Boy Scouts and the Pursuit of EqualityLaura Mayes
Any minute we will hear whether or not the Boy Scouts of America voted to allow openly gay boys to participate in scouting. Opponents of inclusion argue that scouts with same-sex attractions are already included, so long as they do not “act out openly” or “inappropriately”, and that a militant left is attempting to destroy the morality of a century-old institution. In an email dialogue among a few disagreeing friends today, my son Harry’s Godfather shared a few points from his own experience that I think are important:
“The BSA would not currently consider a gay Christian scout to be in “good standing” if he was dating another boy, even if they were not sexually active. The BSA would not permit a father to be a leader if he was legally married and monogamous with another man. So to say that the current policy does not discriminate is incorrect. It does discriminate unless the gay person treats who they are like a cancer to be fought and suppressed.
I have learned the life stories of a lot of gay people, and I’ve observed that the younger the person was when they could be honest about who they were, and affirmed and accepted by important adults in their lives, the more healthy, responsible, monogamous and open to faith they tend to be as adults. That tells me an awful lot about how we should engaging gay kids.
Gay people are not trying to destroy morality. We are trying to make sense of who we are and are asking to be included in society so that we have the chance to flourish like anyone else. When you see gay people acting “militant”, it usually comes from a place of pain, fear, rejection and resentment from being marginalized.”
My grandfather was the 11th Scout Master in the US. And my son Harry is a current scout. Boiled down, this is not a morality debate. It’s about lifting a ban on certain children. It’s about equality. So, it seems to me that another move toward equality is what’s going on in this country. I’m happy for my son to be involved with ALL of the 2.7 million others in pursuit of responsible citizenship, character development, and self-reliance … a pursuit of equality seems to be in alignment of those goals.