Is It Really So Bad To Include Gays in the Boy Scouts?? Can Gay Boys be "Morally Straight, too?"
I used to be a person who answered staunchly, "Yes it is bad to include gays." Why, you ask? Because it was the idea of a club that had a set of rules that was interpreted to mean that gays could not be a part of it either as leaders or members. Should people be able to tell you who should be in my club? "No, I thought." Over several years, I have changed my opinion on this. First of all, I was a Boy Scout, though I only got to First Class, but I did enjoy it. I did receive my God and Country Award of which I still am proud today. I was thinking back to my experience when I joined the scouts. As a kid, I never thought about whether another person was gay or straight. Maybe I was nieve, but I figured that parents approved of the scoutmaster , so that was ok with me. Secondly, I knew most of the guys that were in the program, and none of us were there for the sex. In fact, I never knew , or ever remember thinking about gay and straight in those days. It just didn't matter. If someone broke the rules of the club, they would get tossed. It was that simple. We took an oath and that was supposed to mean something. Part of that oath was being "morally straight." Did I understand that to mean not gay. No! I understood that I was supposed to be a moral person, who followed rules, and did things that were right.
The problem we have today is that the "gay" tag seems to be so important for people that it makes us feel we need to accept it as a life style. I don't accept it as my lifestyle, but I also don't shun people who do. I accept people as fellow human beings who ostensibly want the same pursuits of life, liberty and happiness that I do, until they prove otherwise. in changing my opinion, I asked myself some questions. First; Can gay people be "morally straight?" Absolutely. To assume that gay people have anymore of a sexual reason to join a group than a heterosexual person have is a sick perception than many of us have been taught. I know people who happen to be gay who are the nicest people in the world, and just want to be allowed to pursue the same stuff I want. I don't know, but maybe there were gay guys in my scout troop and I didn't know it, but I can't remember any negative tinge on my life if they were. They were just good people. Secondly, on our show, a caller asked me, "Why do you have the right to tell me to change the way I operate so that you can join?" Are gay people asking that? Is there a call for a gay merit badge? Are these people asking for rules in boy scouts that will be different from other scouts? The answer to that is "NO." Isn't the idea of the Boy Scouts tlo unite boys into a group that can work together as well as separately to become better citizens? Better people? Do we leave a boy who happens to be gay out of that effort? You don't have to change anything to allow them in except maybe your perception that they are gay first and a person second. In my opinion, it should be just the opposite.
Finally, I think it is incumbent on gay people to stop telling us they are gay, then force groups into a defensive non-welcoming posture to let them in. Stop the parades, the "Dig Me, Come out of the Closet" announcements, and the "You are going to accept my lifestyle " on an equal level as your own-type attitude.. Quit it. It has nothing to do with joining the scouts. Do you want to break down a wall as a symbol of you won, and the scouts lost? I hope not. If you truly want in, come in for what the scouts offer which is the chance to grow as a young man and become a responsible citizen. All sides, in my opinion need to change their perceptions Keep bad people from leading the scouts, not because of sex, but because they are bad for kids. Teach scouts to be good people , not because of sex, but because we want good people in the country. that is universal and Inviting; not segmented and divisive. Let's demonstrate we can get beyond something, that in this case really doesn't matter. Of course, that's only my opinion. GS