Unkind words are divisive

As an adult member of the Boy Scouts of America and the parent of two Scouts, I must take exception to the tone and factual inaccuracies in Mr. Ben Rosander’s letter to the editor of September 28, (“Boy Scouts: Parents support stance”). In it, he questions the beliefs of Mr. Bob Hayman, featured in the Sept. 17 news article, “Local Scout leaders abuzz over gay ban.”

Mr. Rosander states that adult leaders are carefully screened to deny homosexuals leadership positions in the BSA. The official BSA adult application makes no inquiry as to sexual orientation. The only way someone could be denied a leadership position because of sexual orientation would be if they were to publicly come out and state they are homosexual. It is, in effect, a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.

He then goes on to reference the Scout Oath and its promise to be morally straight. I believe this is the crux of the whole debate. There are scouters who would argue that any person must be honest with themselves and others in order to be morally straight. This could include being open about a person’s sexuality.

Note that this debate is about the BSA’s policy to exclude homosexuals, not pedophiles, from leadership in their organization. This is an important distinction. Mr. Rosander alarmingly asks, “who would allow a homosexual adult to sleep side-by-side with their son on a campout?” In fact, no adult is allowed to sleep side-by-side with any youth on any overnight outing according to long standing BSA youth protection policies. The BSA has a very proactive youth protection policy to insure the safety of each and every youth we are entrusted with.

Mr. Rosander finishes by again referring to the Scout Oath and the Scout Law and providing us with his interpretation of them. He is discourteous and disrespectful of Mr. Hayman, an Eagle Scout, when suggesting that he “should dust off his Scout handbook and read it again.” Such unkind rhetoric is divisive to the Scouting movement that we all profess to believe in and sets a poor example to the youth that we aim to serve.


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