Boy Scout board delays decision on gay Scouts, leaders

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  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    Feb. 11, 2013 10:12 a.m.

    Some day, when I'm old and gray, my grandsons will enjoy their hikes, their Klondike Derbies, and their Philmont weeks without giving a passing thought to which scouts and/o leaders are gay and which are straight. They will look at me with puzzlement as I tell them that a lot of bigoted . . oops, I mean "righteous" LDS folk threw a conniption when it became apparent the BSA was going to stop excluding people because of sexual orientation. They'll wonder why people back in grandpa's day were so mixed up. I'll tell them "I have no idea" and be glad I was ahead of the curve.

    If (when) this rule-change passes, it will become the new normal and the self-righteous bigots will eventually die off and be forgotten. I imagine if the internet were available back in the 70's when the priesthood was extended to all worthy males, the same chords would have been struck, and the same scriptural rationale would have been used to claim the sky was falling. You're losing and will continue to lose.

  • Scovy rexburg, ID
    Feb. 10, 2013 1:26 p.m.

    If Scouts allow gay people, then I'm resigning my calling as a scoutmaster. The BSA has a right to their choices and no public official or hypocrite should bully them into changing it.

  • Mister J Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 9, 2013 2:45 p.m.

    Erin Burnett (CNN) earlier this week stated that 15% of all BSA memberships are tied to the LDS faith (largest of any "demographic" block).

    Isn't interesting that the BSA has decided to delay their decision?

  • just-a-fan Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 9, 2013 1:02 p.m.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again...why does sexuality come up in the first place. I am heterosexual but I don't run around telling people I am intimate with women. Why must a person even talk about their sexual orientation? Just keep private things private. A gay scout leader is not any more likely to hurt a young man than a straight leader. Gay does not equal pedophile. My children have had straight mentors and gay mentors...some were great, some not so much. None hurt my children and I never felt like I needed to know who they shared their bed with.

  • Most Truthful and Patriotic Layton, UT
    Feb. 8, 2013 4:40 p.m.

    Ya know what, folks.

    While you're all so worried about "gays", you're not paying attention to your own families or what's really going on.

    Have any of you read about the young "good church boy" from Provo, who has been arrested for sexual abuse of 15 youngsters? Girls, boys, an infant. At a Boy Scout camp, at the Inn across the street from the Manti Temple, on a trip to Southern Utah. A gigantic predator in your midst!

    He is not gay. He is a pedophile, a predator to ANY child.

    Just MAYBE you should start worrying about your own children? One parent, when their two girls told them that Butcher had abused them, just told him not to do it again! Wow!

    AGAIN: learn about pedophiles and protect your children.

  • LVIS Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 8, 2013 8:57 a.m.

    From the article--Jay L. Lenrow, the former national chairman of the Jewish Committee on Scouting, told the Wall Street Journal continuing the ban violates the Scouts' pluralistic mission. Continuing the ban is "absolutely allowing the teachings of certain religious groups to trump the teachings of other religious groups," he said. "These are not our principles."

    Well, Jay, by the same token, DIScontinuing the ban is "absolutely allowing the teachings of certain religious groups to trump the teachings of other religious groups" And your point is? No matter how your slice it, somebody's principles are going to be ignored, eh?

  • Kim Cedar Park, Texas
    Feb. 7, 2013 6:30 p.m.

    I think that giving the process more time makes sense. However, I also believe that the BSA proposal is fundamentally the correct choice. Allowing individual units to make their own choice on this matter is a good compromise. The Boy Scouts of America is such a large and perceived public organization that it needs to be as inclusive as possible. Barring a significant portion of the population damages the BSA's reputation of fairness and non-discrimination. I hope the Church supports this proposal. It has come a long way in its effort to build bridges with the gay community. It does not need to give them another reason to criticize the church.

  • Demo Dave Holladay, UT
    Feb. 7, 2013 10:26 a.m.

    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.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Feb. 7, 2013 10:01 a.m.

    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.

  • Elcapitan Ivins, UT
    Feb. 7, 2013 9:11 a.m.

    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.

  • Stgeorgebyu St. Georg, UT
    Feb. 7, 2013 8:12 a.m.

    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.

  • Rick for Truth Provo, UT
    Feb. 7, 2013 8:02 a.m.

    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.

  • Stgeorgebyu St. Georg, UT
    Feb. 7, 2013 8:02 a.m.

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

  • funny_guy Vacaville, CA
    Feb. 7, 2013 7:50 a.m.

    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.

  • Ricardo Carvalho Provo, UT
    Feb. 7, 2013 6:03 a.m.

    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.

  • Johnny Moser Thayne, WY
    Feb. 7, 2013 12:30 a.m.

    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.

  • Rocket Science Brigham City, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 11:03 p.m.

    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.

  • fangflyer LAKE WALES, FL
    Feb. 6, 2013 6:46 p.m.

    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!

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Feb. 6, 2013 4:15 p.m.

    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.

  • S.Andrew Zaelit Deseret, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 4:07 p.m.

    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.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 3:22 p.m.

    @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.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Feb. 6, 2013 3:15 p.m.

    @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?

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 2:42 p.m.

    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.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 2:20 p.m.

    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.

  • UtahBruin Saratoga Springs, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 2:01 p.m.


    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.

  • Oatmeal Woods Cross, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 1:53 p.m.

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

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 1:40 p.m.

    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.

  • DEW Cougars Sandy, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 1:38 p.m.

    Fine, I might as well delay my donation for the result. Very simple. My simple answer here, just say NO.

  • Kirk R Graves West Jordan, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 1:36 p.m.

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

    Morallity includes sexual behavior. So, by all means don't interpret the term "straight" as sexual orientation. It doesn't change the fact that "morally straight" includes sexual purity, and because the BSA is a God based organization, and because 70% of it's members belong to religious organization, we can define sexual purity as found in scripture (and for those who are LDS, as defined by modern prophets).
    So, based on the principles BSA has stood for and taught for the last 100+ years, "morally straight" is in fact a reference to sexuallity and sexual behavior.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 1:35 p.m.


    Is it as far as the LDS church is concerned....and the catholic church ...and every other church that sponsors BSA. Being 'mortally straight' to a godless, atheistic liberal society might mean one thing but to a Christian being morally straight DOES imply New Testament morality as taught by The Savior which has as its very core sexual purity. The Scouts can say what ever they want ...they are free to choose ... but the sponsors of scouting don't have to accept their interpretation...and they won't if the Scouts allow gays as scout masters. Pretty simple.

    Feb. 6, 2013 1:33 p.m.

    Go Big Blue!!! said, "In the wise words of Geddy Lee "If you choose not to decide you still have made a choice"." -

    Actually, Geddy Lee just sang the words. Neil Peart wrote them (and played the drums). Nevertheless, still a true and apropos comment.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 1:30 p.m.


    While I agree with the scout oath including "morally straigth" was created, it is unlikely those who founded Scouting could foresee the fall or morals such that acceptance of homosexuality ever crossed their minds.

    However, I'll add that its is impossible to be an active homosexual and morally straight. Its just not what nature intended.

  • Mr Logic Gilbert, AZ
    Feb. 6, 2013 12:52 p.m.

    The Scout Oath specifically states that a scout is "morally straight". Are they going to change the Oath also? Please know that my donations to Friends of Scouting and other Scout fundraisers will be eliminated if gay scouts are allowed.

    On my honor I will do my best
    To do my duty to God and my country
    and to obey the Scout Law;
    To help other people at all times;
    To keep myself physically strong,
    mentally awake, and morally straight.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 12:47 p.m.

    "How hard is it to decide whether you want to keep the "morally straight" "

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

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Feb. 6, 2013 12:33 p.m.

    Remember two of the National Board Members are from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This will give the Church of Jesus Christ time to determine what their reaction will be. If the LDS leaves scouting which for many is a fore gone conclusion then the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptists and many other evangletical congregations will follow suit. That will spell the end of the Boy Scouts of America. Especially since most of the funding for the scouts comes from this 70% of scouts in this nation.

    As has been stated members with same-sex attraction have already been members of scouts and earned Eagle and been leaders. This change is not about them but about those who are actually practicing homosexuality which is counted as immoral and a grievous sin before our Heavenly Father. As some lawyers have stated courts will be inundated with lawsuits forcing many of these organizations to fold or capitualate to the general feelings of society. If scouts continue to stand for morality or whether they cross the line to immorality where determine whether scouting survives in the United States.

  • t702 Las Vegas, NV
    Feb. 6, 2013 12:28 p.m.

    Why do we have to bring gay to everything? What's wrong with being just scout period! When the kids get home they can do whatever they want.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 12:25 p.m.

    re:Liberal Ted

    You are 100% correct. BSA has the right to make their decision - so why don't they just DO IT ALREADY???? How hard is it to decide whether you want to keep the "morally straight" oath? I personally think they already know what they are going to do - allow gays- and they are trying to find some monetary way to survive after the decision. Maybe Obama will now provide a friends of scouting tax at the federal level.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 12:22 p.m.

    You know if it takes you 4 months to decide between right and wrong it is probably time to cut ties with BSA from the LDS Church's standpoint. What is there to consider over this 4 month period?? Is BSA hoping to convince the LDS church to stick with them along with their money contributions? Not gonna happen. Is BSA trying to find some fall back after the LDS church dumps them? I am not impressed. Being morally straight doesn't take 4 months to figure out. Either you are or you aren't and I suspect BSA is caving to PC and deciding that sticking to Christian ideals isn't what they want going forward. I say fine... go ahead and make that decision but it certainly doesn't take 4 months to do it. Time for the Church to DUMP BSA and do their own thing with the young men of the Church. I for one will NOT contribute or serve anymore with anything with regards to BSA regardless. How disappointing.

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 11:32 a.m.

    Either way the Boy Scouts is a private organization and has the right to make the rules for membership.

  • DanTMan North Richland Hills, TX
    Feb. 6, 2013 11:15 a.m.

    Hey Go Big Blue, although Geddy Lee sings that song Neal Pert (the drummer) actually penned it. Great song by the way.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Feb. 6, 2013 10:44 a.m.

    There always have been gays in the Boy Scouts and their leaders. What type of change are you afraid will take place when they are "officially" accepted?

    We know how crazy these gay guys get when they together. I'm sure they will re-decorate the tents and for sure they will attempt to change those boring uniforms. The ned is near, the end is near.

  • Go Big Blue!!! Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 10:40 a.m.

    In the wise words of Geddy Lee "If you choose not to decide you still have made a choice".

  • andyjaggy American Fork, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 10:40 a.m.

    I hope they choose to change their policy, not necessarily because I agree either way, but because then the church will get out of scouting and we can have a better and more focused program for the young men.

  • wamba Layton, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 10:30 a.m.

    I support this change and look forward to the day when we allow gay youth to participate, but if delaying the decision a few months helps more people get used to the idea then I'm ok with it. There are a lot of people threatening to hold their sons and out of the program over this and some churches threatening to disband their troops if this change goes through. I think this change is inevitable, but I also want to see the scouting family stay together as we move forward.

  • Carnak Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 10:26 a.m.

    Newsflash - Man delays decision on whether to continue donating to Friends of Scouting.

  • Cris B. Sandy, UT
    Feb. 6, 2013 10:25 a.m.

    Sadly we see from stories like Sandusky how much damage one person can do.

    We need to do all we can(and even then admittedly we can't be 100% positive) that we only surround our Scouts by good examples and by morally straight(as the Scout oath says) people.

    Feb. 6, 2013 10:18 a.m.

    Conveniently postponing the decision until this year's Friends of Scouting drive has been completed.