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January 29, 2013 - 7:11am

Today's Poll: Should the Boy Scouts lift its ban on gays?

posted by Howard B. Owens in polls.
Dave Olsen
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Just 'cause homophobes are loud and insistent, doesn't mean everyone feels the same way.

Kyle Couchman
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I have to agree with Dave here, but how about this for a policy change. Allow them in but establish that fraternization of a sexual context during participation in Official scouting fuctions will result in being removed from the program. The ideals and traditions should be preserved and those that would enter this organization to cruise for dates or promote their sexual preference dont belong, thats not what Scouting is all about. I feel its ok to teach tolerance and respect of someones choices but you can tolerate and respect without agreeing with that choice. Maybe dialog at this level can remove some of the hate in the world, and teach these values so that some atrocities may never have to happen.

Kyle Schwab
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It's a shame to see polls like this go the way that they go, given that we are in the 21st century. Re-word the poll as such: "Bigotry? Hate!? Yeah!!??" and it has a similar mind-numbing effect.

Fairness and compassion are each a badge scouts are supposed to wear on their sleeve (or somewhere on their uniform, at any rate), right?

I can't imagine the entire institution crumbling to the ground if an official ban on homosexuality is lifted. I also doubt many would see this as an open door to "cruise for dates." Homosexuality is not vampirism, nor is it pedophilia. If that were to happen, it's a separate issue and can be handled as such.

I don't follow this issue, so I am not familiar with any "magical arguments" in favor of keeping the ban. But I can imagine that if they exist, they are firmly rooted in ignorance.

Jason Crater
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Kyle - I'm pretty sure sexual fraternization is already frowned upon in scouting. I don't see that changing.

Jeff Allen
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I went to the official BSA website, http://www.scouting.org/ and did a search on any term related to this issue to see what the organizations actual policy is. The terms "homosexual" , "gay", and "sexual orientation" do not appear anywhere on the scouting website. A read of their Policies and Regulations, Charter, and By-Laws contain no mention of homosexuality. The "ban" is only supported through a statement issued by the organization in 2012 in their magazine: “While the BSA does not proactively inquire about the sexual orientation of employees, volunteers, or members, we do not grant membership to individuals who are open or avowed homosexuals or who engage in behavior that would become a distraction to the mission of the BSA.”
Now carefully reading the content of the statement shows that their is no "ban" on gays. Their is certainly strong opinion on the topic, and organizations are free to express opinions, but no ban.
This begs the question, where does a persons sexual orientation come into the scouting equation? There is currently no Sex badge that a scout can earn. The only mention of sex at all in BSA curriculum is in the Family badge where it encourages "Understanding the growing-up process and how the body changes, and making responsible decisions dealing with sex".
I believe the fear and backlash is predicated on the false notion that homosexuality and pedophilia are viewed as mutually inclusive. If a leader or scout adhere to all the precepts of scouting, their sexuality should never be a detraction from, or part of accomplishing all levels of the program.
Scouting policy rightly is pro-active in it's pursuit of protecting members from inappropriate and illegal sexual activity, exposure, and harrassment. That alone covers sexual misconduct regardless of orientation.
If sexual orientation is not part of scouting curriculum, sex is not part of what being a scout is, and there is no official "ban", then we are simply allowing activists to hijack and redefine the organization unnecessarily.

Jason Crater
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Jeff - It says there's no ban on closeted homosexuals. DADT for minors.

Rex Lampke
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I guess if you had been abused as a child by someone that you trusted like a scout leader or someone like that you would have a differant opinion ! Can you say happy hunting ground.Lots of us never said anything out of fear and embarasment but maybe its time we spoke up.

Jason Crater
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Rex, are you insinuating that all homosexual men are pedophiles?

Anyway, it's a moot point if you're a responsible parent. In today's BSA, scouts are not permitted to be left alone at any time with an adult leader.

Parents are strongly encouraged to attend all events as well.

My son is a cub scout and I support equal opportunity for ANYONE to become a scout.

You're not guilty until you've done something wrong. Etc, etc.

Doug Yeomans
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So Rex, all black people have gold teeth, a Cadillac and can dance? I can assure you, your stereotypes are archaic.

Happy hunting ground...seriously?! So gay men should never be allowed to do anything with their own children or nieces and nephews? What about gay nurses? Should they be excluded from working in pediatric care?

You are aware that Canadians don't live in igloos and Genesee county rednecks don't all have a gun rack in the rear window of their truck, right?

Rex Lampke
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Well I can only speak from my own experances about homosexuals but the ones I meet when I was a kid were predators. I guess that I may be biased by what happened to me as a kid But if it happened to you you might not be such an advoacte

Doug Yeomans
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I was listening to Bob Lonsberry this morning and he claims that homosexual individuals actively "recruit" membership to homosexuality...I kid you not! I think he has religion and homosexuality mixed up. His reasoning is that sex between 2 adults of the same sex is homosexuality but if one of them is underage, it's pedophilia. Sex between 2 adult individuals of the opposite sex is heterosexuality and if one of them is underage, it's just an introduction to sexuality. I kid you not! I wish I had recorded it.

With his logic, if a male scout leader molests your underage son, it's pedophilia. If he molests your underage daughter, it's just an introduction to sexuality.

Doug Yeomans
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I know this to be factual - There are people I know who are gay and if they were scout masters, I'd trust them to be my children's scout leader. There are straight people I know who I would never trust to be a scout leader.

mark dickes
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let see....... this is an organization that had secret lists of abusers! they knew that the abuse was happening and did nothing!! just kept lists and it is sickening!

Doug Yeomans
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I think it's better for your children to be taught by someone who has enough integrity to be honest about who they are. It doesn't mean that they will recruit anyone to share their sexual preferences. If they can teach your children the basic fundamentals of being a reliable, trustworthy individual through scouting, what difference should it make if the scout leader is gay?

Scouting should teach kids how to be prepared for various situations, how to treat their elders and each other and how to have leadership skills. Believe it or not, plenty of gay people have those skills and more.

Sorry, Lonsberry, but I do not agree that gays are any more or any less likely to be pedophiles.

Doug Yeomans
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....and the mad homophobe just came through and gave everyone a negative vote..lol

Beth Kinsley
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Don't worry Doug - I cancelled out the mad homophobe. You are such a voice of reason lately.

Kyle Schwab
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It would be entertaining if the bigoted down-voters could, perhaps, put several English words together and form *some* semblance of a valid argument (that's not anecdotal) and state it formally for all to read; stating why, in their humblest of opinions, someone that's different from them should not be allowed the same rights and luxuries that they enjoy... due solely to some minor and wholly arbitrary difference that is completely irrelevant to the situation at hand.

Bonus points if you can do it without committing a formal fallacy, like sweeping generalization, or false cause.

.....

Can you not imagine a heterosexual pedophile who is also a preschool teacher? Such a person happens to be a heterosexual and also happens to be a pedophile... and just-so-happens to be a preschool teacher. Should all heterosexual preschool teachers be banned, then, just because one (or more) happens to be a pedophile? [This is your argument, no?] Keep in mind the lack of any necessary causal connection between pedophilia and heterosexuals being preschool teachers. Apply this to the boyscout situation. It may be hard, but try to actually *think* about it.

Cheryl Wilmet
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Doug you are the voice of reason again. Just because someone is gay they should never be called a pedofhile. That is 2 different things. How many straight men have abused children? I would say a lot just from reading local news. Do the Girl Scouts have a ban on lesbians? Some people are so blind because they have their heads up their A______ and can't see anything.

John Roach
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Look, the proposed change will leave it up to each individual troop. And the way that really works is that each troop is sponsored by a "Charter Organization". The Charter Organization will be the group that would makes the decision for the troop.

If the troop is sponsored by a group that opposes homosexuality, like the Catholic Church, then that troop will not knowingly have any. If the troop is chartered by a group that either does not care or supports gay membership, then they will be allowed.

If that becomes the BSA policy, then what's the problem? Don't like one troops take on it, join another troop.

Rex Lampke
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And please dont try to paint me as a bigot! I am not But there are plenty of cases of abuse that have happened over the years that are true.

Sean McKellar
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Sorry Rex, but you painted yourself as a bigot.

Why would a gay man be any more likely to be a molester than a straight man?

Rex Lampke
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Iam not saying that all homosexuals are how how many of you would let a strange man take your little girls camping overnight ? If your a child and some sick Bast##d touched you and tried to do things to you you might be slightly bigited towards them also.

Bob Harker
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Doug, am I wrong here, or are you saying that today's PC concept of "tolerance" is more important that putting even ONE child at risk of abuse?

Wiyhout question, the are thousands of gay men and women that are excellent role models! But what about that ONE person that has ulterior motives.

"Probably won't happen" is not good enough when talking about protecting kids.

John Roach
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People, the issue was with the Boy Scouts. Leaving it up to each individual troop should resolve this.

Also, the Girl Scouts seem to be doing just fine and do not have the restrictions the BSA has.

Leave it up to the local troops and leave the scouts alone.

Jeff Allen
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The only reason we are even having this discussion is the ability of activists to control the narrative. For decades gay men and women have served in leadership roles of all kinds of organizations including the Boy Scouts without incident (a few predators have also and unfortunately the two have become synonymous with pedophiles) Young gay men have successfully completed all levels of service including Eagle Scout. Gay men and women have served honorably in the military, they have worked alongside all of us, often without us even knowing it. The difference in the success stories is the rightful placement of sex as a private matter best kept at home. Sex, sex talk, sexual orientation, sexual harassment, innuendo, and personal sexual preferences have no place at the worksite, battlefield, or Boy Scout meeting. Liberals scream at conservatives to stay out of their bedrooms and yet when it comes to homosexuality, they want it front and center at every turn.
I am a strong proponent of DADT. It works when sex is kept where it belongs...the bedroom. This takes us back to the narrative. Activists want to back us into a corner and force people to take positions that they deem homophobic and bigoted. Where gay activism goes wrong is that it is never satisfied with homosexuality being tolerated and gays working, meeting, and living peacefully alongside heterosexuals. Anything less than it being embraced, celebrated, and intolerant of any other opinion is deemed ignorant and backwards.

Doug Yeomans
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Cheryl, those people ar called a**hats! Their head is so far up their A** that they wear it like a hat!

Bob Harker, what about the straight men (far more of those than gay men) that have gone on to molest boys in scouts and at church? People can deny the truth all they want to, but the fact is, most molesters consider their selves to be straight. They like adult women and they like little kids even more. It's called pedophilia, not homosexuality.

Some people like owning guns, some don't. Just because someone likes owning a gun doesn't mean they should be lumped into the same group as William Spengler and Adam Lanza.

I swear, inconsistencies are rampant in the thought patterns of so many people. Use your logic and common sense. People are people..human nature is human nature, and the sexual preference of people has nothing to do with their fortitude to be an upstanding citizen.

Rex Lampke
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I would have to correct you on this if a "straight man" molested boys he would not be straight he would be a homosexual

Bob Harker
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Rex, I learned a couple of years ago that you can be crucified on this "board" by expressing your true beliefs honestly.

Myself, I don't really GAF, so I still do.

Notice how the poll is virtually tied, yet the vast majority of posters are PC. I'm thinking that many of those that agree with your stance are afraid.

Don't take it to heart man.

Doug Yeomans
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With the illogic that some people here seem to want to perpetuate, that homosexual men want to molest little boys, is it fair to say that straight men want to molest little girls? C'mon, I'm making a point here. Homosexual men still have a brain. Please put on your thinking cap and come to your senses.

Doug Yeomans
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If someone molests children, they don't do that because they're gay or straight. They do it because they're pedophiles.

John Woodworth JR
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What is annoying is that people are forcing others to accept homosexuality as something normal. Some say GOD made a mistake when GOD made them into a man or woman. Some say it is an imbalance in their hormones. Some say it is an illness. It is morally wrong in a lot of individuals’ eyes and yet we keep jamming such down others’ throats with total disregard for others beliefs and ideals. If GOD meant "Man to be with Man", then what is the need for woman? GOD could have developed man to hold both parts. It amazes me some people get offended when religion is jammed down others’ throats but, do not seem to mind when others are offended by the same manner. Too claim someone is a bigot or a hater because, they feel strongly about their belief of homosexuality and its immoral acts, is ludicrous. So, I guess the same can be said, to those who are offended that, others favor the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) position against openly allowing homosexual males into BSA. After all they are haters/bigots of the moral ideals of the BSA. I am not saying homosexuals are evil and we should hate them. I work with a few and they are good people but, it does not mean I should have to accept their way of life. Heck, to even use hate is ludicrous but, dislike is not.

Bob Harker
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Doug, you have valid points, although I've seen no stats on "straight" or "gay" pedophiles, I will accept your assertion that more "straight" men commit these crimes than gays. This can also be attributed to the fact that the number of straight men far outweigh the number of gays.

I do, however, stand on my position that child safety trumps political correctness every time.

This is a very tough poll.

Jason Crater
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Rex - by your example, I assume you would think someone that was mugged by a black person is justified in hating and fearing all black people?

Michelle WIlliams
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I have to say doug raises incredible points here. Both genders and all sexual preferences are HUMAN. Bottom line. Some are good, some are bad. But basing a person's ability to do a job or a service on their sexual preference is absolutely ridiculous. Why not go further, all blondes are dumb right? All black people are thugs right? All hispanics are illegals? All native americans own casinos and are alcoholics right? Think about what some of you are saying. A persons sexual preference has absolutely nothing to do with their qualifications or their penchant to harm others. A persons race has no bearing on who they are. There are straight people who are promiscuous or polygamists, swingers, child molesters, rapists. Are they asked those things before they are offered a job or leadership position? No. There are gay people who share the same morals, religion, ethics, etc the same as the rest of the HUMAN race and there are gay people (just like straight people) who are also promiscuous, etc. But jumping to the conclusion "because theyre gay they will molest your kids or cruise for dates or recruit (really LOL listen to yourselves" is known in English class as the slippery slope. I agree with doug. We hear way more about straight men and women taking advantage of their authority and trust than you do someone who identifies as gay or bisexual. 2013 everyone

John Woodworth JR
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"Why not go further, all blondes are dumb right? All black people are thugs right? All hispanics are illegals? All native americans own casinos and are alcoholics right?"

Michelle, none of these comparisons are moral issues. They are stereotypes. You are right no one is perfect and not all the HUMAN race shares the same morals. Beside if, homosexuals share the same moral beliefs then do they know what they are doing is wrong morally?

David, I do not doubt that, some homosexuals may think that their way is normal because, let’s be honest some may be raised in such manners. My personal opinion is that, homosexuals suffer from an hormonal imbalance which in my eyes is an illness. I do not have the right to tell someone how to live and/or the right to judge. However, I do have the right to express my dislike of homosexuality and the immoral act. Some may find my feelings offensive but, I can claim the same thing. I find it offensive to have someone tell me I have to accept homosexuality. I do not and will not. That being stated, does not mean I will be disrespectful towards homosexuals. I work with a few and they are good people.

So, to say Boy Scouts of America has to openly open their doors to homosexual males is a violation of their rights and beliefs. How about someone come up with the Rainbow Scouts of America since, nothing is stopping them from organizing such.

david spaulding
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try to look at this homosexual thing in another way,from a first person...i will use myself as an example....
first off i don't like the PC world we have become..however
i am a male,when i was young and growing up,i found myself attracted and desiring of the affections of the female.
why?i didn't think about it till i was much older,i felt that way because i did,i don't know why,someone may say because it's normal,because it's natural.i can agree if you say natural,because i just felt that way.
now on the other hand,i could have had these feelings and desires for males.i believe the feeling would come from the same place as the ones for female attraction...i didn't choose how to feel,it just came naturally.
i could have the same likes and dis-likes as i do now for all other aspects of my life as well.
people are not gay or lesbian because they choose the lifestyle,i believe it's because it's natural to them..
i am not gay but,i do believe that if gay people were able to pick and choose how they feel,were able to choose their desires,they would choose to be non-gay so they wouldn't have to go through the ridicule that a lot of "normal" people put them through..

John Roach
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Based only on more than 3 decades working in corrections, I can tell you most child molesters were not homosexuals. Yes, some were, most of the time they were not. And a good number of them were married.

Bob Harker
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John, repeating from my rebuttal to Doug:

" I will accept your assertion that more "straight" men commit these crimes than gays. This can also be attributed to the fact that the number of straight men far outweigh the number of gays."

Jeff Allen
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This whole debate has proven the point about controlling narratives. This conversation is being had in numerous media outlets without anyone actually addressing facts. There is no official ban on homosexuals in the Boy Scouts of America. There is only an opinion statement issued in it's magazine. Read their by-laws and policies...no ban, not even a mention. The activists hijacked this issue long ago forcing the BSA to issue some sort of statement and the BSA and social conservatives have been playing dodgeball since. Why do you think there aren't any successful lawsuits against the BSA regarding homosexuality? There is no ban and no discrimination since the BSA is a private organization that clearly states it's mission, values, and intentions. Those who disagree with or cannot adhere to it's policies need not apply. Participation in the Boy Scouts is not mandatory.
Activists have convinced us all yet again that we are simply animals, incapable of controlling our sexuality, sex drive, and sexual identity, therefore moral absolutes are merely obstacles in the way of freely exercising our instincts. I for one give humans more credit than that. Sex has NOTHING to do with the Boy Scouts, the military, our workplaces, etc. Keep it sacred, keep it at home, and keep it out of politics.

Michelle WIlliams
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Very well said david!! I also grew up being attracted to the opposite sex. Here is something for everyone to consider. My godfather, friends, family members and co-workers are gay/lesbian. It never swayed my judgement or made me feel like i should change my own opinion. I will add yet another way to look at this.
Does being attracted to a specific hair color, eye color, wardrobe, race or body type get debated so heatedly? Those are all things we each have an opinion on. I totally agree with david when he said if people could choose their preferences do you really think they would choose the one that generates the most ignorance and hate? I dont. I think we are all individuals. We all choose our ideal mate, occupation, car, home, etc based on multiple factors. That doesnt change who we are. We live in america-the one country known around the world for being accepting and offering life, liberty, freedom and justice for all. So why is it that in our every day lives we pass a judgement on those we do not know due to a stereotype? Dont you think 300+yrs after our country was wrote documents protecting and guaranteeing those rights that we would be grown up enough and secure enough in ourselves to just say 'to each their own?" It doesnt mean that what you dont agree with is infectious or threatens your personal safety. It means that everyone including those who do not share the same preferences on religion or sexual preference are afforded the same rights to marry, have children and earn a living just like the rest of us. What does it matter if men are attracted to men or women are attracted to women? Does that make them any less capable of the emotion or understanding of the meaning of love or monogamy? Of course not. Does that mean they should be boxed into groups and ridiculed? Of course not. There are plenty of straight people having children and the irony for all of you is that a lot of gay couples end up adopting the children whose parents could not afford to raise them. They adopt the babies who would go through foster care and provide them a second chance in life. Plenty of kids with gay parents grow up straight and plenty of kids with straight parents grow up to be gay. The majority of people regardless of how you classify them are inherently good. There are bad seeds in every walk of life

Michelle WIlliams
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John, no one says that you have to accept anything in life. But who is anyone to judge if being gay, straight, bisexual or transgender are right or wrong. My examples were to show the stretch of logic that some of the comments displayed. To say that every person in every group is bad because one person in said group is bad defies logic. No one judges you for saying any attractions are hormonal imbalances but where is the proof that hetero people dont suffer from that imbalance? You say they are good people but in the next breath you say not good enough for boy scouts. As mentioned above what part of their preference detracts them from achieving the goals of straight scouts? What makes them any less immoral than the adam lanza, john holmes, timothy mcvey, charles manson, etc.? All were straight men who committed murder. What makes someone who identifies as gay/lesbian any more immoral than the millions of straight men who rape and molest women and children unless they themselves have done such horrific thing?

John Woodworth JR
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My proof Michelle is through the word of GOD. GOD made man and made woman for man. If man was to be with man then, why make woman? Marriage is described in the Bible as a union between a man and a woman. No where did I read a man with a man or woman with a woman. Yes I said the homosexuals that I work alongside are good people. I never stated that they were not good enough for Boy Scouts. I do believe the Boy Scouts have a right to deny an individual from their organization based on their moral beliefs. I do not believe people have the right to force someone to accept someone who in their belief is immoral. Why look negatively on murderers, rapists, child molesters, etc...
Our society has become too accepting of immoral acts. Look at TV, movies, music, video games, etc.... We are desensitizing our youth to be more accepting because, no one sees the harm it may cause.

I am not without sin nor do I claim so. What right do we have to tell others to accept something they do not agree with?

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