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Gays in the Boy Scouts

Updated on February 7, 2013

Gays are a fact of life, even long before of the Gay rights movement that is making the fabric of America diverse. Some like it, some hate it. Each and every person has a right to speak their mind about how they feel about having gay boys in the Boy Scouts, about gay football players in the NFL. You might not like what they say, but it is freedom of speech, their opinion.

A gay boy or gay man is usually easy to spot. As a boy grows up, their intuition is sharpened from personal experiences and outside influences. Does a boy really know he's "officially gay"? Gay boys in the Boy Scouts is old news, they were always there, just invisible for the most part. Now that they can be open about being gay, that is the real issue, whether it is scouting or NFL. Scouting is supported by over 60% of faith based groups and churches, mostly anti-gay to some members. These church groups help fund it and mostly against having openly gay boys in the Boy Scouts.

Even with a teaching of tolerance within the scouts, when boys are alone, away from authority, odds are that a gay scout will be subject to a lot of derogatory actions- whether words or action. That will never be stopped. Not everyone has to accept gays. More problematic is when scouts go camping and a gay scout has to sleep in the same tent or cabin with straight scouts. Depending on the personalities involved, this could be explosive. It raises more problems that divert the troop leader's attention so things stay "politically correct".

I had a gay troop leader a long time ago when I was a scout. We all knew it -he was simply more feminine in many ways and he was also in the Navy. Behind his back, we called him a queer or fag, but he always remained neutral about his orientation. We all liked him as a troop leader, but there were times, when we were uncomfortable when undressing in front of him during a camping trip. Some asked him to leave, others turned their backs to him. Sometimes, he seemed to gaze at us a little too long, which was creepy. Other times. he just seemed to be "too" nice, "too" friendly with some boys.

Some were uneasy about sharing a two man tent with gays and understandably so. Thus, if gays are allowed into the Boy Scouts, all of these same problems will arise over and over again. Being tolerant does not mean you are accepting, but it is a good skill to learn today.


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    • CarNoobz profile image

      CarNoobz 5 years ago from USA

      I think it's just a matter of time...

    • swordsbane profile image

      William Grant 5 years ago from Wisconsin

      I think it's interesting (revealing at least) that they are considering allowing gays but still forbid Atheists.

      Religion is eventually influenced by secular social society, but they come along kicking and screaming, and the Boy Scouts is a religious organization trying to look secular. They're allowing gays (or considering it) because they really have no choice. It is still considered "okay" to conduct low-level discrimination on Atheists.

    • CarNoobz profile image

      CarNoobz 5 years ago from USA

      Such an important topic. There was in interesting discussion going on in Q&A about this just recently. I feel a little bit on the fence about it. On the one hand, I totally agree with religious organizations having the right to "discriminate" based on their beliefs, and I was a volunteer leader in Cub Scouts for my son's pack so I definitely saw the benefits of Scouting and all that.

      But it's kind of a touchy issue though. I don't think that allowing openly gay kids to join would be harmful. Same with openly gay adults in leadership. It would certainly change the dynamic, and some changes may be in order to integrate gays and straights in sleeping/bathing situations, but I'm sure it could be worked out. I mean, even in Scouts they have male/female activities, don't they? So it can be done.

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 5 years ago

      well, I would not be surprised about a gay scouting org. They already have gay only communities or retired communities. I guess it is okay to discriminate against straights who may want to buy into the community but straights cannot discriminate against them.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 5 years ago from Arizona

      So what is to be done. Maybe there is just no right way to handle this. Maybe special troups for gay boys..Nah..I don't think so. Good hub and you brought out a definite issue in today's landscape.

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 5 years ago

      Gays are way more complicated than a gun. But, the Beatles did a great song called, Happiness is a warm gun.

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 5 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Amen. I encountered a gay assistant scoutmaster When I was a scout in the 1950s. It wasn't long before all of us figured this out and were careful to stay away from him in the swimming pool at summer camp. There have been gay leaders and scouts forever. The situation is analogous to gays in the military. The churches who oppose the proposed change should be ashamed of themselves. Soon they may have an excuse to stop discriminating against gays as the military service is in the process of doing.

    • profile image

      Mark 5 years ago

      Well, something tells me you know more about gays than about firearms.