boy scouts and gays!
So it looks like Boy Scouts might allow gay leaders but will probably leave membership up to individual troops so homosexuality can be discussed in the home.
I guess that using that reasoning, they should keep everyone out so differences can be "discussed in the home".
My guess is they won't move forward at all.
I am a big supported of the girl scouts. they seem to have their act together much more than the boy scouts.
It is actually a huge step forward.
Originally Posted by lizathenag
Yes, they are behind the girls in that aspect, but hey....
it does put the decision at the base, where it belongs. It's not a gay person but so and so's mom or dad - or even the scout himself.
Also, the troops are 'underwritten' by various charitable groups. They don't exist in a vacuum. Some of these groups have a narrower field of vision than others.
It's a start (but I think it's not yet decided) even if only a small step in the right direction.
BTW, I have had the discussion with a Lady from the Old World...she was a bit amazed that that was even an issue...the scouts and whatnot groups are much more integrated, some policies she suggested did not jive with the vision of the founder of the scout movement.
but we are children of our environment...some changes come about slower than the growth of mountains.
(But I have also discussed the issue in passing with gentlemen involved in the day to day dealings...they did really not want to be stuck with the possible responsibility to talk to the boys about that...they believed it was something the parents ought to handle)
I still think it is a very good program for the young boys, especially since many these days are growing up lacking good male role models and activities past the thumb exercises TV and video games provide!
Nothing in life is perfect.
(and now I am digging up my email...that said for questions contact the counsil....oops....should have not said nuttin ;)
It's about time. I stopped paycheck contributions to my local United Way because, despite the UW's policy of not supporting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, they decided to continue funding the local Boy Scout organization anyway. Sorry, but I refuse to (knowingly) give one single cent to any organization which continues to discriminate in such a manner.
(It's a shame, too, because I think the Boy Scouts, as a whole, are a good organization. But I just can't bring myself to excuse any half-measures where this is concerned.)
The downhill slide started when they let mothers in. Then they started babying the boys where mommies would do the cooking and all that crap. They finished the slide by giving in to culture pressures. I am so glad that our boys didn't get into scouting now.
Originally Posted by candyappy
LOL, it's certainly not like this where I am...Momma don't work here! :D
I suspect it's going to be interesting here. My neighbor is a scout leader and a homophobe and he attends the church that sponsors the troop along with other neighbors. I know that at least one neighbor is very anti-discrimination...and he's on the Session of the church. Should be interesting.
You live in interesting times....
Originally Posted by LauraKY
I remember when my older brother was in the scouts do not remember the topic ever coming up. But that was almost 40yrs ago and people just didn't talk about "things like that" then. And honestly I didn't pay much attention.. 12yrs old and under had other things on mind like the discovery that boys were not as creepy as I had thought they were.. :winkgrin:
But then again about 20ish years maybe more as I was not quite preg. with my youngest. I seem to recall that when this whole thing started really in the courts.. (something tell me it was the USSC and they ruled in favor of the BSA not allow gays in.) And I remember thinking "well that is a stupid stand by the BSA because it will come back and bite them in the ass sometime."
And a friend and I talked about it, as she had a son and a DH, son had just joined cub scout and dh was an Eagle Scout and one of our best friends who was going to volunteer as a den mother was gay/leasbon(sp). Well this made for strange "dinner conversation" to say the least.
We decided that the best thing to do was let ds join, friend go ahead and volunteer and only tell if asked directly (kinda like the don't ask don't tell which was new to the military at the time) and the dh to make up his on mind and do what ever he wanted to do. The last time I talked to her
about 10yrs ago ds was still in scouts, dh still in scouts the he is an ex now, friend never was asked.
But that is besides the point. It appears it did come back and bite then in the ass. I have to ask myself why was this ever a problem to start with. It is not like Gays are any different than the rest of us except they enjoy the company of someone who just happen to be of the same gender. It is not like he will hit on someone just because he is surrounded by boys. It is more likely a "straight" scout master will.
It is more likely he will be more protective of the boys because he had to fight to get there and would not want one to be hurt under his watch.
of course gays were not the problem.
I mean, they are just guys...ok, most of them are....;)
But in groups that have this close quarter contact in our society it makes the guys icky to think the guy in the other stall is checking them out like they just check the diner waitress out...
And of course, there was the real problem with the real creepers, that used the scouts as baited hunting grounds.
I am sure there are books about it that explain it much better though.
Amazing how people who don't know a thing about scouting, apparently never went to a meeting, didn't let their boys in, are able to make such frankly idiotic statements.
Originally Posted by candyappy
I hope you were being ironic and doing a bad job of it.
(Proud merit badge counselor, mother of two Eagle scouts, assistant scoutmaster, mentor to 3 other Eagle scouts, and firm believer in boy led troops. Yep, troops that believe that boys do all the work and all the leadership.)
BTW, I never met a woman scout leader who did the things you are talking about. Even the 70 year old grandmother who was an assistant scoutmaster with us knew better than that.
Where I live (that evil lib'ral Commonwealth), Boy Scout troops have been quietly welcoming gays, gay parents, gay leaders etc. for years now. It's just such a non-issue.
(BTW I am not kidding about the "evil lib'ral" reputation. There are people out there who will never bring their kids to explore Boston history, because they think the Gays and the Liberals will instantly corrupt them.)
My mom pulled all of my brothers out of Boy Scouts when the leader say the boys were required to attend his services on Sunday or be kicked out. My mom let them go to one service and pulled them out halfway through when the pastor/ BS leader said that the reason there were no more dinosaurs is because they didn't fit on the arc????
I don't blame her, I would have done that too. We didn't give a hoot about religious beliefs or sexual orientation. But each troop is chartered to a different organization and if you are associated with a conservative bunch, well, stuff like you describe can happen. Local leadership makes all the difference.
Originally Posted by tabula rashah
I think scouting has to change, but the approach they are taking is similar to what the ELCA (Lutheran) church did with gay clergy and it ends up being pretty half a$$ed. But it's a start...
HAHAHAHAHAHAA, yeah, THAT would not fly. On either end. (on that note we are doing 'Scout Sunday' this week...but we are chartered through a church. We need to show face, to show we exist...)
Originally Posted by tabula rashah
I am not doing organized religion...the kid is on his own there...
It's not as though these aren't the same boys and parents that are in school with them! BSA makes it sound as though they're debating allowing aliens into their precious circle. oy...
My 15 year old twin sons are in scouts (working on their Eagle) and my husband is a long-time assistant scout leader.
We are not a religious family (at all), and I dislike the focus on church, which is much more evident here in Kentucky than in the troop they belonged to in Pennsylvania. Regional influence definitely makes a difference.
But overall, scouts has been a good thing. Thanks to scouts, my boys are experienced campers, have learned to administer first aid, swimming and fire safety, canoeing, identifying wildlife, and have even rappelled at Red River Gorge! And that barely scratches the surface of their scouting experience.
And our family whole-heartedly supports the scouts opening the door to gay leaders and members. I think it would enormously benefit the organization and hope it happens.
Originally Posted by ccoronios
depending on where you are there can be a vast difference.
I think one troop in our area is chartered by a national tire maker. many others are chartered by churches...and we do have over two pages of them in the phone book.
we are a small group, draw from 3 communities.
You hit a larger city...well...you are bound to run into diversity.
When we did cubs, a lot of the boys went to the local private school, vs us public school scrubs.
But that is generally the point though: from one end to the other the groups are not the same, because it depends on the people in the community.
Should they ok the autonomy of the particular groups at the base, heck, I don't see where a less homophobic charity could not charter a new troop to include the boys left out by the backwards ones.
It used to be that Boy Scouts were a favored group, and received a lot of Military support. They had Scout Huts for meetings, and received support above and beyond other groups. Not any more. There have been repeated memos stating that scouts are not to be given preferential treatment, or support. After DADT was rescended they were then discriminating against Military who could not be leaders or participate. I personally dislike their emphasis (as TR pointed out) on Christian religion, and want everyone to believe the same way. It might not be the official policy, but it is the policy in local groups, whether it is formalized or not.
Personally, I don't see why they ever worried about Gays or Lesbians, because the people are there to teach life skills, and not talk about their sex lives. I would object to a child hearing about anyone's sex life at a meeting like that, no matter what the orientation is. And I knew it would be bad, but even I was shocked when the sex offender files were released recently, and it showed how many cases were covered up, and how many offenders re-offended without anyone doing anything to stop them. One man actually abused many children in Oregon, served jail time, was supposed to be deported, moved to California, and injured more children, and left voluntarily for Canada, and I think he's is or was a volunteer with scouting there, until his record was publicized. The records released were only from 1959 to the present, and apparently did not include local, just national records. I wonder how many other cases have been ignored, enabled, or hushed up in the almost 100 years since scouting started in this country?
It's the pedophiles who volunteer with scouting (or anything with children) for a ready made victim pool they should be worrying about, not gay men and boys.
My nephew is about to make his Eagle, and his younger brother is a Scout too. I get to hear about a fair share of their activities. It would seem to me that discussions of sexuality in any context are not part of the Scouting curriculum, unless you're talking about boys on a camping trip whispering ribaldries in the dark for giggles. The people up-thread who said teaching about this is a matter for parents is right on. I imagine in most troops it's going to be a non-problem, but if the subject came up it might be handled like this:
Originally Posted by Alagirl
(1) Kid says, "That's so GAYYY!" being a brat. Leader says, "That's enough, Milton, that's not an acceptable use of that word!" No further explanation required.
(2) Kid says, "Did you hear, Tom's Dad just married anyther guy!" Leader says pleasantly, "Yes, I saw it in the paper." Acts totally normal and makes no big deal out of it. This is key!
(3) Kid says to bunkmate on a dark and stormy night, "You know, Jesse, sometimes I worry that I'm not interested in girls like you fellows. Do you think I could be, well, gay?" Bunkmate says, "I suppose by the time we're out of high school, you'll know, right?"
No further action required.
(4) Kid confides in Scoutmaster that he thinks he IS gay but can't tell his parents and is just sick about it; doesn't know what to do.
Scoutmaster: "I think your parents will still love you as their son, but it might be a good idea to talk to your school guidance counselor about your feelings and what if anything to do about them." Leader is positive and supportive but keeps professional distance.
I don't see any of this as a terribly earth-shattering and difficult thing. It's all just sensible, well-adjusted adults assisting in the process of forming positive values as youth grow up. Really a matter of basic common sense, and NO ONE LOSES.
Does the old-fashioned climate of "faith-based" fear, guilt, shame, ostracism and recrimination help anyone WIN? I think not!