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Boy Scouts’ Gay Ban: Should it Go?

While the national organization debates the merits of lifting the ban on gay participants, we want to get your take on the issue.

As the Boy Scouts of America celebrate their 103rd birthday Friday, Feb. 8, a heated dispute is likely putting a damper on any celebrations.

The national organization was expected to take up the issue of removing a ban on gay participants recently. It, however, delayed taking action until May “due to the complexity of this issue,” according to the Chicago Tribune. Even if the national council votes in favor of lifting the ban, local chapters would retain their right to keep it in place.

Some members and supporters of the private organization designed to teach boys life, citizenship and leadership skills say it’s time to end the ban on gay participants. Others are staunchly opposed to the notion.

Should the organization lift its national ban on gay participants and end a fight that’s been going on for well over a decade?

President Barack Obama and the group Scouts for Equality think so. Texas Gov. Rick Perry has publicly supported the ban. A Quinnipiac University poll released this week found that a majority of registered voters, 55 percent to 33 percent, want the ban to end, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The Scouts, however, have the law on their side. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the private organization’s rights to ban gay participants during a case in 2000.

What do you think, Tampa Bay? Is it time for the Boy Scouts to open the doors to all participants, regardless of sexual orientation. Or, should Scouting hold to its traditions? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

M.M. March 11, 2013 at 12:53 PM
Let the Boy Scouts have their values. Just because you disagree with them doesn't make them "bigoted" or "hate-mongers". They Boy Scouts are not preventing a gay organization that teaches leadership values from being formed. The Boy Scouts aren't oppressing anyone or denying anyone rights. They don't go out and spread hate about gay people, but they don't praise a homosexuality either. How does this make them discriminatory? Just because they disagree with you doesn't mean they are "closed-minded". The Boy Scouts cannot force their values down the throats of gay people, and they cannot do the same to the Boy Scouts. Frankly, I see a lot of intolerance and closed-mindedness from the pro-gay people. Unable to even allow a conflicting viewpoint without attacking its members and calling them "bigots", and comparing them with racists, even when the Boy Scouts are not restricting them in any way. That is just shameful. I personally am a Christian who does not believe that homosexuality is sinful. I don't call people that disagree with me names, I just disagree with them and leave them alone. The actions and words of those who disagree with the Boy Scout's values is just shameful.
M.M. March 11, 2013 at 12:54 PM
Sorry about the typo, sentence should read "but they don't praise homosexuality either".
Patriot March 11, 2013 at 02:25 PM
steve tenace: Good point!
Patrick March 31, 2013 at 02:44 PM
I agree 100%, Phil. "Freedom of association" is a right, explicitly provided for in the U.S. Constitution. And, I can personally attest, homosexuals are and have been drawn to become adult 'leaders' in the Boys Scouts since its inception, seeing it as fertile ground for easy prey. When I was a Boy Scout (back in the '60s) enjoying immensely the activities and values promulgated by this terrific organization, no less than two of these predators were found out while trying to insinuate themselves into my troop, one of whom propositioned my best friend. Once discovered, these dissolute reprobates were appropriately taken away, never to be heard from again. Let the Boy Scouts continue to adhere to their principles, including being "physically strong and morally straight", as well as "trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, clean, brave, and reverent." AMEN! Others can, and SHOULD, form their own group.
Shore Acres Rick March 31, 2013 at 05:36 PM
What is moral about excluding people because of the way they were born?

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