Fix Opinion

Proposed Boy Scout Change To Include Gay Youth Must Also Include Adult Leaders

By Eli Winter
HOUSTON, Texas, U.S.A. – The Boy Scouts of America today
announced a proposed amendment to their ban on gay Scouts. If the proposition
is approved by the organization’s National Council, the Scouts will no longer
deny “youth … membership … on the basis of sexual orientation or preference
On the surface, this might seem a positive change. After all,
children throughout the whole nation would now be able to put on the ever-evasive
Scouting uniform, pin the ever-elusive merit badges to their sash – be those
children gay, straight, bisexual or anything else.
But because I’m such a pessimist, I saw a problem almost
The word “youth.” It doesn’t belong here.
If this proposition is approved, yes, children will be able to
put on that uniform, pin those badges to their sash – but what of their
parents? Will the gay fathers and lesbian mothers be able to attend meetings of
the Scouts as members of the organization instead of being on the outside
looking in?
Will Ohio mom and former Scout leader Jennifer Tyrrell, who was
ousted from the position because she is a lesbian, be able to “look my children
in the eyes and tell them that our family is … good enough” to join Scouting?
That’s where I feel this proposition’s rationality ends and its
absurdity begins. The Boy Scouts of America may obviously be a “boy’s club” of
sorts, but that doesn’t grant them the right to exclude men who like men, or
women who like women.
In my mind, no one has that right. This proposition deserves to
move to its logical conclusion – that is, granting lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender Scouts and leaders the right to associate
themselves with the Boy Scouts of America.
This can be considered a start – all right, I’ll grant you all
that. But what’s a start matter if you can’t reach the finish?