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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The Dixie Kid
Saint George, UT

This probably will not get rid of the BSA in Utah, but hopefully it get rids of Friends of Scouting.

Layton, UT

A lot of folks are missing the point by blaming the church or supposing the church is against this. They're behind it--or rather someone's noticed the LDS's position is a wise and decent one and they're reflecting it in the overall BSA.

The vote is actually to move closer to the LDS position on gay leadership and scouts. The Scouts aren't abandoning moral principles, they're encouraging discipline and tolerance, while remaining stalwart on moral character.

Albuquerque, NM

If this is approved, I will discontinue my Friends of Scouting donation.

Salt Lake City, UT

Wow, I am shocked. Not at the notion that the BSA may allow gay scouts or leaders but the intolerance and homophobia of people on this message board. The church allows gay men and women to obtain callings, hold temple recommends and serve in various capacities already. Some are open about their same-sex attraction and others are not. Some are married, some are single.

They are just held to the same standards as everyone else. In the LDS church, it is very uncommon to be a youth leader, including scoutmaster and assistants, without being able to hold a temple recommend. How would things change so dramatically if the BSA lifted its ban? Scouts being the activity arm of the church would not change. Also, scout leaders can't be alone with the youth anyway. There are plenty of straight men that have harmed youth so there are safeguards in place.

As for allowing gay scouts, this shouldn't even be a question. How can a humble follower of Christ not welcome any young man with open arms to activities? May he who is without sin cast the first stone.

Alpine, UT

I was very happy to hear this news break today! As an active member of the LDS Church, I see very positive steps toward acceptance of our LGBT Brothers and Sisters. A gay young man is now welcome at BYU, and can also serve a full time mission for the Church while living within the standards of morality. How could we possible say that there is a place for you in the Church EXCEPT if you are a young man between the ages of 12-18 years old? As someone who has seen first hand the damage of a young man who is gay not feeling welcome, accepted, or embraced by his Ward, and making a decision to "leave", overturning this position by the BSA just feels like a very positive step in the right direction!

Pleasant Grove, UT

The erroneous thinking in many of these responses is an assumption that gay = pedophile and that anyone who is homosexual is going to be hitting on everyone he sees. Neither is true any more than an assumption that all heterosexuals try to have sex with every woman or girl they contact. The LDS church, like most churches, teaches young people that they shouldn't engage in premarital sex. If we assume that good scouts will follow that teaching, particularly during scouting activities, what difference does it make whether the people they aren't having sex with are male or female?

Yes,there have been some adult scout leaders who have abused boys. There are also adult leaders who have abused girls. Is the answer to ban all adults from contact with boys and girls, or is the better solution to do a little screening and keep an eye on things?

Duchesne, UT

My prediction is that the LDS Church would not withdraw from scouting if the ban on gays is lifted, because the chartered organization can still decide whether or not to include gays. The death knell for BSA in Utah will come when they try to collect Friends of Scouting donations.


As an Active LDS person and currently serving on our Ward's Scout Committee.

The main issue is that if the BSA caters to the will of whomever, where would it stop?

Personally, I wish that the LDS church would do their own form of simplified scouting. I know the reality is that attendance for a Scout does not typically extend beyond 14 years of age. If this was more like the Young Women's program I feel it would better prepare young men for their future.

Also it is unclear if this up-coming vote extends to the Cub Scouting program.

Another possibility is that this could also extend to gay scouts and not gay leaders.

Friends of Scouting traditionally is very difficult. Every year this comes up there are always groans. It will be next to impossible if this passes. Not sure where the burden of necessary funds would need to come from.

Not to mention the potential for litigation from the families of deceased scouting members who donated land and funds to a scouting program that they would not support.

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

For those who are confused by "Morally Straight"

What do we mean when we talk about “Morally Straight”? How do we explain that to our Scouts when our Scouts come from many different backgrounds, family dynamics, and religious beliefs? Simply put, a Scout is clean in thought, word, and deed.

Provo, UT

The LDS church should abandon the BSA not because of this change but because it hasn't happened sooner. The LDS church welcomes gay/lesbian members of the church as long as their lives and actions are within the moral boundaries that the church sets.

On another note, holding up the BSA as a standard of morality is a bit odd to me. The dirtiest jokes, worst bullying, and glorification of violence as a young teenager all came from my time in scouts. It certainly wasn't the intent of the BSA or my leaders but that is simply what went on at the camps and activities I attended.

Newbury Park, CA

This is a particularly difficult question for Mormons. I will wait for the reasoned and inspired comments I expect from President Monson.

Eric the Half-bee
Bountiful, UT

This is only an issue to the BSA. Scouts Canada, Scouts Australia, and other national Scouting organizations worldwide admit all freely - male, female and in-between - and their programs are thriving. It is high time to openly serve all youth, regardless of background. Scouting will not die, nor will Sir Robert spin in his grave. Scouting is about Character with a Purpose and Citizenship. Local organizations will still determine their own composition, so if you have a narrow mind, you can always find a Troop that shares it. I will welcome anyone who wishes into my Troop.

Springville, UT

And those of you who claim the Church will no longer be connected to BSA, you're wrong. The BSA is rethinking their policy is because the Church rethought and revised theirs. It's now nothing more than don't ask, don't tell. Then, in ten years or less, it won't matter.

Saint George, UT

It would be so awesome if the first announcement at General Conf in April is that there will no longer be any affiliation with scouting. The YM Program is fully capable of building great young men without scouting. More emphasis could then be placed on building their spirituality which is desperately needed right now. The youth would also be excited to not have to deal with scouting on mutual night or at any other time. Most of the youth have outgrown what scouting has to offer. There are just too many other activities to be involved with. The leaders would be thrilled not to be involved anymore and especially when it comes to friends of scouting. It would be a great move.

Springville, UT

You can actually read the story elsewhere. One of the main reasons the BSA is rethinking its policy is due to the LDS Church's recently softened stance on homosexuality. The Church has gone out of its way to invite LBGT activists to events and discussions since Prop 8. The Church's now gay-friendly tone has influenced the BSA to rethink theirs.

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

It's sad that so many organizations around here are always at least a generation behind reality.
If BSA does this, I may actually encourage my kids to follow through on getting an Eagle.

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

Sadly, I'm not shocked at the bigotry and hatred in these comments.
It starts at home and where you are on Sundays.
Time to do unto to others....

O-town, UT

South Park has an episode specifically covering this issue where a gay scout leader that is doing a good job is removed by the concerned parent an replaced by a man's man type that ends up molesting the children. It's kind of funny, but mostly scary to see it being replayed here.

David brings up many good points. There are measures in place for all scout leaders. I agree with his attitude. I will say it was the LDS church that fired the first shot in Prop 8, by putting a lot of money, and trying to use church organization to fight it. Instead of it being pushed in a respectful manner, many went too aggressive, finally the first presidency had to issue a statement reigning it in. I agree, some in the gay community were too aggressive and disrespectful, but there were some in the LDS community just as bad, and they fired the first shot, they have some fault as well.

Dave D
Pocatello, ID

I'm an eagle scout. I think this gives LDS-sponsored units a wonderful opportunity to prove that they can love and appreciate their gay brothers for who they are.

North Richland Hills, TX

This is the LDS Church policy on "Homosexual Behavior and Same-Gender Attraction":

"Homosexual behavior violates the commandments of God, is contrary to the purposes of human sexuality, and deprives people of the blessings that can be found in family life and in the saving ordinances of the gospel. Those who persist in such behavior or who influence others to do so are subject to Church discipline. Homosexual behavior can be forgiven through sincere repentance.

If members engage in homosexual behavior, Church leaders should help them have a clear understanding of faith in Jesus Christ, the process of repentance, and the purpose of life on earth.

While opposing homosexual behavior, the Church reaches out with understanding and respect to individuals who are attracted to those of the same gender.

If members feel same-gender attraction but do not engage in any homosexual behavior, leaders should support and encourage them in their resolve to live the law of chastity and to control unrighteous thoughts. These members may receive Church callings. If they are worthy and qualified in every other way, they may also hold temple recommends and receive temple ordinances."

I will comment on this below.

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