Thursday, February 7, 2013
Gay Boy Scouts
There always have been gays in the Boy Scouts, beginning with founder and Boer War hero, Lord Baden-Powell. I remember a court case from, perhaps, the eighties, where some teen was outed and thereby denied his Eagle Scout award. His big problem, of course, was that he was outed.
So, the big problem with the Boy Scouts, for gay boys and leaders, is that they just can't come out. Okay, Boy Scouts, do you want them in or out of the closet? (My guess is that they'd prefer their gays remained inside.)
Now the National Council has postponed the decision for a few more months, but the problem won't get any easier — and the problem, needless to say, is money. Whatever Scouting's decision, it will lose sponsors and donors, even though the plan was to weasel through by letting individual sponsoring institutions decide.
There will be corporate and institutional donors that will not want to be perceived as supporting an institution that permits discrimination (and it probably was pressure from such groups that started the current controversy); then, there are all those churches that sponsor individual troops, who insist on discrimination.
Did you know that every Mormon boy is enrolled in the Boy Scouts? Mormons are very big on "God and Country." Maybe the Church of Latter Day Saints should just start financing the Scouting movement on its own. It's rich enough.