The Falcon | Volume 83, Issue 51
Published 5/15/13 | Log In
Organization’s discriminatory stance counter to equal rights
By BILL BERRY, Staff Reporter
Published: February 13, 2013
Boy Scouts of America have earned a place in headlines due to their outlook on homosexuality. Currently, openly gay scouts and parents are banned from scouting activities, but the organization has promised to come to a final decision on the matter in May.
Scouting has done great things and taught many youth and adults what it means to be a respectable member of society. But the ban on openly gay participants teaches that gays are not equal. This is unacceptable and must change.
The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) was founded with the hopes of influencing the upbringing of young boys throughout the country. The core of scouting is based on two things: Scout Oath and Scout Law.
The Scout Oath states, “On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.”
Scout Law states, “A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.”
The BSA believes that being gay goes against the Scout Oath’s call to be “morally straight.” Although the call to be “morally straight” refers more to being a moral member society, they still use it to refer to being sexually “straight.”
This ban is not new and has been around since the formation of the Boy Scouts. But in July 2012, the BSA decided it was necessary to officially reaffirm their ban. The decision to do so prompted corporate sponsors such as UPS and Intel to withdraw support.
Unfortunately, the organization is under no legal threat. In 2000, the Supreme Court deemed it perfectly acceptable for the Boy Scouts to discriminate. The BSA is a private group and receives no funding from the government.
Many scouts are also supported by local churches that tend to be on the more conservative end. The Mormon Church has historically been the largest supporter of the BSA.
The BSA attracts support from churches because the organization teaches young men to live moral lives, love God and love their neighbor. But like may other groups who seem to get tangled in the controversy of homosexuality, the root of the issue lies in some sort of vague religious affiliation.
Regardless of legal right, the BSA does itself a disservice by enforcing the ban on homosexuality. The ban causes the group to break the oath and law that call all scouts to respect others, stand up for justice and hold reverence for all walks of life.
The BSA has a unique ability to impact the lives of young men and teach them good values like selflessness and respect. In order to accomplish this, it must remove its ban on homosexuality and really teach Scouts what it means to be loyal, friendly, courteous and kind. Sexual preference should not play a role in whether or not people can participate in scouting activities because sexual preference doesn’t play a role in whether or not you have good values.