Boy Scouts reaffirm ban on gays, gay leaders

By: Brian Shlonsky Email
By: Brian Shlonsky Email

People who are gay will continue to be excluded from the Boy Scouts of America. Tuesday, the group reaffirmed it's stance that bans gays, after two years of discussion on the issue.

A lot of people are angry with the Scouts’ decision, some calling it a step in the wrong direction for gay rights, while others hold firm that the Scouts are a private organization, and it is their right to ban whoever they want.

Either way, a lot of people are speaking out about the policy.

"I think we're going backwards to say we aren't going to allow gay people in our organization," Erin Hernandez, who has two young boys, said. "I just think it teaches other kids not to be tolerant of others."

Two years ago, the Boy Scouts of America formed a special committee, that Tuesday came to the unanimous decision that gays would continue to be excluded from the group.

"I know that if my kids wanted to be in Boy Scouts or any other group, I wouldn't want them to be kept from doing that because of their sexual preference," Hernandez said.

The organization's national spokesman, Deron Smith, said in a statement that the group "came to the conclusion that this policy is absolutely the best policy for the Boy Scouts."

Smith's statement preserves a long- standing and controversial policy that the Supreme Court upheld in 2000, a policy that also bans gay leaders.

"I think a role model is a role model, and as long as they are good with the kids, and they're able to be trusted," Hernandez said.

Some kids enter scouts as young as age seven, raising the question of whether a gay- ban really even effects kids that young? Licensed professional counselor Scott Aber says yes.

"That's happening younger, anywhere from (ages) 8-15, kids are coming out now, out of the closet, which is younger than it's ever been before," Aber said.

Aber says it's best to explain to your kids what homosexuality is, regardless of your beliefs.

"Explain in a simple but honest way, because kids are going to hear about it anyway, from their friends, from the media, they're just bombarded with it."

National Boy Scout leaders say most Scout families support the policy. We put the question on our Facebook page, and more than 90 people sounded off on the issue.

We tried multiple times to get a comment from someone from the local chapter, the Western Colorado Council of Boy Scouts, but they refused to participate in this story.

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  • by Tom Jones on Jul 19, 2012 at 08:28 PM
    While I don't agree with Spicoli's words I do believe he has a good idea. I do not have any problems with the gay community I also believe they have a different set of values that many do not accept, and should not be force to accept. This is a great opportunity for the gay and lesbian community to form there own "Gay Scouts of America" to teach the values they believe in. There is no shame in being progressive here.
  • by Spicoli on Jul 19, 2012 at 03:34 PM
    To Scott. This is an opportunity for you to stop crying and make something of this. Go start up gay scouts of America. You can teach them to make fudge, paint their nails, play with Ken dolls, all those things "You Chose" to do in private. It would be better if they were with there own kind. BSA is a proud program that many leaders were a part of in their youth. The idea of the program is to build well rounded men. "Your Choice" in life is not one of the character traits BSA accepts!
    • reply
      by Acceptance on Jul 19, 2012 at 03:58 PM in reply to Spicoli
      I accept everyone. Straight youth programs and non-straight programs. Your suggestion to start their own PRIVATE group is well spoken. They can make their own rules and I promise I won't try and force my kids in if they don't meet the requirements. I hope gays take advantage of this timely opportunity to build a group of your own instead of tearing someone else's down. Respect for other people must go both ways.
    • reply
      by Scott on Jul 19, 2012 at 08:36 PM in reply to Spicoli
      First wrong assumption: I'm not gay. I just see no reason to discriminate against anyone based simply on who they choose to love. If you do, that's up to you. And as for your claim about "Your Choice", the feedback I've been hearing from former scouts says otherwise. A lot of people are disappointed with the BSA's decision. BSA is a private organization and they have the right to discriminate against anyone they want. That doesn't make it right.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Jul 26, 2012 at 05:52 AM in reply to Scott
        We know you are gay, why deny it.
  • by Tired of the Fuss on Jul 18, 2012 at 08:48 PM
    To Scott. I have ask and they say that here in the valley they have never been denied visitation of a sick partner in the hospital. In fact I have ask them if they have ever been discriminated against due to their homosexual lifestyle. They say sometimes but rarely. They say some people are uncomfortable but not rude or hateful. Good grief I am discriminated against as much as they are. And I am treated rudely sometimes. And there are circumstances where I am uncomfortable. But that does not mean I should insist on everyone catering to my every emotional need. The joint return thing is miniscule. But I will ask. Filing a joint tax return is why you compared todays obstacles to the gay population to woman's sufferage? Wow that is an absurd comparison.
    • reply
      by D on Jul 18, 2012 at 10:43 PM in reply to Tired of the Fuss
      All good points, but in the end what is the purpose of all these minuscule discrimination? Can we just agree on equal rights for all and move on?
      • reply
        by OhMy on Jul 19, 2012 at 05:09 AM in reply to D
        Yeah, when are they going to allow girls into the boy scouts. It's not faaaiir.
        • reply
          by OOPS! on Jul 19, 2012 at 09:41 AM in reply to OhMy
          When The Girl Scouts allow Boys!
      • reply
        by Tired of the Fuss on Jul 19, 2012 at 05:54 AM in reply to D
        We can agree that equal rights for all would be a great thing. But I believe that total equality is not possible considering the basic inequality in life. I am not convinced that "equality" is a reality. I believe the only universal equalities are birth and death.
        • reply
          by charlie on Jul 22, 2012 at 04:29 PM in reply to Tired of the Fuss
          We already have equal rights for men and women, but to think a bunch of fudge packers deserve any kind of credibility is absurd. There choice of lifestyle is sickening and by their choice they have to live with it, sorry.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Jul 19, 2012 at 03:29 PM in reply to D
        Perhaps they don't like the homosexuals pushing their deprived sodomogistic agenda down their throat? But you go on self congratulating yourself onhow tolerant you are while you demand everyone change to suit YOUR worldview.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jul 19, 2012 at 09:36 PM in reply to Tired of the Fuss
      Ok, so discriminating is OK as long as you think its a minor issue, and they don't mind too much. Got it.
      • reply
        by Tired of the Fuss on Jul 20, 2012 at 04:57 AM in reply to
        If you cannot read you should not post. It is clear that I do not say discrimination is "OK". You may live in la-la land where discrimination of any kind exists. But in real life discrimination is a a part of EVERYONES life and yes some discrimination is trivial. Now please try to read what I actually say and not what you think I am saying.
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  • by Tired of the Fuss on Jul 18, 2012 at 04:38 PM
    Ok! I have gay acquaintances. I have gay friends. I have a gay uncle. I have no problem with the gay population. I don't understand it but who am I to judge? But I am tired of 3 - 5% of the population controlling media, pop culture and public education. Even by liberal estimates only about 5% of the population is gay. So why is that they feel entitled to force the other 95% to conform to their every whim and need. You cannot pick up a magazine, book or newspaper without seeing a headline on the gay agenda. Almost every television show and movie has gay cast members or gay story lines. The gay agenda is pervasive in the public schools. And politically correct pandering is out of control in pop culture. With the exception of a few legal limitations gays have the same rights as the other 95%. Have a gay lifestyle. Enjoy the partner of your choosing but if you want more overall acceptance QUIT forcing your gay agenda down our throats.
    • reply
      by Scott on Jul 18, 2012 at 05:17 PM in reply to Tired of the Fuss
      You answered your own point. Those "few legal limitations" are why they do what they do. It was similar "legal limitations" that inspired women to demand the right to vote and the civil rights movement.
      • reply
        by Tired of the Fuss on Jul 18, 2012 at 08:19 PM in reply to Scott
        Thanks for the pointless lecture. It is 2012 not the turn of the century. Your analogy is absurd. We hear about their issues continually and gays have almost unlimited exposure and influence. Their legal limitations are miniscule in comparison to so many other minority groups. Man you need to pay attention.
        • reply
          by Scott on Jul 18, 2012 at 08:36 PM in reply to Tired of the Fuss
          Ask one of your gay friends if they feel not being able to visit their partner in the hospital is a miniscule issue. Ask your gay uncle if he thinks its no big deal not being able to file a joint tax return with his partner. You might consider that perhaps things that aren't important to you just might be important to someone else.
  • by Scott on Jul 18, 2012 at 03:32 PM
    In reading about this on several places around the web, the majority of the comments from current or former Scouts express disappointment with this decision. The BSA has fought for and won the right to discriminate against several minority groups, gays and atheists in particular. But the comments I've read suggest that this backward-thinking is not being passed on to the scouts, at least in general. On the contrary, scouting tends to engender acceptance and toleration and homosexuality is simply not mentioned, so most boys pick up their opinions from their parents, not the BSA. Its sad that they've chosen to continue this, but I'm not convinced its really that big a deal.
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    • reply
      by Dixie on Jul 18, 2012 at 05:46 PM in reply to
      While these kids are out getting their "communications arts" degrees, "anonymous" is sitting on his couch collecting unemployment checks and hiding behind the computer.
  • by Gj Location: Gj on Jul 18, 2012 at 07:27 AM
    Well....they can always join the girl scouts.
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