This was written in response to a request for input/vote on the Boy Scouts’ membership policy excluding those who are openly homosexual. If you are involved in Scouting in some capacity, you are invited to share your courteous input prior to Friday, March 8th.
I have seen a substantial number of principled men turn in their Eagle Scout medal in protest over the membership policy. These men are the best and brightest of a generation that should be growing into roles as leaders of the Boy Scout organization. Instead, they are being lost to us because they hold the principle of equality to be more important than the title they worked so hard to achieve, and are willing to make a personal sacrifice to demonstrate the sincerity of their beliefs.
I have no Eagle Scout medal to return in protest, nor would I if I did. I believe that I can do more to improve the current state of affairs by remaining involved and supporting change from within. Nonetheless, I respect the moral stand they have taken, and what I have seen leaves me concerned for our organization’s long-term health without men of such caliber. We are diminished by their absence.
Another category of young men being lost to us are the boys who are in a state of confusion about their developing sexuality. We have been sending the message to those young men that they are of no value to our organization and that they are not welcome here. We have an opportunity to provide wisdom and guidance to young men struggling with feelings of same-sex attraction, and equip them with tools to work through that as safely as possible, whatever the outcome. If we abandon that opportunity, it leaves the education of those young men to groups or individuals who may not offer the moral compass that we do, or worse, may not have the young man’s best interests in mind.
Finally, in my experience, Scouting is not so flush with volunteers that we can blithely exclude willing and able leaders because of whom they choose to love or what they do between consenting adults in the privacy of their own home. Being a homosexual is not equivalent to being a pedophile. Formulating policy based on that fallacy does nothing to protect our young men, nor does it place us upon the moral high ground we claim to protect and cherish. If we are to sit in judgement of our fellow man, let us at least give him the courtesy of his own individual trial and evaluate the evidence before we convict him.
Potential leaders. Proven Eagle Scouts. Scouts seeking our guidance. These are the resources and the mission rendered unattainable by our current policy. Let’s vote to include both those who would help us and those who need our help.
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