Aug 30

In the News

Redlands Cub Scout pack could lose its charter over dissent about homosexuals - More on Pack 24 in California and their decision to operate as an inclusive unit.  BSA official Deron Smith responds with a shot across the bow:

While rare, there have been situations in the past where charters have been revoked, said Deron Smith of the BSA.

“Through 110,000 troops, Scouting represents millions of youth and adult members in diverse communities across the nation, each with a variety of beliefs on this topic,” he said. “… Any time we’re aware of any inconsistency in the administration of a Scouting policy we work with the local council to reiterate the policy and ensure its compliance with local leaders.”

A former den leader is also quoted, discussing the BSA’s rejection of atheist and agnostic members as well as LGBT people:

“I think there’s a lot of people who disagree with the national Boy Scouts of America’s policy who don’t say anything,” [former den leader Angela Bartlett] said. “I respect the position they are taking on this and reform within the organization, instead of abandoning. It shows they care and they want to do something about it.

“If my son found about about the (BSA’s) discriminatory policies, he would be upset.”

Redlands: Local Cub Scouts pack opposes national group’s gay ban - Cubmaster James Rich announces that “Pack 24 is open to all boys and all families” in defiance of BSA’s national membership policies:

“If you were to say we shouldn’t allow Jews or Hispanic people, people would be outraged,” Rich said. “Because it’s gays, people kind of turn the other way. I don’t feel that way. Discrimination is discrimination.”

Rich’s 9-year-old grandson is in the pack, and “he might realize at a later age he is gay, and the Boy Scouts would kick him out. I couldn’t live with that.”

Appeals Court Backs Student Religious Club - An article in Education Week about an 8th Circuit decision on the access that religious groups or groups with restrictive membership policies like the BSA have to public schools.  The decision here was predictable — a straightforward application of the rule that if one group is allowed to use the public facilities, then all groups must be allowed on the exact same terms (no viewpoint discrimination).

Letter: The DOMA bomb - Letter to the editor opening with “I, too, am a homophobe,” and lamenting the LGBT community’s “hateful attacks” on the Boy Scouts of America (among others):

Although I still worship Jesus, I can no longer exercise his “turning the other cheek” to an LGBT community that only abuses it. I now subscribe to Ronald Reagan’s gospel of “power and destruction being all a radical enemy understands.”

Major League Soccer Kicks Boy Scouts - Major League Soccer announces an end to its strategic partnership agreement with the BSA several days after BSA reaffirms its policy on excluding LGBT people.

Badge loses value if you can’t wear it with pride - Letter to the editor that concludes: Any badge or trophy is valuable only if you respect the ideals of the ones awarding it.”

Keep Scouting, but push bigots out - The author, an Eagle Scout, former council president, and father of an Eagle Scout, argues that effective change has to come from within the BSA by those who stay in the program but resist the discriminatory policies.

Aug 29

In the News

Redlands Cub Scout parents defy Boy Scouts on anti-gay stance - A large Cub Scout pack in California meets and decides to operate without discrimination.  The article has a good description of the process they went through, which was not without bumps (two families who agreed with the BSA left the unit as a result).  Also has a statement from BSA National Headquarters implying that their unit’s charter may now be at risk.

Redlands Scout pack to take stand against Boy Scouts of America position on gays - Another article on the Cub Scout pack in California that met and decided to be inclusive:

“Several of the Scout parents who I met with over the last few days agreed that if we took that statement from the Boy Scouts policy and replaced avowed homosexuals with African Americans, Jews, Muslims or any other group such as that, we would be horrified,” Gardner said. “We would never support that.”

Boy Scouts of America pack to stand up to anti-gay policy - An LGBT news outlet in the United Kingdom even picked up on this.

Selectman proposes Boy Scout public meeting ban - More on the West Newbury, MA town considering an ordinance aimed at discriminatory groups.

Candidates Don’t Deserve Support Unless They Commit to Do the Right Thing - A law professor in San Diego writes about the interplay between the BSA, the state, and the BSA’s threats to revoke the charter of any unit or council that resolves to be non-discriminatory.

Discrimination never acceptable - Letter to the editor in York, PA defending the local United Way’s decision to sever ties with the BSA and also rebutting a previous letter that tried to equate homosexuality with pedophilia.

A Review of the Republican State Platforms Finds Widespread Antigay Bias - An analysis by The Advocate illustrates one of the ways that the BSA has successfully made itself into a political issue:

Within their platforms, Texas and Louisiana give written endorsements for the Boy Scouts of America, which has come under fire from human rights groups, and most recently, President Obama, for its discriminatory policies. According to the Louisiana platform, the organization, “defend[s] moral decency and freedom according to [its] own well-established traditions and beliefs.”

Letter: God’s guidance is for our own good - Letter supporting the Boy Scouts and repeating a bunch of thoroughly debunked myths about sexual orientation.

New Studies Help Boy Scouts ‘Be Prepared’ - An article on empirical research into scouting’s effectiveness. One interesting tidbit:

In a recent article in the journal Gender and Society, [Kathleen] Denny points to studies of citizenship as an example of the differences in approach of the two handbooks. Girl Scouts are asked to interview community members and make a list of citizenship responsibilities whereas Boy Scouts need only read and repeat what is required of a good citizen.

“The girls’ handbook conveys messages about approaching activities with autonomous and critical thinking, whereas the boys’ handbook facilitates intellectual passivity through a reliance on organizational scripts,” Denny surmises. (The Girl Scouts also take no line on atheism or sexuality.)

A Letter from the President - The author describes her daughter’s decision to write a letter to President Obama about the BSA’s policies:

She, though not a Boy Scout, decided that she also took issue with the Boy Scouts and their exclusion of gay youth and leaders. Her first question to me was, “Does the President know what the Boy Scouts are doing?”


Aug 28

In the News

Scouts hike to attract recruits - Troop 2 in Albany, NY retraces a 75-mile hike from 1912 in an effort to recruit new members.  Their ranks are severely depleted, in part because of the BSA’s high profile stance against gays and other minorities:

[O]fficials at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Albany, which provides a free meeting space and some financial support to Troop 2, conferred with [Scoutmaster] Conklin about his troop’s policy and wanted assurance that there was no discrimination or exclusion because of sexual preference or any other reason.

Conklin said some churches and religious groups that sponsor the Boy Scouts in the Capital Region dropped their affiliation after news of the gay exclusion policy renewal broke.

Eagle Scouts Protest Exclusion of Gays - An Eagle Scout in Swampscott, MA joins about 150 others who have sent their Eagle badges back to BSA headquarters.

Eagle Scouts give back their badges - Another article from Boston about Eagles returning their badges.  Has the same response from the BSA as the article above, dismissing the returned badges as an extremely small minority of Eagle Scouts.

The New Birth of Freedom Boy Scouts Council could lose United Way funding - More on the Harrisburg, PA United Way’s decision to hold BSA to its non-discrimination policy, resulting in a loss of about $90,000 per year in general funding for the local BSA council.

Selectman upset by boy scout gay ban, wants them banned instead - More on the West Newbury, CT MA town council’s proposal to keep BSA and other discriminatory groups from using town resources.  (Note: this walks a very fine legal line depending on whether the BSA is getting resources that aren’t available on the exact same basis to any other private group.)  The selectman who proposed the ordinance has already received a telephone death threat as a result.

Romney and Obama Agree on Having ‘Gay’ Boy Scouts - Article from “Church of God News” asserting that Jesus would not support either Romney or Obama for President because of their statements opposing the BSA’s discrimination against gay scouts.  Cites a lot of verses about Sodom and Gomorrah.

Aug 27

On the Effectiveness of Protests

Inclusive Scouting Award as displayed on uniform with other knotsMiles Townes raises a bunch of excellent points in his recent essay on The Politics of Eagle Scout Protests. It’s a long piece, and totally worth reading all the way through. But I can’t resist posting a few quotes (plus commentary) to give you a taste of what’s there:

In the [twelve] years since Dale, there have been a number of attempts to get the Boy Scouts to end their discrimination. None have succeeded. The most recent of these, brought to my attention by a Facebook friend, are Eagle Scouts Returning Our Badges and Eagle Scouts for Equality. Both organizations advocate that tolerance-minded Eagle Scouts return their awards to National headquarters. This is noble, and I respect the decisions of those Scouts to return their awards, but is unlikely to be effective.

The problem these folks face — lets call them Eaglitarians to distinguish them from the few truly homophobe Eagle Scouts and the vast majority who probably aren’t sure what to do about this issue — is that the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) wants them gone. As strategies go, it is roughly equivalent to trying to hijack an airliner by threatening to kill yourself: the decision-makers in that situation are glad to see you exit. This is an ideal type of ineffective protest.

I think this is spot-on.  When asked about the Eagle Scouts returning their badges, the BSA’s most common response is to point out they award 50,000 Eagles a year, but don’t keep track of the number of badges that come back, which is far lower.  As far as the BSA is concerned, the vast majority of their members agree with them, and they often say so.  That’s a hard statement to refute when almost everyone within the program stays silent about the membership policies for one reason or another.  Anecdotally, I know a lot of people still active in the BSA who disagree with the policies, but who are still involved because they feel (as many do) that the good offered by scouting still outweighs the bad — especially so long as the paid professionals of the BSA stay out of the local operations of packs and troops, where the real work is done, anyway.  But silence, for whatever reason, is interpreted by the BSA as agreement, and that’s what they tell the press and the courts.

A better approach starts with the Inclusive Scouting Award.  As more of those patches start quietly showing up on uniforms across the country, the false consensus that everyone in the BSA agrees with the national policies will start to crumble.  As more supporters of equality find each other, they can work on creating entire units that publicly take a stand against discrimination.  This is potentially dangerous, however, because in the past the BSA has stepped in and revoked the charters of units that defied national policy.  But at some point, probably very soon, the BSA will not be able to afford kicking out entire units all over the country.

So another useful strategy for Eaglitarians is to decide what they are fighting for: gay rights, or a Scouting program that is relevant to all of society. The latter includes the former. Eaglitarians should be looking for allies in women’s rights and religious freedom organizations, and working to ensure Scouting is inclusive to all people.

This is also spot-on.  The anti-gay policy has received a lot of attention lately, but much of the coverage doesn’t even mention the BSA’s parallel policy barring atheists, agnostics, and other non-religious people from its ranks.  Scouting cripples its ability to develop good citizens in our democracy by insisting on a framework that is completely at odds with the First Amendment and Article VI of the U.S. Constitution (among others).

A high ranking BSA executive once told me that the justification for the gay ban was that the majority of major religions considered homosexuality immoral. (I’m probably paraphrasing just a bit, because I didn’t have the foresight to write down the exact quote.)  Essentially, the BSA’s policy was a theological one, based on a majority vote of its membership.  The BSA’s position on the non-religious has the same basis.  The policies are related at the root, so it only makes sense to work on them all together.

As a private organization in our democracy, any group is entitled to take theological positions this way, of course. But that doesn’t make it wise, or ethical, or an effective way to teach citizenship in country where that same behavior would be a no-brainer violation of the First Amendment.  How can you help young people develop the skills necessary to thrive in our democracy within an organization that is behaving much more like a theocracy?

American society is increasingly open to gay people, women, and non-theists. In order to continue being relevant to that society, the Boy Scouts of America has to stop discriminating against these people. For Eagle Scouts who wish to bring about that change, the best way to do so is by organizing and leading non-discriminant troops, to change the BSA from the bottom. This will be slow, hard work, and sometimes messy, but it is really the only effective protest against the Boy Scouts’ policies.

This is already happening in some areas, but not nearly enough to start bringing pressure to bear on the BSA’s national policies.  If it’s just a few units here and there, they can usually shut them down pretty quietly.  But if there are many of them, or if United Way agencies and other sources of funding are paying attention, it becomes much more difficult.

Unfortunately, this really takes some commitment on the part of the adult leaders running a unit.  They have to risk having the entire unit shut down by the BSA for operating in a non-discriminatory manner.  This is not an easy thing for most scouting parents to have to live with — the constant risk that their child may be denied the benefits of scouting.  Then again, this is the risk that LGBT and non-religious youth face all the time, and often on their own.  As more people recognize the parallel, I hope we’ll see a lot more inclusive units.  And we’re here to help in any way we can to make that happen.

Returning the chartering organization question, let me offer a less fraught example. I spent many summers in my teens at Boy Scout camps across the southeast. Dinners at these camps were always accompanied by iced tea — that is, sweet tea, which I can’ stand. . . .

The Mormon scouts, however, always had apple juice. Their chartering organization — the LDS church — prohibited them from drinking caffeine, so they didn’t get the tea. I was actually jealous — I would have preferred apple juice to tea. But my troop was chartered to a Lutheran church, so my choice was tea or water. . . .

In this example, the BSA make an allowance for moral distinctions between chartering organizations. They neither let the LDS church banish caffeine from Scouting, nor force LDS Scouts to drink sweet tea. This is how things ought to work. The strength of Boy Scouts is really the troops, not the BSA. It’s the troops that do all the hard work, especially the adult leaders, and it’s the troops that do the most recruiting of new Scouts. This is one reason sending your Eagle back to the BSA headquarters is a bad idea: they didn’t give you that award, as much as your troop did. When I considered sending mine back, I decided that it would be an insult to the hard work of the adults who led my troop, who helped me get to that award. Returning it to Dallas didn’t make sense — it was never their award in the first place.

Word.  The BSA already leaves a lot of decisions up to the local units and their chartering organizations.  So why the line in the sand on religious belief and sexual orientation?  How hard would it be, really, to let the parents and chartering organization of a local unit decide for themselves who their leaders should be and who their unit should welcome?

Aug 27

In the News

United Way Capital Region chapter will not renew Boy Scout partnership - BSA’s anti-gay policies at odds with local United Way’s policy on non-discrimination.  Also includes a misleading if not outright false claim from Ronald Gardner Jr., Scout Executive and CEO at New Birth of Freedom Council that they serve youth of “all faiths.”  This is only technically true if you define “faiths” here to exclude atheists, agnostics, and other non-theists, who are categorically barred from membership in the BSA.  More here, here, and here.

Eagle Scout No Longer - An Eagle Scout in Kentucky renounces his Eagle rank.

The United Way and the University - By a professor at Iowa State University.

Jackson Cooper | ‘I could not abide their exclusion of good people’ - By an Eagle Scout whose mother would have been kicked out by the BSA.

Eagle Scouts use badges to decry gay ban - Eagle Scouts in Boston and elsewhere return their badges to the BSA.

Beverly Eagle Scout Protests Organization’s Anti-Gay Policy - Another Eagle Scout in Massachusetts joins the fray.

Why the Boy Scouts don’t allow gay people to join - Editorial takes aim at BSA’s latest justification for the gay ban: letting parents of scouts address issues of same-sex attraction on their own terms.

Scouting makes fine young men - Letter writer defends the BSA’s position, saying “As a former Scout and current assistant Scout master, I have never, ever witnessed any hatred or harassment by any Scout against anyone based on their race, color, creed or sexual orientation. Not once.” Today’s bit of trivia: Did you know that one of Matthew Shepard‘s killers was an Eagle Scout?

Aug 26

In the News

One door opens as another stays firmly shut. On which side of the door sits philanthropy? - An essay examining philanthropy’s obligations to uphold civil and human rights when cutting funding for a discriminatory group might hurt innocent members in the short term.

Believes Boy Scouts should be congratulated - Letter writer describes BSA as an “honorable organization” because “they refuse to proliferate a depraved agenda.”

West Newbury reviews bias rule - A Connecticut Massachusetts town grapples with the fine line between government offering services without viewpoint discrimination and government not actively supporting a discriminatory organization.

Thomas R. McGrew, Sr. | ‘I’m proud to be a Boy Scout leader, and a Scout’ - An editorial that defends the BSA, but seems to assume that those who “deride” the BSA’s stance are outsiders who would also disagree with all the positive things he mentions.

Dear Boy Scouts of America: Please Keep My Eagle Medal Until You Support All of America’s Boys - A thoughtful essay by an Eagle Scout whose father is still an active Scoutmaster, including a copy of the letter they sent the BSA expressing their opposition to discrimination.

UCC Scouts speak out about anti-gay policies  - The United Church of Christ reiterates its opposition to the BSA’s exclusionary policies.  Includes the following background:

The UCC issued a statement at General Synod in July 2003 opposing the BSA’s policy, stating that “discrimination against anyone based on sexual orientation is contrary to our understanding of the teachings of Christ.” The UCC continues to offer full support to congregations who wish to sever their ties with the BSA, as well as those who wish to remain connected to the organization. There currently are 1,200 UCC-sponsored Boy Scout troops throughout the United States.

Editorial | Boy Scouts’ rule on gays teaches wrong lesson - Commentary on the BSA’s recent booting of scout leader and father Greg Bourke in Kentucky.

The 100 Day Sprint: Two American cultures, one American election - Writer examines the gap between people’s framing and interpretation of the BSA’s membership policies

We lament our polarized politics, but the truth is that we are a polarized society.

That well-meaning scout master doesn’t want gays at his events, or taking part in his programs.  He sees people who want to change those rules as aggressors, and sees himself as part of a noble resistance.

There are equally well-meaning people who see him as a bigot, who interpret his stance as hateful and would balk at the idea of Mr. Smith serving as a mentor for their children.


Aug 24

In the News

The Atlantic Wants to Kill Boy Scouts Like Rabid Dogs - James Hamblin’s reference to Old Yeller and use of metaphor in this article at The Atlantic is apparently lost on this writer, who interprets it to mean that “James Hamblin, the magazine’s health editor, proclaimed his desire to kill Boy Scouts based on his distaste for their recently re-affirmed policy of refusing to admit openly gay members.”  And in case you’re thinking this is an outlier, there are strikingly similar interpretations herehere, and here.

These are worth checking out if only to illustrate the level of polarization and division that has grown up around the BSA’s polices.  Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t see how you can interpret the original article that way except through a partisan lens.

Sending My Eagle Scout Badge Back - Writer describes his experience in scouting, including discovering years later that a friend from his troop was gay.

Connecticut Boy Scouts Are Changing Their Policy on Gay Members, and It’s Paying Off - Article claiming that “An all-inclusive policy has led to additional funding for some CT scout troops.” Aside from completely no mention of religious discrimination against atheists and agnostics (among others), the article also reveals a possible dodge:

“You seem to see a conflict in it,” Smith says of his group’s apparent disconnect from the national organization’s policy on homosexuals. “We don’t… I’ve been in scouting for about 33 years and I’ve not removed anyone for being gay.”
Smith adds that he would back the dismissal of anyone, gay or straight, who tries to use the Boy Scouts to push a sexual agenda. “We don’t talk about sex in general,” Smith explains.

In recent years, the BSA has re-framed its justification for the gay ban as one designed to keep discussions of sexuality out of scouting.  A guy who mentions his girlfriend at a troop meeting isn’t even noticed, while one who mentions a boyfriend has just engaged in “homosexual behavior” according to the BSA and has injected the topic of sexuality in the program.  I wonder if Smith would kick that scout out for “push[ing] a sexual agenda,” because that’s the exact justification offered by the BSA in quite a few other cases.

Letter: Brookline still has a Cub Scout pack - The letter writer, a Cub Scout leader, responds to an earlier story by admirably claiming that his pack would never discriminate against anyone.  I just hope he never has to deal with the BSA threatening to revoke the charter of his unit unless it enforces the national membership policies. (This is a pretty standard practice for dealing with inclusive units.)

Boy Scout motto — Love the guy, hate the gay, spread the fear - (Cartoon)

Renegade Troop Rejects Policy Barring Gay Cub Scouts and Leaders - Cub Scout Pack 79 in Marblehead MA joins Troop 500 in Amherst by taking a public stand against any discrimination (sexual orientation) in their unit.  Nicely done, and good luck.  BSA doesn’t always push back on units who take a stand like that, so let’s hope they can make it stick.  More here.

Harrisburg-based United Way ceases funding for Boy Scouts over exclusion of gays - Another United Way agency (Harrisburg, PA) makes the right call, consistent with their nondiscrimination policy:

Joe Capita, the CEO of the United Way, said the board found that the local Scouts teach “tolerance and diversity” and don’t inquire about sexual orientation. But if it becomes known a scout or leader is gay, local Scouts would have to follow national policy, which would mean excluding the scout or leader. That puts the Scouts in violation of the local United Way policy of not partnering with organizations that exclude people based on sexual orientation, Capita said.

And this is a pretty common scenario now.  A lot of units try very hard to be inclusive, but BSA has shown itself to be perfectly willing to revoke the charter of a whole unit or council if they don’t toe the line.  As long as National HQ has discriminatory membership policies and enforces them, no local unit can legitimately claim to be discrimination-free.

United Way chapter to end agreement with Boy Scouts council - Another article on the United Way’s decision in Harrisburg, PA.

Boy Scouts’ policy reaffirmed - A series of op-eds on the BSA’s decision, including one by BSA officials claiming that “[t]he bottom line is that scouting will not use its youth development program to enter a social and political debate beyond its level of expertise” and one from the Georgia Christian Coalition rife with factual errors and suggesting that gay people have ulterior motives in seeking inclusion in scouting.

Scout leaders resign over ban on homosexuals - Cub Scout leaders in Corvallis, OR resign after BSA reaffirms its discriminatory membership policies.

Scouting, and value of giving back - Writer explains his decision to return his Eagle medal to the BSA.

Where Eagles Won’t Dare - Several interviews with Oregon politicians who are also Eagle Scouts and supporters of LGBT rights, on how they’re reacting to the BSA’s reaffirmation of its policies.  Somewhat poorly named, as it suggests that those who don’t return their medals don’t “dare” to, when many people’s positions on the effectiveness of that form of protest are more nuanced.

Aug 22

In the News

If Augusta National Can Welcome Women, Why Can’t Boy Scouts Welcome Gays People? - Article by a writer describing his conversation about the Boy Scouts with Rev. Jesse Jackson and asking “The Boy Scouts of America claim to be ‘one of the nation’s most prominent values-based organizations.’ My critical-thinking question is: What kind of values are they teaching our kids if they are discriminating against gay people?”

Boy Scouts’ policy on gays (3 letters) - Letters to the editor of the Denver Post.

Don’t teach Scouts honesty (8/20/12) - Letter to the editor responding to an earlier writer’s comparison of homosexuality with the Jerry Sandusky / Penn State crimes.

Letter: Scouts missed an opportunity - Letter to the editor of the Albany Times Union.

As Eagle Scouts Return Medals, Gay Ban Still Firm - An article about the recent increase in former scouts and scouters returning their awards to the BSA.

Deron Smith, the Boy Scouts’ national spokesman, said there was no official count at his office of how many medals had been returned. He also noted that about 50,000 of the medals are awarded each year.

“We’re naturally disappointed when someone decides to return a medal because of this single policy,” he said. “We respect their right to express their opinion.”

In addition to dismissing these actions as a drop in the bucket compared to their current membership of 2.7 million, the BSA also reiterated that no unit, district, council, or region has any leeway to change the national policy:

Deron Smith, the Scout spokesman, said instances of outright defiance of the policy by local units are “very rare.”

“Any time we become aware of inconsistencies, we’ll work with the local council and reiterate the policy and make sure it’s in compliance,” he said. “We have one policy.”

Aug 21

In the News

Boy Scouts force out gay leader in Louisville - More on the father of two in Kentucky forced out of the leadership of his son’s troop by the BSA.  Additional stories herehere, here, here, and here.  The BSA’s statements in this case are telling, framing the issue as one where the scouter in question revealed that he did not meet the “standards” set by the BSA.  So in addition to the obvious implication that he didn’t measure up because of his sexual orientation, it also has an extra sprinkling of victim-blaming on top — a common effect of don’t ask, don’t tell policies because of the burden-shifting they encourage:  ”It was his own fault for bringing it up/letting it become public/not hiding it adequately. After that, we had no choice but to kick him out…”

Boy Scouts Keeps Ban on Gays; Says It’s the ‘Best Policy’ - Article mistakenly claiming the BSA’s anti-gay policy is 102 years old (the first official record of it was two internal memos from 1978 and it wasn’t widely announced publicly until 1991) and including some quotes from a BSA spokesperson about how the “vast majority” of scouting parents agree with the policies. See what they can claim when no one within the program speaks up?

Local Eagle Scout Resigns From Scouting Because He’s Gay - Somewhat mis-titled article, given that the young man from Frederick, MD was offered a camp counselor position that was withdrawn when he informed his supervisor that he wasn’t going to go back in the closet or otherwise hide his identity.

A Scout is trustworthy, loyal … prejudiced? - An Eagle Scout’s take on BSA’s stance.

Harry Deitz: Showing respect doesn’t require we all agree - An editorial that falls into some common false equivalencies and the ever-popular “why can’t we just agree to tolerate intolerance” argument.

PAUL CRIST: BSA decides wisely to hold to its beliefs - Editorial describing homosexuality as an “immoral belief” and helpfully pointing out that gay people are a minority in the United States.  Money quote: “If some people want to return their merit badges and awards, so be it. They are the ones who have lived a lie all these years, not the Boy Scouts of America.”

Boy Scouts stand up for morality - You know it’s going to be good when the very first sentence is “Discrimination can be a good thing.”

Gay ban may cost Scouts United Way funding - Money quote: “Bob Woods, executive director of the York [United Way] chapter, said while the chapter has a non-discrimination policy that includes sexual orientation, it does not require the agencies it works with to adhere to it.”  Sounds really helpful.

Maine Voices: Gay or straight orientation should not be the litmus test of a Scout leader - Thoughtful op-ed by a scout leader on BSA’s “meritless policy to prohibit gay youth and leaders from participating in its programs.”