BSA amends adult leadership standards; here’s what the change means for your Scout unit

Today, the Boy Scouts of America’s National Executive Board ratified a resolution that removes the national restriction on openly gay adult leaders and employees. The change is effective immediately.

Of those present and voting, 79 percent voted in favor of the resolution.

Today’s decision allows openly gay adult leaders to serve in Scouting while preserving the right of religious chartered organizations to continue to select adult leaders in line with their religion’s beliefs on sexual orientation.

In other words, the longstanding ability of chartered organizations to select their adult leaders remains in place.

Scouting families — both current and future — can select units chartered to organizations that match their beliefs and that best meet the needs of their families.

“For far too long this issue has divided and distracted us,” BSA President Dr. Robert M. Gates said in a statement released after the vote. “Now it’s time to unite behind our shared belief in the extraordinary power of Scouting to be a force for good in our community and in the lives of its youth members.”

You’re probably wondering how today’s vote will affect your family, your Scout unit and your local council. You might want to know what’s changing and what isn’t. You’ll find those answers below.

What is changing?

  • Today’s vote removes the national and local council restriction on openly gay adult leaders and employees, effective immediately.

What’s not changing?

  • The values of “duty to God” and “a Scout is reverent” found in the Scout Oath and Scout Law remain central to Scouting.
  • Chartered organizations will continue to select their adult leaders. Only religious chartered organizations may continue to use religious beliefs as criteria for selecting adult leaders, including in matters of sexuality. The BSA will defend religious chartered organizations that select their leaders based on good-faith religious beliefs.
  • Scouting’s members and parents select units that are chartered to organizations with beliefs consistent with their own.
  • The youth membership policy, adopted in 2013 and stating that no youth may be denied membership in the BSA based on sexual orientation, remains unchanged.
  • Everyone who is a registered member of the BSA agrees to follow national policies and comply with the BSA’s behavioral standards.

How everyone is affected

You can read above how youth members, adult volunteers and chartered organizations are affected by the policy.

Everyone in the Scouting family should remember that Scouting isn’t the place to discuss sexual conduct. While there is no national or local council restriction on openly gay adults serving as leaders or employees, everyone agrees to follow national policies and comply with the BSA’s behavioral standards.

BSA employees may not be discriminated against on the basis of sexual orientation, and the BSA will continue to follow all local, state and federal employment laws. For all staff positions that require BSA membership, the BSA will consider all qualified and eligible persons for hire without regard to their sexual orientation.

How we got to here

At the BSA’s National Annual Meeting in May, Dr. Gates asked the Scouting family to reflect on the challenges facing Scouting, specifically regarding our adult leadership standards.

In his remarks, which you can watch or read on Scouting Newsroom, the BSA’s top volunteer leader challenged the BSA to act — “sooner rather than later.”

He said we must “seize control of our own future, set our own course and change our policy in order to allow chartered partners — unit-sponsoring organizations — to determine the standards for their Scout leaders.”

This approach, Dr. Gates said, “would allow all churches, which sponsor some 70 percent of our Scout units, to establish leadership standards consistent with their faith. We must, at all costs, preserve the religious freedom of our church partners to do this.”

Moreover, Dr. Gates said, we cannot “ignore the social, political and juridical changes taking place in our country — changes taking place at a pace over this past year no one anticipated.”

The BSA’s National Executive Committee crafted a resolution and adopted it earlier this month. That prompted today’s ratifying vote by the volunteer members of the National Executive Board.

The 71-member National Executive Board, led by Dr. Gates, is the governing body of the National Council. The board is composed of elected members, regional presidents and appointed youth members.

Under the BSA’s national bylaws, decisions like the one made today are the responsibility of the Executive Committee and National Executive Board.

Where we go from here

Basically, your unit can continue business as usual. If your Scout unit belongs to a religious chartered organization, that chartered organization may continue to select leaders in line with its religious beliefs.

As for questions about subjects like sleeping arrangements or public displays of affection or the like, the BSA continues to be guided by strict behavioral standards. As has always been the case, sexual issues should never be discussed in a Scouting context. Leaders who violate these rules may be removed from Scouting.

Most important, the life-changing experiences you, the volunteer leader, help deliver to youth every day will continue. Those innumerable incredible moments Scouts and Venturers only find in Scouting aren’t going anywhere.

The BSA has 2.4 million youth members and nearly 1 million adult volunteers. Some variances in our beliefs are to be expected. In fact, Scouting teaches its youth members and adult leaders to be tolerant and respectful of different religious and moral beliefs, acknowledging that reasonable minds may differ.

So let’s focus on what unites us. We’re all here for the same reason: reaching and serving youth and helping them grow into phenomenal adults. That shared mission helps us accomplish incredible things for young people and the communities we serve.

How to contact the BSA

If you’re a member of the Scouting community with questions or comments, please email

Where to read and see more

Read Dr. Gates’ remarks here.

Scouting Newsroom has more coverage of today’s vote.


  1. Duty to God up next for debate since it is also trending socially to be unacceptable. Our leaders can’t be trusted on any promise.

    • It’s not just about what’s trending. The BSA was facing the very real threat of lawsuits in the near future and action had to be taken. As it stands, the organization has promised to protect its units and chartered organizations from legal action at the local level. It is still the right of religious chartered organizations to choose the adult leadership of its units. Don’t like the BSA’s new stance. You’re entitled to your opinion. If you refuse to comply with our standards however, you may be happier in another organization.

      • Oh so lawsuits were the reason why we caved . I get it .Good example you are setting . Stand up for what’s right until you face a lawsuit and cave in. even though it goes against what you really believe. Your last sentence sounds like you are Borg.

        • It was not just the Lawsuits, it was the cost of them, the BSA does not have infinite funds or funding that would allow them to continue the program, it was a case of do or die trying to fight.

          if the death of the BSA sounds pleasing to you please leave we don’t need or want people like you!!

        • I am completely horrified with the decision to corrupt the boy scout organisation!

          What ever happened to a boy scout being morally clean and morally straight? Have they completely lost touch with what being morally clean is? What about the boy scout promise to do my duty to God? Have they forgotten that God considers homosexual activity to be a sin? Morally straight means to follow Gods laws. Homosexuality is a sin according to God and the bible. The boy scout oath clearly states, I promise to do my duty to God, to be morally straight and mentally awake. Are they going to try and change the oath now to suit their wicked ways? They have corrupted the boy scouts and destroyed the very core purpose of being a scout.
          They have put the lives of young men across the country at risk and should be ashamed!

        • The BSA needed to step into the modern age. Stop arbitrary discrimination. They, the BSA, cannot point to a legitimate reason for the ban. And for every Scout or Scouter who say keep the ban there is on that wants it dropped. religion (an the belief of gay=sin) belongs in churches, Scouts belong outdoors. Youth protect is in place for a reason. Isn’t it better for a parent to know if their leader is gay as opposed to a leader hiding in the shadows? Our Scouts are safer now.

        • Joe – The boy scout oath does not require a duty to Joe’s God. The God I worship has no problem with homosexuality and does not consider “homosexuality to be a sin.” I would respectfully suggest you focus on the sins you are committing in your own life and worry about those instead of what you perceive others to be doing.

        • so you believe that homosexuality is wrong? In your opinion, what should be done about them? Nothing?

          That’s a good example you’re setting. Say something us wrong and do nothing about it.

      • Aaron, Your last sentence should have applied to those who wanted gays in leadership as that was the standard from the beginning.
        Funny how it was the liberals that pushed all these social changes then tell those of us pushing back against their agenda to obey the new law, because it is the law.

      • I’m not convinced that this was about facing lawsuits. The BSA had already won this victory in court. In 2000, The Supreme Court (BSA v. Dale) said that the constitutional right to free association allowed them to exclude people who don’t hold to the organization’s viewpoints. The Supreme Court pointed out that opposition to homosexuality was part of the BSA’s “expressive message” and they had the right to exclude homosexual leaders. Today’s policy change has been carefully orchestrated by Gates and the people who hired him. Gates was the Sec. of Def. that allowed gays in the military. This shouldn’t be terribly surprising that he is achieving the same results as the BSA’s president.

        • I’ve said this all along. Gate’s flies by whichever way the wind is blowing. National’s action will not stop the gay activist from challenging the BSA on its “religious organization’s charters” being exempt from the decision to pick who THEY want “consistent with their religious beliefs”. The lead attorney for the plantiffs in the gay marriage issue openly said that their main objective was to bring down organized religion, so you can see what will be their next fight. The gay activist will say that the religious charters must fall in line with National’s decision to allow gay leaders as those chartersmust be sanctioned and approved by National to be part of the BSA. Sorry to say it, but their argument WILL win in the face of the current SCOTUS. So are we to expect National in keeping it’s word that it will “defend at all costs” a religious charter’s ability to select it’s own leaders when they rolled over so easy to this issue? Then the next challenge will be the wording about “Duty to Country” and lastly, the attack on the BSA uniform’s fluer de lis as the emblem (while worn by every Scout around the world) has already been expressed that southern blacks see that as an emblem of slavery – just like the confederate battle flag.

        • I respectfully disagree. The Dale decision would not stand a challenge. Unless the BSA wants to be a church they cannot have an exclusion for gays, plain and simple. After the recent Supreme Court Ruling, Churches may not have that right for long either. Like it or not the world is changing and if BSA is to survive, so must we.

      • Interesting turn of a phrase there; “If you refuse to comply with our standards however, you may be happier in another organization.” Isn’t non-compliance of existing BSA standards what many of the “out” homosexuals did when they flaunted their sexuality and forced the BSA to respond in enforcing its standards? I see now that the shoe is on the other foot…interesting that it wasn’t a good enough principle for the pro-homosexuals at the time, but it is mandatory for the non-compliant faithful and heteros….smh.

        • Great! So we won’t stand for anything any longer. But we’ll still be here! Just like our country. Unbelievable.

      • Ah, see…there it is! The mantra that is being heard all over this country, bending to the minority, to hell with what I/we believe. “DEAL WITH IT OR HIT THE ROAD!” The INTOLERANCE of those that demand tolerance….hmmm.

      • Way to be ‘inclusive’ Very scout like . If you you don’t agree get out ? So much for your side being sooo caring and understanding. So now our activist scouts can flaunt it and if we disagree we are to leave . I don’t think so.

      • And what makes you so sure that the BSA will stand in support of the religious institutions when the inevitable lawsuits come.

    • That’s an interesting perspective. I would think that the issue around Duty to God is a recognition that one of the founding principles of this country is freedom of religion – which includes a citizens right to belive in no gods at all. If the BSA does address this issue … I think it will be from the position that the BSA should not refuse any boy the experince of being a scout and that includes scouts who may not have a name for god (agnostic) or those that belive in none at all (atheist.)

      It is quite possible to be an ethical and moral person and also not belive in the fairy tales of organized religion. i think its past time that ALL boys … regardless of color, sexual orientation, or relegious belief be allowed to experience scouting without the bigots of the world telling them they have no place or being so scared of a different perspective that they cant even allow the conversation.

      • I was with you right up to the point that you referred to the beliefs of others as “fairy tales of organized religion.” Too bad you abandoned such a well reasoned argument for a cheap shot.

        • oh sorry … did i hurt your feelings? You’d almost think you were the one that is currently being discriminated against … oh wait … no … that’s those who dare to belive in something other than a socially accepted main stream religion.

        • Here, too. Agree with Aaron. Sounded good until the cheap shot. If you don’t want us to ‘diss’ your belief in nothing, then you don’t have the right to call our beliefs ‘fairy tales’. Fair is fair.

        • its interesting to me that I can mention something that is a basic belief of MY religion … and get accused of taking a cheap shot … and yet christians on this board talk incessantly about “god this” and “god that” … see Bob’s response below for an example. Bigoted opinions that are so very distasteful and yet where is your moral outrage?

          Answer this simple question – is the BSA about giving religions yet another pulpit or is about the boys and giving ALL boys the opportunity to learn to be good men and to experience the outdoors. because guess what … those things DO NOT require that we belive in your version of god.

      • Way things are going, it won’t be long before I’m discriminated against because I have a faith in an organized religion.

      • They’re right; it was a cheap shot. A respectful statement would have said that you don’t believe the creeds of organized religion, or the doctrine, or even the stories. But to reduce it to ‘fairy tale’ status, while quite possibly your true opinion on the matter, is rude and disrespectful to those who hold those stories and creeds dear.

        And, before you say I am also discriminating, I’d like you to know that I don’t have anything against atheists … I disagree, but respectfully. Anyone who gives serious thought to their belief system is to be commended, regardless of what I’d prefer their outcome to be.

        • perhaps i could be more respectful if i didnt have those of other religions telling me what i can and cant do because i dont share their belief system …. if you want respect … be worthy of it … and if the responses of the christians on this board is any indication … so far i would say my response was more respectful than the majority of the bigoted christians. so keep your fairy tales in your churches and allow ANY boy who wants … a chance to be a scout. If you believe anything else then you are a bigot and undeserving of that respect you demand for yourself.

        • Well stated, Alan. Your belief does not bind you to assumed mythical maxims such as “render unto no man evil for evil …” or “forgive 7 sevens”. It is only right that you display to us the natural outworking of your philosophy by the tone of your rhetoric.

          A scout does not ask others to constrain their mythologies. Rather he or she finds a place, in his/her company if at all possible, for others to do so. Modern atheists had been unwilling to do this, but we live in post-modern times. Maybe the landscape has changed just enough for both extremes to comfortably express unity in scouting … but that will require a completely different rhetoric.

        • There goes the insulting standard religions with appearing to be open-minded. Hypocrisy at its best. Went from fairy tales to mythical. Nothing changes for some people.

          Can’t have it both ways.

        • I think, Alan, that you do not understand what the word ‘bigot’ means. I already stated that I may disagree, but with respect. Tolerance does not require agreement. The bigot is the one who cannot tolerate other ideas. I can’t and won’t speak for the rest of the board, but the term does not apply in my case. I can disagree with you and still respect your right to believe as you choose. Although, given your rhetoric, I am rapidly losing respect for you as a person.

        • The fact that you (I’ve lost track of who) calls all ‘standard’ religious beliefs fairy tales makes anything said prior or after non-important, and bigotry in itself.

          The original comment I was agreeing on until that statement was thrown out there and since then it has conformed to more insulting words.

          A bigot is a bigot, extreme conservatives I don’t agree with either, but yes, when you call my religion a fairy tale or myth you set off my bombs.

        • Kristen … i have no interest in the respect of someone who can not recognize the simple fact that the BSA does not tolerate atheists … in this case i was not speaking of you directly but of a policy that is by definition discriminatory.

          Also in this conversation I finally had enough of all the christians filling this space with their BIGOTED opinion about Gates decision and decided that for once i would express my opinion.

          the Christians on this board certainly seem free to discuss their opinions and deluge us with christian-centric rhetoric … where is your response to those individuals … insisting that they show respect to other beliefs. I’m happy to keep my opinions and beliefs to myself the second others on this board do the same or at the very least that you, who insist on respect, ask for it equally from those who have been far more disrespectful than I.

          How hypocrtical can you be to only ask for respect from those who disagree with you.

          Enough is enough …. if this board is about freely expressing opinions … then be prepared to hear from all perspectives. You dislike my approach …. i dislike the verbal garbage being spouted by MANY christians on this list … only for once I’m gonna stand up for myself and not take this hypocritcal rhetoric any more.

        • Alan Said, “Kristen … i have no interest in the respect of someone who can not recognize the simple fact that the BSA does not tolerate atheists … in this case i was not speaking of you directly but of a policy that is by definition discriminatory.”

          Then you have no respect for Lord Baden Powell and the Boy Scouts.

          In his introduction B-P made clear what he thought the most dangerous of these rocks was: “The dark side of this rock is the danger of atheism and irreligion. Its bright side is its realization of God and Service to Brother Men. To this the study of Nature is a direct help.” In writing about irreligion, B-P organized his discussion in the following manner:


          atheism is being pressed on young men;

          irreligion is prevalent;

          religion is essential to happiness.

          Nature lore:

          Safeguards against atheism;

          God’s work in Nature gives the lie to atheists;

          Nature knowledge is a step to realizing God.”

          B-P at page 175 went on to say:


          There are a good many men who have no religion, who don’t believe in God; they are known as atheists.

          In Great Britain alone there are nine societies of these. They are welcome to have their own opinions in this line, but when they try, as they are always doing, to force these ideas on other people, they become enemies of the worst sort.

          Some of these sects directly attack the religious belief of others in a very offensive way, …

          [an example is given]

          This to every Christian who believed in his religion is an indecent insult. At the same time it is a direct call to him to action. But I am not going into that here.

          Apart from the anti-religious there are lots of fellows who, though not violently opposed to religion, are not particularly interested in it. In some cases they have never been shown what it is; in others it has not proved very attractive or inspiring and they have let it slide…

          Religion is essential to happiness.

          If you are really out to make your way to success — i.e. happiness — you must not only avoid being sucked in by irreligious humbugs, but you must have a religious basis to your life.

          This is not a mere matter of going to church, of knowing Bible history, or understanding theology. Many men are sincerely religious almost without knowing it and without having studied it. Religion very briefly stated means:

          Firstly: recognizing who and what is God.

          Secondly: making the best of the life that He has given one and doing what He wants of us. This is mainly doing something for other people.

          . . . As steps towards gaining these two points and avoiding atheism, there are two things I would recommend you do. [Read the Bible and read “The Book of Nature.”]

          The rest of the chapter on “Irreligion” is devoted to various measures to help scouts “avoid atheism”, to use B-P’s repeated phrase, such as experiencing the grandeur of Nature as a “step towards realizing God”, to which he added, “I advocate the understanding of Nature as a step, in certain cases, towards gaining religion.” His handbook is replete with examples and quotations on how first-hand experience of Nature’s wonders can help one understand God. For example, he quotes Abraham Lincoln:

          I can see how it might be possible for a man to look down upon earth and be an atheist, but I do not see how he can look up into the heavens by night and say there is no God.

          and the Koran:

          Seest thou not that all in the heavens and all on the earth serveth God; the sun, the moon, the stars, and the mountains and the trees and the beasts and many men.

          Commenting on the inspiration he drew from the outdoors, he wrote:

          I love the homely beauty of the English countryside as I do the vast openness and freedom of the rolling veld in South Africa. I love the rushing waters and the nodding forests of Canada; but I have been more awed by the depths and heights of the Himalayas and by the grandeur of those eternal snows lifting their peaked heads high above the world, never defiled by the foot of man, but reaching of all things worldly the nearest to the Heavens.”

          He mused that perhaps the reason so many of the world’s peoples at such high elevations are Buddhists is:

          the mountains almost talk you into it. In the quiet of the night you listen to their voices; you are drawn into the brooding immensity all round you. In warm cities, where men huddle together, one must have something to cling to — a personal Saviour, a lantern in a sure and kindly hand, comforting voices in the dark. But . . . there is a mystic purpose in Nature . . .

          His writings make is clear that B-P felt very strongly that he was opposed to atheism and deeply committed to the idea that a Scout cannot develop fully without religious belief. In his own words, B-P said:

          Religion is essential to happiness. This is not a mere matter of going to church, knowing Bible history, or understanding theology. Religion . . . means recognising who and what is God, secondly, making the best of the life that He has given one and doing what He wants of us. This is mainly doing something for other people.

        • Steve

          There you go making assumptions … I have plenty of respect for BP as the founder of scouting. that doesn’t mean I have to live within his worldview and nor does scouting. An organization that does not adapt to the times – stagnates.

          See the many contributions scouts of other religions and races bring to scouting. Proof that this organization can adapt and include ALL boys in it’s ranks and be stronger for it.

          Scouting is no longer the pure Christian organization that BP created and is a better organization for it. In my opinion it will be even stronger when ALL boys are allowed to participate freely.

          make of that what you will.

        • Sorry – part of my reply was cut off somehow …

          The last of my response simply said … BPs assumption those many years ago was that a man could not be a good moral/ethical person … someone willing to help others … without some sort of religious guidance.

          I disagree.

          Humanity is capable of great good in and of themselves without some higher power providing the inspiration. A boy can learn to be a good man and a good scout without pointing to a higher power and so has as much right to be a part of scouting as any boy.

      • “Duty to God” oh , that’s easy enough. If the boy and his family (referring to BP’s guidance) see their Duty as NOT believing in God, so be it. That still follows the Scout promise. My Duty to God is most likely different than yours, in any event, yes?

        • Friend. If you don’t like the “Club Rules” then perhaps you should consider joining another club. BSA (and America) was founded on Christian principles. If that offends you, please refer to my comment above.

        • I am always a bit suspicious of “the History” as BSA quotes it. It is interesting the World Scouting has different quotes attributed to BP

        • I understand that history … I also understand that there were very few young men of color welcome in scouting at that time. Times change and organizations can change …. just because the BSA started as one thing doesn’t mean it has to stay that way.

          Discrimination in any form is wrong … Gates has shown the MORAL strength needed to change part of that discriminatory culture in the BSA. My hope is that at some point the BSA will also welcome all religious belief systems – not just those that believe in a higher power.

          All boys deserve a chance to be a scout.

          that has been my point all along …

      • Alan, you are free to call my beliefs, or anyone else’s “Fairy Tales”, that’s always been the great thing about America. Your thoughts on the matter do not impact the truth, one way or the other. Since I do believe in God, and I believe Him to be the creator of the universe and all things in it, you and me alike, I am praying that the Holy Spirit will draw you to Himself and to the saving grace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Since I believe, and you do not, by default I believe that you are wrong. I respect your right to believe what you will, but I could not possibly believe that your beliefs are equally valid. That said, I hate to see an organization like the BSA destroyed by people who think the organization should be all inclusive, except for those who hold to the antiquated core values.

        • Hi Kurt,

          I thank you for the far more polite response to my initial post than I have yet received.

          Obviously we disagree on this issue but at least you aren’t labeling my beliefs a “cheap shot” at your own. In retrospect I do wish I had avoided that off-hand comment if only because it distracted from my original point that the BSA should be all inclusive. I’d like to think that the way the BSA is changing with the times is about recognizing that ALL boys deserve the chance to be scouts.

          Sexual orientation, race, religious beliefs do not have a place in determining inclusion. What is it about issues like homosexuality and religious preference that so scares the Christian majority? Why do you care what people do in their bedrooms or practice as a religion? You are secure in your beliefs – why not allow others to have theirs and enjoy the same privilege of belonging to this organization?

        • Gays, no issue, as long as you don’t force your lifestyle on the boys (meaning discussing it and promoting it – that’s the parents place).

          But religion – it depends.

          1. if your religion promotes violence it has no place in scouting. Not because it’s a religion, but because of what it promotes.

          2. There are hundreds of wack job religions out there…most claim religious status to get tax free. But even if they didn’t, it just makes a mockery off real religions, not just Chrisianity, but any ‘real’ religion. I’m sorry, worshipping hte Jedi or pasta is NOT a religion, that’s just hysterical. And worshipping Satan is, well…..for a nicer way to put it, not a religion, it’s an anti-religion like atheism.

          There has to be a limit somewhere.

        • mariahwwa, for #1, I think that most faiths are anti-violence, and yet many terrible atrocities and many wars have been in the name of religion.

          But I am more curious about #2 because who has the right to determine if what someone believes is a “real” religion or not? I was raised a Unitarian Universalist and that is one group that gets thrown into all kinds of categories – I’ve even seen it classified as a cult. Is that “real”? Is it “real” to worship multiple gods? How about non-theistic faiths? Is there a magic number of people who have to share the belief to make it legitimate? I am really not trying to be rude or snarky here but legitimately want to know how you would set about determining what ‘counts’. You say that there has to be a line somewhere, and I guess I agree with that, but I don’t think I have the right to draw that line.

        • For me, it’s the wacky ones, that obviously are about the tax exemption….Jedi and pasta? Really? How could anyone with sane mind consider those a relgiion. Somewhere on this post I listed about 10 of the wacky ones. That’s just 2 of them.

          those would be where I draw the line. And some are just anti-religions – like atheism. They don’t believe in any religion, or at least in any God.

          It is very difficult. And each person would have a different ‘line’ in their minds. I’m fairly open-minded. As long as you believe in a higher power, (not a made up movie one or a piece of food) I’m ok with it.

        • Actually, there is only one religion (though I hesitate to actually call it a religion, as it has so many political aspects) the promotes violence as part of it’s primary source documentation and that is Islam in the Mecca years. The Medina years are pretty peaceful, but once Muhammad moved to Mecca, he turned to the sword and that is quite well documented. Now most followers of Islam abide in the Medina years, and have no desire to kill the Kafir, but as we all know, once they take up the Mecca years we have ISIS, 9/11, Fort Hood, etc. Now, I know lots of folks like to point to the OT in the Bible, but those directives were against a very wicked people who were burning children alive to their gods, not nice. Or they point to the Crusades, which were a Christian response to Muslim’s attacking and taking Jerusalem, or the Spanish Inquisition, which is nothing like what Christ spoke of, it is truly evil and has nothing to do with the teachings of Christ. All just an aside to the debate. But remember, all religions can be wrong, but not all can be right.

        • Mariahwwa,

          Why must there be a limit? If I’m not pushing my agenda or preaching(as you mentioned with the lifestyle choice) why would you care what my beliefs are?

          They have no impact on you or your kids … so honestly – why would you care? I would think that, as a christian, you would welcome the opportunity to provide inspiration and convert those boys you believe to be in error.

          In the case of the pastafarians … I’m sure you know this was a movement started by a parent to object to intelligent design being taught in a public school. It was and is a satire on the proposal to teach a religious-inspired position in a science classroom.

          So please – by all means let’s discuss whatever real belief systems you take issue with but using a satirical movement as an example in this argument doesn’t really work.

        • I listed these before, but here’s some more links. Not all are off the wall, but most are. I don’t use scouting to preach religion, so no, I would not be trying to ‘convert’ anyone. I would not hesitate to say let’s pray or mention God, but only in passing, not as preaching.

          and another. Anyone with commonsense could not take most of these in these links seriously. I do get a kick out of Scientology being listed on every single link!

      • Alan said, ” I think it will be from the position that the BSA should not refuse any boy the experince of being a scout and that includes scouts who may not have a name for god (agnostic) or those that belive in none at all (atheist.)”

        Then you are not familiar with scouting or Lord Baden Powell.

        Statements by Lord Baden-Powell

        “The Scout, in his promise, undertakes to do his duty to his king and country only in the second place; his first duty is to God. It is with this idea before us and recognizing that God is the one Father of us all, that we Scouts count ourselves a brotherhood despite the difference among us of country, creed, or class. We realize that in addition to the interests of our particular country, there is a higher mission before us, namely the promotion of the Kingdom of God; That is, the rule of Peace and Goodwill on earth. In the Scouts each form of religion is respected and its active practice encouraged and through the spread of our brotherhood in all countries, we have the opportunity in developing the spirit of mutual good will and understanding.
        “There is no religious “side” of the movement. The whole of it is based on religion, that is, on the realization and service of God.

        “Let us, therefore, in training our Scouts, keep the higher aims in the forefront, not let ourselves get too absorbed in the steps. Don’t let the technical outweigh the moral. Field efficiency, back woodsmanship, camping, hiking, Good Turns, jamboree comradeship are all means, not the end. The end is CHARACTER with a purpose.

        “Our objective in the Scouting movement is to give such help as we can in bringing about God’s Kingdom on earth by including among youth the spirit and the daily practice in their lives of unselfish goodwill and cooperation.”

        In his introduction B-P made clear what he thought the most dangerous of these rocks was: “The dark side of this rock is the danger of atheism and irreligion. Its bright side is its realization of God and Service to Brother Men. To this the study of Nature is a direct help.” In writing about irreligion, B-P organized his discussion in the following manner:


        atheism is being pressed on young men;

        irreligion is prevalent;

        religion is essential to happiness.

        Nature lore:

        Safeguards against atheism;

        God’s work in Nature gives the lie to atheists;

        Nature knowledge is a step to realizing God.”

        B-P at page 175 went on to say:


        There are a good many men who have no religion, who don’t believe in God; they are known as atheists.

        In Great Britain alone there are nine societies of these. They are welcome to have their own opinions in this line, but when they try, as they are always doing, to force these ideas on other people, they become enemies of the worst sort.

        Some of these sects directly attack the religious belief of others in a very offensive way, …

        [an example is given]

        This to every Christian who believed in his religion is an indecent insult. At the same time it is a direct call to him to action. But I am not going into that here.

        Apart from the anti-religious there are lots of fellows who, though not violently opposed to religion, are not particularly interested in it. In some cases they have never been shown what it is; in others it has not proved very attractive or inspiring and they have let it slide…

        Religion is essential to happiness.

        If you are really out to make your way to success — i.e. happiness — you must not only avoid being sucked in by irreligious humbugs, but you must have a religious basis to your life.

        This is not a mere matter of going to church, of knowing Bible history, or understanding theology. Many men are sincerely religious almost without knowing it and without having studied it. Religion very briefly stated means:

        Firstly: recognizing who and what is God.

        Secondly: making the best of the life that He has given one and doing what He wants of us. This is mainly doing something for other people.

        . . . As steps towards gaining these two points and avoiding atheism, there are two things I would recommend you do. [Read the Bible and read “The Book of Nature.”]

        The rest of the chapter on “Irreligion” is devoted to various measures to help scouts “avoid atheism”, to use B-P’s repeated phrase, such as experiencing the grandeur of Nature as a “step towards realizing God”, to which he added, “I advocate the understanding of Nature as a step, in certain cases, towards gaining religion.” His handbook is replete with examples and quotations on how first-hand experience of Nature’s wonders can help one understand God. For example, he quotes Abraham Lincoln:

        I can see how it might be possible for a man to look down upon earth and be an atheist, but I do not see how he can look up into the heavens by night and say there is no God.

        and the Koran:

        Seest thou not that all in the heavens and all on the earth serveth God; the sun, the moon, the stars, and the mountains and the trees and the beasts and many men.

        Commenting on the inspiration he drew from the outdoors, he wrote:

        I love the homely beauty of the English countryside as I do the vast openness and freedom of the rolling veld in South Africa. I love the rushing waters and the nodding forests of Canada; but I have been more awed by the depths and heights of the Himalayas and by the grandeur of those eternal snows lifting their peaked heads high above the world, never defiled by the foot of man, but reaching of all things worldly the nearest to the Heavens.”

        He mused that perhaps the reason so many of the world’s peoples at such high elevations are Buddhists is:

        the mountains almost talk you into it. In the quiet of the night you listen to their voices; you are drawn into the brooding immensity all round you. In warm cities, where men huddle together, one must have something to cling to — a personal Saviour, a lantern in a sure and kindly hand, comforting voices in the dark. But . . . there is a mystic purpose in Nature . . .

        His writings make is clear that B-P felt very strongly that he was opposed to atheism and deeply committed to the idea that a Scout cannot develop fully without religious belief. In his own words, B-P said:

        Religion is essential to happiness. This is not a mere matter of going to church, knowing Bible history, or understanding theology. Religion . . . means recognising who and what is God, secondly, making the best of the life that He has given one and doing what He wants of us. This is mainly doing something for other people.

        Maybe we should all take a moment to remember out roots and the roots of scouting. What would Baden Powell have thought about this decision?

        • Steve

          AGAIN — I am very familiar with BP writings on the subject and it’s role in scouting.

          In case you haven’t noticed – scouting is no longer a purely Christian organization and I think it has flourished in recognizing that there is more than one way to look at the world.

          I continue to hope that scouting will take that last step and allow ALL boys to be part of scouting regardless of race, sexual orientation, or religious belief.

          As I’ve said before – I believe a boy does not need a belief in a higher power to be a good and ethical man. In that we will continue to disagree – obviously.

        • Alan said, “In case you haven’t noticed – scouting is no longer a purely Christian organization and I think it has flourished in recognizing that there is more than one way to look at the world.
          I continue to hope that scouting will take that last step and allow ALL boys to be part of scouting regardless of race, sexual orientation, or religious belief.
          As I’ve said before – I believe a boy does not need a belief in a higher power to be a good and ethical man. In that we will continue to disagree”


          Yes we will continue to disagree. Never said that atheist cannot be good person. What was said that Boy scouting was founded upon a belief in God and that God comes first and foremost in our lives. To abandon that principle is to destroy the foundation upon which scouting was founded.

        • Kinda sad to think that you believe that duty to god is the only foundation upon which scouting was founded … I’ve always found it to be so much more …

      • Alan, I appreciate all you say, even while I was raised in a deeply Catholic, go to church every sunday, two aunts were nuns, say my prayers every night, go to confession sort of way—–the fire and brimstone of ridiculous “spare the rod, spoil the child” nonsense took place in my home as well.

        Yet, I see the beauty in what you say ESPECIALLY your statement of the “fairy tales of organized religion.”religion, in all its denominations, is manmade. It took me a long time to see through much of what is said in the Catholic church—–and the Bible itself as a human-made elaborate fairytale glorifying hate, violence, killing war, putting words into “God’s” mouth such as ” “Then Samuel said to Saul ‘Yahweh says, Go attack the Amalekites. Put them under the curse of destruction. Kill the men, women, children and babies, cattle sheep, camels, and donkeys. Spare no one.”

        sounds really “morally straight”, hey? Or “mentally aware.”. i find it frankly ignorant anyone can continue to claim God said that homosexuality is a “sin,” yet justify USA’s treasurous alliance with Israel within its “defense” sector and perpetual wars for profit. What ever happened to “thou shalt not kill?”

        And there lies the number ONE area within the scouts that needs to be put on the table for open debate. NOW. A FAR more critical area than mere gays (no big deal, at least its about love) A FAR bigger issue causing death across our nation and across the world——is how BSA is too married to the military. War certainly could never be a “duty to God and country.” Talk about religiously radical extremism.

        Of course, understanding what i am saying takes deep knowledge in our true foreign policy, getting ones head out of much lies taught through “his” story, and understanding war is for profit. Nothing else.

    • I would welcome that. The declaration of religious principles is pretty insulting, and really a belief in a God doesn’t make one person better than one that does not have that belief. You can still be reverent.

      • No. I suggest you look up the primary definitions of both moral and straight. Then come back if you need to ask for further details why it wouldnt need to be dropped.

    • The saddest thing is that BSA National is only concerned about protecting themselves and maintaining their funding sources at the expense of the boys. What they have done is “kicked the can” down the road to the Councils and Chartered Organizations to sort out; whether it involves a lawsuit or creates major discord among units. What is NOT fair is that if your Chartered Organization is not a “religiously based” one, you are out of luck even if collectively you do not agree with the ruling. Look, it is either right and just for EVERYONE to follow the “inclusion” or it is wrong..there is no in between. Also, I fully expect all members to be identified clearly as Adult Male or Gay Adult Male, Adult Female or Gay Adult Female, Youth Male or Gay Youth Male and lastly, Youth Female or Gay Youth Female for correct accommodations. We have been and will continue to be betrayed until BSA National finally understands that they can’t have money coming in from corporate donors AND Chartered Organizations. BSA National has FAILED at being Trustworthy!

      • Gee, I didn’t know they tattooed your unit number on you when you joined. Find a religious unit if your morals require it, make sure it’s one that has that option.

        This is easier than everybody is making it.

        • I can see that you have no connection to a Unit as with that attitude you wouldn’t understand what it is to have built and nurtured a Troop.

        • Do you think this will be the end of it?

          I don’t.

          I have been watching the homosexual activists have not been satisfied with what they have since 1973 when they got de-listed from being mentally ill. They will continue to push and push and demand and demand until every institution that declares homosexuality to be either immoral or a sin to either bow to their demands and cave to their will or be destroyed.

          Now with regards to morally straight I will ask this question, How many units have adult leaders that are shacking up with their girlfriends? IS shacking up and hooking up morally straight ?

        • Shacking up or cohabitation is a faith-based, denominational question and any morality about such will vary from religion to religion – so any discussion about such should not take place within scouts.

          A Muslim scout leader should no more be authorized to teach sexual morality to scouts than a Christian scout leader. It is not their place to discuss such.

          BTW, the Anglican church is one such faith rhat does not view cohabitation as a sin or as morally wrong. Anglicans are an officially recognized BSA faith.

    • Of course it is. But don’t worry, we atheists don’t bite (well, not more than Christians do, at least), we are *not* immoral people, and we can certainly be reverent. We will not destroy scouting. While the Christian faith is no doubt important to Christian scouts, it is not central to scouting. Christian values will not be destroyed by atheists being present.

      How do I know this? I’ve been a scout since I was eight. I am a scoutmaster in Austria, and I am an atheist. About half of the boys and girls in my group are Christian, the other half are agnostics or atheists (Europe is way more secular than the US, after all).

      Our scouting program is a real scouting program. We promote real scouting values. We are scouts.

    • THANK you VERY MUCH Jeff Traviss! I could not agree more on the overdone “duty to God & country” thing. It’s borderline religiously radical fundamental extremism, when we think of the fact BSA was started my the military (cringe). Seeing that the US Military is the most violent, destructive org in the world today, comprised of millions of innocent misguided girls/boys who are indoctrinated into this “duty to God & country” for our violence for profit and power political system in perpetual war mode under shadow government ops——we venture into space that is HIGHLY “morally unstraight and mentally unaware.” It’s all about the money monster.

      The world is changing, and we cannot be brainwashing these boys into the militaristic crap lurking on the sides of all the GOOD BSA does—-environmental stewardship, do your best, be honest, leave no trace, camping and survival skills, community service and SO much more. The over the top flag worship thing should be on the list of debatable topics as well. Yes, it’s an American org—-yet its a global world and kids today should respect ALL “flags”, ALL nations, ALL people, and not be cornered into a narrow minded “us vs them” manipulated into believing we have “enemies” instilling the killer voodoo into them. It’s “white nationalism” and the American exceptionalism ideology that is killing our nation today—economically, spiritually, morally. It might even be a good idea to KEEP religion out of BSA entirely, as religion is a main reason we don’t see world peace today.

      Said by someone raised Catholic and still has a crucifix over her head at night. Yet, we need to start questioning many christian ideals as they relate to violence.

  2. I’m glad to see this change, but also sad that discrimination is still allowed by some chartering organizations. I think to truly abide by the scout law excluding anyone because of arbitrary criteria should not be tolerated.

    • There was no mention of arbitrary criteria. The legitimate tenets of a religious chartering organization, however, will be taken ino consideration. Big, huge difference.

    • What makes these criteria arbitrary? YOU may consider the beliefs of certain religious organizations to be discriminatory, but that is nothing more than YOUR OPINION and in this country freedom of religion remains a first amendment right.

    • In other words, the BSA should abandon all fixed principles and simply endorse whatever view of ‘good’ a person wants to bring, because to do otherwise would be to exclude someone and discriminate against them. What would be the point of the BSA ideals then? It becomes little more than an outdoor recreation club. The BSA, in doing this has pulled up their moral anchor and is now subject to the ever-changing winds of popular opinion and trendy political correctness. As the old axiom has it, “if you won’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.” And from where I stand, it looks like the BSA is falling fast.

      • The BSA should not be excluding anyone.

        I don’t know about the so-called BSA ideals, but I know about scouting ideals elsewhere in the world. And that means scouting is for everyone.

    • Don’t get in a fret over it. While national says they will “defend at all costs” the right of the religious charters to select their leadership in accordance with their beliefs we have already seen how easy they rolled over on an issue that had already been decided by the SCOTUS when they said the BSA was a private organization who could establish their own rules. The only area where any form of discrimination could not be used was in the hiring of PAID staff. Than they would fall under the Dept of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) standards. Volunteers are NOT paid therefore they do not fall under the same umbrella. But give it 6 months to watch for National put out a new directive to the religious charters on selection of leaders then watch the dominoes fall.

    • I agree, Cathy. We left our former troop at a Catholic Church/school because the new leadership (Scoutmaster and one Assistant Scoutmaster) that were members of the parish and their Scouts discriminated against the Scouts and parents that either weren’t catholic or didn’t go to the catholic school. (Basically, the public school kids.) And then the new Scoutmaster put his hands on 3 Scouts that went to public school not in a sexual way but an abusive way…and the church, the Troop Committee, the Chartering Organization AND Council did absolutely NOTHING. They go by their own rules and put their own agenda first, NOT the youth like it should be. ?

      • Hate to tell you, but it has nothing to do with churches. Our troop died because the CO (Lions Club) wanted to put a COR in place that our troop had kicked out 8 years earlier for emotionally and verbally abusing the boys. They didn’t care, they did it anyway. Then tried to put him in as SM.

        The troop, parents and boys, signed a form and everyone quit and the troop died. With that history behind them (Lions) no way could they restart. It’s been 3 years. My dad started the troop 50 years ago. Nearly killed me.

        So, organizations have tunnel vision on who they want to represent them and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. Or what proof.

        Bad CO, CORs, and SMs are everywhere. Not just in churches.

        PS: The council did ZERO to stop it, either. As a matter of fact, this jerk is a commissioner!
        Even after getting letters from the parents.

  3. This is the right course for a citizenship program with a vision to “prepare every eligible youth in America to become a responsible, participating citizen and leader”. Becoming an inclusive organization helps us teach how to work with, and participate with, all of our fellow citizens in schools, at work, in the military, in our neighborhoods. That’s the right course, because now our leadership and membership can reflect all of our country and all of our country’s citizens.

  4. Mr. Gates and the National Executive Board have failed BSA once again. Therefore, I am calling on Mr. Gates and every single member of the National Executive Board to RESIGN IMMEDIATELY.

    • Not every member of the Executive Board was there: The LDS members requested a delay to the vote because they could not be there, but the vote proceeded anyway. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has issued a statement that they are concerned about this new turn, and after adding this to other issues that affect their youth program in various places around the world, will now re-evaluate their century-long affiliation with Scouting.

      • An excerpt from the linked page:

        “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is deeply troubled by today’s vote by the Boy Scouts of America National Executive Board. In spite of a request to delay the vote, it was scheduled at a time in July when members of the Church’s governing councils are out of their offices and do not meet. When the leadership of the Church resumes its regular schedule of meetings in August, the century-long association with Scouting will need to be examined.’

        If I read this right, National pulled a fast one on the organization that charters the largest number of units in the country.

      • Gates is moving BSA into the 21st century. And if means we say good bye to the LDS all the better. Why do we have a special program just for LDS? If you are not familiar with LDS, its history and its beliefs I would encourage you to do a bit of research. Having LDS have so much influence bithers me far more than a gay leader.

        • Well, #3, it’s called not biting the hand that feeds you. The reason the LDS has so much influence is because of the involvement. No other organization in the U.S. Sponsors BSA like the LDS Church does. Without it, BSA would more closely resemble Girl Scouting – a high population at young ages and virtually no participation in the teen years.

      • The way I read the church’s statement, it doesn’t say that LDS members were not present for the vote. It says that the church’s governing councils are not currently meeting (and perhaps were not meeting between the time when the Executive Committee drafted the resolution and when the Executive Board ratified it) and so they will evaluate this policy when they return. That is a very different thing than saying that LDS members of the Executive Board were not present to vote on the resolution.

        • For those of you who didn’t like my previous statement, an article posted lower down in this thread [] supports that LDS members were present and took part in the vote (6th paragraph). Of course, maybe you just don’t like facts that don’t line up with your worldview….

        • we will know soon enough what the LDS church decides — Rechartering is just around the corner. It maybe that the LDS church may choose not to recharter this year. However, I would suspect that they will recharter this year and if they pull out it will be next year. But do I know. We will need to wait and see.

  5. The 2013 vote cost them 13% of the membership so those farthest removed from actually delivering the program to youth, BSA National, in their duty to money voted to nullify themselves as an organization of character. It’s worked so well for the Girl Scouts.

    Siding with those that wish them harm is the new normal for Americans, what is one to expect when members of the political class are put in charge.

    This promise that CO can have members standards consistent with their faith has a time limit. I’m guessing about two years. Such is the power of the liberal agenda.

      • The 2013 vote cost our unit its charter…this vote will likely cost us our unit. There are people of various faiths and no faith in our unit, those of faith will move to a church sponsored unit for the time being. That being said, I don’t have much faith that the BSA will honor its promise to defend religious units. The homosexual lobby has already stated that giving them the exemption undercuts the decision as a whole. They’re not going to stop until every unit kneels…

        • Absolutely true. Here’s why I get angry with the zealots. They won. Ok, I’m good with that. LEave the churches alone!

          If you don’t want religion or want to be gay, I’m ok with that. Go to a unit that is not church related. How hard is that? Or find someone to charter you that is not religiously inclined. It’s not that hard.

          Why push your beliefs off on the churches? You won’t win. The churches will simply pull their charters. Then what do you win? Less scouts, less leaders.

          You (gays) won. Leave it alone. You can now join openly (you were already there anyway), you just have to join a unit that is not religious. Not that hard.

        • I’m an Eagle Scout who happens to be gay. I’m thrilled by the decision, because it means that I can return to being a part of an organization that was essential to forming me as the man I am today. My church sponsors a unit, and is also excited by this change.

        • So we lose 10 leaders for 1 leader that returns because of the decision. With that type of thinking, all of BSA will be bankrupt & completely gone in a short time.

    • Keith, I’d suggest you are correct, but I think the time line will be shorter. I truly expected this change to take a little longer. I shouldn’t have been surprised – I was in the USAF when he made the change there. Then he had the benefit of rank to quell disagreement and cover up the resulting problems.

      • For those who fear that the “Next Step” push is something about protest, it is not: the page states “We believe that re-engaging our supporters with the Boy Scouts of America is the next best step towards achieving that goal. Join us in building a future for Scouting where everyone is welcome.”

        It solicits volunteers to help the BSA with the question “In which of the following Scouting activities do you have interest?
        (Check all that apply.)
        — Starting a Cub Scout Pack
        — Starting a Boy Scout Troop
        — Joining an existing Cub Scout Pack (you or your children)
        — Joining an existing Boy Scout Troop (you or your children)
        — Joining a BSA Council Board of Directors
        — Joining the BSA Alumni Association
        — Joining an OA Lodge
        — Volunteering with a local BSA unit (Pack or Troop)
        — Seeking employment with the Boy Scouts of America”

        • It is about flooding BSA with homosexual volunteers. Volunteeers who will attempt to join units chartered by Churches that do not condone homosexuality.

    • Was the drop from the vote? Or was it from the increase in fees making units go “hmmm, no need to pay for that guy anymore, he doesn’t show up”. Or was it the millennial parents who are more accepting of sexual choices and refused to join a group they considered “prejudiced”? You don’t know. I’ll bet BSA never asked and doesn’t know.

  6. This bisexual leader cries thank you, thank you, thank you to Mr. Gates for strong, compassionate, direct and fair leadership – and to all the members of the national committees who supported this vital policy change. “Out” in my local and with my district co-volunteers since I joined, it is a relief to know the work I do, that I give with love to this organization and the youth we serve, can’t be threatened or turned away just because of the way I was born. Tears of joy.

    • Scientifically speaking, you were not “born that way.” Ignoring the fact that sexuality doesn’t develop until later in life, if same-sex attraction were genetic then identical twins would both have same sex attraction. The rate of both identical twins is so small that the “born that way” theory is clearly disproven through counter-example.

      Gay activists want to ignore “Sexaholics Anonymous” in these arguments. I recommend that Christine Gervais and others seek out Sexaholics Anonymous and find recovery from the mental illness of same-sex attraction, as many others have.

  7. I think threats of telling leaders you would be better off somewhere else is the wrong stance. This is a lot of food to digest at this moment.

    I for one have been in scouting since I was a small boy and still a leader that is over 46 year’s. This is nothing new we have always had gay leaders in our ranks. They just didn’t announce it.

    We all have our beliefs and you should stand by those beliefs that is your right.

    • If your first point is in any way related to a comment I made, I apologize if I have come across as “threatening” to anybody. I did suggest that anyone who refuses to comply with our standards would be happier in another organization, which they probably would.

      As for your second point, the gay leaders still won’t announce their orientations. As has been said, the BSA is not the place for discussions of sexuality.

      • It’s funny how conservatives were bigots when they suggested gays go elsewhere, but now the rules favor your stance you want to show conservatives the door but your bigotry is a-ok.

        • I am not a bigot, nor am I liberal in most issues. Go ahead and continue making assumptions about people though.

  8. First National says that there will be no change to the Membership standards.

    Six months later, it was announced that changes were being considered.
    But just a few months later, the decision was announced that Gay youth would be allowed, but not adults. No further changes would happen.

    With a new BSA President, came a new viewpoint, but he says he would have allowed Gay adults too. But will not do so now as to not break BSA apart.
    Two months later that changes too!

    So in just a few years BSA National has not been Trustworthy to it’s membership 3 times.

    What is next?

    They say that Duty to God will never change.

    Can we believe that too?

    What about the activists who want TOTAL inclusion in BSA, church sponsored too?

    For those who spout the party line with BSA National, How can we believe you?

    For those who say it will never happen, Never say never.

    For those who say, if you don’t like it go start your own group.
    A few years ago, that was told to you, but you preached tolerance.
    Where is your tolerance?

    BSA may survive this latest appeasement, however it may have pushed it’s luck to the edge.
    If the Churches pull out, BSA will wither away.

    • Leave religion to the churches. If BSA goes completely church/religion neutral we it would not be a threat to any one religion or church, keep the religious emblem program but get the duty to god out of the requirements. Read the new handbooks, I mean read them all, cover to cover. They are a great step forward BUT filled with contradictions and inconsistancies with national policy.

      • 3rd Generation said, “Leave religion to the churches. If BSA goes completely church/religion neutral we it would not be a threat to any one religion or church, keep the religious emblem program but get the duty to god out of the requirements. Read the new handbooks, I mean read them all, cover to cover.”

        To do this would complete eviscerate the core of the Scouting movement as laid out by Baden Powell. It would no longer be scouting.

        “There is no religious “side” of the movement. The whole of it is based on religion, that is, on the realization and service of God.

        “Let us, therefore, in training our Scouts, keep the higher aims in the forefront, not let ourselves get too absorbed in the steps. Don’t let the technical outweigh the moral. Field efficiency, back woodsmanship, camping, hiking, Good Turns, jamboree comradeship are all means, not the end. The end is CHARACTER with a purpose.

        • I must have missed your poimnt in there. BSA is not a church, BP never told anyone what “god” he meant or what the duty is. And he sure as hell said nothing about gays.

  9. The membership change of 2013 cost my local council 51% membership and over 75% loss in funding. I dare say this membership change will decimate many more.

      • For my troop, 51% no. But we lost 4 boys, and 3 adults, out of 26 and 8. So that’s a pretty high number. More like 25%. We did build back up with 9 crossovers.

        Not sure how this will affect our troop. We’ll see come fall when rechartering. Won’t affect my membership, but it probably will some others.

        • And our Pack and Troop had an increase in members, leaders and contributions. Once the policiy changed on Scouts. AND we took the firm stance of complete non-discrimination. Girl Cubs is not far away 🙂

        • Obviously, you aren’t chartered by a religious organization, or at least not of the ‘3’. We are. I would not be surprised if we lose the charter altogether.

          Like I said, I will stay. I’m not bothered by it as long as they act appropriately and there’s no reason they shouldn’t anymore than those of us that are hetero. Those that do not, of either persuasion needs to ‘go’.

    • Well Said….This isn’t the end by a long shot. The real discrimination going on is against people’s religious beliefs. I have been reading the gay-friendly liberal blogs and new sights and they (LGBT Activists) will not be happy until there is a total capitulation….There is NO ROOM for religious freedom..they will not NEVER EVER be satisfied until everyone yields to them to the point of advocating their lifestyle of choice…

      Make no doubt about it..the Atheist are next….Now that the foot is in the door…just like the children’s book “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie”…

      It is funny these Activists aren’t going after the Royal Ambassadors or Trail Life….I guess their pockets are deep enough yet….

      The decision violates the Scout Law: A Scout is Brave….National is not standing up for the Scouts………The BSA sent out Surveys a few years ago and Parents and Volunteers said No to leaders…..and that is where National should have stood…National should have surveyed the Famines again before making this unilateral decision.

      I feel the need to go watch “The Manchurian Candidate”

      • Read my earlier comments as I point out what the next attacks will be and where they will be coming from, and the sad part of it all, National will roll over on those issues as well, then when BSA has dwindled to the point of collapse then those who gave up without a fight will blame it on the program or the lack of interest and involvement due to “changing times”.

  10. Where do we find the “BSA code of conduct that prohibits the discussion of sexual issues” mentioned in FAQ #11?

  11. Wow.. Reading the comments makes me think some people are afraid their sexuality will be compromised when they are around gay leaders. Just an FYI you can’t catch being gay. You kids will not become gay because they are around adult leaders who are gay. If they are attracted to those of the same sex, it was determined WAY before they joined any Scouting organization…..

    • It’s not the fear of “catching” any particular permissive sexual expression.
      It’s the fear of losing the joy and flourishing that comes from restrictive sexual expression.

    • Science tells us different. If same-sex attraction were genetic, then identical twins would be both gay or both straight. Turns out that for almost all gay people with an identical twin, the identical twin is straight. Thus, the “genetic gay” theory is disproven by counter-example.

      So, what does lead one to become gay? Look on youtube – many gay people admit that sexual abuse was instrumental in them becoming gay. Thus, various people do catch “being gay” and not by their own choice as the mental levers get flipped by the traumatic experience.

      However, there are solutions. Gay activists have a phobia against “Sexaholics Anonymous” because it has a track record of helping gays recover. However, many other people grow out of same sex attraction naturally as their brain develops.

      We need to split moral scouting from immoral (gay) scouting. Have different organizations, camps, and fundraising organizations. However, gay scouting should not use the Scout Law or Oath as they clearly do not believe them, or try to follow them.

  12. J’accuse!

    Lo! Hearken! He Who Says One Thing Upon His Appointment And Says Another After A Few Weeks On The Job speaks! Dr. Gates, you and the rest of those who voted for the homosexualization of Scouting have betrayed the membership of BSA for corporate dollars.


    And, I expect that soon the families that are pagan and Wiccan will be knocking at the door. After all, they believe in a god or gods, right? Didn’t BSA chase them off and as a result they formed SpiralScouts? So, Dr. Gates, what happens when Wiccans come asking for admission? Will you change policy again? Or will you stand firm against them (hypocritically, I might say) because they don’t have a well-funded legal department ready to sue BSA in multiple jurisdictions. Will BSA will not have a leg to stand on? How can BSA continue to “discriminate” against these minority religions?


    I’ll bet within 5 years at the latest all chartering organizations will have to accept homosexual leaders of relinquish their charters. In a previous thread a couple of weeks ago (the Eagle Scout thread), one of my antagonists wrote that chartering organizations will have a First Amendment exception to appointment of homosexual leaders. I suspect that is not going to stand very long. In fact, leaders in the homosexual movement already are talking about how this vote does not go far enough. All National has done is get itself out of the line of fire and will sacrifice any chartered organization it has to in order to maintain corporate donations. Gotta pay off The Summit.




    • Pagans and Wiccans are already allowed as members — the BSA just won’t allow them to charter units, in order to prevent them from creating a pagan religious award (the rules on creating a BSA religious award were changed to prevent it).

      • So BSA *is* discriminating against pagans and Wiccans? Thanks for corroborating that fact that BSA changed the rules for religious awards in order to be discriminatory! Gee, think anyone will threaten to sue?

        • “So BSA *is* discriminating against pagans and Wiccans? ”

          Yes — but you seemed to be claiming they couldn’t be members of the BSA.

          “Gee, think anyone will threaten to sue?”

          Only if the BSA dishonestly tries to get public schools to charter units again.

        • No, you have a VOLUNTEER CLAIMING something. The fact that they may have no real knowledge of what they said or are repeating a rumor someone else told them does not make it fact.

          So far as I know, unless Bryan responds to you, no one her is paid to do scouting, they are volunteers who all express their views based on their experiences and fears, but not always on fact.

        • Well, this part of this is interesting. There has always been a rule that you need a minimum number of a CO to qualify for religious awards. I believe it was wiccans who came and were told that when they suggested an award. Their response was to say they’d just pay for that minimum number of units without the consideration you need youth and leaders.

          Then they thought the rule was new and made up to prevent them from getting their own religious award. In reality it was really just making them meet the rules everyone else follows.

        • Just what are the rules for units, and how many people must be in a unit for that unit to count as a unit? I’ve heard as many as 20 units. Do Lone Scout units count? Perhaps they’re part of the “other churches” at but are the Zoroastrians, Quakers, and Meher Baba adherants being held to the same standards? Especially with the number of Zoroastrian priests who refuse to accept converts, or or to perform initiation ceremonies for adopted children and the children of intermarried couples (where one spouse isn’t Zoroastrian), and given the falling numbers of Zoroastrians worldwide, let alone solely in the USA, it doesn’t seem like it should have been that difficult for Wican groups to get a religious emblem program going.

        • Not sure what you’re asking. I do know that they aren’t allowed to charter themselves. But that will probably change now, too. I think the rules for chartering has to do with numbers. And currently, those ‘religions’ don’t have the numbers.

          Some changes are good, some not. I’m sorry, regardless of your religion, worshipping the devil (satanism) SHOULD NEVER BE PART of scouting.

          When that happens is when, I, too, will leave. That crosses over the boundary for me. Not talking about Wiccan. They don’t worship the devil. Still not sure I’m comfortable with that either, but a little more open with it.

      • I would be interested in seeing some background on your claim. Are there any web links to old and revised BSA policies that you can point me to that details changes which prevents these faiths from Chartering? As a Unitarian Universalist I am sensitive to this issue.

        • Here’s an old usenet post that’s on google groups from April 1996:


          Here’s the main part:

          I was the chair of the committee that spent several years following BSA
          procedures to get the Hart and Crescent award accepted, and I can assure you
          that BSA officially discriminates against “minority” religions by refusing to
          accept religious awards earned by boys of religions that they do not approve
          of, including the Hart and Crescent.

          BSA adopted new rules for religious awards specifically because of our
          application — to keep us from qualifying which we did under their old rules.
          The new rules say that a religius body has to sponsor 25 units before their
          religious award can be accepted. Then, when we offered to sponsor the 25
          units, BSA turned down our application based on religoius biggotry, and
          returned our initial unit charter application.

        • I’m confused. Looked up star and crescent and found a site that references Islam. So is this Islam or something else? I thought we already accepted Muslims in Boy Scouts, or am I confusing that with something else?

          If it is not Muslim, then please explain it to me. I am not dissing anyone. I really want to learn. I was engaged to a Muslim in 1972, so I’m not anti-Muslim. Not marrying had nothing to do with religion, lol…it was because he wanted twelve kids!

        • mariahwwa you misread what merlynleroy wrote. He wrote “Hart and Crescent” not “Star and Crescent”.

    • “homosexualization of scouting” – that’s funny!

      Pagans and Wiccans are already accepted in the BSA, there are deities, just different than yours.

      I hope you open your mind and learn more, especially about those of us who believe and live differently than you, but who nonetheless give all our hope, every and devotion to BSA youth.

      • No, it’s not funny, it is a terrible sin – “leading the little ones astray.”

        But have fun. The great falling away has begun.

        • I am not afraid of you, or your judgment. I am having fun, as what I see falling are institutions of bigotry and hate. I hope someday you see the light, and are filled with joy and love for all humanity.

        • Ah, Christine, I am filled with joy and love. I simply do not condone sexual sin by people purporting to be role models for youth. If I had my way, divorced persons and those cohabiting without being married would be excluded form leadership as well. I do not hate them; I pity them in their obstinate and deliberate persistence in sin. I do pray for them; do you?

        • And I pity your narrow-minded bigotry, which is hard for me to comprehend as anything other than hateful. Fortunately for the rest of the world, none of us need your approval (goodness, the ego there!)

          We don’t share the same understanding of God, mine has no hellfire and smiting of so-called sinners. I’m glad we live in a place where you can have yours, and I can have mine. I’ve no respect for your sad worldview, but I respect your right to practice and live your life as you see fit. Pity you’d not extend that to others.

        • All this talk of “zealots” and “gay agendas” and “radical activists” is strange. Please consider that vast majority of folks who have worked toward, supported, and voted on these equal and inclusive membership changes are *heterosexual*.

          I’d hazard a guess that not a one would consider himself to have “caved to a liberal agenda” or gone all “gay politically correct.” I’d hazard those folks simply realize and support equality, recognizing there is no Gay Threat to Scouting or America. I bet their decisions were based in humane concepts of justice and compassion.

        • Oh, and Christine, why would you think I want you to be afraid of me? I am not the One who will eventually judge you, and me, and all of us.

          But I am glad you are having fun. Some of us gather earthly treasure of all types, and some of us prefer to build up treasure in the afterlife. As someone once said about 2000 years ago, “They have had their reward.”

        • Christine, rather than call me names, why not read the Sacred Scriptures? The Word is a wonderful thing. I shall add you to my prayer list – I pray for those who insult me and attack me. I wonder if they ever do so for me ….

          I am ecstatically happy that you are having oodles of fun. Have a wonderful life and I’ll continue to pray for you. All of this that has happened has been foretold – the great falling away has begun.

          One last thing, it isn’t my approval you should be seeking. I hold no power over anything or anyone. There is One who does, though.

        • Oddly enough, I don’t remember a single time a scout leader has told a youth that they have to get married or be straight. Nor do I remember any of the bitterly divorced leaders (discovered in private conversations between my adult self and them) telling boys that they shouldn’t ever get married.
          Here’s a hint why – discussions marriage and sexual attractions do not and should not happen between youth and adults. There is no “Romance and Dating” merit badge, nor is “how to be attractive” in any handbook.
          Where do people get the idea that homosexuals are trying to entice kids to be gay?

    • There’s a lot of back and forth on whether gay men are more likely to be pedophiles than heterosexuals, but in the end, it really doesn’t matter very much when it comes to the Scouts.
      Why is that?
      Because a teenager in the Boy Scouts shouldn’t be spending a lot of alone time out in the woods with someone who could potentially be attracted to him. This is so basic we don’t even think about it when teen girls are involved. If a thirty year old, strapping male P.E. teacher took a group of 15 year old cheerleaders out in the woods, their parents would GO INSANE. Incidentally, they’d be right to be upset. Similarly, a gay man has no business being in the woods with a bunch of teenage boys. In fact, if the Boy Scouts ever allowed gay Scoutmasters in their organization, it would kill them as dead as Disco because most parents don’t want their child spending a lot of alone time with an adult who could be sexually attracted to him. In fact, that is so obvious it’s clear that the people pushing this idea the hardest are primarily concerned with destroying the Boy Scouts, not enabling “gay rights.”

      • Don, you confuse sexual orientation (general) with sexual attraction (specific). The two are not the same.

        As of today, gays can officially be Scoutmasters – so I guess we will see where those chips fall. FWIW, disco is still alive and well in the gay community, so maybe there is hope.

      • Adults are virtually never allowed to be alone with youth; you may want to revisit the Youth Protection training.

        • Correct. But two women leaders aren’t allowed to take Scouts on overnight outings either. Nor does Girl Scouting allow male leaders. Both require chaperones with them.
          Two deep leadership has more to it than preventing one on one. It is also to prevent youth alone. For example, one adult may have to go for help, leaving one alone with youth – there should be multiple youth so there is no one on one.
          So quit misrepresenting Youth Protection.

        • Ummmm…concerned, would you like to provide a citation for your assertion that, “But two women leaders aren’t allowed to take Scouts on overnight outings either.”

          Youth Protection states no such restriction…”Two-deep leadership on all outings is required. A minimum of two registered adult leaders, or one registered leader and a participating Scout’s parent or another adult, are required for all trips and outings. One of these adults must be 21 years of age or older.” []

          When there are co-ed outings, there must be co-ed leadership but I have never seen a policy that says that female leaders much have a chaperon when camping with male youth.

        • Two deep requiring male and female only applies in Venturing. There were many times in my old troop where I and one other trained leader were on outings – both female.

          Ideally you would have more than 2 leaders, but that’s just not always possible. It wasn’t in our old troop. It was pulling teeth just to get TWO.

          Because of sickos of the past we have the 2 deep rule. Not that it’s bad, not at all, but it sure causes headaches for small troops!

          And GS does have male leaders.

        • Concerned, your statement that “Nor does Girl Scouting allow male leaders.” is untrue. I was a registered adult leader with the GS-USA for several years when my daughter was a Girl Scout, before switching to the Venturing program.

          It is far rarer to see a male adult volunteer leader in the GS-USA program than a female adult volunteer leader in the BSA programs, but we do exist and are allowed and welcomed by the GS-USA.

      • So I suppose you are absolutely opposed to female leaders in Boy Scout troops?
        All those women, around boys, the horror! I hear some of them are DIVORCED, and you know how divorced women are.

    • Back in 2013, when the first open strike at gay acceptance in Scouting was made public, many big dollar corperate sponsors of BSA pulled their funding as they cowered under threat of a call to boycott them by the gay activists. I sent a letter to National asking them to identify each and every coporate entity that withdrew their funding to the general membership. The purpose of this request was so that the membership could share that information with the various media outlets, religious organizations, and friends so that THEY could write those corporations and express their displeasure in caving into the gay threats and that the silent majority of this country would boycott their products if they didn’t have a change of heart. Sure, it sounds like extortion, but that’s what the gay activists were doing and continue to do. To date, we have never seen such a list published by National. Why is that?

      • I remember stating to a number of Scouters that we should boycott those who do not support us. The look on their faces showed that they had no clue about what they were up against.

        • I’ve been saying the same thing for years. The tools are there to control the narrative and are easily available for everyone to use in this digital age. The other side understands them very well. But they should have been made to pay for every inch of territory they seized.

          When Disney Corporation’s HR lady decided that they wouldn’t match employee’s donations, an online boycott petition against Disneyland, Disneyworld, Disney Cruises, Disney movies, Disney DVDs and videogames, and Disney merchandise should have been electronically distributed to every Scouting family in America, press releases should have touted the massive amount of community projects Boy Scouts do and demanded to know why Disney hates families and children. The Mouse understand Money, and once they realized that there were a lot of kids who would not buy their overpriced junk, and they represented a bigger threat to their corporate profits than boycotting gays, they would have folded. But no, we have confused courtesy with rolling over. So we smiled and took it.

          There are organizations whom you attack at great personal risk, because they have learned to become experts and controlling the public narrative. The NRA. AARP. The Sierra Club. The Boy Scouts used to be one of the organizations, and a politician or columnist attacking the BSA might just as well have attacked motherhood and apple pie. That day is gone, we are too splintered, and Gates and Company will preside over the BSA’s collapse.

          Honestly, I think it’s too late now.

        • You have to want to fight for what you believe is right. You also have to know what you believe. You also have to enforce your own rules.

          National did not fight for what it believed [at the time] was right. Under Robert J. Mazzuca, and according to him, the Scout Oath and Scout Law were “inviolable” – and look where we are now. National did not revoke the charters of councils that flagrantly violated National policy. They did nothing. Acquiescence morphed into approval. Now after years of having watched entire councils flout the rules that all of us in BSA were supposed to live by, National expects the rest of us to, “follow national policies and comply with the BSA’s behavioral standards.”

    • So what is the difference between Wiccan and Hinduism, other than the country of origin? Both have multiple gods, both are non Judeo-Christian.

  13. This violates Duty to God. Duty to God does not mean living openly in sin, not repenting the sin and not trying to remove the sin from your life. God says this is bad but Boy Scouts says its ok,but they want me to have Duty to God. Great way to teach young minds.

    • Roy, maybe your duty to your god, but my god (which is highly undefined) doesn’t care about such things. The BSA does not take a position on which god (s) you worship, or how you do it.

    • I agree – so no divorced leaders allowed! and no unwed parents allowed. get rid of all the sinners!

      • Well, Yesterday’s Scout (not OP) did say:

        > If I had my way, divorced persons and those cohabiting without being married would be excluded form leadership as well.

        I noticed though, that all of the things he mentioned have to do with sex. He doesn’t want to get rid of fat leaders (who persist in keeping themselves from being physically strong) or leaders with too much debt (cleary not thrifty)

        • You don’t think fat people can be strong? Tell that to a Sumo wrestler or to Haystack Calhoun.

          I’m what society thinks of as looking “fit,” but some of the fat men in my troop can rucksack march me into the ground.

          They float well, too.

    • Amen. I would never allow any of my children join this perverse club. And they should remove that oath if they are going to allow this perversion, because it’s a slap in Gods face.

    • I suggest that you actually grab a handbook and read the section we make brand-new Boy Scouts learn about the phrase “duty to God”. While you’re at it, you better check “A scout us reverent” in the scout law so you font just turn around and argue the wrong thing all over again.

  14. There are already pagan and Wiccan Scouts. One of my former colleagues is an Eagle Scout who follows a pagan religion.

    I’m glad BSA is giving chartered organizations this latitude in selecting their adult leaders. I’m hopeful that organizations which severed their ties with BSA when it became unlawful to discriminate based on sexual orientation will be willing to sponsor units of our movement again.

    • Girls, regardless of orientation, are already in the BSA as Venturers. My eldest was one of the first. And let us not forget our hardworking women volunteers.

      I hope someday BSA follows the World Scouts with the missin of serving all youth, regardless of gender or creed.

      • Venturers are 14 and older. What about the 11-14? I think that’s what he’s asking.

        Now that there is no difference between GS and BS, it sure would be handy for parents who have to run to a multitude of meetings for both if they could combine now, lol!

        I was told the gay thing was the reason why. Guess that reason is gone, so wonder what the reason will be now.

        • No, no, no! The Boy Scouts still have the better merit badges and ranks and programs … the GS needs to step up. To mingle the leadership would just bring down the BSA further. (I lead in both.)

        • HAHA, lol. I know. There are a couple of boys in our troop that have sisters in GS. I was just thinking about them. Sure would keep down the amount of running, lol. And the camp planning!

          Don’t see it happening, but the excuses they used previously went out the window today, lol.

        • It is my understanding that BSA is piloting a STEM based scouting program open to both boys and girls who are grade school age. I can’t recall the name right now. More progress ahead.

  15. The National committee vote affirms they have no fear of God. While you fear the rulers of this world you should fear the Lord, God Almighty. God’s word declares that homosexuality is a sin. Did you consider the great white thrown judgement and how you will answer for this? Every act, word, and thought will be brought into judgement. You will have to answer for this. Way to violate the Scout oath on your duty to God and be morally straight.

    • Sorry Bob that might be your god, but not mine. mine is loving, fair and logical or maybe the phrase open minded might be better. You go to heaven for the weather and hell for the company, I think after all these discussions about religion, I’ll choose hell, should be much more fun!

      • have to agree to disagree.

        I do not want to see our oath and law changed…ever. But that’s just me. I don’t have any say. But then neither do you.

        So, it’s back to the agree to disagree.

      • 3rd generation scout & Scouter, will you continue in BSA after publicly repudiating Duty to God? Do you really choose Hell, “where the worm dieth not and the flame is not quenched” or are you just spouting hyperbole?

        • I don’t believe in hell, So I’ll pick hell, I hear they throw great parties!
          The logic of satan and hell really don’t line up – but the short answer is Yes, I’ll choose hell.

        • So having chosen Satan and Hell, are you going to continue your membership in BSA?

    • “You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.”

  16. So much to say here. I am an Eagle Scout (1959) and have been involved as a volunteer leader for 40 years. First, my book, ON MY HONOR: BOY SCOUTS AND THE MAKING OF AMERICAN YOUTH (Chicago, 2001), argues that there are no arguments apart from religious arguments that gay and bisexual men and women are not appropriate role models as Scout leaders. And, as I argued on a separate article, the BSA was not meant to be a religious organization; if anything, the religious practices and beliefs of Baden-Powell, Seton, and Beard were anything but mainstream Christian. Second, it is true that the sexual practices of the leaders are not appropriate topics for conversation; true as well for divorced, cheating, and other straight leaders. What the gay and bisexual volunteers found troubling was the assumption that heterosexuality was “normal” and any other sexual orientation was not. This forced closeted people to lie about fundamental elements of their selves. Lying violates “A Scout is Trustworthy.'”Now these folks can be honest. Also, I might add that now that gay people can marry, this takes away the argument that homosexual behavior is immoral– sex within marriage is moral, sex outside of marriage is immoral, whatever your sexual orientation. The BSA does not quiz volunteer leaders on their sexual practices. Period. I have lots more to say, but this covers important points. As you can tell, I support the new policy. I see the new policy on total agreement with the values I acquired as an Eagle Scout.

    • And homosexuality violates “A Scout is Clean” and “Morally Straight” – BSA argued so and won in the Supreme Court, but National threw it away. The great falling away from faith is happening right in front of our eyes – people are calling bad good and good bad. Have a good time, reveling in your sins and laughing. On the Last Day we shall see who it is who is exalted and who is cast out. We know from Scripture that Satan is given a time to rule over the earth before the return of The Kingdom. Things have only just begun.

      • You live up to your screen name with that type of thinking. Just because you think homosexuality violates the Scout Oath and Law doesn’t mean we all think that way. If you truly believe your narrow-mindedness, I would not want you around my son or for any youth for that matter.

        • Oh, weelz, you’ve got my crying into my hanky with your acerbic wit and rapier rejoinders. Or maybe it was the onions I sliced for dinner.

      • Actually, yesterday’s Scout, read the SCOTUS decision (5-4, after all) and you will see that the Court did not endorse the position you describe. The Court simply affirmed that the BSA had a “freedom of affiliation” (First Amendment) that permitted them to exclude members they thought did not share their values. The BSA never argued that homosexuality violates those norms, only that gay men were not “appropriate role models” for young men (a dubious claim– philandering straight men are appropriate role models but gay men in a solid relationship are not?) It is fine that we have a debate on this blog, but please keep to facts and logical argument. Get things right.

        • Jay, I have read it; more than once.

          “The Boy Scouts asserts that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the values embodied in the Scout Oath and Law, particularly with the values represented by the terms ‘morally straight’ and ‘clean.'”

          “And others may believe that engaging in homosexual conduct is contrary to being ‘morally straight’ and ‘clean.’ The Boy Scouts says it falls within the latter category.”

          Jay, if I had my way, divorced people and those cohabiting but not married would also be barred from leadership positions.

        • The majority opinion was extrapolating from the fact that the cases before them (Curran and Dale, the Calif Supreme Court ruling for the BSA in Curran, the NJ Supreme Court ruling against the BSA in Dale) were cases where the plaintiffs were denied continuing membership on account of their open homosexuality. The BSA always carefully avoided saying “homosexuality is a sin”– instead, they couched their objections in the “appropriate role model for young men” language. My argument is that one’s sexuality (practiced or not) has nothing to do with whether you are a good person. We want good, honorable men and women in positions of adult leadership. The role model argument used by the BSA amounts to a religious argument, and I repeat: there is no historical evidence that the BSA is a religious organization or that its religious practices (e.g…, the religious life medals, vespers at camp) are in any way sectarian. I know that there are lots of Christians in Scouting (I am one), but some of us Christians understand what it means to belong to a plural, secular organization. I wrote about this in my chapter on religion in the BSA in the Centennial book, SCOUTING FRONTIERS: YOUTH AND THE SCOUT MOVEMENT’S FIRST CENTURY (2009), edited by Nelson Block and Tammy Proctor. A final note. The religious beliefs and practices of the Millennials differs significantly from their parents, and the latest studies show a decline in the number of Americans who identify themselves a Christian. The times they are a’changing.

      • I guess you just really hate that, Muslims, Buddists and Hindus are allowed in the “Christian Scouts of America”. Oh yeah, that isn’t the name of the organization.

        • Yesterday’s Scout – my comment questioning your thoughts and feelings toward non-christian scouts was based on the fact that you keep making references that scouting should be guided (or be scared) by Scripture from the Christian bible.

          Guess what – there are troops that don’t don’t own Bibles. Your definition of “Morally Straight” is different from theirs. Your definition of “Duty to God”, and “reverent” is different, too.

          And the amazing thing is that you are both allowed and encouraged to have your own version. Because your definitions don’t have to affect or change or convert one another, you just have to respect (at least tolerate) each other.

    • Actually, Jay, you must not have read much of Baden-Powell’s writing. He very strongly considered Scouting a religious movement, just not a denominational one.
      It’s pretty obvious that your activism is more important than reality. For example, normalcy is something that is common, which regardless how you feel about it, it is not common.
      And your book has no interest in identifying real issues – as most activists are too interested in their own personal desires rather than the public good. For example, the immediate argument that homosexuality does not make one a pedophile. That’s a red herring. It’s true, but not the issue at all. Scouting’ involvement with prepubescent boys doesn’t really involve overnight outings. It’s the involvement with older boys where there are extended outings. This age group is where homosexuality is a big part. Erehephiles and Hebephiles are predominantly homosexual. There is a whole subculture around young men in gay culture. Involving gay leaders in a program with extended outings is a recipe for insanity. We would never think it appropriate to put male leaders over teen girls and vice versa.
      I would love to see any sort of Youth Protection Plan that is going to be workable.
      With the addition of openly gay youth, we’ve already put young men at risk (now it’s essentially a one strike program).
      It’s really too bad people are more concerned with the politics than the wee being of our young men.

      • Concerned, actually read my book and get back to me. I resent your accusing those of us who agree with the change of putting “politics” above the well-being of young men. The BSA should trust its Youth Protection Program. Young men and women are safer in Scouting than in sports, in church youth groups, and so on, which have no such Youth Protection Program.

      • Whoa, wait! Women over young boys? I’m spinning. I’ve been a scout leader for 9 years and that doesn’t count 6 years at the cubby level.

        I was ASM for 1 year, and SM for 4, and a leader now.

        How do you explain me? I’m confused. Maybe I’m not female, lol.

        • Nowadays you can change at will. You just have to “identify” – whatever that means. LOL!

        • I didn’t change anything, lol. I’ve always been a woman and proud of it. I just am geared more towards male activities like scouting. No attraction to other females, lol. Other than to recognize when one is drop dead gorgeous even at 70 and be jealous!

        • Mariahwwa, if you are what you say, then you know full well that women leaders must have male leaders with them on an outing, just like coed Venturing crews must include female leaders on outings.

        • Again, concerned, please cite your source for this assertion. I’ve cited mine showing that BSA policy says no such thing. Others have posted similar information. (And what gives you the right to question if mariahwwa is a leader as she states?!)

        • oops, MT Momma, wrong response earlier, lol. I thought it was you who questioned me, and it was ‘concerned’. I hate when I post too quickly, lol

      • Get what? This?

        “On My Honor provides a provocative, sometimes shocking glimpse into the sexual awakening and moral development of young men coming to grips with their nascent desires, ….”

        Uh, no thanks.

        • It’s been 7 years or so since I read it but I recall that it’s actually not a bad read. I do know that I didn’t agree with all of his conclusions but his descriptions of the camp reminded me a lot of what scouting was in my youth.

  17. In Bryan’s article, he mentions, “The BSA has 2.4 million youth members and nearly 1 million adult volunteers.” Please change “has” to “had.” Due to this vote the number of members will drop.

    • It will also rise in places. I have plenty of friends who wouldn’t let their kids join an organization that taught them that their gay friends and family members were somehow “unclean.” And there are plenty of Eagle Scouts like me who would love to have continued our involvement in Scouting, and now will be able to do so.

    • “Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.”

      BSA *was* the way of truth.

      • ” Putting a statement in quotes makes it much more persuasive but not more founded in fact”

        • It is a direct quote from a published source, so quotation marks are necessary. That is 6th grade level English – did you pass that class?

    • Just like BSA “had” 6 Million registered in 1972.. Look that one up the last time they shoved something down the throats that leaders which they did not want… Back when they took the “Boy” out of “Boy Scouts”

  18. 1. Not anti-gay.

    2. Who cares what you do in your bedroom/ HOWEVER!….lately the extremist jerk activists love to throw it in our faces. Live your life, if you’re a good leader, great. But the recent FORCED acceptance is troubling.

    3. like someone said, we’ve had gays in our midst for ages. Some are my friends. I did not ‘out’ them BECAUSE they were good leaders, didn’t advertise it. They will not be doing the happy dance and advertising the troops that they are gay. Many of these people who, due to lawsuits, forced this change, and I’ll be 99% of them are not even wanting to be scouts, will be!

    4. Hetereos should not advertise their sexuality either.

    5. Anyone who goes after our youth is no longer gay, no longer hetero, they are pedophiles, sick and deranged, cannot be cured, and have no possible place in society. So to equate gays with pedophilia (or heteros for that matter), is just wrong.

    6. It does seem to go against our oath and law. I am a Christian so I have many conflictions over this one. Having gay friends makes it that much more difficult.

    7. We will see if BSA survives. We lost a lot of troops and CO’s. In my own troop we lost about 4 families and 3 longtime leaders. We are sponsored by a church. We’ll see what happens come this fall and crossover time. And cubby enrollment.

    • Mariah, I have compassion for your conflict and gratitude for your honesty. Just wanted to say that “sexual orientation” is not the same as “sexuality”. One’s sexual orientation determines the spectrum of physical attraction. The latter is the expression of that attraction, and it is the latter which has no place in Scouting.

      Gays and lesbians who, for instance, attend a Scout meeting with their partner, are “advertising” neither their sexual orientation nor their sexuality. They are living their lives.

      Public displays of affection, on the other hand, would fall under expressing sexuality – as such are inappropriate for all adults (regardless of orientation or marital status) at Scouting functions.

      • That’s what I meant. If you act like decent human beings and aren’t slobbering over each other (and that goes for heteros, too), then I’m ok with it.

        However, the extremists are giving the rest of the gays a bad name. They are the ones leaving a bad taste in our mouths. My friends would never do that, but I’m not sure how I would handle it if someone DID, gay, trnasgender, hetero or any other.

        The sad thing is that, and this is going to come across wrong, I don’t mean it too, but it’s simply a fact.

        If someone objected to an open expression of ‘love’ – specifically kissing – which is not appropriate at a scout function….of a gay, all hell would break loose, and lawsuits would follow.

        If the same happened to a hetero couple…nothing. That is what makes me angry. Neither case is acceptable and neither case should be lawsuit worthy. But we all know it would be. Fair is fair.

        • You seem to think we’re asking for special treatment. We’re not. We want to be treated the same as heterosexuals.

      • Are you a Scout Leader Christine? What is your affiliation with Scouting? Seem to me that you are not and just here to rile things up.

    • Mariahwwa, pedophilia is not the issue. When you make comments like that you cloud the issue. Pedophilia pertains to prepubescent children. That’s not the issue. Erebephiles and hebephiles are predominantly homosexual. We need to look at this from a clear, honest and straightforward position.

        • You guys are clouding what I said. Nowhere in my posts did I ever say they were a threat to the boys. Just the opposite.

          I simply said, and I stand by it, anyone, hetero or gay, who makes advances on anyone under the age of 18 is a pedophile…or use a different term if you like, it’s still sick, plain and simple.

          My point was that these are sick individuals, and their sexual preference is irrelevant, gay or hetero….meaning any adult who would make advances on a youth. Period.

        • Christine, the studies you are alluding to show no linkage between homosexuality and pedophiles. That’s true. They specifically prepubescents. When you are talking adolescents, that changes. It’s no more unreasonable than to suggest an adult male or female would have an attraction with an underage teen. Ever hear the term “jail bait?” Just look how many middle aged women were so attracted to “Team Edward” – an eternal 17 year old?
          No one is saying that any specific gay adult would act on that – not any more than a heterosexual leader. But now we don’t allow male leaders to take female youth out without male leaders as well, and vice versa. Do we put the same restriction on gay leaders? Shall we require they have straight leaders along as well? That would be the consistent answer. It seems unreasonable to expect that a homosexual leader is somehow more immune to temptation than heterosexuals.

        • concerned – you stated that homosexuals are not anymore “tempted by youth” than heterosexuals. I fully agree with you there.

          Two deep leadership is a MINIMUM of two adults AND two youth. It is based on not just getting “two accounts” of what happened, but the simple idea of “safety in numbers”. Two or more “adolescents” are not exactly “helpless lambs”. There are 13 year olds in my troop that can bench press more than some adults.

          I realize there are unfortunate troops that can only get two adults, but I think they are in the minority. And given the small numbers of “youth-o-philes” in the general population, the odds of both adults being “bad” and keeping it hidden are slim. Could a pair of evil masterminds pull it off? Sure, but you can’t prevent determined groups of criminals, that’s why organized crime is still with us. But there is no “gay mafia”, despite preachers trying to convince people that “the gays are trying to recruit kids”.

          Also, two female adult leaders CAN take out a troop of boys. Check G2SS – nowhere does it state that two females can’t go on a trip with an all-boy unit. Maybe that is an oversight, but I doubt it, it has been that way for quite some time.

      • You have twice stated that “Erebephiles and hebephiles are predominantly homosexual”. Please list a reference that backs that up. My quick searches only turn up studies that state the majority of pedophiles (which is what Erebephiles and hebephiles are lumped in with legally) self identify as heterosexuals, and some have adult relationships that are heterosexual.

      • Mariahwwa, when I was a child several of my friends’ mothers had left school at 16 or 17 to get married.

        • I don’t know how old you are, but given your title, I’m assuming you are as old or older than I am. I do know in my mom’s day it was absolutely the norm to do as you were saying. Didn’t make it right. Old men should not marry children. Period. And that’s hetero…but I would apply the same analogy to gays.

          My mom did the opposite. She was born in 1911 when it was totaly common for young women to marry older men. She married a man 7 years her junior, and she waited until she was 32 to marry…by choice. She was a free spirit which was unheard of in those times.

        • Back then it made sense to marry off early in life. An unmarried daughter was an economic drag on a family, since she had little to no opportunity to work and contribute economically to the household. I’m glad to read that your mother had such a unique opportunity in her life. My family had it a bit different. Suffice to say the coal mines only hired men and boys, so while my uncles were taken out of school to work the mines my aunts were taken out to clean houses. That did not pay enough even to feed them so it was wedding bells as soon as possible. Their husbands were older because they had to have time enough to save sufficient money to marry. But the men married women and the women married men, just as is supposed to happen. “For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they two shall be in one flesh.”

        • Don’t get me wrong. My mom was one of 8 offspring of sharecroppers in Tennessee. Both parents died before she was 10, and she was raised as an orphan in an orphanage and then taken in by an older lady.

          She did manage to go to nursing school, and my dad being a doc is how they met. She was 32, he was 25. She had my brother at 34, then me at 42.

          My mom broke all the ‘norms’ of that time period.

          I understand there was a necessity during those time periods, but I do think sometimes it was carried to the extreme with records showing that women barely out of puberty were being married off (aka tweens).

          But in today’s world, that is just not acceptable. The financial need is not there, not the moral acceptance is not there.

          I would kill a man in his twenties who even approached my 15 year old grandaughter! He’d be picking buckshot of his *** or worse.

        • Mariahwwa, when I read that reply I thought you should change your screen name to “Buckshot Granny”! 🙂

          (I hope you do not mind that, I meant it in jest. I hope you use rock salt and not lead, though.)

    • Mariahwwa, according to the American Psychological Association there are three sexual orientations: Heterosexual, bisexual, and homosexual. They do not classify pedophilia as a sexual orientation. It is classified as a disorder. So, it follows that there are heterosexual pedophiles, bisexual pedophiles, and homosexual pedophiles. Unless you are more of an authority than the APA.

      • You completely misunderstood my post. I was absolutely saying that pedophilia or whatever you want to call it is a disorder, not a sexual orientation. Not sure where you got that from my post.

        Psych was one of my majors in college (triple major – psych, bus mgmt, equestrian science and my masters is CJ).

        IT’s a SICK disorder that can’t be cured (speaking of pedophilia or anyone who looks at children of any age with lust when they are 10-15 years difference). OF course we all know that rape isn’t about sex anyway, it’s about power and control.

        • When you wrote that people who engaged in pedophilia were no longer heterosexual or homosexual, the inference was that you believed it was a sexual orientation. Sorry I misunderstood.

        • Let’s be very clear about this. HOMOSEXUALS are not pedophiles. However pedophiles are using the same arguments and techniques that homosexual activists to bring us to the point we are today. The Pedophile activists have a very strong lobby and support in both the American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association. Once these two organizations both of which have strong support to de-list pedophilia as a disorder, then they will be automatically protected by existing laws that protect sexual orientation.

          Gavin Newsome said best, “Whether you like it or not, It’s going to happen”

          ‘Paedophilia is natural and normal for males’
          How some university academics make the case for paedophiles at summer conferences

          A pro-pedophile group called B4U-ACT held a symposium on August 17, 2011, in Baltimore,
          Maryland, to highlight their campaign to get the American Psychiatric Association (APA) to
          normalize pedophilia in the 2013 update to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental
          Disorders (DSM).


          Dolphins Do It

        • Yesterday said, “IT’s a SICK disorder that can’t be cured (speaking of pedophilia or anyone who looks at children of any age with lust when they are 10-15 years difference). OF course we all know that rape isn’t about sex anyway, it’s about power and control.”


          This post is interesting. In 1970 this post would have read, “HOMOSEXUALITY is a SICK disorder that can’t be cured (speaking of homosexuality or anyone who looks at another man of any age with lust and having anal and oral sex). OF course we all know that homosexuality isn’t about sex anyway, it’s about power and control. Homosexuality will NEVER be legalized and you are absolutely crazy if you think homosexuals will be able to marry.”

          Look where we are now.

          Thing change. Opinions change. Public opinion changes.

        • mariahwwa said “I did not write that. Do not put words in my mouth.”


          What did i say that you said?

  19. The article above states under “What’s not changing”: Everyone who is a registered member of the BSA agrees to follow national policies and comply with the BSA’s behavioral standards. This is already not happening. They have council that were thumbing their nose at the BSA by ignoring current policies (New York council that hired Pascal Tessier) and all the pictures of scouts in uniform participating in political rallies and protests).

    I think once the big 3 chartered organizations (LDS, Catholic, SBC) really look at this and think it through and realize that the current requirements will have to eventually be updated to reflect the new policy, you’ll see those dropping out. See Family Life merit badge and Family Member activity badge to start.

    • DEG, sometimes I think the people at National think the rest of us are stupid. The fact that they would write that statement given their past behavior shows just how ignorant they believe those of us at the local level to be. Entire councils were not following national policies and nothing was done.

    • DEG, do you believe Gates when he says that the BSA will “at all costs, preserve the religious freedom of our church partners to do this.”in eference to selecting leaders who align with the CO’s religious beliefs? We’ve seen how quickly he caved in on other issues without any fight, so why should we believe him here. When the activists push (which is a guarentee) National on those religious organization’s charters making their own selection for leaders consistent with their beliefs watch for Gates and them to cave and issue a new selection standard that is contrary to what he previously said, then to top it all off, make the CO pay for their own legal costs, while they turn their backs on them.

      • Gates didn’t “cave” he was lying every time he spoke on the subject. I believe he was brought in to ram this through so AT&T guy can take over next year.

    • I think you may have missed a few in your “big 3”! LDS, UMC, Catholic, Presbyterian, Lutheran are the top 5 faith-based (in order by membership numbers) and parent-teacher groups have higher membership than either Presbyterian or Lutheran. []

      I know that the UMC has been split for quite some time on issues related to homosexuality. The Pope has had a lot of interesting things to say on the subject lately as well. They are not the only denominations who are continuing to explore their viewpoint on homosexuality.

    • Those are some pretty lousy chartering organizations, if they insist that not only the troop they’re chartering but all other troops, chartered by other groups and organizations, must also explicitly share your chartering organization’s values.

      • I think some of the concerns about leadership stem from the fact that COs may be able to choose their leadership, but when you’re off to camp or other wider events, you don’t know what values the other leaders might be teaching. The wider the BSA net grows, the less you can be sure what any particular group is using as its standard. Which is a fair concern. Our CO voted in 2013 to continue chartering, so we could continue to serve the boys, but this new decision will require us to revisit the issue, and see if we can continue to offer the program we want to offer within the new BSA guidelines.

        • Never once in my 35 years of scouting at a district camporee was there a religious studies station run by other adults. I can’t recall seeing a “How to Date Girls” competition – although that would probably be rather humorous to watch.
          I can count on one hand the number of times scouts in my troop were directly addressed by a leader from another troop. And in those cases it was because my scouts were being obnoxious and rude and I hadn’t been in earshot.

        • A “How to Speak to Girls” station might be useful, at that. LOL. I am sure plenty of guys would appreciate a guide to the alien species Female, just as young women are equally baffled by guys.

          You are correct, that isn’t something that often comes up at camps. But I have often been to district events where other adults were teaching various stations, and have even been the volunteer sometimes. And have had my kids spoken to by other adults, and had to reprimand other scouts myself. We have a pretty active district, maybe we’re different like that. Anyway, I was just trying to posit where some of the concern may be coming from. I know I was pleased when I first visited a council-owned camp and saw not only bathroom facilities separate for men and women, but also separated by age. Now, with various sexual and gender identities added into the mix, those segregations aren’t enough. And so on.

        • Kristen, why would we need new bathroom facilities? You do realize that gay people (even those in the closet) have used communal bathrooms prior to this change. Gays are around you and yours all the time in public settings and you have probably never been attacked by one in a public restroom before and are unlikely to experience such after this change. It isn’t like they always wear pink or dress in rainbows to ID themselves.

        • Our camp has men, women and youth in the main bathroom facilities, but we have the outhouse things at each campsite. And those are open to whoever.

          I don’t like those, lol. I’d rather use the woods themselves, and have done so. But I’ll walk the 1000 feet to the real bathrooms even in the middle of the night because there are lights.

          On campouts no choice usually. But at camp there is.

          Now, do we need gay bathrooms? I think not. Improper behavior there is and has always been behavior that would get you expelled from scouting and/or in prison.

          Some gays you can actually tell, lol…by their behavior and I don’t mean sexual behavior. Some absolutely cannot. I never try to second guess because I don’t care as long as it isn’t pushed on anyone.

        • Of course you would need gay bathrooms, and they would have to be individual self contained units that are not shared by any other person at the same time. It is not the fear of being jumped or attacked that is at issue – it is about one person being aroused by the sight of another in that setting, even if they keep it to themselves.

          It is not about you or me, nor about the vocal minority that has turned behavior that was wrong 30 years ago into something they insist is right today. Nor is it about how our sons may already unknowingly be in these situations.

          Rather, it is about the very real concerns of, dare I say, the majority of scouting’s parents. These parents would not want their sons showering with girls of the same age (or any age), even with assurances from those girls that there is nothing sexual meant by it. It doesn’t matter that you or I may say there is nothing wrong with boys and girls showing together under those circumstances, but it most certainly does matter that it is against the morals of most parents. Surely you wouldn’t force this type of conduct on our sons across the board? Now, the exact same reasoning holds when you substitute homosexual Scout for the girl in the above argument. All of the same sexual stimulations are there for the gay youth to enjoy, even if it is unknown to the heterosexual youth. The same is true for leaders/adults.

          The accommodations that must be made are staggering, and will likely not be made. Once one small group is accommodated then all groups must be accommodated. Only the future will tell what effect this will have on the Scouting movement.

        • Of course you would need gay bathrooms, and they would have to be individual self contained units that are not shared by any other person at the same time. It is not the fear of being jumped or attacked that is at issue – it is about one person being aroused by the sight of another in that setting, even if they keep it to themselves.

          It is not about you or me, nor about the vocal minority that has turned behavior that was wrong 30 years ago into something they insist be right today. Nor is it about how our sons may already unknowingly be in these situations.

          Rather, it is about the very real concerns of, dare I say, the majority of scouting’s parents. These parents would not want their sons showering with girls of the same age (or any age), even with assurances from those girls that there is nothing sexual meant by it. It doesn’t matter that you or I may say there is nothing wrong with boys and girls showing together under those circumstances, but it most certainly does matter that it is against the morals of most parents. Surely you wouldn’t force this type of conduct on our sons across the board? Now, the exact same reasoning holds when you substitute homosexual Scout for the girl in the above argument. All of the same sexual stimulations are there for the gay youth to enjoy, even if it is unknown to the heterosexual youth. The same is true for leaders/adults.

          The accommodations that must be made are staggering, and will likely not be made. Once one small group is accommodated then all groups must be accommodated. Only the future will tell what effect this will have on the Scouting movement.

        • Kristen – my district is active and has adults from troops running stations. But they still have to be two deep. And if they “go off script” and start talking about things that they shouldn’t, I have removed them from my staff. The adults at stations are just tracking the patrols’ station scores, not “teaching them values”. As if any adult can teach a boy “values” in the 20 minutes a patrol is at a station. They’re lucky if the kids learn anything.

          But I suppose charter orgs might not understand that. That is where the troop adults need to be sure to let the COR know how little (or much?) troops in your district actually interact. Maybe your DE or commissioners can help in that conversation. Better yet, have your COR go to a district event.

          That is the real “next big problem” – educating charter orgs that potentially having gay leaders in the next campsite isn’t any different than having a troop in the next campsite that is sponsored by a synagogue or full of Buddists, or anything “other”. Stuff like that isn’t “contagious”.

        • There needs to be a divide between Moral scouting, and immoral (gay) scouting. When I take my troop to a camp, I want to know it follows the principles of moral scouting. When I help a troop, I want to know it is a troop that believes in moral scouting. I have limited time and many good things I can be doing – I want my time spent to be building up moral scouting, not immoral scouting.

          Camps should be required to state whether they follow moral scouting or immoral scouting. That way, everyone can make an informed decision.

          I’ve noticed gays are great at destroying things – marriage, scouting, and first amendment rights. However, they never seem to build anything productive. By splitting scouting into moral scouting and immoral scouting, the immoral scouting branch can be left to wither while the moral scouting branch moves forward.

  20. The national BSA organization is fully upholding the scout oath and law with this decision.

    “On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country”

    No place in this passage does it indicate that the scout unit, district, council, or national is to determine what MY duty to God is. This is a very personal commitment to individual beliefs. I will do my duty to God, you do your duty to God.

    There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor? James 4:12

    If you believe that homosexuality is a sin why do you feel the need to condemn those who are gay? This transgression is between the individual and their God and will be addressed at the time of Gods judgment. Based on the above and many other bible passages it is not our “duty to God” to pass judgment for him!

    Why can we not all get along, accept each other’s differences and celebrate the good we can each do in the lives of our youth?

    • And I would ask those who are pro-homosexual, “And if you believe homosexuality is perfectly normal, why do you condemn those who disagree?” Any Christian who understands scripture knows it is not up to them to judge, but it is to warn. So simply repeating what is already found in scripture is not condemning. Proverbs 27:5-6 Better is open rebuke than love that is concealed. 6. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.…

      • “So simply repeating what is already found in scripture is not condemning. Proverbs 27:5-6 Better is open rebuke than love that is concealed. 6. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.…”

        Sorry, BSA is non-denominational. Your scripture quotes are not relevant. Since we are fond of quoting BP:

        What sect or denomination a boy belongs to depends, as a rule, on his parents’ wishes. It is they who decide. It is our business to respect their wishes and to second their efforts to inculcate reverence, whatever form of religion the boy professes. There may be many difficulties relating to the definition of the religious training in our Movement where so many different denominations exist, and the details of the expression of duty to God have, therefore, to be left largely in the hands of the local authority.
        (Aids to Scoutmastership, 1919)


        Gay as a sin is denominational and as such, a restriction against it has no place in BSA (religious chartered orgs excluded).

        It is your business to RESPECT the wishes of the parents that wish to inculcate their boy in whatever form of religion they profess, even if that religion has no issue with gayness.

        • You might be right, but I venture a guess that BP never meant atheists, agnostics, Wiccans or Satanists. He meant standard religions across the Globe, as in standard religions, of which they were many. I bet he would roll over in his grave if he saw all the wacky religions out there, those devised just to get free tax status and aren’t really religions.

          Like church of: euthanasia, rastafarianism, raelism, iglesiana mariadana (workshipping football), cult of doom, scientology, jediism (yes, there is a religion worshipping the Jedi!), and pastafarianism (spaghetti)!

          Just to name a few. I’m sure BP never ever imagined religoius preference would abound to this. Where does it stop?

      • If you accept Biblical teaching about homosexuality then you are a “bigot”. No need to worry, this has all been foretold; those of us who have read The Book know how it ends. Those who believe they have won have only been loosed for little while; the bunch at National among them.

        “You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.”

        • Depends on the book you read. And those books, like ALL books were written by man (as in mankind not gender)

          Personally I prefer: “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”


          “I believe in Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings.”

          Don’t be afraid to open your mind, it will not hurt

    • Since you wish to bring scripture to the table let me clarify this for you. Jesus did not say NOT to judge others but to judge them righteously – with true facts. “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24). As written in Leviticus 18:22 – “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.”

      So, just because it’s “trendy” does not erase it as a sin in God’s eye. Again, judge with righteous judgment .

      • “Jesus did not say NOT to judge others but to judge them righteously – with true facts. “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment” (John 7:24). As written in Leviticus 18:22 – “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.”

        BSA is non-denominational. Jesus or what the Bible states no more relevant than Mohammed or the Koran.

        • While the BSA is non-denominational, the fact still remains that Gates and National are willing to throw the membership under the bus to change rules and policies to whichever way the wind is blowing or “trendy”. Those are the facts to righteously judge THEM by. However, can you tell me a religion that does NOT reference judging or condemning others by their actions? Please educate me if you have the answer, but first know that while I’m a “live and let live – do your thing but don’t force me to believe that what you’re doing is right or wrong” type of person, I’m also a fighter who will not cower to meet these “flavor of the day” type decisions.

      • Pretty sure we have no idea what Jesus said and even the books that purport ta tell us what Jesus said were written in Greek and the old testament in ancient Greek.

        I think what you are trying to say is
        μὴ κρίνετε κατ’ ὄψιν, ἀλλὰ τὴν δικαίαν κρίσιν κρίνετε.
        which does not translate as directly as you think.

        And Leviticus prohibits all sorts of things – So if you have bacon in your fridge, a tatoo, or wear gold you are going to the same hell as homosexuals. I would bring a cooler, I hear it gets hot there

  21. Disappointing, but letting homosexuals into the BSA is a two-edged sword, Either the BSA bends their values a little for the greater good of increasing membership and showing tolerance to those who think the organization is intolerant, or it continues to be hammered as the bad guy, slowly disintegrates, and then disappears — cheating all youth out of a good program. It’s amazing how homosexuals, who represent less that 3 percent of the population, can snooker the media and politicians into forcing institutions like the BSA to go against their principles. The BSA’s decision today is a fair compromise; any unit not affiliated with a church can allow homosexuals to join, and churches get to maintain their beliefs based on the Bible. But who would have thought 50 years ago that not only the homosexual lifestyle would be accepted and condoned, but that homosexuals could marry and force their political agenda on everyone who disagrees with them? I find the whole situation appalling and astonishing at the same time. I don’t need or want to know what someone’s preferred bedroom behavior is; moreover, homosexuals have always been free to start their own youth program. Why would they want to join an organization that is the polar opposite from their liberal views?

    • Letting homosexuals into the BSA….

      Um… they’re already IN the BSA. Pop on into reddit and read some of the scouting groups and see how many gay eagle scouts there have been over the past decade.

      And the gay leaders are not any less gay, they’re just more closeted until now. And now they don’t have to be in that closet. I’m looking forward to seeing how many Eagles, Vigil, DAM, Silver Beavers, professionals and the like all come out of the closet as a result of the decision. There are far more than you think.

    • “Why would they want to join an organization that is the polar opposite from their liberal views?”

      Probably because it isn’t polar opposite. Probably because they are not a stereotypical liberal (they may even be conservative – shocking but true) and their faith, their god, may have no problem with their sexual orientation. Heck, they can even get married so they don’t live in what some would consider sin.

      In summary, the only thing that may make them different is what they like to do with their private parts and since that discussion is a big no-no regardless of orientation, it begs the question as to how their gayness or lack of is relevant to anyone else.

      Asked and answered.

    • I learned my “liberal values” in the Boy Scouts. The Boy Scouts is not an organization for politically conservative young men, but for all young men.

      I’m gay. That tells you nothing about my bedroom behavior or my moral character. But it does mean that if I mention my spouse, I will use a male pronoun.

      I’m an Eagle Scout. That doesn’t tell you anything about my bedroom behavior, either, but it should tell you a lot about my moral character.

      if you can’t reconcile those two facts, that’s really not my problem.

  22. I’m pleasantly surprised. I came here from Facebook expecting to see the vast tilted opinion of “The end of the world is nigh!” and am pleasantly surprised to see here, even on the Bryan blog, that the tide is turning. The vast majority of comments are either equal in their upvote/downvote or slightly edging toward being positive to the continued openness of scouting for ALL youth.

    Thanks folks for making me think differently about this blog and those that are active within it. Perhaps, since the last decision, those who were so greatly offended have, in fact, left and taken their narrow views with them.

    Now, if only we all would go out to our communities and ask more people to volunteer to help scouting – now that it is more open than it was. And if those people, those who once eschewed the BSA and their conservative religious values will open up their wallets as well – we can get back to where we once were.

    More openness. More youth. More leadership. More great things for more youth. I’m thrilled. I hope it all happens.

    • I can tell you they did not do so with the first membership change. I doubt that the majority will do so again. Only time will tell, but I doubt it.

  23. There’s another issue to the BSA needs to deal with: the discrimination of units against Scouters — in my case a registered Scouter since 1989 — who is childless. A Venturing leader in Howell, Michigan, told me that her unit “had all the volunteers it needed” right after she found out I was childless. I was also shut out by the Scoutmaster of the troop that meets at Bethesda United Methodist Church in Maryland because I am childless. The Scoutmaster had the nerve to tell me that only parents with Scout offspring could join the troop. Disgusting.

    • What’s up with that? Never heard such a thing. My grandson was in the troop, but not active because he had a job and couldn’t attend. But I did.

      I’ve been in it as a SM, ASM, and other titles for 9 years now. 9 years at camp. The last 3 years I have not had a child in scouting. I go, I help. I do everything the parents of the boys do.

      Thank God the parents love having me there. The boys kind of think of me as a surrogate mother since none of the women take part in any camp or campout activities (other than being fantastic parents, paying for, supporting, transporting, et al….they just don’t CAMP, lol). At first I worried about them being concerned about a woman in the camp. NOPE.

      There are great parents and leaders in our troop! I can’t imagine being treated like that, especially a Venturing Crew! You need to offer your help elsewhere. There are many crews or troops that would absolutely love to have you! I know ours would.

      Our church was remodeling our troop room this week and we had to move everything out. IT was a major cleanup, throw out, and rearrange task. I was right in there with the men and boys, lifting, moving, etc.

      Again, you need to find a group who is appreciative of your offer!

    • That is truly odd…my son’s troop (the same one I was in as a youth) has a Scoutmaster and Committee Chair who were in the troop with me as a youth. Neither have kids. Our Scoutmaster back in the day only had a daughter. He was also a youth member of the same troop. He’s currently an Assistant Scoutmaster (as am I). We have several committee members and Assistant Scoutmasters who don’t have kids in the troop (many of the SA’s are youth who recently aged out).

      I have two kids, both in Scouting programs (daughter is a Venturer, son is dual registered). I am Scoutmaster of the troop at my church where I have no children registered, and am also a leader with our associated Pack where I have no children registered. One of my Assistant Scoutmasters has three daughters but no sons, though two of the boys in the Troop are his nephews.

      That is a very odd situation and to happen multiple times at two different states is really weird. I’m sure there’s other scouting programs that would be more than happy to have a trained and enthusiastic adult volunteer, I’d suggest checking out to find one in your area that would want the help.

    • Sorry that happened but it is the Chartered Organization that owns the unit and the chartered organization has the final say on who the leaders are. We do not allow direct contact leaders if they are not affiliated with the School. That is within the chartering organizations prerogative as long as it is not for an illegal purpose. It’s really very simple. That is nothing new We have rejected a few leaders over the years and we really don’t have to say why. As the COR I have that authority.

  24. , I have placed the following on my Facebook page in response to Scouting’s change in membership guide. I was not happy with National Catholic Committee on Scouting response, but I can also see where they are coming from. I have been in scouting for almost 50 years. Serving in several roles both at the unit level and at the district and council level.
    I have been asking for prayer and guidance throughout the process, and I have had to deal with several youth protection issues where scouters and scouts engaged in these activities. They have never ended well.

    I can only listen to the 5-6 time slot, but I am still looking for the correct response. I have been told several members of my family suffer from SSAD and that my involvement in the politics has been hurtful because I state church position and support it. You may not be able to discuss this on air but I do ask for Prayer

    For the next 30 days my Facebook page will be going black while I determine what course of action to take. My beloved scouting has determined to change its values, and I am not sure I can accommodate it. So for the next 30 days I will considering the following.
    Returning my eagle as my values will conflict, and as today’s society. The supreme court has said if you cannot accept alternate lifestyles you are discriminating. Eagles DO NOT DESCRIMINATE.
    And since I strongly believe Same SEX Attraction is intrinsically disordered and with a good conscience I cannot approve or promote this as a healthy choice. I am guilty of discrimination and should not wear the award.
    Do I continue with the scouting program? I believe leaders set an example and it appears celibacy is no longer the preferred lifestyle. And that our examples in marriage life leads boys to what a father should be. SSAD does not do this.
    If you want to talk to me it will have to be off line. As continue discussion could result in the loss of employment.

    • Martin, I understand but, keep your Eagle award. It represents the work that YOU did to earn it. A Scout is BRAVE and stands up for what he believes is just.

    • I am also facing the exact same questions that you are. I have been in Scouting since 1964 and have 2 sons that like me, ARE Eagle Scouts. I have served in every capacity in both Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts and like you, have never seen youth protection issues been resolved well. Aside from my religious beliefs (which seem to have fleeting importance given the condition of the world today) I questions the very core of BSA National’s actions. My Troop is begging me not to leave as I have already tendered my resignation when the resolution was advertised but like you, I don’t feel that I can endorse the program any longer. What we teach the boys we must also live and that is what scouting is really all about, not the badges and awards. My heart goes out to you Martin.

      • You stated “what we teach boys…” Hopefully you are not teaching the boys anything about sexuality. Such a discussion is never appropriate so how would someone’s sexual preference even come up?

        • What charming naivete about how informed boys are and who they invite around the campfire to discuss issues of sexual ethics.

        • I wasn’t going to reply to your snide remark (and that of Q) but decided that doing so would be a good thing. What we teach the boys, at the very core, is believing and demonstrating by our lives and actions that we understand and endorse the values of scouting. Some of you are totally fine with “inclusion”, while I disagree. There are a multitude of reasons for my beliefs but I don’t think that you are an audience for this. This change, although somewhat theoretical at the Unit level for us at the present time is huge to “traditional” scouters because it forces us to now REPRESENT something that we do not agree with. It has nothing to do with a sexual ethics discussion around a campfire but for us is much more far reaching. For 50 years I’ve proudly worn the BSA uniform both as a scout and as a scoutmaster however now, like Martin, I can no longer do so. Next to my faith, Scouting served as a haven for what was good and right in the world and now that is no longer there for scouters like Martin and me. We are weighing our past and future contributions to the boys that we serve against the fact that we no longer believe in the BSA National entity that we are under. You should carefully consider our position in this under the scout law of being “kind”…even if you disagree with us..or perhaps that is the part of scouting that you also disagree with?

        • Q – if you have accepted “invitations to discuss sexual ethics”, with youth who are not your own children, you are doing something VERY WRONG. Maybe you need to review some of the basic adult leadership training, starting with “Two Deep” and work up from there.

          The correct response to any “discussion” about sexuality with youth is a referral to their parents, guidance counselors, and or clergy. No other response is acceptable.

        • I’m sorry, GTH. But when my youth bring up others in an objectifying fashion, I am bound by callings higher then some bean-counting rhetoric to probe the ethics of gawking at someone else’s spouse.

          When they make unfounded statements about the equivalence of all manner of sexual unions, I am duty-bound to note any evidence or principled thinking to the contrary.

          When they wish to throw stones at those who choose to pursue a permissive ethic, I’m bound remind them of my Master’s implication that they might not be qualified to maintain their position.

          To countenance any such clap-trap in silence or to bluntly silence it when called upon for guidance is unfriendly, discourteous, unhelpful, and irreverent.

          Of course directing a boy towards clergy, parents, etc … is part of that response — more so if the discussion has to do with a boy’s quandaries about his own actions. But, as to discussing with soon-to-be-voters about holding a world view that allows society to flourish under the hand of an often generous but sometimes wrathful maker, “mum” is not the word of the day.

        • Q – it seems I have a different thought of what “sexual ethics” means. I presumed you meant the scouts would be asking about “the act” of sex and the ethics of that. So I will look at your scenarios as presented.

          Talking about the “ethics of gawking at someone else’s spouse” (hopefully saying it is bad) is not a discussion about sexuality. It is a discussion of what is polite and civil. Humans should not be objectified. Go for it. A scout is courteous. A scout is loyal. Gay men don’t like people gawking at their spouse, either. Do you think gay men “gawk” at every man they see?

          I am not really sure what you meant by “When they wish to throw stones at those who choose to pursue a permissive ethic”. Are you saying that you need to speak up when they are putting down people who ARE permissive? (doesn’t really match your other statements…) Regardless of whether they are putting down permissive people or social conservatives, not throwing stones at “other people” is basic decency, not sexual ethics. A scout is kind. A scout is brave. a scout is friendly. Real-world gay people know an awful lot about the persecution of a group, and don’t like anyone who “hates”.

          Those examples you brought up aren’t subjects of a “sexual ethics”. They can be addressed from a standpoint of whether they have a place in civilized society, and to the points of the Scout Law. Go for it.

          Then there is “When they make unfounded statements about the equivalence of all manner of sexual unions”. This can be handled without going into a full discourse. The line “That isn’t what I was taught to believe” works great. Even “My faith and our chartering organization disagrees with you” works, and gets the message across. Telling a kid that is subject that is outside the scout program is not being “unkind”. It isn’t helpful or courteous to teach something you don’t have the authority or responsibility for.

          If you started telling a kid that he is an evil sinner and will be damned forever, I would be willing to bet you might lose that scout after that. You are there for building character and leadership, not souls. That’s a job for the clergy, not a scout leader. A scout is Friendly – and “respects people even if their beliefs and customs are different from his own”. Respecting doesn’t mean agreeing with, it means allowing someone to have their beliefs.

          BTW, a church-sponsored troop would still be allowed to NOT have gay adults, so they wouldn’t be there anyways. I can even see a church-sponsored unit entering discussions about what is a sin. But please note that the word “sin” isn’t in the scout handbook, and they would be going well outside of the BSA program at point. Christ isn’t in the handbook either.

    • Pope Francis has not specifically addressed the Boy Scouts, but has expressed his teaching that homosexual marriage is wrong, disordered, (and as he said as a bishop, came from Satan.) He has continued Pope Benedict’s policy that those with an openly expressed same-sex attraction will no longer be admitted to the seminaries. He has continued the teaching that homosexual behavior is wrong and a sin, but that those with a same-sex attraction should be treated with compassion and dignity, even if their sin is not encouraged. In regards to those who are currently priests with an admitted same-sex attraction, they will not be laicized unless involved sexually with another man, but should continue to live celibate lives and work to resist their desires and conform their life with Jesus – the source of his “Who am I to judge” comment in context.

        • You should probably learn to distinguish between an off-hand colloquialism regarding a matter to which the Pope was not personally cognizant (whether a man who said he was not having homosexual relations actually was) and the quite different issue of whether we can judge someone about something we know they are doing.

          You understand the difference, right?

          The Pope judges other people all the time – among the people he recently judged as sinners were arms manufacturers, mafiosi, polluters, rampant capitalists without regard for their workers, and those who deny climate change.

          I’m guessing those on the political left didn’t have any problem with being “judgmental” when he agreed with them!

        • Bobby – I will refer you to La Santa Sede, the Catholic Church, which holds that while homosexual orientation is not sinful, homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered”. Iook at the Vatican and the church positions Offenses against chastity. you might want to do some reading. The italian text is more accurate but the English translations are still to the point

          “Sexual pleasure is morally disordered when sought for itself, isolated from its procreative and unitive purposes.” So sex without the intent of having children is also morally disordered,

          Same goes for masturbation, sex outside of marriage, pornography, they are all cast with the same “disordered” as homosexuality.

          If you are going to use your bible or your religion as the rational then you need to use all of it not the parts you like.

          The Pope stated it was not for him to Judge , if you are catholic it is a sin for you to contradict the infallibility of the Pope.

          oh and by the way I have 18 years of Jesuit education

        • 3Rd Generation Scouter: “Bobby – I will refer you to La Santa Sede, the Catholic Church, which holds that while homosexual orientation is not sinful, homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered”. Iook at the Vatican and the church positions Offenses against chastity. you might want to do some reading. The italian text is more accurate but the English translations are still to the point

          ““Sexual pleasure is morally disordered when sought for itself, isolated from its procreative and unitive purposes.” So sex without the intent of having children is also morally disordered,

          “Same goes for masturbation, sex outside of marriage, pornography, they are all cast with the same “disordered” as homosexuality.

          “If you are going to use your bible or your religion as the rational then you need to use all of it not the parts you like.”

          Please tell me where I spoke out in favor of masturbation, extramarital sex, IVF, contraception, or pornography. Are you replying to me, or did you confuse someone else’s post with my own?

          I agree with the Church, as you apparently do, that all those things are sinful, and that the homosexual leaders that many hope to involve in Scouting are morally disordered.

          As not all Scouts or Scouters are members of the One Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church, I am approaching the objections from another perspective, which overlaps the moral objection but does not contradict it, and is based on the concerns of youth safety rather than the broader but still relevant issue of morality.

          3rd Generation Scouter: “The Pope stated it was not for him to Judge , if you are catholic it is a sin for you to contradict the infallibility of the Pope.”

          It sounds like you may have been absent on the day when the good fathers of the Society of Jesus discussed this, but the doctrine of papal infallibility only applies when the Pontiff is making an officially published, solemn, teachings on faith and morals. It does not apply to disciplinary decisions (such as the celibacy of priests, which is at the disciplinary discretion of the Pope and is not doctrinal) or even to unofficial comments on faith and morals. A pope’s private theological opinions are not infallible, only what he solemnly defines is considered to be infallible teaching – in other words, for what you claim to be true, the Pope would have had to declare “Who am I to judge – and I declare that infallibly!” Then rushed it to have it officially published.

          In the event there is such a lacuna in your purported 18 years of Jesuit education (this was actually covered in my 6th grade CCD class, long before my graduate education), let me help you understand and avoid falling into the dark pit of schism. “infallibility” is commonly confusing to many Protestants, as well as by poorly catechized Catholics. Not only is the Pope (the Bishop of Rome) infallible in the eyes of the Catholic Church, but so are is the body of bishops as a whole, when, in doctrinal unity with the pope, they solemnly teach a doctrine as true.

          Vatican II explained the doctrine of infallibility as follows: “Although the individual bishops do not enjoy the prerogative of infallibility, they can nevertheless proclaim Christ’s doctrine infallibly. This is so, even when they are dispersed around the world, provided that while maintaining the bond of unity among themselves and with Peter’s successor, and while teaching authentically on a matter of faith or morals, they concur in a single viewpoint as the one which must be held conclusively. This authority is even more clearly verified when, gathered together in an ecumenical council, they are teachers and judges of faith and morals for the universal Church. Their definitions must then be adhered to with the submission of faith” (Lumen Gentium 25).

          An infallible statement requires that the Pope proclaims by a definitive act some doctrine of faith or morals. Such statements are not and cannot be in contradiction to previous doctrine, whether a statement from an ecumenical council or the ordinary magisterium, or teaching authority, of the Catholic Church. (Did the Jesuits not explain this to you?) The idea that we cannot judge homosexual behavior to be wrong not only contradicts Pope Francis’ previous statements on the subject, it would conflict previous infallible teachings of the Church.

          The doctrine would not apply making an off-hand hasty response in reply to a question from an Italian journalist. (And even if it had actually been an infallible statement, it would only have been binding on the Pope – “Who am _I_ to judge,” yes? That would not have prohibited me from judging people, any more than I am required to live a celibate life and live in the Vatican.) It would also affect quite a few Catholics whose job requires them to discern, discriminate and judge, like, well, judges…

          So, a Pope cannot wake up one day and infallibly declare that all Catholics now have to wear their underwear outside their pants, 3rd Generation Scouter, or anything else that may pop into his head. All statements from the Pontiff, the Bishops acting as a whole, and the teaching Magisterium of the Church take place in a vast contextual network of previous teachings stretching back about 2000 years.

          infallibility prevents a pope from solemnly and formally teaching as “truth” something that is, in fact, error. It does not help him know what is true, nor does it “inspire” him to teach what is true. The Pope does not have this power because he owns a magic ring, by the way. He has to learn the truth the way we all do—through study—though, to be sure, he has certain advantages because of his position. Infallibility is not a substitute for theological study on the part of the pope, per the official teaching of the Church.

          Such infallible statements, which are actually quite rare, are issued officially (not to Italian journalists), and are only in response to a demand to clarify a long-held doctrinal position whose application has been called into question.

          If you would like to further your education on this subject, as it appears you may have misunderstood official Catholic teaching in a very substantial way, let me recommend that you read Pastor Aeternus 4 from Vatican I, which will set you straight again. It’s available on the Vatican website.

          3rd Generation Scouter: “oh and by the way I have 18 years of Jesuit education”

          Really? ;>

  25. 2 years ago I sat down and spoke to the Atlanta Legal representative for a conversation about the future and what they would be opening up if they started down this road. Being a private organization with its own rules for membership that had been vetted through the Supreme Court’s review that left them with protection to be a private organization with its own membership requirements they should have stuck to the path they had traveled for over 100 years. He said at that time they were only going to allow boys who were wanting to be open about their sexual preference to be open about it. The discussion was clear that they would not allow homosexual leadership. I pointed out once you open the exception to boys you have broken the entire morals issue and duty to God. I said at that time you will next bring Homosexual leaders in and they will not be quiet about their relationships their goals would be to shove their life style into every corner of Scouting. They will be the boldest and confront every person within Scouting who resists as homophobic and bigoted.
    Here we are today. Tomorrow begins the first days of the next step in the destruction of the Boy Scouts. The list of issues is easy to predict. The steps will come with tent buddies and boys who do not want to tent buddy with certain other boys. But if we dare tell a boy they don’t have to tent with someone they do not want to then we will be called homophobic, hateful, bigots and I am waiting for the re-education camps that will come very soon to change our attitudes about how we portray those homosexual boys and what we “should be saying” to those boys who say they do not want to tent with “Jessie”. No you can see just a short ways down the road to where we will be going through Trainers Edge to learn the right way to address an adult who is not correctly handling requests for certain boys to tent together because they want to spend time together. Sorry this just gets worse because this is part of the progressive thought process that today you let me come in to lead the boys and tomorrow you have to say that what I am doing is OK and next you want me to say that if boys are doing these things then that is also just natural. All the while do not dare say any actions that I do are wrong because you will not be able to separate improper behavior (think youth protection) and the new that’s just natural teenage boys horsing around in their tents which is “private space”.
    I wonder if we will need to wait 1 or 2 years before we accept the reality of sex does happen (no we don’t have to speak of it, that will obviously mean that it does not occur) between boys when adult homosexual leaders who are not quite about their way of life pushing the point at every outing they can. Remember in Europe it is already common for Scout youth to come to a Scout leader for condoms and then they just go off together.

    All of these issues come from the initial reason for the entire point of the homosexual topic being pushed so hard to become accepted by the Boy Scouts. They know what they are doing is wrong. The Boy Scouts have been for over 100 years the shining example of those who know and respect what is right and follow it with honor. They want the Boy Scouts to say what they are doing and their life style is OK.

    Simple stated they are here to accomplish this: if you can’t live with the corruption you are committing everyday you continue this lifestyle then corrupt and like an infection infect others to bring them down to your level.
    The Boy Scouts have opened their entire program up to an infection of morals.

    It is easy to see Duty to God will be gone next.

    On the other hand look ahead, the progressive movement will take over. This would make a great planting ground for education camps for youth like the Hitler Youth. The Scouting program is ripe for twisting young minds to show them what ever you want them to believe next. Fire is bad, you should not build an actual fire that kills trees, you should not actually catch a fish and definitely not clean it and cook it that is bad, just be a vegetarian, you should not go hunting, soon enough you should not drive a car – bad for the environment. We need a global warming merit badge.

    You might think all of these are a stretch of point we are at. We will have to see. It did not take but a couple of years since our 100th anniversary for us to turn the Scout program completely around.
    Remember this is only supposed to be so that those organizations (religious) can chose on their own if they want to have homosexual leaders in their Pack or Troop. Sorry Once the door is open every campout at district will have to have special bathroom rules.

    Yes those with personal identity decisions to make is just a few months behind this. You now have adult bathrooms both men and separate woman, now we need boys and girls and we need to now get upset when we see a girl who identifies as a boy in the boys bathroom and vice versa. I can only imagine how many bathrooms we are going to need to make this work. OR we can just let everyone go to the restroom with everyone else. It does make it tough on those evenings when you have family camping groups coming back from the campfire and skits and on the walk back to the campsite in the dark you come by a restroom and find an adult with a boy or girl who identifies as a boy in an adult bathroom/shower area for men or women taking them into a stall with them. Is this wrong? it sure will be hard to know with all of these new coming changes what it is that you just saw. No what everyone in that adult or boys bathroom stall just saw is that supposed to be against youth protections or is that some family member with a youth of the opposite sex or does what seems like the opposite sex even apply anymore.
    Should anyone be stopping that person from taking a youth into a stall, in an adult bathroom?
    I thought the Scouts were concerned about youth protections but right now I see them opening the pits of hell to just create the new shop of horrors.

    The Boy Scouts sometime say the Girl Scouts are not the same, not related and separate so they do not point to where we are going. I think the fact that the Boy Scouts have abandoned their base principles tells me they just do not know they are already overboard and no one can save them.

    From here on it is going to be ugly. I have had people say you should stay to be part of the right example that you feel will be drifting away from Scouting. I choose not to test the strength of my will by swimming in infested waters. If you play with fire you will get burned.
    I will instead spend my time with things that will build youth up not tear them down through lies and loss of Character.

    • ” The list of issues is easy to predict. The steps will come with tent buddies and boys who do not want to tent buddy with certain other boys.”

      I remember when this was an issue with the military. I was active during Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and I knew of closeted gay men in my unit.

      I also remember opposing a change in the policy. I thought, much like you did, that it would never work – that straight men would never stomach the idea of having to share communal showers with opening gay men.

      Then the policy changed. And I was proved wrong.

      “From here on it is going to be ugly.”

      I said the same thing about gays in the military. My guess is that you will be proven as jast as wrong as I was.

    • “Education camps”?
      I did not know they offered campaign hats in “tin foil” versions.

      BTW, if you see any adult “going into a bathroom stall” with a child that isn’t here own child, you could be committing a crime if you don’t report it.

      Guess what – I’ll bet you have actually been in a “Men’s Room” at the same exact time as a gay man somewhere, at least once. I’ll also bet you were not attacked.

    • I asked a professional British Scouter that I know about this box of condoms thing and this was his response:

      We don’t. If we are asked about any of that sort of thing we point them in the direction of professionals. Health clinics, Pharmacies, Doctors, that sort of thing.
      “If you have any questions, these people are the best to go and see in confidence.”

  26. On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to fairy tales and my country.
    Yeah, I like that better. But I like God & Country best. If the kids want to be Scouts, maybe THEY are the ones to change – NOT the organization.

    And maybe YOU should consider stepping down & creating YOUR own organization instead of making this one a liberal “politically correct” one against the overwhelming majority..

      • ~67% of BSA membership voted to retain the previous membership policy before the “delegates” sold them out. Are you sure you’re not using common core math?

        • Ha! That is a great rejoinder! I do love a rollicking debate, thanks for the humor. 🙂

          Where do you see that 67% of BSA membership voted to retain previous membership policy? Are you referring to Voice of the Scout surveys? And which one?

          The numbers I’ve seen on this issue are much closer to even than 67%, though I may be conflating youth vs leadership membership question stats.

          Delegates presumably represent their constituencies – though in my experience it can be quite a puzzle trying to figure out who are voting representatives in Scouting are.

        • ok, I’ve been leaning more your way in most of these posts, but this one cracks me up, lol.

          Represent the constitutiencies? In what world do representatives of ANYTHING ever really represent their people? Certainly not in politics, and I venture to say these reps are no better.

          Not EVEN talking about this issue…my point is about representation. No way can you convince me that they don’t represent themselves, plain and simple, or their narrow little group – whether it be a religious one or a gay one.

          They are not altruistic. Not sure that’s the right word, but I do not believe they vote for the good of all, they vote for who THEY think it should be….just as any politician does.

      • Have to reply here in your original. No, I don’t recall where I saw it, in an article back in the day and I don’t recall either how it was broken down. But I will agree about the availability of the delegates. Our Council did not make them known so that membership could communicate our positions to them.

        The BSA has whacked at a hornet’s nest on this topic internally. Instead of retaining what was essentially a DADT policy, where sexuality of any kind is inappropriate in Scouting, including PDA between couples, they are causing huge rifts.

        Scouter against Scouter, unkind words, condemnation of beliefs, accusations of bigotry, phobia, etc. I wonder, whatever happened to “agree to disagree”?

        This is where the real death of Scouting has commenced. It’s all pretty evident right here and on the previous threads…those who reject the decisions are vilified and told to go elsewhere, etc. smh

        Don’t take a non-reply as discourteous or hiding, must say good night, 4 am comes awful early. Will probably revisit the thread tomorrow evening sometime.

  27. Just for asking, what happens if a gay scout master hits on a 16-year old boy?
    What happens if two gay scoutmasters in a committed relationship engage in
    sex while on a camping trip? What happens if a boy gets ‘Sanduskyed’
    while in the showers? Did scouting leadership, worried about the civil rights lawsuits,
    think about the sexual misconduct lawsuits?

    I think scouting, looking to avoid the lawsuits, will end up like the Catholic Church,
    sued into bankruptcy, by boys who were abused by adult leaders. I can only hope
    and pray those lawsuits name each and every member of the board who voted
    for this as a defendant.

    • Have some faith in the Youth Protection Program. Boys are safer in the BSA than in sports teams, church youth groups, and so on. Trust the Program and follow it.

    • Same thing that would happen if it was a straight man and a female Ventureer or a heterosexual couple having sex.

    • Yeah, no youth were EVER abused and assaulted before the ban. And there were ZERO lawsuits before, either.

      Where does this deep seated notion that homosexual men are all pedophiles come from? For that matter, do male Venture and Explorer leaders constantly attack female crew members and Explorers? Do all those “Cougar Moms” pounce on SPLs?

      Use some logic and realize that while there are always going to be twisted people, the gender they self identify with is all over the map. And pedophiles are a smaller percentage of the population than homosexuals.

      • I agree with everything you said except for your first sentence. That is absolute garbage. Why do you think we HAVE the 2 deep rule. It is because kids WERE attacked – and even killed. If you insist, I can find the links. I did my master’s on serial killers, and unfortunately, several of them were scout leaders.

        But everything else you said is right on.

        • mariahwwa I attempted to add a SARCASM “tag” with brackets to my first sentence. Apparently it was filtered out to prevent any attempted HTML hacking.

          I know all too well that attacks occurred before AND after the ban, locally and nationally. In the future I will add SARCASM without brackets around it.

      • Jerry Sandusky committed homosexual abuse. Catholic priests committed homosexual abuse. Scout leaders and older scouts committed homosexual abuse. The man who exposed himself to my dad when my dad was a boy committed homosexual abuse. The common thread through all these acts were homosexual abuse, not heterosexual abuse. All of these abusers were homosexual.

        Scientifically speaking, gay people are not “born that way.” If that were the case, identical twins would be either both gay, or both straight – proof by counterexample. Gay activists like to run and hide whenever “Sexaholics Anonymous” is mentioned, because it has helped gays recover, further disproving the lie that they are “born that way.” Gay scouts need to be in Sexaholics Anonymous, and not hitting on teenagers that are just arriving at puberty – like gay icon Harvey Milk.

  28. Very disappointed in what the BSA are doing to their organization. I have 3 scouts of my own. I also find whomever is speaking “on behalf” of BSA to be very rude in their comments and the way they are addressing other peoples comments. It is definitely all about funds….

    • As the COR of 2 units, a father of Scouts, a former Scout and the son & grandson of Scouts and Scouter, I could not disagree more, this is abot doing the right thing. BSA should not exclude anyone. Period.

  29. I find the intolerance (a scout is kind) and gloom and doom predictions of the consequences of this decision disturbing (a scout is cheerful). Scouting has always promoted having faith in god it has never said faith to what god. It is left to each scout and his family to embark on their own journey of faith and the journey is different for everyone. While the journey of faith is different for everyone, no one journey is more or less valid than another. We often forget that our personal religion is not the only religion, so when we use religion and duty to god to defend or dispute this decision, we are not being reverent. When we are are reverent we respect the beliefs of others, even though we may not agree with them (a scout is reverent). My faith commands me to love my neighbor, to turn the other cheek, instead of taking an eye for an eye. As I read it my neighbor is essentially every one, especially those that are different from me, but it does not command me to be like my neighbor (a scout is courteous). Also remember that duty to god has not always been a part of the scout oath as I recall it did not enter the oath until the 1950’s.

    Allowing gay leaders is going to change the experience of scouting about as much as allowing women leaders some many years ago. It may have a short term effect on membership as allowing women leaders probably did, but in time all things come to a new normal. Change is necessary, we all must change or die, so do not fear the change fear that which has made change so difficult.

    The real problem is we have let focusing political issues and religion interfere with the brotherhood of scouting. Instead we should be focused on what we should be focused on THE BOYS to grow the brotherhood of scouting. It is time all scouts started living up to the ideas of servant leadership, and cheerful service.

    These ideas do not ask what you believe, who you love, what color you are, how rich you are or any other qualifications. The ideas servant leadership, and cheerful service are done to help those not for what we get out of doing, but what it does for others, for doing what is necessary. So my challenge to all in scouting is to lead as a servant leader, do what is necessary to mend the brotherhood (a scout is brave) in spite of the new reality we find our selves in and do so cheerfully (a scout is kind).

  30. The BSA is now a crumbling structure because the foundational principles are being pulled out from under it. The leadership has lost its courage and morals. I’ve learned that when you start compromising you principles and standards, you find yourself on unstable footing. For some reason the leadership must really think that the decisions they are making will not have conequenses. They will cower to the pressure and make changes to the point that long time supporters will not recognize the organization they joined, and will choose to follow their concience and move on. They must really think they are dealing with honest people. The gay agenda isnt to change the boy scouts, it is to destroy it. Years ago they just wanted be left alone. That was a lie. I have found it iteresting that these types of people are always trying to change an organition into what they think it should be or they want to burn it down.

    • “The BSA is now a crumbling structure because the foundational principles are being pulled out from under it.”

      Exclusion of gays is not a founding principle.

  31. I’m disappointed that more credit isn’t being given to Dr. Gates leadership. It is readily apparent from his statements since taking office that this was not a change he wished to address. He was very articulate in laying out the social, political, and legal changes that were passing by the BSA.

    To give some context, here’s a fact that is seldom mentioned: The BSA is the only major youth organization in the U.S. with a blanket national policy barring LGBT leaders (and until two years ago, youth participants). Not Girl Scouts, Boys and Girls Clubs, or Big Brothers/Big Sisters. While some may have some form of “local option”, none have an outright national ban.

    Furthermore, more attention needs to be given to the relationship between the BSA and the U.S. Armed Forces. Let’s remember that one of Baden-Powell’s motivations in starting Scouting was to prepare working-class boys for future military service. The longer that BSA maintained a discriminatory policy increasingly at odds with American society and military policy, the greater the risk of loss of association and support from the Pentagon.

    Anyone who relies on the Dale case is kidding themselves and standing on shifting sand. It was a weak decision from the outset and depended on SCOTUS being willing to do backflips through hoops of tortured logic to achieve the end the court majority was committed to. The Court even went against its own precedent in the Jaycees case to declare BSA to be a “private membership organization”.

    Dr. Gates and the Executive Board have a legal obligation to serve the long-term needs and well-being of the corporation (and that’s what BSA is, as a legal entity). They know that corporate sponsorship will continue to decline. They know that more councils and local units will openly defy national policy. They know that more and more legal challenges will mount up and Scouting’s own legal counsel is advising them that they will lose more of these cases over time.

    I believe there is no better common ground than this new policy. It allows religious COs to continue to select their leaders according to their faith and morals. What is usually overlooked is that some of those COs are fervently requesting the option to have an inclusive policy. Do we not also respect THEIR religious beliefs?

    Dr. Gates correctly identified that 1) society is changing, 2) the legal landscape is shifting, and 3) the best option for Scouting is to set its own terms for the future rather than wait for someone else to do it.

    This new policy is not exactly what I would ideally like to see. But I believe that it is the best solution for Scouting. I was a Scout and my nephews are both Scouts. The 15-year-old is a two-time SPL, Eagle, and currently in Japan at the World Jamboree. The 12-year-old just made Star, is a PL, and tearing through merit badges like nobody’s business. And they think that a policy that doesn’t allow their uncle to serve as a scouting leader is “dumb”. And their parents agree.

      • No, he didn’t. He viewed the landscape one way upon taking office last year, and a different way after a year of assessing the situation from many vantage points, including advice from the BSA’s own legal counsel.

        This is not hard to understand–unless you filter everything through your own ideological lense.

        Why do you insist that religious COs go against their beliefs in admitting adult leaders?

        Why do you deny that the BSA is out of step with all other US youth organizations?

        Why do you insist that all COs adhere to your ideology?

        This policy gives an exemption to religious COs whose doctrines prohibit LGBT leaders.

        You have lost this fight, but retained your essential freedom to introctinate your boys in Scouting units that preserve your prejudice. Yet you continue to insist that everyone else do the same.

        I believe that is the definition of a sore loser.

        • Sore loser? Like when the homosexuals lost the Dale case and ran whining to corporations asking them to withhold their donations to BSA? You make me laugh!

      • Do you understand how these things are decided? That even at the presidents level there’s a key three who meet to decide things supported by a staff at Irving? That perhaps gates did what he stated and did not bring this back up (which is what he said he preferred) and the other two did instead?

        There are three people in that room, how can you decide that it was gates?

    • Gates has lied about this from day 1. My guess is he stands down next year and the AT&T dude takes over. It’s all about $$ from a handful of big corporations.

      • I forgot about the AT&T guy. I’ll bet you’re right. Even if Gates does not step down, the AT&T guy will be next in line. They sure planned this well and hoodwinked all of us.

  32. Given the decision by the BSA to no longer bar gay leaders from serving, I thought it would be wise to remind others what “reverent” and “morally straight” means…

    This is how the Boy Scouts of America defines “morally straight”:

    To be a person of strong character, your relationships with others should be honest and open. You should respect and defend the rights of all people. Be clean in your speech and actions, and remain faithful in your religious beliefs. The values you practice as a Scout will help you shape a life of virtue and self-reliance.

    This is what the BSA means when it says “A Scout is Reverent”:

    A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.

  33. Regardless of whether one agrees or disagrees with the policy, it is appalling how National went about making the change. After assurances by Dr. Gates and other National leaders in the wake of the 2013 membership policy change that the leadership policy would not be re-visited, they did just that. And apparently (according to media reports) they purposely held the vote at a time when the national leaders of largest chartering organization (LDS Church) were unavailable to deal with it. BSA ignored the church’s request for a delay in the vote until they could meet next month (couldn’t wait a month to deal with a 100-year old policy that wasn’t going to be re-visited?). Sneaky and dishonest. And typical of a career inside-the-beltway politician like Dr. Gates. Now, according to media reports, the LDS Church is seriously considering withdrawing from BSA.

    I am not a member of the LDS Church, so I don’t know what the likelihood is of that actually happening. However, if it does, I think it will be the end of BSA. When BSA radically altered its program in the 70’s and suffered a major decline in membership, it was the LDS Church that bailed out BSA and has, in many areas, been responsible for keeping BSA afloat. In our Council (in the Pacific Northwest), we will be hard-pressed to function without the LDS Church support. Not only do they represent about 25% of our membership and units, but they also provide most of our facilities for Roundtables, training, etc., substantial funding, and a disproportionately large number of the Council and District volunteers. If they leave, BSA will drop to membership levels below those of the 70’s, and who will come to the rescue? Not the Catholic Church and probably not any of the other major COs.

    The predictions of “gloom and doom” expressed by several bloggers are not an exaggeration.

    • This is why I have called for Gates and most of the Executive Board to resign. They have LIED to each and every one of us.

    • The LDS church is threatening to leave Scouting? Oh, wow…today must be a day ending in “y”.

      Seriously, when are the Mormons NOT threatening to leave? I was in an LDS troop for a year and it was an eye-opening experience (and not a pleasant one). Of the three troops I was in, this was the only one with sexual hazing of younger scouts by older scouts or smoking cigarettes on campouts.

      LDS units in BSA are free to continue to discriminate. It’s not good enough for the LDS and other ultra-conservative religious COs that they are allowed to discriminate–they want to dictate to other religious COs that they must discriminate, too–even when that is against their moral and religious values.

      • I’m interested to note that yesterday’s statement by the LDS church has them ‘reevaluating’ [] while their statement on 7/13 seemed to indicate that they were ok with the change as long as it continued to allow them to determine their policy for adult leaders [].

        • MT_Momma, – While your paraphrasing of the earlier press release is a little presumptive, it does help suggest that the second response seems to be more bluster than a change. One has to wonder if the bluster of the second release was due to membership outcry over the tepid first release.

  34. How can we continue to duty to God at this point? Leviticus 18:22 clearly forbids homosexuality. Duty to God means obeying the Bible and all that He has instructed us to.

    • That might be your interpretation of YOUR duty to God, but it isn’t necessarily that of every Scouter. Not everyone in Scouting is Christian (it’s an ecumenical organization) , and even then, not every Christian believes in a strict literal reading of the Bible word for word.

      • You are correct. As St. Timothy wrote almost 2000 years ago, people with “itching ears” are looking for teachers who say what they want to hear.

        Every time I have asked the following question, no one has answered me. Maybe you will:

        What is meant by this passage from Scripture?

        “For this cause God delivered them up to shameful affections. For their women have changed the natural use into that use which is against nature. And, in like manner, the men also, leaving the natural use of the women, have burned in their lusts one towards another, men with men working that which is filthy, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was due to their error.”

        • Before throwing out Scripture passages, I’d suggest you watch the following short video.

          There are many parts of the Bible (in both the Old and New Testaments) that mention sins which most Christians don’t even think twice about. If you have a Facebook account, I know you have seen clear demonstrations of pride which is also discussed in the Bible.

    • Lol, Leviticus also bans letting your hair become unkept, eating pig and shell food, trimming your beard, and mixing fabrics.

      We are all doomed.

      • The dietary restrictions of the Old Law are not binding on those of the New Covenant due to the Pauline Dispensation. Homosexuality was never dispensated (yes that is a word, look it up). The Gospel of Luke calls homosexuality “shameful”, “against nature”, and “filthy”. The Didache also warns against leading young people into sexual error.

        Not all of us are doomed, but a lot are: “For many are called, but few are chosen.”

    • The BSA is not bound by the Bible. You should know this by now. The BSA’s definition of “God” and faith reaches way beyond the Bible.

    • And Leviticus 19:19 says, “You shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed, nor shall you wear a garment of cloth made of two kinds of material.” Does this mean I need to till over my vegetable garden and burn my 50/50 t-shirts?

    • No divorced leaders, No tatoos, No gold adornment. No pork, no shellfish. You can’t pick and choose. either the bible (“Leviticus”) is all in or all out,

      • The dietary restrictions of the Old Law are not binding on those of the New Covenant due to the Pauline Dispensation. Have you ever read anything about the history of Christianity?

      • No, it’s not all in or all out. It’s clear that there is one set of laws that applies to everyone, and then further rules which apply only to the covenant people. Pigskin football’s, tattoos, those are some of the additional rules.

  35. As he said: Duty to God and Country but the country is changing. Maybe it is, but God and His Word does not change.

  36. Recognize what has happened here. While the BSA did have a favorable ruling from the supreme court for support and should have been on firm ground, this same supreme (small s intended) has now broken down all support for moral behavior. The BSA’s acceptance has now made this a matter between each Church and the gay community. The phrase that comes to mind here is “divide and conquer”. This will set up a series of legal battles taken directly to the churches. (Who by the way failed to speak up when they had the chance in 2013.) We have now thrown the door wide open to challenge the Church on this issue. This caving to depravity is looking like a domino trick because nobody would stand up when it came their turn to lead. In its effort to shed liability the BSA will no doubt be called into question and co-named when each church is challenged. Morality and immorality cannot coexist. They are mutually exclusive. It’s like having some poop in your apple butter. It’s just not quite the same.

  37. The dishonesty, the spin, the lack of character, the loss of kindred virtues… sad times. The decline of the BSA continues unabated. It will limp on as a secular “leadership” program, one of many.

  38. I am extremely happy with these changes. It’s about time that the BSA recognized the ability of leaders to contribute based on their ability and not their sexual orientation. I bet in 2-3 years people will wonder exactly what they were so up in arms about.

    What I’m most sad about is the hateful, virulent comments made to articles like this one from people who are supposed to be upholding the Scout Standards of behavior and decorum.

    • Reed, I couldn’t agree with you more. As I scrolled through the comments I was bewildered at some of the comments, especially the individuals citing the values of Scouting somehow to attack the new policy.

      I’ve always felt you could count on a Scout to “do the right thing”, and I think the BSA is doing the right thing.

  39. Something just occurred to me. What if all this discord is playing right into National’s hands? We all know that at their level Scouting is just a numbers game: how many members, how many units, how many corporations on board, how many FOS contributions, how many bags of popcorn sold. What is, just what if, National is hoping that units split into homosexual Scouting and real Scouting? One of each faction would have to find a new Co and apply for a new charter. Presto! The headline will be, “After BSA Accepts Homosexuals As Adult Leaders The Number Of Chartered Units Doubles!”

    • “Homosexual scouting” and “real scouting” – how completely offensive. As if anyone not prescribing to your narrow view of blessed humanity is less than human. It is precisely those beliefs that foster violence against the gay community.

    • Now that is a disturbing thought, and quite likely true … people ‘at the top’ don’t seem to think the same way the rest of us do. (Thinking of recent experiences in GS that came out much as you describe.)

  40. If you haven’t already started, you will all soon be thinking about what you are going to do next. That’s what I would like to hear about. Are you staying, or are you going? What will your chartered organization do? If you are in a church-sponsored unit, will your chartered organization continue to exclude homosexual leaders as inconsistent with their religious beliefs? Or will it drop Scouting?

    Personally, I am staying. I want to help restore the Boy Scouts of America to an iconic, inspirational, patriotic organization beloved by the American public. I want BSA to continue to inspire young people to seek adventure, explore the natural world, challenge themselves physically and mentally, and discover themselves through service to others.

    • Dan, to my knowledge, there aren’t any homosexuals turning in adult applications to our CO, which theologically is more conservative than its governing denomination. If someone opens that can of worms I’ll let you know.

      My older scouts and venturers are divided. Some use the term “backward” when referring to folks with a commitment to restrictive sexuality; the “restrictives” seem muzzled. Not sure if, when, and how they will come out on all of this.

      But, as shocking as this may sound to some, this issue is a drop in the bucket compared our losses of boys in western PA who hike and camping independently with their mates. They can now do that much easier without the BSA. So why waste a membership fee that buys them a weekend camping?

      • What in the world is “restrictive sexuality”? Are you trying to say heterosexual? Asexual? Celibate? Non-permissive? Sounds like a feeble attempt at trying to give normal sexual behavior a negative connotation.

        • VA, it is a neutral term, the antonym of “permissive”.

          It proposes that society, for the health and well-being of its most vulnerable citizens (i.e., children born and unborn), restrict sexual expression to a few forms (e.g., traditional marriage or celibacy as promoted in the West for over the first and second millennium).

          Heterosexuality in itself is is not restrictive. There are plenty of folks who for the past half-century believed it should be allowed to transpire under a variety of conditions unbound by any law besides the mutual consent of the actors.

    • I’m staying. I may not personally understand or approve of the lifestyle of a gay, it won’t affect how I interact with them, as I have always done, since the ones I know act just as decent as everyone else I know (give or take a few – and they are hetereo).

      About the Bible. Here’s the thing, although my religion seems to say it is a sin, if it is, then it is between God and them, not me. Unless its forced on me (verbally, not physically), I have no issue. Who am I to judge? That’s God’s job, not mine.

      So yes, I’m staying, but I know many will not, and that’s sad.

      On the other hand, I do get angry and see double standards when every PC person in the country (and I’m not talking just about gay issues…all the pc issues) can say whatever they want and they are just enlightened, but God forbid a religious person says what they believe then they are bigots.

      It’s hypocrisy. For those to condemn religious people for their beliefs, that makes them bigots as well. We are all bigots on something. We are all hypocrits.

      Like the one who said ‘fairy tale’. He’s a bigot…against standard religion. He has no right to talk.

      Live and let live. Until a wrong is done (again, not talking about scouting specifically – talking about ANY wrong ANYWHERE)….then hang them out to dry. BTW: just a figure of speech.

      And my comments above would not ever be discussed with the scouts. That is adult conversation, not kids. What the parents discuss with them is up to them.

      • Calling me a bigot for disliking organized religions …. thats rich … last i checked it wasnt the organized religions that are discriminated against … so how exactly am I bigoted?

        i tolerate others beliefs just fine … right up until those religions tell me that because of my beliefs I have no place in scouting. trying to turn the tables just really doesnt work when the reality of the situation doesnt quite fit your accusation.

        • and how would you characterize the comments of the christians on this board?

          I simply decided it was time to stick up for my own beliefs and point out to those hypocrites on this board demanding respect that respect is a two way street … I said one thing … one … that relates to my beliefs … and immediately get attacked … there have been any number of disgusting … bigoted … misguided … factually incorrect assumptions about homosexuals on this thread and yet I’m the one who is belligerent for defending myself and MY beliefs.

          yep … i can own that … i will belligerently defend my position even as you do … i will protect my right of free speech and call out the bigots on this thread who take exception to my beliefs even as i take exceptions to theirs.

          at least in this way I am not a hypocrite and demanding respect while spewing the rhetoric of hate and discrimination.

        • Well, let’s put it this way, I bet my family has way more years invested in both GS and BS than many on here, MT Momma.

          I was a GS who completed the highest rank, spent 4 years at camp, and was a leader way back when. My dad started both our pack and troop in the late 40’s early 50’s. My dad and my brother both are Vigil and were scoutmasters.

          I am Brotherhood, hope someday to follow in the footsteps of my brother and dad and be honored with Vigil. I am an OA advisor, and am active in our chapter and lodge.

          If you doubt my background, so be it. I know what it is. That’s all that matters.

          And you are so so wrong about having to have chaperones or male and female leadership. That only applies to co-ed groups like venturing. If in doubt, read the rules:

    • I will probably stay until my own son ages out, then resign, assuming our CO does not fold the troop before then. Before or after that, if a gay activist decides to use my troop as a test case for admission, I will quickly and quietly resign to avoid the legal morass. If changes in merit badges like Family Life or any others are made that require scouts to be taught or affirm that gay marriages or relationships are now normal or good choices or worthy of celebration, I will resign. If summer camp staff begins to include ostentatiously gay staffers, neither I nor my son will attend that camp again. If Woodbadge training or Roundtables begin to try to encourage us to celebrate the “diversity” of Gates’ Scouts, I will walk out of the room and never come back.

      The website “Scouts for Equality” is actively encouraging gay leaders and gay scouts to join ( as part of what they term “The Next Step” and to help defeat what used to be called the Local Option (when it was seen as promoting homosexual membership, and so was “good” to progressives) and is now called the Religious Exception (which is now seen as allowing traditionally religious people to exercise their freedom, and so is now “bad”), so expect some big changes.

      The phrasing of the electronic sign-up on the “Scouts for Equality” site reflects that for many, this will be a chance to settle scores and get some publicity and drama in their lives:

      Why do you want to help make Scouting more inclusive? *
      (Check all that apply.)
      I love Scouting!
      It’s the right thing to do.
      LGBT Adults can still be discriminated against at the troop level.
      The BSA still bans agnostics and non-theistic members.
      The BSA has no formal policy on trans members.

      Are you interested in speaking with a reporter about your return to Scouting? *

    • It’s starting to feel like as good a time as any to go. My CO’s units have basically all wound down now (lack of adults and youth to achieve critical mass). My son Eagled out a year or so ago and would age out in a few more months anyway. I thought about joining a Legion Post that charters a unit that I could help but not sure I’m really interested in finding a new unit to join, especially since I wouldn’t have scouts in it. Not really interested in trying to explain to scouters and parents many of the silly rules about laser tag, squirt guns, and wagons. Not really interested in giving FOS presentations, rounding up recharter packets or the like either. Most of all I’m not really interested in being around for the ongoing culture war battles, both internal and external, that will continue to erupt. I’m officially registered until the end of the year. Maybe I’ll attend one last OA Fellowship and see what things look like this fall. One of my local state parks is always looking for volunteers so maybe I’ll go see if I can be of cheerful service there. Otherwise, I’ll be in the woods, probably with my dog and my camera. Maybe I’ll see you on the trail.

  41. Dan K., A CO that would deny a volunteer application due to faith, morals, doctrine or whatever would apply would not expose itself to potential legal action that would happen if their organization were targeted by activists as somebody outlined above. Activists getting at National policy changes was a speedbump on the way to targeting attacks on religious-affiliated chartered organizations. BSA National basically punted the legal liabilities onto the chartered organizations.

    Churches can’t really afford lawsuits so they will either capitulate on their principles or they will dump their scouting programs. What do you think is easier for church governance to do? Spend a lot of legal fees for an uncertain defense or discontinue a small program that doesn’t have a lot to do with their faith mission? I think the latter.

    I can see more than LDS getting out of BSA. It’s kind of sad but times change and in this case the outcome is good to some, bad to others. If you’ve seen a church draw a line in the sand over refusing to officiate same sex marriages those are probably the ones that have units that won’t recharter. That’s probably not as devastating to Packs as they will be to Troops. I can think of only one or two Troops in our District that aren’t chartered to a religious organization.

    • If you think the LDS organization is going to abandon ship over this, you haven’t been paying attention.

      • The LDS church has already published a statement that in the next month they will be reviewing their relationship with the BSA. If they break ties with BSA, the BSA will lose 20 – 25% of its current membership. if other denominations follow, BSA could lose the majority of its current membership – effectively killing the organization.

      • Well, maybe you have some inside knowledge that I don’t, but the LDS church’s press release today said they are considering it. I assume they aren’t lying.

        • LDS leadership might have gone along to get along but is now getting an earful from the laity.

        • From the LDS press release –

          “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is deeply troubled by today’s vote by the Boy Scouts of America National Executive Board. In spite of a request to delay the vote, it was scheduled at a time in July when members of the Church’s governing councils are out of their offices and do not meet. When the leadership of the Church resumes its regular schedule of meetings in August, the century-long association with Scouting will need to be examined. The Church has always welcomed all boys to its Scouting units regardless of sexual orientation. However, the admission of openly gay leaders is inconsistent with the doctrines of the Church and what have traditionally been the values of the Boy Scouts of America.

          “As a global organization with members in 170 countries, the Church has long been evaluating the limitations that fully one-half of its youth face where Scouting is not available. Those worldwide needs combined with this vote by the BSA National Executive Board will be carefully reviewed by the leaders of the Church in the weeks ahead.”

          IMO – it doesn’t sound hopeful. An article in The Washington Times indicates the Southern Baptist Conference is having difficulty reconciling the new policy with their beliefs. The same article addresses legal ramifications churches will have with the new policy. And an article in Slate says the LGBTQ community isn’t happy with it either -doesn’t go far enough.

          So it looks like this decision may well have alienated a good portion of the current membership without appeasing the critics.

        • The Desert News in Salt Lake City has an interesting article about the LDS response today:

          From the comments, quite a few Mormons want to see the LDS church out of scouting entirely, as they see too many resources devoted to it.

          “Hawkins told the Deseret News on Monday that church leaders Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, of the church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, General Young Men’s President Stephen Owen and General Primary President Rosemary Wixom, all of whom belong to the BSA National Board, voted against the new policy.”

          And as many tout the supposed religious exception as protecting the rights of the orthodox, the quotes in the article make clear that having tasted blood in the water, the LGBT lobby will not be satisfied with the status quo:

          “The Human Rights Campaign, a national LGBT-rights organization, said the Boy Scouts should not allow church-sponsored units to continue excluding gays.

          “Discrimination should have no place in the Boy Scouts, period,” said the HRC’s president, Chad Griffin. “BSA officials should now demonstrate true leadership and begin the process of considering a full national policy of inclusion.””


          “Kenneth Upton, a lawyer for the LGBT-rights group Lambda Legal, questioned whether the BSA’s new policy to let church-sponsored units continue to exclude gay adults would be sustainable.

          “There will be a period of time where they’ll have some legal protection,” Upton said. “But that doesn’t mean the lawsuits won’t keep coming. … They will become increasingly marginalized from the direction society is going.””

          They aren’t concealing their animus towards the religious exception, and their refusal to accept it. Why are so many progressives pretending they will?

          It sounds like the Southern Baptists may be the next to abdicate:

          “”In recent years I have seen a definite cooling on the part of Baptist churches toward the Scouts,” said the Rev. Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. “This will probably bring that cooling to a freeze.””

  42. I just can’t get worked up about this. It will have zero impact on our troop. Our scouts only care if they have leaders who are willing to spend time working with them. Our troop grows when we have engaged leadership and we shrink when leaders expend less effort. If people spent more time fixing their little corner of the world and less time telling others what they should do or believe, we would all be better off.

    • Exactly, Chris. There are so many other things that go on behind closed doors that we don’t know about…like…oh my…sex…drinking…drugs…spousal abuse…etc. that would ruin one’s reputation as a BSA leader.

      I am a single Mom and I never chose to raise my 16 year old soon to be Eagle Scout by myself. If someone thinks I shouldn’t be a leader because I am a single Mom, then stay away from me and my Troop. This does not in any way affect my ability of serve the youth of my Troop, my DIstrict or my Council. I am here to serve the youth and guide them when they need it and help mold them into men that I hope will not abandon their kids like my son’s father did to him.

      Now let’s get back to work.

  43. I agree with those who’ve questioned how this new ruling conflicts with the oath in keeping oneself Morally Straight. It’s disappointing that a wonderful organization such as the Boy Scouts of America have felt it necessary to cave to societal whims rather than hold true (see Loyal and Brave). Obviously, the organization is lead by those who are more concerned about political correctness (note, this doesn’t seem to appear in the Oath and Law) than sustaining and maintaining core values. Sad day.

    • It was not that long ago that some troops were also so mad about BSA “caving to social whims” by disallowing discrimination against blacks that the troops threatened to burn their uniforms.

      Seems like we survived that too.

  44. What bothers me most about this decision is that BSA is no longer TRUSTWORTHY. 2 year ago when the BSA was considering amending theses very rules regarding membership requirements they compromised by saying that sexual orientation for the scouts did not matter since the boys should not be having sex as minors regardless of orientation and remain scouts in good standing. At that time BSA said that was the final statement about membership requirements and that there would be no further discussion regarding adults. And here we are 2 years later and amended the membership requirements for adults.

    Let’s be very clear. The Homosexual Activists are not about being included, it is about destroying EVERY institution that does not bow down to their lifestyle choices. How is it that less than 3% of the population is wielding so much power over the other 97%?

    This is putter nonsense..

    • > At that time BSA said that was the final statement about membership requirements and that there would be no further discussion regarding adults

      The bsa said they had no further plans. I don’t think any reasonable reading of their actual statement should have lead anyone to think this was a closed issue into perpetuity:

      > As the National Executive Committee just completed a lengthy review process, there are no plans for further review on this matter

  45. Steve, I guess it’s because of the POTUS views on “inclusion,” the homosexuals saw a crack of light in the doorway and walked right in. They have the loudest mouths so they get all the attention. (Kinda like Donald Trump.) You have the small group of homosexuals who believe they have rights and managed to convince the right people that hey, maybe they are right! Unfortunately, those in power listen to them instead of the quiet majority. Society has changed. We “baby boomers” who were brought up in a whole different environment are having to take a back seat. I suggest we hold on for dear life as the minority is about to run this country into an abyss that we won’t be able to recover from!

    Now that BSA’s National Executive Board has gravely injured itself with this vote, I am not surprised at all. When in the military, I thought “don’t ask, don’t tell” worked just fine. Robert Gates changed that policy, so when he was selected to lead BSA, I could see the writing on the wall. I was hopeful that “Doctor” Gates would stand up for what Scouting has achieved in its 105 year history. Too bad common sense has eluded him and has reverted to being a movement all about money.

    I must accept the vote by the NEB or get out. Used to be that gays and lesbians were excluded, now, it’s those of us that defy homosexuality that are being told that if we don’t like it, we can get out. What an unfortunate role reversal policy.

    It was mentioned that 70% of units are charted by religious organizations and they are free to choose who they want as leaders based on their religious beliefs. What about the other 30% chartered by civic or educational groups. Will BSA have our backs? I haven’t seen their stance on that.

    It’s the “new” BSA effective yesterday. I’ll hang in there a while longer and see if I like the “new” BSA or not. If not, I know where the door is.

    • The 30% of non-church sponsored units lost places to meet because of the exclusionary policies of the past. Schools here in Maryland changed how willing they were to accept and handle Boy Scout use requests, and charged higher fees to use facilities. My troop used to be in a favored status with the school who chartered us – they actually would ask what we wanted during schedule conflicts with other groups using the school. When the exclusions became “national news”, we got in line and filled out forms in triplicate like everyone else.
      So National is trying to help the 30%.

    • > Used to be that gays and lesbians were excluded, now, it’s those of us that defy
      > homosexuality that are being told that if we don’t like it, we can get out.

      No, this is not the case at all. You are not being excluded. You are welcome to remain a member. It’s up to your local charter org to make the call. You, like a scout, are welcome to shop around to find a narrow minded charter organization that supports your exclusionary views and support them.

      I hope you’ll stay, regardless. Quite honestly, this doesn’t change the program at all.

      Let me itemize all the programming changes that are involved in reflecting this membership change:

      Thanks for reading that exhaustive list. Sexuality is NOT a part of the program. It remains NOT a part of the program. This. Hasn’t. Changed.

    • Gates has said that BSA will “defend at all costs” the rights of a religious charter to select adult leaders that align with their beliefs. If you believe Gates on just this one issue you are sadly mistaken. He has proved over and over that he would rather cave in and cower than fight. The lawyers for the gay activists have said this new ruling is not enough. It is either all or none with them – no middle ground, none of the “tolerance” they push onto others. Wait 6 months and I can guarantee you that Gates and National will roll over to the threat of lawsuits and come out with aq directive that will say something to the effect that “The BSA membership and selection of adult leaders will be so and so. Those charters by religious organization MAY choose their own leaders based upon THEIR religious views, but costs related to challenges of such will be the ROC’s responsibility.” Basically – you’re on your own if you don’t follow the BSA’s new leadership selection guidelines for nonreligious organization charters. Trust me, we all know a snake can change its skin but the bottomline is that it’s still a snake!

      • A simple reading of the relationship of a CO and their “ownership” of the troop will keep lawsuits against individual church COs from getting past the filing stage. Churches, temples, and synagogues, are NOT public accommodations, nor are they public groups.

        The troop doesn’t hold the charter – the CO does. How many lawsuits trying to get a church to perform a gay wedding have actually gone anywhere? The answer is NONE. This is the same thing, no matter how much the “horrible liberal gays” might talk they will sue, or people fear they will.

        • The next big battle (while not directly related to this issue but indirectly) is the push to remove the nonprofit status of church’s that refuse to perform gay marriages. Ultimately resulting in the feds taking such status away. So the correlation is there pertaining to any religious organization’s charter doing the same thing.

        • The idea that churches and pastors will lose their authority regarding for whom they will marry is frankly nonsense and fear mongering. Churches have long enjoyed complete discretion over their membership as well as for whom they will provide marriage services. Churches and pastors are not even required to perform interracial marriages if such does not meet their membership criteria. Nothing about this or the recent ruling on same-sex marriage is about to force churches or pastors to perform such services. No one currently enjoys the ability to walk into a church and force their pastor to perform your marriage ceremony.

  46. This whole discussion is about the wrong thing. I for one am here to support scouting and have never asked if a leader is straight, gay, Atheist, Christian, Buddhist, black, white, yellow, Muslim or anything else. What we do ask of our leaders is that they put the boys scouting experience and their safety first above their own personal beliefs and benefit. We expect and demand that our leaders do their best to live by the oath and law, just as we ask the boys to do. In short a good leader is a good leader, none of the other stuff matters.

    We cannot control the actions of others, only the actions we choose to take. Nothing in the decision forces a charter organization to go against its beliefs in choosing their leadership. So why are many charter organizations and scouters seem intent forcing their beliefs on all of scouting. We should never exclude people of good character from positions of leadership, a good leader is a good leader. I also hear many references to the scout law so I went to the beginning the 1911 Scout Handbook and what it had to say on the law. I ask does the spirit of this discussion live up to our founder had to say in whole, and I am not sure it does.

    1. A scout is trustworthy.

    A scout’s honor is to be trusted. If he were to violate his honor by
    telling a lie, or by cheating, or by not doing exactly a given task,
    when trusted on his honor, he may be directed to hand over his scout

    2. A scout is loyal.

    He is loyal to all to whom loyalty is due: his scout leader, his
    home, and parents and country.

    3. A scout is helpful.

    He must be prepared at any time to save life, help injured persons,
    and share the home duties. He must do at least one good turn to
    somebody every day.

    4. A scout is friendly.

    He is a friend to all and a brother to every other scout.

    5. A scout is courteous.

    He is polite to all, especially to women, children, old people, and
    the weak and helpless. He must not take pay for being helpful or

    6. A scout is kind.

    He is a friend to animals. He will not kill nor hurt any living
    creature needlessly, but will strive to save and protect all
    harmless life.

    7. A scout is obedient.

    He obeys his parents, scout master, patrol leader, and all other
    duly constituted authorities.

    8. A scout is cheerful.

    He smiles whenever he can. His obedience to orders is prompt and
    cheery. He never shirks nor grumbles at hardships.

    9. A scout is thrifty.

    He does not wantonly destroy property. He works faithfully, wastes
    nothing, and makes the best use of his {16} opportunities. He saves
    his money so that he may pay his own way, be generous to those in
    need, and helpful to worthy objects.

    _He may work for pay but must not receive tips for courtesies or good

    10. A scout is brave.

    He has the courage to face danger in spite of fear and has to stand
    up for the right against the coaxings of friends or the jeers or
    threats of enemies, and defeat does not down him.

    11. A scout is clean.

    He keeps clean in body and thought, stands for clean speech, clean
    sport, clean habits, and travels with a clean crowd.

    12. A scout is reverent.

    He is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties
    and respects the convictions of others in matters of custom and

  47. On a previous blog posting, and to a couple of friends, I had told them that the biggest arguments Scout leaders got into before the membership change (both) were about how many hours an Eagle Scout project should take, or where does it say in Safe Scouting you cannot do it.

    Now, look at what this has done. You think that this change has really made Scouting a better place?

    Look at the tone and language used by one Scout leader against another: Bigot, Narrow Minded, etc. Anyone who has used that sort of language as a Scout leader should be ashamed of themselves.

    However, what this has done, as I have said before, has torn asunder the brotherhood of Scouting. AND this will continue as long as those who do believe that this change is a mistake, are forced to accept or leave Scouting.

    I will be leaving within a year. I made a promise to the current troop I am involved in to remain in this position for a period of time. Within a year, that commitment will be over, and I shall hang up my beads and put my woggle and neckerchief in my Scouting memorabilia box for good.

    I use to be an Antelope. Now, I almost wish I really never was an Antelope, or a Scoutmaster, or an ASM, or an Eagle Scout…

    • As a fellow Scouter of 15 years, I hope you’ll reconsider.

      Too many of us are losing sight of why we’re involved in Scouting. We get so tangled and entrenched in these arguments over things that we can’t control that we forget our primary goal: We are here to serve the youth.

      Surely, as a Scouter who looks at his peers on both sides of the debate and can only shake his head, you have not lost sight of that. We need leaders like you now more than ever.

    • I’ve been with the scouts of Austria since I was eight. I’ve been active as an adult for over ten years.
      I have to chime in at this point:

      Are you sure it was this decision that has “torn asunder” the brotherhood of scouting?

      I’ve had pretty strong reservations about the BSA in the past – they got a little weaker with that decision.

      I’ll only be able to fully feel a brother to all scouts (including the BSA) when you stop kicking out young people for not believing in a higher power (which is something that half of the young people in my own troop do).

      So, sorry if the decision has brought the discord nearer to you, but the discord has been there all along.

      You need to find some way to make compromises and coexist within the BSA. It’s OK for the Scouts of Saudi Arabia to be more religiously conservative than the Scouts of Austria – that’s how the different cultures are. But America is a very diverse place, and the BSA should reflect that. I don’t know where you fit on the American political spectrum, and I don’t care – I want you as part of worldwide scouting. I know that many people in the BSA are way more conservative and religious than any Austrians I have ever met – and I want them as part of worldwide scouting. I also know that there are many Americans who are way more liberal/progressive than the vast majority of Austrians. And I want them as part of worldwide scouting, too.

      Because if there can be scouts in Sweden and and scouts in Yemen, then there can be all kinds of scouts in America, too.

  48. Dr. Gates, National Executive Board members, Executive Committee members, I hope you are reading each and every comment on this board. Do you enjoy them? Are you basking in the glow of your accomplishment? It’s takes a lot of effort to sow this much discord in a national organization, isn’t it? Look upon your works, ye mighty ones!

      • Very true. And Gates and his henchmen on the national executive board and executive committee took the easy way out. After Gates lied to us about not doing so.

        • Do you honestly think he lied about this? Things change, man. Situations change. He didn’t have a choice. The organization had its hand forced.

        • Well, then your cynicism far exceeds mine.

          I tend to give folks the benefit of the doubt.

        • Read the texts of both speeches. He said one thing when he was appointed and another once he got on the job.

        • That may be objectively true, but it’s inconsiderate of any context whatsoever and is as intellectually dishonest an argument as I’ve ever seen.

  49. I have a major concern that I have not seen answered since the BSA allowed gays into the Scouting program. How do I determine tent/bunking arrangements for gay Scouts and gay Scout leaders? This is not a religious question. This is not a moral question. This question is derived from what it means, at the very core, to be homosexual and how to deal with the reality of their fundamental sexuality.

    We do not bunk girls with boys in the Venture program because of the sexual arousal that could occur. A boy would be sexually aroused should he be in the same tent as a girl as she stripped down to change clothes or go to bed. The same with the reverse, a girl watching a male tent mate. This is the basis for this policy. We take all precautions against this.

    It is the same for homosexual Scouts and Scout leaders – they are sexually aroused by other homosexuals and heterosexual males. We can’t house two homosexual Scouts together because they would be sexually aroused by each other. We can’t house one homosexual Scout with another male Scout, because the homosexual Scout would be sexually aroused by the male Scout. And, by BSA policy, we can’t allow a Scout to bunk alone in a tent. The only sleeping arrangement that could occur is to have the gay Scout sleep with their parent. But what if the parent doesn’t camp and isn’t involved? This arrangement, although allowed by the BSA, is not recommended by the BSA.

    So tell me please, how do I house homosexual Scouts when we go on overnight camping trips? If you tell me to put them together anyway, then you must provide me with the logical path to your conclusion and show me the errors in my reasoning. (Oh, and I haven’t even mentioned the shower problem that goes parallel with this.)

    • How dare you suggest that the pure-as-the-driven-snow homosexuals would have “those” thoughts and “those” feelings!

      Seriously, this is a very good question. I am waiting to hear what contorted regulations National devises.

      • Yesterday’s Scout – I was encouraged and enlightened this week as I read your posts. In a world where so many people have lost all track of right and wrong, your words reassured me that there are some who still understand the difference. It is a shame that people don’t understand the very basics of what they are supporting, such as this latest turn of the BSA.

        For me, the homosexuality question is both a moral issue as-well-as a nature issue. Morally, Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed by God because of their hedonistic ways. Lot’s wife was turned into a pillar of salt by God, not because she looked back at the destruction God was wreaking but because she disobeyed God’s command to not look back. That’s pretty black and white to me.

        As far as the nature part goes (this is where a few people are going to go ballistic because it is the truth), while homosexuals may be a natural output of nature, they are, none the less, aberrations of nature. They don’t propagate the species (I’ll leave it at that). These individuals are meant to be tolerated – let me repeat that – these individuals are meant to be tolerated, but their lifestyle is certainly not meant to be celebrated, accepted, or held up as a model lifestyle. For millennia, people knew this, whether it was by instinct or by God’s command. This was true across the globe, not just limited to Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Unfortunately, today’s “enlightened” and “progressives” have turned this common sense reasoning on its edge.

        It’s not just about one person seeing another’s “junk”, but about the physical and mental development of our young children. They need to be placed in an atmosphere where they are not only safe, but that they know they are safe. Young boys coming into their sexuality are confused and insecure. When they are forced to be in situations that are quite scary for them, their entire bodies, especially their brains, are subtly changed in negative ways. Why would anyone think that an 11 year old would be strong enough to approach an adult and say they didn’t want to bunk with the gay Scout? And what would happen if everyone said they didn’t want to bunk with the gay Scout?

        Anyway, keep up the good fight. I’m praying that God strengthens your resolve every day, and know that you are on the right side of this battle.

        • Thanks, Michael. It has been a real learning experience to participate in this thread and a couple of others where the topic of homosexual Scouting has arisen. I’ve been called a bigot and an idiot repeatedly by my supposed brother Scouts. Apparently in order to maintain the approval and acceptance of a large number of my brother Scouts I must mold my conscience according to the whims of current political expediency.

          I’ve watched for years as entire councils have disregarded, if not flagrantly flouted, National’s rules on membership. It took a while, but eventually National caved. They caved much more quickly than I thought they would, but there was never any doubt in my mind that they would cave. Now they have the arrogance to pretend to speak with authority and tell us that everyone will follow the rules. In my opinion, their capitulation to outside forces, forces opposed in every way to the spirit and mission of Scouting, voids their moral authority.

          The real issue has been clouded by exceptionally well played obfuscation. We all know that BSA has had homosexuals within the ranks for a long time. What we haven’t had but will shortly, are those who dress and behave in bizarre manners to draw attention to themselves. These are the people who want to join Scouting. How are we to take seriously a grown man who wears a ballerina tutu, paints a heart over his lips with lipstick or clown make up, and parades down the street. Is that really something to be proud of? That is just one example of many I have seen over my lifetime. Yet I am told repeatedly by some of my brother Scouts that I am “woefully misinformed”.

          There is a lot more I could write but I think the point has been made. It saddens me that there appear to be a lot of people who are controlled by their passions and desires instead of being able to control them (and themselves).

          In the end, it all comes down to all of us having been given both intellect and free will. It is up to each of us what path we follow and whether we accept or reject what was offered to each of us in terms of eternal salvation. People mistakenly think that God, or the judgement of other people, is what sends them to Heaven or Hell. In truth, each of us send ourselves by our faith, our works, and the example we set to others. The slings and arrows sent my way by so many of my brother Scouts are mere trifles to me. I shall not yield. I know I am not alone. I am waiting to see how all of this plays out both in BSA and in the nation at large. I find it interesting how well it seems to fulfill Scripture. I do believe the great falling away has begun.

          Thank you for your prayers. I’ll be praying for you, too. And I’ll be praying that the leaders of BSA be forgiven for what they have done.

    • I fully expect all members to be identified clearly as Adult Male or Gay Adult Male, Adult Female or Gay Adult Female, Youth Male or Gay Youth Male and lastly, Youth Female or Gay Youth Female for correct accommodations.

      • clearly identify Gay Scouts and leaders! This will be fine, I believe Europe did this in the 1940s, no issue there.

    • Sorry to hijack this, but there is a BSA policy saying scouts can’t tent alone? We do this all the time on backpacking trips, where boys routinely use little one-person tents.

        • Citation, please, Michael, as I have never seen nor heard anything to support that Scouts MUST share a tent with another (although it is sometimes required at camp due to platform tents or other space requirements). What I see in the Youth Protection policies is:
          “Age appropriate and separate accommodations for adults and Scouts required.
          When camping, no one is permitted to sleep with a person of the opposite sex or an adult other than his or her own spouse, parent, or guardian. Assigning youth members more than two years apart in age to sleep in the same tent should be avoided unless the youth are relatives.”

          When we go on outings, our boys all regularly bring their own tents. Some choose to share, especially the younger ones, but we don’t require that.

        • MT_Momma your citation of the YP guidelines is correct. However, with the new membership guidelines for youth, if I had any boy that said that he was gay, I would have the entire troop sleep one to a tent. that would be my policy so as not to ostracize or differentiate the gay boy from the others. I would treat them all equally – 1 boy per tent period.

        • youth protection doesn’t cover this. You can’t have one adult and one scout together anywhere. You can’t have adults and scouts sharing tents. You can’t have male and females sharing tents.

          I don’t think youth protection covers anything else regarding this.

          It may violate the buddy system rule because each boy can’t tell at a glance that his buddy is OK. Of course it’s hard to glance while asleep anyway so I’m guessing it’s A-OK as long as each boy still has a buddy.

        • Here is the entirety referencing sleeping arrangements. Nowhere does it say there has to be 2 in a tent. I think most of us do 2 or more in a tent because the troop provides the tents and we don’t have enough tents for every boy and adult to have their own tent. It’s done for logistics, not rules. But here you go. You may be confusing the ‘buddy’ system with tenting, which is meant for non-sleeping activities.

          And even then it says you can’t force boys to be together and should not be more than 2 years of difference unless related.


          When camping, no one is permitted to sleep with a person of the opposite sex or in the tent of an adult other than his or her own spouse, parent, or guardian. Assigning youth members more than two years apart in age to sleep in the same tent should be avoided unless the youth are relatives.

          Shower Facilities

          Whenever possible, separate shower and latrine facilities should be provided for adults, youth, and females. If separate facilities are not available, separate shower times for adults, youth, and females should be scheduled and posted.

          The buddy system should be used at all times. The buddy system is a safety measure for all Scouting activities. Buddies should know and be comfortable with each other. Self-selection, with no more than two years of age or significant differences in maturity, should be strongly encouraged. When necessary, a buddy team may consist of three Scouts. No youth should be forced into or made to feel uncomfortable by a buddy assignment.

    • Really, this is your big concern. Its simple, you always have a process for people to request a tent/bunking change. I can name several leaders would never share a tent with and it has nothing to do with them looking at my junk.

  50. ‘Buggerer Bob’ Gates and enablers just succeeded in killing the American BSA by way of moral relativism. This was the goal anyway; homosexuals were just a tool to accomplish that end.

    Look to the Canadian scouts if you have any doubt.

    No parent in their right mind would knowingly expose their children to open homosexuals. We, as scout parents will keep on fighting the good fight as long as we are part of the organization.

    • Well, Damanifessto, I suppose the question of my being in my right mind is always open (although, as a lefty, I do have much to support the assertion that I am in my right mind… 🙂 ), but I have NO concern WHATSOEVER about, “expos[ing my] children to open homosexuals”! It sounds to me like you probably don’t know anyone who is openly homosexual because those that I know are just like anyone else: some are wonderful people; others not so much. Their sexuality is not a concern to me and I would, quite frankly, sooner send my son off camping with many of the homosexuals that I know than I would with you based on what I know of you from this posting.

      • “Their sexuality is not a concern to me and I would, quite frankly, sooner send my son off camping with many of the homosexuals that I know”

        Wow. We have a potential child abuser in our midst. I’m sure, by your response, that you have no problem with a homosexual man grooming your son for sex?

        I’d be willing to bet you don’t have children and are just trolling…

        • Wrong on so many counts! I am not trolling – I have been on these boards many times before. I am the proud mother of an Eagle Scout who is active in his troop, his crew, and his OA chapter. My husband and I are both active leaders in our troop and our district. Not I have to prove myself to you nor that you will believe my bona fides, but there they are…

          No, as far as being a potential child abuser – how dare you! My son is infinitely loved and cherished and I would go after anyone who tried to harm him with everything I have. I would have a problem with ANYONE who was attempting to groom my son for sex. One of the doubtless many differences between you and I is that I am quite confident that the fact that someone is homosexual does not mean that he is sexually interested in my son. Neither, by the way, am I concerned that the adult females that he encounters in his Scouting and other daily life are sexually interested in my son. Are you grooming every female you meet for sex? Your assertion is just as ludicrous!

          Now, you will excuse me, but I have no interest in continuing to carry on a conversation with someone who would call me a child abuser because I am comfortable with my son being around homosexual friends.

        • I respect the fact that you love your son and would be a mean mamma bear to anyone that brought harm to him. But not every boy in the scouting program has that level of support from home.

          Let’s be perfectly clear about several things.

          1) Youth protection was developed because boys in the scouting program. YP is a very sensible approach to protecting both youth and adults alike.

          2) Even with youth protection there are still opportunities for a skilled and cunning predator to exploit the program and subvert the rules of YP

          3) Every boy scout that is is molested by an adult will be molested by a homosexual man. this is not to say that all homosexual men are child molesters. The homosexuals activists in order to protect their position intentionally obfuscate the truth by saying that the molesters are pedophiles not homosexuals. They know that pedophiles are those that prey upon pre-pubescent children. Boy Scouts have already reach puberty and are no longer of interest to pedophiles. However, speaking of pedophiles, the pedophile activists are following path of the homosexuals. They are very close to having pedophilia de-listed as being a mental disorder. Up until 1971 Homosexuality was a classified as a mental disorder just like pedophilia is today. Once pedophilia is no longer listed as a mental disorder, they will already have many legal protection in place because it is illegal to discriminate against sexual orientation. But I digress.

          4) Less than 3% of the population are homosexuals yet the less than 3% are dictating how the other 97% are to behave. You are required to increase the risk of your child being molested so that they can have their way. We as a adults should be about protecting our youth. I would rather have the feelings of a few adults hurt than have children molested and scarred for life.

        • “Every boy scout that is is molested by an adult will be molested by a homosexual man. ”


          Sometimes it is difficult to be patient in the face of such willful ignorance. All pedofiles are not homosexuals. There is absolutely no relationship between attraction to men and attraction to children.

          “less than 3% are dictating how the other 97% are to behave. ”

          You seem to operating under the misconception that it is only homosexuals that support this change. As a hetero male, I support this change. It is fair to assume that this change in policy has more straight support than gay support (since, as you state, there may only be 3% in the population – I think that is quiet low personally). Over 70% voted for this change. Certainly they are not all gay.

        • Ya Steve, you lose credibility with sweeping generalizations. Reports of abuse on boys include heterosexual as well as homosexual assaults. The number of females make that rate to low to determine. However, nearly all of the assaults on record were by perpetrators who claimed to be heterosexual or celibate.

        • deamnifessto said, “Ya Steve, you lose credibility with sweeping generalizations. Reports of abuse on boys include heterosexual as well as homosexual assaults. The number of females make that rate to low to determine. However, nearly all of the assaults on record were by perpetrators who claimed to be heterosexual or celibate.”


          Credible cite please

        • Steve Sullivan – here’s a page that leads to credible citations:

          From that page:
          THE FACTS
          According to the American Psychological Association, “homosexual men are not more likely to sexually abuse children than heterosexual men are.” Gregory Herek, a professor at the University of California, Davis, who is one of the nation’s leading researchers on prejudice against sexual minorities, reviewed a series of studies and found no evidence that gay men molest children at higher rates than heterosexual men. Link from that paragraph to even more citations –

          The Child Molestation Research & Prevention Institute notes that 90% of child molesters target children in their network of family and friends, and THE MAJORITY ARE MEN MARRIED TO WOMEN (emphasis added). Most child molesters, therefore, are not gay people lingering outside schools waiting to snatch children from the playground, as much religious-right rhetoric suggests. Link in this paragraph-

          Dr. A. Nicholas Groth wrote:

          Are homosexual adults in general sexually attracted to children and are preadolescent children at greater risk of molestation from homosexual adults than from heterosexual adults? There is no reason to believe so. The research to date all points to there being no significant relationship between a homosexual lifestyle and child molestation. There appears to be practically no reportage of sexual molestation of girls by lesbian adults, and the adult male who sexually molests young boys is not likely to be homosexual
          (Groth & Gary, 1982, Heterosexuality, homosexuality, and pedophilia: Sexual offenses against children and adult sexual orientation. In A.M. Scacco (Ed.), Male rape: A casebook of sexual aggressions (pp. 143-152). New York: AMS Press. New York: AMS Press.p. 147).

          Whether you call these “credible” will depend on your feelings toward the institutions hosting the information.

        • Damanifessto

          Your first cite is not credible. It goes to great lengths to blur and confuse pedophilia with child molestation of adolescent children so as to obfuscate the truth. and to lump all child molestation as pedophilia which it is not. Child molestation of adolescent children is either heterosexual in nature or homosexual in nature. The Homosexual activists go to great lengths to protect their agenda.

          Your second cite was l a little better but was 1) heavily biased in both research and agenda. There was a biased goal to be met in most of the studies. 2) The studies were small and flawed. 3) They went to great lengths to discredit studies that used the same methodology that they wanted to use. therefore if the methodology of the study that they didn’t like is flawed then there own studies are flawed that use the same/similar methodologies. 4) they had a conclusion to achieve which does not match the claim made. Their conclusion was that homosexuals are not commit child molestation at a different rate than heterosexual child molesters. Both populations have similar rate of child molesters. It failed to address the fact that homosexual child molesters molest adolescent boys and male heterosexual child molesters molest adolescent girls.

          Your third cite was totally irrelevant to the discussion and a smoke screen

          Your last quote by Dr. Groth Again goes to misuse the Terms of homosexual child molester and pedophile. I acknowledge that pedophiles, those with sexual attractions for Pre/peri pubescent children, are neither hetero or homo sexual. Groth is obviously talking about pedophiles while inappropriately using the term homosexual.

          Lastly, most of the data in your citations is old. Most of the studies were done back in the 1990’s or before. I am sure that you would agree that things have changed quite a bit since then?

        • Steve Sullivan – my third link is non-relevant? You mean the one that had a survey of 16 thousand people, four thousand of which were self-admitted pedophiles? Hmmm…

          Your other criticism was regarding “small sample sizes”. Four thousand people – what a tiny sample. Oh that’s right, you called that page non-relevant and didn’t read it, and missed the statistic that 77% of those 4000 pedophiles were MARRIED men.

          OK, I will grant you that dataset only examined people involved in the clinical definition of pedophilia – victims 13 years old and under. Guess what -all the angst on here is about fear of the “100% of gay men are pedophiles”. Yes, someone should study the data for 13 to 17 year olds. We have to use the studies that are published. But there ARE many scouts under the age of 14, so the data has relevance.

          Then there is the root cause of why this exercise was a waste of electrons. You exclaimed that the data and information were all “biased “and apparently generated by some big bad homosexual cabal that is “trying to hide their crimes”. You confirm the theory that people who can’t realize they might be wrong view any source that doesn’t agree with their belief is “biased against them”. You can’t accept the fact that some of your assumptions might not be ironclad, so nothing will ever make you think about things objectively.
          Oh, the comment about the data is old and “people have changed”. The four thousand person dataset was compiled in 2000. What has changed is that predators go online to look for victims. Back then they had to go and find their victims, like, for instance, in a youth group. Welp, that certainly has “nothing” to do with the situation we are arguing about. (SARCASM)Do you really think the percentage of the population that are predators has changed significantly? Did gay people not exist before 2014? Again, you display disdain for qualitative data you just don’t like.
          I’m done with this thread. I should have remembered from my psych class that arguing about an emotional issue using rational points is a waste of time and energy.
          I hope everyone can eventually achieve some sense of peace, and get to a place and group they can live in.

        • GTH said, “Guess what -all the angst on here is about fear of the “100% of gay men are pedophiles”. ”


          I see your problem you are trying to put words in my mouth and claim that I said something that I did not say. Likewise that is what those studies try to disprove. Go back and actually read what I said. I never said that ALL homosexuals are pedophiles. that is what you said. And that is what the studies are trying to disprove. That is why they are irrelevant. They are trying to protect the agenda and get their way. They don’t care about child safety. They only care about getting their selfish desire fulfilled.

          I Never said that all homosexuals are pedophiles. I know that is what you would have liked for me to say but it is not and you are misleading people which is not honest. Actually what I said and acknowledge and what you promptly ignored and twisted was that pedophiles are pedophiles and are neither homosexual or hetero sexual. Go back and read it again. Again, I never said that the molestation rate among heterosexuals was lower or higher than among homosexuals. What I did say that all adolescent boys that are molested by men are molested by homosexual men. Likewise all adolescent girls molested by men are molested by heterosexual men.

          Nothing that was cited disproved that statement.

  51. “I am quite confident that the fact that someone is homosexual does not mean that he is sexually interested in my son.”

    …Hopefully your son has more common sense than you.

    • Damanifessto –
      She has more common sense than you. Using your non-logic, every male Venture leader is sexually interested in the female members of their crew. Using your non-logic, every female leader is interested in the boys in their troop.

      Adult homosexuals are not more interested in children any more than heterosexual adults. It really is quite simple to understand. And backed up by actual scientific research. You know, the kind with numbers and math demonstrating the point.

  52. The bitterness has struck.

    My earlier statement seems to have fallen to the narrow minded and bitter opinions normally present on this blog

    • Bill, you made a very snide and condescending posting about those who believe the change was wrong. You have no one to blame but yourself and I think that you everyone here an apology.

  53. What the BSA has done is set up the individual charters to be attacked with no support from National. The LGBT activist are like locusts and they will go after individual churches that will not accept gay leaders and sue and protest them…especially the smaller ones that do not have deep pockets….What will happen then is they will say screw it and terminate the charter.

    National is literally left the Charter to fend for themselves on this issue rather than taking a stand us a unified organization. This move is to protect their butts and I think Gates and the whole lot at national should be replaced….

    They have violated these laws in Scouting:

    A Scout is Trustworthy
    A Scout is Brave
    A Scout is Reverent
    A Scout is Loyal

    Did I miss any?

    • Suing a church that refuses to accept a gay leader would be about as successful as suing a church that refuses to accept a gay parishioner or gay “minister”.

      Translation – it won’t go past the paperwork stage. No sane lawyer would bother to even fill out the papers. Churches have NEVER been considered “public accommodations”. That is an important term that is thoroughly defined in “Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964”. I defy you to find a single case where a church actually had to go to court when sued over not allowing their “property” (including the troop charter) to be used by a group they do not abide by.

      All of these “lawsuits” won’t happen. Individual churches have MORE protection from lawsuits than National. Get that through your heads.

      • There are a bunch of activist lawyers that would take on a church and make a national spectacle of it. The BSA caved because of the cost of litigation…It does not matter if they win or lose…or if it ever made it to trial….If a Church has to hire a team of lawyers to defend itself that will more than likely terminate the BSA Charter rather than deal with it…..If you don’t think it will happen then read the news..The LGBT activists are moving around the national like locusts attacking any and everything that is not Gay accommodating…As I said…the mere threat and potential cost of litigation will be enough for many churches to fold.

        First the protesters will show up and it will be on the news…then it will be a national story..then the Lawyers will jump in….

        The real question is will the BSA national or even the Councils stand for any of these Churches or will the hind under their desks?….Recent history has already answered that one.

        • I admit that someone might try to make a spectacle of it. They will end up making a spectacle of themselves. The courts can’t force a church to change their beliefs, they are a CHURCH. You know, I THINK there MIGHT even be a few historical documents and papers that say things like that.

          The churches can hire any hack lawyer to to make their defense, because it is a simple one. And only a few churches would need to make the defense, because legal precedents matter.

      • I am not a Lawyer, but I could make a cast that why would the BSA “force” Churches to accept gay scouts up until the age of 18 but has the choice to deny Gay Leaders?…..Just saying….

      • Before 1975 similar statements were made about homosexuality. Before 1975 there was a single church or religion that did not say that homosexuality was a sin. It was unconscionable to think that there would ever be be gay marriage or a gay minister. now we have both. Did God’s law change or did man change God’s law?

        Anyway, I don not believe that this is the end of it. the Homosexual activists will continue to divide and conquer until every institution that says homosexuality is a sin is destroyed or beaten into submission just like they are doing with BSA.

      • What about Bernstein et al v. Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association? A Methodist camp was stripped of its tax exempt status because they would not host a lesbian civil union on their property, which was open for public access.

        Someone could claim that while a church can decide the requirements for leaders in that church, the boy scout program is offered for public access, therefore, leadership in the BSA part of the church program should fall under other nondiscrimination statutes. As noted in Dr. Gates statements, courts are already ruling in some instances that BSA is a public accommodation.

        The BSA situation is different, but it is different enough that a judge won’t say a discrimination case enough merits to be decided at trial?

        • No, the situation is completely different as the church in question rented that facility to the public and as such, was required to comply with federal and state antidescrimination laws. Read the case, it is really quite clear that the church was operating a public accommodation. BSA is not a public organization and neither are churches.

        • What’s sadly ironic is that so many scouters who are promoting the homosexual cause are insisting that there is an ironclad defense for religious COs and that no lawyer would waste his time even trying to file against a religious CO, so really, there’s nothing to worry about, and the LGBT legal funds will be happy with what they got, so lets all settle down and get back to teaching how to tie knots.

          Meanwhile, every LGBT organization (Scouts for Equality, The Lambda Defense Fund, The Human Rights Commission, etc.) are loudly proclaiming that the current situation is unacceptable to them, and that they WILL file suit against individual COs to force them to accept homosexual leaders. The attorneys hired by such organizations, as well as the corporate public relations firms they hire to attack those who disagree with them, are not hack lawyers operating out of the back of a nail salon. They are extremely capable, motivated, and well-funded lawyers. Why do you think your assessment of the situation is better than the public statements of these lawyers and pressure groups?

          The Arizona Republic today had an editorial column by Linda Valdez, a reliably left-wing columnist, who expresses the belief of most of the “progressive community” on this issue. You all should read it:

          She does not care about your opinion that the religious exception should protect religious COs and preserve their right to disagree. Her opinion is that of the majority of LGBT and political “progressives.”

      • Unless a scout troop restricts its membership to a single denomination, or uses its chartered troop to evangelize members to convert to its denomination, it will be considered a public accommodation, for the same reason the case was decided against the defendants in Bernstein et al v. Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association. Each individual troop will be considered a public accommodation.

        • BSA is a private organization. The recent SCOTUS ruling confirmed our right to determine our membership requirements. There is NO public accommodation regarding our membership criteria. Nothing is going to change that unless BSA changes it.

          If you have your doubts then ask yourself why BSA has been able to continue to discriminate against a constitutionally protected class? We exclude girls from membership. We are legally allowed to do such. We are not require to provide any public accommodation to girls.

          Personally, I would welcome girls (my daughter really wants to be a tiger cub and do the pinewood derby) but it is our right to exclude them.

        • What many people don’t bother to mention in the case against the Ocean Grove Camp Association, was that the churches that owned it had signed an agreement that legally and officially made the property in question a “public accommodation”.
          “The pavilion was used for community and charitable events and the owners of the property, Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, received a tax exemption from the state Green Acres program, which provides exemptions to non-profit organizations who use their property for recreational or conservation purposes. An important condition of the exemption is that the property be “open for public use on an equal basis.”

          Churches that rent out property “to the public” will need to do some legal reviews. Churches that have signed agreements with their local governments will need to do legal reviews. The Ocean Grove Camp later applied for a different religious-based tax exception, and received it.

          Troop charters are not rented out to the public.

        • And a troop that restricted its membership to a single denomination would be taken to task by National.

          However, I know of many churches, that sponsor troops have explicitly stated (locally and at a national level) that they consider their troop a part of their ministry and outreach to youth. Some go so far as to actually say the adult leaders are considered ministers. I admit that part gets a little fuzzy.

          But, just as a church doesn’t have to allow anyone they don’t like to give a sermon or teach, they don’t have to allow any adult to be a part of their program.

    • Everyone needs to read the rules and policies, ALL of them. as a COR of 2 units, I can, and have, reject anyone from being a leader. I select the leaders and as long as I do not do so for an illegal purpose my decision is it. Our Chartered organization owns the unit and has always been able to select our leaders. This is only a national issue. The chartered organizations have not loss or gained any authority over their units.

      a unit can be closed, as in only member of this school or church etc. As long as the Organization can articulate a LEGAL reason national will not saw a word.

  54. Whatever you’re feeling right now about this decision … for, against or indifferent … someone in 1964 was feeling the exact same way when the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act were passed.
    Now you know how they felt.

    • If being “born that way” was an accurate theory, then identical twins would both be gay or both be straight. Data shows that the frequency among identical twins clearly demonstrates a lack of a genetic link. Thus, the “born that way” theory is disproven by counter-example. This also sets aside the research into brain plasticity and the fact that sexuality is not manifested until later in life – not when an infant is born. In fact, various gays have linked their inclinations to being homosexuality molested.

      There is a clear genetic link for race (despite what rachel dolezal thinks). Science has never proven a genetic link for same sex attraction – but has come up with counter-examples. Thus, race and sexuality are not the same.

      Perhaps it is best if scouting is split into moral scouting and immoral (gay) scouting. Leave the scout law and oath to those of us in moral scouting that believe it and try to live it. Let us have our own camps and our own fundraising apparatus. Gays are better at tearing down than building up – let them tear down immoral scouting instead of moral scouting.

    • And in the mid 70’s when women were finally allowed in leadership positions below exploring.

      One camp I staffed in the last 7 years still had men scribbling notes to send the girls home on a latrine. Yes, adult leaders, it was an adult and staff only bathroom.

  55. Time to do away, then, with Youth Protection training. It won’t be long before someone from NAMBLA wants to go camping on the mountain with your sons. Will you still cheer? Tell your boys to “take it like a man?” The religious protections in the decision are only a bandaid and the courts will rip that one off soon enough. This entire situation is a sad and disgusting travesty, and our boys are being sacrificed to a modern-day Molech.

  56. What do you mean by looking at Scouts Canada please explain? I am sure you have no idea what’s happening here, We have no issues here as each sponsor selects their own leaders according to their needs and values. We have allowed Homosexuals now for several years and we have seen no issue. We need to be careful because you all seem to be confusing homosexuality with pedophilia.

    Homosexuality is not a sin, acting upon it is, is not different than a heterosexual man having a affair with a woman.

    I am a scout leader from a LDS Group.

    • I have to agree with you Erick, it is not the inclination that is a sin, be one straight or gay, that is built into us, it is the acting upon it outside of a monogamous relationship that God has judged, sin is sin, now of course, I don’t find anywhere in the Bible where such a thing as Gay Marriage exists, but that is a different argument altogether. We are all called to turn away from our animal nature and embrace the divine nature, and at the same time we are all called to love and help our fellow travelers on the road we call life so far as we are able and they are willing to be helped.

    • I’m confused, again. You said you’ve been allowing them in for years. I’m not anti-gay. I’m sure they have been here all along and I’m ok with that.

      BUT weren’t you breaking a hard an fast rule? The one that said no gays can be in scouting? What does that say about your troop? and the oath and law?

      Of course it’s a moot point now,but I’m just asking.

      • Scouts Canada has been all inclusive for years we do not discriminate. Having said that each sponsor selects people from their own pool whether they are parents or church members if a religious group.

        Scout meetings and camps go on like they always have, we have co-ed sections from Beavers to Rovers. LDS Groups have been allowed to be boys only, but we can attend camps that are co-ed.

        Leaders are to teach skills not political views, or sexual education.
        Each adult leader that chooses to become one here in Canada has to be interviewed by the sponsor as well as the Group Commissioner and they need to adhere to the principles of the sponsor as well as Scouts Canada, if at any time during the interview either the sponsor or the Group Commissioner feel that the candidate is not what they want that volunteer can be refuse membership or asked to try another group. Each adult volunteer has to also get a PRC Police Record Check), if your birthday matches a known criminal, then you need to go to the OPP (Ontario Provincial Police) or RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) and do a complete bio-metric check to verify your identity. If that volunteer is accepted but leader he/she does things that are not appropriate, he/she is immediately suspended and an investigation is then done, depending on the severity of the problem, police could be involved.

        As far as sexual orientation here is a mute point, we don’t go telling people what we are, we are too busy trying to be the best leaders for the youth we are in charge of. So as you can see if you are a leader here, whether you are homosexual, heterosexual, LDS, Catholic or whatever you are really doing to better the lives of the kids, not for some personal hidden motive. As I am sure most people are.

        • And how many Pastors get arrested in Canada for simply teaching what the Bible says, in violation of your hate speech laws? The discrimination you can get actually get away with is attempting to silence those who disagree with you.

        • TrailLifeUSA convert – As far as I know, none, but I can’t compare because although both our countries are similar, we are very different.

          Search it on google, I have tried and have found none.

        • oops, I didn’t catch that you were Canada, lol. My reference to ‘breaking rules’ was if you were USA.

          I told my troop the other night that this page would ‘blow up’, just like it did in 2013. And I was right, lol.

        • Yes I do. It is apparent from your comments that you do not. So please tell what your definition of pedophilia is? It is already been correctly defined several times.

          Let me give you a hint.

          Child molestation does not equal pedophilia. Not all child molesters are pedophiles.

          Pedophilia has to do with the age and maturation of child and boy scouts do not fit in that category.

          Every boy scout that is molested is molested by a homosexual.

        • Now you are just being ridiculous. OK, being homosexual does not make you automatically a pedophile or child molester, but I think your mind is made up no matter what.

          I apologize to all, perhaps I should not have posted being Canadian and all and trying to share our experience here. We really don’t have a clue what causes homosexuality, the brain is an incredible thing and we just don’t know enough about it. But I know one thing and that is the worth of a soul is great in the sight of God no matter who that person is, we all have great potential.

  57. How come a decision like this was not left up to the most important members of scouting… The youth? There is no way I can go back and read all of the comments here, but Scouting is a Youth organization, so why did the youth have no say?

    And if these Gays think they finally got what they wanted, lets make a realist comparison. When Desegregation took place who would have thought that over 50 years later that we would still have the race riots we have these now? Who would have thought that some people would still not feel comfortable when in the presence of mixed races? It still happens and will for another 50 years. Same thing goes with scouting. Now that leaders can be openly gay many will not feel comfortable in their presence. They will not be made to feel welcomed by all, they will not, and never will be made to feel completely welcomed and will in many cases be treated differently. Welcome…kinda.

  58. Not sure why my other post went poof..
    Let me be a realist on this topic. Over 50 years ago desegregation took place. Who would have thought that today we would still have race riots and that people would still feel uncomfortable being around someone of another race? News Flash – it happens and its natural.

    So what is this going to do for the organization that I have for so long loved? It’s going to make a whole bunch of uncomfortable leaders that have been there a long time when they are in the presence of one of these new leaders we for so long have removed.
    It’s also going to set up the stage for these new people allowed into the organization to not ever feel 100% welcomed, and they will – NEWS FLASH in some situation be treated differently, and probably more often than less. is 50 years from now, if the organization even exists anymore the intolerance will still be there on the inside just like my example of the races. it will always be there. whether you like it or not. I think after 30+ years I am done.

    Why? Why was this vote not put out to the most important members of BSA… THE YOUTH! WHY?

    • Hi Realist – I think you might be surprised by what would happen if you put a vote like this to the boys. Cub-age boys are never going to be given a vote on such issues, but many of the teens I know are very ‘who cares’ when it comes to homosexuality. Teens aren’t often included in survey groups, but Pew Research surveys on gay marriage show a definite trend in increasing acceptance with decreasing age with 70% of Millennials supporting in 2015. [ – see section ‘by generation’]

      • I might be surprised your right! but I would accept it if the BOYS voted on it more than a few adults that get to sit in nice offices. The boys would also have input from their parents – which would help them make morally straight decisions in most circumstances.

    • Because they are too stupid to know what they want or like.

      NOT MY WORDS! That’s the thought of most adults, especially probably BSA, since this decision is too important and they wouldn’t have the ability grasp the consequences from either decision.

      again, not my words….but I’ve heard them before in other youth situations.

      Another reason: it’s sexually oriented, if that’s th