I was a Boy Scout; I made it up to the rank of Eagle Scout, in fact. This was in the 1980s, when we in America were just learning to teach our children that God and Jesus hate homosexuals, and that we should, too, so the problems with gays in Scouting hadn’t quite come to the fore yet.
Personally, I’m ashamed of the organization, and I no longer take pride in calling myself and Eagle Scout. When I was in Scouts, sexuality was not an issue and our straightness was never encouraged or discouraged, much less gayness. Sure, we were a bunch of pubescent teenage boys, and anyone who’s ever spent much time around boys of that age knows that admitting that you’re gay is just another way to say, “Please kick my ass.” In other words, Scouts’ attitudes toward gays aren’t much different from those held by most other kids of that age.
I don’t think things have to be like this. I feel that tolerance ought to be emphasized or, at the very least, prejudice ought not to be encouraged. The Scouts have the legal right to exclude, sure, but they have a moral obligation not to. While it’s unreasonable to expect the Boy Scouts of America to ever suggest that gays should be treated as equals, they should at least stay away from the issue. Scouting is about many things, and sexuality is not one of them.
By the way, the real issue here is that gay scoutmasters should be banned. This is ridiculous, since it plays into the ignorant stereotype that all gays can’t keep their hands off of any male meat that crosses their path. Here’s a clue for you all: gays are as capable of self-control as straights. Let me emphasize that assertion with a question: can any straights hold off from forcing themselves on any woman in their path? Think about it.