Comments about ‘Boy Scouts survey seeks feedback on ban of gay Scouts’

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Published: Tuesday, March 12 2013 6:30 p.m. MDT

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San Diego Chargers Fan
San Diego, CA

This is much ado about nothing. The membership policy should have been changed 10 years ago. BSA already has dozens of mechanisms to ensure that a homosexual leader cannot attack a boy.
All new leaders are subjected to a background check to ensure they are not a child predator. All leaders must be trained in youth protection guidelines to ensure a boy will not be a victim. Leaders are trained to step in quickly to avoid, and to quickly report, any violations of these policies.

In addition, LDS units have plenty of additional layers of oversight which would keep a homosexual out. Consider an openly gay LDS man who approaches the troop leader asking to be a scout leader. In LDS units, many factors are considered when the bishopric calls a new scout leader, including "worthiness" of the candidate as well as the needs of the boys. There are plenty of reasons NOT to call someone to be a scout leader, apart from whether he is openly gay.

Finally, as a scoutmaster, I have been on over a hundred outings and sexuality has never been a topic of discussion around the campfire. Again, much ado about nothing.

Austin DN Reader
Austin, TX

@San Diego Chargers Fan. See the Austin Statesman, the Martin Turner case that was just settled. 26 year Scouter, just busted for molesting 3 boys. Still happens, and I'm sure it's still happening.

Go Big Blue!!!
Bountiful, UT

Homosexual is not the same as a sexual preditor.I would wager that most secual abuse against boys in scouting has been perpetraited by married man living in the heterosexual world.

As long as a troop has two-deep leadership that follow the scouting guidelines I have no problem sending my son to scout camp. I agree with Chargers Fan.

War dog
Taylorsville, UT

A boy or girl no matter what their sexual orientation should be allowed in scouting. No amount of regulations or background checks will stop a predator, only a fool would believe it would

Jonathan Eddy
Payson, UT

Just end the relationship already. The BSA is just another corporation that has succumbed to peer pressure in this awful period of secularism and has compromised its core values.

If it wasn't for the fear of losing "friends of scouting" donations, BSA leadership would have made the "switch" years ago.

Rick for Truth
Provo, UT

I have withheld my "Friends of Souting donation" and will await the outcome. Even if the LDS Church caves, I will not.

Centerville, UT

What does the Scout Law and Oath mean?

What does "morally straight" mean?

What does "duty to God" mean?

If a religion teaches that homosexuality is wrong, does someone that doesn't agree with that teaching have the right to try and force a change within that religion?

Upon what basis might the religion believe that homosexuality is wrong?

If the basis is historical and scriptural, should that basis and belief be respected.

What does the US Constitution or Bill of Rights state regarding religion?

What is the right of religion in this country to establish and maintain doctrinal beliefs?

Is there risk in allowing courts, government, special interest groups, or others to try to force a religion to adopt practices that are contrary to their beliefs?

Are there protections under the law that keep courts, government, special interest groups or others who abuse religions over doctrinal issues to be held accountable for their abuses (vandalism, for example).

Does the traditional values of Scouting mean anything today? What are those traditional values? Did those values provide meaningful structure, teachings, or foundation to the lives of Boy Scouts?

Do those traditional values harm others?

Far East USA, SC

This will be a local issue.

Talk to your local chartering org.

It is very easy to skip events that would mingle scouts from other areas. If you are concerned about this, work to insure that your local group is in line with your beliefs and have your kid forgo any activities that involve other troops that are not in line with your beliefs.

Problem solved.

Well, that is unless your are intent on forcing your beliefs on others that dont affect you.

Idaho Falls, ID

@Jonathan Eddy

I couldn't agree with you more. My son worked at a camp for the summer, and the director ended up paying him what amounted to $1 an hour plus room (a tent) and board. Then, while the CEO of Scouting was pulling down a $4 million dollar retirement package, my son had to buy his Staff Jacket (he was required to wear) out of that $1/hour. My wife spent one whole Saturday teaching at a Jamboral. To show how much they appreciated it, they allowed her to PAY FOR HER OWN lunch that was provided, while I assume the professional scouters ate for free.

byu rugby
Crystal Lake, IL

BSA is making a huge and irreversible mistake if they succumb to those who would destroy the organization for the sake of being politically correct. furthermore, if it happens, the numbers of those joining because of the action be a small drop in the bucket compared to flood of participants leaving.

It is always interesting that the groups that demand acceptance and understanding for themselves cannot provide it to anyone else.

Bealeton, VA

After taking the survey I became concerned the BSA has already set course to offload this decision on chartered organizations. It may give the LDS Church a welcome way to maintain involvement without admitting openly gay leaders, but by dividing and conquering,radical factions may have already won.

If this is the case, they cowed BSA into abandoning founding principles. They have also set up any smaller chartered organizations who choose not to allow gay members/leaders to endure the public pressure & possible future litigation alone. A cowardly way to avoid losing money @ the top and save face amidst heavy advocacy group pressure.

Results of tactics used by these groups are either slow death by perpetual, unrelenting smear campaigns & resource draining litigation or suicide by surrendering core beliefs upon which their entire existence was founded to appeasement.

I wish BSA would stand up to the pressure groups. BSA is not intolerant of having gay members--currently there are many participating. It's about who they want at the rudder. Gay radicals aren't satisfied until they call ALL the shots.

Stansbury Park, UT

David Centerville

You bring up great points. I think the issue with the BSA if they allow the change is really about money. With the risk of loosing corporate sponsors and other legal issue they want a change. Does not make sense because goes against there foundation of values. It is amazing how "we" or really the BSA can justify this change, but when it comes to protecting there salaries seems that is more important then the core values and what the masses think. We can justify anything these days to meet our needs weather right or wrong.

Window Rock, AZ

All human beings have a dark side. I am sure that there are those that lust after the opposite sex however will not admit it and are part of the BSA. so it would be hypocritical to not allow others not of their belief into the organization. Mormons are not accepted everywhere; however, they have rights as well as the Gay Comuninity. Everybody has rights even though we may not believe in their belief system. It is respect for others. Jesus protected the prostitute from being stoned; stop throwing stones at others not of your belief.

Tim Hunt

If the BSA committee allows for the chartered organizations to make the decision, we may see the chartered organizations who don't accept gay scouts and leaders being sued by individuals. That probably won't last too long before those organizations decide to drop the program. Eventually, the only chartered organizations left would be gay ones. I know this is a slippery slope argument, but can anyone honestly tell me that they believe no one will sue the chartered organizations that don't allow gay scouts and scout leaders? And do we honestly believe those church sponsored organizations will continue the relationship with BSA in the face of lawsuits?

Fender Bender
Saint George, UT

#1. When I was a teenager, I was very active in Boy Scouts. We had a lot of young men in our ward, and although our leaders were all good men, it was simply not possible for them to keep an eye on over 20 boys. Our troop had some fun activities, and we went to some neat places for scout camps, such as Yellowstone and Lake Powell. However, hen I think back on my days spent in the BSA program, my predominant memories are of the gambling, swearing, smoking, bullying, vandalizing, and fighting that mostly went on behind our leaders backs at scout camps. When my son is a teenager, I won't be upset if he doesn't want to participate in scouting. If my bishop ever calls me to be a Boy Scout leader, that's the one calling I won't feel bad about turning down. Based on my own experience, I think the potential harm from scouting done wrong outweighs the potential good from scouting done right.

Fender Bender
Saint George, UT

#2. I have a friend who is a Boy Scout leader in his LDS ward. There is a young man in his troop who is physically intimate with his girlfriend. This boy doesn't come to church, but he does participate in scouting. The leadership in that ward sees scouting as a kind of outreach opportunity - a way to involve this boy with his peers who could be a positive influence. If there's no problem with this boy participating in the LDS scouting program, why would there be any problem allowing an openly gay scout to participate - especially one who is celibate? This seems especially ridiculous given the statements the LDS Church has made over the last decade emphasizing that being gay is not a sin as long as you "don't act on those urges", and that homosexual relationships are no worse than heterosexual relationships outside of marriage.

Carol P. Warnick
Ephraim, Utah

The Scout pledge speaks for itself "morally straight." Should that be changed after being recited by Scouts for over a hundred years? This was meant to be taken seriously by generations of Scouts as a moral code of conduct. It shouldn't be revized or changed.

Jim Cobabe
Provo, UT

Tempest in a teapot. By the very name of the organization, "Boy Scouts of America", promotes values that are and have been perfectly moral and acceptable to the majority of participants and supporters. Now, in an attempt at social engineering, a small minority claiming to be "different" wishes to change this in order to accomodate a different set of values. In legal terms this is commonly known as "special pleading", and is not sufficient justification for changing the rules. Let the "LGBT" community create and support their own organization, "LGBT Scouts" that caters to and fosters acceptance of the deviant behavior that they seek to normalize and force on everyone else.

Murray, UT

The survey is flawed because it does not define or deferentiate between active behavior and inclinations that are not and may not ever be acted upon. I started the survey but did not complete it because I could not articulate the diffence between active behavior and inclinations and the examples given did not distinguish the issues either.

Fender Bender
Saint George, UT

RE: Jim Cobabe

Your argument (how we shouldn't bend to the wishes of a small minority that wants the establishment to accomodate a set of values different from the well-established norm) could have been easily used against the de-segregation movement of the '60s. Indeed, your suggestion that the LGBT community should create its own organization strikes me as a "seperate-but-equal" sort of mentality.

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