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Flash! BSA to drop Gay Ban!

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The local news here in the Bay Area tonight reported that it will be left up to Boy Scout troops to decide if they want to allow gays to join or not. That's okay in our area but maybe problematic in other parts of the country.

Colin :icon_geek:

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In reality... it's the national organization that has set and enforced the no-gay policy. With the exception of some rural areas or small towns there should be a choice of troops for boys to join. When this takes effect there is nothing to stop a group of boys and dads from forming their own troops and allowing in anyone they want. This is a big deal. The 'local option' is the hook that the nationional organization is using to save face.

Nothing has been said, so far, about atheists... the other group that has been excluded.

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There are alternatives to church related scouting troops, and now perhaps they will get a chance to step up and show their acceptance of gay scouts and leaders. We have known all along that it is the church organizations behind the BSA that have rejected gay scouting members. Other than furthering the cause of religion, rejecting a boy over his sexual feelings is less than Christian.

No further rants about the religious right except to say that I used to peruse several sites for humor and that is no longer necessary. Now if I want a laugh I go to one of several gay news and blog sites. You can't make up headlines funnier than this:

Religious Right activists warn of pedophilia if Boy Scouts open doors to gay members...

Catholic Archbishop of San Francisco: Allowing gays to marry ‘is like legalising male breastfeeding’...

Oklahoma pastor: You can’t refrigerate homosexuality like pork, so it is still a sin...

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About time the Boy Scouts followed the trail blazed by their sister organization, the Girl Scouts. The Girl Scouts (GSUSA) accept lesbians as troop leaders and allow girls to substitute a word more applicable to their belief for the word "God" in the Girl Scout Promise.

From a GSUSA 1991 policy statement: As a private organization, Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. respects the values and beliefs of each of its members and does not intrude into personal matters. Therefore, there are no membership policies on sexual preference.

From a 2003 position statement: We recognize the basic human rights of all people, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals. All citizens, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, have the right to housing, employment, and to be free from violence and harassment.

And a heroic act of inclusion in October of 2011, when, in regard to a local troop’s rejection of a transgender 7-year-old child, the Girl Scouts of Colorado stated publicly “If a child identifies as a girl and the child’s family presents her as a girl, Girl Scouts of Colorado welcomes her as a Girl Scout.”

We can only hope that the Boy Scouts will Man-Up like the Girl Scouts...

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One wonders what will happen if a local BS organization decides to exclude an 11-year-old boy who identified as gay from their troop because of his orientation. And then the father sues for discrimination. In the past, the local troop could say their national organization prevented them from accepting the boy. Now they don't have that fall-back position, so it's them against the parents, fighting a law suit with possible financial penalties. I don't think they're in a viable legal position, and I don't think the national organization will support them, as it was probably money that got that group to change in the first place.

Just wondering.

C

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Excellent point, Cole.

Yes, a local troop would hardly have the deep pockets to defend such a suit. And if the troop was church-sponsored, a gay kid probably wouldn't feel comfortable being around anyway.

Shoving the rsponsibility for discrimination off on the local organizations makes it easier for the national organization to raise money.

Incidentally, the President of the United States has by tradition always been the 'honarary head' of the organization, a positition President Obama opted out of... to his credit.

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Only a discussion at the moment. I'm glad that at least the American Boy Scouts organization is opening up the idea of talking about the possibility of ending a ban on gay scouts and gay scout leaders. I read a story not long ago about a lesbian mother who was horrified when she was summarily dropped as a den mother of her son's Cub Scout troop.

But a discussion is not lifting the ban -- not yet. Maybe someday, maybe even this year. But I think progress on this kind of stuff is slow.

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Not so fast to believe the BSA will change:

http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2013/02/texas-governor-rick-perry-boy-scouts-should-keep-anti-gay-policy/

Does anyone listen to Rick Perry anymore? Texans have to, but that is a self-inflicted wound for those folks. But perhaps it may shock you to know that I agree with him on this issue. The Boy Scouts as they exist now will never accept gay members.

I define the current organization as the Church Scouts as most troops are put in place by religious organizations. Tells you a lot about these religions that they care more about the Bible then they do the scout handbook, but I have a solution.

Church Scouting should be allowed to continue since that old idiom is quite true: “better the devil you know than the one you don’t.” But let’s put the Church Scouts aside for the moment. What we need is a new organization and let’s call them the Free Scouts.

Free as in free from religious intolerance and hate. This new organization should be all inclusive except there would be no need for the God business to become involved. And since religion is out of the picture I would have the government step up to the plate and make provisions to support this group of boys.

Scouting has always provided good lessons in citizenship, at least before the Mormon Church, the Catholic Church and a host of other deity loving bigots derailed the purpose of scouting. I was a scout, we met in a church basement but there was nary a preacher in sight while there was still a lot of lip service to the divine. To give you an example of how bad church influence has become on scouting they give awards these days for Bible readings.

Church Scouting currently receives all kinds of support from private business and we can choose to boycott those folks if we so desire. But they are given government support in far too many instances and that needs to stop…it’s unconstitutional. My old troop had a warehouse filled with military surplus goods freely donated from the local Army base. Tents, cookware, etc., although I never did see any tanks or artillery in there I was suspicious there might be a fighter jet tucked away under a tarp over in the corner.

Church Scouting needs to lose all the freebies, and all that largesse needs to be given to the Free Scouts. Free access to parks and recreation areas, free information and instruction by government employees in the agriculture and forestry departments, free equipment in surplus, and I could go on. The Free Scouts would be tax exempt, just not exempt because of their religious base like the Church Scouts. But this new scouting organization would be based upon social equality not religious bigotry, and because of that I imagine they would flourish.

Rick Perry is right because what he is saying is no matter what the current Boy Scouts of America decides about their rules there will still exist the bigotry and hatred of gays within the membership. Granted that kids would adjust far easier than parents, but adults always take the moral low ground in fights like this. So change the name of the BSA to CSA…and laugh along with me about the connotations of that acronym.

The FSA (Free Scouts of America) has a nice ring to it. We would be raising boys with a better mindset, an open and all inclusive means to teach them how tolerance really works. It’s easy really…all we have to do is take God out of the equation.

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Yours is such a good idea, Chris, that there has already been action taken:

https://www.stlbeacon.org/#!/content/26471/boys_scouts_alternative_081012

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-atchley/an-alternative-inclusive-_b_1954909.html

Remains to been seen if this will catch on, since growth relies heavily on community-based leadership willing to undertake organizing from scratch in the face of locally entrenched old-boy networks based on BSA scouting.

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If you have any doubts that the Boy Scouts will lift this absurd ban on gay members then read this:

http://usnews.nbcnew...on-on-gays?lite=

The Godly scout boosters are not going to give in lightly, and as I said perhaps they should not. Then at least I will not feel so bad when I see the scouts in uniform outside the grocery store collecting funds and I say no. What I really want to tell those boys is that they should run for their lives.

I ususally look with contempt at the adults who accompany these boys and only hope that one of them will say something to me so that I can lash out with anger at their ignorance and blind faith. But that never happens, perhaps they see the hatred in my eyes.

But I will buy Girl Scout cookies...now there's a group that has their act together...and at least it seems they are trying to understand what the LBGT community wants. Read this is you need confirmation:

http://saratoday.wor...uy-the-cookies/

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I don't rail at the Salvation Army bell ringers either while walking past their pots. I'd like to, but realize the futility of the gesture. It might make me feel good, but too, it might make me feel like a bully. The person ringing the bell has to be low on the totem pole -- otherwise he or she wouldn't be standing out in the cold, ringing a bell, and getting snubbed by 95% of the passersby. They probably don't even realized their organization discriminates against gays, and my telling them that they do probably wouldn't make any difference at all. So, I walk on by. But I admit to being a bit nasty: I do wish for a little bit colder and brisker wind to blow.

C

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But I will buy Girl Scout cookies...now there's a group that has their act together...and at least it seems they are trying to understand what the LBGT community wants.

Doh, you gotta love those Chocolate Mint cookies! Those are the greatest.

As for the Salvation Army: there was a move awhile back for people to drop in pieces of paper like this one in lieu of bills:

queerdollar3.jpg

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As I understand it, the legal situation is that the BSA is a private, voluntary organization, and so they can admit or exclude anyone they want.

And major corporations who are for basic human rights for all sexual persuasions are within their rights to withhold support of organizations like the Boy Scouts. And that's exactly what's happening: they're losing millions of dollars in support. Maybe by providing at least limited support for gay teens and scoutmasters, they could get the donations back.

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Read story in San Francisco Chronicle: Boy Scouts could lose tax break for gay ban

California would strip the tax-exempt status from youth organizations like the Boy Scouts if they have policies that bar gay people from participating, under a bill introduced at the Capitol Tuesday.

Colin :icon_geek:

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Most of the rest of the world is homophobic too. I'm guessing there's a lot of international members in the leadership council of the world body. Even though the US is technically a separate entity, I suspect that getting the votes to disinvite them over homophobia would be seriously unrealistic. I know the rep from my country wouldn't vote for it. Add to that most of the Caribbean countries, most of Christianized and Islamicised Africa, a chunk of Catholic South America, the religious middle east, probably Russia and a lot of Orthodox Christian Eastern Europe and that's a tough nut to crack.

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