National Group Rallies Against Boy Scouts Lifting Gay Ban

By Emma Koch

National Group Rallies Against Boy Scouts Lifting Gay Ban

May 17, 2013 Updated Nov 19, 2013 at 3:04 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) – OnMyHonor.net, a national group of Boy Scouts of America parents, Scoutmasters, Eagle Scouts and other Scouting leaders, plans to rally in opposition to the proposed resolution which requires open homosexuality in the Boy Scouts.

Council members are set to vote this month on the proposed policy change that would require all chartered scouting units to foster open homosexuality among boys in the organization but not in adults.

Friday from Noon to 1:30 p.m. the rally will take place on the Boy Scouts headquarters in Fort Wayne. Over 40 locations nation-wide will participate in this rally.

OnMyHonor.net published an open letter providing legal and ethical analysis of the BSA resolution, giving delegates 10 reasons to vote “No”:

1) The proposed BSA resolution is logically incoherent and morally and ethically inconsistent. Under the proposed change in policy, open homosexuality would be officially consistent with the Scouting code throughout a Boy Scout’s life until the moment he turns 18, when it suddenly becomes a problem. Under the policy when a 16- or 17-year-old “open and avowed” homosexual becomes an Eagle before his 18th birthday, right after he turns 18 he is removed from Scouting. No troop leader would want to put himself in the position of enforcing such an irrational rule. A de facto change in the rule against openly homosexual adult leaders would also occur almost immediately. This inconsistency between the membership policy of youth and adults will provoke a “non-discrimination lawsuit by gay-rights activists groups against the BSA in which the association rights established by the Supreme Court will no longer be available. (See #7 infra.)

2) Opening the Boy Scouts to boys who openly proclaim being sexually attracted to other boys and/or openly identify themselves as “gay” will inevitably create an increase of boy-on-boy sexual contact which will result in further public scandal to the BSA, not to mention the tragedy of countless boys who will experience sexual, physical and psychological abuse. BSA’s own Youth Protection videos indicate that “70% of abuse to boys is by teenagers”. Two-deep leadership will have to be at least three-deep for units with homosexual youth. The complexity of sleeping arrangements will create a myriad of social and liability challenges. Sexual awareness and harassment training will be required in all Scouting units. The leaders setting forth the proposed policy clearly did not have the safety and security of the boys in the BSA as their paramount concern.

3) The proposal forces and requires every chartered Scouting unit, regardless of religious convictions, to accept “open and avowed homosexual” boys in their program. The proposed resolution is much worse than the original idea for a local option where each troop would decide whether to allow open homosexuality in its unit. This proposal fails to respect or reverence the religious beliefs, values and theology of the vast majority of Christian churches which charter well over 70% of all Scouting units.

4) If the proposal is enacted, it will gut a major percentage of human capital in the BSA and utterly devastate the program financially, socially and legally. Of the faith based Scouting units, the vast majority of them are Latter-day Saints, Methodists, Catholics or Southern Baptists. Despite what denominations may decide for political reasons, the majority of local churches that charter Scout units will not be able to embrace this policy without violating their religious convictions. The BSA’s own “Voice of the Scout” surveys provide solid evidence that tens- and possibly hundreds of thousands of parents and Scouts will leave the program if the proposal is adopted. The financial impact from such a significant membership loss would be enormous. Camps will close, executives will be let go and properties will be sold off as a result of the vast loss of finances from major donors, private foundations and declining membership.

5) The Resolution robs parents of the sole authority to raise issues of sex and sexuality with their kids. Parents should have the exclusive right to raise issues about sex and sexuality with their children in their own time and in their own way, in the privacy of their homes; not brought up by other older boys around a campfire. Allowing open homosexuality would inject a sensitive and highly-charged political issue into the heart of the BSA, against the wishes of the vast majority of parents. Under the longstanding current policy, boys who have a same-sex attraction are not banned or removed from the program unless they act out in a manner that distracts from the mission of the BSA.

6) The proposed policy directly contradicts the BSA’s comprehensive 2010-2012 study which unanimously concluded last summer that prohibiting “open and avowed homosexuality” was “the absolute best policy” for the Boy Scouts. Only months after the BSA affirmed the policy that was clearly in the best interest of its boys, a handful of top BSA officials caved from the pressure and criticism they received from their own adult peers. What kind of message are we sending to young people when the adults trying to teach them to be “brave” cannot muster up the courage to stand up for the values that are clearly best for the BSA? Sadly, instead of looking out for what is best for the safety and security of the boys in the program, BSA’s top leadership was more concerned about what is popular in the polls taken outside the Scouting family. To try to undermine the results of the unanimous 2012 study, the 2013 Voice of the Scout national survey was a carefully crafted tool to persuade and “condition” those surveyed to the idea of openly gay BSA members.

7) The proposed resolution leaves Scouting units with no options or legal protection if they refuse to allow open homosexuality among the boys of their units. This proposed policy completely retreats from the principles hard-fought in the U.S. Supreme Court case BSA vs. Dale in 2000. The legal protection will be completely removed for both adults and youth members. Scout units which refuses to accept or abide by the new policy will either have their charter revoked by national BSA leadership or become fully exposed to legal attacks for alleged violations of nondiscrimination ordinances. Even though the proposed resolution would not apply to adults immediately, legal experts estimate the new rule will also extend to everyone in the BSA, including adults, within only a couple of years because of lawsuits that will be brought by gay-rights activists under state non-discrimination clauses around the country once a gay Boy Scout turns 18 and is removed from the program. The resolution is the first step in a two-step process in the whole program.

8) The effect of the phrase “sexual preference” in the BSA resolution could be used by LGBT activists to push for transgendered girls in the BSA. If a biological girl “prefers” acting out as a transgendered boy, she must also be allowed into any Boy Scout troop. In October of 2011 the Girl Scouts admitted a 7-year-old boy named Bobby Montoya into their program who preferred to be treated as a girl. Because the vague and undefined phrase “sexual preference” is used in the resolution, it opens the door and requires Scout units to accept any sexual preference expressed.

9) The “whereas” clauses in the resolution are symbolic and not part of the actual proposed policy. While the Resolution includes some positive “Whereas” clauses designed to take the edge off of the new membership policy language by advocating for some type of moral purity, “Whereas” clauses have never been binding in contract law or in the legal construction of a resolution. The only words that will become part of the official membership policy are the 141 words after “NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT…”

10) Top BSA leaders completely ignored the collective wisdom of rank-and-file Scouting family members when they proposed this resolution. Nationwide the BSA’s official “Voice of the Scout” survey shows respondents support the current policy by a supermajority of 61% to 34%. This survey also showed:
• 3 of the 4 major BSA Regions around the country collectively voted that they did not want to see a change in the policy.
• 72 percent of chartered organizations oppose this change and support the current policy.
• 64 percent of council and district volunteers oppose this change and support the current policy.
• 62 percent of unit leaders oppose this change and support the current policy.
• 61 percent of Boy Scout parents oppose this change and support the current policy.
• 50 percent of Cub Scout parents oppose this change and support the current policy.

The author of this open letter is John Stemberger, an Eagle Scout, a Vigil Honor member of the Order of the Arrow, a former Scoutmaster, a Lifetime N.E.S.A. member and a father with two sons in Scouting. He is an AV-rated Orlando lawyer who practices in civil and constitutional litigation.

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