Comments about ‘Wright Words: What the Boy Scouts of America decision means for your son’

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Published: Tuesday, May 28 2013 11:00 a.m. MDT

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Commenter88
Salt Lake City, Utah

I disagree. Scouting and sexual orientation have no connection, so I wouldn't introduce it in this context. It was never the design of scouting to exclude any boys based on orientation, but to preserve the experience as a place free from such politicized and distracting topics. Admittedly, the public cultural messages regarding this topic are insipid and full of bromides, but its not up to scouting to add substance to the dialogue. Quite the opposite. For my son, scouting is the same. If he has a question, he will ask. I think the opportunity requires more nuance than seizing.

NC Rick
Chapel Hill, NC

Very good suggestions and perspective here Jason. As and LDS parent of two boy scouts, thanks. The one addition I'd make though is the insight that the church has actually been more liberal than BSA historically in that they've never excluded anyone based on sexual orientation (at least not to my knowledge) whereas BSA has long had that discriminatory policy in place and still does with respect to scout leaders. I'd also add that BSA is still being hypocritical as (to my knowledge) a gay man who is celibate cannot be a leader in scouts but a single, straight man who is not, can (not in LDS troops, but in others). That seems like a bad double-standard.

The Economist
Newport, PA

I think there is no problem with Scouts admitting young men who openly acknowledge they feel a same-sex attraction. I think we have become more civilized as a society to recognize that the attraction by itself is not threatening anyone. BYU changed its Honor Code several years back to reflect the same thing. But the values haven't changed. Scouting still does not encourage any sexual behavior so claims that Scouts are now allowing open Homosexuality are ridiculous.

Rocket Science
Brigham City, UT

Excellent article Jason! Your 3 points to talk with our youth about are excellent, they are crucial, they are what we need more discussion of in society. I do agree; scouting has not changed, the same standards, values, morals and expectations are in place and have not changed.

Youth will have questions and while a very few may ask a question here or there we are fooling ourselves if we think we can wait until they come to us with a question. It is up to the parents to bring up topics of sexual standards, values, morals and expectations. If we don't start the discussion our youth will learn from another source.

Opinionated
Sandy, UT

I understand the article and the comments made so far. For the most part I agree. However, the point being missed here is that the gay community will interpret this as a partial victory and a sign that we as a society are becoming more accepting of them. Here I part ways with the BSA. In my opinion, any sexual behavior outside a legally binding marriage should not be condoned. In my opinion, marriage should stay defined as between one man and one woman, recognizing marriage as the foundation of a strong family. In my opinion, any homosexual behavior (not tendencies) is wrong. I reject that life style as I do the lifestyle of pedophilia etc.

Linus
Bountiful, UT

I think part of the problem relates to the definition of terms. Those who are still denied participation in Scouting are those who are "openly gay." There is no prohibition for those who are privately coping with "same-sex attraction." It is "behavior" that disqualifies the one and not the other, because that behavior is contrary to Scouting principles, values, and standards. "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God." Those adults who flaunt their indiscretions and seek public approval of their sexual sins, whether homosexual or heterosexual, are likely to be denied leadership roles among the young men who participate in The Boy Scouts of America.

My heart goes out to good men who cope virtuously with same-sex attraction. I have little patience for the "openly gay" men who seek access to such a pool of virtuous young men.

MapleDon
Springville, UT

Jason:

Any reason you left out "clean" from the Scout Law?

Funny to see many LDS now converting to the Unitarian "God Loves Everyone...especially those who are gay" mantra. Just a reminder, if we are going to accept one sexual deviation, then we need to accept all others...including polygamy. Aren't these polygamists also our brothers and sisters? Doesn't God love them as much as those in the LGBT community?

coleman51
Orem, UT

I would hope that with this policy, there is a clear line of demarcation regarding scout leaders. No doubt this will bring legal problems to the BSA, but in this culture, that is to be expected. In regards to leaders, the BSA needs to be clear that no one who is gay can be a scoutmaster, an assistant scoutmaster, a member of a scout committee, a district level or national level leader, and cannot be a sponsor of any scouting troop. If this policy is not clear, it will be challenged in court.

worf
Mcallen, TX

@The Economist:

"I think we have become more civilized as a society to recognize that the attraction by itself is not threatening anyone".

You must be joking! How about the three girls kidnapped in Ohio? How about Elizabeth Smart, or, the boys at Penn State.

Attraction is so open and, advertised.

I would say it's very threatening, and I would never place a boy with an openly gay leader.

Hornistin
Dallas area, TX

This article is well written. I have read the Church's statement, too, regarding the BSA delegates' vote. My "issue" with all of this is the BSA membership policy was never "broke"-- and did not need to be "fixed", except that the LGBT today is very vocal today. It is no more than maybe 3% of our population. They are simply very vocal, and are currently succeeding at making many groups bow down to what they want.

The Church's statement says it the BSA as it leads our young men into lives that are morally straight. Read it closely- that is what it says.

Being an artist, I associate with many "gay" people- I have absolutely nothing "against" them. I have two sons, one an Eagle, one nearly an Eagle. We talk openly in our home about sexual issues in all their "forms". They know what is right. I venture to say our family is not unusual in this.

Writing something down opens it to manipulation. The BSAs original membership policy is sound and needed no modification. Now that it is written down, our culture being what it is today, I fear greatly that it will now be manipulated further.

oddman
,

When serving as scoutmaster for 6 years I had two young men who were homosexual although not openly and didn't avow such until several years later. They were a good addition to our troop. In my opinion there was no need for change in policy and these young men were accepted and seemed to enjoy the outdoor activities and the learning experience we provided. Regarding the article: if the writer is going to quote the Scout Law he should include it in its entirety:, A scout is helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent. That covers a lot more ground than then the portion he chose to highlight.

Rikitikitavi
Cardston, Alberta

@maple don
Clearly you misunderstand or misinterpret the LDS position on SSA. There is absolutely no acceptance of sexual deviation! None whatsoever! The issue is acceptance of those with SSA who are living virtuous lives(not sexually involved).

TA1
Alexandria, VA

Thanks for a great even tempered article.

raybies
Layton, UT

oddman: motes and beams my friend, regarding the scout law, you forgot Trustworthy, Loyal...

whatacountry
hurst, TX

what sucks about this is neither side is happy. the gay community insists boy scouts didn't go far enough since it does not include gay leaders. the straight community is not happy because they feel their boys are not going to be safe and they are being subjected to sexual topics which should NOT be a part of the scouting experience, such a sad situation. a lose a lose proposition.

KellyWSmith
Sparks, NV

The LDS Church has the right view on this issue and will remove those who participate in inappropriate sexual behavior. I support their decision.

The problem is that this decision will not reduce the pressure on the BSA and will only encourage the LGBT community until they get everything they want. They can't stand any organization that says that what they are doing is wrong. The BSA have now opened the doors to additional lawsuits and created some very nervous parents.

What parent would want to send their son on a campout with an openly gay scout? The parents would sue if something happened between them and the leaders would be caught in the middle.

The BSA has chosen money over morality and it is a sad day in our country. They should have stood their ground and left the original policy in place. Already there are numerous groups and churches that are leaving scouts, and it has been a heart wrenching decision for them.

I personally resigned as District Chairman because I cannot be in a position of having to enforce a ruling I do not agree with.

bergermough
Sheffield, 00

'What parent would want to send their son on a campout with an openly gay scout?' Would you say `what parent would want to send their son out on a campout with an openly black scout?' The logic - or complete and utter lack of it - is identical. My kids have several friends with same sex parents. Those folks do a perfectly good job. Their sexuality has absolutely nothing to do with their capacity to parent. Move on.

Contrarius
Lebanon, TN

@KellyWSmith --

"What parent would want to send their son on a campout with an openly gay scout?'"

You've always sent your sons out with gay scouts. The only difference now is that gay scouts can be honest about it.

@Hornistin --

" It (gays) is no more than maybe 3% of our population."

Gays are 3-5% of the population. Mormons are less than 2% of the US population. Do you really want to make claims based on group size?

@worf --

"How about Elizabeth Smart, or, the boys at Penn State......I would say it's very threatening, and I would never place a boy with an openly gay leader."

You bring up a good point, Worf.

Most abuse of children, of either gender, is perpetrated by adult men who are straight (or perceived to be straight). In fact, the most recent case of abuse in the BSA involved a married man.

So let's ban all straight men from being scout leaders.

@MapleDon --

"if we are going to accept one sexual deviation, then we need to accept all others...including polygamy."

Why would the BSA **not** accept the children of polygamists?? Those kids haven't done anything wrong.

nvfostermom
LAS VEGAS, NV

AS a mom of a gay son, I am grateful for the decision as well as people like you Jason who exemplify what Christ taught. Love one another, Bear one anothers burdens. This really isn't a sexual issue. It is very frustrating that people want to lump all gays into the category of Pedophiles or sodomizes etc. It is actually sickening. To see my sweet son and have to worry about those who will bully or worse even Physically harm him because of how he was born is scary. Even within the church there is so much judging and criticizing. WE are chasing these young men out of the church and in many instances even casuing them to take their lives. Parents please think about what you are doing and teaching.

FT1/SS
Virginia Beach, VA

@Contrarius, you may want to check your math. Your statement and numbers don't add up. Considering the average patrol may have about 8 members.

"You've always sent your sons out with gay scouts". "Gays are 3-5% of the population". There would be 3-5 gays out of a hundred scouts. So everytime I sent my son on an overnight, unlikely there were gays joining with them.

"So let's ban all straight men from being scout leaders". No straight man has ever crossed the line. The moment the thought enters there mind, there not straight. Bi or gay, yes.

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