Friday, June 25, 2010

Why the Boy Scouts Position on Gays Makes Sense

I was accused this week of being a homophobe because I didn't denounce the Boy Scouts court victory in Philadelphia.  I've written about this case previously, but decided a succinct approach is needed to state my position.

Full Disclosure:  For those who haven't read my blog: I was a Scout from the ages of 8 until 18.   For the last 7 years I've been active as an adult leader in connection with my sons being Scouts, currently serving as a member of Troop Committee and as a Merit Badge counselor.

Boys and girls do not camp together, in the same tents.  Yes, there is Venturing, the BSA program for co-eds, but that is a separate and distinct division of Scouting.   Girls and boys do not camp together, in the same tents (not even in Venturing), and I think we can all agree no one will argue with the whys: setting aside privacy issues and common decorum, no matter how much either John or Jane might promise not to do anything with each other, kids will be kids.  If we accept 'Boy Scouts' having boys and 'Girl Scouts' having girls, then we can stand firm on this point.

So let's carry this to a logical extension. Say boys who are open about their being gay are permitted. Now it shouldn't matter if John says he won't do anything in appropriate to Jim, if we're following the same logic as above. We would have to separate the gay boys.

So we assign gay boys their own tents. OK, if the estimate 10-15% of the population is gay, then it's easy to have, literally, and odd-boy out in his own tent.  Now we're isolating a boy in his own tent, because he's different; and this is acceptable ... how?

And if a unit had 2 or more gay boys, could we allow them to be in the same tent? Because as in the first example of boys & girls, perhaps the parents of the gay boys do not want them at risk of inappropriate behavior from another. The risk, again, is that kids will be kids, right?

One way or another, there will be segregation, exclusion. We're talking about children, not adults.

And if you wish to open Scouting to both genders, would you not still require the segregation?   Venturing has strict guidelines already covering this.  And then by extension, as above, a further segregation?

That's where I stand... tell me if you think I am wrong, but be ready to back up your position.

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