Comments about ‘Boy Scouts of America to vote on lifting ban of gay Scouts and leaders’

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Published: Monday, Jan. 28 2013 4:30 p.m. MST

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Salt Lake City, UT

I wonder if this means they will allow openly practicing gay people, or only those who identify themselves as gay but do not engage in homosexual behavior?

Kearns, UT

I'm having a hard time trying to understand some of the extreme comments here (and on the KSL boards- some of which are even worse). One person on KSL even stated that "but just because the church has a website that tells us to be like Christ to all people does not mean they preach that a gay man or woman could attain the highest degree of glory" (You might want to double check Church teachings on that).

You do realize that there ARE gay members of the Church. There are gay members of the Church WITH callings and temple recommends. Since Scout leadership positions in wards and stakes are essentially "callings," what would you do or say if a gay, temple recommend holding man were called as a Scout Master?

It will be interesting, should these changes be made, to see what the Church will do. It will be even more interesting to see how some members of the Church will react, including some on these boards.

Fulton, MO

Freedom to associate is not exclusive to gays, lesbians, blacks, whites etc.
I have to make a choice and the bylaws are part of that choice. My association in any organization is determined by common beliefs. I cannot choose not to belong to God's family, I have already made that choice, knowing the faults and weaknesses of all.
I can however choose to keep away from dangerous circumstances. A lifelong scouter, I choose to remove myself from danger. As the scriptures say, I choose this day to follow...

Brave heart
Springville , UT

If you claim to be a member of the LDS church then you adopt its teachings and views, which are to show love and tolerance to homosexuals. So why is it different to allow gay members in your ward and allow gay scouts and leaders?

Springville, Ut

Re: Patriot

Any real "patriot" or Christian for that matter would never stoop so low as to call his brothers "disgusting" because of an attraction that they were born with.

Re: Dell

Why the paranoia over gay men? Why does being gay mean you want to have sex with every guy you see? Does being heterosexual mean you want to have sex with every woman? I hope not, because if it does, I don't know what orientation I am as I wouldn't fall in either category.

I Bleed Blue
Las Vegas, NV

There should be no problem with it as long as you don't act on it or try to promote it during a scout activity.

Cedar City, UT

All of the reports don't seem to differentiate between being homosexual and living a homosexual lifestyle. I have absolutely nothing against homosexuals. We are all unique. I do believe that all scouts and leaders should agree to live morally straight. This has nothing to do with their sexual orientation. I do believe that a homosexual lifestyle is not morally straight. I will not bully those who live that way. Condoning that type of lifestyle as morally straight is not going to help anyone. We can relabel things all we want, but in the end we are not the judges.

spring street

I grew-up around scouting, my father was a scout master for 30 years, I and both of my brothers are Eagle Scouts, I was and assistant scout master for 5 years. It broke my heart when I had to walk away from scouting but I just could not support the decisions they where making when t came to allowing gays to continue to participate I scouting. While it makes me sad to see so many comments from people talking about leaving scouting over ending the discrimination I do understand, I however am over joyed at the possibility that I can once again be proud of my roots.


The Scout Oath:
On my honor I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my county
and obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong,
mentally awake, and morally straight.

Doesn't the Scout Oath that has been around for 100 years mean anything to the current Scout executives?
Because I grew up with the thought that it really meant something to stand up for and live by.

Hayden, ID

@ Happy Valley. Hate? You throw that word around too easily. Disagreement does not equal hate. Disagreement means I have the choice to distance myself from those I disagree with. I don't hate polygamists either but I don't want them to lead my BSA troop either.

Paper Cut

What's the big deal? You may not be aware, but there are currently lots of gay scout leaders and scouts. Does it make a difference if they aren't officially "out?"

Mount Olympus
Salt Lake, UT

Nothing against gays, but I don't know how this would ever work.

I wouldn't want a heterosexual man going on campouts with my daughters.
I wouldn't want a homosexual man going on campouts with my sons.

S.Andrew Zaelit
Deseret, UT

The problem with this decision is it potentially opens up the individual Chartering Organizations to an endless stream of discrimination lawsuits with no support from the BSA in Texas. The LDS Church, Evangelicals, Protestants, and Catholic faiths are the largest Chartering Organizations in this nation and I have heard account for 60% of the leaders and youth. These organizations will not spend precious dollars defending themselves in court they will simply leave. Regardless of your organizational size if you lose that many participants you cease to exist. The AHG is hurting the GSA and there are enough resources that a similar organization could be started for young men. This whole mess is being driven by 2 executives looking to cement a legacy for themselves at the expense of over half the BSA membership. I will wait and see what the LDS Church does but if they walk there will be a host walking behind them. Baden Powell set the standard and in 2013 it looks as if the BSA is willing to denounce the movements founder for nothing more than self image. Clean, reverent, morally straight, trustworthy, and honest. Not out of date and takes courage to follow.

Far East USA, SC

"The Boy Scouts would not, under any circumstances, dictate a position to units, members or parents," Smith told BSA spokesman Deron Smith told USA Today. "Under this proposed policy, the BSA would not require any chartered organization to act in ways inconsistent with that organization's mission, principles or religious beliefs."

Did anyone bother to read the release, or is it just more fun to have an uninformed knee-jerk reaction.

And to comments like this " as long as there is a policy where gay scout leaders are not allowed (or other reasonable limits) to promote/evangelize their sexual orientation with the scouts."

Gay or straight, no one should be "promoting their sexual orientation"

Geez people. Take a breath.

Rocket Science
Brigham City, UT

As an LDS member and long time scouter I plan to wait until a decision is reached, a announcement is made and I hear words of direction from those in leadership whom trust rather rush to judgement on something I do not have sufficient information. I plan to give to friends of Scouting, continue to serve locally in my district and in my ward.

I will not renounce my Eagle Scout or Silver Beaver awards. I will continue to live the scout oath and law as the ideals and values of Scouting were instilled in me for life so many years ago. I plan to give to and solicit for Friends of Scouting, give time and energy to support an encourage boys and young men in one of the greatest organizations for men the world has ever known.

Please note the LDS Church is not so deeply involved in BSA just for LDS boys and YM but rather for all young men.

Monsieur le prof
Sandy, UT

I agree with Claudio: the church won't pull out of scouting just because of this decision. It does sound disconcerting to have a homosexual leading a bunch of young men, but scouts do use double leadership, so the boys shouldn't be alone. If something inappropriate should happen, however, that decision might come to a screaming halt. Time will tell.


The LDS church isn't going to approve/call a scout leader who isn't living the "law of chastity" so it doesn't matter if they're gay or straight. Gay LDS members, who choose to remain in the church, shouldn't have to hide who they are or pretend they're someone they're not (ex.bachelor who just can't find the right girl to marry).... If they are gay, but living according to current church standards there should be no issues.

Columbus, OH

For all of you predicting doom and gloom for the BSA if they go this route, I'm afraid you'll be disappointed. People said the same thing about the GSA when they lost the discrimination. Guess what? Still going strong, even without LDS troops. Besides, LDS troops can still have that as a requirement if they so choose, so you won't see any major difference.

For all of you worried about them abusing children and proselytizing their "lifestyle" (whatever that even means), gay people do not have a higher rate of pedophilia. For example, "Groth and Birnbaum (1978) studied 175 adult males who were convicted in Massachusetts of sexual assault against a child. None of the men had an exclusively homosexual adult sexual orientation." Many other studies find similar results: "Dr. Carole Jenny and her colleagues reviewed 352 medical charts, representing all of the sexually abused children seen in the emergency room or child abuse clinic...The molester was a gay or lesbian adult in only 2 of the 269 cases"

Finally, straight parents have gay children, gay parents have straight children. It's not taught, so no amount of 'proselytizing' will turn your child gay.


I hope they allow gays to be involved. Right now you would be crazy to put "Eagle Scout" on a resume. You may not like it, but it's reality. Branding yourself as an Eagle Scout is career suicide in 2013.

Bill in Nebraska
Maryville, MO

As has been mentioned the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints does not support the Girl Scouts of America. Individuals may choose to participate but the LDS Church doesn't support it. I actually see the LDS Church turning its back on the Boy Scouts of America if this is done and going strictly to the Duty to God Program. Is it any wonder that this was put into place. As someone else mentioned if the religious organization is in a lawsuit the BSA will not support it, leaving that organization to fight it out in court. One of the great supporters of Scouting is the LDS Church and President Monson is a lifelong scout. This program has been an institution in the Church for many years. However, the morality question comes into play. As long as one has same-sex attraction but doesn't act on that attraction they will be ok to serve. Living the lifestyle would not be condoned as it isn't condoned today.

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