Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I don't care about the Boy Scouts

I am probably one of the only few people who get exasperated at the gay community on the subject of the Boy Scouts. The announcement today put me in a bad mood:

The Boy Scouts of America announced today that it will continue its long-standing policy of discrimination against LGBT scouts and scout leaders and will take no action on proposals to reconsider that policy. This comes despite growing pressure to lift the ban from Eagle Scouts, an Ohio mom who was removed from her position as a Cub Scout den leader purely because she is a lesbian, and two prominent national board members.

A spokesman said a secret 11-person committee, appointed in 2010 to study the issue, “came to the conclusion that this policy is absolutely the best policy for the Boy Scouts.” The group dismissed the announcements by Ernst & Young CEO James Turley and AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, both members of the BSA national board, that the group ought to lift its ban.

I'm in a bad mood partly because of the decision to keep this stupid policy. Another reason for my anger is the fact that religious right groups are praising the Scouts while implying that gay men are sleazy individuals who want "access " to children.

But the single largest reason for my anger is at my own community.

I don't care about the Boy Scouts and I don't agree with my community's decision to fight this battle the way it is being fought. I didn't like it when the James Dale case was fought all the way to the Supreme Court because I knew we would lose that one. Dale was the young gay man who was a scout leader until his sexual orientation became public. When he was kicked out, he sued all the way to the Supreme Court

And the court ruled  in 2000 that the Boy Scouts had a right to free association.  I agree with that.

I don't see the Boy Scouts in the same manner as I see employment discrimination or housing discrimination. This is an organization which should have a right to dictate who its members are so long as it doesn't receive public funds.

And therein lies the rub, so to speak. Our argument with the Scouts should not be the fact that it doesn't allow gays in. It should be with the question does it receive tax dollars or the things which are paid for by tax dollars while pursuing a discriminatory policy.

Seems to me that based upon its recent history, the last thing the Boy Scouts should fear is gay men. We are not the reason it had to pay $18.5 million to a victim of sexual abuse in 2010.

Nor were gay men involved in the 2011 case in which it was discovered that Boy Scout officials in this country and Canada knew that a pedophile was in their ranks and did nothing to stop him.

In spite of its reputation, the Boy Scouts sounds like an organization I wouldn't allow my dog in, much less my child. We don't need to force this group to allow us in. What we need to do is not only stay far away but also keep our tax dollars far away.

I say let the Boy Scouts keep the gay community out so long as our tax dollars are kept out also.

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'AFA spokesman: Deny gay parents custody of their children' and other Tuesday midday news briefs

One has to ask will the following thoughts by Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association  about gay households with children be repeated by other members of the religious right (i.e. Maggie Gallagher, Linda Harvey, Tony Perkins, etc.):

Fischer: Gay Biological Parents Should be Denied Custody and Only Allowed Supervised Visits 

 In other news:

 Help us send the Bermea Family to Family Week! - A same-sex family has been the victim of threats of intimidation. Here is a way you can help them remember that what's happening is not their fault but that of ignorant people. 

 Boy Scouts Reaffirm Ban on Gays - The Boy Scouts can do whatever but tax dollars shouldn't go to affirm their prejudice.

 I have a new ‘non-cognitive elite’ celebrity spokesbot for NOM: Jimmie ‘J.J.’ Walker - So tell me. Do you think NOM will stoop this low?  

Maine poll shows strong support for marriage - I'm still keeping my fingers crossed.

  CDC Launches New Campaign Against HIV Stigma And Complacency - This campaign is needed.

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Religious right fail to overturn pro-gay law in California (again)

Some awesome news last night out of California:

Anti-gay groups tonight said they have failed to gather enough signatures to force a November referendum to nix the FAIR Education Act (SB 48), California’s law that requires public schools to integrate age-appropriate and factual information about historical roles of LGBT people, people with disabilities and people of color into existing social science instruction.

The Stop SB 48 coalition said they fell short of the 500,000 valid signatures needed to force a vote on the Children Learning Accurate Social Science (CLASS) Act, which would have essentially repealed the FAIR Education Act.

The petitions were due today to state officials, but coalition officials estimated that they only had 446,000 valid signatures after eliminating ones judged to be faulty.

"Placing a measure on the ballot through grassroots efforts alone has not been done in California in recent memory. Although history was against us, our conscience compelled the coalition to fight this battle rather than doing nothing," said Kevin Snider, chief counsel to Pacific Justice Institute and the author of the wording for the CLASS Act.

The coalition included well-known anti-gay groups in California: Calvary Chapel Chino Hills, Faith and Public Policy, Capitol Resource Institute, Advocates for Faith and Freedom, Pacific Justice Institute, Western Center for Law and Policy, Traditional Values Coalition, Korean Gospel Broadcast Co., Organization for Justice and Equality, United Families International, Alliance Defense Fund, Family Research Council, and Concerned Women for America.

To date, at least five initiative attempts have been launched, and failed, in a blatant attempt to remove all references to LGBT people in school textbooks in California. All five initiatives are clearly discriminatory in nature because they target LGBT people for exclusion in textbooks. Some of the initiatives also target people with disabilities and Pacific Islanders, and change racial identities, for example, from Mexican Americans to Mexicans.

The FAIR Education Act, authored by state Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) and sponsored by Equality California and Gay-Straight Alliance Network, was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown last year and went into effect on Jan. 1, 2012.

My guess is that the opposition won't take the hint and give up. That's just fine. They will lose again.

Related posts:

Family Research Council recycling tacky Prop 8 video

Bigots fail in California! Anti-gay referendum doesn't get enough signatures

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