Re: San Francisco Bay Area Council?
settummanque, or blackeagle (blkeagle@DYNASTY.NET)
Thu, 24 Jul 1997 13:06:57 -0500
Calvin Gray wrote:
>We seem to have conflicting answers on this. I don't want to start a
>controversy, but I would like to know the correct answer. I do remember
>when the SF United Way de-funded the Bay Area Council several years >ago
when they would not accept gay & lesbian adults. So, what is the
Funding or no funding, the San Fransisco Bay Area Council does admit
gay/lesbian/bisexual members without asking them for their sexual
orientation (like other adults in other words), and requiring a
more-in-depth background investigation than most other local Councils. They
are doing this fully with the permission of the National Executive Board of
the BSA and with the understanding that their Scout Executive has the final
say on any volunteer serving in any registered position within that local
The Area Director of the area including that local Council is across the bay
in Oakland, and monitors on behalf of the Western Region and the BSA the
progress of that local Council.
The biggest problem has been for lots of local Councils in asking the
simple, personal question "Are you gay?" There's not a way that you can
tell at a glance who's gay and who's not; and most people regard their
sexaul orientation none of anyone's business but their own. The Council,
with its high concentration of gay and bisexual men, would be literally
going on a "witchhunt" if they attempted to find out which people are gay
and which are not, causing more problems than it's worth to seek an
exception from BSA National. In doing so, the Council had to prove that
they are meeting the policy in principle: that those individuals whom may
be of harm to youth or the program not be admitted to leadership roles
within the Council.
While the monies were "turned off" due to some United Way interpretations,
and later "turned on", the Council continues to operate within the BSA's
guidelines AND within that Council Executive Board's guidelines which both
in part require local Councils to organize and provide programming to "youth
residing in their territories". The Council utitizes the Learning for Life
program to the upmost, and while traditional Scouting has slacked off a bit
(as it has nationally), they are still at it and there *are* gay men,
bisexual men and women, and lesbian women registered within that Council.
Remember, this is NOT a ignorance or an "about face" by BSA National.
The Boy Scouts of America has taken a strong stance and their national
policy is that homosexuals are not permitted to serve in any registered role
within any of their programs. However, the BSA does realize that local
needs need local resources and exceptions and have granted the SFBA Council
an exception to "provide the programming in ways which meet the desires and
needs of the youth residing in" the territory served. (The BSA regards
Council boundaries as "territories", going back to the old days whereby
salesmen worked within "territories").
If you have any later information past last fall, Calvin, I would love to
hear about it.
(c) 1997 Mike Walton ("no such thing as strong coffee,...") (502) 827-9201
(settummanque, the blackeagle) http://dynasty.net/users/blkeagle
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