There will be many losers in the Boy Scout debate
The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has delayed deciding on whether to allow openly gay scouts or adult leaders in its organization until a May meeting.
As in any issue involving sexuality, the opinions on both sides are heated. Those who stand behind the BSA’s current policy that excludes gays have cited religious and moral concerns. Approximately 70 percent of all Scout units are sponsored by religious denominations that support the ban. Meanwhile, gay Scouts, volunteers and supporters say sexual orientation should have no impact on membership.
The issue is troubling on both sides. The Scouts is hands-down a great group of growing boys with amazing male and female leaders who teach lessons and skills that can and will be used throughout life. Scout experiences and opportunities often aid boys as they grow and follow them into adulthood.
Many denominations, groups and individuals who support the Scouts’ current no-gay members stance have said that if the policy changes, they will no longer sponsor units and events. With 70 percent of all units currently sponsored by religious groups, that’s a number of Scouts looking at losing out on important, worthwhile experiences.
On the other side, if the policy remains as is, there will be number of Scouts and adult leaders who cannot or will not join the group because they are gay. A number of pro-gay parents will also keep their sons from joining because of the policy.
Sexuality is a heated debate in society today but it’s sad that so many children are facing the loss of the Scouts because of an adult conversation. People will walk from the Scouts no matter what decision is made. It is possible the BSA could retain its current policy or end it all together. It is also a possibility that the national group will allow each unit to decide on its own whether gay members and leaders will be welcomed.
Either way, a lot of kids are going to lose because of a political battle between adults.
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