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Old 01-29-2013, 11:19 AM  
Deberg_1990 Deberg_1990 is offline
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Boy Scouts may lift ban on gays

Are you cool with it?




History’s being made this month. Last week, President Barack Obama became the first president to use the term “gay” in reference to sexual orientation in an inauguration speech. And on Monday the Boy Scouts of America — which successfully fought against allowing gays into its ranks all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court in 2000 — said it may reverse its policy next week.

Just last summer BSA had reaffirmed its stand to keep gays out. But it wasn’t a popular move. Membership in BSA is on the decline — and financial support is falling as well. The Merck Company Foundation, Intel Foundation, UPS and United Way have stopped or postponed donations due to the anti-gay policy of the 102-year-old organization.

Two members of the Boy Scouts of America national executive board: Ernst & Young CEO James Turley and AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson have supported dumping the ban on gays in favor of inclusion regardless of sexuality.

Then there are the negative headlines: A lesbian mom was kicked out of her position as a den leader in Ohio. The Eagle Scout application of a California teen who came out was rejected. And last summer, a 19-year-old Eagle Scout in Missouri was fired from his job at a Scout summer camp after he announced he was gay.

Deron Smith, a spokesman for Boy Scouts of America, told me the decision to revisit the policy during a private meeting of the national executive board next week resulted from “a longstanding dialogue within the Scouting family.” As he explained, “Last year, Scouting realized the policy caused some volunteers and chartered organizations which oversee and deliver the program to act in conflict with their missions, principles or religious beliefs.”

Smith stressed that the board may consider lifting the national ban, but that it will remain up to the individual chartering organization whether to allow gays as members and leaders. Troops are sponsored by churches, civic groups and schools. BSA would not force any local chartering institution to accept gays.

That makes the national ruling something of a compromise. BSA’s basically giving local groups permission to make their own decision. Some troops have quietly accepted gays; Minnesota’s largest group of Boy Scouts, the Twin Cities-based Northern Star Council, has had an inclusive policy for 12 years.

Keeping it local makes sense to many parents and adult leaders. “I think it’s a good idea to leave it up to the local troop,” said Ken Mason, assistant scoutmaster of my son’s troop in Overland, Kansas, and the father of two Eagle Scouts.

“The individual troop has a much better sense of who has a positive or negative influence on the boys,” pointed out Glenn Carney, another assistant scoutmaster and dad of two Eagle Scouts.

But making the decision locally also puts a burden on the troop — and its volunteers, Kent Bredehoeft, Scoutmaster and father of two Scouts told me. “BSA relies on volunteers, and this puts the volunteers in a difficult political situation that, without clear BSA policy, takes away their attention from delivering the BSA mission.”

He questioned what kind of support the national office will give local troops “except to say it’s your decision.” Bredehoeft added that the decision will “be a very challenging one.”

Another dad, who preferred to remain anonymous, said as long as any Scout met the requirements, including being reverent and morally straight (that phrase was used before straight had a sexual connotation), his sexual orientation didn’t matter.

Just as reaction nationally is mixed, not every parent liked the idea of a change in policy, however. “I lost my ability to advance in scouting as a young man because of a scoutmaster who was a pedophile,” one dad wrote me in an email. “I am dead set against gays in scouting.”

Allowing openly gay leaders seemed tougher for some parents to accept. One mom, who prefaced her remarks with the belief that homosexuality does not equal pedophilia, still admitted she would worry about the safety of the boys.

“Most of BSA’s constituent parents view this as a safety issue more than a moral issue,” another dad wrote in an email. “I think BSA thinks the notion continues to exist among parents of elementary school age boys, making the decision whether to let their sons join an organization where there will be lots of overnight trips to isolated locations, in the company of relatively few adult leaders, that their sons are more at risk of being molested if those leaders include homosexuals.”

Certainly the reputation of Boy Scouts has been tarnished with reports of molestations and the court-ordered release of secret files, also referred to as the “perversion files,” that listed names of suspected child molesters. BSA has worked hard to protect boys in recent years; since 1987, two-deep leadership has been instituted (which, if followed, protects both boys and adult leaders). Any adult member of Boy Scouts is required to update Youth Protection Training every two years. And any evidence of sexual abuse of a Scout must be reported to the local police.

I hope the issue of allowing gays does not end up destroying the organization. As the mom of a 15-year-old who’s been involved in Scouting since kindergarten, I’ve seen the positive side of Boy Scouts. I’ve seen him develop responsibility and leadership skills. I’ve seen other boys grow and mature.

I asked some of the older Scouts in the troop what they thought of the possible change in policy; they didn’t see a problem. One Eagle Scout bluntly put it, “It’s [anti-gay policy] ridiculous….It’s terribly sad to see limited opportunities for others because of stupid and absurd reasons.”

Another Eagle Scout didn’t think sexual orientation should prevent anyone from the benefits of the Scouting experience, including obtaining his Eagle. But he also wondered how many churches across the country would revoke charters to an organization that allowed an openly gay leader.

One dad who sent me an email summed it up well, I thought, using the Boy Scout Law: ” ‘Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent.’ Don’t see anything in there that excludes gays.”


http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...mbers-leaders/
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Old 01-30-2013, 01:36 PM   #46
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No, it was a very small percent by actual case. By anonymous survey you may take it to 4%.
It was just that few did it repeatedly to so many boys that it appears as if it was a lot of priests. It wasn't. It's higher among therapists and teachers. Happens in families too. Pedophiles go where children are and in trusted positions.
I imagine that it would be a very small percentage. I would have to think, based on my own personal experience, that the clergy is overwhelmingly biased against that sort of behavior.
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Old 01-30-2013, 01:40 PM   #47
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Only 2% of priests were caught.
fyp
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Old 01-30-2013, 01:41 PM   #48
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[i]
Boy Scouts is on the decline because Youth Culture has changed and Parental Involvement is nill.
Hate to say it but the BSA is on its way out. It is a top heavy institution.
I really enjoyed having my boys go through, but at a certain point all the crap rules, more meetings then learning, all the begging for cash got to us.
Letting Gays in isn't going to save them or kill them at this point.
My theory is that there is a direct correlation between Boy Scout enrollment and the perceived coolness of neckerchiefs.
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Old 01-30-2013, 01:49 PM   #49
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Yes--Not sure if serious. I guess that is a statement, but--not sure if serious.
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Old 01-30-2013, 01:51 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by CrazyPhuD View Post
fyp
That is speculation. I would not generalize that it's most priests because that smacks of prejudice or animus. However, the 2% is based on actual cases and it's the same percentage found in other denominations too. It was lesser few doing it but doing it a lot to many and over a long period of time. It's rarely reported in families too. So does that make families bad? No. It's happened in Boy Scouts. Does that make Boy Scout leaders bad? No.

There was also an anonymous survey by the RCC, which puts it at 4% to cover anything unreported. I don't find that unreasonable as there are likely some not reported. Now some who dislike the RCC, probably wouldn't trust that but there's no denying that pedophiles are going to try to work in places where there is access to children while they hold a position of trust. I recall that big sting operation where a child porn ring was broken up about ten or so years ago, you'd be surprised at how many were in positions where they worked with children.

I think it stands to reason, that if one has some addiction, they're gonna go where they can find their fix.
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Old 01-30-2013, 01:54 PM   #51
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I imagine that it would be a very small percentage. I would have to think, based on my own personal experience, that the clergy is overwhelmingly biased against that sort of behavior.
They are. I recall in a religion class in the mid/late 80's being told that 1 in 4 priests were known to be gay. That's 25%, so even most of those priests weren't involved and likely do not support it. It's rare to find most people supporting it.
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Old 01-30-2013, 03:02 PM   #52
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I wouldn't send my 12 year old daughter camping with a 19 year old straight kid, I wouldn't send my 12 year old son Camping with a gay for the exact same reasons.


Private organizations should be able to have whatever rules for membership that they want. People have a right to participate due to those rules or not. I think this will end up hurting scouts as an organization more than helping.
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Old 01-30-2013, 03:05 PM   #53
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I wouldn't send my 12 year old daughter camping with a 19 year old straight kid, I wouldn't send my 12 year old son Camping with a gay for the exact same reasons.
That's a silly analogy. The maturity of the average gay adult is much greater than a 19 year old.

It's not inappropriate to have kids be under the supervision of a gay person. What if your 12 year old son had a gay teacher?
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Old 01-30-2013, 03:08 PM   #54
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They wouldn't be going on any over night camp outs...which are regular a regular event in scouting.
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Old 01-30-2013, 03:17 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by Iowanian View Post
I wouldn't send my 12 year old daughter camping with a 19 year old straight kid, I wouldn't send my 12 year old son Camping with a gay for the exact same reasons.


Private organizations should be able to have whatever rules for membership that they want. People have a right to participate due to those rules or not. I think this will end up hurting scouts as an organization more than helping.
They do. This is the BSA internally discussing lifting the ban on gays.
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Old 01-30-2013, 03:19 PM   #56
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That's a silly analogy. The maturity of the average gay adult is much greater than a 19 year old.

It's not inappropriate to have kids be under the supervision of a gay person. What if your 12 year old son had a gay teacher?
How often does the 12 year old spend the night with the teacher? I have defended gays getting married and think they should not be discriminated against. I also will admit the thought of sending 12 year old on a camping trip with a gay man is something that makes me uneasy~
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Old 01-30-2013, 03:22 PM   #57
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How often does the 12 year old spend the night with the teacher? I have defended gays getting married and think they should not be discriminated against. I also will admit the thought of sending 12 year old on a camping trip with a gay man is something that makes me uneasy~
Then go with him.
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Old 01-30-2013, 03:23 PM   #58
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Then go with him.
Valid point~
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Old 01-30-2013, 05:09 PM   #59
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I'm sure that they've run this through their directors, largest donors, lawyers and a bunch of focus groups. I'd probably practice a little personal discrimination and not allow my son in a troop that's led by an openly gay man, but that's just me.

It's a free society, if a troop wants to allow a gay scoutmaster, more power to them. DC shouldn't have a say in what these orgs do, nor should they try and bully them with various schemes like denying them public spaces to operate in (parks, etc)


With that, they need to disclose it to parents. No way are my boys going to a troop with a gay leader. Nope, no way, no chance in Hades. Nevah.
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Old 01-30-2013, 05:12 PM   #60
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It's a free society, if a troop wants to allow a gay scoutmaster, more power to them. DC shouldn't have a say in what these orgs do, nor should they try and bully them with various schemes like denying them public spaces to operate in (parks, etc)


With that, they need to disclose it to parents. No way are my boys going to a troop with a gay leader. Nope, no way, no chance in Hades. Nevah.
Why?
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