BSA

Published January 3, 2014 by Tony

SCOUTS & GAY RIGHTS

To paraphrase the Italian saying “new year, new life”, we can say “new year, new boy-scout”… this year begins a new era for the famous BSA (Boy Scouts of America), because young gay finally can become scouts. It’s long that the gay issue had been raised to the top of the organization, for the presence of homosexual educators and in response to some charges.

As always happens in these cases, BSA’s leaders and parents’ opinions are conflicting, with those who are open and tolerant and those who are intransigent and antonyms.
Although, in principle, the association offers to train future American ruling class, a model for shaping young explorers’ minds and bodies, we are talking about boys and girls who, when they do not wear the uniform, are people like everyone else: young individuals who revel, probably drinking, smoking, and of course having sex. Nothing to be surprised or worried.
Yet, since 1991 gays (members or leaders) cannot join the groups, as they are considered incompatible with the oath required to keep themselves “morally strong.” And a gay, in their opinion, does not have this feature. Unfortunately, for many Americans, homosexuality is still considered a “disease.”

We face the usual hypocritical behavior, especially if wes take into account that among scouts, there always have been gay instructors and only God knows how many young people with a different sexual orientation (perhaps never disclosed). In the scouts camps, given the strict division between male and female, the living together,  sleeping or taking a shower together, becomes an occasion of “initiation” and promotes promiscuity, as it is well known that it also happens in colleges, military, or prisons.

The same happened at the YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association), that despite its religious nature, it was known to be a place where gay guys could meet.
I wonder, between the current American ruling class, how many people have had similar experiences when they were scouts, as now they cry “scandal “?!
The same hypocrisy that comes out at the oath’s time, when each new member must swear “to do my duty to God and my country,” although it can be reasonably assumed that almost half of the members are atheists or do not have a strong faith (70% of the scout groups are run by religious organizations).

The past May, the majority of BSA’s delegates expressed in favor of the acceptance of gay scouts, a provision which, as mentioned, starts this year. A true revolution that obviously pleases the associations that advocate the cause of the aspiring gay scouts (Scouts for Equality and Inclusive Scouting Network), but it must be said that there is still firmly in place the exclusion for gay leaders.

After this measure, came the first opposition and protests.
The conservatives among the first, with the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute in Washington affirming that such a decision “will inevitably lead to a dramatic reduction of members”. The Baptist Church has instead decided to continue the fight, asking churches and families to commit and seek the repeal of this provision pro-gay. Like to say that a gay boy cannot live together other peers and must be emarginated! And
then we wonder that around still there are so many cases of bullying and discrimination. Absurd!

Thanks God, according to a recent survey 63% of the Americans agree with the decision not to exclude gay from BSA and 56% believe that gay adults should be able to become leaders too. A survey that gives results quite different than the previous ones…. sign that times are changing and…. hopefully for the better.

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