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The Boy Scouts of America's Self-Created Imbroglio

Do the Scouts Offend Those who Seek Fairness and Equality or Those That Would Discriminate and Marginalize?

Brilliant comedian Groucho Marx famously stated, “I don’t want to belong to any club that would have me as a member.” 

I wonder why any gay American would want to belong to a club that would NOT have him or her as a member.

It was expected that the Boy Scouts of America would take a vote this month to allow local chapters of this once-respected organization to admit gay scouts and scoutmasters.  Amidst controversy, the vote has been delayed until May, a spokesperson for the Scouts stating, “Due to the complexity of this issue, the organization needs time for a more deliberate review of its membership policy”, the translation of which is, “We want to allow those who wish to continue a policy of discrimination and exclusion to more fully and vocally promote their view and we want to take more time to determine whether it is in our best interest to offend those who believe in equality and fairness or those who wish to marginalize and denigrate gays.”

It saddens me to see children who have been indoctrinated by their parents being used as pawns to advocate against admitting gays to their ranks. 

A child was pictured in a newspaper holding a sign that reads, “Keep Scouts Morally Straight,” i.e., gays are immoral.

An individual attending a rally outside Scout headquarters carried a sign reading, “Don’t invite sin into the camp. Homosexuality is a sin! BSA, please resist Satan’s test. Uphold the ban.”: so gay individuals, including young boys, are the tools of Satan? 

A second generation adult scout from the Dallas area is quoted as saying, “Really, this is nothing against the gay community. It’s kind of ironic, gay scouts come in and saying, 'We want you to change how you’ve done this for 100 years.'" Oh yes, nothing against the gay community at all, rather the individual simply regards gays as lepers: nothing personal! It was awfully nervy, too, for African-Americans to expect slaveholders and Southern sheriffs to change the way they had always oppressed individuals of color. After all, the tenet of "we will do it this way because we have always done it this way" is a recipe for greatness!

It is interesting to note that for decades, the Scouts had no problem with gay scoutmaster molesters, whom the organization shamefully shielded from prosecution, but many within the ranks have a big problem in associating with honorable gay men.

For almost eighteen long years, the military forced gay soldiers to live a lie under the convoluted “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.  That plank was rescinded effective Sept. 21, 2011.  The military has not yet collapsed as a result nor has the prediction of many come to pass that a detrimental effect on  “troop morale” and “combat readiness” would occur if gay servicemembers were placed on a level playing field with heterosexual soldiers.

Even if the Scouts organization had voted to allow gay members and scoutmasters, the edict would not have been universal, rather it would simply have permitted local chapters to extend membership to gays as well as heterosexuals. I wonder how federal civil rights legislation would have been received if southern states had been given the ability to opt out.

Given the hesitation the Scouts organization is demonstarting, I suspect it will remain an one to which openly gay individuals are not welcome to apply. If that is the case,  are the Scouts going to begin interrogating potential new members and scoutmasters as to their sexual orientation?  Will they investigate those whom they do not believe have provided accurate answers in an effort to “out” and expel them?  What will happen if a scout states, “not sure” when asked his orientation?  Will that be considered sufficiently suspicious as to deny him entry into the organization?

What a mess the Boy Scouts of America has on its hands! I have no sympathy.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Ed M February 08, 2013 at 10:57 PM
How do you define morally straight Oren? And yes, according to the Bible, homosexuality is a sin. Your assumptions "gays are immoral", "so gay individuals, including young boys, are the tools of Satan?" are posted for nothing more than to sensationalize. "It is interesting to note that for decades, the Scouts had no problem with gay scoutmaster molesters, whom the organization shamefully shielded from prosecution, but many within the ranks have a big problem in associating with honorable gay men." Do you have any facts to back up this statement, Oren? Do you realize most pedophiles are not gay, just sick? The BSA doesn't need or want your sympathy, Oren.

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