Over the past year, the “teaching leadership” group Boy Scouts of America (BSA) have been the center for heated debate among advocates and supporters of LGBT rights since the organization has always refused to accept gay members. Several months ago many believed that there had been some progress with BSA said they would consider lifting the ban on gays only to later back out citing they needed more time to weigh their options (more like soothe the wounded egos of their financial backers). Now the BSA comes back with another proposal, only this time it would allow scout members that identify as gay but no LGBT leaders and volunteers would be allowed. Here’s more:
NEW YORK — Searching for compromise on a divisive issue, the Boy Scouts of America is proposing to partially lift its long-standing exclusion of gays – allowing them as youth members but continuing to bar them as adult leaders.
The proposal, unveiled Friday after weeks of private leadership deliberations, will be submitted to the roughly 1,400 voting members of the BSA’s National Council during the week of May 20 at a meeting in Texas.
The key part of the resolution says no youth may be denied membership in the Scouts “on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.” A ban would continue on leadership roles for adults who are openly gay or lesbian.
Gay-rights groups, which had demanded a complete lifting of the ban, criticized the proposal as inadequate.
“Until every parent and young person have the same opportunity to serve, the Boy Scouts will continue to see a decline in both membership and donations,” said Rich Ferraro, a spokesman for the gay-rights watchdog group GLAAD.
Here’s the thing, by specifically saying that LGBT members cannot participate in volunteering and leadership positions suggest that likely they’ll only “tolerate” gay members. What would they do if a gay scout member is teased, harassed or bullied? Would they blame the perpetrators or the victim? How are we to know that the administrators of this organization wouldn’t also try to implement some “education” about how gay scout members are “wrong” and just need the proper education? That if guided correctly we’ll grow out of it? Because why not believe that they would try to instate some kind of reparative scouting along the way. See, too many questions with no clear answers arise with this proposal.
Of course this is all speculation on my part, but there is something that just doesn’t sit right with me in this deal in which they are adamant about excluding LGBT volunteers. So this deal stinks. Do better BSA and allow gays in all areas.