The Boy Scouts of America voted Thursday to admit gay members into the organization, but continued the ban on gay adults. In a statement posted on their website the BSA said: “Today, following this review, the most comprehensive listening exercise in Scouting's history the approximate 1,400 voting members of the Boy Scouts of America's National Council approved a resolution to remove the restriction denying membership to youth on the basis of sexual orientation alone.” The change will go into effect on Jan 1, 2014.
By denying gay people the opportunity to help shape the lives of young people they are making a conscious, overt and deliberate statement that they find members of the LGBTQ community to be unfit to work in any capacity within their organization.
But the decision to allow gay boys into the organization while banning gay and lesbian leaders is narrow-minded, short-sighted, and hypocritical. There is some very dangerous language in the Boy Scouts Membership Standards Resolution that should give all parents of gay children and gay rights advocates reason to pause and take caution. The Membership Standards Resolution makes a subjective ethical and moral judgment of gay adults essentially deeming them unfit to be Eagle scouts, den masters and scout masters. There is a hint of language within its body that sounds dangerously like re-orientation.
In making the announcement, the Boy Scouts stated that it would not “sacrifice its mission” by “allowing the organization to be consumed by a single, divisive, and unresolved societal issue.” This contradictory position where on the one hand it accepts homosexual boys but on the other rejects adult gay members is quite divisive. It is the very definition of divisive.
How can a gay parent endorse or support allowing their child to join an organization that is openly hostile to their family structure? Why would a gay child want to join an organization that tells them that at the age of 18 if you are still homosexual you have to quit?
Within the membership resolution the Boys Scouts state “the values set forth in the Scout Oath and Law are fundamental to the BSA and central to teaching young people to make better choices over their lifetimes.” The Boy Scouts still don’t seem to realize that sexual orientation is a natural condition. You can’t grow out of it. You don’t stop being homosexual. It is not a choice. Who you sleep with is a choice, not your sexual orientation.
The BSA’s Membership Standards Resolution states that “it is the mission of the Boy Scouts of America to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law.”
It states that “the Boy Scouts of America does not have an agenda on the matter of sexual orientation.”
But clearly the BSA still has a sexual orientation agenda. Their agenda implies that heterosexuals have an ethical and moral superiority over homosexuals which make them better suited to act as youth counselors. What makes a hard-working, decent loving member of the LGBTQ community less worthy to volunteer their services than a heterosexual person?
The Membership Standards Resolution explains that the BSA is working in the “best interests of it young people“and wants to “stay focused on that which unites us.” In other words the BSA is saying that homosexuality is fine if you are young, possibly confused, but if you need adult guidance go find it somewhere else because as far as they are concerned adult members of the LGBTQ community do not “possess the moral, educational, and emotional qualities that the Boy Scouts of America deems necessary to afford positive leadership to youth.”
Probably the most dangerous language in the membership standards resolution suggests that homosexuality is dangerous to children. According to the BSA, independent experts have found that programs protecting scouts such as “effective screening” are “among the best in the youth-serving community.”
I guess by allowing gay youth membership while barring gay adult participation they will be screening, educating and training gay children to discriminate against their own community.