Earlier today, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) announced that they will now allow openly gay scouts under the age of 18 to be openly gay in the organization without fear of being kicked out. (Gay and Lesbian parents will still not be allowed to be Scout Leaders).
John Stemberger, the aforementioned angry religious white man, is angry with the decisions for three main reasons:
- That allowing gay and lesbian scouts into all chapters without fear of being kicked out forces religious institutions which run 70% of BSA’s chapters infringes on those churches religious rights.
- That the decision forces all BSA groups to allow “open homosexuality” in their chapters.
- That the decision prevents him from being “the sole authority to raise issues of sex and sexuality with their kids.”
Let me address these issues in order.
First, I’m sorry, but we’re once again misinterpreting what religious rights actually are. BSA’s decision states that all chapters are unable to kick someone out for being gay. This is not your religious right. You don’t get to claim that your religion allows you to prevent openly gay children from being in your organization. Legally, yes, you have that right (for now), but morally, no, you do not.
Second, just about every school and summer program I’ve interacted with states they have a policy against sexual conduct while under the supervision of program staff. That means you can’t have sex during Biology class, in the bunks at summer camp, or in the tents during BSA events. So… no. BSA is not encouraging open homosexual conduct. It’s demanding that BSA chapters do not actively kick out gay members.
Lastly, and possibly most importantly, since when have parents been the sole educators on their children’s views on sex? Did I miss something? Because last I heard, sex education was taught in schools, it’s in teenage TV shows, and it’s even in the books on the AP Literature test. Sex is everywhere. ”Alternative” sex is also everywhere.
You haven’t EVER been the sole educator on your children’s views about sex. You’ve never even been the primary source of that information. Boy Scouts of America is telling your kids and scout leaders that they’re not allowed to engage in behavior that leads to isolation, alienation, and suicide in gay children. Please let me know when your local boy scout troop starts teaching the basics of gay sex, because that will be a day for the history books, considering your organization still is battered with accusations of teaching sexism, racism, and homophobia.
In the end, it’s a shame that American boys do not have the same amazing organization that American girls do, when it comes to the Girl Scouts. While Boy Scouts of America is still chewing on the basics of the Human Decency Badge, Girl Scouts of America has been teaching girls business, leadership, and practical work force skills for ages.
And they make some damn good cookies, too.