Topic: Boy Scouts of America
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May 31, 2013 at 6:02 AM
Don’t discriminate based on sexuality or religion
As a heterosexual Cub Scout who never quite made it to a Boy Scout, I congratulate the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) on its vote to allow gay boys to join this commendable organization [“Scouts’ vote on gays met with celebration, sadness,” page one, May 24].
As the proud father of a homosexual woman who recently married her female partner of over 20 years, I look forward to the BSA moving forward to allow responsible homosexual adults to become Scout leaders.
As an unapologetic and ethical atheist, I urge the BSA to allow nonbelievers into their ranks as well. As a private organization, the BSA can do as they please, but discrimination against secular people is just as unjustified as prejudice based on ethnicity, color, or other arbitrary characteristics. We are all human beings.
Stephen Kahn, Langley
May 28, 2013 at 7:39 AM
Allow gay leaders
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
May 23, 2013 at 11:47 AM
Lift the ban
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
April 28, 2013 at 8:09 AM
Sexual preference doesn’t mean age preference
Presumably, the Boy Scouts of America’s concern is that a gay adult male scout leader might have sexual relations with the boys [“Boy Scouts might accept gay youth, but not adults,” News, April 20].Most of us are (hopefully) aware that being heterosexual or homosexual has nothing to do with whether someone is attracted to those under the age of consent, i.e., pedophilia. And because pedophiles are attracted to “youth” and not necessarily a particular gender, whether a scout master is gay or straight seems immaterial.
However, a homosexual (or bisexual) boy may very possibly be attracted to other boys in the troop, so don’t the Scouts have it backward?
Tom Foster, Mill Creek
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