Wright Words: What the Boy Scouts of America decision means for your son

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  • suan oro valley, AZ
    June 3, 2013 5:54 p.m.

    I am shocked that the church, that has been so conservative on this issue has changed. Hmm I wonder why. Just a little background info 14 years ago I was at a function, due to the fact that our Company was an equal opportunity employer. On stage in front of me what the Attorney, who tried to force gay leader on the BSA. He stood there and smiled and stated" I will push and push until I make them buckle and bring them to their knees or disband them". This is what it is all about the gay militant group is forcing ( which is probably 3% of the population forcing 97% of the population how to live their lives.) eventually taking God out of our Culture. They being the norm we being the abnorm. There were always, I am sure gay boys in the scouts, but nothing was made of it unless some boy was bothered. Now you are taking out what the founding fathers started,(who I am sure are turning over in their graves)

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    June 3, 2013 9:16 a.m.


    From a former Norview Pilot.

    Great point.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    June 2, 2013 2:22 p.m.

    The very fact that this story appears under the 'faith' tab is symptomatic of the problem of religion trying to wield power and influence far beyond what it should. Religion is personal, and no matter how much one person says it's true, another is equally entitled to write the entire exercise off as myth. And so, especially when we consider ostracizing a group or individual, i think it's fair to ask for more than faith as a rationale.

  • Zaruski SLC, UT
    June 2, 2013 12:56 p.m.

    I first moved to the US in '98. In an effort to help me make friends and improve my English, my aunt put me on Scouts. One day, our scout leaders took our troop to help a scout's Eagle Project, which was to go door to door gathering signatures to put a gay marriage ban on the ballot.

    At that point, we had moved to a different city, and the drive to my troop's meeting place was about a half hour. Up until that point, my mom never had a problem taking me. Then she started saying that she didn't want to take me because the drive was long. She would take me every other week, then once a month, then not at all.

    Years later, she told me the reason she stopped taking me was because our troop had been taken to gather those signatures. She did the right thing.

    By the way, I was 13-14 at the time, didn't think anything of gathering those signatures. I didn't fully understand the subject. But now that I think about it, I can only think one word. Despicable.

  • Duh west jordan, ut
    June 2, 2013 12:02 p.m.

    I am just thankful that my boys are now adults and no longer a member of the Boy Scouts so we don't have to deal with the controversy of it all. Of course when their children are older, it will be interesting to see how they deal with it. I hope they will put logic to reason. I am not for open admitance of one being gay at this age however, I am not going to tramp on ones individual rights either. Sexual orientation should never be a factor in the scouting program on either side of the isle as that is not the purpose of scouting. I just hope scouts themselves can differentiate between the two.

  • angelakrois Springville, UT
    June 1, 2013 12:02 a.m.

    And what about when these gay young men graduate the scouting program and desire to become leaders? Then what.
    It doesn't make any sense to me why the Church would not just stand up for moral values as the Baptists have. How hard is that?

  • BCA Murrieta, CA
    May 31, 2013 8:59 a.m.

    So you "treat all people with respect". Apparently, we know this because gay young men can join or remain in scouts. Where is the respect for gay adults who cannot join or remain in scouting? Once a homosexual, always a pedophile? The prejudice remains as does the blurred self-image.

  • Eliyahu Pleasant Grove, UT
    May 31, 2013 8:34 a.m.

    If we assume that a scout is following the rules and is not engaging in sex, what difference does it make if the person with whom he's not having sex is male or female?

  • Contrarius Lebanon, TN
    May 30, 2013 7:44 a.m.

    @FT1/SS --

    "at 1/3, I would not consider it a good chance. "

    We disagree. I think 1/3 is a great chance.

    Do scouts go out on more than 3 camping trips during their scouting years? Do they know more than 24 other scouts during their scouting years? I think the answer to both questions is most likely "yes".

    "The article is about men and boys within the BSA, so your chalkboard discussion from UC Davis is meaningless."

    The nature of pedophilia doesn't change just because the pedophile happens to be a BSA leader. The fact remains -- pedophilia is separate from adult orientation.

    "I prefer common sense."

    Common sense used to tell people that the world was flat. You know how that worked out. ;-)

    "I'll stick with my statement, within the BSA "No straight man has ever crossed the line."

    You have the right to stick with whatever fantasy makes you most comfortable.

    But in reality, molesters do very good jobs of appearing and functioning normally in organizations that give them access to kids. And a lot of them are married and would pass any "straight" test you'd like to put before them.

  • BlueFunk96 Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
    May 29, 2013 11:04 p.m.

    Who cares if the "LGBT Community" sees this as a victory, or will try to leverage more out of it. Do anyone else's intentions change what's right?

    What is more shocking to me that an organization that purports to believe in and follow God didn't make this move before.

    Some say homosexual scouts aren't following the "morally straight" part of the Scout Oath. I say those who would continue discriminating against gay boy scouts are forgetting to be "loyal," "friendly," "courteous," "kind," or "brave."

    May 29, 2013 6:20 p.m.

    Many of the comments on this controversial subject come from misconceptions of how the Scout Program was designed from the beginning by Lord Baden Powell. To summarize: (a) scouting was stated by Powell to further the building of the Kingdom of God (b) scouting was designed to support a chartered organization's youth programs, not be stand-alone or in competition (c) scouting has an inclusive, diversity policy that does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, and now, sexual orientation. The only 'discrimination' involved is those who do not abide by the ideals of the scout oath and law.
    In the case of the LDS Church, scouting is the activity program supportive of Primary boys ages 8 through 11 and of the Aaronic Priesthood age boys ages 12-18. The Church statement clearly reinforces the principles outlined in the "For the Strength of Youth" pamphlet.
    There is more to tie the programs closely together, not only for LDS boys, but for other religions that support the ideals of scouting. "Morally straight" is still a part of the scout oath, and "straight" should not be confused with the limited SO definition. And I'm out of room for further explanation.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    May 29, 2013 4:58 p.m.


    Prove it.

  • FT1/SS Virginia Beach, VA
    May 29, 2013 3:48 p.m.

    @Contrarius, at 1/3, I would not consider it a good chance. 1/3 is less than average, so a mediocre chance. The article is about men and boys within the BSA, so your chalkboard discussion from UC Davis is meaningless. I prefer common sense. I'll stick with my statement, within the BSA "No straight man has ever crossed the line. The moment the thought enters there mind, there not straight. Bi or gay, yes."

    Now go back and read both your comments, your back peddling or maybe your "confused"? The LOL is on you!

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    May 29, 2013 3:43 p.m.


    As for me, I find organized religion to be abhorrent and wrong and I reject that lifestyle (btw; religion IS a choice).

    Yes you are free to choose however you are NOT free to determine your judgement or consequences of your choices after death. Death is that one door no one has a choice to by-pass and that also applies to the life - after - death. Remember opinion doesn't determine truth - neither mine nor your opinion has ANY power over absolute truth. Absolute truth exists in spite of our opinions. There is a TRUE GOD and a TRUE religion and if you ever made the effort - softened your heart - opened your mind - you would certainly find both. I would hope you would make that effort at some point because the sweetness of divine truth far surpasses any man-made short term thrill you might experience here. You and I are both children of a Heavenly Father and Mother that love us. That is absolute truth.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    May 29, 2013 1:55 p.m.


    Thank you for sharing your opinion. Now, if you disagree with it and think it's wrong, don't do it. As for your belief that marriage is man/woman, that's what you should have then (you don't get to decide for anyone else though).

    As for me, I find organized religion to be abhorrent and wrong and I reject that lifestyle (btw; religion IS a choice).

    @Linus, worf & coleman51;

    Please stop equating homosexuality with pedophilia. The two are not the same and I hope you object to openly heterosexual men who seek access to such a pool of virtuous young men as well. Statistically, your pedophiles are coming from the 2nd group.


    Virtuous can also mean in a committed relationship (since we're not allowed to marry - yet).

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    May 29, 2013 1:20 p.m.

    For now at least.... BSA will keep my sons and grandsons. If BSA folds to PC and allows gay leaders then BSA is dead as an organization. The LDS church will drop BSA as will the Catholic and many Protestant churches such as Southern Baptist. BSA can't survive without the money from these churches ...especially the LDS church. When the New Testament moral code is done away with then the support will sink as well. I suspect BSA would try to morph into some sort of global boys organization but the vast majority of Christian parents will pull their boys out and that is the very core of BSA....like pulling out the roots of a tree. Our godless - moral-less government may try to control our health care and eliminate our core rights but only under strict Communism could they control what we do with our kids. Maybe I spoke too soon - Communism is certainly the direction we are headed with our current White House resident.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    May 29, 2013 12:03 p.m.

    I suspect there were several who were surprised that the LDS church would agree to this, so called, change in policy. It has never been church doctrine to encourage or to spread hate. Policy has always been in place to uphold moral standards not to alienate people based on their problems. Any who may have been 'cast out' were not because they had problems, but because they refused to conform to established policy and standards.

    Christ invited all to come unto Him. But he did rebuke those who's intentions were contrary to the tenets of his gospel.

  • Contrarius Lebanon, TN
    May 29, 2013 11:17 a.m.

    @FT1/SS --

    "Your statement and numbers don't add up. Considering the average patrol may have about 8 members."

    You're right about the specifics here. I should have said something like "Patrols have always had a good chance of including gay members".

    If on average gays make up 4% of the population, then roughly one out of every 25 scouts will be gay. If patrols have 8 members each, then roughly 1/3 of all patrols will contain a gay scout.

    "No straight man has ever crossed the line."


    First, notice that I said "or perceived to be straight". Most molesters appear to be "normal" members of their communities, and are often married.

    Second, you -- like many people -- are confusing pedophilia with adult orientation. These are not at all the same things.

    From a psychology researcher at UC Davis:

    "The distinction between a victim's gender and a perpetrator's sexual orientation is important because many child molesters don't really have an adult sexual orientation. They have never developed the capacity for mature sexual relationships with other adults, either men or women. Instead, their sexual attractions focus on children -- boys, girls, or children of both sexes. "

  • FT1/SS Virginia Beach, VA
    May 29, 2013 10:06 a.m.

    @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.

  • nvfostermom LAS VEGAS, NV
    May 29, 2013 9:16 a.m.

    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.

  • Contrarius Lebanon, TN
    May 29, 2013 8:58 a.m.

    @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.

  • bergermough Sheffield, 00
    May 29, 2013 8:38 a.m.

    '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.

  • KellyWSmith Sparks, NV
    May 29, 2013 8:01 a.m.

    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.

  • whatacountry hurst, TX
    May 29, 2013 7:25 a.m.

    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.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    May 29, 2013 5:44 a.m.

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

  • TA1 Alexandria, VA
    May 29, 2013 5:40 a.m.

    Thanks for a great even tempered article.

  • Rikitikitavi Cardston, Alberta
    May 28, 2013 10:48 p.m.

    @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).

  • oddman ,
    May 28, 2013 10:41 p.m.

    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.

  • Hornistin Dallas area, TX
    May 28, 2013 9:48 p.m.

    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.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    May 28, 2013 4:46 p.m.

    @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.

  • coleman51 Orem, UT
    May 28, 2013 4:27 p.m.

    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.

  • MapleDon Springville, UT
    May 28, 2013 2:44 p.m.


    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?

  • Linus Bountiful, UT
    May 28, 2013 2:36 p.m.

    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.

  • Opinionated Sandy, UT
    May 28, 2013 12:41 p.m.

    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.

  • Rocket Science Brigham City, UT
    May 28, 2013 12:36 p.m.

    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.

  • The Economist Newport, PA
    May 28, 2013 12:05 p.m.

    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.

  • NC Rick Chapel Hill, NC
    May 28, 2013 11:47 a.m.

    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.

  • Commenter88 Salt Lake City, Utah
    May 28, 2013 11:30 a.m.

    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.