You have probably heard of the Ohio Cub Scout leader who was forced to resign for being a lesbian. My brother recently shared this with his 7-year-old son who, in addition to being in the Cub Scouts, has a friend with two lesbian moms which required its own explanation a couple years ago. Now, my enlightened nephew reacted to the latest news by telling my brother this: “Dad, we have two choices. Plan A: We ask the Cub Scouts to change their mind. Plan B: We quit.”
Quick update on this situation. They tried Plan A and no surprise, ended up with Plan B. An excerpt from a correspondence with David Burke, Communications Specialist for the Boy Scouts of America:
“I’d like to briefly address your request to change BSA’s membership policy. This is a complex topic and the BSA recognizes the diverse views and depth of genuine feeling on this matter, within and outside the Scouting community. Further, we understand that not everyone will agree with any one position or policy on this topic. The debate on homosexuality is a societal issue on which we as a nation do not agree, and I believe both sides of this issue feel passionately that they are doing the right thing. With this in mind, the BSA maintains that its program is not the appropriate forum to discuss and debate one’s sexuality. After much research and discussion with individuals inside and outside BSA, our leadership has elected to maintain this policy because they think it best serves the organization and allows Scouting to most effectively accomplish its mission, but it is not meant to stand as a commentary outside the Scouting program.”
My brother responded:
“Thank you for your note. However, I am very disappointed in the content. Your explanation is shallow justification for an outdated policy. I find it interesting that the Boy Scouts/Cub Scouts are one of the few youth oriented organizations that still discriminates based on sexual orientation. It’s unfortunate that your organization cannot follow the example set by the Girl Scouts of America and allow gays and lesbians to serve as leaders and members. The Girl Scouts have the same “character development and values-based leadership training” as the Boy Scouts, however, they manage to do it while being inclusive. What a pity that your organization actively excludes members and leaders to meet these same goals.
For the reasons listed above, my family and I are disassociating ourselves from the Cub Scouts / Boy Scouts and will never again support your organization unless your policy changes.”
On a positive note, some of the other families in their troop joined the boycott and they are forming their own “indie scouting” group.