Boy Scouts Reaching Equality

rainbow flagThe “American Dream” is strived for by most- a happily married couple with stable jobs, a well behaved child, all living in a white picket fenced house in suburbia. However, this dream is still far fetched for some couples; same-sex individuals – until recently – dreamed of being able to just get married. 

Recently there has been such a push for equality for all and on June 26, 2015 gay marriage became legal in all fifty states. This feat really set spirits high and showed the progression that is happening in our country with gay rights. In today’s day and age, most people know at least one gay male or female so the subject matter of true equality is very close and personal for all of us. Another great accomplishment came more recently on Monday, June 27 when the Boy Scouts of America lifted their ban on gay adults serving as leaders in the youth-based organization. The Boy Scouts of America is a youth based organization about leadership and building character, it helps young males build confidence and it teaches acceptance along with instilling morale and teaching good ethics – so I believe we must be the ultimate example to our youth and show complete acceptance to all involved in the organization. Many children now have two parents of the same gender and these loving parents would like to be involved in their children’s lives – including their extracurricular activities. Growing up in a generation with more tolerance and acceptance for this matter has allowed me to view topics like this one with a more open mind. I also had brothers in the Boy Scouts and had attended many of their events and would say in the future when I am a mother I would enroll my boys in the Boy Scouts with gay adult leaders without batting an eye.

There should be no bans for gay individuals to participate in events that other sexual orientations can without any issues. If there can be gay adults serving and fighting for our children then their should be no problem for these same adults to help our children build a fire.

With 45 out of 71 voters ‘for’ the lift of the ban in the Boy Scouts shows a great deal of acceptance and progression on our nation’s views on gay rights and equality. The 12 voters that were against it are just a reminder that there will always be some who do not understand and resist but it is about looking on the positive side and looking at the progression that is being made by our own people. We must focus on moving forward and not pay too much attention to those who want to hold us back.. In housing applications, in the workplace and in many other aspects of our lives we are granted the right to not be turned away due to our sexual orientation, so why should that be acceptable for positions in the Boy Scouts? It was time for this ban to be lifted and I think there will be many benefits to come with it. The Boy Scouts of America is about building character and learning to care for others but how can we teach that to our youth if we are turning away such a big portion of our nation’s population? To teach them actual acceptance we must actually accept everyone. Some of these children’s parents are gay and to have them grow up and be in an environment where their parents are not welcome is much more toxic than allowing and loving everyone who participates. With the ban being lifted, homosexual adults may now hold positions in the Boy Scouts and I think that could benefit some of the children who struggle with feeling left out or like the ‘odd one out’ because many of those parents may have felt like that at one time or another dealing with being gay in an unaccepting community. I know many adults who happen to be gay but that is not how I view them. They are still human beings like us, we all have goals and aspirations, we all have feelings so to me they are just another individual in my life and I accept the slight differences we have.

There is a big backlash from communities who believe that lifting this ban will open up the floodgates to molestation. Colorado’s State Senate, Gordon Klingenschmitt believes “parents should remove their sons from the Boy Scouts or put them at risk of being molested”. If this belief were to hold up then every female student is at risk of molestation by any male teacher in the school districts because being a hetereosexual male means you are attracted to every female- but parents still allow their girls to go to school. There are female and male camp counselors as well as female and male campers, there are both gendered hetereosexual employers with both genders of employees. If all of those scenarios are acceptable then why would it be ok to single out one organization?  Klingenschmitt said, What they’re going to do is promote homosexual men to mentoring and camping with your boys in the woods and it will lead to child abuse”. I think people still do not fully understand homosexuality so the saying of being afraid of what you don’t understand applies to this issue. Just because someone is attracted to the same sex does not mean they like and want to have sexual encounters with every person of the same sex. Also his statements imply pedophelia which in no way is linked to homosexuality. Pedophelia is a distinct, deviant attraction to pre-pubescent children. Homosexuality is just the simple attraction someone has for an individual who happens to be of the same sex – it is not an attraction to someone young like many seem to mix up. Randy Blaser, a father who made the conscience decision to keep his sons in the Scouting world throughout all of the ban struggles, pointed out, “As we have all learned over the years, homosexuality does not equate with pedophilia or other sexual deviance any more than heterosexuality does”.  One argument that may have some merit is the religion standpoint. The Boy Scouts is sponsored by a lot of religious groups and churches and are not handling the lift of the ban very well, the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-Day Saints stated that they were “deeply troubled” by this and may even move to create their own youth organization and pull away from the Boy Scouts of America. If these churches and organizations have an issue with it I do not believe they should be forced to go against their beliefs, we should still be able to hold onto religious beliefs. I was raised in a fairly religious household however I was able to take what I was taught and what I believe from the church but also incorporate newer ideas and opinions due to the new world we live in but if these churches and their members are very set in their beliefs then I truly believe they have that right to hold true to their thoughts. If these churches want to distance themselves from the Boy Scouts I think they hold that right but they should pull away silently and go about their business without creating a huge deal that is avoidable.

A ban being put into place to discriminate and turn people away is beyond wrong. We live in a country that prides itself on being a melting pot but then can not handle the differences that come along with it. Having gay adult leaders in the Boy Scouts can be a benefit to the youth and teach them about real acceptance and open up their views on a world they will soon be thrown into. In no way does this ban mean that we are subjecting our children to pedophiles but instead to more loving parents and volunteers who truly care for our youth. The ban lift on gay marriage and on gay adult leaders in the Boy Scouts are such great feats for our nation and seeing the progression for true equality for all is really a great feeling.


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