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Old 28th January 2013, 11:12 AM   #1
Dr. Keith
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BSA may revert to old rule on Gays

Apparently the Boy Scouts of America are finally considering a return to the pre-'90s rule of allowing the sponsoring organizations to determine if gays could be leaders.

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013...s-leaders?lite

This is a huge step in the right direction, if true.
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Old 28th January 2013, 11:43 AM   #2
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About time.
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Old 28th January 2013, 12:41 PM   #3
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Good. As an Eagle Scout and long time leader, I'm impressed that they are finally getting their head out of their collective asses...
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Old 28th January 2013, 01:17 PM   #4
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This half-measure isn't going to change a damned thing.

They need to make a statement of gay equality and move on.
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Old 28th January 2013, 01:25 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by BenBurch View Post
This half-measure isn't going to change a damned thing.
I disagree. The "half-measure" is very workable. It allows me to join a local troop that is not discriminatory and to discuss gay issues within that troop. It allows that troop to have gay boys in leadership positions and it allows that troop to openly participate in national scouting events without having to hide that boys or leadership may be gay.

Frankly, that is the way it was when I got my eagle. Our troop was very open and most of the people I met through scouting were very liberal. This allows those people back into scouting and it allows those people to have a voice in scouting.

I have not been active in scouting at all for over 20 years just because of this rule. If this rule is changed and I can find a liberal troop in my area that may change over the next few years. (I say "may" because of the time it would take from my family, but it is a pretty strong "may".)

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They need to make a statement of gay equality and move on.
Eventually, yes. But the path to that statement runs through this half-step. They can't swing from full-bigot to civil rights leader overnight. Give them a chance.

What I like most is that less than a year ago I was told to shut up about gays in scouting. It wasn't even worth discussing as it would never happen.
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Old 28th January 2013, 01:27 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
I disagree. The "half-measure" is very workable. It allows me to join a local troop that is not discriminatory and to discuss gay issues within that troop. It allows that troop to have gay boys in leadership positions and it allows that troop to openly participate in national scouting events without having to hide that boys or leadership may be gay.

Frankly, that is the way it was when I got my eagle. Our troop was very open and most of the people I met through scouting were very liberal. This allows those people back into scouting and it allows those people to have a voice in scouting.

I have not been active in scouting at all for over 20 years just because of this rule. If this rule is changed and I can find a liberal troop in my area that may change over the next few years. (I say "may" because of the time it would take from my family, but it is a pretty strong "may".)



Eventually, yes. But the path to that statement runs through this half-step. They can't swing from full-bigot to civil rights leader overnight. Give them a chance.

What I like most is that less than a year ago I was told to shut up about gays in scouting. It wasn't even worth discussing as it would never happen.
Fair enough.
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Old 28th January 2013, 01:57 PM   #7
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If only they'd make the same concession on religious belief, then we'd be on to something.
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Old 28th January 2013, 01:59 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
Apparently the Boy Scouts of America are finally considering a return to the pre-'90s rule of allowing the sponsoring organizations to determine if gays could be leaders.

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013...s-leaders?lite

This is a huge step in the right direction, if true.
I cannot describe what a relief this will be, if it happens.

I have a pair of close friends whose son self-identified as gay from a fairly young age. He has yet to express any desire to be in Cub Scouts but, if he had, we would have had to explain to him that he couldn't join, even though his friends could. Further, I would not have been comfortable allowing my son to join under the present circumstances. As a third generation Boy Scout and second Eagle Scout in my family (after my grandfather, whose medels are on my wall), this was pretty damn traumatic for me.
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Old 28th January 2013, 02:43 PM   #9
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How about atheists? Or do atheists still have to stay away from an organization with congressional recognition?
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Old 28th January 2013, 03:26 PM   #10
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I haven't seen the proposal, but nothing they quoted or referenced in the article seems to indicate that the policy change would be limited to just gay adults and kids. It could be that the troop could decide to allow atheists as well.
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Old 28th January 2013, 03:36 PM   #11
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Found it.

Quote:
This would mean there would no longer be any national policy regarding sexual orientation, and the chartered organizations that oversee and deliver Scouting would accept membership and select leaders consistent with each organization’s mission, principles, or religious beliefs. BSA members and parents would be able to choose a local unit that best meets the needs of their families.
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Old 28th January 2013, 04:08 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
Fantastic!

I really thought this would be another ten years off, I just can't imagine this is happening.
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Old 29th January 2013, 06:25 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
I believe this essentially means that if Localtown Baptist Church sponsors a troop, it's allowed to forbid gays from joining its troop based on religious objections to gaiety. It is not a policy allowing atheists.

There are a number of troops sponsored by churches; but, particularly in larger population areas, there are usually a few different troops sponsored by a few different organizations, not all of them churches. In these larger areas, it would be easier for someone to find a more liberally-minded troop.

People in rural areas might have a bit more trouble; fewer troops and probably more likely to be sponsored by churches.

I have to agree with Dr. Keith, however, that this is a complete surprise to me. Especially only - what, a month or two after their last emphatic refusal to change the policy? To be frank I expected them to agree to allow atheists in before they'd ever cave on gays.
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Old 30th January 2013, 07:09 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
I believe this essentially means that if Localtown Baptist Church sponsors a troop, it's allowed to forbid gays from joining its troop based on religious objections to gaiety. It is not a policy allowing atheists.
Maybe not for Localtown Baptist Church, but what about the Localtown Unitarian Universalist Church down the street?

One of the lesser known gripes with the national BSA organization is that they have forbidden UU churches from being the sponsoring agency for a troop. This is because UU churches were printing their own materials that didn't jibe with the national policies concerning gays and atheists. Now, the above statement doesn't explicitly say anything about opening up the requirements for being a chartering organization, but it is surely in the wind. If this proposal passes, the BSA's gripe with UU is moot.

Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
I have to agree with Dr. Keith, however, that this is a complete surprise to me. Especially only - what, a month or two after their last emphatic refusal to change the policy? To be frank I expected them to agree to allow atheists in before they'd ever cave on gays.
Follow the money. BSA has lost a lot of corporate sponsorship over a policy that is, frankly, difficult to support under their founding principles.
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Old 30th January 2013, 03:40 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
Maybe not for Localtown Baptist Church, but what about the Localtown Unitarian Universalist Church down the street?

One of the lesser known gripes with the national BSA organization is that they have forbidden UU churches from being the sponsoring agency for a troop. This is because UU churches were printing their own materials that didn't jibe with the national policies concerning gays and atheists. Now, the above statement doesn't explicitly say anything about opening up the requirements for being a chartering organization, but it is surely in the wind. If this proposal passes, the BSA's gripe with UU is moot.
Under this proposal, the same language that would allow Localtown Baptist Church to exclude gays for religious reasons would allow Localtown UU Church to allow gays due to a lack of religious reasons for excluding them (issues specific to UU churches sponsoring troops notwithstanding).

I do not think the language allows for the inclusion of atheist members yet. However, I agree that this change likely means that change should be on the horizon.
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Old 30th January 2013, 07:40 PM   #16
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If the Supreme Court's ruling in BSA v Dale was that the scouts are allowed to exclude gays because to require otherwise is to stifle their expressive policy regarding homosexual conduct, then how will local units be allowed to discriminate when they no longer have an expressive policy regarding homosexual conduct?

It will be interesting to see how the lawsuits go against the local units that bar gays after the national organization removes the rationale behind Dale.
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Old 31st January 2013, 04:22 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
I do not think the language allows for the inclusion of atheist members yet. However, I agree that this change likely means that change should be on the horizon.
I haven't seen the actual proposal, but the BSA's press release specifically mentioned "religious beliefs" along with sexual orientation. It's reasonable to assume that they would leave both up to the local sponsor.
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Old 6th February 2013, 09:46 AM   #18
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The cowards could not bring themselves to show leadership, moral fiber, or a backbone and delayed the decision until May so the councils can vote on it.

Disgusting.
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Old 6th February 2013, 12:33 PM   #19
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As long as they have formal recognition from the USA (which they do), they are obligated to obey the constitution, not just part of it.

But will we ever see that happen? I doubt it.
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Old 6th February 2013, 12:46 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
The cowards could not bring themselves to show leadership, moral fiber, or a backbone and delayed the decision until May so the councils can vote on it.

Disgusting.
sux.
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Old 6th February 2013, 12:59 PM   #21
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Wait......the BSA is delaying a decision to allow local troops the authority to decide whether or not to continue practicing bigotry? Free at last, free at last.

The heck with them. Backwards assed organization that does no good equal to the harm they do.

I was a scout in this small troop of 15 or so boys. Later, I was in HS ROTC under the guidance of LTC George Heib. Until I read this story, I had no idea there was a connection between my old Scout Master and LTC Heib....a man I greatly admired.
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