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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

May 23, 2013 at 11:47 AM

Boy Scouts’ gay ban

Lift the ban

James Oliver, left, stands behind his brother and fellow Eagle Scout, Will Oliver, who is gay, as he makes comments during a news conference in front of the Boy Scouts of America headquarters Monday, Feb. 4, 2013, in Dallas, Texas. Scouts and their families have delivered a petition to the Boy Scouts of America headquarters urging an end to a policy banning gay scouts and leaders from the organization. (Tony Gutierrez / The Associated Press)

James Oliver, left, stands behind his brother and fellow Eagle Scout, Will Oliver, who is gay, as he makes comments during a news conference in front of the Boy Scouts of America headquarters in Dallas, Texas. Scouts and their families have delivered a petition to the Boy Scouts of America headquarters urging an end to a policy banning gay scouts and leaders from the organization. (Tony Gutierrez / The Associated Press)

I became an Eagle Scout in 1976. The lessons I learned in scouting about leadership, citizenship and respect for others helped shaped who I am as an adult [“Boy Scout leaders to vote on lifting gay ban, seattletimes.com, May 22].It has been with great dismay that I have seen this contentious issue emerge in scouting. When my son asked me about joining, sadly I could not show genuine enthusiasm for the organization. Explicit policies banning gay scouts and leaders are discriminatory and not something I could endorse as a father, citizen or Eagle Scout.

I sincerely hope that the Boy Scouts will listen and learn from others’ voices. I hope they open their doors to our friends, family members and neighbors who are gay.

An overhaul of the membership policy so that openly gay boys and gay leaders could participate would reaffirm for me that respect for one another remains a core principle of scouting.

Richard Goss, Seattle

 

Comments | More in Gay rights | Topics: Boy Scouts, Boy Scouts of America, gay ban

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