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A Blog by Gary Wright II

Boy Scouts will continue excluding gays

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

I'm very disappointed that today the Boy Scouts of America affirmed their policy of excluding gays. I started a boycott against BSA many years ago, and I will continue those efforts. Why does BSA need to have a policy of exclusion for any group? I thought Boy Scouts were supposed to be about honest and integrity. I guess that is no longer true.

In 2000, the United States Supreme Court ruled in a 5 to 4 decision that private organization can set their own membership standards. As a private organization, BSA can legally stay with this policy, but at what cost? They should lose every penny of state, local, and federal funding. They also must lose the use of any taxpayer-funded facilities. All good things must eventually come to an end, and BSA - now is your time. You have totally destroyed what used to be a good organization.

This isn't just about gay rights, it is about excluding those who are not what BSA perceives as "normal" and acceptable. No one is trying to turn BSA into a gay pride club, but they are sending the message to kids that it is not okay to be who you really are and yet it is okay to not accept others who may be different from themselves.

Over the past few years, the leadership of the BSA have tarnished their image in a way that can't be repaired. That is why I say they must go. First, they started kicking people out for no valid reason. Next, they forged their membership rolls to make people believe they had a policy of racial acceptance. They listed hundred (maybe thousands) of black kids who were never members and that led to a federal investigation (google it for details). Now, after a lengthy study, they choose to stick with their policy of exclusion. The leadership still doesn't get it.

Two examples of how lost BSA has become: In Texas, the gay father of a 9 year old Cub Scout was forced out of a leadership position and told to quit wearing shirts that support the Scouts. In North Carolina, a couple had their application rejected because they are Mormon.

If I had a son, there is no way I would let him ever join an organization like this. The BSA is supposed to be all about kids, so it is upsetting to me that they are even talking about policies like this. Parents - do you really want your kids learning from a group of racists and homophobes? If you do, then maybe you are part of the problem.

On Twitter, Seth MacFarlane posted, "Boy Scouts Uphold No Gays Allowed Policy" ...says the organization that decorates their shirts with stitched-on pictures of animal faces."


Update 7/18/2012: Much like the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, I wish BSA would fix the policy internally instead of being forced to make the change through external pressures.

Today Change.org made an announcement that Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T and an executive board member of the Boy Scouts of America would be joining fellow Board member James Turley, CEO of Ernst & Young to help change the policy. I hope that other BSA board members will realize their mistake and help fix this.

Although I didn't specifically mention lesbians in my blog entry, they have also been excluded from participating in any scout activities. Every gay rights organization has mobilized to change the policy, so the change is inevitable for BSA.

It is such a shame that this is happening, because our youth need organizations like the BSA. It is unfortunate that BSA leaders will allow the organization to suffer even more public humiliation, rather than do the right thing. There is no need for them to even have this policy of exclusion.

The bottom line is this: the BSA is for boys and all boys should be allowed to participate regardless of their religious affiliation or sexual orientation.

Chad Griffin of the Human Rights Campaign: "This is a missed opportunity of colossal proportions. With the country moving toward inclusion, the leaders of the Boy Scouts of America have instead sent a message to young people that only some of them are valued. These adults could have taught the next generation of leaders the value of respect, yet they have chosen to teach division and intolerance."


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