Rob Schwarzwalder is Senior Vice President at Family Research Council. This article appeared in U.S. News and World Report on April 23, 2013.
The proposed resolution to admit 'open and avowed' homosexuals (Scouting's term) into the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is unacceptable. It requires all Scouting families and faith-based organizations that object to homosexuality on religious grounds to affirm something their faiths teach is wrong. The beliefs and convictions of parents and untold numbers of Scouts themselves would be made subordinate to the insistence of a vocal special interest group.
The proposed resolution introduces 'open and avowed homosexuality' into an organization that is designed to foster trust, camaraderie, character and leadership, thereby clouding Scouting's most fundamental purposes. The proposal says, in essence, that homosexuality is acceptable until a boy turns 18. Then, when he comes of age, he's prevented from remaining in Scouts because the BSA says it wants to retain its policy against open homosexual Scout leaders. This proposal is incoherent and, sadly, an affront to the notion that Scouts are 'morally straight.' If nothing else, does not "straightness" mean consistency?
If implemented, hundreds of thousands of Scout families will vote with their feet and leave the BSA. How does a mass exodus of Scouts and, with it, a dramatic loss in revenue, advance the interests of boys and young men, of the BSA as an organization, or the country Scouting is designed to serve?
Families will have to ask if they want their sons to share tents with open and avowed homosexuals. Would a parent want his teenage daughter to go on an overnight camping trip with a heterosexual teen boy? If not, why would he or she want a 12-year-old son to be shepherded by an 'open and avowed' homosexual teen?
Additionally, given the wording of the resolution that sexual 'preference' cannot disqualify a youth for Scout membership, this opens Scouting's doors both to girls and transgendered youth. This kind of thing is already happening in Girl Scouts to that organization's detriment.
This clearly is the first step in the efforts of the BSA's national leaders to make Scouting completely affirming of homosexuality as being as acceptable as heterosexuality.
If one boy is harmed through the implementation of this new policy, I can only wonder what the national leaders of Scouts will have to say. They know better, and should live up to the Scout Law they have recited for decades: Be loyal, brave, clean, morally straight, and reverent and protect boys from premature sexualization.