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Author Topic:   Gay scout ban
John Doe
Activist

Posts: 475
From:ohio
Registered: May 2001

posted 08-08-2001 11:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for John Doe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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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Posts: 1511
From:Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Registered: Jun 2000

posted 08-08-2001 01:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dzuunmod     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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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"...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"
-Braid

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Etch
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Posts: 523
From:Ashland, Oregon, US
Registered: Jun 2000

posted 08-08-2001 01:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Etch     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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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Posts: 2200
From:
Registered: Sep 2000

posted 08-08-2001 05:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ErinK     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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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PixieDust
Activist

Posts: 86
From:Las Vegas, NV, United States
Registered: Jun 2001

posted 08-08-2001 09:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for PixieDust     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
this used to be a dirty rug, but now is clean, cuz we've beat the crap out of it.
~Shandi

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"We are the normal"-Johny Rznick

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Gumdrop Girl
Sexpert

Posts: 9576
From:Los Angeles, CA ... somewhere off the 10
Registered: Jul 2000

posted 08-09-2001 12:07 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gumdrop Girl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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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A waist is a terrible thing to mind.

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Laughs_Wisely
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Posts: 140
From:Saskatoon, SK, Canada
Registered: Feb 2001

posted 08-09-2001 07:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Laughs_Wisely     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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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*When authorities warn you of the sinfulness of sex, there is an important lesson to be learned. Do not have sex with the authorities. -From "Basic Sex Facts
For Today's Youngfolk" in "Life In Hell'', by (Matt Groening)

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Dzuunmod
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Posts: 1511
From:Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Registered: Jun 2000

posted 08-10-2001 08:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dzuunmod     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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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"...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"
-Braid

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Lynne
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Posts: 266
From:Portland, Oregon
Registered: Jul 2000

posted 08-10-2001 02:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lynne     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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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To the rational mind there can be no offense, no obscenity, no blasphemy, but only information of greater or lesser value.
-- Jennifer Diane Reitz

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

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John Doe
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Posts: 475
From:ohio
Registered: May 2001

posted 08-10-2001 03:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for John Doe     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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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Posts: 105
From:London
Registered: Feb 2001

posted 08-10-2001 03:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Daniel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
"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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Posts: 1511
From:Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Registered: Jun 2000

posted 08-10-2001 09:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dzuunmod     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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"
-Braid

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bettie
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Posts: 1054
From:Canada
Registered: Jun 2000

posted 08-10-2001 10:36 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bettie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
GLAAD stands for the "Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation".
http://www.glaad.org/

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Louise Lalonde
-Scarleteen Sexpert & Volunteer du Jour

"Glad to have a friend like you,
And glad to just be me"
-Carol Hall

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retrometa
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Posts: 1
From:new york, ny usa
Registered: Feb 2005

posted 02-01-2005 03:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for retrometa     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
-- 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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From:Stirling, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Sep 2000

posted 02-01-2005 03:59 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Bobolink     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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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Posts: 145
From:Laguna Niguel, CA, USA
Registered: May 2004

posted 02-04-2005 09:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for coolestdesignz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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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Miz Scarlet
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Posts: 16487
From:Minneapolis
Registered: May 2000

posted 02-04-2005 10:12 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Miz Scarlet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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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Heather Corinna
Editor & Founder
ST homepage ST blog about Heather & Scarleteen

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coolestdesignz
Activist

Posts: 145
From:Laguna Niguel, CA, USA
Registered: May 2004

posted 02-04-2005 11:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for coolestdesignz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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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Miz Scarlet
Sexpert

Posts: 16487
From:Minneapolis
Registered: May 2000

posted 02-05-2005 07:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Miz Scarlet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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
Neophyte

Posts: 28
From:anaheim
Registered: Jan 2005

posted 02-05-2005 11:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for xxxheatherxxx     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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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Miz Scarlet
Sexpert

Posts: 16487
From:Minneapolis
Registered: May 2000

posted 02-05-2005 12:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Miz Scarlet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm actually going to add something to this.

One of my girl scout leaders, in the seventies, WAS an out lesbian.

This was actually a really great thing for me. Why? Because growing up bisexual, and loving women, how many role models could I be afforded? How many out women could I see living lives like anyone else, being a fantastic teacher and mentor, having her partner come and help with things sometimes just like any other couple? Very few. That I was able to have one 9and actually more than one in my earyly life) was exceptionally lucky.

And where do we draw the line? Why the heck do we care about who a scout leader is just because a group is one gender? How many schools go on co-ed camping trips with teachers of all genders? Quite a few.

And really, more than anything else, what people seem to forget is that just like heterosexual people, homosexuals and bisexuals are not going to leap on anyone of a given gender just because they're attracted to that gender. As well, just like heterosexuals, we homosexuals and bisexuals have no less propriety, no less internal controls, all of those things. A whole lot of bias with something like this that we see is based in assumptions like this, that somehow, we're vastly different than heterosexuals, and really, that's just ignorance.

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Heather Corinna
Editor & Founder
ST homepage ST blog about Heather & Scarleteen

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