My show partner Jonathon was an Eagle Scout and has remained active with the Boy Scouts most of his life. I was a Cub Scout who pretty much had no interest in any of it. So my perspective is certainly not from someone who is involved, but rather a bigger picture view.
If you haven't heard, Monday the BSA (Boy Scouts of America) spokesperson said
"The chartered organizations that oversee and deliver scouting would accept membership and select leaders consistent with their organization’s mission, principles or religious beliefs. Parents would be able to choose a local unit which best meets the needs of their families.”
In theory this opens up the Boy Scouts to allow for openly gay Scout Leaders to serve. Seven months ago, the Boy Scouts affirmed a policy of banning gay members, after a nearly two-year examination of the issue. The BSA national executive board called it “the best policy for the organization.” But since then, a scouting official said, local chapters have been urging a reconsideration. "We're a grassroots organization. This is a response to what's happening at the local level." Two corporate CEOs on BSA’s national board, Randall Stephenson of AT&T and James Turley of Ernst & Young, have also said they would work to end the ban. Stephenson is next in line to be the BSA’s national chairman.
This is a hot button topic! People on both sides of the issue can't believe the others perspective. "How is it possible in the 21st century we're still acting like homosexuality is a disease that can be passed on to kids?" says one proponent of the change. "Boy Scouts are inviting pedophiles in to their camp!" screams another.
From my perspective the key to the BSA statement was "choose a local unit which best meets the needs of their families".If there is a group of parents that want to have homosexuals mentor their children why should those who don't want that, stop them? If you're a homosexual who really wants to mentor boys in scouting why does your sexuality matter? I don't think the boys need to know what the hetero or homosexual leaders are doing behind closed doors. Now if you're opposed because you think gay leaders will be touching the boys then that leader goes to prison if he survives the tail kicking the other dads put on him. The Boy Scouts have never allowed gays to serve and yet BSA had files on over 1200 men who had inappropriate relations with scouts and recently paid an 18.5 million dollar fine over keeping them secret. Any time there are young people involved a group of adults should be watching each other. Hiding the truth or denying the reality that there has always been gays both in leadership and in the scouts themselves can only lead to more trouble. The more light that is shed on an issue the better. I tend to agree with the BSA position that allowing parents to decide what's best for their kids is better than a massive organization dictating policy to everyone. I like small local government and I like small local organizations. Jonathon doesn't agree with me and he'll tell you all about why just after 3. In the mean time you can vote in our question of the day about this on the left. You can also leave us a message that we may playback at 3 on our Rash line 343-1027.