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The New Proposal: Removing the Gay Ban from Boy Scouts of America
On My Honor
On my honor I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country
and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times
To keep myself physically strong,
mentally awake, and morally straight.
It is somewhat ironic how the Scout Oath ends with the word straight because at this time the only people allowed to participate in the Boy Scout program are straight people. Openly gays are forbidden and it has often been a huge weight on the Boy Scouts of America. Why is this?
One of the reasons is because the Boy Scouts of America are currently under the public eye and not in a good way. Many people are infuriated, especially boys that are being denied their Eagle Scout awards and gay and lesbian Scoutmasters and leaders who have served honorably for many years. So, what is the right move for BSA?
The New Proposal
As of February 2013, the Boy Scouts of America made the decision to put off making a decision about allowing gays in the program until May of 2013. They are under major pressure from not only corporate sponsors (some who have dropped their funding to BSA due to what they consider discrimination) as well as private sponsors such as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (who also had a role in raising millions of dollars for Proposition 8 which prevents same-sex couples from being married in the state of California.)
The LDS Church does hold the highest percentage of Eagle Scouts than any other organization that hosts the Scouting program in their churches. It is interesting to note that they are somewhat of a powerhouse and will probably influence the new proposal that committees from BSA are currently working on.
The NEW PROPOSAL would be set up as such:
Churches and organizations would be permitted to set their own rules pertaining to allowing LGBT scouts and leaders in their troops. Therefore, churches and organizations that are accepting of homosexuality would have no conflicts. However, gay people would have to find a troop that is LGBT accepting.
Why the New Proposal Could Protect Rights
The United State of America was founded on the concept of religious freedom. With a new proposal, churches that disagree with homosexuality can use their "religious rights" and their "private organization rights" to ban gays from their program. However, I think it would be very important for the Boy Scouts of America to make sure that there are enough scout troops that do accept LGBT so that every young man can participate in Scouting.
When all is said and done, the Boy Scouts of America is a very well establish program (over 100 years old!) with a lot of great things about it. It is my opinion that every young man be able to earn merit badges and work towards their Eagle Scout award. To get to that point requires a lot of work and dedication. Along the way, boys learn leadership and basic life skills that could help them for many years to come.
On a personal note, as an Eagle Scout and a member and supporter of the LGBT community, I hope that the Boy Scouts of America will make the right choice to ensure that at least every young man be able to be involved in the Scouting program. It is sad to note that LGBT youth are already at high risk for suicide and family problems due to the stigma, discrimination, and even violence that is show on sometimes an every day basis.
I would personally love to be involved as a leader again one day. I was at one time a valuable asset to my troop but I will not and can not deny who I am. That is my choice. I just hope that things will work out best for those kids who may need it most.