Friday, July 20, 2012

In Which We Hate on Gay-Haters

I was up for a good outrage, so I decided to click on this Room for Debate NYTimes blog link that shows a "debate" over the recent reiteration by Boy Scouts of America that gay men and boys aren't welcome as leaders or as scouts.

I was disappointed in my search for something outrageous, but encouraged in my hope for fellow humans when I found that even the "dissenting" views pretty much just said it's reprehensible that this is an issue for the organization. Heck, the guy from the Cato Institute only spent half a sentence defending the Boy Scouts organization's right to keep whoever they want out -- the same amount of space he spent mentioning that allowing girls to join the club in Canada had seemed unfortunate to him -- then spent the entire rest of his short article saying what a shame it is that they're discriminating, because whether you're gay or straight is not the POINT of the Boy Scouts.

This actually read as a response to the Boy Scout organizational leaders' response, which amounted to "we don't deal with sexuality in the Boy Scouts and also it's none of your business why we're excluding members and leaders based on their orientations." The "none of your business" vibe was un-mysteried by another commenter who mentioned that a large portion of funding for the organization comes from the Mormon and Roman Catholic churches, two of the only large organizations (evangelicals are a much larger political force, but less "an organization" than a movement/politico-religious identity) left in America that might want discrimination against gays to continue.

And in nicer news, the Camp Fire USA representative didn't even bother MENTIONING the Boy Scouts in her article about how Camp Fire is and always has been based on inclusion, even if it makes people uncomfortable. She mentioned that it's unfortunate that people of certain religious beliefs don't make it into the Camp Fire circle, because they would certainly be welcomed, and their absence makes everyone poorer in experience and opportunity to grow.

So in the end, what was apparently meant to read as debate ended up sounding a lot like an elegy for the Boy Scouts, complete with a very helpful pointer toward an organization that sounds like it's ably poised to continue the good aspects of Boy Scout traditions -- plus some better ones of its own.

Good for us. I guess I'll have to go check out some other internet site today if I'm still looking for that blood-pressure-spike fix.

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