Over the past few years, the Boy Scouts of America, a historic youth development organization, has received hefty criticism for its policy that gay members cannot participate within the group. They affirmed this stance seven months ago but will decide in a national council meeting if the organization will reform the policy.
Some prominent conservative figures, such as former BSA member and Republican Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, are against the liberalization of the organization, declaring that the group should not meld to the changing “popular culture.”
I strongly disagree with Perry’s view that BSA should not side with the times. In fact, I favor the stance that President Barack Obama declared last Sunday, saying that, “… gays and lesbians should have access and opportunity the same way everybody else does in every institution and walk of life.”
Contrary to the belief among BSA and its donors, gay people are people as well, and they should not face bigotry in a group meant to develop America’s young minds.
The youth that form BSA are adapting faster to the shifting moral zeitgeist of society than their conservative board members. For example, a nationwide protest led by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation took steam shortly after the forced removal of Jennifer Tyrrell, a lesbian den leader of her son’s Ohio Scout pack. These calls to action, though, fell deaf to the conservative board.
The fact that the leadership of BSA is trying to push their bigoted views down the throats of their members, as well as placing bars amongst certain segments of the population, shows the insensitivity of the group, as well as the indoctrination that they attempt to promote onto their current members.
Any form of indoctrination is a form of child abuse. If BSA doesn’t adapt to the changing moral climate, then they will become irrelevant in the very near future. Finally, BSA should break their tradition of exclusion and promote a policy that accepts everyone, regardless of sexual