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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Gay scout ban (Page 2)

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Author Topic: Gay scout ban
Etch
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I would like to mention also that many of the rules you mention from the bible, and many otehr people generally associate with christians are from the old testement. Christians do generally ignore the old testement (other then the 10 commandments) because of Christ. And sex after marriage is explained EXTREMELY carefully in the new testement of the bible. Just reading the books of the new testement and you will notice that sex before marriage is continually stated as being wrong. And also that only a man and a woman are eligible for marriage.

And what does a black person in a country club have to do with this? There is no rule that country clubs set that blacks are not allowed. They discriminate based on income, not race.

Starting a new trooping organization sounds fine. But what about the campfire boys and girls (formerly only girls) and the explorer scouts? They are open for anyone and everyone no matter gender, race, creed, or sexuality. Explorers have been around for a while, and personally sound much more interesting and practical that any other scouting organization.

Or perhaps we should start a scouting group where sex doesnt play a role at all! Where you dont have to ask little Johnny is hes gay. Because sex does not belong in the scouts. The only reason that being gay will get you kicked out of the scouts is if you make a scene out of it and you make a pass at another scout. But i think in any of the scouting organizations if a scout makes an unwanted pass at another scout they should ba warned, then move to banning from scouts if it continues. I am sure if you just have a gay kid in the scouts and he doesnt go around flaunting his sexuality then he will be fine.

And dont give me any of the "be proud of being gay" stuff. Be proud! Please be proud of who you are, but there are certain times where you should just not flaunt it. Sex doesnt belong everywhere, certainly not scouts.

(im sorry for how mean i sound in this thread... in just get a little witchy when i have a strong opinion)


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Heather
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quote:
Originally posted by Etch:
Sex doesnt belong everywhere, certainly not scouts.

I think that is exactly the point many posters in this thread have been trying to make, Etch.


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[This message has been edited by Miz Scarlet (edited 08-07-2001).]


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Peter
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Etch...


I'm afraid when you say things like "...if they stay gay...", and how people wired differently than you sexually are not morally straight, then a closing paragraph claiming that you are not against homosexuals just sounds like the fine print legalese that the radio and TV announcers have to say so fast at the end of the ads.

I ran into a quote a while back that you would do well to remember. "The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and 362 admonishments to heterosexuals. That doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals. It's just that they need more supervision."

I haven't been christian for a long time, but I don't remember that specific theology lesson, by the way, that christians should forget half the book 'because of Jesus'.

Peter


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John Doe
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Up until very recently many many country clubs would discriminate against blacks or jews (my step father was one of the first jews in the Yacht club I grew up at, and then only because he married my mom who had been a member, and my grandparents had been members). The point is that to say that you will let someone in but only allow them to stay if they change that which is not changable, is the same thing as not letting them in in the first place.
By the way the case that went to the supreme court was about an eagle scout who had been invovled in scouting all of his life who wanted to be a troop leader. As I stated earlier, I do think that the scouts have a legal right to set their own membership standards. I think that their membership standards are, however, immoral. It greatly saddens me that they have taken this stance, since on the whole I think that there are many many positve aspects to scouting. I do think that their national charter should be revoked by congress (one of very few organizations in the US with such a stamp of approval) and that schools should think twice aboout providing them with free meeting space. Their tax exempt status is also suspect. This might cause the top leadership of the scouts (which is not nessicarilly the same as the views of the rank and file scouts) to change their position.

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Etch
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Peter, My stance is not against homosexuality. I have almost been kicked out my house because of my opinions on that subject because my family is VERY against homosexuality. Which is where i have a slight advantage. I hear the opinions of those who are closed minded, and of those who are open. And if you still think i have something against homosexuality then why dont you talk to my ex GIRLfriend.

And what i said about STAYING gay is the stance that most parents in the boyscouts have. Let me put it another way, if they are showing sexual behavior or intentions that are against policy then they can and likely will be kicked out.

My stance is that the boyscouts are entitled to their own set of morals whether you like it or not. You should not say that it is immoral to believe homosexuality is wrong. Just like they should not say it is immoral to have sex before marriage. Just because their morals are not the same as yours do not mean they are incorrect or immoral.

All i will say about gay troop leaders is that I had a gay troop leader in girlscouts, and it DID cause problems with some girls and their families.


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John Doe
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What if I were to say that I didn't think that rape or murder were wrong, would you also say that was just peachy too, no moral problem. Or what if I were to say that Alabama had it right in 1950, and that blacks deserved to be sitting at the back of the bus, or not allowed to eat at the lunch counter if the owner of the resturant didn't want them eating there?
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Lynne
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quote:
What if I were to say that I didn't think that rape or murder were wrong, would you also say that was just peachy too, no moral problem.
There's a difference between raping somebody and kicking them out of the scouts. Namely, that difference is that being raped or murdered violates one's rights, while not being allowed to be a scout doesn't. Freedom from physical harm at the hands of others is a right. Freedom to join the scouts isn't.

Ultimately, the view that homosexuality is sinful is simply another viewpoint. For the government to force a more liberal perspective down the throat of a private organization would be just as bad as if it forced a conservative viewpoint down yours. (I'm working from the assumption there that they're a private organization; I'm not going to get into the whole funding issue.)

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BruinDan
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quote:
Originally posted by Etch:
My stance is that the boyscouts are entitled to their own set of morals whether you like it or not.

Well thats just it, I don't like it. And I don't want any of my tax money going to a group of that sort. Since the Scouts receive federal funding, they have lost some of the rights that a "private enterprise" would have. As such, I think that if ths Scouts want to continue their policy, they should not be given any Federal money to support such a stance.

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Dzuunmod
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quote:
Originally posted by Etch:
Or perhaps we should start a scouting group where sex doesnt play a role at all! Where you dont have to ask little Johnny is hes gay. Because sex does not belong in the scouts. The only reason that being gay will get you kicked out of the scouts is if you make a scene out of it and you make a pass at another scout. But i think in any of the scouting organizations if a scout makes an unwanted pass at another scout they should ba warned, then move to banning from scouts if it continues. I am sure if you just have a gay kid in the scouts and he doesnt go around flaunting his sexuality then he will be fine.

What, though, is 'flaunting' one's sexuality? I think that there's a different standard applied to homosexuals than to heterosexuals on this matter. For instance, if a straight male talks about a date he was on last night, and the word "woman" or "she" surfaces anywhere in the talk, no one thinks anything of it. However, if a gay male does the same thing, mentioning the word "man" or "he" in connection to it, many people seem to think he's flaunting his sexuality. Granted, scouts won't likely be talking about dates, but you understand my point.

In most settings, I think a straight male or straight female making a pass at a member of the opposite sex wouldn't be considered "making a scene" -- it would just be part of the normal relationship between the sexes -- yet that's how you refer to a scenario in which a male scout makes a pass at another male scout. Yep, I think there's definetely a double standard.

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Peter
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quote:
Originally posted by Etch:
Peter, My stance is not against homosexuality...

Etch...


I don't know you, your sexual inclinations or anything else.

I do know the words you've typed on the page and those are the words I reacted to. If you mentally edit my posting to include "...the words you write make me think..." at the start or end of each sentence, I'll continue to stand behind them 100%.

If your life is different than your words, please consider changing one or the other. The consistency will settle your stomach better.


Peter


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John Doe
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Would it be equally ok for them to bar blacks from joining as it is for them to bar gays. As a matter of law, you could make the case that it would be. And as I have stated several times in this thread, I think that the scouts have a legal right to do what they are doing. Their stance however is one that seriously undermines their moral standing, which saddens me since other than for this issue I think scouts are a great orginization which have done a lot of good for millions of boys, including myself many years ago. I would just like some pressure brought to bear so that they will change their immoral stance.
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Etch
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Once again i will defend my words and explain them more thoroughly (i didnt before because then my posts become horribly long and boring, even more then they are now)

Sex SHOULD NOT BE PART OF SCOUTING, gay straight and everything inbetween. I get pissed at my brother when he comes home from scouting and tells me some stupid story a fellow scout told him about some girl. Why are they talking about dating when they should be talking about community service or camping?

I dont go around talking about my dates with anyone unless its in an appropriate situation. I didnt talk about boys when i was in girlscouts. I talked about how I didnt understand how to chrochet the stupid dolly blanket! And believe me, when I was that age I was beyond boy crazy.

And my words never said that *I* believe homosexuality is wrong. My words said that the scouts have a moral stance against it and that is their right so respect their morals like you expect them to respect yours. They dont have to allow homosexuals in to respect your's, and you dont have to condemn homosexuality to respect theirs. All you have to do is not worry about it. If you dont walk into a boyscout troop and say "I am gay" they will likely not give a rip. But i know for a fact that if a boy is always focused on sex or girls they get repremanded in the scouts. So it is not completely one sided here. The only difference is straight boys dont get kicked out because dating girls is not "morally incorrect" to the scouts.

But remember, this is the scouts opinion that it is wrong. Not mine. So please lay off me about it. I am starting to feel like I am making some enemies here.


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Confused boy
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I honestly cannnot see anything wrong or contradictory about what Etch has said. She is trying to walk a fine line between personal freedom and freedom of organisations. This discussion is really all about rights to freedom impinging on other rights to freedom.

But lets forget all this liberal high mindedness for a second. Lets imagine for a moment that we KNOW we are morally right and they are wrong. Who here would be in favour of getting all Bolshevik on them if we were capable of doing so?

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Dzuunmod
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Okay, you don't think sex should be a part of scouting, and yet, you've admitted that it is, in that little blurb about your brother. Kids at that age are sexual, and they don't always know what's appropriate. What's more, is that many of the kids who go to Scouts together go on to become very good friends, and what do friends talk about? Well, sometimes, it's who they're interested in romantically, or sexually.

Finally, sex shouldn't be a part of scouting. Over and over you say that, Etch, but that's what you think - not what the Scouts as an organization seem to think. What they seem to think is that homosexuals shouldn't be a part of scouting.

If they banned any other group, there would be a public furor over this, and probably many calls for a revising of the dicrimination laws involved.

And as for the government not getting involved in private groups, well, I'd offer this: In this country, we have laws that protect people against discrimination (on the basis of sexual orientation, religion, race, political beliefs and so many other things) from landlords and businesses. Those people and organizations don't get any public money, yet the government feels it's in the public interest to protect its citizens in those areas...

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[This message has been edited by Dzuunmod (edited 08-08-2001).]


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Etch
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You have to work to live. And many people have to deal with landlords to live. That is why you are protected from dicrimination in those areas. You do not have to be a boyscout. Being a boyscout is extra, its something to do for fun. If eveyone needed to join the scouts to live then it would be protected against discrimination as well.
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John Doe
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You don't have to eat at a particular resturant to live, yet Denny's found itself in big trouble because they did not seat black patrons as quickly as they seated white patrons. You don't have to live in a particular apartment complex to live, there are others out there.
Having been in scouts is often a big plus on your resume, particularly when you are just starting out. If you make Eagle scout, many employers treat that as a very big plus.

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Dzuunmod
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Etch, I think you'll be hard pressed to find any organizations out there where the focus is always, absolutely, positively on what the organization does. Most organizations like the scouts, or sports teams or choirs or the Lions Club are about socializing just as much as they are about playing sports or singing, or taming lions, or whatever the Lions Club does.

I don't understand how you can think that when kids go to scouts, they only talk about scout stuff, for however long they're there. When you're at school, do you talk about school, from 9am to 3pm, or whatever you hours are, non-stop? I'll bet you don't...

Dzuunmod, who knows the Lions Club isn't about taming lions, silly.

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Etch
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If you want people to respect your morals then you better start respecting theirs. And I am willing to bet that if you had a major homophobe in your house who makes anti-gay comments regularly i am sure that you wouldnt want him around because that is against your morals. Well, its the same d*amn thing with the boyscouts.

But whatever. I give up. Sometimes it seems like the people who claim they are so open minded are the most close minded of them all. All i wanted was for you guys to realize they have rights, just like you and me. And their right is that they can and will fallow their own moral standard as a private organization. But that fight is futile because you have to make sure that everyone knows that YOUR morals are the only correct ones.


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ErinK
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Hey, whoa.

I think that the point being made is not what should or shouldn't be talked about in scouting (because, really, one can't control what people think and what people say, no matter how many rules are made) but rather that they feel that banning a group simply for having a certain sexual orientation is wrong. However, other people feel that a private group has the right to decide who is allowed to be a member, and that includes making judgements based on sexual orientation.

So, what do you think? Do the scouts, by virtue of being a private organization, have the right to ban a group of people because of their sexual orientation?


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Gumdrop Girl
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on a tangent, this week, a group of Boy and Girl scouts from Japan came to visit Berkeley. The city council was to hold a reception for these Scouts at the Town Hall. That is, until city councilman and professed progressive Kriss Worthington protested the reception saying that the Berkeley city council should not be promoting organizations that promote discrimination.

Please bear in mind, in Japan, the Scouting organizations have no bans on gay people.

Also note, Kriss Worthington lives next door to two Eagle Scouts, one of whom happens to be dating me. They all seem to get along peachy keen

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Laughs_Wisely
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When I was a Pathfinder leader, the girls and I frequently discussed relationships, though learning about healthy relationships _was_ part of their program.

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Dzuunmod
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I know this thread has sort of fizzled out, but I just want to give one more try at my side, here.

It isn't that I don't respect others' morals, I just think that although it isn't in so many places, all people ought to have the right to live free of discrimination.

No, joining the scouts isn't necessary to live. But, imagine a world where every such organization discriminated against gays or blacks, or whoever. "You don't need to join this organization. Or that one, or that one, or that one, so we can discriminate all we want." Life for those people would be liveable - after all they'd have employment and shelter, right? - but it'd really be no fun.

So, I think that people need to be protected from discrimination to insure that their lives are with some element of social interaction and pleasure. If I got a bit carried away eariler, I apologize.

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Lynne
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I really ought to just let this thread be, but the temptation to reply is too great. (Pardon any spelling errors. My dictionary's packed away in a box.)

First of all, Dzuumond, you seem to be assuming that the people being discriminated against are incapable of forming organizations without the help of the majority. Gays/blacks/whoever are perfectly able to form their own organizations -- and if every other group is discriminating against them, there'd be a pretty big market for a non-discriminatory group.

Second of all, you assume that most groups out there would happily discriminate if given the opportunity. Again, that's not true. Note that the Girl Scouts and some other scouting groups mentioned earlier in this thread don't discriminate, and they're quite able to. The absence of a law against something hardly means that the majority of people are going to go out and do that thing.

Thirdly, why stop with sexual orientation? If private groups shouldn't be able to discriminate on the basis of things people can't control, then to be consistent you must protect people on the basis of all things they can't really control, such as their personality, religion, intelligence, athletic ability, etc. Should GLAAD be forced to admit a raving homophobic fundamentalist, because to do otherwise would be discrimination on the basis of religion? Should a private college be forced to admit anyone who applies (provided the college isn't full, that is)? To judge people on academic performance is to discriminate against the less cognatively gifted, after all.

And finally, here's the main reason I'm opposed to forcing the Scouts to admit whoever they want. The view that homosexuality is a sin is a viewpoint. So's racism. So's sexism. So are the egalitarian beliefs expressed by many of the people at this point. The difference between the first three and the last one, though, is that the first three are unpopular (the middle two moreso than the first). Forbidding the Scouts the ability to discriminate effectively gives the government the right to prevent people from unpopular beliefs from practicing those beliefs. And sure, when your views and the government's views on what's good line up, there's no problem. But what about when they don't? What about when your beliefs are the unpopular ones?

I also want to add something that ties into my first point. I realize that somebody may respond to the above paragraph by saying that the idea that human sacrifice is good is just another viewpoint, and that surpressing that would be, by my reasoning, just as bad as surpressing discrimination. To that I'd say that joining the Scouts isn't a right, but that ownership of one's body (in the sense that you control what goes into it and if it can be harmed) is. Some person might then pipe up and ask why not being murdered is a right and being a scout isn't. The answer to that question is what I want to blather on about now. If you don't want to be subjected to a lot of rambling about rights, stop reading now.

My opinion is that there isn't enough to justify making it a right. To make it a right, it should be determined that the interest of potential gay scouts is more important than the interest of the Boy Scouts organization. First of all, while denying somebody scout membership might not leave them better off, in and of itself it isn't going to leave them in a worse state than they already were. Murder, on the other hand, does leave the individual in a worse state. Murder causes direct harm to the victim, while denial of scout membership does not. Moreover, forcing the Boy Scouts to accept gay members does cause direct -- if not terribly major, compared to murder -- harm: the ideas behind the organization have been compromised, which in turn compromises the organization itself.

However, it could be argued that the benefit of joining the Scouts is so great that it still ought to override the right of the Scouts to choose who they admit. This argument might work if the Scouts were the only scouting organization that exists or ever could exist, but that's not the case. There are other scouting organizations, and even if there weren't, it's not too difficult to form one. The ease with which one can form a scouting organization means that it isn't necessary to override the Boy Scouts' ability to discriminate in order to give gay (or any other minority) group the benefits of scouting.

(Yeesh. That was long and overly philosophical. Apologies if it made no sense.)

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[This message has been edited by Lynne (edited 08-10-2001).]


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John Doe
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I think the main point of argument is not about the scout's legal right to discriminate, (the supreme court has spoken) but how this stand has injured the moral authority of the scouts. The government should not force the KKK to allow blacks to come to its cross burings or require blacks to become grand dragons. However, most people would get upset if Congress granted a national charter to the KKK, gave it tax exempt status, and threatened to withold federal funds from any school which did not allow the KKK to hold its meetings on school grounds (which has been introduced in the senate as far as the scouts are concerned).
Clearly taken as a whole, there is not a moral equivalence between the scouts and the KKK. By and large the scouts are a good organization. Because they are basically good, they might be susecptible to pressure that appeals to the better angels of their nature to change their stand. The KKK has no better angels.

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Daniel
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"Should GLAAD be forced to admit a raving homophobic fundamentalist, because to do otherwise would be discrimination on the basis of religion?"

No, they shouldn't. I don't actually know what GLAAD is, but to instantly deny such a person on the grounds that they are religious, or gay, is not acceptable. If someone seem to be the right person for the job, they should get it. If that person's beliefs meant he wasn't the right personable to do the job to the best of his or her ability, then they wouldn't get the job. Heck, the main religious Minister of Parliament in England isn't even a religious person hinself! A private college should also be forced to consider to admit someone, but if they don't meet academic standards, then they won't get in.

I think the rest of Dz's post is saying what he'd like in an ideal world, but to insinuate that that line of thought is equal to forcing the Boy Scouts to accept gays, or GLAAD to hire religiouus fundies is false, I think. I mean, we'd all like to live without discrimiantion, wouldn't we?

I think the rest of the most liberal-thinknng is saying that discriminatory groups shoul be 100% private. Not only should they not be give the preference to use public property, but jobs shouldn't be able to consider someone's joining a discriminatory group on their CV either.


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Dzuunmod
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While your post is full of good points, Lynne, I'm just uncomfortable with the idea that people would discriminate, and, as such, uncomfortable with saying that people should be allowed to discriminate. Yes, it's being quite dictatorial, but it's still how I feel.

Daniel is right, I am being idealistic.

As an aside, Lynne, one of the parts of your post I'd take issue with is the second point, where you state that "the absence of a law against something hardly means that the majority of people are going to go out and do that thing."

This is true, but it doesn't hurt, in most cases, either to put the law in. Anti-discrimination laws are very necessary in many parts of the world, for a variety of causes. Think, for instance, of the Roma people in Eastern Europe.

In this country, a few years ago, a monumental case went through the Supreme Court. A gay man, fired from his position as a science teacher at a Christian school, fought to have sexual orientation included in the discrimination laws in his province, and won, because it was determined that his orientation had nothing to do with his job (duh!).

The Premier (like Governor) of the province where all this was taking place - a staunch social conservative - saw the light when citizens of his province demanded that he invoke the notwithstanding clause (a clause in our Constitution which allows individual provinces to veto laws made by branches of the federal government) to reverse the ruling. So the Premier of Alberta, Ralph Klein, said publicly, "My God, if this is the way people feel about sexual orientation, there has to be protection for gays and lesbians."

Finally, where you say that, "forbidding the Scouts the ability to discriminate effectively gives the government the right to prevent people from unpopular beliefs from practicing those beliefs," I say that it merely says to individuals and groups that they must treat other individuals as equals. Both cases can be made, I think.

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"...we're all thinking the same thing/let's not settle for satisfaction/we are women and men of action/let's stop clapping let's start doing/a dream for the teens and in-betweens and twenties yet unseen"
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bettie
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GLAAD stands for the "Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation".
http://www.glaad.org/

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Louise Lalonde
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And glad to just be me"
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retrometa
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-- that wasn't very nice --

[This message has been edited by Gumdrop Girl (edited 02-01-2005).]


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Bobolink
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retrometa, does your homophobia exempt you from breaking your word? When you registered, you promised to abide by the Scarleteen Board Guidelines.

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I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.

- Galileo

[This message has been edited by Bobolink (edited 02-01-2005).]


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coolestdesignz
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Well, since this topic has been brought back from the depths of the Scarleteen forums, I'll post MY opinion.

I happen to be a Boy Scout. There is no bigotry that I can see anywhere. Did the organization make a mistake, yes. They implemented that rule for the protection of other members- supposedly. Once upon a time, there was a gay Boy Scout who sexually harassed other members of the troop (this happened more than once, and with many different troops and scouts).

Is it right to ban all gays, no. The powers-that-be seem to feel that it was an appropriate measure. It's akin to allowing a gay boy in the girls locker-room.

The organization is founded on tolerance. Because of that, there is a gay Boy Scout Troop located somewhere around here. Anyone can start a troop.

Even if you still feel that the organization is corrupt, you will still agree that Boy Scouts are an overall positive force in the community. My troop has a mandatory 12 hours of community service per year. That's more than my high-school requires for graduation.

Never is it taught that it is OK to be homophobic. Tolerance (actually, "acceptance") is stressed more than anything else.

Essentially, the question is "Would it be right for a young man/woman (who happened to be sexually attracted to other young men/women) to go camping and stay in tents with other young men/women? I'd say no. It's almost as bad an idea as having boys sleep with girls on camping trips.


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Heather
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However, by that token, were all groups to do same?

Bisexuals essentially would be barred EVERYWHERE.

(And since MOST people are neither 100% heterosexual or homosexual, that's really a rarity, that'd be most people barred.) And if you're only talking about out people? You'd be rewarding people for being dishonest, providing them incentive to be so, while at the same time presenting the same risks or inappropriateness you're stating due to all the not-out people.

Think about it. Stuff like this? It's got legs, big time, per where it leads and how few people could really follow the rules truthfully and still participate/be included.

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coolestdesignz
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Wow. That's a really good point. However, the banning of homosexual individuals seems to make sense to enough people that it hasn't been challenged strongly enough to be changed.
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Heather
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The thing is, that's always the case with any oppressed minority -- they tend to always be the minority and oppressed.

Look at the struggle for civil rights in the U.S. for instance: that wasn't a process of a few years, it took CENTURIES, and even now, there is still tons of racism that's either allowable by law or proxy, or which is socially acceptable.

You're a smart cookie: I don't think I have to explain that further, but if you want me to, just holler.


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xxxheatherxxx
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it's definitely a controversial issue. to be honest, i dont know how comfortable i would be with my son having a homosexual boyscout leader, but i wouldn't mind him being amongst gay peers his own age in the troop. but that's just my personal comfortability.
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