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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

May 28, 2013 at 7:39 AM

Boy Scouts lift gay ban on Scouts

Allow gay leaders

Jesse Pacem, 36, an Eagle Scout, says the changes are "a partial victory and a step forward." Scouts For Equality organized rallies across the nation to show support for lifting the ban on gay members. (Alan Berner / The Seattle Times)

Jesse Pacem, 36, an Eagle Scout, says the changes are “a partial victory and a step forward.” Scouts For Equality organized rallies across the nation to show support for lifting the ban on gay members. (Alan Berner / The Seattle Times)

At the young age of 12, I proudly earned my Eagle Scout medal [“Scouts’ vote on gays met with celebration, sadness,” page one, May 24]. Scouting taught me that even a skinny Asian kid from Moses Lake can reach the highest rank through hard work, public service and merit, and it inspired me to pursue a rewarding career in government and community service.When the Boy Scouts of America first approved its discriminatory policy banning gay Scouts, my first reaction was to return my Eagle Scout medal in protest. However, that would have broken the hearts of my parents, who lovingly supported my dream.

Instead, I challenged the Boy Scouts of America to reverse their policy, and I’m both pleasantly surprised and disappointed by their decision to allow gay Scouts.

While a clear 60 percent of voting members did the right thing to overturn the ban on gays, it’s strategically shortsighted to ban gay Scout leaders. Instead, they should be nurturing and building leadership from within.

It’s a bizarre message that you’re welcome as a young, gay Scout, but you’re not welcome when you become an adult.

Clarence Moriwaki, Bainbridge Island

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

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