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Boy Scouts of America to vote on lifting ban of gay Scouts and leaders

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  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Jan. 28, 2013 5:19 p.m.

    If this happens, goodbye to the BSA!

  • SoCal Roger Costa Mesa, CA
    Jan. 28, 2013 5:32 p.m.

    My guess is that if the BSA votes to admit gay Scout and gay Scout leaders, that a good number of the sponsoring institutions will withdraw support of BSA.

    I wonder how Baden-Powell and W. D. Boyce would vote on this issue?

  • firefly Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 28, 2013 5:34 p.m.

    Thanks, Obama!

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    Jan. 28, 2013 5:40 p.m.

    I am an Eagle Scout.
    I may resign that honor if that happens.

  • Aggielove Cache county, USA
    Jan. 28, 2013 5:41 p.m.

    If this happens, goodbye to the lds church even doing scout camps with non-lds troops.
    And I have no issues with gays.
    But this is the wrong crowd to push the gay agenda into.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Jan. 28, 2013 5:58 p.m.

    As a life long scout, I welcome the inclusion of ALL boys.

    I feel sorry for those who believe that homosexuals include anymore pedophiles than the heterosexual population.

    Sexual orientation is not taught anyway.

  • middleclassmom South Jordan, UT
    Jan. 28, 2013 6:01 p.m.

    Nothing against gays, but this makes as much sense as having women in the BSA. As a woman, I would think it would inappropriate to go camping with men and boys for obvious reasons. Why would it be any different for people who are attracted to men and/or boys?

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Jan. 28, 2013 6:06 p.m.

    How many school teachers are gay?

    Why does it matter if a boy scout leader is gay?

  • esodije ALBUQUERQUE, NM
    Jan. 28, 2013 6:09 p.m.

    It probably was only a matter of time, given the socio-legal pressure the BSA was having to withstand from the Left and the media; however, when an organization changes too quickly, too fast, it can easily "evolve" itself right out of existence. So, the sponsoring entity doesn't have to accept practicing homosexuals? Big deal--it basically means that troop isn't going to scout camp or participating in other district/council/national activities. What's the point in being part of a national organization if you constantly have to self-segregate?

  • whatnext Clearfield, Utah
    Jan. 28, 2013 6:10 p.m.

    I think if they allow boys that are gay to participate in scouting would not be a problem for the church or for the parents of the boys who are not. The reason I say this is we are taught to love and respect everyone and this would be a good way for the church to show we care and except everyone. But when it comes to allowing a person who is gay to become a leader in a troop the church may draw the line there. In a position of leadership that individual could influnce these young minds to take a direction in thier life that they or their parents may not neccassarily agree with or take part in.

  • liberate Sandy, UT
    Jan. 28, 2013 6:10 p.m.

    This should be two separate issues. How can you justify not allowing gay scouts to participate and still claim that you are looking out for the best interests of those individuals. Discriminating based on sexual preference only results in those who are gay hiding that they are gay and pushing what many perceive to be a problem (being gay) into the future. It's analogous to a bishop telling a young man that he should go home, pretend he's not gay, and forget that they ever had the conversation.

    Gay leaders is another matter and deserves some debate, although I also support this action with respect to leaders.

    I'm an Eagle Scout but have not donated to scouts based on this discrimination. If they change the policy, I will begin donating again.

  • md Cache, UT
    Jan. 28, 2013 6:16 p.m.

    Wow. Eagle scouts will mean much less to me now.

  • Down under Pullman, WA
    Jan. 28, 2013 6:17 p.m.

    Agree with mountainman. I dropped my annual donations to the BSA several years ago because I think they have already lost their way.

    Regardless of what the LDS Church does, most of the donations come from its members through the annual drive and not the Church itself. I see THOSE donations drying up if the BSA lifts the ban. It would be devastating to the BSA and it will have to totally change its mission.

    I doubt the LDS Church will abandon the BSA as the ties are too strong and the Church is making an effort to reach out to the gay population in a positive and understanding way. Time will tell however. This will be he most important decision the BSA board will ever make in its history. I hope they don't blow it.

  • Anon123 LAS VEGAS, NV
    Jan. 28, 2013 6:20 p.m.

    I don't normally post, but the above comments seem a little extreme. The LDS Church already allows gay members, I doubt that it would pull its support of BSA over the issue. Any gay youth would just be held to the same standard as straight youth - no premarital sex.

    Some sponsoring institutions will pull support, others may support a more tolerant organization. The BSA proposal, which would still allow control at a local level, seems pretty benign.

  • Justmythoughts Provo, UT
    Jan. 28, 2013 6:19 p.m.

    If this happens....the LDS church will end it's association with scouting. Hey at least there will be not more endless friends of scouting fund raising drives in our wards where people donate money.

  • TXFaux Henderson, TX
    Jan. 28, 2013 6:24 p.m.

    I'm a somewhat conservative LDS assistant scout master. I have no problem with admitting gay scouts and gay scout leaders as long as there is a policy where gay scout leaders are not allowed (or other reasonable limits) to promote/evangelize their sexual orientation with the scouts.

  • Claudio Springville, Ut
    Jan. 28, 2013 6:29 p.m.

    From the article:
    According to Williams, the new policy “would eliminate the ban from the national organization’s rules, leaving local sponsoring organizations free to decide for themselves whether to admit gay Scouts.”

    "The Boy Scouts would not, under any circumstances, dictate a position to units, members or parents," Smith told BSA spokesman Deron Smith told USA Today. "Under this proposed policy, the BSA would not require any chartered organization to act in ways inconsistent with that organization's mission, principles or religious beliefs."
    ====

    Explain to me why the LDS Church would have any problem with this? This wouldn't affect scouting in any measurable way for troops chartered by the LDS Church.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Jan. 28, 2013 6:59 p.m.

    re:TXFaux
    "to promote/evangelize their sexual orientation with the scouts."

    question:
    What would "promoting/evangelizing" their sexual orientation consist of?

    Would admitting they aren't married because they're gay be considered evangelizing/promoting?

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Jan. 28, 2013 7:01 p.m.

    Less hate in the world is, well, less hate!

  • dell San Antonio, TX
    Jan. 28, 2013 7:03 p.m.

    It's not just Mormons (1/3 of total scout troops). Catholics make up another 10% of scouts and various Christian organizations make up another sizeable chunk. Does it make sense for an organization to alienate 50% of it's membership for the sake of political correctness and open the ranks to the 2% of the US population that is gay? Besides, how may gay 12 year olds are there? This is more about Gay men wanting for "some" reason to be scout leaders. It may not be sexual, maybe they are just keeping an eye out for boys that don't fit in. Boys that struggled like they did at that age. Boys that started wondering if they are gay and the gay leader would be there to listen and help them figure that out...just like they did. Ask yourself, why do gay rights activists target the largest organization of young men in the country with such energy? Why don't they work on the AARP or the NRA with the same energy? Why must it be the boy scouts?

  • DrGroovey Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 28, 2013 7:08 p.m.

    I wonder if this means they will allow openly practicing gay people, or only those who identify themselves as gay but do not engage in homosexual behavior?

  • Cincinnatus Kearns, UT
    Jan. 28, 2013 7:11 p.m.

    I'm having a hard time trying to understand some of the extreme comments here (and on the KSL boards- some of which are even worse). One person on KSL even stated that "but just because the church has a website that tells us to be like Christ to all people does not mean they preach that a gay man or woman could attain the highest degree of glory" (You might want to double check Church teachings on that).

    You do realize that there ARE gay members of the Church. There are gay members of the Church WITH callings and temple recommends. Since Scout leadership positions in wards and stakes are essentially "callings," what would you do or say if a gay, temple recommend holding man were called as a Scout Master?

    It will be interesting, should these changes be made, to see what the Church will do. It will be even more interesting to see how some members of the Church will react, including some on these boards.

  • Missourian Fulton, MO
    Jan. 28, 2013 7:16 p.m.

    Freedom to associate is not exclusive to gays, lesbians, blacks, whites etc.
    I have to make a choice and the bylaws are part of that choice. My association in any organization is determined by common beliefs. I cannot choose not to belong to God's family, I have already made that choice, knowing the faults and weaknesses of all.
    I can however choose to keep away from dangerous circumstances. A lifelong scouter, I choose to remove myself from danger. As the scriptures say, I choose this day to follow...

  • Brave heart Springville , UT
    Jan. 28, 2013 7:19 p.m.

    If you claim to be a member of the LDS church then you adopt its teachings and views, which are to show love and tolerance to homosexuals. So why is it different to allow gay members in your ward and allow gay scouts and leaders?

  • Claudio Springville, Ut
    Jan. 28, 2013 7:28 p.m.

    Re: Patriot

    Any real "patriot" or Christian for that matter would never stoop so low as to call his brothers "disgusting" because of an attraction that they were born with.

    Re: Dell

    Why the paranoia over gay men? Why does being gay mean you want to have sex with every guy you see? Does being heterosexual mean you want to have sex with every woman? I hope not, because if it does, I don't know what orientation I am as I wouldn't fall in either category.

  • I Bleed Blue Las Vegas, NV
    Jan. 28, 2013 7:45 p.m.

    There should be no problem with it as long as you don't act on it or try to promote it during a scout activity.

  • Physics27 Cedar City, UT
    Jan. 28, 2013 7:57 p.m.

    All of the reports don't seem to differentiate between being homosexual and living a homosexual lifestyle. I have absolutely nothing against homosexuals. We are all unique. I do believe that all scouts and leaders should agree to live morally straight. This has nothing to do with their sexual orientation. I do believe that a homosexual lifestyle is not morally straight. I will not bully those who live that way. Condoning that type of lifestyle as morally straight is not going to help anyone. We can relabel things all we want, but in the end we are not the judges.

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Jan. 28, 2013 7:58 p.m.

    I grew-up around scouting, my father was a scout master for 30 years, I and both of my brothers are Eagle Scouts, I was and assistant scout master for 5 years. It broke my heart when I had to walk away from scouting but I just could not support the decisions they where making when t came to allowing gays to continue to participate I scouting. While it makes me sad to see so many comments from people talking about leaving scouting over ending the discrimination I do understand, I however am over joyed at the possibility that I can once again be proud of my roots.

  • Brasil KAYSVILLE, UT
    Jan. 28, 2013 7:58 p.m.

    The Scout Oath:
    On my honor I will do my best
    To do my duty to God and my county
    and obey the Scout Law;
    To help other people at all times;
    To keep myself physically strong,
    mentally awake, and morally straight.

    Doesn't the Scout Oath that has been around for 100 years mean anything to the current Scout executives?
    Because I grew up with the thought that it really meant something to stand up for and live by.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Jan. 28, 2013 7:58 p.m.

    @ Happy Valley. Hate? You throw that word around too easily. Disagreement does not equal hate. Disagreement means I have the choice to distance myself from those I disagree with. I don't hate polygamists either but I don't want them to lead my BSA troop either.

  • Paper Cut ,
    Jan. 28, 2013 8:08 p.m.

    What's the big deal? You may not be aware, but there are currently lots of gay scout leaders and scouts. Does it make a difference if they aren't officially "out?"

  • Mount Olympus Salt Lake, UT
    Jan. 28, 2013 8:19 p.m.

    Nothing against gays, but I don't know how this would ever work.

    I wouldn't want a heterosexual man going on campouts with my daughters.
    I wouldn't want a homosexual man going on campouts with my sons.

  • S.Andrew Zaelit Deseret, UT
    Jan. 28, 2013 8:22 p.m.

    The problem with this decision is it potentially opens up the individual Chartering Organizations to an endless stream of discrimination lawsuits with no support from the BSA in Texas. The LDS Church, Evangelicals, Protestants, and Catholic faiths are the largest Chartering Organizations in this nation and I have heard account for 60% of the leaders and youth. These organizations will not spend precious dollars defending themselves in court they will simply leave. Regardless of your organizational size if you lose that many participants you cease to exist. The AHG is hurting the GSA and there are enough resources that a similar organization could be started for young men. This whole mess is being driven by 2 executives looking to cement a legacy for themselves at the expense of over half the BSA membership. I will wait and see what the LDS Church does but if they walk there will be a host walking behind them. Baden Powell set the standard and in 2013 it looks as if the BSA is willing to denounce the movements founder for nothing more than self image. Clean, reverent, morally straight, trustworthy, and honest. Not out of date and takes courage to follow.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Jan. 28, 2013 8:23 p.m.

    "The Boy Scouts would not, under any circumstances, dictate a position to units, members or parents," Smith told BSA spokesman Deron Smith told USA Today. "Under this proposed policy, the BSA would not require any chartered organization to act in ways inconsistent with that organization's mission, principles or religious beliefs."

    Did anyone bother to read the release, or is it just more fun to have an uninformed knee-jerk reaction.

    And to comments like this " as long as there is a policy where gay scout leaders are not allowed (or other reasonable limits) to promote/evangelize their sexual orientation with the scouts."

    Gay or straight, no one should be "promoting their sexual orientation"

    Geez people. Take a breath.

  • Rocket Science Brigham City, UT
    Jan. 28, 2013 8:50 p.m.

    As an LDS member and long time scouter I plan to wait until a decision is reached, a announcement is made and I hear words of direction from those in leadership whom trust rather rush to judgement on something I do not have sufficient information. I plan to give to friends of Scouting, continue to serve locally in my district and in my ward.

    I will not renounce my Eagle Scout or Silver Beaver awards. I will continue to live the scout oath and law as the ideals and values of Scouting were instilled in me for life so many years ago. I plan to give to and solicit for Friends of Scouting, give time and energy to support an encourage boys and young men in one of the greatest organizations for men the world has ever known.

    Please note the LDS Church is not so deeply involved in BSA just for LDS boys and YM but rather for all young men.

  • Monsieur le prof Sandy, UT
    Jan. 28, 2013 8:50 p.m.

    I agree with Claudio: the church won't pull out of scouting just because of this decision. It does sound disconcerting to have a homosexual leading a bunch of young men, but scouts do use double leadership, so the boys shouldn't be alone. If something inappropriate should happen, however, that decision might come to a screaming halt. Time will tell.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Jan. 28, 2013 9:12 p.m.

    The LDS church isn't going to approve/call a scout leader who isn't living the "law of chastity" so it doesn't matter if they're gay or straight. Gay LDS members, who choose to remain in the church, shouldn't have to hide who they are or pretend they're someone they're not (ex.bachelor who just can't find the right girl to marry).... If they are gay, but living according to current church standards there should be no issues.

  • OHBU Columbus, OH
    Jan. 28, 2013 9:14 p.m.

    For all of you predicting doom and gloom for the BSA if they go this route, I'm afraid you'll be disappointed. People said the same thing about the GSA when they lost the discrimination. Guess what? Still going strong, even without LDS troops. Besides, LDS troops can still have that as a requirement if they so choose, so you won't see any major difference.

    For all of you worried about them abusing children and proselytizing their "lifestyle" (whatever that even means), gay people do not have a higher rate of pedophilia. For example, "Groth and Birnbaum (1978) studied 175 adult males who were convicted in Massachusetts of sexual assault against a child. None of the men had an exclusively homosexual adult sexual orientation." Many other studies find similar results: "Dr. Carole Jenny and her colleagues reviewed 352 medical charts, representing all of the sexually abused children seen in the emergency room or child abuse clinic...The molester was a gay or lesbian adult in only 2 of the 269 cases"

    Finally, straight parents have gay children, gay parents have straight children. It's not taught, so no amount of 'proselytizing' will turn your child gay.

  • ManInTheMiddle SANDY, UT
    Jan. 28, 2013 9:21 p.m.

    I hope they allow gays to be involved. Right now you would be crazy to put "Eagle Scout" on a resume. You may not like it, but it's reality. Branding yourself as an Eagle Scout is career suicide in 2013.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Jan. 28, 2013 9:21 p.m.

    As has been mentioned the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints does not support the Girl Scouts of America. Individuals may choose to participate but the LDS Church doesn't support it. I actually see the LDS Church turning its back on the Boy Scouts of America if this is done and going strictly to the Duty to God Program. Is it any wonder that this was put into place. As someone else mentioned if the religious organization is in a lawsuit the BSA will not support it, leaving that organization to fight it out in court. One of the great supporters of Scouting is the LDS Church and President Monson is a lifelong scout. This program has been an institution in the Church for many years. However, the morality question comes into play. As long as one has same-sex attraction but doesn't act on that attraction they will be ok to serve. Living the lifestyle would not be condoned as it isn't condoned today.

  • sky2k1 Provo, UT
    Jan. 28, 2013 9:44 p.m.

    I am down with equality and fairness and I think that the boys should be allowed to participate, whatever their decision about who they like. That being said, I wouldn't be comfortable with gay leaders. Not because they would push their lifestyle on my kid, but because I wouldn't be comfortable with my son doing some overnight activity with a female leader just like I wouldn't want my daughter doing an overnight activity with a male leader. That's my 2 cents anyways.

  • Go Big Blue!!! Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 28, 2013 10:01 p.m.

    I was a scout master for both of my sons. My oldest son is gay and strugled at times with being picked on by older boys as a scout, but he worked hard in scouting and set a great example. My younger son is an eagle scout and loves scouting and scout activities. Both sons are men of integrity that live by the scout law. Both sons have been great scouts in my eyes.

    There is still much to be learned about same sex attraction. As a member of the LDS Church I don't think it is appropriate for those envolved in scouting to promote a gay lifestyle. At the same time I don't think it is appropriate to discriminate against boys who are still figuring out who they are or to discriminate against men who are living a chaste life regardless of their sexual orientation.

  • Y71 COLLEGE STATION, TX
    Jan. 28, 2013 10:07 p.m.

    While the BSA statement is clear that local units are free to regulate their troops according to their standards and leadership, for me the greater issue is Friends of Scouting donations. Those moneys are for the council to use at its discretion. I donate to those causes with whom I share values. I quit donating to United Way because Planned Parenthood was a recipient of United Way funding and I cannot condone abortion. For the same reasons, I would not donate any further to BSA.

  • David Centerville, UT
    Jan. 28, 2013 10:10 p.m.

    I am conservative, LDS, a scout leader, and straight. I do not think this announcement will affect the LDS Church position regarding scouting at all. I don't think this will affect the BSA at all. The BSA requires 2 deep leadership, adherence to Safe Scouting principles, does not tolerate physical, mental or sexual abuse of any kind, and does not allow hazing. Obviously I included much more here than revolves around the topic of this news article.

    A gay scout leader will be required to adhere to safe scouting requirements, 2 deep leadership, and all BSA policies. I am confident that a gay scout leader can exercise self-discipline as well as a straight scout leader regarding sexual behavior.

    I feel that the law of chastity and the laws of sexual purity pertain to straight and gay people equally. Sexual purity before marriage and complete fidelity to one's spouse after marriage. I believe in the sanctity of the family, and that marriage is a sacred contract between a man, a woman, and God.

    Given this, I still do not see where a gay scout leader cannot serve in the BSA.

    My position has evolved the past 12 months.

  • Artemisia Tridentata Hawthorne, NV
    Jan. 28, 2013 10:12 p.m.

    As a 30 plus adult scout leader, I have never been aware of any policy on excluding boys from participation based on sexual orientation. Sexual orientation is not part of any scout program. It is not an issue. There has been a recommended restriction for leaders, based on the Youth Protection program. No one in the BSA does any checking. Leaders are provided by the sponsoring organizations and they use their own criteria. If the Chartered Organization Head signs the application it is processed by BSA. This is not a big change. And, given the current research as has been referenced earler, it is not a big deal eather. If you are making a big deal out of this, you probably wern't paying our FOS anyway. So, now you have an "excuse".

  • David Centerville, UT
    Jan. 28, 2013 10:14 p.m.

    Additionally, the BSA policy allows local units and chartered organizations to conduct restrictions. If the LDS church, of which I am a member, does not allow gay men to serve, then that is allowed under BSA policy. I will not enjoy seeing the tremendous pressure that homosexual groups will put upon the LDS church, and the violence that has attended protests against the church by gay groups in the past. I hope gays have moved beyond hatred towards the LDS church (think prop 8 in California).

    I will accept whatever the LDS church presents upon this issue. I will have no problem serving as a Scout leader. I love scouting, I love the LDS church and the gospel of Christ.

  • junkgeek Agua Dulce, TX
    Jan. 28, 2013 10:31 p.m.

    This is what saves the BSA. Follow the money.

    (And for the bigots -- keep in mind that per BSA policy and LDS policy, a gay and celibate LDS youth could participate fully in his ward and quorum but not in the troop associated with the quorum. This actually brings BSA into compliance with LDS standards.

    It's all still about the money. They can't survive without the Church, and now this gives them a fighting chance.

  • Jack Aurora, CO
    Jan. 28, 2013 10:34 p.m.

    While many try to wax prophetic about what the LDS Church will and won't do about this, understand that President Monson sits on that board and has had and will continue to have a great deal of input to the decision. As in all things, watch what he says and follow it, you won't go wrong.

    A new policy will not make the Church do anything different, and since the Chartering Organizations have the responsibility to monitor membership in their organizations, it really won't affect them.

  • WACPaddingOurSchedule pocatello, ID
    Jan. 28, 2013 10:45 p.m.

    All this talk is still in the consideration stage. With that said, I agree with what has been brought up about potential lawsuits against church sponsored troops. So the BSA is going to have a different standard for religious sponsored troops, really? Either everyone play by the same rules or don't change anything. Right there is the problem because the door is opening up to change scouting. How far will that door open? Too much is never enough for people of any group pushing an agenda. That includes alternative lifestyle supporters.

    Interesting though. It's almost as if the LDS church saw this coming, especially with the mission eligibility changes. 12-18 boys are being steered in the mission prep direction now more than ever before. Scouting will take a back seat in my opinion and others as well in wards everywhere. And yes it's possible LDS, Baptist, Catholic and others that sponsor troops could stop.

  • Getter-upper Orem, UT
    Jan. 28, 2013 10:47 p.m.

    There is no doubt that this change had already been discussed with the LDS Church and other Large Chartering units (Catholics etc.). The LDS Church will not drop scouting. This change actually aligns BSA gay policy with the LDS Church. Gay and Lesbians can serve and be active, temple worthy members as long as they live a chaste lifestyle. Right now an active LDS Gay 16 year old could be excluded from Scouts under the current BSA policy. I find it ironic that some LDS scouters say they will no longer donate to the Scouts if they make this change? Does that mean they will stop paying tithing too? Since the scout policy would align with Church policy! As a active LDS Member and scouter (with 3 boys in scouts) I welcome this change to allow all of God's children (young men) to participate in scouts and gay men leaders to serve in scouts if they meet the chartering organizations requirements.

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Jan. 28, 2013 10:57 p.m.

    @brasil
    I have no doubt the oath holds great meaning to you and the current leaders but I also think they as many of us do would disagree with your interpretation of what those words mean and what it therefore means to follow the oath.

  • happylife OREM, UT
    Jan. 28, 2013 11:07 p.m.

    This would be the end to scouting. The Southern Baptist Convention also put out a post that makes it clear that their support would also end if this policy changes. What's the big deal many people ask, being morally straight as part of the scout oath. If they change that, then scouting has no meaning. Of course, I suppose it would be possible for a person who is gay to continue to be morally straight and that would even be fine with me. But a practicing gay who advocates the lifestyle - no way. Scouting will end and should end as a statement on our corrupt society. I won't be using UPS or Intel anymore as they recently dropped their corporate support for scouting over this issue thus bringing about this reconsideration.

  • morganh Orem, Utah
    Jan. 28, 2013 11:07 p.m.

    the scout oath says that a scout is morally straight. To change their policy, means that the BSA would now be contradicting their oath. Also changing their policy could cause one of their biggest supporters the LDS Church to sever their ties. I am a proud Eagle Scout who believes a scout should be morally straight and a change in their policy means that living a moral life is no longer something a scout should strive for.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 12:03 a.m.

    Morally straight means...

    heterosexual?

    How about a standard here people.

    Just because someone is gay does not make them bad.

    What has a gay person factually DONE to you to warrant such hatred?

  • SportsFann Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 12:32 a.m.

    The thing that is weird to me is what difference does it make? I don't care if someone is gay or straight. I don't understand why so many gay people want to make their private lives public. I don't care who people are with in their private lives and I would not want a heterosexual person talking about sex any more than their gay counterpart. So why does a person feel like they have to talk about such a private part of their life. Obviously, in some cases, this topic would come up if someone marries their partner, but no one is necessarily forcing people to disclose their sexual preference. I have no fear of a gay man being a Scout leader at all. I just don't know why it always has to be brought up. Good luck to everyone. I hope civility reigns supreme as this moves forward.

  • Paul Scholes Provo, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 5:10 a.m.

    I think that one or two years ago even this would have caused a big problem within the LDS Church. Like so many other organizations and individuals of the past year or two, the LDS Church has softened its anti-gay stance tremendously. While in many ways, I would not mind seeing the LDS Church reconsider its use of the Scouting program, doing so over this issue would constitute a move away from its recent, more tolerant gay outreach. I don't see it happening.

    As an Eagle Scout and active member member of the LDS faith, I would welcome gay scouts and gay scout leaders. My Eagle award will not change in value one way or another. The ability of our children to effectively and lovingly interact with those who are different from themselves would increase. I want my children to interact with and be led by people of high moral integrity and have found such individuals in both the heterosexual and gay communities. I would welcome a more tolerant stance by the BSA.

  • Ricardo Carvalho Provo, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 5:22 a.m.

    As an active member of the LDS faith and an Eagle Scout, I would support this move by the BSA.

  • TA1 Alexandria, VA
    Jan. 29, 2013 5:40 a.m.

    As one of the previous posters said - "take a deep breath" and calm down - learn to be responsible for your own actions and stop trying to expect your beliefs to be legislated - with this pending change - that era is over - we all need to grow up and be accountable for how we act. No longer can you say - "I lived the law” (e.g. - no Gays in BSA) - now you will be required to actually show how you set the example (of treating everyone - including Gays - the same) and be willing to be held accountable for what you do.

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    Jan. 29, 2013 5:48 a.m.

    I worry more about those of you that protest so loudly than I do the humanity of equal rights.

  • Rynn Las Vegas, NV
    Jan. 29, 2013 5:54 a.m.

    It's about discrimination. I'm sure that most people here would consider it discrimination to say "All Mormons are...(a negative description)." So why is it acceptable to say "All homosexuals are...(a negative description)."

  • The Dixie Kid Saint George, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 6:13 a.m.

    This probably will not get rid of the BSA in Utah, but hopefully it get rids of Friends of Scouting.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 6:21 a.m.

    A lot of folks are missing the point by blaming the church or supposing the church is against this. They're behind it--or rather someone's noticed the LDS's position is a wise and decent one and they're reflecting it in the overall BSA.

    The vote is actually to move closer to the LDS position on gay leadership and scouts. The Scouts aren't abandoning moral principles, they're encouraging discipline and tolerance, while remaining stalwart on moral character.

  • SolarMan Albuquerque, NM
    Jan. 29, 2013 7:11 a.m.

    If this is approved, I will discontinue my Friends of Scouting donation.

  • Coug420 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 7:10 a.m.

    Wow, I am shocked. Not at the notion that the BSA may allow gay scouts or leaders but the intolerance and homophobia of people on this message board. The church allows gay men and women to obtain callings, hold temple recommends and serve in various capacities already. Some are open about their same-sex attraction and others are not. Some are married, some are single.

    They are just held to the same standards as everyone else. In the LDS church, it is very uncommon to be a youth leader, including scoutmaster and assistants, without being able to hold a temple recommend. How would things change so dramatically if the BSA lifted its ban? Scouts being the activity arm of the church would not change. Also, scout leaders can't be alone with the youth anyway. There are plenty of straight men that have harmed youth so there are safeguards in place.

    As for allowing gay scouts, this shouldn't even be a question. How can a humble follower of Christ not welcome any young man with open arms to activities? May he who is without sin cast the first stone.

  • Redhair Alpine, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 7:37 a.m.

    I was very happy to hear this news break today! As an active member of the LDS Church, I see very positive steps toward acceptance of our LGBT Brothers and Sisters. A gay young man is now welcome at BYU, and can also serve a full time mission for the Church while living within the standards of morality. How could we possible say that there is a place for you in the Church EXCEPT if you are a young man between the ages of 12-18 years old? As someone who has seen first hand the damage of a young man who is gay not feeling welcome, accepted, or embraced by his Ward, and making a decision to "leave", overturning this position by the BSA just feels like a very positive step in the right direction!

  • Eliyahu Pleasant Grove, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 7:52 a.m.

    The erroneous thinking in many of these responses is an assumption that gay = pedophile and that anyone who is homosexual is going to be hitting on everyone he sees. Neither is true any more than an assumption that all heterosexuals try to have sex with every woman or girl they contact. The LDS church, like most churches, teaches young people that they shouldn't engage in premarital sex. If we assume that good scouts will follow that teaching, particularly during scouting activities, what difference does it make whether the people they aren't having sex with are male or female?

    Yes,there have been some adult scout leaders who have abused boys. There are also adult leaders who have abused girls. Is the answer to ban all adults from contact with boys and girls, or is the better solution to do a little screening and keep an eye on things?

  • ruraljohnboy Duchesne, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 8:20 a.m.

    My prediction is that the LDS Church would not withdraw from scouting if the ban on gays is lifted, because the chartered organization can still decide whether or not to include gays. The death knell for BSA in Utah will come when they try to collect Friends of Scouting donations.

  • skooby SOUTH JORDAN, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 8:22 a.m.

    As an Active LDS person and currently serving on our Ward's Scout Committee.

    The main issue is that if the BSA caters to the will of whomever, where would it stop?

    Personally, I wish that the LDS church would do their own form of simplified scouting. I know the reality is that attendance for a Scout does not typically extend beyond 14 years of age. If this was more like the Young Women's program I feel it would better prepare young men for their future.

    Also it is unclear if this up-coming vote extends to the Cub Scouting program.

    Another possibility is that this could also extend to gay scouts and not gay leaders.

    Friends of Scouting traditionally is very difficult. Every year this comes up there are always groans. It will be next to impossible if this passes. Not sure where the burden of necessary funds would need to come from.

    Not to mention the potential for litigation from the families of deceased scouting members who donated land and funds to a scouting program that they would not support.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 8:57 a.m.

    For those who are confused by "Morally Straight"

    What do we mean when we talk about “Morally Straight”? How do we explain that to our Scouts when our Scouts come from many different backgrounds, family dynamics, and religious beliefs? Simply put, a Scout is clean in thought, word, and deed.

  • boris Provo, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 8:57 a.m.

    The LDS church should abandon the BSA not because of this change but because it hasn't happened sooner. The LDS church welcomes gay/lesbian members of the church as long as their lives and actions are within the moral boundaries that the church sets.

    On another note, holding up the BSA as a standard of morality is a bit odd to me. The dirtiest jokes, worst bullying, and glorification of violence as a young teenager all came from my time in scouts. It certainly wasn't the intent of the BSA or my leaders but that is simply what went on at the camps and activities I attended.

  • Woody Newbury Park, CA
    Jan. 29, 2013 9:03 a.m.

    This is a particularly difficult question for Mormons. I will wait for the reasoned and inspired comments I expect from President Monson.

  • Eric the Half-bee Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 9:04 a.m.

    This is only an issue to the BSA. Scouts Canada, Scouts Australia, and other national Scouting organizations worldwide admit all freely - male, female and in-between - and their programs are thriving. It is high time to openly serve all youth, regardless of background. Scouting will not die, nor will Sir Robert spin in his grave. Scouting is about Character with a Purpose and Citizenship. Local organizations will still determine their own composition, so if you have a narrow mind, you can always find a Troop that shares it. I will welcome anyone who wishes into my Troop.

  • MapleDon Springville, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 9:08 a.m.

    And those of you who claim the Church will no longer be connected to BSA, you're wrong. The BSA is rethinking their policy is because the Church rethought and revised theirs. It's now nothing more than don't ask, don't tell. Then, in ten years or less, it won't matter.

  • Willie Saint George, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 9:25 a.m.

    It would be so awesome if the first announcement at General Conf in April is that there will no longer be any affiliation with scouting. The YM Program is fully capable of building great young men without scouting. More emphasis could then be placed on building their spirituality which is desperately needed right now. The youth would also be excited to not have to deal with scouting on mutual night or at any other time. Most of the youth have outgrown what scouting has to offer. There are just too many other activities to be involved with. The leaders would be thrilled not to be involved anymore and especially when it comes to friends of scouting. It would be a great move.

  • MapleDon Springville, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 9:26 a.m.

    You can actually read the story elsewhere. One of the main reasons the BSA is rethinking its policy is due to the LDS Church's recently softened stance on homosexuality. The Church has gone out of its way to invite LBGT activists to events and discussions since Prop 8. The Church's now gay-friendly tone has influenced the BSA to rethink theirs.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 9:30 a.m.

    It's sad that so many organizations around here are always at least a generation behind reality.
    If BSA does this, I may actually encourage my kids to follow through on getting an Eagle.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 9:31 a.m.

    Sadly, I'm not shocked at the bigotry and hatred in these comments.
    It starts at home and where you are on Sundays.
    Time to do unto to others....

  • Wildcat O-town, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 9:44 a.m.

    South Park has an episode specifically covering this issue where a gay scout leader that is doing a good job is removed by the concerned parent an replaced by a man's man type that ends up molesting the children. It's kind of funny, but mostly scary to see it being replayed here.

    David brings up many good points. There are measures in place for all scout leaders. I agree with his attitude. I will say it was the LDS church that fired the first shot in Prop 8, by putting a lot of money, and trying to use church organization to fight it. Instead of it being pushed in a respectful manner, many went too aggressive, finally the first presidency had to issue a statement reigning it in. I agree, some in the gay community were too aggressive and disrespectful, but there were some in the LDS community just as bad, and they fired the first shot, they have some fault as well.

  • Dave D Pocatello, ID
    Jan. 29, 2013 9:45 a.m.

    I'm an eagle scout. I think this gives LDS-sponsored units a wonderful opportunity to prove that they can love and appreciate their gay brothers for who they are.

  • DanTMan North Richland Hills, TX
    Jan. 29, 2013 9:46 a.m.

    This is the LDS Church policy on "Homosexual Behavior and Same-Gender Attraction":

    "Homosexual behavior violates the commandments of God, is contrary to the purposes of human sexuality, and deprives people of the blessings that can be found in family life and in the saving ordinances of the gospel. Those who persist in such behavior or who influence others to do so are subject to Church discipline. Homosexual behavior can be forgiven through sincere repentance.

    If members engage in homosexual behavior, Church leaders should help them have a clear understanding of faith in Jesus Christ, the process of repentance, and the purpose of life on earth.

    While opposing homosexual behavior, the Church reaches out with understanding and respect to individuals who are attracted to those of the same gender.

    If members feel same-gender attraction but do not engage in any homosexual behavior, leaders should support and encourage them in their resolve to live the law of chastity and to control unrighteous thoughts. These members may receive Church callings. If they are worthy and qualified in every other way, they may also hold temple recommends and receive temple ordinances."

    I will comment on this below.

  • Hamfischer American Fork, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 9:53 a.m.

    Anyone who thinks this might prompt the LDS Church to abandon Scouting hasn't been paying attention to the LDS Church's position regarding the gay community. Visit the Church's web site regarding the matter and you'll see that the church is much more likely to welcome gay scouts and develop a well-reasoned policy regarding gay scout leaders than it is to drop Scouting.

  • DanTMan North Richland Hills, TX
    Jan. 29, 2013 10:02 a.m.

    See my previous post before reading this one.

    I know people will interpret LDS Church policy differently but I think its rather clear. Same gender attraction is wrong and needs to be overcome. BUT for me (straight married man) it’s also wrong for me to have attraction to other women. I would need to overcome that and definitely not act on them.

    Maybe this all a matter of semantics, but an active gay Mormon would be someone who is working on overcoming the same gender attraction. I personally would not consider them gay just like I wouldn't consider a straight married man an adulterer for having thoughts about another woman.

    I think there’s a lot of speculation as to what the LDS Church may do about BSA if the ban was lifted. I can see them sticking with it and I can also see them abandoning it. I have told others that LDS units outside of the US (and Canada) have had great Young Men without a scouting program. The work of the Lord will go on regardless.

  • Brave heart Springville , UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 10:12 a.m.

    @ WIllie

    I don't agree with your statement that it would be "awesome" for the church to announce a separation from the BSA in the upcoming conference. You are completely missing the point of scouting. It's not a program to teach kids to a have certain sexual orientation, it completely ignores that. The real mission of scouting is to teach kids many wonderful skills that will prepare them to live in a world where they will be challenged to question their values, and at times to use what they learned from scouting to stand up for what they believe in. I agree with a previous poster where he says that whatever the BSA decides on the matter, his Eagle award will still mean the same to him as it always did. With that being said, any young man, regardless of their sexual orientation, should not be denied to reap the benefits from the scouting program.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 10:19 a.m.

    FYI?

    Kelsey Timmerman turned in his Eagle Scout badge because, of the BSA anti-gay stance.

    7/24/12

  • lawrence2409 Draper, Utah
    Jan. 29, 2013 10:24 a.m.

    The LDS church has gradually tried to transition the scouting program into a comprehensive young men's program incorporating the activities of scouting and Duty to God/LDS teachings. They haven't been able to do that successfully because both programs are stand-alone and the combination of both is too time intensive. The quality of both pursuits is not optimal anymore. I hope they officially pull out of BSA and create their own program in the mold of their young women's program.

  • very concerned Sandy, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 10:27 a.m.

    As for me, an Eagle Scout and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints, I predict The Church will leave the BSA if this is passed. Personally, I am sympathetic to such a move by The Church. Just my opinion.

    The church already has a number of fantastic youth resources that could take the place of scouting. Think of the new youth curriculum. Yes, it would be a sad thing to part ways with the BSA, and yes, it would be a commentary on current society morals, but it could be done. The church is well within its rights to leave the BSA if it bows to the pressure of a few (relatively speaking) vocal people or groups.

    Fundamentally, homosexual behavior is not in harmony with the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Personally, I believe the Church's recent teachings on same-sex attraction do not mean it ought to sponsor an a group (BSA) that doesn't uphold standards The Church holds: that doesn't hold its personnel to the highest moral values. Why would you force an organization to do so?

  • very concerned Sandy, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 10:31 a.m.

    I cannot imagine Lord Baden-Powell ever considering homosexuality as a virtue for his scouts to emulate. Neither it's leaders. I just don't see it to be in harmony with what he taught. The leaders should embody traditional virtues. Some fail, but the majority do not.


    As already stated, I don’t think it is hate or fear that underpins this position. The church teaches its members love and compassion, but also, in order to be loyal and true to the Lord, His gospel, and His commandments, it teaches against the transgression of homosexual behavior. Neither do I believe it means the church is moving inevitably toward acceptance of gay behavior. I see it as inspired counsel that the Lord loves all of us, no matter what we do.

    And please don’t discount the legal ramifications already mentioned

    Having said all that, I do appreciate a church that teaches us to love our brothers and sisters, despite behavior or orientation. It calms my soul to know that the Lord loves those who violate major commandments. It gives me hope for my little imperfect soul.

    Just my guess.

  • AlanSutton Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 10:35 a.m.

    The Girl Scouts do not allow men to serve as leaders at girls' camps. There is a good reason for that policy. The same reason applies here: the BSA should not allow men who are sexually attracted to other men to serve as scout leaders and camp with boys. It's that simple.

  • Eliot Santaquin, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 10:35 a.m.

    On my honor I will do my best
    To do my duty to God and my country
    and to obey the Scout Law;
    To help other people at all times;
    To keep myself physically strong,
    mentally awake, and morally straight.

    Will BSA change the oath from morally straight to, perhaps, morally whatever?

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 10:34 a.m.

    Scouting has created more work, division and contention in my religion than any other single activity.

    If the LDS Church severs it's ties to the Boys Scouts of America, millions of Moms and Dads will rejoice!!!

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 10:39 a.m.

    To be a scout in this area, as shown by the comments here, is to belong to a movement pretty much hijacked by the mormon church. How is it that's OK but the idea of a couple of gay members is so off putting? And it would only be a few members, probably almost none in Utah. Let's face it, changing policies or laws doesn't get change a fearful culture.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 10:48 a.m.

    Being "gay" is a condition of mortality. Nobody will be "gay" in the hereafter.

  • dustman Nampa, ID
    Jan. 29, 2013 10:59 a.m.

    I'm a boy scout leader and serve with an LDS unit.

    First, same sex attraction is not the same as wanting to be a member of the opposite sex.

    Second, Heterosexual behavior outside the bonds of marriage is a no-no in LDS church. If someone admits that he is attracted to the same sex, as long as it isn't acted upon, its no biggie.

    Third, Jesus taught to love the sinner but not the sin.

    Fourth, LDS church is free to follow it or not. they can make thier own policies. If the church leaves, and I doubt they will, it just looks bad.

  • JDL Magna, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 11:00 a.m.

    Hutterite:

    The LDS Church has not hijacked the Boys Scout in this area. I think you make that statement because you are offended because the LDS Church will not endorse homosexuality and you remain angry.

    There are hundreds of non LDS Scout Units in Utah and across the organization.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    Jan. 29, 2013 11:07 a.m.

    Why does it matter is scouts and scout leaders are gay?

    They go camping and sleep together in tents. School teachers don't do that.
    Do you want your son sharing a tent with another boy that may be sexually attracted to him?

  • JDL Magna, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 11:16 a.m.

    BSA has been very good at developing and working with every sponsoring organization to adapt it to their particular needs. The LDS Church is a perfect example of Aaronic Priesthood/Boy Scout adaptation.

    I'm not sure but this may be what Hutterite means by Hijacking. It's evident to me that the moral paradigm in the world has shifted significantly. Some hold fast to the Jude o-Christian long recognized morality and others have detached themselves in ways and others have completely abandoned any moral standard.

    This seems to be a defining moment for BSA. The LDS Church will always stay independent of the worlds drifting moral shifts.

  • busy mom Stansbury Park/Tooele, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 11:27 a.m.

    In regards to Anon123 comment,

    We will still hold the same standard for homosexual scouts ( no sex before marriage ) is just ignorant.

    Immoral and extreme sexual behavior of both heterosexual married couples and homosexually couples is still sin.

  • Speak2Truth Santa Rosa, CA
    Jan. 29, 2013 11:33 a.m.

    This is a prelude to the Boy Scouts suffering what has already been done to the Girl Scouts.

    There are countless horror stories of the girls being victimized and indoctrinated by their own gay scout leaders - as well as being taught to hate males. Please Google this subject to learn more. This is one anecdote:

    "As a Boy Scout leader, my troop was at a large Boy Scout owned campground that also admitted Girl Scout troops. During the evening campfire, where everyone does skits, the girls’ skits were all focused on hating boys and men. The girls’ leaders were egging them on to be more contemptuous of the boys. The leaders had rage on their face and fire in their eyes. It was shocking to see how much hatred they were passing on to the young girls. The parents in my troop told me that their girls, who were girl scouts (not at this event) were being taught a radical feminist agenda in their troops, and that they had taken their girls out of the organization."

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 11:53 a.m.

    re:Dave D

    would you be willing to send your 12 year old son in to the back woods camping for a week with some of those "gay brothers" leaders you speak of?

  • SportsChemistry ENGLEWOOD, CO
    Jan. 29, 2013 11:58 a.m.

    What a bunch of sellouts. If the BSA really thought there was a problem with gay scoutmasters and scouts, why did they issue their statements last year to the contrary? They didn't mind that they lost the exiled scoutmasters or den leaders and they didn't mind that they lost all those eagle scouts who protested. It wasn't until they started loosing corporate sponsors that they decided to do anything about it. What a bunch of charlatans.

  • Claudio Springville, Ut
    Jan. 29, 2013 12:01 p.m.

    Re: USALover
    "Being "gay" is a condition of mortality. Nobody will be "gay" in the hereafter."
    ====

    No one will be disabled, physically or mentally, nor will they be encumbered by illness. They will also not have to endure a society based on ensuring that some people remain in abject poverty.

    That doesn't mean these things don't exist in the present. Rather than being concerned about what a deity may or may not do in the future, how about we worry about what we can do in the here and now to each other.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Jan. 29, 2013 12:09 p.m.

    "I cannot imagine Lord Baden-Powell ever considering homosexuality as a virtue for his scouts to emulate. "

    Can you say "strawman"?

    Acceptance and emulating are far from the same thing.

    I look at it this way. It is very difficult to believe (using logic) that people choose to be gay.
    Many Religious people seem to have a need to believe that, otherwise it would mean that God made them that way.

    How can so many look at this issue and believe that this is the life that people choose? It just makes NO logical sense.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Jan. 29, 2013 12:15 p.m.

    Remember to have same-sex attraction is not a sin. To act upon that attraction is. This is the problem with this whole thing. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is very clear on this issue and they are very clear on same-sex marriage. Neither are in line with the law of chasity. Therefore, if the LDS Church remains in the scouts and puts forth its own guidelines. Those will be in line with the law of chasity and the LDS Church's definition of marriage. There will be someone who will come in to fight those guidelines pushing the Church into a law suit. Since, the national organization would allow gays to be scouts and leaders the church would be there without a leg to stand on regardless what has been stated to allow organizations such as the Church to administer their program. In the end the Church would withdraw from the Scouts to keep itself free of any such lawsuit.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Jan. 29, 2013 12:24 p.m.

    Have you all still not read the release?

    How will anything change unless the troop wants it to change.

    What is the big deal? Are you all worried about what some other troop in some other state may do?

    I really don't get what all the uproar is.

    Let me restate what many fail to understand.

    The LDS scout troops have no requirement to make a change that allows gay scouts or leaders.

    period.

  • JP71 Ogden, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 12:53 p.m.

    I am an Eagle Scout with 3 boys. We will have nothing to do with BSA if this happens.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Jan. 29, 2013 1:12 p.m.

    Agreed that troops can choose their own path. But do we think it will stay that way? In a few more years will it become required for troops to allow homosexual boys and leaders?

    Scouting is unlike nearly any other organization because it involves boys and leaders camping out in the middle of nowhere for a week at a time.

    Yes, I am fully aware of scout rules regarding two deep leadership and that camping is sometimes done in a developed (well populated) scout camp. But the two deep leadership rule is not always a sufficient protection and high adventure camping is done in wilderness.

    The issue is not always pedophilia. Should we allow a scout who just turned adult to be a leader if he is gay (essentially a 19 year old assistant leader with 16 and 17 year old scouts)? Would we allow a 19 year old female leader? If not, why not and what is the difference?

    What about two gay scouts bunking together? If we allowed female scouts, could a boy and girl bunk together? Again, if not one, why not the other?

    I am not sure of all the answers but undoubtedly this complicates things.

  • Just Wonderin' Midvale, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 1:49 p.m.

    I don't believe in mistreating homosexuals whatsoever; however, I am not entirely comfortable with my husband or son(s) sharing a tent with a homosexual. Am I worried a homosexual will assault them? Not at all. I just think it's particularly awkward with changing and taking care of personal needs. I know my husband would not be wanting to worry about another man checking him out while he's getting ready for the day. I wouldn't be comfortable with that if it were a lesbian. Now I'll wait to get blasted... but I'm just honest.

  • J in AZ San Tan Valley, AZ
    Jan. 29, 2013 1:49 p.m.

    Here's a point for all of you to consider. Scouts Canada is both co-ed and allows gay leaders and youth. The LDS Church is still a major charter partner with Scouts Canada. Since the LDS Church as had experience dealing with the situation in Canada, why would they leave the BSA?

  • John Wilson Idaho Falls, 00
    Jan. 29, 2013 1:51 p.m.

    If the BSA allows homosexual boys to join, I am okay with that as long as they also provide a clear definition of what it means to be morally straight. The world has lost an understanding of what that means, therefore I would suppose many of the boys in scouting, both hetrosexual and homosexual have as well. If the BSA as a whole strengthens their commitment to scouts being morally straight, meaning no sex outside of marriage, then the LDS Church should have no difficulty in continuing to support the scout program.

  • rnoble Pendleton, OR
    Jan. 29, 2013 1:56 p.m.

    As I have read these comments I have at times smiled, at other times frowned and mostly was not surprised. However, I have serious reservations regarding the definition of morally straight in the Scout Oath being used here. It is so much more than descriptive of sexual preference. It is about living a life of integrity and honesty. It is about living up to commitments, and avoiding making commitments that are not part of what you want to be. It is having the courage to seek ways to daily improve one's station in life and one's spiritual, mental, physical, and emotional health. It is about resisting temptations of many kinds including but not limited to sexual dalliance with either gender or self-abuse. It is about choosing to be a contributing part of the community we live in. Wake up people. If persons who think of themselves as "gay" want to participate in Scouting, then they would automatically be exposed to the Scout Oath and Law which in turn, if adhered to and honored, would effect their position as "gay" at least in how they choose to live.

  • J in AZ San Tan Valley, AZ
    Jan. 29, 2013 2:01 p.m.

    Note to John Wilson: In the Boy Scout Handbook

    . . . and morally straight.

    To be a person of strong character, your relationships with others should be honest and open. You should respect and defend the rights of all people. Be clean in your speech and actions, and remain faithful in your religious beliefs. The values you practice as a Scout will help you shape a life of virtue and self-reliance.
    Excerpted from page 45-46, Boy Scout Handbook, 11th ed,
    (#33105), copyright 1998 by BSA, ISBN 0-8395-3105-2

  • J in AZ San Tan Valley, AZ
    Jan. 29, 2013 2:07 p.m.

    For those of you that think that a church can be sued to force it to accept leaders, scout leaders, or employees that don't support the standards of the church need to read the Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC decision of the U.S. Supreme Court. That decision shuts the door on that.

  • Claudio Springville, Ut
    Jan. 29, 2013 2:15 p.m.

    Re: Patriot

    "would you be willing to send your 12 year old son in to the back woods camping for a week with some of those "gay brothers" leaders you speak of?"

    My brother used to have sleepovers at a friend's house whose father was gay. Neither I nor my parents had any problem with it.

    I would have no more of a problem sending my sons with gay leaders who were called to that position by my Bishop, than I would sending them on a camping trip with heterosexual leaders. Before I send my kids out, my list of questions doesn't include "Are you gay?" They include, "Do you have first aid supplies? Do you need any help? When are you planning on getting back?" I'm more concerned about my kids' safety, than if a guy is gay. Gay people aren't any more or less a danger to my sons than heterosexual people.

  • John Wilson Idaho Falls, 00
    Jan. 29, 2013 2:22 p.m.

    Note to J in AZ. "to be clean in your speech and actions". It was not that many years ago, that statement was clearly understood to mean chaste. It is no longer clearly understood, again amoung both heterosexual and homosexual persons. That is the part I want to see the BSA take a strong stand on. If they will not, then they are no longer an organization I can support.

  • John Wilson Idaho Falls, 00
    Jan. 29, 2013 2:25 p.m.

    Also, to J in AZ. "a life of virtue" also used to be clearly understood. Today's shifting morals leave that part no longer clear to many. My recommendation to the BSA is to make clear to the world what it means by virtue.

  • J in AZ San Tan Valley, AZ
    Jan. 29, 2013 2:43 p.m.

    Mr. Wilson,

    Wisely BSA leaves the definition of what 'a life of virtue' means up to the parents of the youth and the organizations that sponsor scouting units. It would be a serious display of arrogance for them to presume to define what that means. BSA works with lots of religious groups that don't agree with each other on what morality fully means as well as lots of groups that sponsor scouting that think that this whole controversy is just silly. It is not the place of the BSA to pick one meaning over another.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Jan. 29, 2013 3:07 p.m.

    Homosexual men should not take boy scouts camping for the same reason that heterosexual men should not take Beehive girls camping.

  • wamba Layton, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 3:45 p.m.

    So glad to see the BSA considering this change. Up until I moved last October, I was a scout leader in my LDS ward, and the BSA's anti-gay policy bothered me. If one of the boys in my priests quorum came out as gay, church policy was that I was supposed to encourage him to keep participating. He can hold a temple recommend and I can take him to do baptisms, but according to the BSA I was supposed to tell him he couldn't come to scout camp? I decided if the situation came up, I would go with the church policy and ignore the scouting anti-gay policy. I am so glad they are finally talking about this change. It is long overdue.

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Jan. 29, 2013 4:07 p.m.

    I assume some type of letter from the First Presidency will be read over the pulpit either this Sunday or the next. It had to come to this. How else could a young man be worthy of the Aaronic Priesthood and receive it or an adult man be worthy of a Temple Recommend yet be denied membership in the scout troop or in the adult's case a calling as a scout leader because of same sex attractions and saying they are gay? When the church made the distinction some time ago between same sex attractions and acting on those attractions it had to come to this conclusion. I think it is the Lord's way of saying, I want to keep these individuals close to me and if they forsake the practices or have never done them and live the commandments there is no need to withhold anything from them. If indeed the church has led the national scouting organization to this position then I applaud the effort.

  • dustman Nampa, ID
    Jan. 29, 2013 4:36 p.m.

    As a Scout leader in an LDS unit, I believe scouting makes boys better men. Gay or not, if you leave scouts as a better man, thank you for showing up. There are plenty of heterosexual kids that could care less about what kind of man they turn out to be.

    I don't know why some would want to lump gay people in the same pile as child molesters. Child molesters that prey on kids of the same sex are not gay, they are predators. Predators look for victims don't care what sex you are, they are only looking for victims.

  • jttheawesome Scranton, PA
    Jan. 29, 2013 6:28 p.m.

    From what I see in these comments, the main point seems to be entirely missed here. Scouting has always been, from the beginning, an organization with faith-based moral values and ethical practices. "Morally straight" in the BSA Oath means precisely what it says. Allowing practicing homosexuals to lead these boys, is to expose them to the almost irresistible temptation to "experiment" with some of their more vulnerable young men. This has already happened too many times, as the unfortunately long and growing list of abuse cases within the BSA all too well demonstrates. Insofar as admitting young men who either admit to being gay, or think they are, the code of conduct remains fixed - for now. Any kind of sexual misconduct is forbidden, as an honor-bearing scout, no matter what or to whom one is attracted to. By allowing individual troops to determine what is or is not "morally straight" is to virtually destroy BSA from the inside out, and the code of conduct which has stood for over a century, will vanish.

  • Jack Aurora, CO
    Jan. 29, 2013 6:38 p.m.

    OK, all you LDS folks who want the Church to drop Scouting, or make it like the Young Women.....you just don't get it. Boys learn differently than girls. Boys learn best when outdoors, when challenged, when they achieve goals. Girls learn best when they feel good about themselves. This is taught in Scout leader training, most school teachers understand it and if one looks at Elder Christofferson's address from last Conference, you see it there too. Trying to make boys learn like the girls do is a recipe for failure. Scouting was adopted to replace the Church's own scouting program in 1913 and those reasons are still valid today. If your ward is losing boys at 14, fix your Varsity program! If the program is weak the boys will leave! Don't blame the program for the shortcomings of the leaders, trying to present a small slice of Scouting and then wondering why the boys leave is blind....

  • Outlier Vancouver, BC
    Jan. 29, 2013 8:30 p.m.

    We went through this in Canada years ago.....there is no "ban" at the National level on gay leaders, however, each sponsor is allowed to have their own rules for admission, which for the Church would mean no pracicing gays could hold the calling of a Scout leader. For the past decade+ this has not been an issue here.

    As for a gay youth, I don't think they were ever "banned" in Scouts Canada (such a rule would be more restrictive than in the Church, where no such rule exists).

  • WACPaddingOurSchedule pocatello, ID
    Jan. 29, 2013 8:36 p.m.

    jttheawesome
    Scranton, PA
    From what I see in these comments, the main point seems to be entirely missed here. Scouting has always been, from the beginning, an organization with faith-based moral values and ethical practices. "Morally straight" in the BSA Oath means precisely what it says.

    By allowing individual troops to determine what is or is not "morally straight" is to virtually destroy BSA from the inside out, and the code of conduct which has stood for over a century, will vanish.

    ___________

    I can see non religious sponsored troops suffering as a result of this. Individuals and groups will refuse to donate or support. Because they belong to the BSA which also includes church sponsored troops, which can set their own limits.

  • Jack Aurora, CO
    Jan. 29, 2013 9:46 p.m.

    "morally straight" is defined in the Scout Handbook, page 23, as "your relationships with other should be honest and open. Respect and defend the rights of all people. Be clean in your speech and actions and be faithful in your religious beliefs."

    So, who is missing the point?

  • mattrick78 Cedar City, UT
    Jan. 30, 2013 4:33 a.m.

    "Homosexual men should not take boy scouts camping for the same reason that heterosexual men should not take Beehive girls camping."

    @JSB How do you know that celibate Gay LDS men are not already taking boy scouts camping?

  • gchris rock springs, wy
    Jan. 30, 2013 7:27 a.m.

    One of the definitions of "morally straight" in the LDS faith is abstinence from premarital sex. If a young man who happens to have a sexual attraction to other young men never acts on his urges and never announces his sexual preference, who would know? "Don't ask, don't tell" is the perfect policy for scouting because there is nothing to be gained by either the scout or the organization from making a big deal of it. Homosexuals seem to have a need to announce to the straight world that they are gay. I, for one, really don't care as long as that preference doesn't affect my life. I do think that adult supervision of camping activities will take on new significance if openly gay boys are bunked with straight boys, just as if teen-age girls were allowed to share tents with teen-aged boys.

  • Dutchman Murray, UT
    Jan. 30, 2013 8:23 a.m.

    gchris,

    Don't ask, don't tell policies do not work either for the individual or the organization. Many individuals with same sex attractions need to, want to and do talk to their spriritual advisors about those attractions. That is what sprititual guidance is all about. Helping others when they seek guidance. I don't think Jesus Christ would just tell people with same sex attractions to sit quietly and keep your mouth shut. Under the current BSA policy anyone who discusses these attractions to a spritual advisor would have to be excluded from scouting even if they were not practicing. This is what is being corrected here with the new policy. No one in the LDS church is suggesting that a practicing gay person would hold a leadership position or have active participation in scouting.

  • dustman Nampa, ID
    Jan. 30, 2013 8:39 a.m.

    Jack
    Aurora, CO
    "morally straight" is defined in the Scout Handbook, page 23, as "your relationships with other should be honest and open. Respect and defend the rights of all people. Be clean in your speech and actions and be faithful in your religious beliefs."
    ___________________________

    As a Scout Leader in an LDS unit, I agree with Jack.

  • Hippie Farmgirl Farmington, UT
    Jan. 30, 2013 8:44 a.m.

    If you think gay leaders would not have an affect on young men you have never been active in theater. Grooming. Always grooming.

  • twspears6007 Bakersfield, CA
    Jan. 30, 2013 10:30 a.m.

    As a member of both the LDS Church and the BSA I believe that there are many obstacles facing the pending change to allow Homosexuals into the BSA program. I would like to address the position of the LDS Church on Homosexuals as members of the Church. The truth is that as a homosexual member they cannot be active in their lifestyle the Church is quite clear on this. The LDS Church accepts the homosexual member but not the sin of an active homosexual. As a Scoutmaster I believe that The Nation BSA should not be making changes in its present position of not allowing homosexual members because they cannot exclude active Homosexuals from its program. This is the difference between the LDS Church and the BSA. I am quite confident that the LDS Church will reject any promotion of active homosexuality in its Scouting programs and I hope that next week when the National BSA Board meets and votes on this issue they will keep the present position of protecting the values of 103 years of scouting and stay the course of honesty and integrity in supporting moral and decency in all of its programs. Sincerely, Trenton Spears

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 30, 2013 11:59 a.m.

    If the BSA does this they are asking for trouble. Probably many gays could be trusted to not act on desires, why tempt them? They should be given respect as fellow human beings, but it is not worth the increased risk.

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    Jan. 30, 2013 1:33 p.m.

    Happy Valley Heretic says he is "sorry for those who believe that homosexuals include anymore pedophiles than the heterosexual population."

    16% of pedophile offenders (the vast majority of whom are men) target exclusively boys. Homosexual men do not comprise 16% of the male population -- it's more like 2%. Thus, whereas the large majority of homosexual men are not pedophiles, the population as a whole contains more than 8 times as many pedophiles as the comparable heterosexual population.

    Not politically correct, but math is math.

  • Noonhigh Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 30, 2013 1:55 p.m.

    Do you send your kids to public school?

    Scouting is like a public education, however so far most LDS people send their kids to a private Scouting education. There are both advantages and disadvantages. So if the LDS church shuts down its private schools, all those kids will have to choose no school/home school vs public school.

    I have in the past at time sent my kids to a school sponsored troop and a LDS sponsored troop at the same time. Double the education for almost double the price. It was worth it but when my son decided to do more sports we now only have time for one Scout troop. Since I have seen the advantages for myself and since I can choose my "scout school" I have no problem with my son attending a "public" Scout troop.

    You can not buy another program like Scouting overnight, it has taken a 100 years. My kids don't have another 100 years to wait.

    Oh, go ask you dad when was the first time or the last time he attended a city meeting or wrote a senator/congressman, I bet you he says when he was a Scout.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    Jan. 30, 2013 2:00 p.m.

    I appreciate the stress and the strain that has been levied against the BSA now for several years. I also appreciate the proposed wording that individual units would be allowed to function as the see fit.

    Concerns that I might have otherwise is that law suits might be levied against any units which resisted allowing Gay leadership. As many have stated before, this is a private organization and should be allowed to operate as they see fit.

    Those who claim discrimination are not required to participate and are free to create their own private institutions. The very core of freedom hinges on much of this issue. As American citizens we have long enjoyed freedoms which allow us to act as we see fit; so long as those actions do not infringe upon another's freedom. We may freely eat junk food, or purchase a car in the color of our choice. We may associate with people of our choosing, be they well mannered or crude. But the choice is ours to make - and should remain that way.

  • Feliz Kaysville, UT
    Jan. 30, 2013 3:29 p.m.

    As I read through these comments I'm surpised at how many times someone has said they are an active member of the LDS church and applaud the BSA and this new change. Are there really this many active members who think this way or does the homosexual community have an army of militant bloggers posing as active members or perhaps in some cases posting multple times under different names?

  • Dekka17 Sydney, NSW
    Jan. 30, 2013 4:39 p.m.

    It's amusing that BSA have even had this policy in place. Perhaps after seeing that the US Armed Forces haven't collapsed with the removal of DADT, they realise it's not as big an issue as they thought.

    Let's hope civility and reason are the outcome in this vote. Let's also hope that young men and leaders, regardless of their sexual orientation, can mingle and develop a friendship built on trust, respect and all of the good virtues espoused by the Scout movement.

  • twspears6007 Bakersfield, CA
    Jan. 30, 2013 5:10 p.m.

    Can someone answer this question if I was homosexual either active or not active could I receive a Temple recommend Sincerely, Trenton

  • chinookdoctor PASADENA, CA
    Jan. 30, 2013 5:54 p.m.

    Why are so many DN subscribers so hateful and unhappy about life? It is so odd to me...you dislike gays, you dislike gay young men, you hate Obama, what next? Will you hate women who still love their liberal children who voted for Obama and are gay? I for one welcome the change. It's time institutions are no longer allowed to rampantly discriminate based on sexual orientation. I've been targeted for sexual harassment by more straight married men than any gay woman and I would bet that statistically heterosexual men (married and in their 30s- 50s) are the biggest perpetrators of sexual assault against young boys than any other group. All of my male friends who were physically, psychologically and sexually abused were treated this way by uncles, brothers, fathers and male figures close to the family. All of these men were married or in serious relationships with women, this ban on gays is about people's ignorant and unfounded fears. I hope the church gets out of this business of blatant intolerance and stands behind the BSA if they lift the ban.

  • Albert Saint George, UT
    Jan. 31, 2013 7:53 a.m.

    The question I have is this: Why does the LDS church lean on an outside organization to help with their young men program? Can't the church devise a YM program to build spiritually strong young men to become successful missionaries, husbands and fathers and future priesthood holders? Why be involved in a private organization with it's own set of rules & regs, policies, procedures, etc...??? I've always wondered why.

  • jasonhyer Roy, UT
    Jan. 31, 2013 8:07 a.m.

    As I've thought about the implications of this, even though they would allow local units to decide how to act, it seems that each council would have "gay" troops or troops that allow gay leaders or members. When I donate to Friends of Scouting each year, I am donating to my local council who then uses that money to support troops in the council.

    Therefore if Gays are admitted to Boy Scouts, when I donate to Friends of Scouting, I am supporting gay troops and members in my local council.

    I'll have to think long and hard about donating to Friends of Scouting if this change happens.

    "On my honor, I will do my best ... to be morally straight..."

  • dustman Nampa, ID
    Jan. 31, 2013 8:29 a.m.

    @Trenton Spears:

    You can hold a temple recommend as long as you do not act on homosexual urges. Just like a person who was an alcoholic for years who sobers up, but 10 years down the road still has to fight his cravings, as long as he does not act on those cravings, there's nothing holding him back from having a temple recommend.

    Its like all the young men and women who want to go on a mission. They need a temple recommend. I'm sure most of those young people have heterosexual urges, but as long as they are in control of those urges, you can hold a temple recommend.

  • Hamath Omaha, NE
    Jan. 31, 2013 10:46 a.m.

    I suspect that the BSA national organization has already consulted with some of the major organizations prior to announcing this decision. Many posts are questioning whether the Catholic or LDS or other groups will stop affiliating with the BSA. The big ones won't I suspect because they have likely been at least consulted. Even if they haven't, major leaders of the major organizations are also on the Executive board for scouts and so there is some representation of these larger organizations even if only through individuals.

    Bottom line, if it happens, I doubt it will have much of an impact.

  • LDSMOM Perris, CA
    Jan. 31, 2013 2:05 p.m.

    How and when will we all vote? Thanks!

  • Jade2soon Jeffersonville, IN
    Jan. 31, 2013 2:25 p.m.

    I've read many of the comments, and NONE seems to address the root issue: Adult leader's sexual actions or thoughts should never be allowed to be "outed" while the adult is leading youth activities -- such matters just don't belong there! While BSA fought hard under the right of association to allow only non-homosexual leaders, even as we speak it would be out of line with BSA's youth policy to have a heterosexual openly discussing their sexual details. Doesn't matter what the adult's sexual appetite is, there is no right basis to be "out" unless the adult is promoting some ulterior motive within their role in BSA. To this end, many here commented there are surely gay leaders now, but the difference is those leaders cannot, must not, and are never allowed to identify or "promote" their sexual beliefs. (BSA does not have anti-gay police forces to spy on people or sift out details of their personal lives... if you're not open/active/out, there's no reason for them to question it!)

  • Matt Conley Ventura, CA
    Jan. 31, 2013 8:11 p.m.

    The LGBT movement is just that, a movement to change society. Organizations like InterPride list as one of their objectives, to seek equality. Most will sympathize with that when that idea is applied to insurance, or life/death decisions, etc., but that's not the total of the movement's goal. It's about acceptance. Acceptance of a lifestyle that God has called sin. If the Church accepted the BSA's proposed change, it would by necessity be allowing the movement of the gay lifestyle to advance in it's goal of acceptance. And thereby be in contradiction to God.

  • junkgeek Agua Dulce, TX
    Jan. 31, 2013 10:16 p.m.

    The "morally straight" reference was never about sexuality.

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 31, 2013 11:31 p.m.

    If you believe in freedom then you support letting homosexuals into the BSA

    If you support freedom for only people who are just like you; well that's fascism.....

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 1, 2013 2:40 a.m.

    It would be a good thing for the LDS church to free the boy scouts from their control. They could start their own organization instead of taking over another.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Feb. 1, 2013 7:20 p.m.

    Considering how much coverage Gay rights command from nagative driven readers, someone from another planet would wonder if gays were some form of fountain of youth and made the world go round all wrapped into one. I think I'll go for a walk!

  • yoshi South Jordan, UT
    Feb. 7, 2013 6:43 p.m.

    @Coug420

    Consider scouts who are not part of an LDS troop—whose leaders do not hold temple recommends. You mentioned measures that are already in place to protect scouts; however, I highly doubt parents would feel comfortable enough to send their scouts on an overnighter where homosexual men (who openly admit they are sexually attracted to men) will be present. Parents of scouting are not likely to compromise the welfare of their scouts just so leaders can have equal rights. Some commenters on this site have recognized that sending their scout on an overnighter with self-declared gay leaders is the same as sending their daughter on an overnighter with heterosexual men.

    This opinion is not homophobic. It’s not religious. It just makes biological sense. Perhaps it would be best to combine Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts altogether to satisfy the demands for equality.