[Vision2020] Fwd: Fwd: Boy Scouts of America to open ranks to gay youths on Jan. 1

Darrell Keim keim153 at gmail.com
Sun Dec 29 11:16:56 PST 2013

Indeed.  After all, there is some evidence they were founded by a gay man.

Isn't irony great?

On Dec 29, 2013, at 10:43 AM, Moscow Cares <moscowcares at moscow.com> wrote:

Yes.  It will be very interesting.

Unlike bigotry, gay is NOT a choice a person makes.

Another thing . . .

If people think that by barring gays from the Boy Scouts, there have not
been, nor will there be, any gays in the Boy Scouts, they are sadly

There have been gays in the military since before Valley Forge.  I'm
guessin' that there have been gay Boy Scouts since its inception.

Denying a person access to a public organization, based solely on a
birth-acquired attribute, is WRONG!

Last time I looked at the calendar and looked outside, I am reminded that
this is 2013 in the American northwest, NOT the 1950s in Mississippi.

Seeya 'round town, Moscow, because . . .

"Moscow Cares" (the most fun you can have with your pants on)
http://www.MoscowCares.com <http://www.moscowcares.com/>

Tom Hansen
Moscow, Idaho

"There's room at the top they are telling you still.
But first you must learn to smile as you kill,
If you want to be like the folks on the hill."

- John Lennon

On Dec 29, 2013, at 10:22 AM, Darrell Keim <keim153 at gmail.com> wrote:

It will be interesting to see the impact on national membership.
 Antecdotally, I know of severayouth that have resigned and a few units
that folded in protest.  The local council is expecting to lose membership
this year.  But, local membership has been shrinking for several years.
 Latah and Whitman county membership has shrunk about 25% since I resigned
as coordinator in 08.

On Sunday, December 29, 2013, Moscow Cares <moscowcares at moscow.com> wrote:
> BSA leading the way . . .

> Courtesy of CBS News at:
> ---------------------------------
> Boy Scouts of America to open ranks to gay youths on Jan. 1
> The Boy Scouts of America will accept openly gay youths starting on New
Year's Day, a historic change that has prompted the BSA to ponder a host of
potential complications - ranging from policies on tentmates and showers to
whether Scouts can march in gay pride parades.
> Yet despite their be-prepared approach, BSA leaders are rooting for the
change to be a non-event, comparable to another New Year's Day in 2000 when
widespread fears of digital-clock chaos to start the new millennium proved
> "My hope is there will be the same effect this Jan. 1 as the Y2K scare,"
said Brad Haddock, a BSA national executive board member who chairs the
policy implementation committee. "It's business as usual, nothing happens
and we move forward."
>  Some churches are dropping their sponsorship of Scout units because of
the new policy and some families are switching to a new conservative
alternative called Trail Life USA. But massive defections haven't
materialized and most major sponsors, including the Roman Catholic and
Mormon churches, are maintaining ties.
> "There hasn't been a whole lot of fallout," said Haddock, a lawyer from
Wichita, Kan. "If a church said they wouldn't work with us, we'd have a
church right down the street say, 'We'll take the troop.'"
>  The new policy was approved in May, with support from 60 percent of the
1,400 voting members of the BSA's National Council. The vote followed
bitter nationwide debate, and was accompanied by an announcement that the
BSA would continue to exclude openly gay adults from leadership positions.
> Under the new membership policy, youths can no longer be barred from the
Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts or coed Venturers program solely on the basis of
sexual orientation. However, gay Scouts will face some limitations.
> "Any sexual conduct, whether heterosexual or homosexual, by youth of
Scouting age is contrary to the virtues of Scouting," says one BSA
document. "No member may use Scouting to promote or advance any social or
political position or agenda, including on the matter of sexual
> Trying to anticipate potential friction, the BSA has
distributed extensive explanations and question-and-answer
documents related to the policy.
> Some examples:
> Could a Scout march in uniform in a gay-pride parade? No, says the BSA.
"Each youth member is free as an individual to express his or her thoughts
or take action on political or social issues but must not use Scouting's
official uniforms and insignia when doing so."
> How publicly active could a gay Scout be, in terms of gay-rights
advocacy? The BSA's reply: "While a youth member may acknowledge his or her
sexual preference, that acknowledgment may not reach the level of
distraction, which may include advocacy, promotion, or the distribution of
information of a sexual nature."
> A frequently-asked-questions document anticipates that some objections
might surface from parents - or Scouts themselves - in cases where a unit
includes an openly gay boy.
> Regarding shower and toilet facilities, the BSA says it is encouraging
units to provide greater individual privacy, including moving away from the
tradition of group showers.
> "The adult leaders have the discretion to arrange private showering times
and locations," the BSA says.
> Sleeping arrangements also are addressed, with specific decisions left to
unit leaders.
> "If a Scout or parent of a Scout makes a request to not tent with another
Scout, their wishes should be honored," says the BSA.
> Haddock says "isolated pockets" of problems are likely to surface, but
overall he expects adult leaders will have the skills to defuse potential
> There are about 1 million adult leaders and 2.6 million youth members in
Scouting in the U.S. Of the roughly 110,000 Scout units, 70 percent are
sponsored by religious organizations, including several conservative
denominations that had long supported the BSA's exclusion of gay youth and
gay adults.
> Among the major sponsors, the Southern Baptist Convention made clear its
disappointment with the new youth policy, but left the decision on whether
to cut ties up to local churches. An SBC spokesman, Sing Oldham, said it
was not known how many churches have done so.
> The biggest sponsor of Scout units - the Utah-based Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints - commended the BSA for a "thoughtful,
good-faith effort" to address a challenging issue, and said it would stay
engaged in Scouting.
>  John Gailey of the Utah National Parks Council, the nation's largest
council, said its youth membership had increased from 74,148 in December
2012 to 75,863 this month.
> Like the Mormons, the Roman Catholic Church has generally accepted the
new policy. Many parishes will continue to sponsor Scout units, though a
few have considered cutting ties.
> The National Catholic Committee on Scouting posted a question-and-answer
document on its website, delving into the intersection of Scouting policy
and Catholic teaching.
> "The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that individuals who
disclose a same-sex attraction are to be treated with the same dignity due
all human beings ... and also teaches that engaging in sexual activity
outside of marriage is always immoral," says the Q-and-A, concluding that
the new BSA policy does not contradict Catholic teaching.
> The ultimate decision on whether parishes would maintain or cut ties with
the BSA was left to individual bishops. Several expressed cautious support
for continuing in Scouting.
> "As the new policy currently stands, I see no reason to prohibit our
parishes from sponsoring Boy Scout troops," said Rev. Kevin Rhoades, bishop
of Indiana's Fort Wayne-South Bend diocese. "At the same time, it is
critical that we be vigilant on how this new policy is interpreted and
> One likely target of such scrutiny will be former Defense Secretary
Robert Gates, scheduled to take over in the spring as the BSA's next
president. As leader of the Pentagon, Gates helped change the military's
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy banning openly gay soldiers, and gay-rights
groups hope he will try to end the BSA's ban on gay adult leaders.
> The new youth policy was approved during a BSA meeting in May in the
Dallas-Fort Worth suburb of Grapevine, near the Scouts' national
headquarters in Irving, Texas.
> Texas has a long heritage of Scouting, with tens of thousands of youth
members and many families claiming generations of Eagle Scouts. Among them
is Gov. Rick Perry, who achieved Scouting's highest rank growing up in the
small town of Paint Creek.
> The membership debate was closely followed by local Scouts on both sides;
some carried signs and held rallies outside the meeting place. But in
subsequent months, the debate has quieted.
> Bill Helfand, scoutmaster of Troop 55 in Houston, said membership in his
troop has remained steady at about 225 boys.
> "We never considered sexual orientation, and I don't think many troops
really did," Helfand said. "I don't know whether we had Scouts who are
homosexual. I don't inquire ... It's not a matter of concern."
> Helfand said the membership debate, while closely covered in the media,
did not extend into his meetings with leaders and parents, besides
occasional discussion of the policy at camp-outs. He says he hasn't talked
to any Scout about his sexual orientation and doesn't intend to.
> "I know that this is something that people felt was a momentous turning
point for Scouting," Helfand said. "Everybody I know has made Scouting
available to every boy who wants it, and that's what we continue to do."
> However, some Texas parents and leaders have decided to switch to Trail
Life USA, an alternative which declares itself "a Christian adventure,
character, and leadership program for young men." Among them is Ron Orr, a
business consultant from the Fort Worth area who is signing up local units
for the group.
> So far, he said he has 25 groups "pre-chartered" for a Jan. 1 launch date
in the territory covered by the BSA's Circle Ten and Longhorn councils.
That's modest compared to the 39,000 Scouts served by the Circle Ten
council alone.
> Orr is part of a family with four generations of Eagle Scouts. His older
son recently earned his Eagle rank and his younger son was on the verge of
doing likewise. But Orr said he could not stand by after the policy change.
> "As Christians, from a scriptural basis, we love all folks, but the
scripture is very clear that being homosexual is a sin," Orr said. "We've
got to be able to hold a strong line and set a consistent example for our
young men."
> Orr said his decision to cut ties with the BSA rested in part on the
Scout Oath, which includes the admonition to remain "morally straight."
> Scott Scarborough of Lubbock, Texas, is helping Orr recruit Trail Life
members in the Texas Panhandle, a mostly rural, conservative region.
Scarborough said he offered to let his 14-year-old son stay in Boy Scouts
and achieve his Eagle rank, but the boy elected to join him in Trail Life.
> Orr and Scarborough said they didn't consider themselves rivals to the
Boy Scouts, though they've chosen a different path.
> "Our tradition comes out of Boy Scouts," Scarborough said. "We'll never
not honor that heritage."
> --------------------
> Boy Scouts are shown lining up before marching in the Utah Gay Pride
Parade Sunday, June 2, 2013, in Salt Lake City. Members of Scouts for
Equality marched in the parade following last week's vote by Boy Scouts of
America to allow openly gay youth to participate in scouting.
> <

> ---------------------------------
> Seeya 'round town, Moscow, because . . .
> "Moscow Cares" (the most fun you can have with your pants on)
> http://www.MoscowCares.com
> Tom Hansen
> Moscow, Idaho
> "There's room at the top they are telling you still.
> But first you must learn to smile as you kill,
> If you want to be like the folks on the hill."
> - John Lennon

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