I'm an Eagle Scout and former Assistant Scoutmaster who left the Scouting Movement and refuses to contribute to it financially because of its policy of active discrimination against the GLBT community.
A few minutes ago, I received an electronic survey from the BSA regarding their policy of anti-gay discrimination. I'll reproduce the questions below (please especially note the scenarios provided as part of Question 3, and the two options presented in Questions 7 and 8):
Question 1(Respondent's age group)
Question 2Current Boy Scout Membership and Leadership Requirements
The current Boy Scout Membership and Leadership Requirements are: The applicant must possess the moral, educational, and emotional qualities that the Boy Scouts of America deems necessary to afford positive leadership to youth. The applicant must also be the correct age, subscribe to the precepts of the Declaration of Religious Principle, and abide by the Scout Oath and the Scout Law. While the BSA does not proactively inquire about the sexual orientation of employees, volunteers, or members, we do not grant membership to individuals who are open or avowed homosexuals or who engage in behavior that would become a distraction to the mission of the BSA.
Today, the BSA finds itself in the position where there are different moral views among Scout parents, volunteers and religious chartered organizations in regards to homosexuality.
The current Boy Scouts of America requirements, stated above, prohibit open homosexuals from being Scouts or adult Scout leaders. To what extent do you support or oppose this requirement?
Question 3Following are some possible scenarios that could happen if the Boy Scouts keeps or changes its policy. Please tell us the degree to which you believe the actions taken in each scenario are acceptable or unacceptable. [Options: Totally Acceptable, Somewhat Acceptable, Neither Acceptable Nor Unacceptable, Somewhat Unacceptable, Totally Unacceptable]
-A gay male troop leader, along with another adult leader, is taking a group of boys on a camping trip following the youth protection guidelines of two-deep leadership. Is it acceptable or unacceptable for the gay adult leader to take adolescent boys on an overnight camping trip?
-David, a Boy Scout, believes that homosexuality is wrong. His troop is chartered to a church where the doctrine of that faith also teaches that homosexuality is wrong. Steve, an openly gay youth, applies to be a member in the troop and is denied membership. Is it acceptable or unacceptable for this troop to deny Steve membership in their troop?
-Bob is 15 years old, and the only openly gay Scout in a Boy Scout troop. Is it acceptable or unacceptable for the troop leader to allow Bob to tent with a heterosexual boy on an overnight camping trip?
-Johnny, a first grade boy, has joined Tiger Cubs with his friends. Johnny’s friends and their parents unanimously nominate Johnny’s mom, who is known by them to be lesbian, to be the den leader. Johnny’s pack is chartered to a church where the doctrine of that faith does not teach that homosexuality is wrong. Is it acceptable or unacceptable for his mother to serve as a den leader for his Cub Scout den?
-A troop is chartered by an organization that does not believe homosexuality is wrong and allows gays to be ministers. The youth minister traditionally serves as the Scoutmaster for the troop. The congregation hires a youth minister who is gay. Is it acceptable or unacceptable for this youth minister to serve as the Scoutmaster?
-Tom started in the program as a Tiger Cub, and finished every requirement for the Eagle Scout Award at 16 years of age. At his board of review Tom reveals that he is gay. Is it acceptable or unacceptable for the review board to deny his Eagle Scout award based on that admission?
Question 4Now that you have seen several scenarios related to what has happened or could happen in Scouting, please answer one question again. The current Boy Scouts of America requirements prohibit open homosexuals from being Scouts or adult Scout leaders. To what extent do you support or oppose this requirement?
Question 5Do you believe the current policy prohibiting open homosexuals from being Scouts or adult Scout leaders is a core value of scouting found in the Scout Oath and Law?
Question 6Different organizations that charter Boy Scout troops have different positions on the morality of homosexuality. Do you support or oppose allowing charter organizations to follow their own beliefs when selecting Boy Scout members and adult leaders, if that means there will be different standards from one organization to the next?
Question 7What is your greatest concern if the policy remains in place and openly gay youth and adults are prohibited from joining Scouting? (Please be specific.)
Question 8What is your greatest concern if the policy is changed to allow charter organizations to make their own decisions to admit openly gay Scouts and leaders? (Please be specific.)
So that we better understand who is giving us feedback, please answer the following questions.
Question 9Which of the following best describes your involvement with the Boy Scouts of America? (Select all that apply.)
-I currently volunteer with a Scout unit
-I currently volunteer with the district or council
-I currently have a child who is in a Scouting program
-I formerly volunteered with Scouting
-I am a parent of a former Scout
-I am a financial contributor
-I was a Scout as a youth
-I am a concerned individual who has never been affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America
Question 10I am:
Question 11Which of the following best describes your race/ethnicity? (Select one.)
3:48 PM PT: UPDATE:And sometimes you discover things that make your stomach churn. It was from last month, but this is about the troop that I was in for five years:
"In all honesty, if the Scouts were to change their policy and become more gay-friendly with the idea of using scoutmasters, the church couldn't support it," said Randy Mickler, senior minister at Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church in Marietta.It's threats like this that keep discrimination alive. Beware bigots in high places.
Mickler's church hosts the largest number of Eagle Scouts in the state of Georgia. In fact, the church has a special house on their property for the Boy Scouts.
Mickler said he would be forced to kick them out if the National Boy Scouts of America moves forward with a policy that allows for gay scouts and leaders.
Troop 1011, you'd be better off anywhere other than under that homophobe's thumb.