Sunday, May 26, 2013

Ban on gay scouts lifted

by +Alexa Rankin

Boy scout leaders from across America recently voted to stop exclusion due to "sexual orientation or preference alone". The motion was passed with a 60% yes vote from over 1400 volunteer leaders last Thursday. The ban on gay scouts will be officially nullified on Jan 1st 2014, although some troops have already pledged to allow young gay men to become 'honorary scouts' until such time as they may be formally inducted.
Scout Badge and Rainbow Flag
Boy Scouts lift gay ban
The decision does not sit well with the other 40% of scout leaders who claim that homosexuality goes against God's wishes and these boys should not be allowed to join the Boy Scout community. The anti-gay side of the discussion suggest that after Jan 2014, as many as 1 in 5 scouts could be gay, which is almost the same odds of finding a gay guy in a boy band.

In an effort to shift the balance back to heterosexual boy scouts, the anti-gay committee have suggested that camping trips become mixed sex, allowing girl scouts into traditionally male only camp sites, and that the girl scout uniform is revamped to reflect 21st century fashion.

New Girl Scout Uniform
Proposed new girl scout uniform
The other gay issue which was up for discussion is whether or not to allow openly gay scout leaders. So far there has been no decision on this matter, so the ban on openly gay leaders and adults in the Boy Scout organization still stands.
Gay Scout Camping Badge
The revised 'camping' badge 
The Boy Scouts of America organization have pledged to welcome homosexual members and have even gone as far as redesigning some badges and creating new ones so that the new gay scouts can feel included. Some of the new badges include Fashion Design, Hairdressing and Reality Dance Show Judge.

New Gay Scout Badges
New badges for gay scouts
I am surprised that homosexuality had not been integrated into the boy scouts much earlier than this considering that the founder of the Boy Scout movement, Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell's first book published in 1908 was given an extremely homosexual title, 'Scouting for Boys'.

Scouting for Boys - 1908
'A Handbook for Instruction in Good Citizenship'
In 1989, biographer Tim Jeal, examined Lord Baden-Powell's military relationships, his views on women and his appreciation of the male form and concluded that B-P may himself have been a repressed homosexual. Since he was not openly gay, he was not banned from having any connection to the Boy Scout movement. Even so, it does look like a giant double standard to me.

Now that the Boy Scouts of America have made a bold first step into the real world, is it time for them to follow up and display equality for all?

Share your thoughts and new gay scout badge ideas in the comments section below.


randykw said...

If those gay kids knew what they'll have to do to earn a merit badge, they'd think twice about joining.
Weird knots. Starting fires without butane. Camping out and digging a hole to poop in. Eating weird stuff like Euell Gibbons.
Good luck boys.

Scott Mayhew said...

They should make Bear Grylls the new Scout Master and the scouts could learn how to drink their own piss and survive naked in sub zero temperatures.

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