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The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) reconsiders ban on gay youths

2013-MAY: Reaction by James Dale, Christian
Post, Fact Not Fantasy blog.
Webmaster's comments.

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This topic is a continuation from the previous essay.

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Undated video: James Dale, member of the BSA who was expelled for being gay:

1

Dale sued the Boy Scouts in a court case that made it all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court, where he lost by a vote of 5 to 4. A majority of Justices ruled that the BSA, being a private group -- was free to discriminate in its membership policies. Here he askes that the BSA adopt the proposed policy change on MAY-23.

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2013-MAY-14: Charges that BSA delegates are being "snookered and bamboozled:"

Leonardo Blair of the Christian Post commented on the upcoming vote by 1,400 members of the BSA national council on MAY-23. Delegates will be asked to vote on a change to the national policy in which:

  • Boy Scouts under the age of 18 who are found to be gay will no longer be immediately expelled from the organization, but

  • Gay Boy Scouts and Scout leaders 18 years and older will continue to be automatically expelled whenever found.

Blair quotes Cathy Ruse, senior legal fellow at the Family Research Council -- a group listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-gay hate group:

"There is going to be a showdown in Grapevine Texas. There are troubling reports of an influx of delegates. Votes at meetings are [traditionally] done by voice votes. This time it will be paper ballots filled out in delegates' hotel rooms and counted by friends of the BSA executive."

Blair interprets her comment as implying that she believes in "... a calculated and elaborate push to deceive the organization's delegates to support the resolution."

Edward Whelan, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center. was a panelist at a discussion sponsored by the conservative Heritage Foundation. He said that if the resolution is adopted, then:

"It is inconceivable that Scouts would be able to maintain their policy against adult leaders."

In the lawsuit Boy Scouts of America v. Dale (2000), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the BSA could exclude gays of all ages because it had explicitly articulated that homosexuality is not consistent with the values it tries to instill. However, by accepting gay members below a certain age, and continuing to expel members over that age, the BSA's case collapses. Whelan is reported as saying:

"Boy Scouts of America's top leaders aren't serious about finding middle ground. They are trying to snooker and bamboozle local scouts and parents. ...

Ruse is quoted as saying:

"In the Dale case, the reason why Boy Scouts were said to have a First Amendment right was because they had speech and association right to uphold this policy. If the speech is so incoherent there would be no legal basis for the courts to uphold this bifurcated policy. In my opinion, this is all by design … It is an irrational rule and no one wants to be put in the position of enforcing it."

The third panelist was John Stemberger of OnMyHonor.net. He is reported as saying:

"This is not a decision that is being done by anything other than peer pressure. What's unfortunate is that the Boy Scouts of America is not looking out for what's best for the boys." 2

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2013-MAY-19: Personal comments by Alan Caruba on his Fact Not Fantasy blog:

He wrote:

"One of the goals of Communism is to present homosexuality, degeneracy, and promiscuity as 'normal, natural, and healthy'.

It comes as no surprise that, during a CBS interview in February, President Obama supported having the Boy Scouts of America
open its membership to gays and, presumably, those who lead scout troops as well. 'My attitude,' the President said 'is that
gays and lesbians should have access and opportunity the same way everybody else does, in every institution and walk of life.'
Spoken like a good Communist hiding the true intent of debasing the cultural and moral life of America.

It is worth revisiting the Scout Oath: 'On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law;
to help other people at all times; to keep myself physical strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.'

The Scout Law is “A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.”

These are attitudes and beliefs that have served generations of Scouts through life, inspiring them to maintain values that we admire in anyone and which benefit society.

On May 23rd, the BSA board of directors will vote on whether to change its policies to allow openly homosexual scouts as members and/or gay scout leaders. A survey of its members released in early May demonstrated that a majority support keeping the current, longtime policy of exclusion in place, prohibiting homosexuals from joining or leading the organization. Fully 61% favored keeping the current policy while 34% opposed it. ..."

"The attacks on the Boy Scouts of America represent the many efforts by progressives to undermine the essential values of the nation and a review of Communist goals reveals the success in part that they are having. Many Americans believe the nation is threatened by moral decline and there is ample evidence to support that belief.

It is my hope that on May 23rd, the BSA board of directors will reject the inclusion of homosexuals as members and volunteer scout leaders. If it does not, many parents will not permit their young male children to join, nor should they." 3

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Webmaster's comment about the recent shifts in public opinion about the treatment of gays: (Bias alert)

The data found by the Washington Post/ABC poll shows the continuing rapid increase in acceptance of the LGBT community by most of the American public, with the exception of religious and social conservatives. The latter appear to be also increasing in acceptance over time, but at a slower rate.

I suspect that there are at least five reasons why this is happening:

  • Perhaps the most important cause is the large numbers of LGBTs who have been coming out of the closet and becoming open about their sexual orientation over the last few decades. Many more high school and college students now realize that one or more of their relatives and fellow students are gay. As respected sport personalities, TV commentators and other prominent people in the media, entertainers, etc. come out of the closet, the public realize that they are not an evil group to be feared; rather, they are worthy of respect.

  • In recent years the continual debates over the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, the 12 states and the District of Columbia that have legalized marriage, the federal Defense of Marriage Act, Proposition 8 in California, etc. have generated a lot of introspection and discussions at the personal level. This has resulted in a gradual increase in acceptance. As Stephen Colbert has said: "Reality has a well-known liberal bias."

  • There has been extensive discussion about the abusive pedophile and ehebephile problem within the Boy Scouts of America. Pedophiles are older youths or adults who are sexually attracted -- some exclusively so -- to prepubescent minors. Ehebephiles are similar but are attracted to postpubescent minors. Abusive pedophiles and ephebephiles are naturally attracted to any organization with adult leaders and large numbers of young children and teens as members. Many churches have taught that the rate of this paraphilia is about ten times higher among gay male adults compared to heterosexual male adults. However, numerous studies have shown that this conclusion is based on inaccurate data. The actual rate of paraphilia is about equal for persons of all three sexual orientations. As the public generally recognizes the true nature of these paraphilias, the bias against gay scout leaders is bound to decrease.

  • Many of those who are anti-gay realize that they are occasionally being regarded as being bigots. In the past, as women achieved near equality with men, the minority who remained misogynistic began to be considered bigots. As racial barriers against African Americans gradually dissipated, racists began to be treated as bigots. There appears to be a fear among many homophobic individuals that they too will be considered bigots in the future. Anti-gay hate organizations, and groups that oppose marriage equality are increasingly complaining that supporters of same-sex marriage are considering them as bigots.

  • In the past, people viewed gays as a threat from the outside who are attempting to infiltrate organizations like the BSA and convert straight youth into gays and lesbians. But with the increasing realization that a person's sexual orientation is not caused by choice or upbringing, that it is discovered and not chosen, the public is beginning to realize that about 5% of the young boys entering the BSA will eventually realize that they are gay. If the BSA is to provide a service to all youth, then the organization is going to have to be more inclusive and cease expelling gays from their membership.

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This topic continues in the next essay.

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Former Boy Scouts leader, James Dale, asks you to share your story," You Tube, undated, at: http://youtu.be/
  2. Leonardo Blair, "Experts Warn Boy Scouts Delegates Against Being 'Snookered and Bamboozled' Into Gay Vote," Christian Post, 2013-MAY-14. at: http://www.christianpost.com
  3. Alan Caruba, "The Morally Straight Boy Scouts of America," Warning Signs blog, 2013-MAY-19, at: http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.ca/

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Home > Religious conflict > U.S. & Worldwide > Boy Scouts > Reconsider gays > here

or Home > Hot topics > Homosexuality & bisexuality > Homophobia > Boy Scouts > Reconsider gays > here

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Copyright 2013 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
Original posting: 2013-APR-29
Latest updated: 2013-MAY-23
Author: B.A. Robinson

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