Time to end discrimination

I am a straight Eagle Scout. I know that scouting has much to offer to all youth in terms of character building and values-based leadership training. Yet, its current discriminatory policies based on gender attraction is betraying Boy Scouting’s fundamental principles — being friendly, courteous, kind — which translates into treating all persons with dignity and respect.

The national Boy Scouts organization is now considering lifting its ban on boys (and men and women who aspire to leadership roles) who are attracted to those of the same gender. However, this new policy change would still allow discrimination at the local troop level. This obvious hypocrisy would enable it to appear non-discriminatory while still blatantly allowing discrimination to exist within its ranks. This is not leadership. In reality, it does nothing to prevent exclusion.

Allowing discrimination to exist at any level of Scouting sends a message to our young people that discrimination is acceptable. Is this really the message Scouting wants to convey?

Recently, the national organization tabled the topic for further review. Why? It is time for the national Scouting organization itself to show leadership and ban discrimination at all levels.

Patrick Sullivan

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