fr8mech
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BSA And Gay Scouts

Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:56 pm

The previous thread has been archived.

I just got an email from the BSA with the following link referring to a change in policy effective Jan. 1, 2014.

http://www.scouting.org/sitecore/con...andards/Resolution/Resolution.aspx

Good news.

I find it interesting that they did not provide religious organizations a specific "out". I guess the "Declaration of Religious Principle" may be read as such, but funny the exemption wasn't specifically written in.

[Edited 2013-04-20 06:20:53]
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Mir
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RE: BSA And Gay Scouts

Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:29 pm

It's a bit of a strange statement to make to say that gay kids can be in the scouts, but that they cannot be scout leaders once they get older and might want to give back. Isn't that a big part of scouts, teaching people the skills they need to be leaders later in life?

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fr8mech
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RE: BSA And Gay Scouts

Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:59 pm

Quoting Mir (Reply 1):
It's a bit of a strange statement to make to say that gay kids can be in the scouts, but that they cannot be scout leaders once they get older and might want to give back. Isn't that a big part of scouts, teaching people the skills they need to be leaders later in life?

I agree, but in cases of ingrained predjudices that are derived from religious dogma and/or social traditions, baby steps are required. I think within the next decade, we'll see a shift away from a ban on homosexuals being Scout Leaders.

I think that ramming too much change, in too short of time, would be counter-productive.
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Braniff747SP
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RE: BSA And Gay Scouts

Sat Apr 20, 2013 2:01 pm

Welcome to the 21st century, BSA. One hurdle out of the way, but this is still ridiculous as

Quoting Mir (Reply 1):


It's a bit of a strange statement to make to say that gay kids can be in the scouts, but that they cannot be scout leaders once they get older and might want to give back. Isn't that a big part of scouts, teaching people the skills they need to be leaders later in life?

   Absolutely.

I've been a youth member of the BSA for eight years or so; I've always said that this policy is absurd and I'm glad they have come around somewhat. However, the exclusion of gay leaders remains despicable and contrary to all of the values that National 'instills' in us Scouts.

Imbecilic.
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AeroWesty
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RE: BSA And Gay Scouts

Sat Apr 20, 2013 2:07 pm

The BSA keeps sticking their foot in it, don't they.
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Mir
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RE: BSA And Gay Scouts

Sat Apr 20, 2013 2:13 pm

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 2):
I agree, but in cases of ingrained predjudices that are derived from religious dogma and/or social traditions, baby steps are required.

I see where you're coming from, but what if they had just not included that last phrase about continuing the policy for leaders and left it open? You'd likely still have some troops that would continue to ban gays from being scout leaders, but at least it wouldn't be an institutionalized policy that would hang over the heads of the gay kids.

-Mir
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Braniff747SP
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RE: BSA And Gay Scouts

Sat Apr 20, 2013 2:29 pm

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 2):
I agree, but in cases of ingrained predjudices that are derived from religious dogma and/or social traditions, baby steps are required. I think within the next decade, we'll see a shift away from a ban on homosexuals being Scout Leaders.

That shouldn't be up to National. National should set the standard and say everyone is welcome. The troops chartered to the religious organizations (which run rather independently of the BSA anyway) would still be able to ban gays---National, however, should stay out of it and take the high road.

Quoting Mir (Reply 5):

I see where you're coming from, but what if they had just not included that last phrase about continuing the policy for leaders and left it open? You'd likely still have some troops that would continue to ban gays from being scout leaders, but at least it wouldn't be an institutionalized policy that would hang over the heads of the gay kids.

Agreed fully.
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fr8mech
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RE: BSA And Gay Scouts

Sat Apr 20, 2013 2:41 pm

Quoting Mir (Reply 5):
but what if they had just not included that last phrase about continuing the policy for leaders and left it open?


I suspect the wording is as it is because of a compromise.

Take a look at the FAQ.

Question 5, bullet point 2 and question 6 are quite telling. The parents are pushing this change, not the Council.

Reading into number 6 tells me that the Council wants to see the effect of the change before they proceed any further. Like I said...baby steps.

The Executive Summary shows a major shift in attitudes over the last 3 years. After reading through it, I suspect an adult change is less than 10 years coming.

Quoting Braniff747SP (Reply 6):
The troops chartered to the religious organizations (which run rather independently of the BSA anyway) would still be able to ban gays---

Not according to the FAQ, number 19.

[Edited 2013-04-20 07:43:15]

[Edited 2013-04-20 07:44:28]
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Braniff747SP
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RE: BSA And Gay Scouts

Sat Apr 20, 2013 3:45 pm

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 7):

Not according to the FAQ, number 19.

Not officially, of course...
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Bongodog1964
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RE: BSA And Gay Scouts

Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:27 pm

Admitting gays - whatever next ?

Well the Scout Association in the UK even admits Girls, any chance of the US ever being so daring ?

Seriously I find all this quite absurd, I was a Scout leader here in the UK for 19 years, and I can say that the rule book doesn't even mention homosexuality, let alone rule on whether its acceptable for members adult or youth to have such leanings. Nor was it ever mentioned on any training courses.
 
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RE: BSA And Gay Scouts

Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:04 pm

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 14):
Well the Scout Association in the UK even admits Girls, any chance of the US ever being so daring ?

There is a separate Scouting association for girls; the Girl Scouts. It has been that way for over a hundred years, so that is not likely to change.

Additionally, the Boy Scouts of America runs the Venturing program which admits males and females ages 14-21. Many run alongside troops.
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Tugger
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RE: BSA And Gay Scouts

Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:34 pm

Quoting Mir (Reply 1):
It's a bit of a strange statement to make to say that gay kids can be in the scouts, but that they cannot be scout leaders once they get older and might want to give back. Isn't that a big part of scouts, teaching people the skills they need to be leaders later in life?

Yeah I very much think that and agree... but without making excuses for the essential wrongness/ridiculousness of it, I also feel this way:

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 2):
I agree, but in cases of ingrained predjudices that are derived from religious dogma and/or social traditions, baby steps are required. I think within the next decade, we'll see a shift away from a ban on homosexuals being Scout Leaders.

I think that ramming too much change, in too short of time, would be counter-productive.

Fr8mech, I agree with you too.

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 4):
The BSA keeps sticking their foot in it, don't they.

Yes, they do. But like all of us, they are only human. And we talking about humans here, ones that are fighting a losing battle with ideals (that are exactly not ideal) based on old concepts that they find written down in a text they revere. They may ignore many "directions" in that text but that has occurred over many, many years and this is no different as they learned and became better humans. For better or worse.

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 14):
Seriously I find all this quite absurd, I was a Scout leader here in the UK for 19 years, and I can say that the rule book doesn't even mention homosexuality, let alone rule on whether its acceptable for members adult or youth to have such leanings. Nor was it ever mentioned on any training courses.

 Wow!   
Shirley you can't be serious! And have GAYS possibly INFLUENCING our youth and making them think that perhaps being gay is OK!?! Perish the thought! My God, you want good straight leaders teaching good straight things so that even those gays that do join will see and learn the righteousness of being normal and good and straight!

I mean seriously....

Tugg

[Edited 2013-04-20 14:35:31]
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DocLightning
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RE: BSA And Gay Scouts

Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:09 pm

Quoting Mir (Reply 1):

It's a bit of a strange statement to make to say that gay kids can be in the scouts, but that they cannot be scout leaders once they get older and might want to give back. Isn't that a big part of scouts, teaching people the skills they need to be leaders later in life?

That's what drives me nuts. I was an assistant scoutmaster during my Senior year of HS because I was 18. I became an Eagle Scout at 14, was the Senior Patrol Leader at 15, and then was a Junior Assistant Scoutmaster (JASM) from 16 to 17 and then an Assistant Scoutmaster (ASM).

So the new policy is: "If you're an Eagle who wants to stay involved, you're kicked out when you turn 18."

A step in the right direction, but a very problematic step. I don't think this policy will last long once the obvious issue becomes apparent.

You have no idea what Scouting was for me. We had a troop of 70 kids, and almost all of our dads were educated and professional. Doctors and engineers and lawyers and businessmen. Our scoutmaster, Brian Wicke, had no sons of his own (two daughters) and yet had volunteered to run this troop. We continually won awards at our summer camp. Most boys reached Eagle by age 14. Many of those dads became like auxiliary dads for me. Our scoutmaster was a huge mentor for me. I count him among my three great life "heroes." (Him, my high school swim coach, my residency program director). I learned leadership, organization, and basic skills like how to light a fire, how to use a knife, how to pitch a tent, etc.

It won't last.

To think that a policy like this means that I could never give back to Scouting what it gave to me is so frustrating.
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AeroWesty
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RE: BSA And Gay Scouts

Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:38 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 17):
To think that a policy like this means that I could never give back to Scouting what it gave to me is so frustrating.

As you get older, you'll realize that you don't have to give something back in every instance beyond a thank you. It leaves room for others to contribute and be recognized for their value too, while you give of your talents elsewhere. It also allows those who want to give selflessly, asking for nothing in return, to do so unfettered without having to find something for you to do.
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Braniff747SP
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RE: BSA And Gay Scouts

Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:43 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 17):

To think that a policy like this means that I could never give back to Scouting what it gave to me is so frustrating.

...under National policy.

Many troops ignore (and have ignored for a long time) this 'requirement'.

I'm happy I'm in such a troop.
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RE: BSA And Gay Scouts

Sat Apr 20, 2013 11:09 pm

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 18):
It leaves room for others to contribute and be recognized for their value too, while you give of your talents elsewhere. It also allows those who want to give selflessly, asking for nothing in return, to do so unfettered without having to find something for you to do.

Only as long as they are straight or at least not known to be gay.... only straight people get to "give selflessly", gays need not apply.

I agree with Doc that this policy will ultimately fail under the weight of its own fallacy.

Tugg

[Edited 2013-04-20 16:21:40]
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AeroWesty
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RE: BSA And Gay Scouts

Sun Apr 21, 2013 12:00 am

Quoting tugger (Reply 20):
only straight people get to "give selflessly", gays need not apply.

I'm not talking about just the Boy Scouts though. You can give selflessly, accept with one's thanks, or let someone else be recognized for their worth everywhere in life. It does tie into the scouting ethic as well—your role models teach you for life, they don't follow you around doing everything for you. They watch as you grow to become independent, self-capable and able to share glories in life. Sometimes 'giving back' is simply allowing someone else to be recognized and valued, too.
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seb146
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RE: BSA And Gay Scouts

Sun Apr 21, 2013 1:16 am

Quoting Braniff747SP (Reply 13):
That's fine. But they should listen to their membership, which they don't.

They will soon enough. They can keep up the ban, but not for much longer. I don't think the government should force it, though.
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vikkyvik
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RE: BSA And Gay Scouts

Sun Apr 21, 2013 1:54 am

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 18):
As you get older, you'll realize that you don't have to give something back in every instance beyond a thank you.

I'm certainly not speaking for Doc, but it's not always about having to give something back. It's about wanting to give something back. And it's certainly not always related to wanting to be recognized for it.
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AeroWesty
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RE: BSA And Gay Scouts

Sun Apr 21, 2013 2:38 am

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 23):
It's about wanting to give something back.

But you don't have to give it back from whence it came or where you want to give it back.

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 23):
And it's certainly not always related to wanting to be recognized for it.

Where does the desire to want to give back come from? Within oneself. There's a satisfaction fulfilled in some people in terms of self-recognition, "I gave back to the Scouts", for instance.
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Braniff747SP
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RE: BSA And Gay Scouts

Sun Apr 21, 2013 3:04 am

Quoting seb146 (Reply 22):
I don't think the government should force it, though.

There is no legal basis for them to do so, so they won't.
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ltbewr
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RE: BSA And Gay Scouts

Sun Apr 21, 2013 3:27 am

The problem is two-fold. One is the sponsorship of many, if not a majority of local and regional units by Christian religious groups that specifically see being GLTB as immoral. You need their money, sponsorships, meeting places and adult leaders. Second is the terrible history of sexual assault by adult male leaders upon minor males and per National policy was to keep hidden from the public and police.
I don't think the Girl Scouts have such a ban on Lesbian adult or minor members. Time for the BSA to stop trying to close the door back upon GLTB's.
 
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RE: BSA And Gay Scouts

Sun Apr 21, 2013 5:58 am

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 13):
As you get older, you'll realize that you don't have to give something back in every instance beyond a thank you.

That does not justify this policy.

I am an Eagle Scout, a pediatrician with a Masters of Science from a prestigious university. My resumé is impressive, no false modesty.

And I'm a bad role model.
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rampart
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RE: BSA And Gay Scouts

Sun Apr 21, 2013 6:18 am

Quoting tugger (Reply 15):
Only as long as they are straight or at least not known to be gay.... only straight people get to "give selflessly", gays need not apply.

A friend on a different forum said this about the implied modified rule: "It's OK to be a gay boyscout, but you'd better get your sh*t together by the time you become an adult."  

It will probably change to full acceptance, soon. Perhaps the conservative religious organizations will splinter off into their own thing. That would be sad, only because some of them might retain control of some very nice scout camps out there.

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vikkyvik
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RE: BSA And Gay Scouts

Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:23 am

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 19):
But you don't have to give it back from whence it came or where you want to give it back.

Absolutely. But people want to give back to organizations that have given to them. It's natural, in a lot of cases, I think.

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 19):
Where does the desire to want to give back come from? Within oneself. There's a satisfaction fulfilled in some people in terms of self-recognition, "I gave back to the Scouts", for instance.

Maybe, maybe not. I'll give an example:

When I was approaching 1 year sober, my sponsor mentioned something to me about it, and how they would celebrate it next week at the meeting. I said something like, "oh, I really don't want to celebrate it; that's not what I'm after." And that was absolutely true - I don't like making a big deal, or any deal, out of an achievement of mine like that. But my sponsor said to me (again paraphrasing, as this was 6 years ago), "I know you may not want or feel the need to celebrate it, but what if in doing so, you help someone else? What if someone else sees you achieve your 1 year, and it gives them a push to do the same?" And he was absolutely correct, so we did celebrate it, they gave me a card and my 1-year chip, etc. But I had never thought about it like that. So it wasn't about self-satisfaction, or self-recognition; it was about service to others, which also happens to be a form of self-help.

You even mentioned giving selflessly, and I see no reason that giving back to Scouts can't take that form. And even that is still denied to openly gay adults.

Honestly, recognition from others tends to embarrass me; I'm a pretty shy and private person. Of course it's nice to be noticed sometimes, but that's not necessarily always the case.
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AeroWesty
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RE: BSA And Gay Scouts

Sun Apr 21, 2013 11:42 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 22):
That does not justify this policy.

Never said it did.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 22):
And I'm a bad role model.

For now, by some ignorant bigots. That doesn't have to stop you from giving of your talents elsewhere or make you feel less of yourself. I'm sure someplace else deserving would feel fortunate for your help. Too bad for the Scouts missing out. Their loss.

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 24):
You even mentioned giving selflessly, and I see no reason that giving back to Scouts can't take that form.

Never said you couldn't. Let me repeat my point—you don't have to give back to everyone and every place where you've received help. Sometimes all that's required or expected is a thank you. Sometimes your help in return isn't wanted or needed. So taking what you've built upon from the help you received and giving elsewhere isn't a bad thing.

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 24):
And even that is still denied to openly gay adults.

For now, by some ignorant bigots. That doesn't have to stop anyone from giving of their talents elsewhere or give reason for anyone to feel less of themselves.
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