BSA and Gays
Douglas Flewelling (dougf@GROUSE.UMESVE.MAINE.EDU)
Thu, 14 Jul 1994 11:51:57 -0400
I'm going to step into the middle of this one without knowing the history
of past discussions.
I am frankly tired of having to explain to my rational friends why the BSA
would want to spend millions of dollars keeping gays at the gates, while an
admitted adulterer is made its Honorary President.
John Lindner makes a good point that the current BSA anti-gay policy is
misdirected fear and blatant discrimination. I believe that there is a
misconception that pedaphiles are homosexuals and vice versa. Research is
showing that pedaphiles are separate class and under no circumstances
should be allowed access scouts or any other child.
The Boy Scouts of America has no more business in the bedroom of gay
couples than in the bedroom of straight couples. A scout is obedient, yet I
imagine that several good scouters engage in illegal (in some States) oral
sex with their married partners. I can even imagine that several good
scouters (and scouts) have had sex outside of marriage. Please excuse my
bluntness, but what in the world is so wrong with what homosexuals do with
each other in very often long term monogamous relationships.
What the BSA does have a right to do is to set standards of conduct for its
members during BSA activities. As our Cub Camp Director put it so bluntly,
"Ladies and Gentlemen while you are at camp keep your hormones in check.
While supervising a den full of other people's kids it is no time to strike
up a summertime romance."
If we overlook the sexual acts in private, then there is only the judgement
of the individual's character by their actions. This judgement is a local
matter. If the actions of the individual serve as an example of good
citizenship and character, then that person is a good choice for leadership
in scouting. If the actions of the individual fly in the face of local
standards of conduct or the Scout Law and Scout Oath that person is not
suitable for leadership in scouting.
It is a sad truth that many of the more visible members of the gay
community would not pass that final requirement if judged by some
Chartering Organizations or unit committees. Involvement in scouting as a
youth and acceptance (not tolerance) into the community of mainstream
America may reduce the need to shock and shout their presence. The
character building and self-esteem building aspects of the Scouting program
are in desperate need in the Gay community.
It is time to stop defining people by who they sleep with and start being
known for the good they do for others. The hardest line to walk for any
good Scout is between 'A Scout is Obedient' and 'A Scout is Brave'.
Doug (Hit another nerve) Flewelling
Webelos Den Leader
Pack 301, Bangor, Maine
Eagle Scout '76
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City