Should Boy Scouts Change Policy on Gay Leadership?
A Land O' Lakes Cub Master says policy is policy, but eventually that policy will catch up the times.
Boy Scout leaders from across the nation will gather in Orlando today for the organization’s national meeting, where they will be asked to re-evaluate a longstanding policy banning gay youth and leaders from serving.
An Ohio woman recently was removed as a den mother for her 7-year-old son’s Cub Scout troop because of her sexual orientation. Jennifer Tyrrell started a petition on Change.org, garnering more than 275,000 signatures asking the Boy Scouts of America to reinstate her and to end their policy banning gay youth and leaders from serving.
Eagle Scout Zach Wahls, whose online video in support of his two gay moms went viral last year, will deliver the petition to Scout leaders.
Do you think the policy should be changed? Tell us in the comments.
Cub Master Bryan Gifford of Land O’ Lakes Pack 323 said Scout “law” requires that a scout be “morally straight.”
And regardless of what government or its members believe personally, the Boy Scouts of America is a private organization that can abide by the policies it chooses, Gifford said.
“Where is she bringing sexuality into scouting? She’s not.” She’s just a dedicated mother exposing her child to the great values that Scouting teaches, he said.
Policy is policy, but eventually the times will catch up and these types of policies will change, he said.
Sometimes uneducated people will equate homesexuality with pedophelia and that's not the case, he said.
A background check is performed on all leadership applicants and a youth protection training course is required of all Boy Scout leaders every two years, though Gifford requires local leaders to take it annually. In addition, Boy Scout policy requires that no child is ever alone with just one adult, so if something inappropriate is said or done, someone else is always around.
“If the unit is adhering to the rules, there’s nothing to be afraid of,” Gifford said.
In the meantime, Gifford said sexual orientation is not asked about on any leadership applications locally.
If someone is willing to put in the tremendous amount of time it takes to be a Scout leader, “I’m not going to add another layer unless it’s a problem,” Gifford said.