scouts-l Mail Archive for September of 2000: Re: YPG/R & R? (used to be:Save Our Scouts Web Site)
Bill Nelson (bnelson45@HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Sep 06 2000 - 11:32:34 CDT
On Wed, 6 Sep 2000 10:51:22 -0400, Darryl Hammill <darryl.hammill@NCMAIL.NET> wrote:
>Someone please tell me why we cannot just use the existing YPG, rules and
>regulations to cover this matter?
The official policy is not based upon youth protection issues
it is based on teaching values. My understanding is that the
BSA does not think
homosexual behavior is morally straight behavior and
they feel that if the Scouts knew their leader was a homosexual
the Scouts would think the BSA was condoning homosexual behavior.
>From the Supreme Court oral arguements:
QUESTION: -- I take it you've just touched on something that I think --
again, I think I understand your position, but I want to
be clear. I understand that the Scouts' position on this does not in
any way depend on a judgment that Mr. Dale is -- presents
or would present an undue risk of homosexual conduct with the Scouts
in his troop, is that correct? It's not a fear of conduct?
MR. DAVIDSON: Absolutely not, Your Honor. In fact, the issue of
possible sexual abuse is one that's very important to
Scouts. Every Scout handbook and Scout master handbook comes with
an insert which is in the record at 2248 which talks
about sexual abuse at some length. It never mentions the word
homosexual. In fact, the only thing it says about gender is that
there's a rising incidence of abuse by female adults.
>From the BSA web site:
For more than 20 years, the Boy Scouts of America has defended its membership
standards. We went to the highest court in the land, the U.S. Supreme Court, in order to
do so. The Boy Scouts of America, as a private organization, must have the right to
establish its own standards of membership if it is to continue to instill the values of the
Scout Oath and Law in boys. Thanks to our legal victories, our standards of membership
have been sustained.
We believe an avowed homosexual is not a role model for the values espoused in the
Scout Oath and Law.
Boy Scouting makes no effort to discover the sexual orientation of any person.
Scouting's message is compromised when prospective leaders present themselves as role
models inconsistent with Boy Scouting's understanding of the Scout Oath and Law.
Scouting's record of inclusion is impressive by any standard. However, we do ask all of
our members to do their best to live the Scout Oath and Law. Today, boys from every
ethnic, religious, and economic background in suburbs, farms, and cities know and
respect each other as they participate in our program.
We thank the parents, volunteers and friends of Scouting who have supported us in this
case and others. We respect other people's right to hold differing opinions and ask that
they respect ours.
In a support brief filed by three of Scouting's largest chartered organizations, they
addressed why Scouting has been so effective for 90 years: "Scouting's program for
character development is effective precisely because it teaches through both precept and
concrete examples of its adult leaders ... Scoutmasters exist not only to espouse the ideals
of Scouting, but more importantly to live and embody them; they are the role models of
the Scouting movement."
More than 90 years ago, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) was founded on the premise of
teaching boys moral and ethical values through an outdoor program that challenges
them and teaches them respect for nature, one another, and themselves. Scouting has
always represented the best in community, leadership, and service.
The Boy Scouts of America has selected its leaders using the highest standards because
strong leaders and positive role models are so important to the healthy development of
youth. Today, the organization still stands firm that their leaders exemplify the values
outlined in the Scout Oath and Law.
On June 28, 2000, the United States Supreme Court reaffirmed the Boy Scouts of
America's standing as a private organization with the right to set its own membership and
The BSA respects the rights of people and groups who hold values that differ from those
encompassed in the Scout Oath and Law, and the BSA makes no effort to deny the rights
of those whose views differ to hold their attitudes or opinions.
Scouts come from all walks of life and are exposed to diversity in Scouting that they may
not otherwise experience. The Boy Scouts of America aims to allow youth to live and
learn as children and enjoy Scouting without immersing them in the politics of the day.
We hope that our supporters will continue to value the Boy Scouts of America's respect for
diversity and the positive impact Scouting has on young people's lives. We realize that not
every individual nor organization prescribes to the same beliefs that the BSA does, but we
hope that all Americans can be as respectful of our beliefs as we are of theirs and support
the overall good Scouting does in American communities.