Let’s get my views of the gay and lesbian community out of the way first, to clear the runway for the topic of gays and the Boy Scout program. Yes, some of my “best friends and relatives are gay.” They are lovely people. But, I cannot support gay marriage, yet passionately support civil unions and government benefits that go with.
As for the scouts: I also support organization’s rights to set their own bylaws to match their goals. You want fair. That’s fair. Go ahead and remove any public funding, but if that’s how it is to be, don’t seek taxpayer funding for gay special interests.
With that, take a closer look at the demands for membership in the Boy Scout program by our gay population — a population, which is estimated to be less than two or three percent of our nation, not 25 percent as many people believe and promulgate (according to demographer Gary Gates of the Williams Institute, as cited in a 2011 Huffington Post piece; evtnow.com/577).
How is it, a handful of people are successfully intimidating the vast majority into giving up norms, protective of children?
Compute this: In placating the less than three percent, we clearly sacrifice the rights of parents and proven organizations, who are now the intimidated majority.
One father of four, an Eagle Scout who grew up in Tempe, contacted me on this subject. His concern is about the rights of parents to provide their children (gay or straight) with a safe environment. He asks pointed questions, which deserve answers:
“If gay tendencies are to be an accepted norm, then what happens to the norms societies have honored for centuries in regards to protecting youth?” He adds: “I would argue that they are even now more important and must not be discarded.”
Then he makes his point by creating an analogy using the sexual tension between heterosexuals: “Scouts go camping on a regular basis,” he points out. “Would it be acceptable for male leaders to take 12-17 year old girls camping? Would it be acceptable for boys, of the same age, to join the girls on camp outs? Would it be acceptable for the male leaders or boys to enter the showers, bathrooms, tents, or changing areas for the girls?”
He goes on: “Most people know the power of sexual attraction and would find every one of those scenarios unacceptable. The vast majority would not put their daughters or even their spouses into these dangerous situations.” Same-gender circumstances are no different, he says. “There is no doubt an attraction would occur. It certainly happens between boys and girls, men and women.
Sexual attraction is a powerful, over-driven emotion. Do gay adults or gay youth have better self control?” (This discussion does not include pedophilia).
And, an important point: “Part of providing a safe atmosphere is not only for the protection of the youth, but also the leaders. What would happen if a gay leader or gay scout were wrongfully accused of touching a boy inappropriately? Who would lose?”
“As a father, I would not allow my children or myself, as a leader, to be placed in a precarious position that could jeopardize not only my children’s well being, but could ruin a life or a marriage.”
He summarizes with: “For the safety of both heterosexuals and gays, this is not a program to mix-in same-gender attractions.”
Folks, in truth this issue is not about rights or fairness (which can never be attained in this matter), it’s about human nature and common sense. However, it seems, gay activists have a point to make, at all cost.
As the majority, what can you do? The intimidated, National Boy Scout Executive Board is developing a resolution on membership standards and expects to vote in May. Let them know your thoughts. Click on “share your feedback” at http://www.scouting.org.
East Valley resident Linda Turley-Hansen (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a syndicated columnist and former Phoenix veteran TV anchor.