By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Why the Boy Scouts’ half-measure won’t hold (II)

Read this scorcher of an editorial (link now fixed) from the New Haven Register on the Boy Scouts’ homophobia. Also, the Connecticut Yankee Council announced last week (before the national vote) that it will stop discriminating against boys and adults on the basis of sexual orientation.

The walls are crumbling. And my guess is that the national headquarters of the Boy Scouts of America no longer has the juice to enforce its discriminatory policies at the local level.

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Why the Boy Scouts’ half-measure won’t hold


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  1. Lou Gawab

    The reality is that the Scouts had a problem with adults in Scouts molesting boys. A survey of parents would probably tell you that they don’t want the BSA to be enthusiastically welcoming welcoming adult gay men as leaders of their boys.

    The truth is BSA doesn’t want to be identified by sexuality at all! There are probably lots of gay adult leaders now, just keeping their sexuality under wraps.

    This will change, of course, but they are not ready for it yet. It has to be done outside of the highly politically charged environment that keeps forcing this issue.

    Most of this is semantics. I don’t know if the BSA has ever dismissed a boy because he was gay. (have they?) At those ages, most boys don’t know what they are 100% as it is. I can’t imagine too many young men that age are “out and proud”.

    What the real effect of the recent vote does, is remove the stigma of gay boys who might be in the scouts now who are feeling “If they only knew this about me, they would all hate me”.

  2. Rich Carreiro

    So, we now have “cafeteria troops” (like “cafeteria Catholics”) who deign to call themselves X while picking and choosing what requirements/values/etc. of X they’ll go along with?

    Now, I’d greatly prefer that the BSA either undid the ban entirely (best of all) or left it up to each regional grouping to decide whether or not to entirely undo the ban in each region.

    But there should be consequences to this cafeteria stuff. Look at it this way — would you be so quick to laud a troop going its own way if national had undid the ban entirely and some troop said they were nonethless keeping the ban for themselves?

    • Dan Kennedy

      @Rich: No, of course not. I’m going to praise troops and councils for doing the right thing and criticize them for doing the wrong thing.

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