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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Springville, Ut

Re: USALover
"Being "gay" is a condition of mortality. Nobody will be "gay" in the hereafter."

No one will be disabled, physically or mentally, nor will they be encumbered by illness. They will also not have to endure a society based on ensuring that some people remain in abject poverty.

That doesn't mean these things don't exist in the present. Rather than being concerned about what a deity may or may not do in the future, how about we worry about what we can do in the here and now to each other.

Far East USA, SC

"I cannot imagine Lord Baden-Powell ever considering homosexuality as a virtue for his scouts to emulate. "

Can you say "strawman"?

Acceptance and emulating are far from the same thing.

I look at it this way. It is very difficult to believe (using logic) that people choose to be gay.
Many Religious people seem to have a need to believe that, otherwise it would mean that God made them that way.

How can so many look at this issue and believe that this is the life that people choose? It just makes NO logical sense.

Bill in Nebraska
Maryville, MO

Remember to have same-sex attraction is not a sin. To act upon that attraction is. This is the problem with this whole thing. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is very clear on this issue and they are very clear on same-sex marriage. Neither are in line with the law of chasity. Therefore, if the LDS Church remains in the scouts and puts forth its own guidelines. Those will be in line with the law of chasity and the LDS Church's definition of marriage. There will be someone who will come in to fight those guidelines pushing the Church into a law suit. Since, the national organization would allow gays to be scouts and leaders the church would be there without a leg to stand on regardless what has been stated to allow organizations such as the Church to administer their program. In the end the Church would withdraw from the Scouts to keep itself free of any such lawsuit.

Far East USA, SC

Have you all still not read the release?

How will anything change unless the troop wants it to change.

What is the big deal? Are you all worried about what some other troop in some other state may do?

I really don't get what all the uproar is.

Let me restate what many fail to understand.

The LDS scout troops have no requirement to make a change that allows gay scouts or leaders.


Ogden, UT

I am an Eagle Scout with 3 boys. We will have nothing to do with BSA if this happens.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Agreed that troops can choose their own path. But do we think it will stay that way? In a few more years will it become required for troops to allow homosexual boys and leaders?

Scouting is unlike nearly any other organization because it involves boys and leaders camping out in the middle of nowhere for a week at a time.

Yes, I am fully aware of scout rules regarding two deep leadership and that camping is sometimes done in a developed (well populated) scout camp. But the two deep leadership rule is not always a sufficient protection and high adventure camping is done in wilderness.

The issue is not always pedophilia. Should we allow a scout who just turned adult to be a leader if he is gay (essentially a 19 year old assistant leader with 16 and 17 year old scouts)? Would we allow a 19 year old female leader? If not, why not and what is the difference?

What about two gay scouts bunking together? If we allowed female scouts, could a boy and girl bunk together? Again, if not one, why not the other?

I am not sure of all the answers but undoubtedly this complicates things.

Just Wonderin'
Midvale, UT

I don't believe in mistreating homosexuals whatsoever; however, I am not entirely comfortable with my husband or son(s) sharing a tent with a homosexual. Am I worried a homosexual will assault them? Not at all. I just think it's particularly awkward with changing and taking care of personal needs. I know my husband would not be wanting to worry about another man checking him out while he's getting ready for the day. I wouldn't be comfortable with that if it were a lesbian. Now I'll wait to get blasted... but I'm just honest.

J in AZ
San Tan Valley, AZ

Here's a point for all of you to consider. Scouts Canada is both co-ed and allows gay leaders and youth. The LDS Church is still a major charter partner with Scouts Canada. Since the LDS Church as had experience dealing with the situation in Canada, why would they leave the BSA?

John Wilson
Idaho Falls, 00

If the BSA allows homosexual boys to join, I am okay with that as long as they also provide a clear definition of what it means to be morally straight. The world has lost an understanding of what that means, therefore I would suppose many of the boys in scouting, both hetrosexual and homosexual have as well. If the BSA as a whole strengthens their commitment to scouts being morally straight, meaning no sex outside of marriage, then the LDS Church should have no difficulty in continuing to support the scout program.

Pendleton, OR

As I have read these comments I have at times smiled, at other times frowned and mostly was not surprised. However, I have serious reservations regarding the definition of morally straight in the Scout Oath being used here. It is so much more than descriptive of sexual preference. It is about living a life of integrity and honesty. It is about living up to commitments, and avoiding making commitments that are not part of what you want to be. It is having the courage to seek ways to daily improve one's station in life and one's spiritual, mental, physical, and emotional health. It is about resisting temptations of many kinds including but not limited to sexual dalliance with either gender or self-abuse. It is about choosing to be a contributing part of the community we live in. Wake up people. If persons who think of themselves as "gay" want to participate in Scouting, then they would automatically be exposed to the Scout Oath and Law which in turn, if adhered to and honored, would effect their position as "gay" at least in how they choose to live.

J in AZ
San Tan Valley, AZ

Note to John Wilson: In the Boy Scout Handbook

. . . and morally straight.

To be a person of strong character, your relationships with others should be honest and open. You should respect and defend the rights of all people. Be clean in your speech and actions, and remain faithful in your religious beliefs. The values you practice as a Scout will help you shape a life of virtue and self-reliance.
Excerpted from page 45-46, Boy Scout Handbook, 11th ed,
(#33105), copyright 1998 by BSA, ISBN 0-8395-3105-2

J in AZ
San Tan Valley, AZ

For those of you that think that a church can be sued to force it to accept leaders, scout leaders, or employees that don't support the standards of the church need to read the Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC decision of the U.S. Supreme Court. That decision shuts the door on that.

Springville, Ut

Re: Patriot

"would you be willing to send your 12 year old son in to the back woods camping for a week with some of those "gay brothers" leaders you speak of?"

My brother used to have sleepovers at a friend's house whose father was gay. Neither I nor my parents had any problem with it.

I would have no more of a problem sending my sons with gay leaders who were called to that position by my Bishop, than I would sending them on a camping trip with heterosexual leaders. Before I send my kids out, my list of questions doesn't include "Are you gay?" They include, "Do you have first aid supplies? Do you need any help? When are you planning on getting back?" I'm more concerned about my kids' safety, than if a guy is gay. Gay people aren't any more or less a danger to my sons than heterosexual people.

John Wilson
Idaho Falls, 00

Note to J in AZ. "to be clean in your speech and actions". It was not that many years ago, that statement was clearly understood to mean chaste. It is no longer clearly understood, again amoung both heterosexual and homosexual persons. That is the part I want to see the BSA take a strong stand on. If they will not, then they are no longer an organization I can support.

John Wilson
Idaho Falls, 00

Also, to J in AZ. "a life of virtue" also used to be clearly understood. Today's shifting morals leave that part no longer clear to many. My recommendation to the BSA is to make clear to the world what it means by virtue.

J in AZ
San Tan Valley, AZ

Mr. Wilson,

Wisely BSA leaves the definition of what 'a life of virtue' means up to the parents of the youth and the organizations that sponsor scouting units. It would be a serious display of arrogance for them to presume to define what that means. BSA works with lots of religious groups that don't agree with each other on what morality fully means as well as lots of groups that sponsor scouting that think that this whole controversy is just silly. It is not the place of the BSA to pick one meaning over another.

Sugar City, ID

Homosexual men should not take boy scouts camping for the same reason that heterosexual men should not take Beehive girls camping.

Layton, UT

So glad to see the BSA considering this change. Up until I moved last October, I was a scout leader in my LDS ward, and the BSA's anti-gay policy bothered me. If one of the boys in my priests quorum came out as gay, church policy was that I was supposed to encourage him to keep participating. He can hold a temple recommend and I can take him to do baptisms, but according to the BSA I was supposed to tell him he couldn't come to scout camp? I decided if the situation came up, I would go with the church policy and ignore the scouting anti-gay policy. I am so glad they are finally talking about this change. It is long overdue.

Murray, UT

I assume some type of letter from the First Presidency will be read over the pulpit either this Sunday or the next. It had to come to this. How else could a young man be worthy of the Aaronic Priesthood and receive it or an adult man be worthy of a Temple Recommend yet be denied membership in the scout troop or in the adult's case a calling as a scout leader because of same sex attractions and saying they are gay? When the church made the distinction some time ago between same sex attractions and acting on those attractions it had to come to this conclusion. I think it is the Lord's way of saying, I want to keep these individuals close to me and if they forsake the practices or have never done them and live the commandments there is no need to withhold anything from them. If indeed the church has led the national scouting organization to this position then I applaud the effort.

Nampa, ID

As a Scout leader in an LDS unit, I believe scouting makes boys better men. Gay or not, if you leave scouts as a better man, thank you for showing up. There are plenty of heterosexual kids that could care less about what kind of man they turn out to be.

I don't know why some would want to lump gay people in the same pile as child molesters. Child molesters that prey on kids of the same sex are not gay, they are predators. Predators look for victims don't care what sex you are, they are only looking for victims.

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