Monthly Archives: July 2012
By MIKE DESOCIO
Many diverse viewpoints emerged this week as the Boy Scouts of America reaffirmed it’s anti-gay policies, while AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson and the Northern Star Council of Minnesota both voiced opposition to the ban.
The BSA officially announced Tuesday the reaffirmation of its anti-gay membership policy after a two-year review period by a committee of unidentified members who determined it was in the best interest of the BSA to uphold the policy.
The announcement came just around the time that Stephenson, board member of the executive BSA council, declared his ambitions to work from within scouting to end the anti-gay policy. According to The Washington Post, Stephenson is on track to become president of the board in 2014, putting him in a unique place to handle the issue.
Supporting the movement to end the policy as well is the Northern Star Boy Scout Council of Minnesota, which has, according to its website, been in support of inclusion for over a decade. The council is the largest in Minnesota, with over 75,000 members, and in the top five in size throughout the country.
Life Scout David Liu of the Troop 9625, Northern Star Council, said he doesn’t quite agree with these views, however.
“Personally, I do lean towards being for [the policy],” said Liu.
Liu emphasized that the idea of openly gay scouts just “doesn’t seem appropriate” right away.
“I’m not sure if a ban is really necessary, maybe more a guideline, but I can understand where they’re coming from,” said Liu.
Liu clarified his opposition to the ban by saying, “I don’t agree with a ban personally, because you’re excluding people from an organization that already doesn’t have a great reputation in some places.”
Liu’s said his support for a “guideline” stems from his understanding of the close relationship between adult leaders and scouts. “A lot of times when you’re a young scout, you don’t know how to do anything, and so the leaders will teach you how to do it. For example, how to set up a tent. So a lot of times, they’re in a mentorship role where they’re teaching you about outdoor skills and life skills. They do have a mentorship type of role,” he said.
He likened this concept to a more obvious moral obligation by saying, “It’s kind of like the idea of why you don’t have [boy scouts] with girl campers…It just seems inappropriate.”
Because of the close, mentoring role provided by adult leaders, Liu said that homosexuality, if allowed in scouting, should be handled cautiously. “The idea is appropriateness, because the adult leaders spend a lot of time with us and they get very close. Just because you always go camping together and do activities together,” he said.
As a suggestion, Liu said that parents and scouts should know about homosexual leaders to first ensure the approval of parents before their involvement in a scout’s life.
Concluding his support for, at the very least, a guideline regarding homosexuality in scouts, Liu said, “It’s not as big of a deal as many people put it out to be. It just makes you uncomfortable. There should be [a guideline] put out there, especially with an issue like this.”