Social Question

MissAusten's avatar

Would you let your son join Cub Scouts if you don't agree with their position on homosexuality?

Asked by MissAusten (16092 points ) September 20th, 2010

My seven year old wants to join Cub Scouts this year, but I’m not a big fan of the organization. I know the kids learn a lot and do some great things for their community, but at the same time, I don’t particularly want to support a homophobic group. Part of me thinks it’s not a big deal, that I should just let the kid have fun. A lot of his friends are in Cub Scouts, and I’m sure the experience depends more on the local leaders than the policies of the group at a national level. But still, I feel a bit disgusted when I think of giving money and time to Cub Scouts or Boy Scouts. Unless it’s in the form of chocolate covered caramel corn, which unfortunately I was unable to resist when a group of little Scouts accosted me the other day.

Mountain out of a molehill here, or justified concern?

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89 Answers

Frenchfry's avatar

I would .They teach so much more to a young kid. I don’t think they preach about sexuality to cubs.

SundayKittens's avatar

Do they have a specific stand on it? I’ve missed hearing about this.
I can see your point….

Blackberry's avatar

I’m not a parent, so I’m not aware of the intricacies, but I wouldn’t want my child potentially exposed to such ignorance. If they lack such rational thinking about homosexuals, what else are they ignorant about? I’m sure they don’t bring up beliefs like those around kids, but you never know what random comments they will hear.

marinelife's avatar

I would let my son join while registering a protest with the main body of the organization. You can make sure that you teach your son the attitude you want him to have toward gays. I don’t think the Boy Scouts actively promote their anti-gay agenda.

janbb's avatar

It would be a dilemma for me as it is for you. My sons were in Scouts before the whole issue came out. I think @marinelife‘s approach is a good one; you might also discuss the issue with your son in an age-appropriate way and also discuss your concerns with the Scout troop leaders if you feel you would be heard.

Pandora's avatar

Its really depends on how you think your son will react. Cub scouts is more about being self reliant and protecting or helping others. They are great at teaching social skills and building self esteem.
When I went to school Christian school, I remember kids who were enrolled from different religions.
They certainly did not agree with the Christian faith on a lot of things but their parents sent them there because they thought they could get some guidance and safety that public schools lacked in out neighborhoods. They even had to sign an agreement that the kid had to attend Sunday Mass.
Of course they never did and the school never pushed it. They would’ve had to kick out half of the kids that went to school and many of them where from Christian families.
You know your kid best. What can he handle and over all what is best for his social development.

CMaz's avatar

I was a Den leader. And in my younger years a scout.

It is an issue that is/was never brought up. After all, generally everything that is done in scouts has nothing to do with sexuality.

The biggest concern I came across was lazy parents that did not get involved. Always yelled at their children or whose only involvement with their child was dropping their little brat off.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I was a scout and I never remember the issue even coming up anytime at all. ChazMaz’s lazy parent thing was a bigger problem.

wundayatta's avatar

I wouldn’t. I haven’t. My son hasn’t really asked me to be allowed to join. He knows why we disapprove of the organization (which gets free space from my city for its regional headquarters). I wish people didn’t support it, because if enough did that, the Scouts might have to consider changing their views.

iamthemob's avatar

I am gay, and I would absolutely let my child go. It’s something he wants to do – you know what kind of morals you want to instill in him. The scouts, as far as I’ve read, don’t (as was mentioned) push an “anti-gay” agenda on the kids – that doesn’t seem to be what the scouts are about. They do not allow gay boys and men as a part of their organization.

I’m not saying AT ALL that you should do anything like what I’m about to discuss (disclaimer)

But you know that you’re missing out on an opportunity to actually work to change the organization from within. This is perhaps the most reasonable way that you’ll be able to build a relationship with an organization that you seem to have a fundamental disagreement with.

You’re just concerned. But remember, this is your issue – not your son’s. I don’t think you’ll be sending the message you want to if you prevent him from doing something he wants because of your beliefs…

SundayKittens's avatar

When reading this, I’m a little disgusted.

CMaz's avatar

@iamthemob – GA! :-)

SundayKittens's avatar

@iamthemob GA. It’s kind of a double-edged sword….get in there and be a champion for change in the organization, or avoid it out of principle.
I’m all for morals and principles, but the viewpoint they’ve stated is OUTDATED and excluding.

Cruiser's avatar

I have been in Scouting with my boys now for over 7 years and 3 years as an adult leader and see these controversies as a distraction at best. The program is a solid program based on the morals and principals of the Scout program that is celebrating it’s 100th year. There is no other program quite like it and the activities and self esteem that a boy can earn from participation as a scout.

I think it would be safe to say no parent would want a young child to be openly exposed to the issue of sexual orientation in any social setting and the scout program is no exception. They have the right to conduct their program as they see fit to suit the needs of their members. They have a stand that openly gay scouts and leaders are basically not welcomed and they do not actively search out homosexual members who wish to remain private on their personal preferences.

Here is an “official” statement concerning this issue…

“Boy Scouts of America believes that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the obligations in the Scout Oath and Scout Law to be morally straight and clean in thought, word, and deed. The conduct of youth members must be in compliance with the Scout Oath and Law, and membership in Boy Scouts of America is contingent upon the willingness to accept Scouting’s values and beliefs. Most boys join Scouting when they are 10 or 11 years old. As they continue in the program, all Scouts are expected to take leadership positions. In the unlikely event that an older boy were to hold himself out as homosexual, he would not be able to continue in a youth leadership position.”

iamthemob's avatar

Hmm.

@Cruiser‘s answer makes me want to change my mind.

“a distraction at best”? Really? To argue that they have the right to conduct their program as they see fit because it’s their right… to discriminate against a group of people… to suit the “needs of their members”?

If they are excluding gay members because it suits the needs of the members, it hardly seems like it’s merely a distraction – but rather central to their dogma.

I’m sorry – I’m not going to assume that you meant to do this, but that comment just made the entire organization seem MORE homophobic – and self-righteously so.

PS – I’m still in favor of not standing in your son’s way, but now I am concerned that YOUR concern is more valid than I realized….

Seaofclouds's avatar

My son wants to join the scouts and I plan to let him once we move. I was going to go ahead and let him join here, but since we will be moving in a few months, we’re just going to wait until we are settled in our new place. My brother was in the scouts when he was younger and sexuality was never brought up. I don’t know if that changes when the kids get older, but if something happens, I will discuss it with my son and the organization leaders.

janbb's avatar

I don’t think the issue is that they teach about sexuality but that their policy is discriminatory by excluding gays.

YoBob's avatar

Apologies for answering a question with a question, but consider this:

Would you allow your pre-teen daughter to go on a weekend camping trip supervised by adult leaders who are quite open about their sexual preference for very young girls?

Would you want your teenage daughter sharing a tiny tent on a back packing trip with a girl, perhaps a couple of years older, who is openly gay and makes no secret of her desire to have sexual relations with other girls her age?

Although the BSA is rather clear that they believe that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the core values of scouting, it is my opinion sexual preference in and of itself is not really the issue. There is the more practical consideration of ensuring that your young boys are not put in the care of card carrying NAMBLA members. Also, keep in mind that on camp outs the boys frequently bunk together. Frankly, I would rather my son not be sharing a tiny tent with a boy who openly acknowledges a sexual preference for other boys.

Of course, I am not suggesting that homosexuals are all perverts looking to score with pre-teen boys any more than I am suggesting that a heterosexual father would be an inappropriate adult leader for a girl scout troupe, nor am I suggesting that homosexuality is “evil”. I just believe there are some very real practical considerations that the BSA would be foolish to overlook.

janbb's avatar

Goddammit – why do people confuse homosexuality with pedophilia? Why, why, why?

MissAusten's avatar

@YoBob I would actually not mind a homosexual adult being around my children of the same sex. Just like little boys are perfectly safe being in my presence, I’m sure little boys are also perfectly safe in the presence of adult gay men. I’d also feel fine letting my daughter be around adult lesbians. Just because I am sexually attracted to adult males and you are probably sexually attracted to adult females doesn’t mean either of us is attracted to children of the opposite sex. Pedophiles are pedophiles because they are attracted to children, not because they are attracted to adults of the same sex. So, the question you ask is irrelevant.

@everyone: Thanks for all of the thoughts and suggestions so far. It’s given me a lot to think about. I was never concerned that my son would be taught or exposed to homophobic ideas, but just more wary of supporting a group that openly excludes gays at a higher level.

I’m leaning toward letting him join. I know it will be good for him, and I seriously doubt it will counteract the open, accepting, tolerant attitudes we are trying to pass on to our children.

iamthemob's avatar

@YoBob

Discriminating against homosexuals has nothing to do with preventing the abuse of children.. It has to do with discrimination.

@MissAusten

I had a lot more to say here, but you said it more calmly, and more eloquently. I think you should absolutely let your child join the scouts. It sounds like you’re exactly the type of person who can ensure your child is getting the right messages, and exhibit profound and practical concern for where any superfluous messages might be harmful.

Thank you. I can’t wait until more people like your child end up being in charge.

YoBob's avatar

@janbb Just to be clear, I am not confusing homosexuals with pedophiles. I am pointing out that one of the biggies that organizations like the BSA, or any other organization who have active youth programs need to be concerned with is that those children are not inappropriately diddled.

If you were a card carrying NAMBLA member I suspect that you would very much appreciate being put in a leadership position over potential victims. If I recall, the whole homosexuality issue for the BSA came up over just that sort of situation.

YoBob's avatar

Tell you what @iamthemob, how about the next time you go on a campout you let my hetrosexual son share a tent 4×6 with your teen age daughter.

iamthemob's avatar

@YoBob

Unfortunately, I’d be concerned if my daughter were sharing a state with your son, let alone a tent.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Easy guys, this is a touchy subject. but keep it civil

YoBob's avatar

@MissAusten Nor do I have a problem with my sons being around homosexual men. In fact, they are quite regularly. Unfortunately, the rainbow warrior crowd just loves to paint folks like me who are rather well acquainted with some of the practical aspects of running youth groups and choose to err on the side of caution as homophobic morons. I assure you that is not the case. Frankly I would much rather deal with those objections that deal with future news story about the senior petrol leader using his position of power to gleen sexual favors from the boys in his troupe.

Don’t think that can happen? Well… it has.

YoBob's avatar

@iamthemob Then I guess my point has been quite effectively illustrated. I will take your concerns as confirmation that you agree that there are some sleeping arrangements that are simply inappropriate.

aprilsimnel's avatar

No, I wouldn’t let my child join an organization that discriminates against people for who they are.

Pedophilia isn’t a gay thing. I don’t know why people want to keep believing that. I learned early; when I was a child and a teen, the vast majority of adults who were looking to bother me were straight men. There were also a couple of straight-identified women in that mix, too – married with kids! People are looking at the wrong standards.

Why teach a child that some people are to shunned for who they are as opposed to behaviour that’s an opprobrium on society? An actual molester? Then, yes, throw the bum out and punish him/her. You’re not going to know who the child molester is, unfortunately, until s/he does something. If people aren’t behaving in ways that hurt others, then that’s that.

Bottom line: Being a gay person /= being a molester.

iamthemob's avatar

This is all off topic now officially. @MissAusten exited gracefully at the right moment. We should probably start a new thread if we want to talk about these issues….

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Who gave that horrid answer of @YoBob ‘s up there 3 GAs? is what I’m wondering as I read this. I agree with your stance on the organization @MissAusten but am a firm believer in not telling my children what they can and can not do based on my own ideas about the world (within reason, that is). I would explain to my sons why I disapprove of the organization and hope for the best…hope that they, knowing all that they know, would make a correct decision. I would not prevent them from joining but would pay close attention to what they teach my children and discredit, rightfully, anything I hear that might be homophobic of gendered (I don’t need my sons learning the old-school bs ‘boys do this with fire and stones’ crap).

wundayatta's avatar

If a boy were gay, I’m sure he would know who the other gay boys and men were. I’ve heard rumors that the Boy Scouts are actually a great place for gay boys to meet each other. I’ve heard stories from my best friend that there were circle jerks, and perhaps more.

I suppose the BSA could be freaked out by these rumors or by the reality, and thus come down hard on it because they don’t want it to be known that they are a place for gay boys to meet each other.

Teenage boys and girls are sexual creatures. If they like someone and are into fooling around, they will create opportunities to be alone together out of the oversight of adults. Scouts or Outing Clubs; or any other overnight activity like band trips; boys and girls could be hooking up or fooling around. They probably aren’t, but it does happen and I don’t know what can be done to stop it short of locking them up.

I find it highly hypocritical of the BSA for them to freak out about this issue. Not that the policy really matters. I think mostly it gives them and excuse to expel boys if they catch them doing something like this. That way they can maintain their image of moral rectitude.

nikipedia's avatar

I think letting your son join gives tacit approval of and support for their core values. In fact, to join the organization while not accepting these values seems disrespectful to the organization (as offensive as I consider their values to be).

So I wouldn’t do it. Surely there are other youth groups in your area that your son can become involved with that don’t advance the agendas of bigotry and ignorance.

Kayak8's avatar

When I make my annual United Way donation, I tell them explicitly that my money can go for any cause EXCEPT the Boy Scouts because of their policies. The Girl Scouts have no such policy and seem to be able to make things work.

tinyfaery's avatar

By allowing them to participate you are giving your approval of their beliefs and practices and your money might directly go toward anti-gay causes and/or legislation. By giving the boy scouts your money you tell them that you agree with their policies.

Please don’t. You never know what sorts of conversations your children might hear or participate in. By simply reading the credo your kids will know that a group of people they identify with reject people for who they choose to love. Do you really want that bigotry to even enter their consiousness?

YoBob's avatar

At the Cub Scout level

Cub Scout Promise

I, (say your name), promise
to do my best
To do my duty to God
And my Country
To help other people, and
To obey the law of the Pack

Law of the Pack

The Cub Scout follows Akela. (the Akela is the parent or other partner/leader)
The Cub Scout helps the pack go.
The pack helps the Cub Scout grow.
The Cub Scout gives goodwill.

Cub Scout Motto

DO YOUR BEST

At the Boy Scout level:

Scout Oath (or Promise)

On my honor I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country
and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong,
mentally awake, and morally straight.

Scout Law

A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly,
courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty,
brave, clean, and reverent.

Frankly, I see no agenda of bigotry and ignorance in any of these.

For what it’s worth, in the eight years I have been a scouting parent the topic of homosexuality has never come up in my pack nor troupe. In fact, the only time I hear the topic discussed is in forums such as this and they generally take the same form. Those, like myself, with first hand experience in such matters understand the practical considerations involved here. Unfortunately, the homosexual side of the house invariably tries to demonize any who disagree with them, in spite of the fact that most of them have never been a part of scouting and have no idea about how the organization is run.

The bottom line is that cub scouts is all about having fun with your parents and class mates in a family friendly environment. At the boy scout level one begins to learn self-reliance and leadership. There is no hidden agenda to turn your children into homopobic Tea Party members. The boys will, however, in the course of activities, learn to work within a group and yes, even explore topics like citizenship and community.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

After reading @SundayKittens link to the beliefs of the BSA, tongue stitches might be required, but they, after all, have the right to their standards as a private group. Yes, I’d allow my son to join. But before to agreeing to it, I’d want to meet and talk to the troop leaders and find out what their point-of-view was on homosexuality (and religion). If they planned on having discussions around either topic, it would be a non-starter.

The challenge of working through the matter of supporting a group that goes against personal beliefs is another matter. Since this is your child’s desire, allowing him to do so seems like a step towards allowing him to develop as an individual. He can make his own call about whether to stick with it or not once he is of an age to understand some of the BSA’s beliefs.

JLeslie's avatar

Well, I would be torn also on what to do. I am assuming the subject of homosexually probably never or rarely comes up among the boys while tying knots and starting campfires. If something sexual happens between the boys I would think at such a young experimental age it does not mean they are gay or straight. And, I want to echo what @janbb said, why do people confuse pediphilia with being gay?! Good God, why is it so difficult to understand? If my husband wasn’t getting any sex from me and decided to cheat, he would not go find an 11 year old. Same with my gay brother-in-law. Sick pedophiles go after children, it has nothing to do with sexual orientation.

I think in the end I would let my child do it, if he really wanted to, although I would probably initially try to dissuade him, but I am not a “joiner” in general. Organizations like this are generally not my thing, meeting as a group with some sort of common goal, not my type of gig. But, I would easily join the YMCA to take aerobics class and swim, and if Catholic Charities was organizing an event for a cause I believe in I would join in without thought. So, there is a fine distinction I guess for me. I would have to see the group in action. If they do a prayer before every meeting, I probably couldn’t do it.

Winters's avatar

I’d let him, just because of my views doesn’t mean I need to take away potentially fun and life building experiences from him.

cazzie's avatar

I think they’re reasoning is flawed. I mean…. ’ homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the obligations in the Scout Oath and Scout Law to be morally straight and clean in thought, word, and deed. ’ OMG. How about ho-bag scout leaders that are sexist pigs that will screw anything that opens their legs?... any ‘official’ screening for that?

I’m putting on my ‘Double Standard Girl’s Cape for this one. (who am I kidding.. she would not be caught dead in a cape… she just has really cool boots.)

If they’re going to put ANYTHING in their ‘official statements’ file it should be a BLANKET statement about overt sexuality of ANY kind not having a place in the scouting environment and that nothing less than teaching the boys respect for women, themselves and eachother and the learning manners of a gentleman will do.

camertron's avatar

I’ve been a career Boy Scout, having moved up the ranks from Cub Scouts all the way to Eagle Scout in 2005. Scouting is not about sexual orientation or sexual discussion of any kind. The kids are supposed to learn leadership and outdoor skills regardless of their sexual orientation. When I was a Cub Scout, that kind of thing was never discussed, not because we were avoiding the issue, but because we, young kids, didn’t even know or care what homosexuality was. I say let your son join. Think of it as wholesome activity that your son will probably enjoy, and don’t worry about adult things like sexual orientation.

janbb's avatar

@camertron But what about the issue of supporting an organization that has discrimination as a stated policy even if it doesn’t affect the daily practice?

Ben_Dover's avatar

What is the Cub Scouts policy on homosexuality?

Cruiser's avatar

<Cruisers soap box time>...Of my 7 years in scouting I have not heard one word mentioned over gays or homosexuals EVER! I personally know of a gay leader and one older scout and nobody has burst into flames over this. What is stressed above and beyond any other program or activity I have been involved in is safety first for the boys in particular against sexual predators.

My son(s) both have done activities and been places because of their scouting program very few of their peers get to experience, That being said they have yet to do anything I haven’t or wouldn’t be able to teach them myself. I am fortunate to have that ability and luxury I know other families do not.

What I am not able to provide for my son is a similar environment where he has been afforded the opportunity to learn these things from his peers and more importantly on his own because of the outstanding learning opportunities afforded to him through scout programs and activities.

My 14 yr old has already planned, fund raised and taken a high adventure program of rafting, rapelling, climbing, cooking, and providing shelter for his self. He has learned he can pack all that he needs in a coffee can and go off into the woods, build himself a shelter, start a fire and provide food and water for his survival. He has learned fire arm safety, he knows 1st aid and emergency survival techniques. He learned carpentry plumbing, electrical, showmanship, salesmanship and has had 12 leadership positions and he is not even 15 yet. He has met the Mayor of our town 4 times because of civic and community service programs his Troop has conducted. When he ages out at 18 he will have the equivalency of leadership and confidence men twice his age will never have and the distinction of knowledge and of his abilities that is recognizable the world over.

This whole issue of homophobia in scouting is way over done and IMO is a much antiquated restriction I do hope they revisit soon.

MissAusten's avatar

I didn’t really exit gracefully, just went to volunteer at the school library! I’m still paying attention to the responses!

@tinyfaery What you said sums up exactly why I find the idea of Cub Scouts distasteful. Even though I am nearly certain my son won’t be exposed to any more bigotry than he would be in other situations (people are people, after all), it’s the implied idea of support for their ideas that bothers me.

At the same time, I agree with those who have said not to let my own beliefs influence my son’s choices. My kids may decide to join churches I don’t agree with later in life, read books that I find offensive, or who knows what else. Those are their choices to work out. If I say to my seven year old, “No, you can’t join Cub Scouts because they exclude certain people without just cause,” he’s only going to hear the “no” part. He may not understand homosexuality (in fact, he doesn’t even know about heterosexuality at this point), but as he gets older he will hopefully decide for himself not to be a part of such an organization.

By the way, this is certainly on my list of “Things I Never Knew I’d Worry About As A Parent.” All that concern over sleepless nights, breastfeeding, and whether or not to let your kid sleep with you gets way too much attention. I’d rather deal with any of those than stuff like this. :(

tinyfaery's avatar

The beliefs of parents affect their kids in all ways at all times. It’s called instilling values. You do this all the time. Why is this any different?Sure, when he is older he will develop his own moral code, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid instilling your values.

Aren’t their any other clubs that he can join that can give him a similar experience? Maybe someone should start one.

janbb's avatar

(this is one of the first good threads we’ve had in a long time.)

tinyfaery's avatar

Haha. That would be such a folly. I am not outdoorsey at all.

janbb's avatar

Rainbow Indoor Guides Club, anyone?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@janbb Yes, let’s!
@tinyfaery Alex would help out, obviously as he’s the one that actually knows what to do outdoors. But, hey, at least I’m brave.

MissAusten's avatar

@janbb THAT is funny! I bet the uniforms would be WAY more awesome than anything the Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts gets to wear!

I don’t know if there are any other similar organizations. I haven’t heard of any around here. Ideally, there should be something for both boys AND girls that is all-inclusive and provides the same kinds of opportunities.

janbb's avatar

Yes – there really should and you would be a great leader! Cooking, crafts, reading, nature walks, insect collecting; you could do it, Miss Austen, if anyone can. There are summer camps like that; why not year round ones?

Maybe you could start a cooking and nature club at the school?

YoBob's avatar

Actually, the BSA offers a co-ed branch of scouting called Venture Scouts that is aimed at older teens. However, they lean more towards high adventure activities.

http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/Venturing.aspx

May your orginization survive for 100 years, span the globe, and count millions of members from all walks of life and cultural backgrounds among your ranks as the Boy/Girl scouts have.

I hope to be able to come to one of your cook-outs (ins?) sometime. I’m sure it will be fabulous! ;)

Kayak8's avatar

@janbb If we do an indoor/outdoor club and let the gay boys join us from time to time we could have nature and nurture!

MissAusten's avatar

I just found a group called Earth Scouts. There isn’t a group in our immediate area, although there are a few groups in our state. When I have time later, I’m going to look into it further and see what’s involved in starting a group in our town. I just glanced at the website information, but it seems more inclusive and is open to both boys and girls!

janbb's avatar

Hey – we’re actually getting productive here!

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Great job MissAusten. I was stuck between he should have all the experiences but how do I support an organization with that in its creed. You found a solution. Nice going.

iamthemob's avatar

That actually just made my day. Good on all y’all.

YARNLADY's avatar

Yes, but as has been pointed out above, there are other groups that do the same type of activities. I would look for one of them. My son was taught to think for himself, and he joined the boy scouts for a couple of years. He decided to change to the “Y Indian Guides”, and then the “4H“http://www.4-h.org/ when he got older.

As a teen he joined the “United States Naval Sea Cadet Corp“http://www.goodsearch.com/search.aspx?keywords=US+Sea+Cadet+corp and when I graduated, I became a volunteer Instructor for several years. He also joined the U. S. Navy, and both these organizations have a similar view of homosexuality.

iamthemob's avatar

I don’t know if it’s all that similar a view. Although there seems to be a concern with, at least in modern times, the reaction of other members to introduction of “known homosexuals,” that is the primary public concern for the military side. It seems that is more secondary with the BSA, and the concern with them is that homosexual men are apparently more likely to molest the children.

iamthemob's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Plus, you know…the U.S. military has at least indicated it is considering change…

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@iamthemob Don’t expect me to give ‘em a medal for it. They are pressured is all.

iamthemob's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir I know but that’s more than can be said for the BSA, apparently…how sad is that?

Frenchfry's avatar

@iamthemob Do you think this BSA ? what is this BSA? am not that familiar with politics? Or abbreviations.Should approach prison? My father was in prison for five years. Am I proud? No, but if they mixed non gay with gay maybe there would be less rapes? Look at me only saying this to start trouble.

iamthemob's avatar

Boy Scouts of America.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

If my son wanted to, actually brought up joining the scouts then I’d consider it for his sake only, I wouldn’t look into it on my own specifically for the discrimination.

I completely agree with @janbb that discriminating against homosexuals doesn’t solve the issue of pedophiles (if that’s what the scouts are hoping to avoid). Homosexual children and adults, like anyone else are to be held responsible for acting appropriately in social situations. Just because a kid is gay doesn’t mean he’s going to hit on his bunk/group mates any more than if he’s a straight kid.

If my kid was gay then I’d never let him join, I’d explain to him the scouts’ discrimination and also the likeliness of him being blamed for any shenannigans just because he’s gay. I can’t imagine the fear and guilt and maybe shame gay kids must deal with because other kids and adults alike might think they’re less in control of their sexuality than straights.

Frenchfry's avatar

Catholic church look what happened to when priest were in charge of kids? Just saying . Better safe then sorry.

iamthemob's avatar

@Frenchfry – So you think it’s safer to keep gay people from membership or direction in the Boy Scouts of America, because if allowed membership they might molest the kids?

Frenchfry's avatar

No. There is no way knowing.It should not been asked. is it? Why deal with it? When do people know they are gay at what at age??

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

My personal concern is that even though they may not bring up homosexuality per say, they would pressure boys to be a “real boy/man” and not a “sissy”. It’s often homophobia by proxy and can be damaging to even the most stereotypical straight boy who likes to play football and wants to be a sports doctor or the Brawny man, but also enjoys whipping up a killer Eggs Florentine for his sweetie on the weekends. If it were my son, I wouldn’t want him to learn how to tie 89 different kinds of knots at the expense of having a healthy sense of self-worth.

camertron's avatar

@papayalily, alot of people misunderstand the Boy Scouts and say things like what you said: “I wouldn’t want him to learn how to tie 89 different kinds of knots at the expense of having a healthy sense of self-worth.” Yes, Boy Scouts do go on camping trips and yes, they do learn how to tie knots (10 at the most), but the overarching goal of the BSA is to give young men the opportunity to lead. Leadership experience strengthens self-worth. When you have to lead a whole troop (or patrol) of boys, some of whom don’t immediately respect you, their eventual compliance does much to strengthen your feeling of self-worth. My own confidence and ability to speak to large groups comes almost entirely from scouting. While I won’t pretend the pressures to exhibit manly behavior like playing football and sleeping around don’t exist in scouting, I’d ask you to show me an organization full of young men that doesn’t. That’s just part of growing up – there’s a little showboating involved. I never felt like I wasn’t enough of a man during our meetings or outings.

iamthemob's avatar

@camertron

Personally, that’s always how I’ve viewed the boy scouts (cub, eagle, etc.). But how then does allowing gay boys and men access to what is arguably a community where they can build their self worth interfere with those goals…?

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@camertron There are tons of ways for people to learn leadership, and lots of them are inclusive instead of exclusive. I think leadership is an important skill, but BSA isn’t exactly the first club to realize that.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Frenchfry Gee, I don’t know – when did you decide you were straight?

camertron's avatar

@papayalily are you referring to the BSA’s sexual orientation views when you say exclusive or to the fact that only boys are allowed to join? My previous answer to you mainly served to point out that your description of the BSA (tie 89 knots, etc) was incomplete and not at all fair to the organization as a whole, who’s main goal is to provide kids with leadership experience. The BSA might not be the first to realize that, but it certainly is one of the first. Scouting started in the 1800s. On a final note, there are actually no written rules stating that those that join the Boy Scouts have to be male, in fact one of the dads from my troop was lobbying to allow girls last time I talked to him.

@iamthemob it doesn’t I was just pointing out that @papayalily‘s remarks struck me as incomplete, so I felt it necessary to explain scouting a little. In my opinion, homosexuality in scouting (in fact, in all organizations) should be a non-issue. The BSA should allow gay men/boys into the organization.

iamthemob's avatar

@camertron

I’m glad that the organization has a couple reasonable advocates on here. If you scroll on up to see the comment from @YoBob, I believe you’ll see why I HAD to ask the question.

BarnacleBill's avatar

I you have any concerns, let him join and become involved with the troops. Any organization that involves children is always looking for adult volunteers.

Ltryptophan's avatar

Yeah, most definitely…I eat Ben and Jerry’s too…even though they tried to pull a stunt and name their ice cream hubby hubby…whatever…this type of stuff is getting lame…I really don’t care what niche you fit in anymore… teach my kid to make a fire…etc…whatever…

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@camertron Both. And really, I was just trying to be witty. I’m aware that BSA is more than just knots, although I do think that the more specialized skills like knot tying and starting fires are part of the reason to choose BSA over pretty much any other kids activity, since they all teach team work and leadership.

YoBob's avatar

@papayalily

> but also enjoys whipping up a killer Eggs Florentine for his sweetie on the weekends

Speaking of stereotypes…

For what it’s worth. I am a fairly athletic outdoorsy type. I also happen to be a fabulous cook and rather enjoy whipping up a killer Eggs Florentine for my sweetie. Oh, and BTW, I can create meals in the middle of the woods that would be be quite at home on a plate in high end eateries.

Yes Bobby Flay, meet me in the woods for a throw down!

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Ltryptophan Yes, because anti-homosexuality policy is just like ice cream.

cazzie's avatar

They should change the name then, to BSSA, Boy Scouts of Straight America.

iamthemob's avatar

I just call it BS.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Yesterday, I exchanged a few e-mails with an old friend who was in the BS, and his dad was their troop leader. I asked him if he was aware of the change, since his younger brother is gay. Here is his response:

Yea, I knew that already. I remember discussing it with David, Kirk, etc. [our friends] back when we were in Scouts. The Scout Oath, which we had to recite every meeting, ends with “and morally straight”.... At the time, Dad was homophobic so he believed that. He’s come a long way. There are several other families in the church who have gay kids so that’s helped him. Plus he really likes D. [his brother’s partner] and he knows C.[his brother] has a good heart. Mom said at one point, he [the dad] made a list of all the people he suspected were gay and he decided he really liked all of them and that helped. He and mom both made pretty touching speeches about how happy they are for C. and D. after the wedding.

camertron's avatar

Wow @Pied_Pfeffer that’s really cool!

andiec's avatar

I am sorry I just can’t do it. I would never let my child join an organization which felt that Jewish people or African Americans weren’t “good moral people”.This is no different.
In life there will be people with whom you disagree and so tolerance is an important lesson and to disavow and dehumanize groups of people is just not ok, They have the right to exclude anyone they like from their private organization but I’ll be damned if they get a dime of my money, a minute of my time, or send flyers home through my sons PUBLIC school! Hate is hate no matter what sash or vest you put on it!

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