The Boy Scouts of America got it right. It is one very important step forward. Is it a leap? Frankly, to their organization, it is a leap, which makes the step that much more important.
The Boys Scouts of America have changed their policy to allow openly gay children into the Boy Scouts beginning January 1, 2014. This is not a “Don’t ask – don’t tell” policy; this is a “come as you are” policy, and it should be applauded.
Then again, they are unwilling to allow openly gay leaders into the Boys Scouts of America.
Should we be appalled? No. No, we should not be appalled.
In my opinion, we should embrace the fact that they took a first step in the right direction. And, as they take the step in the right direction, the kids they are welcoming into the Boys Scouts of America will grow up to a more open community.
Five years from now, a gay child entering the Boy Scouts of America may not realize there was a time when he was not allowed to join, just as my boys do not remember a time without computers. Perhaps my example is lame, but the point I am making is simple enough without a larger example.
The Boy Scouts of America are changing, and I applaud their change. The kids entering the Boys Scouts of America will be able to make more changes, and the kids already involved will understand that some changes – while possibly bringing some uneasiness – make their organization stronger.
In my 40-plus years of living, David Bowie’s lyrics to the song “Changes” never seemed more appropriate or relevant to our society than today, with this change within the Boy Scouts. In spite of us, the children are actively changing their world. They will be the Boy Scout leaders of tomorrow.
Do you understand what I am saying? The Boy Scouts may have stopped short of allowing gay Boy Scout leaders, but these kids – when they get older – will still be gay, and they will be leaders.
One has to start somewhere; well done, Boy Scouts of America.
“And these children that you spit on
As they try to change their worlds
Are immune to your consultations
They’re quite aware of what they’re going through.”
“Changes” by David Bowie