Leaders of the Boy Scouts of America, trying to find a compromise over the organization’s ban on gays, have managed to offend just about everyone, regardless of their positions on including gays.
The Scouts have proposed allowing gay Scouts into troops, but banning gay adults from any role with Scouts. This proposal fails on many levels but here’s two:
One, it basically tells gay Eagle Scouts that once they have entered adulthood they are no longer morally fit to be associated with Scouting. Two, it tells gay Scouts that their lifestyle is so morally unfit that there can be no adult gay role models in Scouting for them. It just boggles the mind that this “compromise” actually moved beyond the brainstorming stage, through discussion and into a major proposal. I can’t imagine such a bad idea being approved in May at the Scouts national council meeting.
Even those who favor the ban are not happy with the proposal. Tony Perkins, of the conservative Family Research Council, told the Los Angeles Times that the latest proposal was “incoherent.” He’s right.
The Scouts should bite the bullet and do the right thing, which is ending its ban on gays, period. The organization could return to an earlier trial balloon idea, which called for allowing local troops to decide whether to include gays in Scouting. Or, the Scouts’ leaders can simply reaffirm their ban on gays and deal with any economic consequences as a result. I don’t support an idea from liberal California legislators to revoke the group’s tax-exempt status, but any private organizations which choose to pull sponsorship from the Scouts because of their stand on gays have the right to do so. And, it’s true that if the Scouts allow gays, the organization may lose its affiliations with some churches, maybe The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
But this pitiful compromise needs to be dumped. It’s an insult to gay youths and gay adults.