July 19, 2012

Boy Scouts Strip Eagle Scout Of His Rank Because He's Gay

It's been a bad week for the Boy Scouts.  They decided to continue their practice of banning "avowed homosexuals" from the organization as both leaders and scouts.  First of all, who uses the phrase "avowed homosexuals"?  Clearly this is the start of their problem.  They are stuck so far in the past it would be comical, if not for the fact that their hateful policy has such real world percussions.

Take the case of 19 year old Eagle Scout Eric Jones. He sat down to be honest (a Boy Scout trait, mind you) with his scout leader about his sexuality last weekend and he was not only asked not to return to the troop, but he was stripped of all honors earned over the last decade he had been involved in scouting.

The BSA are now taking the US military's old line, that they are not asking people their sexuality but if they are honest and open about it, then they will be asked to leave the organization.  You would think they might heed the military's example, which now encourages soldiers to be honest and not lie which was deemed damaging to morale and esprit de corps. But the Scouts would like to pretend it is the 1960s, when being an "avowed homosexual" was basically a criminal act.  Fortunately, that is no longer the case. 

It would only serve Scouting to accept the reality that has long been the case and will be in the future; there are gay men in scouting. I was one and, though it was all years before I came out, I had wonderful experiences with troop 460 in Kensington, MD. It seems wrong that they would want to deny that same experience to other young men simply because they are gay. 

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