1. People & Relationships

Discuss in my forum

Ramon Johnson

Boy Scouts: Gay Members A 'Distraction To The Mission'

By July 18, 2012

Follow me on:

"While the [Boy Scouts of America] B.S.A. does not proactively inquire about the sexual orientation of employees, volunteers or members, we do not grant membership to individuals who are open or avowed homosexuals or who engage in behavior that would become a distraction to the mission of the B.S.A."

This is the new official policy of the Boy Scouts of America that reaffirms their position against openly gay members and troop leaders.

In 2000, the Supreme Court upheld the organizations right to refuse membership to gays, atheists and agnostics under the First Amendment, but the controversial decision was met with public backlash and a series of public and private institutions that withdrew their support for B.S.A.

For instance in 2006, the California Supreme Court ruled that city of Berkeley could refuse to grant the Berkeley Sea Scouts free use of a public marina.

The Supreme Court said B.S.A. had a right to refuse membership, not benefit from public space.

However, not all courts agreed. In 2010, the city of Philadelphia tried to kick the Boy Scouts out of a public building they had occupied since 1928. A judge ruled that the city could not breach the contract based on the Boy Scout's refusal to admit gays.

In 2010, and unknown to anyone outside of the organization, the B.S.A. formed a committee that "included a diversity of perspectives" and engaged in "extensive research and evaluations" on the impact of allowing gays into the organization. The committee was kept secret for two years. The members and their methods still remain a mystery.

The conclusion: The exclusion of gays in the B.S.A. "reflects the beliefs and perspectives" of the organization, according to their statement.
July 18, 2012 at 10:50 am
(1) RuralGayLife.com says:

Gays are distracting?!!!
At age 13, while in BSA, I saw the older scouts drag 2 younger boys (new to scouting) deep into the woods late at night, and strip them, holding them down on the ground. The terrified looks on their faces still haunts me. After the new boys complained when they got back, the leaders did nothing but smirk.
I am also very well aware of the secretive “Order of the Arrow” had an “initiation” that involved the inductee to attend a ceremony nude, meeting with leaders and older scouts, who blindfolded them, brought them, into the woods (by us, they paddled out to a secluded island), still nude, and forced to stay there sitting under a tree for a full 24 hours. Adult strangers would visit these naked boys and threaten them if they didn’t move. Only if the nude boy stays will he be inducted.
Rather than stopping it, they have just become much more secretive about it.

July 18, 2012 at 11:03 am
(2) RuralGayLife.com says:

Reference: You can see how they carefully crafted heir rules to allow individual nudity around leaders. Nudity is only prohibited in naked groups (i.e. skinny-dipping), and leaders are prohibited from being the in showers with the scouts. Everything else is fair game, and it’s very clear they want to keep their naked young scout initiation as an acceptable activity.
See… http://www.oa-bsa.org/events/arrowcorps5/wash_leaderguide.pdf

July 18, 2012 at 8:49 pm
(3) Richard says:

I think it’s unfortunate that the BSA discriminates against people who are gay. I think the bsa should be disbanded and made to dissolve and not be allowed to start back up. I don’t like any organization or person who discriminates against a person because they are gay. As a gay man I support organizations or groups that are diverse and inclusive meaning that gays, lesbians and transgendered people are welcomed into their organization’s. I’ve noticed that males who are gay are being attacked because of their sexual orientation. It seems that there are people who still hate people who are gay for no reason and the fact that people here in the united states are turning against each other for no reason. I think this mess needs to stop.

July 18, 2012 at 9:54 pm
(4) Jeff says:

I am a gay nudist man. I also earned my Eagle Scout badge, and since I am fearful the BSA would take it away if they knew who I am I am using a pseudonym. I learned a lot about sexuality during over nights with the scouts, but only learned about it from tentmates rather than leaders. If it wasn’t for my experience with the scouts I’d have been naive for a long time. I remember going on the Order of the Arrow over night, which was interesting in some ways and boring in others. We hiked next to a creek, and at one point the leader stripped down to nothing. He was an awesome sight. I was afraid others would find out I was gay so I kept my comments to myself and did not go close enough to him for fear they’d “know I am one of them.”

None of us were encouraged let alone required to strip down.

It does appear as though the 2007 guidelines provides for lots of protection from abuse and spells out when leaders are to be in the midst of their charges. I was never abused and do not know of any other members of my very long-lasting troop who were abused either.

While I am a member of the Eagle Scouts of America, I do not support the BSA’s views on gays, atheists or agnostics. The BSA ought to be receptive to those who are different, as they’d bring fresh perspectives rather than the rigid unchanging rules they’ve followed since time immemorial. I remember reading that Lord Baden Powell is suspected of having been gay.

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.