Comments about ‘Boy Scouts of America proposal would end ban on gay youths, but keep ban on gay leaders’

Return to article »

Published: Friday, April 19 2013 11:30 a.m. MDT

  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended
Rock Springs, WY

Agree with patriot, How does a 12 year old know if he is gay or not until he acts upon any feeling or thoughts he has towards sex. If I think about pot and want to get high smoking it. Am I a pothead before I actually start smoking it.

Bartlett, TN

The BSA is an awesome organization and has been for many years. The "agenda" is to destroy the BSA by driving out the religious support. I think the churches should fight tooth and nail to save it and it's standards and not jump ship unless it is absolutely beyond saving.

Canyon, Texas

The LDS Church does not need the Boy Scouts. Within a few months, we could build our own organization that does the same things -- and probably for cheaper. If we want an established organization with a proven track record, there's always DeMolay.

The issue isn't the "orientation," it's the activity. I had a gay scout master. He and his gay buddies made the only two campouts I went on pure hell. I would have never known if they kept it to themselves.

But you know what? We also don't let "practicing" alcoholics be scout masters or youth leaders. But an alcoholic who is clean and sober has no problems being given that kind of position.

Tooele, UT


"If the BSA concedes to this pressure, like so many other private organizations have over the years, then it is a loss to everyone that believes one has a right to choose who one desires to associate with."

This is why, I can easily a time in which churches will not only be forced to marry same-sex couples, but forced to abandon any "politically incorrect" practices, ceremonies or doctrines which they may have.

Ironic that those who claim to be the strongest defenders of the separation of church and state are among those working hardest to butt into churches, demanding they conform to their own ideas and agendas.

Harwich, MA

What surprises me in all of this is how many of YOU simply deny the fact that many of your sons, brothers, fathers and associates are gay. 11 to 15% of all men and women are. Growing up in the Utah culture makes it extremely difficult to "come out" so they don't. Don't put your heads in the sand and play like this isn't so. It's time for the Church and it's members to stop this silly discrimination and accept people for who they are, not for who they expect them to be.

G L W8

Once again: the legal issue is the real can of worms here, folks! So-called gays are using the courts, politics, and "human rights" issues to gain open acceptance of their lifestyles. Those of you saying sexual orientation is nobody else's business are absolutely correct! But they're using courts and public opinion to make it our business!

We'd be better off to keep some things personal and quit worrying about banning boys. But the gays won't let it be! Court cases will be a reality for years to come regardless of what the BSA decides.

Some boys bully, even to the extent of threatening other boys' lives. Are we going to ban them too?

As to the "sleep-over" questions: Isn't "two deep" leadership (and that means two leaders in tandem patrolling outside tents while the boys go to sleep) part of the solution? Camping is an important part of scouting, leaders just need to make it safe.

Jeremy Parker
Petersburg, Alaska

I do not think that any sexually active scout should be allowed to continue on. I do not want my kids associating with kids who now have one foot in adulthood prematurely. If a kid wants to be a grown-up let them be and not a scout. Keep the purity and decency in tact for those who choose the proper order of things.

Copy Cat
Murray, UT

one vote
Salt Lake City, UT
"This could end LDS church domination of local troops. Excellent."

While you are celebrating, remember that what you call 'domination' is also called massive support.

Also remember that there are many many boys who will not be participating in scouts, if this change goes through.

You want to kick all those boys out? You are the one being discriminatory and exclusive.

Philippine Bonita
Sammamish, WA

@John20000 wrote, " There is a huge, huge difference between performing homosexual acts and feeling a sexual attraction towards the same gender. I am adamantly opposed to the Boys Scouts embracing teenagers (or adults) who are performing homosexual acts and are thinking there is nothing wrong with that. I am adamantly in favor of the Boy Scouts embracing teenagers (and adults) who feel a sexual attraction towards the same gender, but choose not to act on it"


Philippine Bonita
Sammamish, WA

@Tolstoy, sorry luv, the Boy Scouts of America IS a faith-based organization.

Philippine Bonita
Sammamish, WA

@Really??? Can you clarify your post? If your friend took his life 20 years ago How did you recently read a Facebook post by him while Facebook has only been around for 9 years? I am not criticizing, just a little confused.
I am saddened that families sometimes react in un-Christian ways to the coming out of gay family members and VERY sad to hear of situations like the one you describe where the isolation is so complete and painful that someone would see no other choice but to end their life.
Could please clarify your post so that I understand you better? Thanks.

Philippine Bonita
Sammamish, WA

"... The vast majority of Scout-age boys who think they are gay are simply confused at their age and need all the acceptance they can get...an openly gay leader...... can influence my son that homosexuality is acceptable when it's not. Though it's a temptation.....acting on that temptation is never acceptable--and I don't want my son spendig time with men or women who clearly think it is."

Notice that Denverite did not say that gay members of society do not have value. Notice that he did not say that he hates them or thinks they are pedophiles. He said he does not want his on spending time with men or women who feel that acting on homosexual feelings is acceptable.

Allen, TX

"As to the "sleep-over" questions: Isn't "two deep" leadership (and that means two leaders in tandem patrolling outside tents while the boys go to sleep) part of the solution? Camping is an important part of scouting, leaders just need to make it safe."


I bet there aren't 1/2 of 1% of troops that have this type of supervision. As soon as it's lights out, the leaders are sawing logs, or playing cards, or sneaking off to sleep in their truck, where it's warm......

Allen, TX

As I see it, the LDS Church has the following choices and consequences if it accepts a BSA ruling that gay boys can be accepted, but gay adult leaders cannot:

1) The Church may choose to adopt its own policy of continuing to exclude, with the SCOTUS' legal backing of freedom of association. This however will cause an issue when LDS troops join with non-LDS troops at Scout Camps or Jamborees.

2) The LDS Church may accept the new policy, but will suffer a severe lack of male leaders willing to associate with a group that now fosters a position that they disagree with on moral grounds. Not only Scoutmasters, but all YM Presidencies and Advisers will have to be allowed to resign their post without repercussion or denigration by local leadership. I'm not saying all would, but the article indicates that in Utah 70%+ would, and I believe that in much of the heartland the numbers would be similar.

3) Discontinue scouting as the mechanism for YM activities. As few LDS troops run the program by the book anyway, which do you think is likely?

#3 would be easiest. Just re-route their FOS $$ to a new program.

Two For Flinching
Salt Lake City, UT

@ wYo8

So did you not know you were straight until you acted on those feelings?

District Heights, MD

A quick note for those who say shame on those who don't agree on letting gay youth and adults members into the BSA; remember there are many clubs, organizations who cater to certain preferences so if your not happy with one create one in the image of what you wish. Keep in mind that young men have raging hormones and some have trouble with these urges so some youth will be approached with requests for sex by homosexual peers. We can love all but not inappropriate behavior.
There will be some who will say< "Oh no, there will be no young men asking to have sex with heterosexual young boys." I tell you that growing up I was asked many times by a homosexual youth to engage in inappropriate behavior on weekends. Was very hard to deal with.The BSA is only trying to protect youth which is their # 1 priority.

Olympia, WA

I think this is probably the only reasonable solution, as it allows scouting to reach out to those young men who have same sex attraction, without condoning a young man's decision to act on those feelings. Although I do think a man who has same-sex attraction, but who doesn't act on those feelings, could still be a good scout leader, I don't think the scouting program is ready or even able to try to make that distinction for scout leaders. I do think that is the ideal criteria though, and is the one the LDS church currently uses, as there are many people who do have same sex attraction, who don't act on it and who don't dwell on it or parade it around like a badge of honor, who are yet active and faithful LDS church members in every way. Some are even married happily to a person of the opposite sex.

Tooele, UT

As a hetero ScoutMaster / leader of several yeras I am deeply conflicted by this.

Scouting has been a great activity for numerous young boys in my neighborhood. Even my own sons have enjoyed being in scouts. I enjoy teaching the lessons from the Scout manual and having some fun and safe outdoor experiences.

Sex or sexual preference has never been a part of any lesson in scouting that I have taught or been taught. I have learned as much from scouting as I have taught btw.

The nearest to the topic of sex that we get to is morality and personal safety. It will be difficult to mesh the religious beliefs of LDS troops with this new policy.

While I don't personally see any issues with including gay boys in scouts, I have a hard time seeing how a boy aged 8-11 can feel any sexuality towards anyone. Boys that age should be curious about pocket knives, frogs, safe campfires and smores. Not sexuality.

If someone is pushing the open sexuality of this age group something is wrong. Something perverse is being pushed onto a group that doesn't want it.

Salt Lake City, UT

The problem is this policy would basically suggest "okay here's your Eagle Scout, now get out, you aren't welcome anymore".

Salt Lake City, UT

Heres to the church pulling its support if this passes and starting it's own scouting program.

to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments