Boy Scouts’ Gay Ban: Should it Go?

While the national organization debates the merits of lifting the ban on gay participants, we want to get your take on the issue.

As the Boy Scouts of America celebrate their 103rd birthday Friday, Feb. 8, a heated dispute is likely putting a damper on any celebrations.

The national organization was expected to take up the issue of removing a ban on gay participants recently. It, however, delayed taking action until May “due to the complexity of this issue,” according to the Chicago Tribune. Even if the national council votes in favor of lifting the ban, local chapters would retain their right to keep it in place.

Some members and supporters of the private organization designed to teach boys life, citizenship and leadership skills say it’s time to end the ban on gay participants. Others are staunchly opposed to the notion.

Should the organization lift its national ban on gay participants and end a fight that’s been going on for well over a decade?

President Barack Obama and the group Scouts for Equality think so. Texas Gov. Rick Perry has publicly supported the ban. A Quinnipiac University poll released this week found that a majority of registered voters, 55 percent to 33 percent, want the ban to end, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The Scouts, however, have the law on their side. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the private organization’s rights to ban gay participants during a case in 2000.

What do you think, Tampa Bay? Is it time for the Boy Scouts to open the doors to all participants, regardless of sexual orientation. Or, should Scouting hold to its traditions? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

Patriot February 10, 2013 at 07:10 PM
Ba ha ha....So you think the Boy Scouts can fix gay boys? I that what you are saying? Cause that is what I am hearing.....does that mean they a broken and need fixing? Yea, I know I kinda of twisted your words, but, I find the subject silly.....Boys should be in BOY SCOUTS, GIRLS can be in the BROWNIES! Simple....you think you are girl? Now you know where you can go!
michael mirra February 10, 2013 at 10:09 PM
yep, he said "Jungle Music" alright. Now what can make people think these people are racist? Go figure. It isn't a conspiracy to "destroy" America. It's a movement to free America from the likes of your oppressive pushing of your morals on everyone else. Who is behind it? It must be that Socialist Rat Bastard Barack Hussain Dahmer Hitler Obama. That Kenyan F#ck .
steve tenace February 11, 2013 at 01:19 PM
As young boys go through scouting, maturing from childhood to adolesence to being a well developed young man, many will feel the uncertainty or doubt of their developing masculinity somewhere in this process; and this is exactly where scouting has helped thousands of young boys mature into fully developed heterosexual men. The homosexual "troop leader" will argue of course that this young boy "IS" a homosexual and that he should be the one to "counsel" him and guide him through this confusion, saving him years of frustration and anguish by helping him "accept his homosexuality" early in life. Then were faced with the battle between this misguided homosexual and the heterosexual leader that sees nothing wrong with the boy, and in many ways sees himself in him just as much as the homosexual believes he does. The homosexual agenda will continue to push for laws like what has been passed in california, claiming it is "unhealthy and dangerous" to attempt to counsel this young man in his heterosexuality, and that the heterosexual is being bigoted and a "homophobe", and must be prevented from seeking counseling for their sons. I can imagine the laws they would push for next! Im sorry, it is the homosexual who is demanding to not just be "included", but to have influence over our young impressionable children that are going to be on "the wrong side of history".
steve tenace February 11, 2013 at 01:42 PM
Michael, you are grossly inaccurate in your post above. Christ did die on our behalf as a "supreme sacrifice" - it was all a part of the Creators divine plan since the beginning of time. The people who are wrong here are not those on either side of this issue, because each side is passionate about what they believe in, though I firmly disagree with the pro-homosexual side of attempting to force themselves into the BSA; but it is the one who claims to be "Christian", and yet also believes themselves to be gay and lives this “lifestyle”. It is not sinful to have the temptation to be sexual with the same sex, but it is sinful to act upon it. You cannot be Christian and live an actively homosexual life; the sincere Christian does not have that option; for God says; "Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.” Romans 6: 16-18
steve tenace February 11, 2013 at 01:49 PM
Im am certainly not out of my mind; I know exactly what Im saying and have every right to say it; and I will continue to speak out just as you. I will not be intimidated. When you were a little boy learning to tie knots in the BSA, were you an active homosexual? I doubt it. Re-read my post, because you dont seem to fully understand my concern for our future generations of young boys.
steve tenace February 11, 2013 at 02:04 PM
Maybe, ...but maybe not. Perhaps what you say is true for you.
Torrey Craig February 11, 2013 at 04:34 PM
Ages ago, as a child, I was a member of the Boy Scouts. In thinking back I would suggest that the Troop I was a member of was reflective of the thinking of members parents. At that time the very concept of a black being a member of our troop was inconceivable. I look at the comments tossed about today and think back to the bigotry.
steve tenace February 11, 2013 at 06:22 PM
As I understand it, Cub Scouting is for boys 7 to 10, the Boy Scouts is open to boys 11 to 18, and Explorers is for 14-to-20-year-olds. The average age of puberty for males in the U.S. is 13. . In addition to my concerns noted above dealing with impressionable (and some relatively insecure) boys, and although it’s “politically incorrect”, it has to be said: In the homosexual subculture, sexual attraction toward young teen boys is far more prevalent and prized than gay activists would like you to know. Predators are known to go where the children are. And that means the Boy Scouts are arguably at even higher risk of sexual-abuse on a broad scale than the Catholic Church was and is. That is why BSA has instituted one of the best Youth Protection Training programs in the world, as a direct response to predators in their midst. . How ironic and unfortunate, then, that the Boy Scouts are now being so pressured that they are contemplating opening themselves up to sexual molestation lawsuits, to disgrace, and to huge jury awards and out-of-court settlements. After all, by changing their policy on homosexual leaders, the BSA would be adopting a more overt and inviting stance toward homosexual leaders than the Catholic Church ever did – essentially advertising for homosexual adult “scouters.”
steve tenace February 11, 2013 at 06:24 PM
Now don’t you all freak out, I’m not saying all gay troop leaders would be child molesters, far from it (I would hope). However you can’t deny the strong possibility those cases of abuse won’t increase to some degree if gays were allowed to take our boys on camp outs. While many cases of abuse were caused by married “heterosexual men”, I claim that they were not fully heterosexual to begin with, and that their crime was committed as a result of their out-of-control same-sex attraction. Why would some out and proud gay men be any different? Why do we even want to take that chance? If it does increase, what is the gay community going to say then? “…well, it’s worth it for the cause of defeating bigotry”? . If you do not think lawsuits, test cases, de facto recruitment and affirmative action will not follow adoption of this policy, then you do not understand the political and moral left. If you think the vast gay rights lobby will finally leave the Scouts alone if the policy of making the determination of admitting gays goes to the local level, you do not understand the political and moral left.
steve tenace February 11, 2013 at 06:25 PM
America is in a time of great crisis on many fronts, and much that is good we are in danger of permanently losing. The Boy Scouts of America is one of the most important and truly valuable organizations left in American history. It is literally a sacred trust between one generation and the next. Why on earth would they trade all this away by giving in to pressure from people who detest them and everything they stand for? Frankly, there is nothing for us to gain by giving it all away.
Roy K. McGinnis February 12, 2013 at 04:30 AM
Arthur Eldridge: To the dear born people of this country, including you Arthur, a little more thought before you blow up and insult people on a thread like this is just plain foolish. I can give you 96 very good reasons why, and I think you catch my drift. Be nice, control yourself and think before answering like that again.
Stephen J. Mccracken February 12, 2013 at 08:56 AM
As a former Cub Scout and Boy Scout and a GAY men , everything i learned about Homosexuality, I learned in the SCOUTS.
Stephen J. Mccracken February 12, 2013 at 08:57 AM
As a former Cub Scout and Boy Scout and a GAY men , everything i learned about Homosexuality, I learned in the SCOUTS.
Stephen J. Mccracken February 12, 2013 at 09:02 AM
As a former Cub Scout and Boy Scout and a GAY men , everything i learned about Homosexuality, I learned in the SCOUTS.
Stephen J. Mccracken February 12, 2013 at 09:03 AM
As a former Cub Scout and Boy Scout and a GAY men , everything i learned about Homosexuality, I learned in the SCOUTS.
steve tenace February 12, 2013 at 01:45 PM
Stephen J. Mccracken also commented on Boy Scouts’ Gay Ban: Should it Go?. "As a former Cub Scout and Boy Scout and a GAY men [sic], everything i learned about Homosexuality, I learned in the SCOUTS." . "...EVERYTHING i learned about Homosexuality, I learned in the SCOUTS." . There you have it folks, Stephen 'became' a homosexual in the scouts from exposure to closeted homosexuals within the organization. Can you imagine if we admitted open homosexuals into the scouts, how the flood gates of homosexuality would permeate this 100 year old institution, seducing our sons just like what happened to Stephen? . Thank you for that honest confession Mr Mccracken! Well of course you LEARNED EVERYTHING about homosexuality in the Scouts, thats because homosexuality 'IS' a learned condition and you were not 'born gay' as the adamant homosexual community would insist you believe. And you learned this behavior in the Scouts because why? There was a closeted gay troop leader that taught you, or maybe an assertive gay scout that slept in your tent? Exactly, this is precisely what the majority of this nation wants to prevent by disallowing the admittance of openly homosexuals into the Boy Scouts of America! . There is no back-tracking on this Stephen, whether youre under the illusion that you were "born gay" or not, your learned everything about this aberrant behavior in the scouts. We're all thankful to Stephen McCracken that we now have that truth out in the open!
steve tenace February 12, 2013 at 03:21 PM
Adam writes “Please note, there is no direct correlation to gay men and pedophilia. MOVE ON... with that ridiculousness - Pedophilia is classified as a mental condition. Your comments are ridiculous if you think otherwise.” Roy K. McGinnis said it well; “One also has to look at the larger picture in all this, who has the greater proclivity to abuse someone of the same sex, straight or homosexual?” If a man has a desire to be sexual with another man, regardless of age, he at least has what is known as same-gender sexual attraction, or “same-sex attraction”, even if he has chosen to marry a woman. For many, it is this same-gender attraction that lead many to conclude that they are homosexual, and they go on to live “gay” lives. A man can choose to act upon this desire or not with another man, but if a man fears approaching another man and instead chooses a young boy to act out his fantasies, he has selfishly allowed is temptations to steal the innocence of another man, who currently happens to be living through is childhood years. As everyone knows, this abuse can have a profoundly negative impact on this boy’s life as he matures into manhood. There is definitely a direct correlation between same-gender sexual attraction and the sexual abuse of young boys – and this is what all Fathers want to control and hopefully eliminate within the BSA. Allowing gay troop leaders is most definitely a step in the wrong direction.
steve tenace February 12, 2013 at 04:15 PM
History is a stubborn thing. It’s amazing what you find when you choose to look for it rather than ignoring it or creating your own. The Boy Scouts began in 1908 in Britain, where Lieutenant-General Sir Robert Baden-Powell, a hero of the Boer Wars, founded the international organization. The Boy Scouts of America was founded in 1910, as a copy of the British model. Baden-Powell wrote in a pamphlet "Scouting & Christianity" (1917): "Scouting is nothing less than applied Christianity." (Religion and the Boy Scout and Girl Guides Movement--an address, 1926). "....We aim for the practice of Christianity in their everyday life and dealings, and not merely the profession of theology on Sundays.... There is a vast reserve of loyal patriotism and Christian spirit lying dormant in our nation today, mainly because it sees no direct opportunity for expressing itself. Here in this joyous brotherhood there is a vast opportunity open to all in a happy work that shows the results under your hands and a work that is worth while because it gives every man his chance of service for his fellow-men and for God." - (Scouting For Boys, 1908) Of course Christians are not going to exclude non-believers, that’s what Christianity is all about, loving others and living as an example. To ignore the Christian founding of this organization and to say that scouting has nothing to do with Christ is simply ignoring the facts of history.
Michael D. February 12, 2013 at 05:53 PM
Steve, "Of course Christians are not going to exclude non-believers, that’s what Christianity is all about, loving others and living as an example. To ignore the Christian founding of this organization and to say that scouting has nothing to do with Christ is simply ignoring the facts of history." Doesn't this controdict you earlier agrument about this having a reason to exclude the people who are homosexual. If you believe it is a choice, then why not provide the example of what you believe is correct? It is also ignoring the facts of history of all the atrocities that were due to Christianity. If you do not believe us we will kill you? Inquisition, Crusades, etc... So those beliefs are not always a part of the history of Christianity. As you say History is a Stubborn thing. As I have stated earlier, the BSA are a private organization so they can include who they want and exclude who they want. Just like they do not allow females. But lets not make fake reasons behind it. It's an uncomfortable conversation for some, which was in their research, and they don't want to loose corporate sponsorship. Let us stop pretending it is it is anything more than a business decision. Because their was no reason to change their previous course of action.
Mark S. Hankins February 12, 2013 at 08:01 PM
I wrote a blog post here on Patch when the notion was to require all troops to be open to gay scouts and leaders. I was against it. The new proposal is to allow the decisions to be made by the host organizations. Presumably many churches would be *against* and many schools would be *for*. This stance would preserve the corporate sponsorship of scouting, at least for the time being. As a compromise for the moment, it has its appeal. On further thought though, this is a Fabian/Hegelian Dialectic approach. It is the camel's nose under the tent. And let's assume for a moment that a majority of troops are not inclusive. What we have then is pressure on the the traditionalists, and perhaps a schism resulting in the birth of "Obama Youth" and a migration of corporate sponsors over to it and away from scouting. Quite possibly the new organization fails and the old is mortally wounded. Where are we then?
steve tenace February 12, 2013 at 10:43 PM
Michael, (I don’t know how to get this below your reply) I’m having difficulty seeing the logic of your argument; and I see no contradiction in what I have stated. Being attracted to the same sex is not a choice, I understand that. Deciding to live a gay lifestyle however is indeed a choice. I have a couple friends and a cousin that deal with these same-sex attractions, one has chosen to live a gay lifestyle and has divorced his wife to live with another man, the other two have chosen to remain married to their wives and to honor their commitments to remain faithful to them. All three are long stories that I can’t get into here; point is, I’m not living a life totally detached from these real life situations. Your 1st paragraph - The BSA is not excluding gay people now; they’re just expected to keep their sexuality to themselves, as they should. Gays have stated that they want to be involved in all the activities that Scouts typically pursue, and they can; as long as they keep their mouth shut about being gay, just like we did with the DADT. Therefore the Scouts are ALREADY being the example to men and boys with SSA of what is means to live a heterosexual life as God intended. 2nd paragraph – the subject is not the history of Christianity, but rather what the Bible says about life, so I will skip this.
steve tenace February 12, 2013 at 10:45 PM
Michael cont. 3rd paragraph – I agree with you here, but BSA board members like Randall Stephenson, president of AT&T seem to think otherwise. He makes the leap that since his company has a non-discrimination policy, which I agree with, that the BSA likewise should not discriminate and allow “gay boys” (a term I disagree with) to sleep in my son’s tent. Sorry, there is simply no comparison. AT&T says you can’t be fired for being gay, and I agree, but that’s not the same thing as requiring a heterosexual employee to share a hotel room while traveling with a gay man. Mr. Stephenson seems unable to make that distinction, therefore I have chosen to do what the gay community has a hard time doing, and that is take my business elsewhere. I’m cancelling my family plan with AT&T this week and going to Sprint
Michael D. February 13, 2013 at 03:21 AM
Steve, The first paragraph which contridicts the agrument is where you reference that Christians are not going to exclude non-believers. What we are discussing that the new policy is about exclusion. I understand the fears, but it is a contridiction. The history is in regards to your comments about Chritianity being about loving and living as an example. Which goes against it's history. The Bible the document is different fron Christianity. Christianity is a religion that has been used by powerful men in our history to kill other people. Just like Muslims as a whole are naturally peaceful, but the teaches have been used to kill people as well. So if you statement is that the new Testiment is about peace, etc.. I agree. The third paragraph is all about business, and I believe we agree. It comes down to a business decision.
steve tenace February 13, 2013 at 02:42 PM
What you’re noting is not a contradiction, though it may appear that way to you. The Christian faith reaches out to ALL the lost, no matter where they are, to bring them to salvation – which is the primary message of the New Testament. Regarding your understanding of the principle of inclusion; that would not mean allowing practicing homosexuals to worship in church on a regular basis. Could they visit? Of course they could; can they attend on a regular basis? Not without first recognizing their sinfulness and turning from it. I choose to accept the Bible as the word of the one true God; and His Word clearly states; “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, … will inherit the kingdom of God. >>And such were some of you.<< But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 We are ALL sinners in need of a Savior. If we deny our sin then the truth is not in us. If we continue in our sin and refuse to repent, then the church would be justified in refusing such participation in worship until we did so. Likewise, as a private organization founded on Christian principles, it’s no different with the Scouts. They can refuse those who reject their standards without being justly accused of practicing “exclusion”.
AJ Broome March 06, 2013 at 01:58 AM
Or here's another idea. How about the small minded bigoted start an organization for those who want their sons to also be small minded bigoted adults. Here's a news flash Phil, there have been gays in the scouts both as leaders and members, in churches, the military and GASP! Heterosexual marriages. Keep in mind the old saying " those that protest the loudest often have the most to hide"
M.M. March 11, 2013 at 12:53 PM
Let the Boy Scouts have their values. Just because you disagree with them doesn't make them "bigoted" or "hate-mongers". They Boy Scouts are not preventing a gay organization that teaches leadership values from being formed. The Boy Scouts aren't oppressing anyone or denying anyone rights. They don't go out and spread hate about gay people, but they don't praise a homosexuality either. How does this make them discriminatory? Just because they disagree with you doesn't mean they are "closed-minded". The Boy Scouts cannot force their values down the throats of gay people, and they cannot do the same to the Boy Scouts. Frankly, I see a lot of intolerance and closed-mindedness from the pro-gay people. Unable to even allow a conflicting viewpoint without attacking its members and calling them "bigots", and comparing them with racists, even when the Boy Scouts are not restricting them in any way. That is just shameful. I personally am a Christian who does not believe that homosexuality is sinful. I don't call people that disagree with me names, I just disagree with them and leave them alone. The actions and words of those who disagree with the Boy Scout's values is just shameful.
M.M. March 11, 2013 at 12:54 PM
Sorry about the typo, sentence should read "but they don't praise homosexuality either".
Patriot March 11, 2013 at 02:25 PM
steve tenace: Good point!
Patrick March 31, 2013 at 02:44 PM
I agree 100%, Phil. "Freedom of association" is a right, explicitly provided for in the U.S. Constitution. And, I can personally attest, homosexuals are and have been drawn to become adult 'leaders' in the Boys Scouts since its inception, seeing it as fertile ground for easy prey. When I was a Boy Scout (back in the '60s) enjoying immensely the activities and values promulgated by this terrific organization, no less than two of these predators were found out while trying to insinuate themselves into my troop, one of whom propositioned my best friend. Once discovered, these dissolute reprobates were appropriately taken away, never to be heard from again. Let the Boy Scouts continue to adhere to their principles, including being "physically strong and morally straight", as well as "trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, clean, brave, and reverent." AMEN! Others can, and SHOULD, form their own group.
Shore Acres Rick March 31, 2013 at 05:36 PM
What is moral about excluding people because of the way they were born?


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