Comments about ‘Boy Scout board delays decision on gay Scouts, leaders’

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Published: Wednesday, Feb. 6 2013 10:05 a.m. MST

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Tooele, UT

Re: "You do realize the phrase morally straight is not a reference to sexuality right?"

"Morally straight" IS a reference to sexuality. And to honesty. And decency. And to integrity and consistency with one's values. The oath requires scouts to do their duty to God, as well. Those principles have formed the bedrock of the scouting movement since its inception.

The fact that the National Board even contemplates destroying that foundation, and is now insisting it needs several months to think about it, is sending a clear message to the real people that have quietly and proudly staffed and funded scouting for years.

And, it's a message I suspect the National Board will quickly begin to feel in the wallet.

Woods Cross, UT

Watch what happens at the April general conference. The Church could put together a youth program that would make BSA look pathetic.

Saratoga Springs, UT


I could not agree with your post more. I agree with you 100%. Scouts is a racket anyway, when the main leader over all scouts is sitting in Texas bringing down $2MM plus a year and the Utah head guy bringing down over $1MM a year, in a donation driven program. It is just wrong. The reason the SLC council wants to delay the vote is they are scrambling for ways to save their jobs. When and if the church does pull out, they will not need as many scout staff here. It's a racket and I have never supported scouts either way, gay or straight.

Orem, UT

Being morally straight is not just "opposite of gay". It means that you will stick to your moral principles even if it becomes fashionable to abandon them. "Everyone is doing it!", "No one will know!", or "We will lose money if we don't!" are not valid reasons for doing something immoral. Caving into political correctness or changing policy because a bunch of radical protesters are picketing your headquarters aren't valid reasons either.

Times change and moral values can shift, so not much is cast in stone these days, but is nothing sacred anymore?

Just like my daughter will not be camping with men, my sons will not be doing that with guys who openly announce their sexual attraction to them. If that means none of my son's earn their Eagle Scout Award, then so be it.

Bountiful, UT

My daughter is friends with a boy at her school who is gay. When I first heard about him, my daughter told me her friends made fun of him. At the time I told her again what I have always told her, to go out of her way to befriend him and she did. She really likes him for a friend. He comes often to our house as her friend. I don't know if he would want to join scouts, but I think it would be great if he did. It would be a good experience for him assuming the boys treated him as they ought.

I have greater reservations about the leaders though. I do believe most gay leaders would do the right thing, but I also know temptation is temptation. Boy scouts are at the age where many have already experienced puberty so they are young men, not children. As such gay men would be attracted to them which would add a factor of risk.

Leesburg, VA

@ChrisB 1:30
You wrote: "However, I'll add that its is impossible to be an active homosexual and morally straight. Its just not what nature intended".

I have no idea what you mean by that. You see.... I am homosexual 24/7 I can be praying, working, reading, resting, sleeping, I can be celibate, but I'm still homosexual and active, until I die.

You consider your self and others "morally straight" if you abstain from vices and I assume abstain from sex until you marry. Actually, I can agree with that definition. The exception that validate the rule would be that gay men and women should abstain from vices and be celibate until they find the companion with whom they would share the rest of their lives. Unless, of course you already live in a state that allows SSM.

But this is more than a semantic's game. This is an issue of fairness and equality. Besides, if you find that the Boy Scouts are a force for good, shouldn't all kids participate, especially those who are at risk?

Salt Lake City, UT

@Chris B.
"However, I'll add that its is impossible to be an active homosexual and morally straight."

Which is pretty irrelevant when talking about kids at scout camps.

"Is it as far as the LDS church is concerned....and the catholic church ...and every other church that sponsors BSA."

The LDS church has been quite clear that having same-sex attractions is not a sin, only acting on it. Merely being a homosexual is not a sin by LDS standards and thus I see no reason why the LDS church wouldn't be okay with letting chaste homosexuals in the Boy Scouts since that's exactly what they call for in their own faith, same as for chaste heterosexuals. Other churches (the southern baptists definitely) disagree on the matter.

S.Andrew Zaelit
Deseret, UT

There is more to morally straight than sexual orientation just as there is more to living a clean life than basic hygiene. Both are not exclusive of each other. Too often well meaning adults and young men in Scouting parse and parcel the Scout Oath and Scout Law to fit a particular world view. We must remember that both work together to produce the type of young men that will make a difference in the lives of others. We must also remember that there are millions of young men who are not Eagle Scouts or Boy Scouts that do great things. Membership or a patch do not make great young men it is the values, principles, and dedication that make great young men. The Boy Scouts are not for everyone and National would do well to remember that. No organization can be all things to all people or their ideological philosophies. National would also do well to remember that it is the opinion of registered, active members that matters most. Outside groups may mean well but they have no vested interest in the program. Membership should be determined by members only.

Mcallen, TX

Honest, Brave, Clean, and Reverent.

How is this a complex decision? The Boy Scouts I grew with would have given a quick thumbs down.

Let the gays start their own program.


The Boy Scouts of America need to stand tall and state clearly that homosexuals will not be permitted in Scouting under any circumstance. How hard is it to live up to the principles upon which Scouting and normal people abide by? They also need to remove those from the Scouting Board of Directors who disagree with this position. Time to take a clear unambiguous stand!

Rocket Science
Brigham City, UT

As a 30 year veteran scout/scouter, Eagle Scout, Silver Beaver, Wood Badge trained and having been to LDS week at Philmont twice in recent years, I am not ready to say I think the LDS Church will react one way or another to any decision yet to be made on this issue. I am fully confident any decision for the LDS Church's affiliation will be weighed heavily and guided by inspiration. I will choose to follow one I esteem to be a Prophet of God.

I am however tremendously disappointed in those who seem to be overly anxious for the Church to disassociate with the BSA. Some perhaps begrudge requests to give money in support, some will not serve, others have served or are serving but refuse to become trained and/or to know and follow the prescribed programs as outlined. Those who are trained, who know and follow the programs know of the tremendous value Scouting has been to the Church. Anyone who has heard President Monson talk of Scouting knows the church is in it for the Aaronic Priesthood development of our young men and for all boys and young men regardless of their faith.

Johnny Moser
Thayne, WY

I predict that the quantity of NEW Eagle Scouts in UT will decrease significantly in the next 2 years. The LDS church has already started to push away from the scouting program as signified by the Duty To God requirements released several years ago. This will be the straw that broke camels back. What the church does to replace it will be interesting, but I am pretty sure the discussions related to it have been going on at the highest levels of the church for several years at least.

Ricardo Carvalho
Provo, UT

I think this is a wise choice. Organizational change is difficult. It is even more difficulty when it involves core beliefs. While I think that there is value in the BSA being more inclusive, sponsoring organizations need time to discuss and plan for change should that be the decision. Legal implications of a potential change need to be explored as do the possible responses of parents and boys. To rush into such a change or no change is to assure a greater number of problems than needs be. A three month exploration process seems both reasonable and wise.

Vacaville, CA

It is much easier to deal with having a gay Scout in a troop than it would be in allowing gay Scoutmasters, as most Scouts are younger than 16 and would not know what it means to be "morally straight."

I pose a question to anyone who thinks having gay Scout leaders is acceptable. Suppose the scenario is changed slightly --> Your 12 year-old daughter's Girl Scout troop has decided to change its leadership and will now have two "straight" men in charge. Would you allow your daughter to go camping for the weekend with only male supervision?

I dare say the number of parents favoring this scenario would be a round number -- zero.

St. Georg, UT

y71; I love your comment, it gave me a great laugh, but the drive is in September-October.

Rick for Truth
Provo, UT

The real reason for the delay, the "Friends of Scouting" fund drive, it starts now and ends in April, gosh I guess they saw the loss of $ more imprtant than the Gay issues. I will not be donating this year until after they say what their position is. Sorry Bishop.

St. Georg, UT

I am sure that this change will happen at some point. I do think it will make the scouting program stronger, smaller but stronger. Instead of being scouts out of duty, it will become something done out of want. The 6 and 7 figure salaries that the upper leaders get will disappear and that also will be a good thing. When scouts are done because of a love of what it is, it becomes a great thing for the boys. Right now at least in the LDS church it becomes more of a drudgery and misses the mark of its true potential.

Ivins, UT

Scoting is put to the test by the forces in the Gay community. Sustaining members are put to the test also by withholding moderate support with the threat of gay intrusion, as an excuse for not giving. There is only the threat by the active gay forces and this is evil on their part. I know if they get into scout leadership positions it will undermine the Scout Oath.

In the meantime I am giving all the encouragement to my special needs scouts as a scoutmaster in helping two or three of them to finish their Eagle Scout Badges. Right now, there is nothing else out there which can replace the BSA with LDS scouts. Becoming an Eagle Scout is still a lofty goal for my special needs friends, and for the pure in heart, so don't throw cold water on such a good thing folks while the forces of evel are at work to kill it.

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

Mon, 1911-07-31

This date celebrates the founding of America’s first "Negro Boy Scout" troop in 1911.
Opposition was encountered immediately.

Finally in 1971, after 53 years of being "seperate but equal" - The BSA at the national level desegregated the Boy Scouts.

42 years later, the "negroes" didn't destroy Scouting as was thought.

I suspect the same bridge is about to be crossed.

Demo Dave
Holladay, UT

As a scouter for nearly 30 years, I had a bishop tell me once that the day would come when the church would be forced to drop the BSA as its activity arm for young men because they would eventually adopt a gay-inclusive policy.

I would prefer that the church design its own program for young men because scouting in the LDS Church doesn't function the way it's supposed to in the real world. Non-church sponsored troops are sponsored and subsidized by companies who claim the donation as a charitable contribution. Church sponsored troops, on the other hand, are forced to earn their own money through fund-raising, which takes time away from the pursuit of merit badges and instills resentment in ward members who are constantly being asked to buy cookie dough, pizzas, or flag displays.

The "Friends of Scouting" drive is a joke because the money doesn't go to help the boys at all, but rather, it funds the obscene six-figure salaries of the big shots at corporate headquarters while the real leaders volunteer their time. It's time for the church to part ways with the BSA.

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