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May 29, 2013

Boy Scouts are now more 'morally straight'

The Daily Star

---- — This is what the Boy Scouts of America organization calls its “Oath (or Promise)”:

On my honor I will do my best

To do my duty to God and my country

and to obey the Scout Law;

To help other people at all times;

To keep myself physically strong,

mentally awake, and morally straight.

When 61 percent of the approximately 1,400 members of the group’s National Council voted Thursday to assert that “morally straight” didn’t mean not being gay, it was a big step forward into the 21st century for Scouting.

The “Scout Law” says “A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.”

The policy change, which takes effect Jan. 1, means that a young man can have all of those qualities … and be gay, too.

Unfortunately, the Scouts have decided to keep in place their refusal to allow adult gays be involved in leadership positions. What that does is support the ridiculous and scurrilous contention that to be gay is also to be a pedophile.

James Dale, 42, of New Jersey, sued the Boy Scouts in 1990 after he lost his position as an assistant scoutmaster because he is gay. The Supreme Court ruled, 5-4, that the Boy Scouts could ban gays from the organization.

So, the law of the land says it’s legal. But that does not make it right.

“It sends a very convoluted, mixed message to gay kids,” Dale said to The Star-Ledger about Thursday’s vote. “It says that being gay is a youthful indiscretion, and that there’s no future for you.” 

One thing to keep in mind is that Scouts having sex of any kind — heterosexual or homosexual — is not allowed. 

To discriminate against anyone for their sexual orientation is anything but “morally straight.” Yet, in the wake of the vote, OnMyHonor.Net and some other anti-gay groups plan to meet in Louisville, Ky., in June to create “a new character development organization for boys.” 

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a former Boy Scout and a Republican candidate for president in 2012, issued a statement after the vote. 

“The Boys Scouts of America has been built upon the values of faith and family for more than 100 years and today’s decision contradicts generations of tradition in the name of political correctness,” Perry said. “While I will always cherish my time as a Scout and the life lessons I learned, I am greatly disappointed with this decision.”

Obviously absent from Perry’s life lessons were tolerance and lack of prejudice. We applaud the Scouts for taking one big step, and urge them to take another and allow gay adults to be leaders in the organization.