-biblical principles in their disciplines. Their sinfulness will eventually lead to their destruction. Is that what you want for the BSA cwgmpls; if you can’t have it your way then nobody will have it because your out to destroy it with your selfish attitude.

        • Brian Sweeney // April 22, 2013 at 8:15 pm //

          Wallace, you admit to being a sinner, but don’t think your sins should exclude you from Scouting. How do we choose? Is a little white lie Ok, or petty thievery? What about grand larceny? Unless you think adulterers are morally straight, why not advocate excluding them from scouting. Didn’t Christ ask us to love the sinner, and leave the judgement to him? WWJD. If he wasn’t afraid of associating with Mary Magdalime, why are we

        • When the woman who was caught in the act of adultery was brought to Jesus by the religious leaders of His day, Jesus didn’t condemn her, but He didn’t condone the sin of adultery either. He told her to “go and sin no more”. No matter what the sin, you can be forgive, but once forgiven you have to make the effort to “go and sin no more”.

        • And exactly who’s place is it to forgive or condemn? Yours? Mine? The Boy Scouts of America’s?

        • Trenton Spears // May 6, 2013 at 10:40 am //

          Beth no one is condeming anyone. Most bloggers on this forum want to protect the BSA from becoming a past organization. It has been the leading force in teaching our nation’s youth in solid values and leadership skills. Sincerely Trenton Spears

        • So you don’t believe banning someone from the BSA on the premise that they aren’t ‘morally straight’ and may pose a risk to the other youth in the program isn’t a condemnation?

        • gah… double negative. that should read… So you don’t believe banning someone from the BSA on the premise that they aren’t ‘morally straight’ and may pose a risk to the other youth in the program is a condemnation?

        • Trenton Spears // May 7, 2013 at 9:55 am //

          Beth you continue to make some statements that are simply not true. There is only one condemnation that belongs to God. It is a fact that a certain group of people want to make a change in a program that does not need or want a change and that group refuses to form their own program but seeks to divide a program that was estabished since 1910. Beth standing for those timeless values is not condemnation and you know it. The law suits that will come from this proposal will distroy the very core of the best youth program in the last 103 years. Beth if athiest, transgenders, and same sex married couples wanted to be a Scout leaders would you be ok with that. Where will it end. Sincerely, Trenton Spears

        • Mark Gonzales // May 7, 2013 at 4:46 pm //

          Trenton, they will NOT stop. I have lived in the San Franciso Bay Area all my life, and the gay movement will not quit till every law and promise is corrupted toward their own goals.

        • old scouter // May 7, 2013 at 4:54 pm //

          Mrs. Beth is going to say we says something other than what we wrote everytime it fit her agenda. She time and time again on this talking subject accuses people of stuff they never said. Me thinks they should delete Mrs. Beth’s bad comments, and not Old Scouter’s, her not honest, nor respectful of her elders.

        • Mark Gonzales // May 7, 2013 at 4:29 pm //

          Beth, we discriminate with (not against) girls and atheists as well. There is no condemnation of these groups either. All groups are not for all people. Some ideas are just repugnant to the very nature of the organization. Homosexuality and sexuality in general in Boy Scouts is simply repugnant.

          We can see what happens when an organization allows the secular culture to corrupt its values. Just look a the Girl Scouts website which shows girls about birth control. No, we shall learn from the mistakes made by the Girls scouts. No secular politics into Boy Scouts!

        • Karen Zeller // May 7, 2013 at 8:29 pm //

          I am wondering where you found the page on the GSUSA website that teaches about birth control. As a state-level trainer and a leader for teen girls for GS, I have never seen such a thing. I do find this: .

        • Mark Gonzales // May 7, 2013 at 11:58 pm //

          “Some ideas are just repugnant to the very nature of the organization. Homosexuality and sexuality in general in Boy Scouts is simply repugnant.”

          If your a girl scout leader, what are you doing in this discussion? Are you trying to make us more like the girl scouts?

        • Karen Zeller // May 8, 2013 at 12:11 am //

          Yes, Mark, I happen to be a Girl Scout leader and trainer. I am *also* a Cubmaster for most of the last 15 years, a Venturing Advisor for the last 5 years, an Assistant Scoutmaster and former Troop Chaplain, a member of the District committee, the chair of the Council’s Special Needs committee, a past Wood Badge Scoutmaster, and a wearer of a Scouting religious knot. No, Boy Scouts is not my whole life, only about 70 days a year; during the rest I lead Girl Scouts, teach high school, serve as elder and Christian educator at my church, and sing in the choir.

          Now, about that Girl Scout material you said is on the GSUSA website — can you give us a link?

      • Define “morally straight”.

        • Fred Cooper // April 22, 2013 at 6:14 pm //

          Since Boys Scout policy says homosexuality is incompatible with Scouting, we can rest assured it does not include being homosexual.

      • Todd Kunze // April 22, 2013 at 7:51 pm //
        Patricia, please read the BSA definition of morally straight.

    • You should practice what you preach McLeod. You should be accepting of the principles of scouting and choose to join if you want those principles for your life and the lives of your children. The organization was created for some people who have a desire to bring their sons into manhood by instilling moral values, love of God and Country, and a love of solid principles into their hearts. there is a spirit about it; a Scouting Spirit. It is a travesty and a tragedy that you and other aggressive militant homosexuals and homosexual agenda supporters don’t leave the BSA alone to choose to fulfill their freely chosen mission. It’s also understandable to me why opponents of the BSA and its policies don’t choose to start their own organization with a mission oriented toward youth reflecting their freely chosen principles of how they want to live their lives and how they want to control how other people choose to live their lives and how other organizations choose to freely run their organizations; it would fail without the same spirit. Its easier to join forces with the other militant homosexual aggressors and simply hijack and steal away what you want in order to create a rightful perception. Thing is that its failing. Someone mentioned the traditional Christian denominations the militant homosexuals have hijacked to serve their selfish earthly desires; their crumbling. Christians are leaving them as the truth is being exposed to them. Good luck in your endeavor of creating your own organization if you ever have the courage to try. I say that sarcastically as I predict its failure because it isn’t really what parents want for their children. I don’t see too many parents celebrating the fact that their child has chosen to live a homosexual lifestyle. But most have a love for their child and Its a greater love that binds that parent to that child; its beyond a desire for them to find happiness on this earth. And that’s the same love that would prevent a parent from placing their son in a troop being led by a homosexual man, woman, or couple. It isn’t their desire to try to find anything but the best situation for their child and that wouldn’t ever be the best situation for their son.

    • Wrong. If the vote in May goes the wrong way; that is, is the BSA decides to abandon its core beliefs in the interest of political correctness, I and many others will leave. When an organization decides to abandon the principles upon which it was founded it will lose those members who still hold those values. Ask the churches in your area what happened when they abandoned their beliefs.

      • Todd Kunze // April 22, 2013 at 5:48 am //

        Baden Powell made no mention of gay scouts or leaders so how can you say BSA would be abandoning its principles? The “principle” of discrimination was later added and needs to be removed.

        • Fred Cooper // April 22, 2013 at 9:46 am //

          Are you seriously trying to suggest that BP would have been affirming of homosexuals in Scouting just didn’t say? That was not his world. All we say is he didn’t say anything and more likely never conceived they would be part of the program.

          Many us us on this list do not interpret Discrimination in the sense you mean. It is not denying anyone’s civil or human rights under the Law of the Land (Constitution) to deny membership in a Private organization. You just think so.

        • You keep forgetting that during Baden Powell’s life that homosexuality was illegal in Great Britain and in the US. It was also an abhorrent sin in all Christian denominations.

          So please stop projecting your views and representing them as Baden Powell’s

    • Actually, word from our council is that a large majority of the hierarchy of leadership would leave (based on the original proposal). I know of a family in another troop that has told me they will leave. I am not sure how many will leave since it is 1/2 what was originally proposed but the FOS donation cards are being held on to till after the vote in some cases. We live in a conservative council. Perhaps you don’t so your view is skewed to reflect your area which is ok. I would expect reaction varies by region as the survey indicated.

      Our troop has discussed it but are more concerned about logistics of who camps with who if this passes.

    • You are wrong about people leaving. If the BSA policy is changed, I am leaving as soon as I finish helping Scouts with Hornaday projects they started working on with me.

      • That’s the Scout Spirit! A Scout is Loyal, right?

    • D. Thompson // April 24, 2013 at 11:51 am //

      Really? No one will leave? We will, guaranteed. Also, get off your high horse. It’s a message board post, not a dissertation.

    • Mark GOnzales // May 6, 2013 at 6:35 pm //

      Joe, I agree! We don’t need one red cent of tainted money. A scout is thrifty! I say we should maintain our integrity and defend the scout law and promise to the end. A scout is brave!

    • Mark GOnzales // May 6, 2013 at 7:23 pm //

      Mr. Mcleod. You icon shows the “=” sign. Not the American flag, not the scout emblem, but this sign which stands for what. You cannot mean that “all men created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights”, an American Ideal There is not a natural right to belong to the BSA! You must believe “all men are equal”. This little corrupted phrase which has removed God, is from Karl Marx.

      • old scouter // May 6, 2013 at 8:11 pm //

        BSA say at least 1/3 and possibly another 1/3 adults in scouting will leave on one slide they uses if change passes, they says up to 400,000 childs will leave BSA. Another slide same presentation they says 10-15% adults will leave. They says 30 million in donations will leaves if policy passes. They also says major CO will leave if policy passes. BSA knows how bad this is. They also knows how attacks on childs will go up. BSA admit they better off as is than with change and still want change. Something strange.

  42. Bandoblue // April 19, 2013 at 12:03 pm //

    The comments on this thread are like sandpaper on my soul. I am weary beyond measure to see so much hate spilled out so freely.

  43. beardozer // April 19, 2013 at 12:06 pm //

    I sincerely hope that all of the adults that support this proposed language are ready to step up an volunteer their time as adult leaders because the BSA is going to need them.

    If this ridiculous language is passed there’s going to be some adult resignations. As someone who regularly donates 20-30 hours per week to Scouting I’d be happy to free up the time.

    • Agreed, bear. The overwhelming majority of those people who get things done in our council and are not paid for it are families who would leave. Maybe they are planning to replace us with paid people? Bwhahahaha. Laughing because BSA’s revenues would have to increase about 50 fold.

      • Karen Zeller // April 19, 2013 at 4:20 pm //

        It’s a sign of how big our country and our organization are, KS, that this is not true in my district (or council), even though we are in the west and in a relatively rural area. Of our Council Key 3, none would leave; of the District Key 3 in the three districts I know best, none would leave; of the Wood Badge Scoutmasters of the last 13 years, none would leave; of the current trainers in these three districts, I don’t think any would leave, although one or two might. I can think of handful of others who work on product sales, lead FOS, or work on the NYLT or Wood Badge staffs who *might* leave with such a change, but the vast majority of those who “make things work” in our council will stay in Scouting — or would be more likely to leave if the policy discussions did not result at least in allowing us to keep all our youth.

      • Absolutely right, KS. Based on the conversations we’ve been having amongst our troop scouters, our SM and perhaps 4 ASMs would stay, as would one or two of our Committee. The Committee Chair, the COR, the rest of the Committee, and the other 12 ASMs (including ALL the non-WASP ASMs) will leave. If the BSA decides to cave to political correctness rather than stand for their values our troop will suddenly be all white, all wealthy liberal-Christian, and unable to meet basic safety and YPT requirements under most circumstances. Such are the costs of surrendering to those who want “inclusion” and “tolerance” of their beliefs in the interest of “diversity” but who refuse to respect the beliefs of the people who built and maintain the organization in the first place.

  44. What message do we send the youth when it is ok for anyone to be a member of Scouting until they turn 18, then one day they are suddenly no longer welcome? Like somehow they have changed overnight into a vile unmoral beast. Either you make the change for all membership or you make the change for none, doing it half way is a joke. While I support accepting changing the membership standards, I could have lived with the standards remaining because I believe in the program first and foremost. But this half way proposal seems to suddenly send a much more negative message, vilifying gay adults, that I will have to do some serious thinking as to if my son will remain in scouting and If I will continue to donate my time and money to the program I once respected.

    • if you read any of the stories of people getting kicked out of scouts over the years and there have been thousands of people they truly are cases that “one day they are suddenly no longer welcome”. in the bsa you certainly can be praised by troop and council leaders one day and well liked by the scouts but if you piss off the wrong person by doing something like reporting membership fraud or extortion on the part of the paid scouters you will be terminated.

  45. Mom Who Will Still Be Active // April 19, 2013 at 12:25 pm //

    I sent this note to my Eagle Scout son, who is now 19, straight, a Religious Studies major, and an activist for social justice for all:

    Son, I know you are passionate about this. I know this is not exactly the resolution we would have liked to see. However, being respectful of the careful process by which it was drafted, I urge you to be careful what you say and do in reaction.

    Rather than quitting Scouting, it is my feeling that those who feel differently could have a greater impact by staying IN the program and supporting those young men who might now choose to be a part of the program. It would also be helpful to subtly be there to smooth ugly talk against homosexuality. Not engage in combative arguments, but offer wise insights into another way of thinking. We can work from within the organization to change minds for the next time this comes up….and it will.

    I love you. I love your passion and idealism. We have to carefully walk the line between bravely speaking out and saying nothing in order to effectively affect change. Speak too loud and people turn off and don’t hear.

    • Very well written, Mom, but it reflects the same thinking as the policy proposal itself; that is: “Be quiet, accept defeat, hide your principles to avoid confrontation, and hope things get better.” That’s not leadership and it sure as Hell isn’t honest or brave.

  46. Well this is a half measure, and quite honestly does not put to rest the issue that is at the heart of our membership decline. The BSA is NOT a Christian organization, it’s a youth organization, but the youth need adults in places of authority to mentor and guide them, and those adults are just as necessary to the movement as the youth we’re serving. How disappointing that we still consider homosexuality, a genetic trait, to be a perversion. When will this ignorance end BSA? For some reason we’re still sitting on the fence about this issue and will have the argument again and again until we get up the nerve to make things right.

    • Matt, it does not matter what BSA does, the homosexuals will never rest. Just leave the policy alone and maintain the moral standards they have had for over a hundred years and every established religion has set for thousands of years. This moral standard was established for civilized society long ago to maintain society, not for peoples feelings.

      I would be happy if homosexuals created there own youth group and left BSA.

      • Well Glenn, I for one think it’s ok to change, that if we don’t change as a people, a society, a movement, whatever, we are doomed to wither and die. The BSA has had dwindling membership for some decades now, and this change will be of some help. There’s still a lot of change that needs to happen, but this is a minor step. As for the homosexuals never resting, I wouldn’t either if I was treated like a second class citizen just for being. We teach our youth to be respectful, to try and see things from all angles, yet we are obtuse in our senses here. Shameful.

        • This will in no way “help”. Simply by asking the question, BSA doomed itself to a loss of membership one way or the other. Do you honestly think that most people will stay in an organization with whose primary values they disagree? No. They will lose droves. And who they will lose include whole families that drive the local units. Those more traditional families who end up doing a lot of the work. In any case, I would rather have a smaller organization of fine, young, upstanding future leaders who adhere to the promises they make and withstand social pressure than a larger (doubtful, but for your point accepted) organization that is nothing more than a camping club — there are other organizations already in place that serve those populations. Why are they not growing in leaps and bounds? Because Scouts are different — they have a much higher standard. Shame on National for contemplating lowering that standard for money.

        • Well said, KS. Absolutely correct.

      • They do; it’s call Big Brothers. 😉 But seriously, there are other organizations who are “tolerant”. Spiral Scouts is one. It seems to exactly fit the bill of what those supporting the membership change want. But that’s not really what they want — they want all the benefits of BSA that have been built up over 100 years by morally straight people without the work. What should instead be happening is that those who disagree with Scouting’s stated values (“Homosexuality is incompatible with Scouting”) should flock to Sprial Scouts and build that up as an alternative. Everyone wins that way.

        • there are many alternatives to bsa. such as navigators, bpsa, spiral scouts etc and all of which are currently growing faster than the bsa. and dont bash on the camping clubs either unlike the bsa which has been ever regulating simply going camping to the point that many never get to spend time in a true wilderness area the “camping clubs” locally have dozens of possible activities i can choose from every single weekend almost year round.

    • Matt, I wholly disagree that it’s genetic. Especially when you look at the overwhelming majority of the upbringing or sexual imprinting of those who practice homosexuality. Or when people change their practices (both ways). But even if we accept your preposterous claim, feelings and actions are different. The actions are not morally straight.

      The BSA said this outright a few years ago — “Homosexuality is incompatible with Scouting” during the Dale case. Plain and simple.

      • So, what you’re saying is that someone chooses to be discriminated against, verbally abused and harassed, physically assaulted, to lose rights that are in place for everyone else, and constant bullying? Because that sounds like fun to you? Yeah, that’s the life I’d CHOOSE.

        Our BS troop? Muslims, Atheists, Christians, Agnostics, and Pagans..none will leave over this. Our BS troop truly believes in kindness and loving others. By loving others, we don’t punish them for not being like us, we love them and show them respect and fairness. We accept them for the people they are and do not hound them, because you don’t hound people you love and kick them out.

        But I tell you what, it’s the “Christians” like I see on this board that drove me away from the Church, and it also almost kept my children out of BSA until I learned that this troop is a wonderful group of people who learn from one another. Who truly love their neighbor and show them kindness and respect. Our BSA troop is booming. This past Tuesday many more boys joined up. And if you don’t like your little precious to be a part of our society, there are still plenty of churches around here pushing their discrimination, and “loving thy neighbor” by kicking them out and deriding them every chance they get.

        • And when the atheist fills out his eagle application how will he handle the requirement of a letter of recommendation from his religious leader? Forge one? athiest in BSA are already breaking the scout law.

        • The same way many of the other boys handle it, a parent or other figure writes it. We can consider it more of an impetus to discuss their belief with a trusted adult than for us to approve or disapprove of their belief system, or lack of one.

          I’m proud the boys of our troop get an every day appreciation of “love thy neighbor” and kindness and human decency, since we don’t kick people out and harangue them for not being “x”. We’re far more concerned that our boys learn to be good men, and that means being kind, tolerant, and respecting others.

          A good man is a kind man, no matter how much he disagrees with someone. A good man takes care of his family, HELPS others, is charitable, and friendly. A man is not a good man if he calls others names, is hateful, chooses to disallow others over things that are none of his business. A good man does not judge others, by approving or disapproving of their lives. That’s between them and their god, not an imperfect man who himself fails to follow their god’s rules. I believe it says just that in the Christian Bible. We do not want our boys growing up to come on a website and spew hatred and disparagement of others. We want our boys to grow up and show love and respect to all people, regardless of whether they approve of their lives or choices or belief system. Maybe some of us have a far better understanding of the Christian Bible than many of the Christians do.

        • Fred Cooper // April 20, 2013 at 9:32 pm //

          Now that is certainly news to me. Your Council allows a parent to write the recommendation of a Religious leader? That is a liberal Policy. Or another figure you say? Like a fellow Atheist confirms a belief that no power is greater than me? A little narcissistic don’t you think for a “good” and “kind” man to hold such beliefs? But, there should be standards that good and kind man might have to live up to to be accepted and good and kind in a moral society. I think moral is a huge part of an Eagle Scout’s character.

          JCal said: “I’m proud the boys of our troop get an every day appreciation of “love thy neighbor” and kindness and human decency, since we don’t kick people out and harangue them for not being “x”. We’re far more concerned that our boys learn to be good men, and that means being kind, tolerant, and respecting others.”

          So does this Scout have any moral or ethical standards to go with good and kind? Sounds like a Social Worker to me which is fine for the Social Worker and I know many wonderful people who are Social Workers but boys don’t join Scouts to be Social workers, they join to become leaders in our Society. They have to be able to discern good and evil, positive and negative influences and what advances Society. I’d leave the Social work to those trained and gifted to do it. I know many good schools your Scouts could attend.

          JCal said: “A good man is a kind man, no matter how much he disagrees with someone. A good man takes care of his family, HELPS others, is charitable, and friendly. A man is not a good man if he calls others names, is hateful, chooses to disallow others over things that are none of his business.”

          You almost had me there but please refer back to the previous paragraph where I ask “Does this Scouts have any moral or ethical standards to follow? That is necessary to develop great character.

          JCal said: “A good man does not judge others, by approving or disapproving of their lives. That’s between them and their god, not an imperfect man who himself fails to follow their god’s rules.

          Looks a little like you’re judging Mike there. Not being good and kind, tolerant and accepting, little accusatory and judgmental.

          JCal said: I believe it says just that in the Christian Bible. We do not want our boys growing up to come on a website and spew hatred and disparagement of others. We want our boys to grow up and show love and respect to all people, regardless of whether they approve of their lives or choices or belief system. Maybe some of us have a far better understanding of the Christian Bible than many of the Christians do.”

          To this Christian, it sounds like you have no understanding of the Bible at all. Jesus brought a New Testament of promise of an eternal life if you believe in Him and are obedient to His Word which requires adherence to principles and values he displayed and which includes kindness to all human beings. Christ identified several immoral behaviors and followed the Law of Moses given by God. Paul as called by Jesus himself clarified the position of Christianity on homosexuality and it has been posted many times. Christ commands love of all people but respect is earned by demonstrated leadership through a high moral and ethical code. That is what you should be teaching your Scouts in accordance with BSA policy. “Courteous” is a tenet of the Scout Law, not “respectful.” Speaking of no one person or group, some folks have not earned respect and Scouts show be taught how to tell the difference..

        • I’m sorry you’re not familiar with the BSA code. It has allowed for parents or other authority figures that fill the same role as “spiritual advisor”.

          Morals and ethics are personal, not universal. They change and bend like reeds in the wind. It’s a sorry basis for life. A good man is a rational man, who can decide what’s right for himself, when it’s ok to bed and when it’s time to stand tall. Morals change (it was once moral to own slaves, it now is not), but a man with a solid foundation of thinking for himself can decide right or wrong on his own. He isn’t reliant on what is “accepted” practice, and it’s those kinds of men who help us strive toward peace and love of our fellow man. To be honest, I really don’t want my troop to be like those on this page. Teaching boys that it’s ok to treat a group of people like second class citizens, to deride them and call them names and associate them as criminals because of “belief”. I don’t teach my sons to be hateful and rude and call people criminals because they are different from them. I also teach them that since we live in America, we have the freedom to believe and live as we wish and that’s extremely important to me. And my ability to live as I wish is dependent on your ability to do the same. If I don’t respect you and your right to live as you believe, then I don’t respect our country and the principles it was founded on.

        • Fred Cooper // April 21, 2013 at 11:30 am //

          JCal, its a scary thought to me that you are in Scout leadership somewhere. It wouldn’t be here so I’m not too worried about encountering folks that think like you. You are a free America and have that right, nobody is trying to take it away from you but I sure hope the kids catch on before they adopt your beliefs.

        • Fred Cooper // April 21, 2013 at 12:14 pm //

          Interesting that in your Council a Parent can write a Religious Letter for an Eagle Scout. After research, it appears its a local option. A parent cannot write such a letter in our Council.

          “Someone, such as priest, youth pastor, etc., must write a letter attesting to the scout’s religious beliefs. If the scout does not belong to an organized religion, an individual is to be identified by the Scout who can attest to his religious beliefs and actions. This individual should not be a parent or guardian.”

        • Section The Eagle Scout Rank (Page 50) in the 2011 BSA Advancement Guide:

          References: Must list all six (five if not employed).
          If not affiliated with an organized religion, then
          the parent or guardian provides this reference.

        • Wow, my beliefs are horrifying? So a good man is not kind? He is not charitable or friendly? He does not help others? He does not respect our country and the principles of freedom it embodies? He does not care for his family? He is not a rational, intelligent man who can decide what is wrong or right?

          Or perhaps you mean something about morals or ethics? Perhaps you are not aware that when you go out into the real world that there are many people with differing morals and ethics? Well, there are. While I’m not concerned with our children needing to defend their morals to others, I do require they be able to defend them for themselves in a rational and logical manner that reinforces them. If any moron can poke holes in their morals, then my children are more likely to abandon them in favor of something some other idiot tells them to do. Thus “because a book told me to” is not something I teach my children, because it is easily abandoned in favor of some other book. I teach my children to reason and think and I teach them to base their morals in a strong ground that will stand up to any test. That ground is kindness, love, and respect, and not harming others unless it’s in defense of themselves or others. Pretty horrifying, isn’t it? To care for others, to try to show them kindness and decency and respect? To defend the weak and yourself? Yeah, sure hate to teach those things to kids.

          The funny part is how many times I get told what a good Christian I am…rofl..I’m Pagan. And yes, I take great pride in telling them that.

        • Fred Cooper // April 21, 2013 at 12:48 pm //

          If this rant was directed at me I certainly didn’t say horrifying. Your word. Absolutely disagree with the rest of what you said and as so many on the Left say on here that Christians do not live in the “Real world.” I certainly don’t live in “Your World.” and that is fine for both of us. But, the definition or “Real” I am sure is very different. I don’t care what people do outside Scouting. Do what you like. I just don’t want your views influencing scouting Policy or joining Scouting and not following policy. Works both ways. Is that “Real” enough for you?

        • jCAL- I asked a neutral question regarding how an Atheist or Agnostic person fills out the Eagle form. Below you indicate that your council allows letters from others vouching for the scouts religious beliefs. It does not matter which religion but you indicate it is morally acceptable to lie in this letter and state that the person has beliefs in a higher power when they actually don’t.

          If a scout was identified as lying on the eagle application, every merit badge comes into question along with his overall character.

          I must assume you have never sat on an Eagle board of review as I have.
          If you have I and I am sure others here would love for you to tell us which one it is. It would be interesting what their response would be to your statement.

        • Fred, thesaurus. Horrifying is a synonym of scary. So I didn’t use the exact word…however, I used the same idea. I just like you saying, publicly, over and over and over, how you disapprove of a kind, caring, respectful man who takes care of his family and loves his neighbor and also how scary it is to teach boys to be respectful, caring members of society. As long as I keep saying it in a variety of ways and you keep affirming it shows everyone just how you believe. And that’s far, far more scary. Especially since you refuse to expound on what part is “wrong”. We must assume it’s all of it.

          You don’t live in the real world, the world outside your little system of belief? Do you live in a commune? A hermit perhaps? Do you keep everyone locked up so they aren’t exposed to the ideas of others? It’s a little creepy to think of a man who disagrees with every word I said (so a good man is not kind, locked up with a bunch of young boys with no access to the world outside of your little troop.

        • Mike, I explained it to you. Btw, an atheist has no belief and an agnostic has a belief but no organized religion. Religion is an organized collection of belief systems, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Now, while atheists do not have a named religion (Judaism, Hinduism, Baptist, etc), they do generally have a collection of world views and a belief system that relate humanity to spirituality (maybe not always in the way some expect) and yes, even moral values. No one is lying. Religion does not necessitate a belief in a higher power. Some Pagans do not believe in a higher power, but do believe in us achieving a higher state of being, though they define it differently. It is religion, but has no higher power. I’m sure there are others, but I can’t think of them off the top of my head.

        • Think what you like. It doesn’t bother me, I’ve seen what you think and honestly, you thinking badly of me actually makes me feel like a better person.

      • Fred Cooper // April 19, 2013 at 6:12 pm //

        You are correct, there is no conclusive scientific proof that homosexuality is genetic. easily researched. Homosexual activists have spent billions and browbeat thousands and the proof is not there.

        • i have been “discriminated against, verbally abused and harassed, physically assaulted, to lose rights that are in place for everyone else, and constant bullying” due to my time spent in the bsa and no real changes to the policies that hurt me seem to be proposed. there are some great troops around here that actually try to be good scouts and always helpful towards others and generally great to be around but bsa always seems to say that these people who area clearly better than some the bullies bsa desires for various reasons are not worthy of being a scout.

        • Fred Cooper // April 19, 2013 at 7:55 pm //

          don’t get defensive Dewey. You have been slinging insults pretty steady since you started posting. I believe what you say but lashing out at everyone who does not agree with your lifestyle is no answer. “Right of Association” is not discrimination in the sense you mean. My son is an Eagle Scout and I have 16 years in at Council, district and Troop level. They always seem to appreciate my work even at the National level. So, my worth does not rely on your opinion as yours does not rely on mine. We strongly disagree. You are as worthy as anyone but if a person does not meet the membership requirements, that person cannot join Scouting without deceiving themselves and Boy Scouts.

  47. link disappeared, this is what happened in Canada, England, and Australia when they changed from morally straight and duty to God, to whatever….

    • MT_Momma // April 19, 2013 at 1:36 pm //

      I can’t speak to the UK and Australia, but here is some interesting information relating to Canda:

      “In response to an article claiming that Scouts Canada’s population drop was due to becoming inclusive:

      “The author indicates that Scouts Canada lost 50% of its membership once the organization was “forced” to admit gay members. This is incorrect.Scouts Canada peaked in membership in the mid-sixties and went through a long period of steady decline. We’ve invested a tremendous effort in strengthening our organization, and are proud of the fact that we’ve experienced four straight years of growth – it’s the first time that’s happened since 1975.

      There are multiple factors for the drop in membership: The increased number of leisure and athletic options for youth and their parents; The growth of the internet, computer games and social media. Plot Canada’s declining birth rate since 1970 and you have a mirror image of Scouts Canada’s decline in membership. A good percentage of our Groups are sponsored by churches, which have also seen a drop in membership.

      In fact, Scouts Canada has always been an inclusive organization – we simply made a formal policy of it in 2001.

      Regardless of the decision that Boy Scouts of America reaches in this matter, the fact remains that Scouts Canada has always been an inclusive organization, and Scouts Canada is growing.”

      John Petitti, Executive Director – Marketing, Scouts Canada”

      • David Richardson (Obiwan) // April 19, 2013 at 1:55 pm //

        Mt_Momma, my comments are directed towards SR121

    • David Richardson (Obiwan) // April 19, 2013 at 1:53 pm //

      Don’t know what your link is referring to, but the link takes you to a propaganda page for a policy that is outdated and should have been sunk with Noah’s Ark. Australia isn’t allowed to discriminate, and we have a very successful coed program and the Girl Guides still operate a successful program. Maybe the BSA should take a look at closer look at other Wetern nations who have progressed passed the dark ages

      • David, why? Why do we have to do anything? If we allow girls in the Boy Scouts, then we are no longer the Boy Scouts. Unfortunately, the progressive/liberal sledgehammer of conform or die is being swung toward once was a great organization.

        • David Richardson (Obiwan) // April 19, 2013 at 7:53 pm //

          I can’t remember exactly when it happened but a family took Boy Scouts Australia to the Federal Court here in Australia and sued on discrimination that girls were excluded from Scouting. It was found (in court), that whilst BP’s attitudes were directed at boys, girls were also doing the patrol system albeit discretely. The courts ruled that whilst there were Girl only groups, that it was no longer appropriate to have male only clubs or female only clubs, so if a female wanted o join then they must be allowed. So to Mae it more nclusive we dropped the “BOY” from Scouts and became Scouts Austalia. The Girl Guides are still Girl Guides, but if you are a boy you are allowed to join them.

          We have very successful co-ed program where both boys and girls do exactly the same thing. On camps they sleep in seperate tents or dorms, males and females (either youth or leaders) are not allowed to sleep in the same ent/dorm, this includes family members. We probably do have gays and lesbians in Scouts Australia but as a leader I not know as its not a need th know in scouts.

          BSA National has to make a ruling either NO GAYS, or GAYS ALLOWED. Then it must make CO’s follow National rules, otherwise you will end up like Scouts Australia, where national says these are the requirements, but you get local commissioners changing policy to suits ther own agenda.

          If the BSA does end up allowing gays to join, then they can’t have a two age policy “If your under 18……..” , “If your over 18……….”. It has to be one or the other.

  48. John Foster // April 19, 2013 at 12:35 pm //

    So an 18 year old who just received his eagle award has to leave the program if he is gay. If we are helping to guide young people toward the future how does this promote the aims & objectives? I think this will the movement. We should be all in and put this behind us. We need to keep moving forward!!

    • Keeping homosexuals out of the leadership of the BSA is progressive toward child protection policies enhancing the youth protection programs of the BSA. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this out; just a good parent who loves their son and isn’t willing to put him at risk in a troop that’s being led by a homosexual leader.

      • In the executive summary (linked to by Brian in the article) the BSA and its experts conclude that this is not a youth protection issue, either in the area of abuse prevention or in in role modeling.

        • They can say whatever they want to say to appease and try to nit anger homosexual advocates. If you don’t think the survey responses didn’t reflect a strong concern for youth protection from homosexual pedophiles then you’d be foolish. My survey response was all about Yout Protection if homosexual youth or adults are alliwed membership in the BSA. I’ve seen what the effects of child molestation has upon a child; devastating doesn’t begin to describe it. It’s all about Youth Protectio and most people involved in the BSA at every level are parents. What do you think those survey responses said? I think the proposed policy change really does address those responses and in some ways falls short of a perfect reflection of the will of the active BSA membership.

      • There is no evidence to suggest that gays are abusive toward children, in any way (sexually, physically, emotionally, etc.) any more than straights.

        • Matt, ask anyone who is currently practicing homosexuality when their first experience was and with whom. In my experience, it is almost always when they were under 18 with a man over 18. (I worked in San Francisco for a long time, and lived in Laguna Hills, so know many who are in that lifestyle.) Would be interested if your experience was different.

          Again, though, the real problem is not the potential of molestation (frankly, my sons are older and I’m not so concerned about that). The problem is equating the practice of homosexuality with heterosexuality.

        • KS, I’ll answer your questions. I was 20, and my boyfriend at the time was 21. Scandalous, I know. Many of my closest friends are gay, and none of us were raped or molested as kids.

        • I don’t need scientific research and papers to dictate my actions and behavior as a parent. I’ll trust my onstincts on this one. What parent aspires to have tjeir son koin a troop being led by one or a bunch of homosexual men and women? I’m going to put the number somewhere close to the none level. So pass a policy inclusive of leadership that parents don’t want and destroy the BSA in due time. Without boys in the troop it would just be another homosexual socual club. Homosexuals don’t need the BSA to hjave those; their in every community already.

    • this proposed policy will only continue the dadt policy as anyone who has any intention of staying in scouting beyond their 18th birthday would not feel safe being who they are. having to stay in the closet for essentially all of your childhood because of outdated and discriminatory policies has a detrimental effect on any young mans life and will forever impact their relationships with others and themselves.

  49. I’ve been a leader in Scouting since my son was five. He is an Eagle Scout and is now an adult leader in Scouting. My youngest son will be an Eagle Scout in the next month. If this new policy is passed, I will have to leave Scouting, as will my sons. If you don’t have a problem with your son being in the same tent with an openly gay Scout, good for you, that is your choice. This will not stop the radical gays from harassing Scouting, this is only the beginning. The barn door will be open! ‘God’ will be taken out of the oath, some openly gay Scouts will demand to wear dresses, and transgender girls will want to join Cub and Boy Scouts. It won’t happen over night, but it will happen. The BSA will still be around, but it will never be the same!

    • I agree with what the crystal ball is revealing to you Jim. It doesn’t take a wild imagination to think of how changing the membership policy in this way is going to cause tremendous problems in the BSA. Most of the burden will be felt by the adult leaders on the front line who will be responsible for addressing all the homosexual issues that come up. The problem now is that they’ll be facing lawsuits of discrimnation etc. regardless of how they handle any issue involving a homosexual boy scout. When that first molestation or worse of a younger scout occurs by an older openly homosexual boy scout the media will be sure to completely destroy the BSA for having made the decision to allow homosexuals to become members of the BSA. The scoutmaster will be the idiot and the molested boy will suffer the remainder of his life with the scars of a policy that allowed all of it to happen. Tragedy will always be used as a word to describe what happened and the word will never carry enough weight to truly describe what will have taken place. It just isn’t an issue a Boy Scout Leader should have to be dealing with along with all the other issues he has to deal with. Leave the Policy alone!!! It isn’t broken!!!

    • HAHA Jim this is ridiculous in my opinion. You simply cannot believe any of what you just typed? scouts will demand to wear dresses? Seriously? OMG this is hilarious.

    • bsa hasnt been the same since it decided to allow charted organizations power over the scout program and its policies. if you feel that your son cant tent with his friend anymore just because hes gay then he should start by looking for a new father. one who isnt so closed minded as to expect that just because someone is gay doesn’t mean they have any sexual interest at all in some particular person.

      • Fred Cooper // April 19, 2013 at 6:55 pm //

        Dewey is on a roll. But, as we recently saw on PMSNBC, our children are not ours, they are Community playthings. Stay strong Jim. You are a good father and raised two fine sons I am sure. Not sure is Dewey is a Dad, Scout just or Creeper on this list.

        • i am scout and stand by my beliefs.

        • Dewey, how can you be a Scout? Do you just pretend that you don’t know that BSA has stated that homosexuality is incompatible with Scouting? That’s not honest.

        • bigotry is incompatible with scouting not homosexuality.

      • then why have gender separation in tents for Explorers? As you note below you are a scout. Come back and post in 40 years when you have matured as your comment suggesting his sons need a new father was very uncalled for and unworthy of a scout.

        • gender separation in tenting is done for the sake of modesty and privacy and is a reflection of current cultural views. for example assume you go camping with a group of friends – mixed genders – typically males and females will sleep separately unless a pair happens to be in a relationship.

    • Contrary to what you may believe, but many of us gays are quite religious. I am a communion server at my church, which is home to many gay couples and their children. I support a policy change so that i can give back to Scouting, not as part of some plan to expel belief in God from the Scouts. Also, I’ve never worn a dress, nor has my husband, to my knowledge.

      • I don’t think the BSA has a Pastafarian badge yet, Carter. But seriously, it is completely consistent for the BSA to insist on “Duty to God” and still hold homosexuality to be antithetical to their beliefs – right up until someone claims a religious obligation to be gay. That would be a short-lived problem anyway, no doubt; after all, a religious obligation to be gay would just be a slow-motion Guyana.

        • Karen Zeller // April 22, 2013 at 8:58 am //

          The religious obligation many of our young people struggle with, Bob, is not an obligation to be gay, but an obligation to treat all the youth in their church equally, including the gay youth. It is a real struggle, a real cognitive dissonance or crisis of faith, for many youth, including most of the Venturers who participated in our recent Wood Badge course and youth on the staff of our camps — not just my own children.

  50. Okay, having located the entire proposed resolution, including the sections dealing with leadership, I can see that they have attempted to clarify the “avowed” section of the adult leadership policy. Added is note that this ban includes, indirectly, other “avowed” actions besides being Gay. It also specifically notes that political and similar platforms are not acceptable within the organization, and are grounds for dismissal or non acceptance as an adult leader. Would still prefer that wording specifically acknowledge the power of the CO to grant said leadership.

    So, that language IS an improvement on what is currently in place, but still, in my view, does not really completely address the problem. Reality is likely that no matter what is decided, the more radical attack dogs of the Gay Movement will not be satisfied.

  51. please watch

    • anything produced by the FRC a known hate organization shouldn’t be looked upon a guidance in our scouting decisions. and it should be noted that bsa has been loosing members at only a slightly slower percentage than canada/uk.

  52. I just don’t understand why it’s an issue that should be addressed. Scouting is a youth program and sexual orientation is irrelevant. Don’t Ask – Don’t Tell is much more appropriate than singling out a group and stating we won’t discriminate against that group. I am a Scout Leader and I could care less whether Johnny is homosexual or for that matter if his father is… anyone, heterosexual or homosexual that participates in sexual discussions or actions needs removed from the event – and that includes married adults. Rather than singling out a group, why not drop all of the special interests and state that Boy Scouts of America does not discriminate against anyone except those violating the Oath and the Law… if some prejudiced Scout Leader decides to use his/her own interpretation to exclude an individual then remove that leader from the organization.

    • MT_Momma // April 19, 2013 at 3:07 pm //

      Unfortunately, Crispy, there are many in the BSA family who do not have the same interpretation of the Oath and Law…

    • Crispy, all perverts violate the Scout oath and law

      • Your name calling is hardly “friendly,” and is certainly not “kind.”

        • Do the rules for posting here truly allow personal attacks like this? I am making every effort to be courteous to the people saying hateful things about me here. Is SR truly allowed to call me a pervert?

        • Karen Zeller // April 21, 2013 at 7:18 am //

          Carter, I don’t think the moderator will prevent name-calling. But it is certainly against the code to which we all subscribe: helpful, friendly, courteous, kind. Many people in this discussion can disagree without resorting to abuse, but not all. The current Boy Scout handbook gives a lot of attention to the ways in which we should treat others, and I don’t think many of us would find the kind of abusive language to which you have been subjected acceptable in our units. It certainly would not be acceptable in any unit, community organization, school, church, or living room I frequent.

    • the dadt policy as is enforced in the bsa makes sexual relevant when it need not be. we dont join scouting to be sexual active. we join it because its an outdoor organization and what we might choose to do outside of scouting should have no impact at all on out participating in bsa.

      • Fred Cooper // April 19, 2013 at 9:36 pm //

        Dewey, I think you over-reached a little there. You might want to take that one back or is that what you really believe?

        “what we might choose to do outside of scouting should have no impact at all on out participating in bsa.”

        Its a character education organization as well. So, you have to have a desire for moral character, do you not?

  53. So this would lift the ban on gay youth, but keeps it for adults. What’s their message? It’s okay to be gay as long as you grow out of it.

    • there are some who believe that you will grow out of it or that you really arent capable of making up your mind yet.

  54. Confused! // April 19, 2013 at 1:57 pm //

    So wait.. it’s okay to be boyscout that is homosexual/heterosexual/asexual/transgender up until the age of 17 and then if your not heterosexual at the age of 18 you need to drop out of scouting?

    • No, confused. It’s the first step. Once that first step is there, then the other policies will change. It always starts that way.

  55. What an ridiculous youth membership policy. To even include youth sexual orientation in a youth organizations membership policy strikes me as a wrongful statement in itself; implies that sexuality & sexual prefrenceis is a high priority in scouting. Now when a youth chooses to verbally express their sexual preference what’s a leader to do with that information when it comes time to assign bunkmates, shower times etc.? Throws it right in the lap of the front line leaders if you ask me. The only option for the adult leaders will be to be somebody’s bad guy I guess. Leave the Policy alone and whoever chooses to leave can choose to leave, scouting is what it is; it doesn’t have to be for everyone. If your under 18 and feel you have to make a statement of your sexual preference and choose to have that preference define who you are that everyone needs to know then I really don’t think scouting is for you anyway; why would you even want to join with an attitude like that?

    And if this policy is changed then when the first boy is molested or worse by a homosexual scout who has declared his homosexuality to all the members of the troop will the media be the first ones in line to say I told you so BSA; you shoulda never changed your policy. Yep! they sure will. That’s the way they operate; both sides of every issue to achieve the maximum shock value and controversy.

    This policy change will be a disaster for the BSA in the long run. Only sets the stage for tremendous problems for scoutmasters and other leaders on the front lines of scouting. Leave those volunteer leaders to deal with all the real problems this policy change will cause while the fat cats on the paid rolls of scouting collect hugh bonuses or at least a continuation of their $400K salaries for having attempted to appease their beloved benefactors who don’t even have youth protection as their number one priority. Maybe scouting is off course with its true mission and the original intent of the spirit of its founders? YES!

  56. I hope this isn’t approved. Our son loves Scouting, but we absolutely can not stand with an organization that compromises Biblical morality under political pressure. God will provide an alternative for our family. How can you hold scouts to the part of the oath that promises to be “morally straight” and yet throw all morality out of the window in the same breath?

    • MT_Momma // April 19, 2013 at 3:10 pm //

      M, the Bible is not a Scouting guidebook. Many in the BSA family do follow it, although certainly not all, since we are open to all faiths. Even among those who do follow the Bible, not all agree on how to interpret scripture.

    • biblical morality has no place in scouting, its only place is your own particular church.

      • dewey tell that to Baden Powell here is some of his quotes “No man can be really good, if he doesn’t believe in God and he doesn’t follow His laws. This is why all Scouts must have a religion”.
        (Scouting for Boys, 1908)
        “Scouting has been described as “a new religion”. It’s not, of course, a new religion: it’s just the application to religious formation of the principle now accepted in non-religious formation, i.e. to point out a precise aim to the boy and give him the way to learn and practice by himself” [Quoted in Taccuino, a collection of B-P’s writings and essays published in Italy. Dated January 1912]
        “There is no religious side to the [Scout] Movement. The whole of it is based on religion, that is on becoming aware of God and His Service”
        (Headquarter’s Gazette – November 1920)
        “By Religion I mean not just a formal homage tributed to a Divinity, but a deeper akcnowledgment of God as a Being perpetually inside and around us, and the consequent higher level of thought and action in His service”
        “Scout Activities are the means by which you can lead the most accomplished street urchin to nobler feelings, and have the faith in God start in him”
        (Aids to Scoutmastership, 1919)
        “Love of God, love of your neighbour and respect of oneself as God’s servant are the basis for any form of religion”
        “Many difficulties may arise while defining religious formation in a Movement such as ours, where many religions coexist; so, the details of the various forms of expressing the duty to God must be left to thoses responsibles of each single association. We insist however on observance and practice of that form of religion the boys profess”
        “Nowadays the actions of a large part of youths are guided just in a small part by religious convictions. That can be attributed for the most to the fact that in the boy’s religious formation the worry was on teaching instead of educating”.
        “If you really wish to find the way towards success, i.e. your happiness, you must give a religious base to your life. It’s not simply attending church or knowing history or comprehend theology. Many men are sincerely religious almost without knowing it or having studied these things. Religion, briefly explained, means: First: know who God is Second: use to the best the life He gave us, and do what He expects from us. This means mostly doing something for the others.”
        (Rovering to Success, 1922)

  57. Under this proposed resolution, if I am a youth member can I be a practicing homosexual (i.e., behavior) or just have homosexual preferences/orientation (i.e. ideations)?

    While the above delineation might not make sense to some, it is a critical difference for those practicing traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs.

    Reading the full resolution, it seems like there are still many vagaries and unanswered questions of enforcement.

    • Under the proposed change, if a youth were gay and out (openly avowed, etc) they would be welcomed. The ‘practice’ is not to be done at scouting events, outings, etc straight or gay as it would be considered inappropriate behavior.

      • Sorry to parse words, but if “out” or “avowed” is equal to practicing/engaging in homosexual behavior (even outside Scouting events) that doesn’t jive with traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs.

        Separately, I don’t see how the B.S.A. can equate and/or say that heterosexual relationships are not permitted in Scouting. I may be incorrect, but aren’t Venturing members allowed to date (say 16-yr.-old with same age opposite sex) currently?

        It seems that the B.S.A. wants to be Pontius Pilot despite it’s traditional Judeo-Christian founding principles and ideals.

        My initial read seemed to give me hope that a compromise that a practicing Catholic could follow was reached. However, the more I process the text, I’m thinking this will not pass muster.

        • MT_Momma // April 19, 2013 at 5:07 pm //

          John, I think that the BSA has tried to cover their bases on this one. As I read the entire resolution, it seems to me what it is saying is that one’s sexual orientation is not relevant to Scouting. I goes on to say that youth engaging in sexual activity (heterosexual or homosexual) is not in keeping with Scouting values. For youth who are aware of their attraction to the same sex, this would mean that they don’t have to hide who they are dating (“open” or “avowed”) but that we would not expect them to engage in sexual behavior. I believe that most denominations are open to individuals with homosexual attractions as long as they remain celibate.

  58. I guess BSA couldn’t find a compromise so they decided to piss everyone off. BSA was a great organization at one time. Sad to see BSA destroy itself over an issue that never had anything to do with Scouting.

  59. What was wrong with BSA’s 1984 policy on this issue?

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

    If BSA had stuck to this policy, it never would have gotten into this mess.

    • Sounds like a good policy to reinstate.

    • Todd Kunze // April 21, 2013 at 8:18 am //

      cwgmpls: Yours was the most intelligent comment on this board!

    • The issue of the current proposed resolution is not directly about what parents/care-givers are teaching children in their homes, it is about who can be a member of the BSA. Currently, and hopefully going forward, persons who are avowed (practicing) homosexuals may not be members. The SCOTUS has already ruled that the BSA has the right to define its membership requirements–even related to kindred virtues per our Congressional charter. The question now is if the voting members of the National Council have the courage to preserve the BSA’s founding kindred virtues or just vote based on what some say is the popular societal belief at the moment–do they?

      • Todd Kunze // April 21, 2013 at 8:47 am //

        The currently policy was not around during the “founding”. BSA screwed it up in the 80s when they added it.

        • So…persons practicing homosexuality were welcomed into Scouting at it’s founding then changed?

      • The SCOTUS decision was based on the fact that BSA has a message regarding homosexuality that it wants to teach to boys. How dare BSA teach something about homosexuality to boys that directly contradicts the teachings of the boy’s parents and clergy?

        Yes, I know BSA has a right to do so. But how dare they?

        • BSA is doing that right now by forcing folks out, when what my clergy and what I teach my son directly contradicts that.

        • Fred Cooper // April 22, 2013 at 10:30 am //

          BSA is not a Church. So many of you say religious beliefs have nothing to do with Scouts and here is one that say they do. Y’all need to be consistent.

          Current Scouting Policy is compatible with the Principles, values and ideals of my Church so I support the current Policy and would not support the Program if it did not.

        • Karen Zeller // April 22, 2013 at 12:37 pm //

          Fred, the reason that people bring their religious beliefs into the discussion is because BSA claims to be absolutely nonsectarian, and to require Scouts to respect the beliefs of others. They are giving examples of faiths that they feel are not being treated fairly, in an absolutely nonsectarian manner. That’s not an inconsistency; it’s evidence for the statement that BSA is supposed to be absolutely nonsectarian and currently may not actually be so.

        • Fred, the argument is that the BSA does not subscribe to any particular religion, as it is a non-sectarian organization. Therefore, to adopt any particular aspects of one faith over another is unfair to the religion that is excluded. There hasn’t been any inconsistency in this argument that I have seen.

        • Fred Cooper // April 22, 2013 at 5:52 pm //

          Your statement is not factual. If BSA decided to be totally Christian, they could do that. They can pick and choose the values the organization follows. That is their right. No other religion or Group should not be offended unless they want to be which they are in the case of homosexuals.

          BSA policies support the belief that homosexuality is incompatible with Scouting and the Supreme Court has said in a settled case that the BSA can take that position. You don’t even have to get into the discussion that homosexuality is immoral. I and my Church, parents and Scouts all believe that it is and don’t want to be around that behavior and under the Constitution can choose not to associate. They’re good people, every one of them and we will continue to support the local policy.

        • Fred, it is just fine for you and your scout parents to feel that homosexuality is immoral. It is also just fine for me and my fellow parents to feel that it is not immoral. The difference is, that I am not trying to exclude anyone from scouting based on my morality. I am not trying to force my morality on anyone else. You are still perfectly welcome to your beliefs. Where the anti gay argument breaks down is that those individuals that wish to exclude others based on their own moral and religious values really don’t have any right to impose their own moral and religious values on others that don’t hold the same moral and religious values.

        • Fred Cooper // April 22, 2013 at 7:52 pm //

          I repeat for Beth on morally straight: “Since Boys Scout policy says homosexuality is incompatible with Scouting, we can rest assured it does not include being homosexual.”

        • It is contradictory for the BSA to state that homosexuality is incompatible with scouting, when they claim to also be nonsectarian. Furthermore, this new policy proposal clearly states that the BSA does not have an agenda that pertains to sexual orientation at all.

        • Fred Cooper // April 22, 2013 at 8:31 pm //

          Until it is changed, this is the official policy. A person does not have to be Christian to think homosexuality is immoral.

          The proposed policy until approved is not official policy and BSA said there would be no changes in existing policy if the resolution is defeated..

        • Karen Zeller // April 22, 2013 at 8:46 pm //

          That approach ends up rather circular, Fred. We consider changing the policy; we can’t because it wouldn’t be morally straight. How do we know it’s not morally straight? Because the policy says so. Why can’t we change the policy? Because it wouldn’t be morally straight…. I understand that *your* argument, personally, is not that BSA should adhere to conservative Christian standards; it is that the current policy is compatible with your CO’s standards, and so you think it is best for all if it stays there. That’s a good, straightforward defense founded in impact on BSA nationally and locally. But it is not strengthened by a fallacious circularity, really.

        • Fred Cooper // April 22, 2013 at 9:07 pm //

          Karen, I was actually responding to the question as to what “morally straight” is under Scouting Policy and in the Scout Oath. Since homosexuality is incompatible with Scouting, a homosexual Scout cannot be “morally straight” in accordance with the Scout law

          Your posting on my defense as to why I think the current policy should be sustained is correct.

          I don’t encourage you to keep trying to change the Policy. The effort by its definition brings sexuality into Scouting. It is your right and I would not try to limit that right. I’ll just keep opposing it..

  60. So we tell an Eagle Scout that you can be a scout but when you turn 18 you’re out because you can’t be a gay adult???? Now this is discrimination within the organization itself. If this is not resolved correctly I and several will be resigning. Come on guys you’re half there!!! Stop the crazy, stop the discrimination. Follow the example of our founding fathers. Don’t try this ‘lets try to please everyone by coming up with a ridiculous compromise.’

  61. Did anyone else notice that “THE LARGEST” CO’s the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints seems to have NOT been counted in this analysis… “The Chartered Organization Study Group was charged with listening to the voice of the national-level leadership in the BSA’s major chartered organizations. The BA contacted 64 religious chartered organizations and 54 nonreligious chartered organizations. The BA’s largest chartered organization, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is not included in these totals”

    It seems that if you want to make a decision shouldn’t you consider the opinion of your LARGEST member organization?

    • It is my understanding that the LDS church is NOT infavor of changing the BSA policy.

      • How do you know this? The LDS church allows openly gay adults “to enjoy full fellowship in the church, which includes holding the priesthood, carrying out callings, and attending the temple”

        Why wouldn’t the LDS allow its adult members in good standing to lead a BSA troop?

        • cw, check that. They do not allow UNREPETENT people with feelings toward the same gender to hold such positions. They do recognize that there are people who have feelings that they are struggling with, and those who do not currently PRACTICE homosexuality may enjoy full fellowship.

        • MT_Momma // April 19, 2013 at 5:11 pm //

          And so, KS, how is this any different? The wording of the resolution clearly states that sexual conduct by youth is contracy to Scouting virtues. That means we are talking about attraction rather than sexual acts.

        • Because, Karen, the LDS church does not attempt to equate homosexuality as simply an alternative. It recognizes it as aberrant.

        • cwgmpls said: How do you know this? The LDS church allows openly gay adults “to enjoy full fellowship in the church, which includes holding the priesthood, carrying out callings, and attending the temple”

          I don’t think you fully understand what the LDS church believes on the matter. the fundamental principle is chastity. That is there is no sexual relations outside the bonds of marriage and marriage is between a man and a woman. If you can live the law chastity then you are in full fellowship. You can have same gender attraction (gay) and be a member in full fellowship so long as you abide the law of chastity. The law of chastity applies to both opposite gender attraction and same gender attraction. If a person has same gender attraction and wish to remain in full fellowship they have two options: 1) remain celibate their entire lives or 2) marry a person of the opposite gender. Mature people understand that sex is just a small part of the marital relationship. the problem with homosexuality is the people defines themselves by who they have sex with and not what they are as individuals.

        • What you have explained, Steve, was my personal understanding of the position of the LDS church on homosexuality. In that case, why would a youth with same sex attraction who is celibate not be worthy of the scouting program? They would be welcome in the church, so why not this aspect of their youth group?

          As far as homosexuals defining who they are by who they are attracted to… It is only a part of who they are. They are also defined by what they do for a living, what their hobbies are, what their beliefs and values are. There is much more to their identity than who they sleep with. I think others focus on that aspect of their being more than they themselves do.

        • Beth I will explain to you the present policies of the LDS Church. The Church will not except homosexuals that are sexual active in a same sex activity to become or remain a member of the LDS Church they would not qualify for baptism. The homosexuals must except the teachings of God and his son Jesus Christ. There is a repentance process in the Church that allows homosexuals to be converted to a Christ like life but it doe’s not allow the homosexual to remain homosexual forever in the Church. The Church promotes and encourages all its youth to participate in Scouting and its present values that compliment the Aaronic Priesthood that they hold. It will enhance the youth to prepare to and serve an honorable two year mission for the Church beginning at 18 yrs of age. Beth there is no place for the homosexual in the Scouting program in the Church as it is not consistant with the values that are in many ways the same as the BSA in its present form. I hope this will clear up misconceptions that are being stated on this forum. Sincerely, Trenton Spears LDS Scoutmaster.

        • Trenton, that appears to be exactly what I said. A person with same sex attraction who is celibate is not sexually active, and so, can be a member in good standing in the LDS church. I have stated this several times, and you continue to try to ‘clear up the misconceptions.’ We are saying the same thing. So what is the misconception?

        • Beth you are stating the a homosexual scout who remains sexual inactive should be allowed into the scouting program in the LDS Church I agree to this reasoning however the homosexual youth must understand that they at some point must repent of his choice of homosexuallity to become a worthy member of the LDS Church. What is the point of belonging to a Church that will use all its resources to change the choice of ones convictions if it conflicts with the Churches doctrine. Sincerely, Trenton

        • If said gay youth belongs to the LDS church, doesn’t the church teach him that?

        • I concur with what steve says. I spent a weekend IOLT with a bunch of LDS guys and that was their position. No change to policy or at least in a leadership/role model role.

          So many pro gay are claiming the anti position is regarding pedophilia but it is about morality choice and remodeling..

        • Mike here is the position of the LDS Church on homosexual membership. First to be baptized in the Church the homosexual cannot practice the sexual act of homosexuality and must repent the sin of homosexuality sex or they will not be baptized. Second homosexuals like all other members must remain faithful to the covenant they made at baptizim to remain a member of the Church. So Mike and all others that claim that the LDS Church openly excepts sexualty active homosexuals is not true my comments are the conditions of homosexual membership and there are no other plans to allow any other type of conditions at this time. The mission of the Church is to baptize and convert an individual to the teachings of God and his son Jesus Christ . From my understanding there is no way that acting homosexual can be a worthy member of the LDS Church to participate in its leadership callings including Scouting. So Mike the LDS Church postion is the same as the present policy of the BSA and no acting homosexual can be a Scout member. Sincerely, Trenton Spears
          Scoutmaster in the LDS Church.

        • Trenton-Yes, to clarify-That is my understanding too regarding LDS. Another way to look at it is whether one is gay by gene or by choice, to act on those urges is the immoral act just as it would be immoral for me to have an affair as a married man. We all have free-will.

        • What people fail to realize that having sex is a behavior choice regardless if you are straight or gay. Who you have sex with is a choice. When you have sex is a choice. How you have sex is a choice. Having sex is not a requirement of life.

        • Beth I understand what you are saying.

          The reality is that sex does not belong in BSA. PERIOD.

          I realize that there are many people with same gender attraction or are homosexuals that don’t define their lives by their sexual orientation, but my experience is that the ones out front that are pushing this are all about defining themselves with whom they have sex with.

          Their sexual orientation is their identity.

        • >> The reality is that sex does not belong in BSA. PERIOD.
          Right. So get *your* mind out of *their* pants.

          Being homosexual does NOT mean people are bent on sex with children, of their own sex or otherwise. Being a PEDOPHILE does. “Homosexual” does NOT equal “pedophile”.

          I’ve had far more concerns about parents or guardians who are angry people than I’ve ever had with the folks who I knew or suspected were gay. I’ve had one reportable incident from an angry boyfriend of a mom. Another near miss from a dad who was angry with Troop leadership and was going to take it out on a Scout (not his son). Then there were the not-married-to-each other mom & dad who thought a Scout outing was the perfect place for wine with dinner. The three moms of one of my now-Eagle Scouts? Nothing but support.

      • Mwhtie said: “It is my understanding that the LDS church is NOT infavor of changing the BSA policy.”


        The LDS church has made no statement on the matter. Theay are waiting to see what the outcome will be.

        It really doesn’t matter to them because back in 2000 they made preparations as to what they would do depending on the out come of Dale. The LDS church does not need BSA. They have long supported BSA since they have common core values. Should BSA change their core values, I would not be surprised if they withdrew from BSA along with their funding and leadership.

    • Matt // April 1