Letter to the Editor: Boy Scouts of America

June 17, 2013

 

Here’s the text of a letter I sent in to the Moscow/Pullman Daily News.  The article I reference described the withdrawal of three families…three adults and six youth…from the local Boy Scout Troop.

In response to the front page article on June 13th, “Moscow Boy Scouts
keeping the faith”:  we were in a similar situation to the three
families that resigned from the troop in the years leading up to the
Boy Scouts’ decision to include gay scouts.  We chose not to support
an organization that discriminated against people on the basis of
their sexual orientation.  The position on homosexuality taken by the
Boy Scouts of America ran counter to our deep values of inclusion and
equality.

My husband was an Eagle Scout and has many fond memories of childhood
projects and camping trips with his father and other scouting
families.  He grew up imagining doing the same with his own sons.  By
the time our boys were of scouting age, however, the gay controversy
within the Boy Scouts of America was in full swing, and he felt deeply
ambivalent.

We know a number of people with values similar to ours who stayed
involved in scouting with hopes of changing the institution from the
inside.  We also know people who formed alternative troops that were
not discriminatory.  These options are also available to the families
who left Troop 326.  However, they, like us, ultimately chose to make
a statement by refusing to participate.  I know all too well that this
is a loss for both the families and for the troop.

As an ordained minister, I want to point out that most scholars agree
that there is no legitimate biblical basis for homophobia.  (The
oft-quoted line from Leviticus is both mistranslated and taken out of
context.)  In my faith tradition we see homophobia as a social evil.
We work to eradicate it in our hearts and in our community.

Happily, studies show that homophobia is waning, with each subsequent
generation less likely to harbor hate.   Most people are glad that the
BSA have finally positioned themselves on the right side of history.

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4 Responses to “Letter to the Editor: Boy Scouts of America”

  1. Mary Jo Hamilton Says:

    Great letter!

    Mary Jo

  2. Joan Webb Says:

    Good letter, Elizabeth. Thanks for taking a stand.
    Joan

  3. Pat Rathmann Says:

    Thanks, Elizabeth.

    Pat and Dan

    Date: Mon, 17 Jun 2013 18:54:37 +0000 To: patty0727@hotmail.com

  4. Cassie Nichols Says:

    Great letter Elizabeth!

    I’m waiting for the BSA to be fully inclusive. Not allowing sexually diverse scout leaders isn’t enough though. The thought of gay parents (who may have been scouts themselves) not allowed to be a leader in their own kids’ troops hurts my heart (or gay adults who don’t have kids but may have been Scouts themselves and really want to be involved.) Until then, I just cannot in good conscious support this discriminatory group. And this bugs me, given that we have an 8 year old son.

    I’m glad that you wrote the letter. I’m so tired of hearing religious-based discrimination on this subject. Thank you!


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