Re: The boys must bend over backwards...AGAIN...
Bruce E. Cobern (bec@PIPELINE.COM)
Fri, 14 Feb 1997 14:55:12 -0500
> From: CzarCasm <stanleyb@CRL.COM>
> Date: Friday, February 14, 1997 2:24 PM
> Bruce ..it must be a very simple easy world for you...
Not simple, or easy, just realistic. I try not to find ghosts hiding
under every bed or threats where they don't exist. In other words, I try
not to be either paranoid or paralyzed with fear.
> > I wouldn't worry about that. First of all, anyone can sue for
> > any time, so it is possible such a suit would be brought. However, I
> > don't think it would be sustained, for several reasons.
> yes, possibly so.. but it does cost a good bit of money to have a suit
> even dismissed...money better spent on the program...
But we have the lawsuits NOW, and are spending the money to defend against
them. Are you contending that there would be MORE lawsuits after some,
most, or all of the BSA troops and packs started to allow girls? Where,
under ANY construction, is the logic in that? Any parents who would sue
under that scenario would also sue, or would already be suing, under the
current structure. Certainly, at least SOME parents would decide that
they were now satisfied and, therefore, would not see the need to sue.
> > First of all, the BSA, to date (with the exception of the still being
> > contested Randall case in CA) has been sustained in its contention
> > is a private organization allowed to set their own membership
> > requirements. Thus, I don't see a court forcing this kind of change.
> Yes, but you don't think that once National has said co-ed is alright..
> that any local group would have problems keeping their own progam
Well, at least based on the anecdotal evidence presented by those in
countries which allow "unit option," that has not been the case. In all
instances reported either here or on the rec.scouting hierarchy there has
been no such problem. However, somehow there is this group of people who
insist on believing that Americans are radically different from Brits,
Canadians, Australians, etc. (to name a few). While we might be more
litigious, I don't believe that we are fundamentally different in values,
other than to have become far more conservative than our cousins who, when
this country was founded, were the conservative ones from whom the
"liberals" fled due to oppression.
The experiences reported are that unit option works, that there are almost
an infinite variety of choices of how to make it work in your own units,
that many "groups" (roughly, but only very roughly equivalent to the units
chartered to one sponsor) have actually chosen to include both coed and
single sex units within the group, that some units choose to have single
sex patrols or dens within a coed unit, etc. The point is that EACH group
of parents are allowed to make the decisions about what is best for their
> In other words, once the BSA were to grant access to the
> > program there would be no barrier to the girl's parents working to
> > the program in the coed troop, as opposed to forcing themselves on the
> > troop that chose to remain all boy. And I can't see a court forcing
> > one either.
> > --
> Are these the same parents who are now NOT working hard to make the Girl
> Scouts an organization equal to the BSA?
Maybe, but the GSUSA program is still a different program from the BSA
and, although the argument could be made that the parents could make it
EQUIVALENT, it would never be the same. On the other hand, that argument
goes out the window once there are coed BSA units because the courts, IMO,
would say that the BSA program is AVAILABLE to everyone and that EVERY
unit depends on the willingness of the parents of the unit to succeed.
Thus the parents who are suing are free to make sure that their daughters
have the type of BSA program available that they seek. My own opinion is
that no court would brook a litigant that had the unilateral ability to
solve the problem yet chose to sue. Currently they don't possess the
unilateral ability to effect the sought change since the BSA policies
stand in the way.
The only area where I could see potential problems are in the remote rural
areas which might not have enough population or resources to support both
a coed and a boys only unit.
> Bruce.. you seem like a real nice guy but a bit out of touch with how
> the real world works...
Finally, I cannot understand your need to shift from a discussion of the
issues at hand to a comment (or an attack depending on how I choose to
view it) on the character of the person on the other side of the debate.
This comment was unprovoked, unnecessary, unScoutlike, and had no place in
the discussion. What it says, to me at least, is that you cannot win the
argument without disparaging the opponent, since you clearly feel that it
is I, and not you, who is out of touch with the real world.
BTW: I fully believe in the BSA's RIGHT to set its own membership
standards. I just don't happen to believe, in case you couldn't tell,
that those standards are RIGHT. There is a HUGE difference. I would
fight any move to force us to change, but believe that we SHOULD change
because it would be the RIGHT thing to do.
Bruce E. Cobern
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City