Boy Scouts reaffirm ban on gays

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by localoid, Jul 17, 2012.

  1. macrumors 68020

    localoid

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    #1
    Quoting from: http://news.yahoo.com/apnewsbreak-boy-scouts-reaffirm-ban-gays-141719311.html

    "After a confidential two-year review, the Boy Scouts of America on Tuesday emphatically reaffirmed its policy of excluding gays, ruling out any changes despite relentless protest campaigns by some critics.

    An 11-member special committee, formed discreetly by top Scout leaders in 2010, "came to the conclusion that this policy is absolutely the best policy for the Boy Scouts," the organization' national spokesman, Deron Smith, told The Associated Press.

    Smith said the committee, comprised of professional scout executives and adult volunteers, was unanimous in its conclusion — preserving a long-standing policy that was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2000 and has remained controversial ever since.

    As a result of the committee's decision, the Scouts' national executive board will take no further action on a recently submitted resolution asking for reconsideration of the membership policy."

    ---

    I suppose one can argue that the Boy Scouts, as a private club, should be free to do whatever they want. But personally, I wonder why in the hell the federal government continues to fund the Boy Scouts in light of their discriminatory position.

    Specifically:

    Every four years, the Boy Scouts of America holds a National Scout jamboree, where for ten days, about 30,000 scouts camp out and participate in a wide variety of activities. Currently, the US Department of Defense is the official host of the jamboree. From 1981 until 2010, the jamboree was held at Fort A.P. Hill, a US Army base in Virginia. The US Government spends an average of $2 million a year towards hosting of the jamboree.

    Winkler v. Rumsfeld was a case regarding the United States Armed Forces and their support of the Boy Scouts of America's National Scout jamborees.

    Based on this, Winkler and the other plaintiffs (aided by the American Civil Liberties Union) sued. They argued that the Department of Defense's use of taxpayer money to fund the jamborees of what they called a private religious organization violates the First Amendment, which prohibits Congress from establishing a religion.

    In 2005, a U.S. District Court ruled that the DOD's spending on national Scout jamborees violates the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution. The decision was subsequently reversed by the US Court of Appeals on April 4, 2007 in Winkler vs Gates (renamed due to a new Secretary of Defense), which ruled that the plaintiffs lacked legal standing as taxpayers to bring the suit in the first place. Therefore, the 2010 Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill and future support by DOD of Jamborees will continue as before.

    Much of the issue was settled when the BSA announced in May 2008 that it was looking for a different permanent location for the National Jamborees, beginning with the one scheduled for 2013. The move was due to reasons outside of the lawsuit, including a more favorable summer climate, the ability to host a World Jamboree, and possible off-year use as Scout High Adventure Base. A site was found at Fayette County, West Virginia on private land. To be called "The Summit: Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve", this site will host all future National Jamborees, as well as serving as the BSA's fourth high adventure base. However, future involvement of the military in supporting Jamborees at The Summit is likely due to the recruiting and training opportunity it affords them.

    Additionally, the State of West Virginia and various local government agencies in West Virginia are providing much support for the "The Summit" in the form of tax breaks and other perks and the DOD is providing personnel and equipment to build a trails network adjoining The Summit for the benefit of (non-gay) Boy Scouts.

    WTF?
     
  2. macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

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    #2
    Now that is truly "gay". Honestly though, why all the hate towards gays/lesbians/transexuals/etc.? They are human beings just like you and me. Why do we have to treat them as if they are second class? The US went through this kind of crap at least twice, once with African Americans and again with women. And how would they judge if some guy is gay or not? It's not like a disease or something... There is not a gay test like there is a pregnancy test.
     
  3. macrumors 68000

    eternlgladiator

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    #3
    This just has conflict of interest written all over it.
     
  4. macrumors 68020

    niuniu

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    #4
    Just saw this is on twitter. How can that be legal? Also, when you read through it you see a 2000 Supreme Court case that uses the First Amendment to exclude gays from being a scoutmaster :confused:

    Surely that's not the purpose of the First Amendment..
     
  5. macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #5
    Why? Gay kids can't be scouts? Or are you saying that gay adults are all pedophiles?
     
  6. macrumors G5

    jav6454

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    #6
    You get government money, then you should have equality for all... The no-gay policy is equal of trampling civil liberties of every individual.
     
  7. macrumors G4

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    #7
    On whose part is the conflict?
     
  8. macrumors 6502

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    #8
    I don't agree with their views, but they do have the right being a Private Company. But don't they receive government grants? Wouldn't that make them a Public company?

    Side note: There are some very bigoted people on Yahoo. Some things they say are just ridiculous.
     
  9. macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #9
    They can do what they want as long as they don't take public money.
     
  10. macrumors 6502

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    #10
    It's a disgrace to their organization. The Boy Scouts did not need to make homosexuality an issue. The organization no longer represents the principles for which it was founded.

    They might as well be the Bigot Scouts of America.
     
  11. macrumors 68030

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    #11
    http://wiki.scouts.ca/en/Sexuality

    Scouts Canada does not discriminate for reasons of sexual orientation or gender identity BP&P.
    "Scouts Canada is committed to social justice including the promotion of gender and member diversity at all levels of the organization, both in its structures and programs and to the elimination of discrimination on the groups of race, gender, ethnicity, financial ability, sexual orientation, religion, disability or age."
    --Scouts Canada ByLaw, Policies and Procedures Section 1003
     
  12. macrumors 68020

    niuniu

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    #12
    Oh I see now. They did used to have government sponsorship, but it came to a head in 2005

    Looks like use of government land has caused legal disputes too.
     
  13. macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

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    #13
    There have been persistent allegations over the past twenty years that the national leadership of the BSA has been systematically infiltrated and usurped by the LDS, which has co-opted the Boy Scouts as the church's official youth program for Mormon boys. Any "study" they conduct is expected to be a pro forma affirmation of the status quo.

    As an Eagle Scout myself, however, I have long maintained that Scouting should not be made an active front in this particular culture war, by either side. Either side does so at the cost of a good core program. I cut myself off from the organization after my best friend at the time was dismissed as a volunteer Assistant Scoutmaster for coming out of the closet, but the fact is, what goes on in Scouting is not primarily ideological, except to the extent that conducting snipe hunts and throwing bottle rockets at neighboring troops during Fall Camporee is political. The optional "God and Country" series of achievements actually requires attending services of religions other than the Scout's own and writing a thoughtful comparison.

    But where right-wing ideologies are harming Scouting by painting it as a means for boys to be indoctrinated as culture warriors (which it isn't, or wasn't), taking an overtly progressive agenda, marching ahead of the sensibilities of the people who send their sons to participate, would similarly harm the program by an inverse stigma and subsequent attrition. What's demanded, and what's best for the program and the boys in it, is strict neutrality. Unfortunately, "strict neutrality" means your sexuality is none of Scouting's business, because solving that issue, in either direction, is not Scouting's mandate, but to the sort of culture warrior that has taken over Scouting, not taking a side is the same as siding against them, and I fear the result will be a program doomed to irrelevance as increasing numbers of parents do not want their sons associated with the political agenda they are perceived to promote.
     
  14. macrumors 68000

    eternlgladiator

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    #14
    I was referring to the government's involvement.
     
  15. macrumors 6502

    MadeTheSwitch

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    #15
    I have no problem with a private company doing whatever they want. But when they want to use public facilities or have some other sort of accommodation that is where I take issue with them.

    I also do not like the message this kind of thing sends to the kids in scouting who are gay themselves. Basically they are telling those kids they aren't good enough. And that is NOT what scouting should be about. Scouting is about building boy's skill and esteem up, not tearing it down. Or at least it still should be.
     
  16. macrumors regular

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    #16
    Are you suggesting all gays should move to Canada...??
     
  17. macrumors 68030

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    #17
    No, just offering an example of a civilized country to those who may not be aware they exist.
     
  18. macrumors 68000

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    #18
    Nope. They take no government funding. Even if they did, not necessarily. There's plenty of independent non-profits that partially or near fully rely on public funds. Heck, they're not even FOIA-able.

    So you're not a fan of any private company or non-profit - even a non-profit that offers services to the public - using public space or accommodations? Good luck with that.

    --

    I really don't care either way on the ruling, since I don't care about the Boy Scouts. It was never a part of my life growing up, so not too concerned.
     
  19. macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #19
    You'd love that, wouldn't you?
     
  20. macrumors 6502a

    Grey Beard

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    #20
    Norris puts his foot in it. Bloody homophobe.
     
  21. macrumors 603

    MorphingDragon

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    #21
    Can they please?

    It'll make my innevitable move to Canada that much more interesting.
     
  22. macrumors regular

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    #22
    Frankly, yours or anyone else sexual preference's are of no interest to me...
     
  23. macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #23
    This explains a lot :D
     
  24. macrumors 6502

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    #24
    Just what I was about to say :D
     
  25. Guest

    eric/

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    #25
    Who the hell knows they are gay at that age?
     

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