The Independent

Gays in The Boys Scouts

Boy Scout protest
Boy Scout protest
Stephen Cyr, 13, left, and his brother Paul Cyr, 15, of Boy Scout Troop 21 in Oak Cliff, Texas, attend the "Save Our Scouts" Prayer Vigil and Rally in front of the Boy Scouts of America National Headquarters in Irving, TX Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2013. | Photo: onlineathens.com | Boy Scout, Children, Club, Gay, Kids, Protest,

Why Both Sides Are Wrong

I have a confession to make. I'm attracted to men. Specifically, men who are taller and younger than me with dark hair and eyes. I could get even more specific than that but I bet half of you are wondering why I shared and the other half of you couldn't care less and think it's none of your business. If you're in the latter category, congratulations, you're right! Whom I'm attracted to is none of your business. Neither are the sexual preferences of children anyone's business. Wow! It even sounds weird saying that. When the Boy Scouts of America announced last week that they had voted to lift their ban on gay scouts, my first thought was, "Why does this matter?"

Now, before you start bashing me and lecturing me about what the Bible says about homosexuality or lecturing me about gay rights, because I need those lectures again like I need a hole in the head, let me explain.

I did a little research on the Boy Scouts by going to their website, http://www.scouting.org/.

According to their website: "The Boy Scouts of America is one of the nation's largest and most prominent values-based youth development organizations. The BSA provides a program for young people that builds character, trains them in the responsibilities of participating citizenship, and develops personal fitness.
For over a century, the BSA has helped build the future leaders of this country by combining educational activities and lifelong values with fun. The Boy Scouts of America believes ' and, through over a century of experience, knows ' that helping youth is a key to building a more conscientious, responsible, and productive society."

Boy Scout
Boy Scout

The Boy Scouts of America is one of the largest youth organizations in the United States, with 2.7 million youth members and over 1 million adult volunteers. | Photo: | Boy Scout, Club, Gay, Children, Kids,

According to their mission statement, the Boy Scouts seek to develop good citizens and kids with good values, correct? Helping people who cannot help themselves, being a good steward of your community and world, respecting and honoring yourself, those around you and your property as well as the property of others, those are values. Where, amid building character, training a person in the responsibilities of citizenship and developing personal fitness does one's sexuality come into play? I would argue that it doesn't.

I am not na?ve enough to think that children, boys in particular, don't talk about sex amongst themselves. However, there's a time and a place for every topic and Boy Scouts is not the place to discuss one's sexuality. A child's sexuality, gay, straight or otherwise, should be a non-issue within scouting, unless I missed something and there is now a badge related to sexuality.

Now, let me ask you a question. Did you know what you preferred sexually when you were a child? Did you run around discussing it with all your friends and trying to lobby people like you were working on K Street in D.C.? Do you introduce yourself and add, "'and I prefer men/women." No? Me neither. So why are we putting that on children?

In the midst of the arguments for and against allowing boys who identify as gay into the Boy Scouts, it occurred to me that people on both sides of the issue appear to be pushing a social agenda on children. That's right, I said children. They may or may not know anything about their sexuality and whether they do or not, is nobody's business. It's not about the Bible and sin. Nor is it about gay rights and equality. It's about common sense.

The right argues that the Bible says being gay is a sin. For those of you who read selectively, it also says sex outside of marriage, using the Lord's name in vain, coveting other people's spouses and/or possessions, judging others and lying, among other actions, are sins. I assume all the people whipping out Bibles in their arguments against gays in Scouts are entirely without sin themselves, so as not to be hypocrites. Am I correct or are we ranking sins on a numeric scale, complete with penalties for each sin? Is being gay a bigger sin than being intimate without the confines of marriage or being judgmental? I'm just asking.

The left argues that it's about gay rights and equality. Allowing children who identify as gay to be Boy Scouts is seen as "progress". Let's go back to the idea that a child's sexuality is nobody's business. Issues involving children shouldn't even involve sexuality, period. Why are we even going there? Is that a question on the application, right after your name and address? Do you prefer boys or girls? Really??

Children should not be excluded or made to feel different or less than because of anything about them whether it be their faith, the color of their skin or anything else that makes them who they are. Now, a child might feel like they're different but let's get real: they are! Every child is different from the child next to him and thank God for that! Diversity makes the world spin, kids! Even twins are different from one another. Teach children to celebrate their individuality not be critical of other children because they different.

Boy Scout protest
Boy Scout protest

Scouts for Equality holds a rally to call for equality and inclusion for gays in the Boy Scouts of America at the Boy Scout Memorial in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, May 22. On Thursday in Grapevine, Texas, the Boy Scouts of America's National Council voted to change its policy on homosexuals.


Read more at Jacksonvi | Photo: Olivier Douliery | Boy Scout, Gay, Children, Club, Kids, Protest,

The common assumption among conservative straight people is that gay people run around discussing their sexuality and their private lives in some sort of lobby-esque manner. Activists may do that but the vast majority of the gay population? Not so much! The ones I know are too busy living their lives to care about what anybody else thinks of them.

Another point to ponder: why do some straight people assume that if a person is gay, that they have zero self-control and lust after every male walking the earth? That's just absurd!

Finally, it's important to remember that the Boy Scouts of America is a private organization. They can do as they please. As with anything, if it pisses you off, take your business elsewhere. I run my own business and I'll be damned if anyone is going to dictate with whom I work or don't work. It's my private company. If I choose not to work with someone because they're not a good fit, that's my choice.

In my opinion, scouting should be about molding boys into well-rounded young men who are good stewards of their community and their world. End of discussion.

That the Boy Scouts of America voted unanimously to lift the ban on gay scouts isn't a victory for anyone. In fact, I would argue that it's a defeat for boys being allowed to just be boys. They grow up too fast as it is. Society and the process of growing up will introduce them to their sexuality soon enough. In the meantime, how about we let the children have fun being children and leave their sexual preferences for another day?

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Updated May 10, 2017 12:30 PM EDT | More details

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