By Mali Bedolla
In Seattle, Washington a local Boy Scout leader announced he was gay, just a year after a policy was changed, allowing the boy scouts themselves to identify as homosexual. Geoff McGrath, 49, living in Seattle as a former Boy scout troop leader, was disbanded for being openly gay. We know that Geoff has been married to another male for at least 20 years. The BSA spokesman stated that the policy is that they “do not ask an adult what their sexual orientation is because it isn’t an issue until they are acting conspicuously about it.” The only thing Geoff has to say now is that “Mostly it’s about ending the silence. It means becoming an equal participant with everyone else. That’s all.”
—“Boy Scouts of America’s National Council approved a resolution to remove the restriction denying membership to youth on the basis of sexual orientation alone.”
—“This policy change is effective Jan. 1, 2014, allowing the Boy Scouts of America the transition time needed to communicate and implement this policy to its approximately 116,000 Scouting units.” A change to the current membership policy for adult leaders was not under consideration; thus, the policy for adults remains in place.”– Boy Scouts of America statement; this statement is a clear violation of the BSA leadership qualification.
However it wasn’t an issue until he declared his sexuality. We want our kids to benefit from the Boy Scout Program. The concern is that a homosexual adult will influence our children and/or come onto them. Maybe it’s against what we believe. The solution to the issue is to simply have more than one leader with a group. Two adult males are more assuring than one adult who may or may not be gay. What are we teaching our children when we exclude gay men who are adults but allow the actual troops to be gay? Are we discriminating against people with different sexuality preferences? What next? Will we be against females who view themselves as masculine?
It’s wrong to turn anyone away from the program after assuming that the person is dangerous. A gay male could be just the same as having a female leading a group of young males. But we are judgmental and have trust issues. The policy requires two supervisors during outings with the scouts; do we need more leaders involved to feel comfortable enough to have gay leaders in the bunch? We allow gay troops, would it not be beneficial to have a gay boy scout leader as someone who is one of them? A gay troop leader could be used to the BSA’s advantage, for the youths that also identify as gay. Being gay for some males could be difficult. The situation is difficult for young boys who struggle with rejection and criticism or making choices as a growing individual. A gay leader will have knowledge for the youth to have a better understanding of life and the effects of choices.
For our religious believers and deliverers, people who are claiming to be lesbian and homosexual is something that is changing and coming to light, with many for and against it. The movement has come a long way and we must make our peace with it. To live in a world with one another, we’ve got to accept our differences and grow as a nation. Some are impossibly stubborn but not everyone understands that it is beyond their control so they will remain to themselves, working against it but it will not stop there. Who are they to judge?
When you think about insecurity, wouldn’t having an actual boy scout troop claiming to be gay also be hypocritical, children make mistakes and choices that affect them and they learn from it. By removing a gay troop leader, are they saying that being homosexual is bad? This is bad for adults and acceptable for the children?
Are they teaching this to the children and future generations that it’s not okay to be who you are? That you are incapable of the work the Boy Scouts do because of your sexual preference or who, you choose to love? Or you’ve done something wrong because you’re gay. To discriminate against something that already exists in the world. I think it’s wrong to take away someone’s pride and segregate them because of their choices when it has no effect on me. I say we should reconsider our decisions about people and think more clearly about the whole picture.