Comments about ‘Boy Scouts proposing to lift gay ban for youth’

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Published: Friday, April 19 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Provo, UT

This could be agreeable by me. If those with homosexual attraction are allowed into Scouts by the BSA, the BSA must be sure to enforce their policy on gays who act out in any way on their homosexual urges. Any infraction must mean removal from scouting, so as to allow the Boy Scout Oath of being "morally straight" to ring true.

freedom in 2017
paradise, UT

good bye bsa from the biggest two groups of participants, lds and catholic. hope gays can backfill the revenue plunge.

Tooele, UT

Well, it's been a good, mutually beneficial relationship for a good long time. Scouting is what it is today, particularly in the West, largely because of its relationship with the Church. Most of its Western recreational properties were donated by the Church. Most of its Western units are Church units. Most of its revenues come from Church members.

But now, for political reasons, Scout leaders have decided to betray, not just their oath, but their friends, as well. OK. It's their right. But they can't realistically expect to maintain a relationship with the Church.

It'll be interesting to see what Church youth program follows scouting. It'll probably look a lot like scouting. We'll be fine.

But Scouting? Not so much. They're already "consolidating" properties -- meaning selling off smaller, less profitable ones, directing units to larger, more distant camps. Maybe they can convert their operation into a corporate sales organization, like Girl Scouts. That may cover some of the revenue collapse, but they're clearly going to have to get by on less.

And become comfortable with irrelevance.

Davis County, UT

Up front I admit my ignorance on the proposal by the BSA, but my question is if they allow practicing gays into scouting, do they plan on keeping "morally straight" in the Scout Motto? Perhaps they are limiting it to those with homosexual attraction, but not practicing??

Anyone know?

Spider Rico
Greeley, CO

Overall scouting participation has been waning in this generation, now it will lose the support of large religious groups that have sustained it this long. What a shame - such a great organization will completely change and may all but disappear. A new program will be coming from the LDS church if this in fact happens.

james d. morrison
Boise, CA

That's fine, since even though they might identify themselves as gay, many at that age aren't going to actively be gay and they would still be expected to live a chaste lifestyle like the other scouts. but no gay leaders.

salt lake, UT

@freedom and procur
funny that you both believe that the LDS church should cut ties, how exactly is threatening to cut ties any less bullying then when those that support gay rights threatened to or cut of funding when the BSA would not allow gays in the scouts?

Davis County, UT

Excuse me. Scout Oath.

Ivins, UT

Seems agreeable with me also in as much as this has always been the way an LDS scout troop has run during my sixty plus years of leadership experience as an LDS scout leader. Most boys have not sorted out tendencies for same sex attraction at Boy Scout age and do not pose a threat to their peers and remain teachable by their families and leaders.

Adult Gay leadership has always been a source of concern and trouble.If this becomes an accepted practice in the Boy Scouts of Americ, I knowa the progrtam will go down the drain, and what a loss that would be for all.

Durham, NC

"And become comfortable with irrelevance."

Perhaps in Utah... but Utah isn't even 1% of the US population. I think we may be overstating things just a smidge.

I do hope that there is some kind of common sense here. We don't ban kids from church who have same sex attraction.. How in the world do you propose to help these kids deal with the issues of this if you cast them off. Would we do the same for kids who have issues with drinking, making moral mistakes with young ladies... etc.

I think the leadership of the church is bright enough to find the right, measured response to this. Nothing is ever forever. My grandfather brought scouting to this church... and there is no doubt the church leadership will find the next right and balanced thing for the church moving foreword. Will it make everyone happy... I doubt it. But leadership has to do the right thing for all of the church, not just the loudest critics.

And I really doubt Boy Scouts regardless will be any more irrelevant than it is now.

Sandy, UT

It seems most on this board care very little about the individual and haven't taken even a minute to think through the issues. First, to be clear, they are only lifting their ban on gay scouts, not on gay leaders. This in fact changes very little. You ask why? Because gay scouts have been in scouting from the beginning, they just haven't told those around them. And when they have told somebody, like their bishop, they were still in scouting. The difference now is, particularly for those of you who think a gay youth has the ability to change, any gay scouts can feel comfortable in talking to counselors and bishops about their "problem" with fear of being forced out of organizations like scouting. It's a win-win for both, those who want to "cure" gays and those who support equal treatment.

I personally don't know how in this day and age an organization can justify excluding somebody because of the way they are born (or for those who you who still insist - became through no fault of their own).

I assume the church will continue to back scouting stronger than ever.

Alabaster, Alabama

Apparently, the Boy Scouts are more afraid of a few, or they want to placate a few, and are willing to lose a lot. Almost, all churches in the Southeast United States will no longer sponsor Scouting if they allow gays in. Also, there will almost immediately be a federal lawsuit filed if they allow gays in as members but exclude gays as leaders. So, it looks like the Boy Scouts would prefer to have the gays rather than the churches. Good luck with that brilliant strategy.

St. George, UT

What LDS Church do the rest of you belong to? The Church doesn't ban gay people from being members, so why would the BSA allowing gay kids to be scouts suddenly spell the doom of the organization? The Church's current policy is more tolerant than the current BSA policy and the new BSA policy will be completely in line with the Church's policy. The change says no scout will be banned "on the basis of sexual orientation ALONE" -- that means that, without more, a scout won't be kicked out simply for being gay. Just as no Church member would ever be kicked out of the church on the basis of sexual orientation ALONE. Let's at least pretend to think these things through objectively.

salt lake, UT

I suppose that is one way to try to frame it the other way would be that the boy scouts are finally going to standup against the old guard that has controlled them for too long through the pocketbook and do the right thing, even if it means losing funding from the churches.

Chester Brough
Providence, Utah

I understand the political concern regarding same-sex issues, but the scout oath relates: "On my honor, I will do my best, to do my duty, to god and my country, to obey the scout law, to keep myself morally clean and morally straight".

"Clean and morally straight" has been taught since the inception of scouting to mean clean thoughts, and not particpate in sexual activity until marriage? I am looking at a library of handbooks, letters from family members who were actual full-time profesisonal leaders, and brother who lost his life in an event to honor eagle scouts,who was a profesional scouting representative in the Old Cache Valley Council. This entire decision process is improper, even the US Supreme Court has held that private entities may have organizations that teach their own moral conduct?

HS Fan
Salt Lake City, UT

BSA membership has been in steady, large decline for years. If the BSA doesn't adapt they'll be nothing but a fringe Boy's club run by religous groups. As was the similar case of civil rights in the 60's with America's youth, today's younger generation does not hold the homophobic views of their parents. Their values are based more on reason than religous dogma.


I think those saying the "demise" of the BSA and that the LDS church will immediately drop the BSA are being a little premature. I could see this going either way. The LDS church has become much more "gay friendly" the past couple of years, even publishing a whole website on the issue. The LDS church has supported the non-discrimination act for housing and employment in SLC. There is a gay member in a Bishopric in San Francisco. I could very well see the LDS church still supporting the BSA. My only question where I think there will be problems down the road are if you have a gay boy in Scouts and loves his experience and wants to pass that along as a leader, how do you tell him "no". That will be the next issue. This issue is not going away. If the church does drop the BSA, they will just revise the Duty to God program which I believe was already put into place if the BSA lost the Supreme Court case from a few years ago. That now looks like a waste of money.

Vince here
San Diego, CA

Please lift the ban.

An organization of members who are inclusive is what America should be about.

Salt Lake City, UT

I am good with this decision. The biggest concern was allowing homosexual leaders, that have a huge influence on the boys, to be included. This resolves that issue. What the actual boy scout members do with regards to sexual preference is not really the concern of the scouting organization. That is up to families and church affiliation. The big question now is on how the scouting program deals with individuals who are not being morally straight (doesn't matter if it is a homosexual or heterosexual relationship). Are they refused rank advancements? Are they allowed to continue to participate? In the LDS Church, does the Bishop disfellowship them from scouting and youth activities? In my experience, scouting has never really enforced the morally straight requirement anyway. That was left up to ecclesiastical leaders. I don't know if anything will change.

Johnny Triumph
American Fork, UT

Hypocritical and dangerous to allow boys but not leaders to participate in certain behaviors. BSA should worry, this won't go well for them.

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