BSA policy on gay scouts and leaders, Mormon style

Okay, so I just spent a while in a thread about the proposed change in BSA policy regarding gay youth and leaders on Deseret News, and it was my daily dip in the part of Mormon Culture that drives me up the walls — the smug, self-righteous, never questioned confidence that “we” are right about everything, know everything, and those who disagree are sad, stupid, unrighteous people that we will deign to pray for God to enlighten. Makes me want to swear like the Rodeo Song (it’s gotta be 40 below somewhere).

In what way is a policy that denies men participation in this program who have not violated the Law of Chastity compatible with the teachings of the Gospel? There seems to be this idea that this policy change is being driven through by NAMBLA as a way of “recruiting” lots more gay youth they can have sex with. Because, presumably, there are tons of young men out there thinking “I just can’t decide if I want to have sex with boys or girls,” and, if they can only listen to a promotional video where someone extols the highlights of choosing the gay lifestyle (it’s just a non-stop orgy, donchaknow, until God kills you with the AIDS, because he hates fags), they’ll instantly be drawn into the clutches of these evil perverts.

Sorry, but that’s just pathetic nonsense.

A very dear friend of mine is sexually attracted to men. He’s been married for 30ish years now, and he and his wife are grandparents. He’s a TR holder, a social worker, and has created several valuable resources for people struggling with difficult life issues. Prior to publicly “outing” himself on his same sex attraction he was an active, effective and much-appreciated scouter, but the current BSA/Church policy meant that he could no longer do so. Not because he’d done anything wrong in scouting. Not in response to any complaints of inappropriate behavior. Not because he was touting the gay lifestyle, or protesting any policy of BSA or the Church. Just because of an attraction he’s been able to control for decades. How a church that preaches repentance and forgiveness through the Atonement can justify participating in an organization who, with this policy, run counter to those teachings is beyond me.

This policy, I believe, was designed to protect children from predators. Unfortunately, it doesn’t. All a predator has to do is say that they are straight (which is more than likely true) and the policy is bypassed. What does a better job is requiring criminal background checks, and requiring double leadership so that the boys are never left alone with an adult. And those policies have been in place for some time now. They don’t mean that there is no chance any scout will be molested by a scout leader, but nothing can eliminate that chance other than technically by dissolving BSA and doing away with the titles “scout” and “scout leader.”

The time for this policy to be gone is long since. The time for educating ourselves on the nature of sexual identity and orientation is also. And the time for getting over this Mormon notion of superiority is even longer since. Go read/watch/listen to Pres. Benson’s talk on pride again. And then go demonstrate Christlike love to someone. Or go home teaching. Maybe both.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *