Now that’s a controversial topic.
This summer, the Boy Scouts of America reaffirmed its ban on openly gay members. Since then, several organizations have pulled their funding of the Boy Scouts, according to this story in the Dallas Morning News.
For instance, computer chip maker Intel announced it would no longer fund any groups that discriminate based on sexual orientation, the article says. Intel says it donated $700,000 to the Boy Scouts last year.
What do you think? Do you have any sons in Scouting? What message does it send to our kids to allow openly gay members — or to ban them?
I’d like to know your opinion.
Personally, I have a 12-year-old son. He was in the Cub Scouts when he was younger but hasn’t joined the Boy Scouts — at least not yet.
I know Connor understands that some people — male and female — are gay. He probably knows of some gay students at school.
So I doubt he would be uncomfortable with an openly gay boy in Scouts or any other organization he might join.
Kids have changed
Kids these days have fewer built-in prejudices than we as adults do. I understand that some adults in Scouting are simply upholding their values in denying entrance to openly gay boys.
But these leaders should pause and consider the mindset of today’s youth. Do these Scout leaders really believe most kids would be uncomfortable around gay members?
For now, the Boy Scouts of America is staunchly defending its gay ban. But how long can it do so if it loses millions in donations? How long can it do so if it sees a drop in membership and receives steady public criticism?
I suppose Scouting supporters may rally around the organization and make sure it remains financially viable. Maybe its gay ban will fade from public consciousness.
But I doubt it. I imagine the Boy Scouts of America will face ever-increasing pressure to drop its opposition to openly gay members.
The organization will mount public awareness campaigns in support of its ban. It may even spend thousands in legal expenses to maintain the right to discriminate against gays.
But here’s my question: Doesn’t the Boy Scouts have better ways to spend its time and money than defending an outdated policy?