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Boy Scouts Of America Postpones Decision To Integrate Gays Into Membership

A Link In Time

Break the Ice!
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On February 6, the Boy Scouts of America postponed a decision whether or not to integrate gays into membership. Ever since the 2000 decision, Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, the organization has received flack about not allowing homosexuals into its ranks. In aforementioned case, the Supreme Court upheld the right of private organizations to bar certain people from joining.

With the LGBT movement gaining ground and President Barack Obama voicing support for change in the Boy Scouts granting equal opportunity to gays as well as controversy over firing several high profile Eagle Scouts when their sexual orientation was discovered, the general sentiment is for the Boy Scouts of America to change its ways and "get with the times."

Such a scenario raises several ethical concerns. Does the media's bias overly incriminate traditional, religious orientated organizations like the Boy Scouts? Conversely, is it right for the Boy Scouts of America to remove members who joined knowing they violated one of the institution's rules or boys who were heterosexual when they joined and later developed homosexual tendencies or were previously unaware of their sexual orientation?
 

Terminus

If I was a wizard this wouldn't be happening to me
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Well, having joined Scouts about, oh, 7 or 8 years back, I can say it's time. The organization just has to get it's ancient posterior section in the correct transmission setting (rear in gear).

Also, I am hesitant whether or not to go for Eagle in this hate-filled, bigoted organisation.
 

BoxTar

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The Boy Scouts Organization needs to stop putting off the issue and finally address it. Yes, it has rules and traditions tracing back quite a few years, but they need to know that times CHANGE. They need to update as the demographic shifts, and they need to acknowledge that homosexuality is not at an increase, but is merely becoming more and more accepted as years pass (compared to the original creation of the Scouts). By continuing these traditions they merely further instill this bigotry and hatred within the new Scouts that enter into the Organizations, and may cause current and future Scouts to see those who are homosexual to be "inferior", which they are not. Overall, stop dragging your feet, BSOA, and get this decision over with!
 

Hanyou

didn't build that
The Boy Scouts of America is a private organization and they can do as they wish. They are simply (potentially) ending the policy on a national level; local chapters would still decide whether they'd like to allow or disallow gay members. So it would by no means be a requirement for all local chapters to be fully accepting of homosexuality.

This sounds like a good, wise policy shift if it's enacted. That said, I also don't see what's wrong with their current policy. Certainly, neither one is anything to get worked up about.

Terminus said:
Also, I am hesitant whether or not to go for Eagle in this hate-filled, bigoted organisation.
Nintendo_Master said:
By continuing these traditions they merely further instill this bigotry and hatred within the new Scouts that enter into the Organizations, and may cause current and future Scouts to see those who are homosexual to be "inferior", which they are not.
I have never had anything to do with the Boy Scouts, but I see no evidence of hatred or bigotry on their part. And how would these traditions convince anyone that gay people are inferior? I see no evidence of that in official policy, but please enlighten me if something's there.
 
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A Link In Time

Break the Ice!
ZD Legend
Hanyou said:
The Boy Scouts of America is a private organization and they can do as they wish.
Couldn't have said it better myself. I believe the problem lies in people not wanting to create a separate organization for gays creating the "separate but equal predicament" at the end of the nineteenth century through the better part of the 20th.

It's a repeat of black rights. A vocal minority among the Boy Scouts vehemently and possibly violently opposed to gay members creates the image of a backwards, homophobic organization. Pardon the language.

The media obviously plays into this as well. It's a crafty gatekeeper and will publish a plethora of stories on issues it wants to see advanced. Ever since the Connecticut school shooting, I see articles about more recent cases of gun violence every day. It's pretty clear the media wants second amendment gun rights curtailed but that's a different topic entirely.
 

BoxTar

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I have never had anything to do with the Boy Scouts, but I see no evidence of hatred or bigotry on their part. And how would these traditions convince anyone that gay people are inferior? I see no evidence of that in official policy, but please enlighten me if something's there.
Let's paint a scenario. Say there's Jimmy and Steve. These two are both Boy Scouts. As they both grow older, one discovers that he is "different" from the other. He explains this to one of the elders (or possibly goes to a parent, someone he trusts more). Somehow or another, this gets to the boy scouts. A stupid rumor goes around that he is a homosexual. He may be teased by the other Scouts, but he may not be. Depends on the kids. What is for certain is that he will be removed from the scouts because of his sexual orientation.

I don't care if it is a private organization or not, I really don't. I understand they have the right to make whatever laws and traditions they want as a part of their organization, I get it, they are an independently run organization. This isn't an issue of legality. It is an issue of morality. So what I said about continuing bigotry or degradation may not be true, but the fact remains still: those who are discluded or removed from this organization merely because of their sexual orientation is wrong. Morally. End of story.
 

Moonstone

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I'm absolutely pro-LGBT movement, but, as Hanyou said, they're a private organization. They can do what they want. I think what they're doing is wrong, but... There's nothing stopping someone from making a separate, but otherwise similar, organization that will be more lenient in that matter.

Does being a Boy Scout still reflect well on college applications and stuff? The only issue I can see with a separate organization is in the case of how it looks on a transcript.
 
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I am an Eagle scout, though i dont support the idea homosexuality I however wont dicemigrate someone who is. i do have frinds who are BI/gay and we get along fine, Now going to the oath of the scouts the last line " to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight." the key word were is " morally straight" now through my years as a scout my troop never actuly touched on the subject of Homosexuality we discussed everything els except that. Now I myself Knows what it is like to be an outcast, being alone and barred fron joining a group just because im different then everyone els. I joined the BSA so i can belong and make freinds. the way i see it the BSA needs to change this because if they dont then people will see the BSA as a hate group, and banning gays is contradictory to their rules saying " anyone can join". and i myself dont want to be linked to a hate group. now also keep in mind that the oath was writtin a long time agoe and now times have changed. and to the part of the oath " to God and my country" my scout master told me that refers to " your personal God who you beleave in" their are other religions in the BSA including Muslims and Mormons, working as a camp counselor i have meet with other troops that have different religions. as for the argument of child molesters being gay i find invalided because Straight people can be child molesters as well.
 
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It's a private organization, they can do what they want. I'm an atheist; I don't walk into a church on Sunday and tell everyone they can't pray. I think it would be great if the Boy Scouts decided to openly admit homosexuals, but it's their choice and they can do what they want.
 

Ventus

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Just like the users above me said, the Scouts are a private organization and they can do what they want. They have a right to privacy. If they were advertising themselves as a public organization, THEN there would be serious issues involved, in my opinion.
 

Xinnamin

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I don't care if it is a private organization or not, I really don't. I understand they have the right to make whatever laws and traditions they want as a part of their organization, I get it, they are an independently run organization. This isn't an issue of legality. It is an issue of morality. So what I said about continuing bigotry or degradation may not be true, but the fact remains still: those who are discluded or removed from this organization merely because of their sexual orientation is wrong. Morally. End of story.
If you pretended to be a woman to enter a women only organization, only to be found out and removed, is that immoral? It's the same idea here. The Boy Scouts do not want homosexuals among their ranks because they have traditions that they wish to honor. If a gay man tried to get into the organization knowing full well that they do not want gays, then it is their right to remove that man, and they are perfectly within moral boundaries to do so, the same way a woman only organization would be within moral boundaries to deny a man admission.

Yes, the times are changing, and yes, discrimination against the LGBT community, or any minority community, is heavily frowned upon by general public media. But that doesn't matter. If the Boy Scouts want to change, great. If they don't, there is nothing wrong with that. My understanding of the situation is that they don't actively seek out gays to eject from their ranks, they just don't want open homosexuals in their ranks because they feel homosexuality is inconsistent with the values they wish to instill in their boys due to their religious roots. A mother is not immoral for wanting to shield her child against homosexuality; she may be old-fashioned, but she is not immoral. The same holds true here.
 

Doc

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As been said, the Boy Scouts have the right to decline or remove homosexuals among their ranks. Trying to tell them they need to change their traditions is just as wrong as telling homosexuals they are not allowed in Boy Scouts. I am all for homosexual rights but people also should respect those who do not wish to accept homosexuality. By trying to change the organization, you are forcing your beliefs onto them. And I am sure that many of you don't believe forcing religion on others is wrong, so is forcing beliefs on homosexuality. If they do change that would be great for the gay community and the US, but if they decide otherwise people should understand.
 

Inflexus

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If they should change to allow gays is entirely different than if they have to. Obviously as a private organization they maintain that right, I'm surprised no one in this thread has called them out on being "Boy Scouts" and is calling them to become simply "Scouts" to allow in girls as well. No one has a problem with that. Let's take it a step further, what if they were the "White Scouts?" The media would throw a hissy fit, but they absolutely have the right to have a white supremacist gay hating organization, if they want to. That doesn't make it right but it doesn't change their rights.

That said, let's focus on the moral imperative side of the question here. Do they have strong morally compelling evidence to influence them into accepting LGBT that overwhelms strong morally compelling evidence to the contrary? I think that's more fun to discuss.

My dad as a scout master has told me that 100% of openly gay men discovered in the BSA organization have been accused, often multiple times, of molestation. Is there something to be said there? I don't quite buy it. However, from his perspective(as his exaggeration likely suggests), why would a gays want to join an organization filled with the same sex? An environment where they have to camp with each other and change and shower in front of each other? To a conservative man, it would seem suspect, would it not?

On the other hand, clearly not all gay men are sexual predators. Some may be interested in helping boys develop into morally upstanding young men. Also, often sexual predators often are married with children so there is only so much to be said there.

Anywho, discuss.
 

Sir Quaffler

May we meet again
Being an Eagle Scout myself, I will vouch for the BSA. They are an organization that does their part to influence the lives of young males in a constructive manner and to teach them moral and ethical values that they will take with them to the rest of their lives. Holding true to their moral convictions and shielding them from the influence of homosexuality is part of that. They are a private organization heavily influenced by the teachings of Christianity, and they have the right to act however they please. You may not like it, you may think it's hatred and bigotry, but the fact of the matter is they have been at this for WAY longer than you have, and I think the results speak for themselves.

As Inflexus above has pointed out, there's an actual reason behind this prohibition. It's for the protection of the Scouts themselves against sexual predators. When we go out on our campings we are out there for several days or even weeks, away from the protection society at large provides, with the organization & its leaders being pretty much the only source of protection we have. If there is one among their ranks who secretly has sexual wantings for the young males, who else is going to stop him? They're out in the middle of the woods, far away from the rest of civilization, and they are at greater risk there. This is a safety measure put in place to prevent that scenario from happening, and it swings both ways; adult heterosexual males wanting a position in the leadership must pass training in protection as well as personal screening. I will admit upon reflection that it is a bit of a generalization, but the reasons are well-intentioned.

If they DO decide on their own accord to allow homosexuals into their ranks, well, that's their business and I am confident that they can competently handle the situation. But as it stands now I will totally stand behind their current decisions.
 

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