As a long-term scout leader and member of the LDS faith I have observed boys in
our scouting organization who have displayed gay tendencies but who also
displayed great enthusiasm for the aims of scouting and who conducted themselves
with honor and distinction. Like the other boys in our units, they are sons of
God and deserve our love and support for the many good things that they do.
Sexual misbehavior by any of our youth, gay or otherwise, has been unacceptable
from the beginning of the Boy Scouts of America and will remain so in the
future. There is no need to deny a young man membership in the activity arm of
the Aaronic Priesthood when he has done no wrong. As for me and my house, we
will continue to support the Friends of Scouting initiative till the day we die.
I am grateful for Church leaders who saw the light in this matter and saw no
reason to change course. I sustain them. I hope that the disaffected among us
will eventually see the light and come around to the same conclusion.
@suzyk# -- "our boys are vulnerable to even more chances of
being exposed to thoughts and feelings of the homosexual scout. ...It only takes
one time for something to be said or be done that will negatively affect our
scouts lives forever."What do you think a gay scout could
possibly say that would so seriously traumatize a straight one?The
LDS church recognizes that being gay isn't a choice -- so it's not
like a gay scout is going to somehow "convert" a straight one. And, jeez, if you can't stand for your straight son to even HEAR about
homosexuality, then you'd better lock him up in his room and take away the
TV and computer.What, precisely, are you worried about that gay
I've given this decision a great deal of thought. My biggest concern still
is the ever present fact that our boys are vulnerable to even more chances of
being exposed to thoughts and feelings of the homosexual scout. It natural to
say what you think and feel especially when you have been brought up to believe
it is "okay" and you are no less better than anyone else. But they are
the minority and will most likely use this opportunity to express their
feelings. It only takes one time for something to be said or be done that will
negatively affect our scouts lives forever. I pray that will not happen.
I think to some extent the discussion involved here have people talking around
eachother. To some people the term "openly gay" implies acting on
feelings and attractions, while it is clear from various statements that as
interpreted by scout leaders in Utah, they will continue to discorage sexual
actions of any kind by boyscouts. The debates are not helped by the
fact that some people use bait-and-switch tactics meant to paint the views of
others in a bad light. I have not seen that much done in this specific
discussion but its prevalance in other discussions has hurt this one.I still think a big problem is the whole rhetoric of "so and so is
gay". It is much more helpful to say that they have same-gender attraction
and related things. Of course it robs some people of their ability to be
sensationalistic, but it makes it much clearer what people are actually
I am not sure why people are up in arms about this at all. From what the scout
executives interviewed in this article said, I have the impression that there
will be virtually no change for how boyscouts actually experience boyscouting.
The organization was not searching out and expelling people who were alleged to
have same-gender attraction in the past, so I am not convinced the new policy
will really change anything.I think we should continue to support
the organization as we have in the past, because for the vast majority of cases
this has not really changed anything at all.
There have been gay scouts in troops for years. They have just had to hide for
fear of being persecuted. I have a gay son that was just starting his eagle
project as this controversy began rearing its head. He made the decision that
since the BSA didn't accept him for who he is inside, then he didn't
need the title or badge or pin to indicate that he is a leader and a young man
with integrity. So good LDS folks, I have a question for you. Since the church
has come to the conclusion that same-gender attraction is not a choice (see
mormonsandgays.org) and Scouting is the Young Men's program for the church,
how can you in good conscience take a stand that young men dealing with
same-gender attraction should be excluded from the Young Men's program?
Shall we cast them out? Shall we cut them off from the benefit of strong male
role models? Sexuality and Scouting should have nothing to do with each other.
That said, it is my opinion that gay men should not be boy scout leaders, nor
should straight men be leaders in the Girl Scouts.
This article is statistically premature to draw any conclusions. The fallout
from this decision will take years to unfold. The LDS church will buffer the
real consequences for some time. Local boys still deserve our support, but
"friends of scouting" will see a precipitous drop.
As a single mother of four children, three of them boys all in scouts. I'm
thankful for the new ruling. Because one of my sons is gay. I've known
for several months now and have been heartbroken for the challenges that he
faces. He's always wanted to be an eagle scout and has struggled with his
identity and integrity in the scouting program. Now there is a place for him to
keep his integrity and yet acknowlege himself. As a mother, I am grateful that
he still has the opportunity to learn from his scout leaders the skills and
moral values that he'll need to grow up to be a strong man. I shed tears
when I read comments from people who think that my son is not worthy to be lead
by righteous, strong men and wonder why they think he's someone who
doesn't deserve to have great leaders. But I'd rather those leaders
exit scouting so he doesn't become a victim of their ridicule or bias. A
huge THANK YOU to all those men who are willing to stay and be great examples to
those young men who need them!
This article is a bit premature, especially as it applies to Mormons. While the
LDS Church isn't leaving the BSA (exactly the opposite), some of us Leaders
(and our kids) are. We just don't exactly know how. I talked to my Bishop
about it last night, and agreed to stay on through Scout Camp (next week). Even
then...I'll be released, but still on the BSA membership roles. Have to
call the district, I guess to be removed, and make sure my son isn't
automatically added to the charter next year.
The ink is still wet from signing this new policy. It is premature to announce
that this change will have little to no impact. Several evangelical and
conservative Christian churches have announced their withdrawal from the
program. The Catholic Church is mulling this over...but is clearly not endorsing
the policy.Only the LDS and Methodist Churches remain.The LDS Church has been working feverishly over the past four years to paint
itself as gay friendly. You can't expect such a stance to not have a
negative impact on some people. Not all Mormons are in lock-step with this move.
I know many who are aren't. Give this some time. I am certain
collections for the Friends of Scouting effort will drop dramatically. Again,
give this time.
Interesting that a church in Kentucky, I believe, which seems to have the 4th
largest congregation in the country (30,000 members) has dropped all association
with the BSA.
The headline is misleading. It states, "Utah Boy Scouts not losing leaders
. . ." And then goes on to mention that "several" leaders have quit
their leadership positions over the change in policy. It seems like an
agenda-driven headline rather than one that seeks to be accurate. How about,
"Only a few Utah Boy Scout leaders leave organization . . ." See, that
was easy. And more truthful.
I, too, will be contributing to the BSA this year when asked. I support this
decision and am grateful that the sponsor of the majority of the BSA troops in
the State does as well.
I applaud the decision. This year I'll increase my donation to $200 to FOS
to help make up for the intolerent. That's how this eagle scout and father
of en eagle scout feels about it.
I serve as a leader in a troop, but my $50 annual contribution will no longer be
heading their direction!!!
Why does the Deseret News keep publishing photos of various non-Utah scout
organizations when articles relating to Utah scout organizations are printed.
Is the photo library of the Deseret News so lacking of Utah Scouts that it has
to use non-Utah photos? Why not assigned DN photographers to take pictures of
the numerous activities and events of local scouts to build up an inventory of
local photos. Be prepared!
I will no longer support BSA financially at all -- not a dime more. I believe
the leaders misread the level of discontent that is out there over this
compromise. It will not go well for BSA after this decision.