New policy Allows Gay Youth, Not Leaders
New membership practices of The Boy Scouts of America went into effect on January 1, 2014. Last May, delegates at the Boy Scouts’ national convention voted to allow openly gay boys to participate in the group activities. While it’s a baby step toward gay equality, the fact that BSA still prohibits gay scout leaders from serving, the organization sends out a discriminatory message: that not only are gay scouts inferior and once they turn eighteen, even if they have excelled as scouts, they can not serve as leaders.
“Business As Usual”
A BSA national executive board member Brad Haddock who chairs the policy implementation committee doesn’t anticipates problems although he states “isolated pockets” of problems are likely to surface, but he expects adult troop leaders will have the skills to defuse potential conflicts.. “My hope, he says, “is there will be the same effect this January 1 as the Y2Kscare. It’s business as usual, nothing happens, and we move forward.”
Move forward? The BSA is moving at glacial speed. It is not in keeping with the times. Its evolution is incomplete as witnessed by these survey as well as others:
Policy Not Reflecting Greater Acceptance of Gays
The psychology department of University of California-Davis, compiled statistics in a survey from 1970 and found more than 70% of respondents believed that “homosexuals are dangerous as teachers or youth leaders because they try to get sexually involved with children.”
By 1999, the belief that gay men are likely to molest or abuse children was endorsed by only 19% of heterosexual men and 10% of heterosexual women.
You Don’t Have to be Straight to Be Morally Straight
Being gay is not inconsistent with the Boy Scout Values of strong moral character and leadership.
The Boy Scouts of America has had incidences of molestation and has perversion files from 1965 to 1985 that contain names of troop leaders that molested their den scouts. Often not reported to the police, these files were released by court order when lawsuits ensued by the parents or former scouts.
Although molestation has taken place infrequently, the heinous act is committed by pedophiles. Gay men are attracted to adult men, not boys. Pedophiles are attracted to kids.
Says Frank Spinellli, M.D, gay internist who was abused at age 11 by a former Boy Scout Master, in an on-line article for Out magazine,http://www.out.com/entertainment/michael-musto/2014.01/13/frank-sprinelli-boy-scouts-molesteor-hbo-looking-beautiful- “it’s ridiculous to say that if we allow homosexuals into the Boy Scouts, they’re going to molest children. No, child molesters molest children.”
All troop leaders should be screened for past history of abuse. If they don’t instill the values of scouting in your child, then fire them. But don’t presume that a qualified gay leader might molest your child.
As I’ve said before in my blog (2/7/13, 4/24.13, and 5/29/13), the Girls Scouts don’t have this discriminatory policy of either excluding girl scouts from activities or having gay and lesbian troop leaders. Furthermore, they don’t have problems within their ranks.
When Your Child Is Gay: What You Need To Know
For more detailed advice, see book, co-authored with a mother of a gay son and a psychiatrist, Jonathan L. Tobkes, M.D.