Thursday, January 31, 2013

Gays in the Boy Scouts

Gay pride, image from clker.com
It has been a sore spot for me that the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has a policy that 1) does not allow gay troop leaders, and 2) also discriminates against gay boys in the program.

I have continued to support Boy Scouts, however, for a couple of reasons. One is that I believe they provide excellent opportunities for young men in this country. Another, more crucial reason, is because I know many people -- both current and former Boy Scouts -- are pushing for gays to be accepted. If it weren't for the latter, I would probably have abandoned BSA as a lost cause.

You can imagine that I was delighted to hear that BSA is considering removing their policy of discrimination. I became slightly less delighted, however, to find out that they are only removing it halfway: although there will not be an official policy to discriminate, it will be up to the troops whether to allow gays.

There's no need for me to point out that this is not enough, and will likely be almost as bad as where they are now. Even so, it's baby steps in the right direction. Which is something, at least.

At any rate, it's a good sign if they're admitting their current policy may not be 100% right.

I know of two websites with info on how to encourage BSA to accept gays with no reservations. If you are interested in helping to make the world a better place for LGBT persons (and for everyone else, actually) you may want to visit glaad.org/tellbsa and hrc.org.

Next, to really serve as many young men as possible, maybe BSA can consider allowing atheists into their organization.

3 comments:

Debra She Who Seeks said...

The Canadian BSA changed its policy a few years ago and now accepts gay leaders/boys. Here in Edmonton we have a pagan scouting troop too for boys and girls, called "Spiral Scouts." I believe it's part of a larger movement in other cities and perhaps countries as well (?)

Magaly Guerrero said...

Now that the military welcomes gay service members, maybe the high and mighty BSA will review their ridiculous policies.

Sarita Rucker said...

Debra -- I didn't know BSA was outside the USA! Live and learn. Spiral Scouts are also where I live. I would guess they're also in other countries aside from our two, though I don't know much about them.

Magaly -- I wonder if repealing DADT had anything to do with BSA figuring out that times are changing. Maybe not, but it's a thought.