Big Day for the Boy Scouts

Do any of these Scouts look gay to you? (courtesy of the Huffington Post)

Last October, I wrote an article entitled “No Eagle Scout For You!” after hearing about Ryan Andresen, a young man who revealed his homosexuality and was quickly denied the Eagle Scout award he worked so hard to achieve.

This decision by the Boy Scouts of America illuminated a long-standing policy of excluding gays from joining, participating or providing leadership in this 100-year-old youth organization. It also sparked a national debate about gay rights that tapered off a little during the holidays, but has once again been thrust into the spotlight.

Today, the governing board of the BSA will vote on whether or not gay members should be allowed into their organization. And since many of the chapters are sponsored by religious organizations–more specifically Christian groups–it should be an interesting meeting with a lot of spirited debate.

The final decision, however, remains to be seen. I suppose we’ll all have to wait until later to see if anything will actually change. And I, for one, hope it does.

If you ask me, President Obama said it best during a recent interview with Scott Pelley from CBS News: “My attitude is that gays and lesbians should have access and opportunity the same way everybody else does, in every institution and walk of life.”

I couldn’t agree more. And although I’ve expressed this before, I can’t help but reiterate something that, to me, seems obvious and fundamental.

As Americans, we pride ourselves on being a diverse nation where everyone has access to the same opportunities (i.e. The American Dream). We also have a Declaration of Independence that states “all men are created equal” and share the same rights, including “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

The Prez definitely gets it (courtesy of CBS News)

Am I now supposed to believe that this applies only to heterosexual Americans?

After the recent shooting of all those poor schoolchildren in Connecticut, everyone started to focus on our Second Amendment rights and from what I can tell, no one ever suggested we alter our Constitution. Since I can only assume a change in our Declaration of Independence is “off the table” as well, then we need to find a way to treat all of our citizens fairly, don’t we?

I know a Boy Scouts of America decision to include gays won’t solve all our nation’s problems with regard to equality, but it would be a step in the right direction.

And who knows? Perhaps this will be the impetus for more inclusive laws and policies in the future.

We have to start somewhere…

Posted on February 6, 2013, in Perspectives and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Even if I thought it a necessary change I’d be hard pressed to vote to allow alteration of the Constitution. We just recently (a few years ago) went through a similar debate about altering the Illinois Constitution amazingly they managed to vote against it so no change was made the concern was that no one trusted those who would be in charge of making the changes to stop at what was intended, I think the same could be said here. Great Post

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