I thought Baden Powell was a great big homo ….
The U.S. supreme court, a few years ago, came down in favor of the scouts not accepting gays. They are a private organization and can set their own rules, so scr*w’em. In any event they seem to have a don’t ask don’t tell policy, so if you absolutely must belong (?) – DON’T TELL as the individual in this article did.
Why do we waste our time and energy pressing a dead issue. Time to move on as far as this topic is concerned and concentrate on things we can change.
What a horrible example of bullying to teach children.
It is so easy to be cynical online in this day and age. So I hesitate to share my thoughts.
As a gay man, however, I can’t get passed this father letting his son be in an anti-gay youth movement like the Boy Scouts of America.
Yes, the Scouts are jackass wrong. But that’s well known.
So, I second Marc above. Why would this guy deliver his son into the hands of these people? And why would he then make an issue of his own homosexuality?
Drama queens are so tiresome.
Imagine the sentence ”The Scouts do not allow gay people or atheists to take leadership roles” Replaced with
”The Scouts do not allow black people to take leadership roles”
”The Scouts do not allow Pakistanis or Muslims to take leadership roles”
”The Scouts do not disabled people or women to take leadership roles”
Why is it still OK for atheists and gay people to be so openly discriminated against? If it was any of the ones I posted above, there would be outcry and rightly so. This is disgusting and this organization should be shut down or made to get in line with anti discrimination laws… But I guess where they can claim religious persecution, that would trump everyone else’s rights.
notagain; There would be an outcry due to the fact that the boy scouts intrinsically feature ALL homosexuals to be immoral and unfit to lead young men/boys into manhood and not the groups you listed. The groups you listed do not all automatically fit into the “immoral” category.
Just as a sidelight… I have a cousin who is gay and a lifelong member of the scouts. While I think he is a great person I would also have to say you would have to be blind, deaf and dumb not to know he was gay. He is still in the scouts as a mender in good standing. It must go back to the don’t ask, don’t tell rule.
sorry… “member” in good standing.
Sister Mary Clarance:
“I thought Baden Powell was a great big homo…”
most certainly very much quite the opposite. A great big homophobe more likely.
Whether people like it or not, he Scouts are a private organisation, a ‘club’ if you will, and can still dictate as to who they want as members, and yes they could discriminate on race, gender, age or the fact they don’t like nancy boys. If you don’t like them, don’t join.
How can you prepare for ‘an exceptional adulthood’ based on bullying, intimidation, discrimination and lies?
When will they learn that this behavour is far from the best way to bring up children. It looks like the children themselves had no issue with Jon Langbert. It seems more like the fathers felt threatened because gay men cannot clearly be just the same as them. It has nothing to do with the children but more like egos.
As for the Scouts not allowing gay members, do they also throw out those youngsters who know they are gay also?
Another case of humanity at it’s worst. They talk about whats best for the children by showing such disrepect for life and fill it with hate and dishonesty.
How pathetic that through their actions, they never see the irony!
I didnt realise that the scouts were part of the military… apparently Dont Ask Dont Tell is seeping down to the junior ranks!
“preparing them for an exceptional adulthood”… by giving them pitchforks and prejudices.
“Wow youve got alot of scout badges son! whats this new one?” “the gay bashing merit badge; i stopped 23 gays from having equal rights today. yay!”
As a boy I was briefly a member of the scouts due to pressure to ‘join in’ from friends and loathed it. I have vivid memories of a bizarre mixture of bullying and homoeroticism plus some adult leaders constantly finding excuses to caress little boys.
I don’t know what will have changed in 40+ years but if the American movement is anything like what I have described, then the official homophobia only adds to the general twistedness. Posters above are right. It is a private organisation which should be allowed to go to hell in its own way (explicitly) or, if anybody lgbt or lgbt-friendly really wants to wear funny clothes, sleep in drafty tents and choke on wood smoke, it would be healthier for them to campaign openly to change things from the inside.
Jock S Trap: most assuredly they would expel a queer scout – “teh gey” is catching!
I don’t know if the UK scouts hold to this. If they don’t, they ought to consider whether they ought to be “in communion” with them. They should ask themselves: “do we want our kids to associate with homophobes, and should we expel the USSA from the worldwide movement?”
“our mission is to take young people and prepare them for an exceptional adulthood”.
Translation: “We’ll make damn sure this cildren know that you must grow up to be straight and believe in God”. And they wonder why some gay people feel so alienated and depressed as they’re growing up?
What’s particularly sickening is that they said he could still volunteer just not be a Leader. So that shows that they don’t really have any fears about him, they just want to make him feel like a second-class citizen. He can still help out, he just has to crawl about and suffer ritual humiliation for his ‘crime’.
And as for him keeping quiet about his sexuality, it says that other fathers complained. No doubt these were ‘good ole Christian boys’ who couldn’t wait to persecute another human being. Just like with DADT, I’d guess he was outed by those around him. Nice. Perhaps those other fathers would like to remember that normal adults don’t care about other adults’ sexuality, and those who do obviously have issues of their own.
I can assure you that I’ve never experienced anything like this as an out gay man in the UK Scout Association. Indeed, there are even organisations such as this – http://www.flagscouts.org.uk which are welcomed into the fold.
This side of the pond, we teach proper equality, regardless of gender or sexuality or social background or whatever. The Americans, well, they do their own thing. No gays, no godless, and no girls.
It’s interesting, at international camps, to speak to the American leaders. They’re pretty shocked at how open the kids are with it all, and I have to say, none of them have ever (admitted to having) had a problem with me.
1 Have you ever challenged your US colleagues?
2, The UK scouts are actually little better ad just as deserving of contempt as the American arm, for other reasons. As you well know they bar atheists from membership (because of the oath involving “god”) and explicitly from leadership positions. You should be ashamed of your membership of such a bigotted organisation.
With my corrections:
“We focus on our mission, and our mission is to take young people and prepare them for a (bigotted, homophobic, small minded, hating) exceptional adulthood.”
Further to my post above checked the UK Scouting Association’s website where it says: “With reference to religious belief, the avowed absence of religious belief is a bar to appointment to a Leadership position.”
So don’t believe that our lot are any different fro the Americans – they are just bigots in different ways..
I have spoken to other folk in the US aye, but only leaders on my level, not decision makers so to speak? They are as angry as I am about stuff like this, but I don’t think the BSA are a democratic organisation at all.
I would hardly say the UK SA are ‘bigotted’. They take adults of all faiths, although granted, not those who disbelieve. It’s a hot topic though, and always one that’s being discussed and various movements going on to change it. I think currently agnosticism is allowed, as is claiming to be religious without being a member of any organised religion, but active atheism isn’t. That’s for full adult appointments though, and certainly atheists are welcome to be helpers (such as the gentleman in the original article).
I fail to see how discriminating against non-believers is other than blatant bigotry. How would you feel about a youth organisation which banned believers as leaders? How is banning atheists any different from banning gays or banning Muslims?
I am glad (not) that if I wanted to join the scouts in a leadership role I could be a second class citizen in the form of a “helper”. Do you not see how demeaning to people that is? Do you seriously regard it as acceptable? Or do you actually think that it is right to discriminate against atheists?
It always saddens me when I see gay people condoning discrimination against others.
I urge people to have nothing to do with this organisation, most emphatically not to donate any money to it or co-operate with it in any way, much less to send children there where they are taught that in effect there is something wrong with atheists just its US branch in effect teaches that there is something wrong with gays. It may be forced to change – it’s one of the projects the National Secular Society (a good friend to gay rights) is working on changing and I suppose litigation under the Equality Act would be to be the last resort.
I don’t think it’s right, no, nor did I say such. I think you should perhaps calm down. I just said what the rules were, I neither endorsed them, nor berated them. If you would stop putting words into my mouth, I would appreciate it.
The Equality Act will not cover things like this – it is in effect a private members’ club, that can do as it likes with its own resources.
You may be interested to know that the most important people in this organisation – the children – are not discriminated against, nor are any beliefs thrust upon them. They are taught to explore things for themselves, surely something you would welcome?
Secondly, there are plenty of examples of agnostics, Humanists and even the odd atheist being approved as leaders recently, so it does appear that things might be changing, albeit slowly.
Perhaps as you rant and rave and complain about the world is out to get you, you can reflect that sometimes the most effective action is not to take the lead from our American friends and litigate or start nasty campaigns,. In a lot of cases it is best to properly win people around to your way of thinking, and not to create more animosity.
A great film about this kind of issue. I think it is only available on region 1 dvd, or slightly less ‘officially’ form the far east, but I picked up a copy on Ebay and it is well worth a watch:
I am sorry if you are offended. However, you are denying that the [British] scouts are bigoted despite the fact that (as you admit) they practise blatant religious discrimination. So I am not putting words into your mouth that were not already there, I am afraid.
The whole tone of your most recent post is offensive to atheists: imagine if I had said that things were changing slowly in an organisation which discriminated against believers because “there are plenty of examples of Christians, Muslims and even the odd Jew being approved as leaders recently”. See what I mean?
You are wrong about the children, sadly, unless you can assure me that contrary to my own research a child that does not want to swear to do its duty to God is allowed to opt out. No? I thought not. You therefore discriminate at the most fundamental level, at the moment of joining the organisation. You say the the child of non-religious parents or who doesn’t that s/he is not welcome. That is not open minded and is most certainly thrusting upon them the proposition that non-belief is unacceptable in the organisation; that non-believers are not welcome. And the fact that non-believers are barred from leadership roles sets a terrible example. So I do not accept that the children are unaffected by the policy. That is not encouraging them to think for themselves – it is is influencing that there is something strange and non-normal about non-belief, just as the Americans are teaching them that the same about gay people. there is no moral difference.
Contrary to your assertion is also a blatant breach of the Equality Act, which (I am a lawyer with a keen interest in this area so if you want chapter and verse you can have it) most certainly does apply to private institutions as well as public ones. The BNP for example. The law plays an important role in eradicating inequalities – this is not top of the list bit it does need to be eradicated and if the Scouts are sued then bluntly it will serve them right. IN the meantime it is still entirely right to have nothing to do with an organisation which is institutionally discriminatory. And you should not be proud of being a leader in it.
Harry: As you appear to be up on these matters, please enlighten us all; At what point does a collective of like-minded people, such as a ladies’ coffee morning, become a club or association, and at what point do equality laws kick in?
Ugh. Here in Israel it’s mixed, there’s no such thing as ‘Boy Scouts’ or ‘Girl Scouts’, just ‘the Scouts’, and leaders are told to teach kids that homosexuality is OK and even examine themselves to make sure they’re not biased.
On the other hand, they wanted to kick my second cousin out of the Scouts (I think it was the Scouts) when she was a Messianic Jew (now she’s an atheist), while they never went after those who drank, for instance. However, the Messianic Jews are pretty much a cult… (Or at least, as she testified, a bunch of sheer morons.)
Actually, private organizations in America can’t ban women if they have a policy excluding them or even if they only want types who profess a specific religion. I think there was a case in the state of Maine where that happened some time ago. Yet, its ok to ban gays, the only group that can be singled out for discrimination and get away with it purely based on sexual orientation. This is more about bigotry and homophobia than anything else. So what about gays who vote for a party that doesn’t want them to have full equality such as the republicans? There are plenty of them too in our own Tory party, the same ones who would vote against our right to marry and who suffer from the Summerskill syndrome.
Considering the morals of the Scouts are predicated on ancient myths that are hard pressed to accurately explain human’s place in the universe, a part of which is condemnation of gays, it’s hardly surprising that anybody who refuses to toe the line of conformity is ostrasized and banished. The assertion that gay people cannot be outstanding or exemplary citizens is absurd as proven by all the vital contributions in science, art, politics, law, education, literature, technology and any other facet of modern life there is. Teaching children to exclude and diminish healthy and viable citizens as if it were virtue completely undermines the concept of unstanding citizenship the Scouts claim to stand for. It’s tragic, and it’ll be a good while before secualr society’s ethics and morals pull such regressive sentiments from this otherwise obstensibly noble organization. I was a scout as a child, and had some of my most interesting and illuminating sexual adventures among my scout mates, which I’m sure continues to this day. So, many of the kids actually know the score contrary to their “leaders’” machinations and delusions. Such taught me to question, challenge, compare, contrast, and independantly evaluate the major tenets I was taught as a scout, even if I didn’t do so openly until much later.
Sounds more like the Hotler Youth than Scouts to me!
sorry HITLER Youth