• Sun, Dec 29 - 3:01 pm ET

The Boy Scouts Are FINALLY Allowing Openly Gay Kids To Join Their Ranks

For as long as I’ve been aware of the Boy Scouts of America’s draconian rules that disallowed openly gay youths from taking part, I’ve had a serious issue with the organization. So I was delighted to hear that, starting on New Year’s Day, they will begin accepting gay kids. But as great as it is, the victory feels a little hollow, considering how long it’s taken to get to this point.

The decision has sparked some concerns on issues of tent-mates and showering, as well as fears over the “complication” of scouts potentially marching in gay pride parades. Because marching in a parade is apparently a terrible thing (but only if it’s a GAY parade, obv).

Despite these concerns, Boy Scout leaders are hoping that the change will go smoothly and any fears will be unfounded. According to BSA national executive board member Brad Haddock, who chaired the policy implementation committee:

“My hope is there will be the same effect this Jan. 1 as the Y2K scare. It’s business as usual, nothing happens and we move forward.”

 

But any major move forward comes with backlash. Some churches are dropping their sponsorships and there are reports of families switching to a new “conservative,” (ie: hateful) alternative called Trail Life USA. Thankfully the huge defections that some conservatives predicted have yet to materialize and the majority of sponsors have remained supportive, including the Catholic church and the Mormon church.

 

“There hasn’t been a whole lot of fallout,” said Haddock, “If a church said they wouldn’t work with us, we’d have a church right down the street say, `We’ll take the troop.”‘

 

The news isn’t all good though. The BSA will continue to exclude gay adults from leadership, which I find baffling. Why are gay kids okay, but gay adults not? So, while this is definitely a great development, it’s simply not enough.

What We're Reading:
Share This Post:
  • brebay

    Not on board with excluding gay adults. They still don’t get that gay and pedophile are 2 different things, and that most pedophiles are married to women. You can become an eagle scout, but on the eve of your 18th birthday, when you go to sleep, you are sprinkled with pedo-dust, and magically become a danger and a bad role model overnight. It’s a step, but still a completely ignorant policy.

  • Justme

    I hate to break it to the Boy Scouts, but there are already PLENTY of gay boys that are and have been a part of their organization for years.

    • Allyson_et_al

      Right? Gay scouts have been there since the beginning of scouting.

    • Justme

      I just went to the Eagle Scout ceremony of one very gay, very amazing Boy Scout. :)

    • donna

      Exactly.

  • DaisyJupes

    I think they’re doing what they can. If they tried to have gay scout leaders, all of the old people would have heart attacks and die. I think those in charge are just waiting for those people to die of heart attacks on their own before they change the rules.

    Unfortunately, my dad has taught me in the last few days that the baby boomers who seemed to be “gay people are probably okay” are turning the ways of ultra conservatives and the very old, meaning your religion which you can choose shouldn’t be able to get you fired, but your sexual orientation which you do not choose should be able to get you fired.

    • Cee

      I think at one point we have to tell the older generation to fuck off, get over it and move on.
      I understand that they’re “set in their ways” but we can’t deny a group of people things that are given to everyone else because of our racist homophobic older generation. We need to stop tip toeing over them and have them understand these aren’t their jolly, yet truly horrible for any non white male, times.

    • brebay

      If we wait for all the bigots to die off, we’ll be here awhile. There are more than enough young ones waiting to take their place.

    • Justme

      So the Boy Scouts should appease a few old people’s outdated and bigoted ideas in lieu of being inclusive of a new generation of eager and willing young men? How does that make sense?

    • CMJ

      You do know that bigots come in all ages, correct?

    • Kay_Sue

      I know what you are trying to say (I think), but I don’t think it justifies the continued exclusion of gay scout leaders. Baby steps are great, but if we–especially those of us that are members of the scouting community–say “Oh, well, we’ve made these baby steps, this is awesome, let’s just wait until the climate is better for bigger changes”, then those changes will never come, or the next conservative tide (because these things move in cycles) will knock us back again. We have to keep agitating for change, and pushing to make the organization a welcoming and inclusive place for all families.

    • EmmaFromÉire

      That’s a FANTASTIC plan, I mean all our problems could be solved if we just waited for the fuckers to die, amirite?

    • Rachel Sea

      Unfortunately fuckers are a constantly renewing resource.

  • Véronique Houde

    Did no one else realize that Jesus was the first one to dine with the “prostitutes and beggars”?

    • brebay

      What do prostitutes and beggars have to do with responsible, gay adults?

    • Justme

      I think Veronique’s greater point is that the same Jesus, God, Biblical principles and Christianity that these Christians are trying to hide behind is a false front. Jesus wasn’t born to the richest man, nor did he surround himself with the purest of rabbis – he was born in a stable and lived (and loved) amongst the most hated and persecuted people of his time. So if modern-day Christians REALLY want to live by the word of God and the example of Christ, they would love and not judge the most hated and persecuted people of our own time.

    • Véronique Houde

      bingo

    • brebay

      Yeah, I get that, but I don’t think humoring them by lumping gays in with criminals and then saying “Jesus would still love them” does anyone any favors and misses the point.

    • Véronique Houde

      Nah, it’s just going in their own line of thinking and saying that they have no clue what they’re talking about when they try and disassociate from people they think are “sinning”. Anyway, technically, prostitutes aren’t criminals (where I’m from), and nor are beggers. They are just seen as being on the bottom of the totem pole in society.

    • Justme

      I wouldn’t call those groups of people criminals, necessarily…more like the undesirables of society – the ones that people feel they can trample over.

  • Kay_Sue

    We’re Cub Scouts. I really hope folks realize that it varies a lot by troop–while no, we aren’t allowed to have openly gay leaders according to national guidelines, there are plenty of homosexual parents in our troop that are actively involved. One of the den mothers for our third graders is in a long-term lesbian relationship, and both she and her wife attend pack meetings and functions regularly. There’s a grandfather who’s actively involved in our den who is gay. It’s never been a big deal. Troops are as accepting or bigoted as the people that make them up.

    I also hope that they move completely into the 21st century soon. It’s been a great organization for my very shy and socially anxious seven year old, and we’ve met some great people. It was a difficult decision to join because of my views on LGBTQ rights, truthfully, so I am glad that our pack is more accepting than I’d expected.

  • tSubh Dearg

    I find it mind boggling that the BSA are so conservative when their counterparts here in Ireland are so inclusive and welcoming of everyone, just like the Girl Guides. I just don’t understand how the ethos can be so changed from the original in the UK.

    • brebay

      We were settled by puritanical religious zealots, and it’s taking an awfully long time to water that shit down.

    • tSubh Dearg

      Considering I live in what was one of the most Catholic countries in the world, you’d think we’d have similar problems but even the Catholic Boy Scouts of Ireland accept those from the LGBTQ community especially since they merged with Scouting Ireland to become one organisation.

      It’s not all rainbows and Judy Garland but as youth organisations in Ireland go, the Scouts and Guides are a couple of the most open and inclusive for people from all backgrounds, abilities and lifestyles.

    • Kay_Sue

      I really, really hope that our Scouts follow that example. The sooner, the better.

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      Isn’t it amazing how we can be so backward regarding other issues though??

    • tSubh Dearg

      Oh yes! We’re hardly the most enlightened country in the world, especially when it comes to issues around women’s health & choices but at least we can be happy about this one small area.

    • gothicgaelicgirl

      One area down, another 99 to go…

    • EmmaFromÉire

      With you on this one- I was always so shocked to hear about the issues the American sects have, since ours is so relaxed. And mixed.

  • SusannahJoy

    Ugh, why do people still think that gay=rapist pedophile who will turn your son gay? It doesn’t work that way, people!

  • helloshannon

    and they expect to be applauded for FINALLY ending a policy that discriminates against CHILDREN? sorry no. My sons will never be boy scouts and I make it a point to not buy popcorn or christmas tress or whatever from them. There are plenty of other activities for my boys to take part in that are not hateful.

  • donna

    There have always been gay boy scouts, so why are they doing this? No one really needs to know who’s gay or not.

  • Humphrey Bugoy

    The apocalypse is nigh!!!

  • Pingback: Boy Scouts Sever Ties With Seattle Church