The Boy Scouts must have gone to the Barack Obama School of Media Management, where rule number one of controversial news-making is burying the story on a busy Friday. The BSA headquarters tried that strategy unsuccessfully last week, hoping Boston’s massive manhunt might overshadow a bombshell of its own. In a move that caught both sides by surprise, Scouting’s national headquarters has proposed yet another ill-advised “compromise.” As part of the resolution to be voted on next month, the BSA Executive Committee is recommending that the organization allow open homosexuality among boys–but ban it for adults.
“Youth membership in the Boy Scouts of America is open to all youth…” the proposed resolution reads. “No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.” Like its other failed bargain, which would have let individual councils decide their membership policy, this is a completely unworkable solution that neither side can support. While the Scouts are desperately trying to straddle the fence, the reality is that true morality isn’t dictated by age. If it’s wrong at 30, then it’s wrong at 13. What this resolution would suggest is that homosexuality is acceptable until a boy is 18–and then, suddenly, it’s not.
Both sides agree: That’s a ridiculous distinction. Either homosexuality is compatible with Scouting values or it isn’t. Anything less, FRC’s Ken Klukowski explains, would forfeit the organization’s First Amendment protection in court. Liberals at the Human Rights Campaign, Washington Post, and Time magazine blasted the Boy Scouts for even floating such an idea. As far as HRC is concerned, the resolution “continues discrimination against parents and in employment.” Scouting parents were equally outraged. After all, this opens the door to homosexuality across the ranks, giving an all-important foothold to those who would eventually abolish the ban altogether.
John Stemberger, who is helping to beat back this attack on Scouting, wrote a great op-ed in today’s Washington Times that explains how this resolution is a violation of parents’ trust and children’s safety.
Read the rest at Family Research Council