The Boy Scouts of America will allow gay Scouts as members. This is good news for straight boys, too. It sends the message to them and to their parents that what matters as a Scout – to be “helpful” “courteous” “brave” and “morally straight” – has nothing to do with your sexual orientation.
Unfortunately, gay Scout leaders are still not allowed to serve.
A confusing and misguided policy, but my Scout mom heart still celebrates because national has taken a step in the right direction. I will allow myself cautious optimism that soon, gay leaders will be allowed to serve in the BSA.
Of course gay Merit Badge counselors, Scoutmasters and Assistant Scoutmasters have served and currently serve. What I’ve admired about these men and women – their ability to teach the bowline knot or advise a boy on how to be a good leader – are the same things I admire in any scout leader.
Doesn’t any law-abiding, good-charactered adult volunteer willing to take yearly training classes, schlep tents and devote weekends to camp so that boys will grow into good citizens deserve to be celebrated?
At the very least, they should be accepted. Scouting is a special program unlike any other. It allows an infinite range of boys to find their strengths, to have opportunities to enjoy the outdoors and to develop lifelong friendships.
While I always say the scout motto “Be Prepared” along with Beverly Hills Troop 33, I will never be prepared for end of the scouting program, which is an inevitable outcome of intolerance.
As Joel Ordesky of Troop 33 advised his scouts, “Be proud of this step forward and never forget that you as leaders must always be willing to lead for change and not turn your back when the going gets tough or the vote goes the other way.”