Accepted Today and Leading Tomorrow

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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

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22 thoughts on “Accepted Today and Leading Tomorrow

  1. I agree! We are very good at criticizing because things don’t go far enough, or there is not enough change. Forward is good. That gets lost in the quest for everything.

  2. Thought provoking for sure. My first thought was that by excluding gay leaders they are equating gay leaders with something evil something perverted. As we all know perverts were not excluded before and I believe that accepting openly gay leaders will go a long way to showing that there are many excellent decent leaders regardless of sexual persuasion.

    • I think the fact that they are open to change is a sign of hope and encouragement. And honestly – these kids will grow to become leaders, so the ‘ban’ will be overridden naturally.

  3. I still do not understand why they still want to exclude gay men and women from being scout leaders. Their own independent research has stated that there is NO connection between homosexuality, and homosexual people, and pedohelia.

    • Welcome to my ‘neighborhood’. I don’t understand, either. Still, as “Omawarisan” commented, “We are very good at criticizing because things don’t go far enough, or there is not enough change. Forward is good. That gets lost in the quest for everything.”

      People can still push to get the ban lifted on openly gay leaders, while celebrating the fact that steps were taken in the right direction.

      The door is open, which is far better than it was before the vote.

  4. I find it odd that the BSA even NEEDS to think about the “sexual orientation” of its members. I mean, by the time most boys make the transition from “girls are icky” to raging hormone machines, aren’t they towards the end of their boy scout careers? I imagine that the Scouts will be exactly the same as before on account that they are kids joining in activity group, not a sex club.

    Regardless of that though, I think it’s a great statement that the BSA made about embracing a world with as few labels and barriers as possible. And yes, change is incremental. Celebrate the victories and move on to the next hurdles.

    • Ah Steve… you were not a Boy Scout were you? Some Boy Scouts become Eagle Scouts in high school. Rob’s brother was very active as an Eagle Scout in his adult life. Those that go all the way to Eagle are more than likely to become Scout Masters, which is why I think allowing openly gay leaders will be accepted in the future.

      • Ahhh — I had no idea that it went on for so long! (I was a thug in Camden growing up). Well, then — even better for them to allow all boys to participate. I’m sure all Scout Leaders won’t be far behind.

  5. I agree with my good friend, Oma. And you, too! To me, this is a deeply complex issue. Yes, there may come a day when gay scouts won’t know the difference, but there will still come a time when they reach adulthood and want to give something back and are prohibited. That’s sad. Like you said they’ll still be leaders. No one can ever prevent them from leading by example.

    • I agree that it is a complex issue. And, I believe those currently gay Boy Scouts who then become Eagle Scouts will be allowed to become openly gay leaders of Packs, if they so desire.

  6. Well put. I was shocked to see a negative response on my Facebook wall to this story. And that poster was supported by several of her friends. Especially because she isn’t a friend in real life, and for sure will never be now, I unfriended her without looking back. On behalf of my gay grandmother, nieces, and nephew, I applaude the Boy Scouts.

    • Thank you, Susan. I think I have hidden many of my FB ‘friends’ that tend to lean a little too far right or left for me. I prefer a balanced approach. Though like you, I’ve unfriended one or two. Here’s to your gay relatives. May your nieces and nephews grow to be great leaders.

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