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Gay Boy Scouts of America?


A few weeks ago I went fishing with my family in a small country town close to DC. The purpose was not to catch dinner, but to offer a day of fun for my young nephew. At the small pond we visited there were a lot of boy scouts on a day excursion. I'm sure most of you are familiar with this organization, which started in 1910. The Boys Scouts of America provides programs for young boys that help develop personal character, community involvement and physical activity through outdoor events such as camping and fishing. I'm not sure if there is a similar organization in Russia?

More recently the organization is in the news because of its prohibition on gay scouts and leaders. Just today over 1,400 local leaders convened for a two day meeting where they will vote on whether to allow openly gay boys in the scouting movement. Of course, there also is constant debate on whether the organization should permit openly gay men to be Scout Leaders. However, this is not on the ballot at the current meeting.

©Associated Press

Anyone who reads me on a regular basis can certainly guess my opinion on the issue. What do you think? Is it okay to have openly gay boy scouts and leaders? The organization is based in Irving, Texas, probably the most right-winged and conservative State in America. I doubt the ban will be lifted, but it's good food for thought.


( 62 comments — Leave a comment )
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May. 22nd, 2013 06:18 pm (UTC)
i don 't think it's normal for that boys to think for that question. they re too young to think of it.
May. 22nd, 2013 06:34 pm (UTC)
I'm not a guy so I don't know what age they start thinking about sex. But certainly by the time they're in their teenage years. I think you can be a scout up until 18 years old. Today's generation, at least in America, is more accustomed to seeing openly gay people. But this is a conservative organization so it has historically been hesitant to embrace gays. In my mind, it's a sign of progress that they are even voting on the issue.
(no subject) - rider3099 - May. 27th, 2013 10:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 22nd, 2013 06:37 pm (UTC)
There was Pioneer movement in the USSR.

I don't think it's alright but that is their choice.
May. 22nd, 2013 06:38 pm (UTC)
Were you a member of the organization? I received your message and will respond later. :)
(no subject) - mybathroom - May. 22nd, 2013 07:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - May. 22nd, 2013 07:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mybathroom - May. 22nd, 2013 07:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - _nevidimka - May. 22nd, 2013 07:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - _nevidimka - May. 22nd, 2013 07:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - yarowind - May. 22nd, 2013 07:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - yarowind - May. 22nd, 2013 08:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - May. 22nd, 2013 08:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - yarowind - May. 22nd, 2013 08:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - yarowind - May. 23rd, 2013 05:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - May. 23rd, 2013 05:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - yarowind - May. 23rd, 2013 05:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - May. 23rd, 2013 05:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - yarowind - May. 23rd, 2013 05:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 22nd, 2013 06:39 pm (UTC)
Absolutely not. This permission will make this organization a place where it is allowed to spread sexual relationships with and among young boys. And in a second step, if that turns to be the reputation of the organization, will kill it.

There are many more of people who do not want sexual context to be discussed, needless to say "practitioned" among their kids, than those who want it; but the latter are many times louder.
May. 22nd, 2013 06:58 pm (UTC)
I agree that sexual issues shouldn't be discussed in such an environment, but it's only an issue now because these kids are excluded. If the ban is lifted, there will be no need to even raise the issue of someone's sexuality. We are both brilliant and agree on many things. :) But not this issue.
May. 22nd, 2013 06:52 pm (UTC)
second post about gays today... first in russian version and you. what happened with this world???
May. 22nd, 2013 06:55 pm (UTC)
Yes, we disagree on this issue. But I'm happy to see you again. :) What is the Russian post? Can you throw me the link?
(no subject) - togliatt - May. 23rd, 2013 05:46 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - May. 23rd, 2013 02:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 22nd, 2013 06:59 pm (UTC)
I suppose that it is terrible.

These boys seems to be a victims of media, TV, news and gay-propaganda.

They are so young to have their own opinion and sexual orientation.

From Russia with love (c)
May. 23rd, 2013 01:55 am (UTC)
I don't think many boy scouts have seen this video. :). But you can be a scout in your teens and they're certainly aware of sexuality by that time.
May. 22nd, 2013 07:30 pm (UTC)
Imho everything is ok as long as it a) it doesn't infringe on other people's freedom b) doesn't become a show. What I mean is I'm ok with gays and lesbians, straight couples, vegetarians, meat eaters, childfree, childlovers etc. as long as they live as they like and don't make a show of it, as long as it's their true self, not a pose.

What I mean is I'm equally tolerant to all of the above and equally dislike if they shout about it too loud.

Sadly, in Russia it's time of search for "interior enemy", as it always happened in history when things aren't going too good, and sexual orientation as long as nationality are becoming a theme for holy war.

On the other hand, I seriously don't understand how it all can work out in America and Europe, the tolerance thing. Ok, for example, one guy is... let's imagine, nudist. He wants to walk around the park nude in hot summer days. He doesn't force others to do it, he just wants to feel the warm sun with his skin, etc.
Other guy is a... Ok, let's imagine, a father concerned with what his small daughter might see. Or is a member of religion forbidding seing other people's nudity. Or smth else. He also loves to have a stroll around the park in the evenings. He has the same right to walk in the park. But if he comes there in the evenings, he'll feel discomfort; if the nudist doesn't come there, then the nudist'll be the deprived one.
And if we talk in terms of tolerance, both have a right to have their point of view, but together they can't use the park. If we say: "Ok, you walk there from 5pm to 6pm, and you - from 6 pm to 7pm" - still each one can feel offended and deprived of the right to walk there when he likes...

What I mean is, still to make them co-exist we need to have some rules - laws of government, of morality, whatever. We can't give full freedom, be totally tolerant to both parties. All we can is give them equally bobtailed rights.
And then both can shout "This is intolerance, your laws are offending my right to be who I am" - and then the law-maker immediately begins feeling ashamed of himself and tries to give the shouter more freedom, but then the other guy is offended... and no end to this.
So tolerane has some borders anyways, no matter how european or american society tries to pose this problem, what do you think?
May. 23rd, 2013 02:15 am (UTC)
Thanks for your thoughts. "I'm equally tolerant to all of the above and equally dislike if they shout about it too loud." I agree gays should not have special rights, only equal ones. However, sometimes it takes some shouting and protest for change to happen.

With freedoms there's always the problem of where to draw the line, but the exclusion of people who aren't engaging in illegal activity is never acceptable. In your nudist example, both people can enjoy the park but the nudist will be required to wear clothes to comply with U.S. laws against indecent exposure. Or, go to a nudist camp where he can walk around nude in a grassy area with no objection. There's actually a nudist resort right in my home State of Virginia - http://www.whitetailresort.org/. Maybe I should go there and make a report! :) But all cases are not so clear and this is the dilemma.

(Deleted comment)
May. 23rd, 2013 02:23 am (UTC)
Why are young people more attracted to underground sub-cultures? I think it must be a general distrust of the Russian government. "Nashi", thanks I didn't know about this group but I just read about it. The American organizations aren't focused on political ideologies, but rather general principles of common decency, individual responsibility and respect towards others.
May. 22nd, 2013 09:02 pm (UTC)
50 years ago, it was illegal for a white and black persons to marry. Now, it is illegal for gays to marry. Well, 50 years into the future, people will be surprised this was even an issue.
I'm sure eventually the Supreme Court will do the right thing and allow gay marriage and prohibit any discrimination against gays. I doubt that Texas will succeed over this issue...
Now, if BOA chooses to live in the past, that's fine. However, it is the younger generation who is mostly tolerant towards gays, so BOA will have to reform or fold. This is just history of the Civil Rights movement repeating itself.

In Russia, OTOH, there never was a civil rights movement... So then, not only are people generally xenophobic but also homophobic. Same thing, if you ask me.

Edited at 2013-05-22 09:06 pm (UTC)
May. 22nd, 2013 11:26 pm (UTC)
Yeah, gay marriage is a done deal, many states have it now, and rightly so. There is no reason not to give gays equal rights on this issue as on anything else.
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - May. 23rd, 2013 02:30 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - new_forester - May. 23rd, 2013 02:51 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - May. 23rd, 2013 02:55 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - qi_tronic - May. 24th, 2013 09:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 22nd, 2013 11:20 pm (UTC)
I don't know your opinion on this matter, but I can tell you mine at the risk if antagonizing you: absolutely not, they should not lift the ban. The reason is simple, the same reason boys and girls do not go to camp together or are not allowed to sleep in the same tents and dormitories. Parents and responsible adults do not want to leave kids unsupervised in a situation which can lead to unwanted things, like sexual harassment etc. If you put gays in the same room / tent with normal boys, you will get harassment, beatings and all kinds of scary things that nobody needs, including parents and camp management. Even if all kids will be tolerant (yeah, right) there can be teenage sex there, which is bad and unwanted. I guess it would be OK if gays will form their own units (or what are they called in scouts?), this would also take care of any parent worries about gays influencing their kids sexually in any way. But I just don't see that happening :-) Although I think it would be fair: if scouts are always separate for all sexes, then in fairness there should be boyscouts, girlscounts and gayscouts :-) That way there would not be any discrimination against gays, though why would parents whose kids are gays let them sleep unsupervised with other gay kids in the same room or tent?

Likewise, if they decide to lift the ban - they should just join all the scouts and camps, because once you put boys and gays together, why not boys and girls?

I have nothing against LGBT at all, but although their rights should be equal to everybody else, they should not trump other people rights either, or they should not be "more equal then others". Equal is equal. So I think "no girls - no gays", so to speak. Or just let everybody in. I have to say that as a parent I would be worried to send my daughter to the camp where everybody sleeps together...

Edited at 2013-05-22 11:28 pm (UTC)
May. 23rd, 2013 02:45 am (UTC)
I'm sorry, but if you separate gay kids from "normal" kids, then you are NOT tolerant. Being gay is not being abnormal. It is just being different.
BTW, the separation of boys and girls is not normal, IMO. In real life, men and women live and work together, yet they don't routinely have sex with their coworkers or neighbors. So, why not teach young kids to separate sex from friendship and common activities?
(no subject) - moebiuscat - May. 23rd, 2013 04:33 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - May. 23rd, 2013 02:45 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - moebiuscat - May. 23rd, 2013 04:18 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - May. 23rd, 2013 02:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
May. 23rd, 2013 01:18 am (UTC)
As the Mom of a scout, I have very strong feelings about this. I believe a person's sexual "preference" is something he is born with and not a "choice" at all, i.e., whether someone is gay or straight is no more a choice than the color of one's skin. Consequently, I have real problems with banning anyone from scouts (or any other organization) as a scout or a leader based on sexual preference. Would anyone ban straight women as scout leaders based on their sexual preference? No, they would not. Gay men are no different.
May. 23rd, 2013 02:48 am (UTC)
Re: Scouts
Yes, there is a double standard between men and women when it comes to sex and sadly I don't see it changing anytime soon.

Edited at 2013-05-23 03:06 am (UTC)
Re: Scouts - olgor - May. 23rd, 2013 02:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
May. 23rd, 2013 02:22 pm (UTC)
Ukraine I love! Hope to return soon to see more of the country.
May. 23rd, 2013 12:04 pm (UTC)
Lol it is not like it's contagious. Many people back here and even in the US see an average gay person as a drag queen or something.

May. 23rd, 2013 02:24 pm (UTC)
Sure, like that YouTube video someone posted in the comments. :) It's parody but some people take it as the gay norm. Such people have probably never really known a gay person, though in reality some of their friends or family members are probably gay and they don't even know it.
May. 23rd, 2013 02:21 pm (UTC)
Get prepared! Russian anti-gay trolls on their way! :)))
May. 23rd, 2013 02:34 pm (UTC)
The trolls mostly attack when I defame Mother Russia. :)) And I've learned how to handle them, but they do make my brain explode at times!
(no subject) - olgor - May. 24th, 2013 01:11 am (UTC) - Expand
May. 27th, 2013 11:32 am (UTC)
What is the purpose of this organizations? I don't understand why someone need this.
For me, It seems like gays want to be some "special minority", segregated from others. Why?
May. 27th, 2013 04:05 pm (UTC)
Hi! Nice to hear from you again. They simply want to be able to join the Boy Scout organization, like anyone else. So, it's not special treatment, they are only asking to be treated the same as straight people. And the organization lifted the ban last week, so the matter is resolved.
(no subject) - nar_row - May. 30th, 2013 06:24 am (UTC) - Expand
May. 27th, 2013 10:31 pm (UTC)
Most of us were a members of pioneer organization. In some ways they are similar :)
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