Harsh stand can hurt

I can’t get the article about the Boy Scout camp out of my mind (“Local Scout leaders abuzz over gay ban,” Sept. 17).

I understand that sexuality isn’t one of the issues a scout leader is charged with discussing with his troop and I don’t criticize any individual who devotes countless hours to spend time with children in healthy outdoor activities with their wellbeing as the only goal. But I am reasonably sure that at least one of those boys laid awake in his sleeping bag tortured by questions about his sexuality. He was wondering if he might be gay and he was frightened by having to deal with that possibility in a society which is still unable or unwilling to accept homosexuality as a natural condition. Perhaps he had visions of having his badges ripped from his uniform if anyone found out. Maybe he was even contemplating suicide as preferable to being thrown out of the Scouts in disgrace.

Don’t assume that they aren’t thinking about this just because it doesn’t come up around the campfire. Perhaps none of the boys at Granite Falls were having that problem, but some scouts in some camps are. Boys in their early teens have enough to deal with in our society without the Boy Scouts judging some of them as unfit for scouting because of something they have no control over.


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