Boy Scouts Close to Ending Ban on Gay Members
Op-Ed Written by PC
Guest Author, Progressive Press
Boy Scouts of America released a statement on Monday saying that the organization is considering ending its ban on openly gay members and leaders.
Being both “straight” and a former Boy Scout troop leader whose father served as our Scout Master; I can assure you that some of my fellow Scouts were gay, and later in life “came out” — joining the LGBT community with pride.
These people were, and still are, my friends. We also dealt with a situation where another troop’s Scout Master was a pedophile and was convicted of multiple counts of child molestation. So, since the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) adopted a quiet standard of “don’t ask don’t tell”, did this mindset deliver less ‘gay activity’ or behavior? No. The practice only drove the gay individual underground and served to stifle and retard their reporting of an inappropriate Scout Master’s pedophile behavior.
For the shallow-thinking heterosexual, integration of gay scouts and leaders is a combination begging for disaster, but not so fast. Because an individual is gay does not automatically make ‘one’ gravitate toward pedophilia.
A common flaw in the self-righteous evangelical mindset (and the less-than-comfortable-in-their-own skin and perhaps “closet homosexual”) is the tendency to become contorted by religious teachings. The argument against inclusivity has been as subjective a subject as the battle over abortion and gun rights. But the underlying deliberateness here is the infiltration of religious overtones.
My opinion is that the BSA’s move would be, and is, long overdue. However, a sensible caveat to heading in the right direction: equality and acceptance must always be eyed with not only the best of intent, but in a way that fosters a best practices approach to its implementation.
Photo Credit: STAFF/REUTERS