Boy scouts may capitulate, oh, wow.

Reply Mon 28 Jan, 2013 05:28 pm

well, sort of.
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Reply Mon 28 Jan, 2013 06:05 pm
Allowing the local level to decide. It's a step in the right direction.
Reply Mon 28 Jan, 2013 06:25 pm
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Reply Tue 29 Jan, 2013 06:26 am
I call BS. I think they're doing it to try and appease the corporations who avoid giving money to discriminatory organizations.
Reply Tue 29 Jan, 2013 07:11 am
I think that even making a public statement that they are considering it is another crack in the wall. I heard some religious group spokesman saying that since troops mingle at camping events that doing this would effectively allow homosexuals access throughout scouting and he is probably right. When the scouts see that their homophobic adult leaders are confused and there are successful scout leaders who also happen to be gay, the whole anti-gay house of cards will start to come down. I really would like to know what drove this. I really doubt it was the loss of a couple of corporate sponsors. The Boy Scouts seem to have a strong following everywhere and don't seem suffer from a lack of money. I would like to believe that somewhere in scouting there are principled people who see the injustice of their actions and are taking baby steps to correct the situation.
Reply Tue 29 Jan, 2013 12:08 pm
I would also like to think that protests and petitions from Eagle Scouts (like me) that professed that the official practice of discrimination was not 'morally correct.'

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Reply Thu 30 May, 2013 08:44 am
So the scouts decided on a half measure - allowing gay scouts but not gay leaders. I've seen some articles complaining about this as a half measure. I'm supportive of this over nothing as a major breach in the wall even if it doesn't tear it down completely. My brother is a cub scout leader in a deeply religious area (semi-rural Alabama) and he is hearing from parents but he said the reality is that the Mormons and Catholics have already officially agreed to support the change and he expects the local churches to go along as well. Something like 80% of local scout troops are church sponsored.
Reply Thu 30 May, 2013 01:23 pm
I just hope they don't use it as a way to single out gay scouts for targeted "pray the gay away" measures.
Reply Thu 30 May, 2013 02:36 pm
My experience as a scout and with organization in the years since is that it really isn't all that religious. I think the ban was a lot more based on bigotry and fear of the child abuse scandals from the 70's rather than a strong religious bias. (Of course you could argue that the bigotry was religion based.) That said, those first openly gay scouts will be dependent on good scout masters to keep them safe from their fellow scouts just like they count on teachers in schools. Hopefully they will be up to the task.
Reply Thu 6 Jun, 2013 02:54 pm
Had a fairly long discussion with a friend who is very involved in scouting about the Scouts' recent decision to accept gay scouts. His friend's family has been involved in scouting for decades and his son is an eagle scout. His concern was "How does this make my campsite more complicated? If something happens there will be a lawsuit and I'll be hung out to dry." Below was the train of our conversation. I present this to stimulate debate here that might reflect the debate going around the US right now.

Me: Why would you think something is going to happen? There is such thing as self control.
Him: It really doesn't matter if something happens or not. Even a false claim that "he touched me" would be disastrous.
Me: Why do you think you would be held responsible compared to the situation today where you have a gay scout and he is closeted?
Him: Because if I knew about his orientation, I can be blamed. I have the burden of knowledge.
Me: But sexual orientation does not imply tendency towards sexual violence.
Him: But it makes a boy-boy sexual situation more likely and I had prior knowledge.
Me: What about if one scout who beats another one? Are you liable there?
Him: If I see that situation developing, I separate the scouts to prevent violence. If I fail to do that I might be more liable, but a "boys will be boys" attitude usually prevails there as long as we don't allow it happen again.
Me: What about developementally disabled scouts that might be slightly more prone to physical outbursts? Would you refuse to let them be scouts?
Him: Never
Me: But although the lieklihood is small, isn't there a greater chance of physical violence and don't you have the burden of knowledge?
Him: Good question. I don't have an answer for that. As for gays, I'd be better off not knowing. They should use "don't ask, don't tell" and be willing to follow the scout creed.
Me: But all these kids go to school together and if someone is out in their non-scouting life, wouldn't you rather know than have everyone know but you?
Him: Good point, I'd rather know.
Me: What happens from here?
Him: Our local leadership doesn't convene for a few weeks. We've called a meeting with our sponsoring organization (a local church) to proactively discuss it with them. Depending on their decision, we may need to find a new sponsor.

Related link: Churchs split on Scouts Welcoming Gay Youth
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