This morning, my Facebook newsfeed exploded with praise from my Patrick Henry College acquaintances for the continued Boy Scouts of America ban on out gays as members or leaders.
“Homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the obligations in the Scout Oath and Scout Law to be morally straight and clean in thought, word, and dead,” the BSA stated in a policy that was on their website until February of 2010. “As they continue in the program, all Scouts are expected to take leadership positions. In the unlikely event that an older boy were to hold himself out as homosexual, he would not be able to continue in a youth leadership position.”
The BSA continues to uphold that policy in spirit, if not in word.
“While a majority of our membership agrees with our policy, we fully understand that no single policy will accommodate the many diverse views among our membership or society,” Chief Scout Executive Bob Mazzuca said in a recent statement.
He added, “The vast majority of the parents of youth we serve value their right to address issues of same-sex orientation within their family, with spiritual advisers, and at the appropriate time and in the right setting.”
The notion that “morally straight” implies a heterosexual orientation is troubling, as it means that young queer kids are unable to be moral, by virtue of the orientation or identity with which they were born.
A gay boy can still become a Boy Scout — so long as he suppresses an integral part of himself. A preteen gay boy who joins the Boy Scouts, and remains closeted while he is going through the physical changes and emotional turmoil of adolescence, could suffer from years of shame and isolation and identity issues after living with such a negative policy during his impressionable years.
Let’s be real. The BSA has confused orientation with sexual activity. The idea that an openly gay Boy Scout would be a disruption feeds into the false perception of all gay people as ravenous sexual predators who have a compulsive need to bone everyone of the same gender.
If gay kids are somehow inherently unable to fulfill the Scout Oath or live up to the Scout Law, that would imply that gay kids are inherently pretty sick individuals. BSA, are your gay Scouts really unable to demonstrate trustworthiness, loyalty, helpfulness, friendliness, courteousness, kindness, obedience, cheerfulness, thriftiness, bravery, cleanliness, and reverence just because they are gay? Or does the idea of a boy falling in love with another boy just give the leaders of your organization a case of the willies?