So it seems settled now. The Boy Scouts of America reaffirmed its ban on gay leaders and members. When talking about my childhood, I occasionally mention that I was a cub scout for a few years. I’ll no longer do that, at least not without a disclaimer.
I’m somewhat on the fence about whether an organization should even be allowed to have such a requirement, though as an American, I lean toward allowing it. The good thing is that BSA is being open and honest about their rules. Instead of hiding, they’re making it very clear where their values lie.
Anyone I’ve ever talked to over the years about BSA has had nothing but good things to say about their experiences. BSA teaches our boys such necessary qualities as leadership and compassion. Who isn’t impressed when they hear of a young man who has earned the rank of Eagle Scout? I know a couple myself and am in awe of their accomplishments at such a young age (something I certainly never did).
It’s just a shame that BSA chooses to exclude certain men and boys from their ranks based solely on sexual orientation. I know there are boys who could benefit from scouting who can’t, and I know there are men who have a lot of compassion and leadership qualities who can’t serve as a BSA leader. What a shame that our boys won’t benefit from their experiences.
Perhaps such men and boys will keep in mind one of the best lines from the movie “A Few Good Men“. At the end of the movie, Daniel Kaffee said, “you don’t need to wear a patch on your arm to have honor.”