Local BSA Councils are not-for-profit corporations consisting of local business and community leaders, as well as a few Scouters. They receive, and must renew annually, a charter from National Council to establish, oversee and support the BSA program in a geographic area. They in turn charter local organizations such as churches, veterans' organizations, fraternal organizations, schools, etc., to sponsor Packs, Troops, Ships, and Crews. These are also renewable annually.
If the sponsoring organization does not follow National and local Council guidelines and policies in running their units, the local Council can refuse to renew their charter. If the local Council does not follow National guidelines, National Council can refuse to renew their charter. In the former case, the unit folds and the Scouts would have to join another unit to continue in Scouting. In the latter case, either a new not-for-profit corporation would have to be started up to take over the charter, or the region the old Council covered could be taken over by one or more Councils contiguous to it. What's going to happen here is that first a delegation from National will meet with the Council's Executive Board (tha above noted local community and business leaders) to see just what their intent is, as opposed to what's in the press. If they persist that they are going to register "avowed homosexuals" as leaders, then I expect that they'll end up taking one of the steps I've outlined.
Note that it is the responsibility of the local units to select leaders. While the BSA is often brought into lawsuits on these matters, it's the sponsoring organization that has failed to do it's homework in registering an unqualified leader, and in failing to make sure that he or she is conducting the program properly.
National's basis for excluding homosexual leaders is because they provide what the majority of the BSA's sponsoring organizations believe are improper moral role models for youth. According to the BSA's own web site, any risk of paedophilia has nothing to do with it. And practically, if you search on Google for cases of molestation of Scouts by Scouters, you'll find that the Scouter involved either has no known sexual relations with adults at all, or is married and has kids.
What the BSA depends on to prevent child molestation is the proper selection of leaders by sponsoring organizations, and the strict application of the Youth Protection guidelines by the sponsors and the leaders. These steps will prevent child molestation of any kind.
The other way for parents to make sure that things of this sort don't happen in their unit is to show up. The BSA is not a program designed so that you can drop off your kid and a check once a week. "BSA" does not stand for "BabySitters of America". It's a family program, not a youth program, and you need to put some time in. Even if you can't be a leader, you can go on the occasional campout, hang around for a Troop meeting, run the Popcorn sale, help with the Pancake Breakfast, get your hands dirty helping with a service project, and in general observe what's going on.
I question the original author's characterization of the Minuteman Council's (Boston) announced policy re: sexual orientation of leaders. National doesn't seem to have a problem with it. Minuteman Council's policy seems to be "Don't ask, don't tell", which is National policy. They just stated it in a fashion that makes it a little more palatable for the locals. But I am unaware of any "avowed homosexual" who has taken a leadership position, "told", and stayed registered at Minuteman Council.
It's also worth noting that Cradle of Liberty Council isn't telling units that they have to accept homosexual members; they're saying that they can if they want to. Note as an analogy that BSA units can accept women as leaders if they wish, but many don't and are supported by both their local and National Councils (Troops sponsored by Mormon stakes do this) in their decision. The choice of leaders is up to sponsoring organizations and they are free to accept or reject leaders on whatever reason they choose (gender, profession, health, etc.).
Finally, cutting off support to your local BSA Council because there is an unresolved situation in Philadelphia is a sure way to hurt a bunch of youth and to make sure that they don't get the program from someone who wants to do so properly.
Then they have a don't ask don't tell policy for incestuals, bestials and ax murderers too. That's rediculous and NOT ture.
Nice to see a knowledgeable voice speaking up. Good to see you again.
National doesn't seem to have a problem with it. Minuteman Council's policy seems to be "Don't ask, don't tell", which is National policy. They just stated it in a fashion that makes it a little more palatable for the locals.
This isn't my impression at all from reading BSA's briefs and press releases during the James Dale case that we discussed ad infinitum with the gays on Salon's "TableTalk" two and three years ago.
BSA National has been forthright: No Gays, no way. What we are discussing here is Blue America's attempts to overthrow the rule by issue creep and what used to be called "salami-slicing".
BSA National may never have admitted it in a court brief or a public statement, but the entire issue has been precisely about pederasty and the gay drive to get at the boys. They've cracked open the schools behind GLSEN and rhetoric about "protecting" students who are (arguably) endogamously gay and profess themselves to be gay; but the struggle isn't about self-identifying gays, it's about developing pubescent sexuality and the fact that pederasts know that they can impress unformed youth into accommodating sexual partnerships regardless of gender identity. I would further suggest that such partnerships, formed outside society's bounds of approval, are the reason why the gay activists at the American Psychiatric Association eventually took down the term "ego-dystonic homosexuality" for such accommodations, because of the imputation that there was something unhealthy about accommodative homosex. There is, but the activists won't admit it, and instead wage war on anyone who thinks there might be.
Thus GLSEN propagates an essentialist line on gender identity, for polemical effect, which the practical experience of the gay community shows is untrue. At these ages, young people's sexual orientation is mutable and susceptible to interference by aggressive homosexual adults -- which I submit is the whole ball game, and precisely what the Youth Protection program is all about. So to say is not to say that heterosexuals do not behave badly, but simply to acknowledge what gays themselves know but will not honestly admit, that gay men in particular are more of a problem where youth contact is involved. Man-for-man, they are markedly more likely to act out even than married heterosexual peds, who are the largest group of bad actors.
As for the essentialist roorback itself, that children "born gay" will inevitably "become gay" and that the community shouldn't, by further implication, interfere with the efforts of adult gays to contact "their own" youth to support, protect and "counsel" them, we can profitably reread the demurrer of Charles Socarides et al. on gender identity and essentialism:
It is a matter of professional responsibility to correct certain statements made by Lawrence Newman, M.D. in the December 5 article, Children With Gender-Identity Disorder Benefit From Early Psychiatric Intervention.
To his credit, Dr. Newman urges compassion and kindliness toward children with a disturbance in gender-defined sexual identity. He accurately states that such a condition leads to a lifelong disturbance in an individuals relationship with himself and with others, as well as producing isolation, depression, and anxiety in a prehomosexual child as he grows from childhood into adolescence and later adulthood. He announces correctly, but with apparent unconcern over this dire development, that such children, of course, will develop a homosexual orientation in later life. But he makes no reference to the possibility of the reversal of this condition, while, in actuality, there are multiple case reports now appearing in the literature attesting to its reversibility.
He bases this assertion on a mysterious landmark long-term study-without citing it-that there is no known therapy which could change this probability. This is completely erroneous and misleading, both to parents and to the child, as well as to the multitude of readers of Psychiatric News worldwide.
We cite, for example, Edward Glovers report (1960 Portman Clinic Survey), a fact-gathering committee report of the American Psychoanalytic Association (1956), the Bieber et al. report (1962), and the findings of Socarides (1978, 1997). He has completely disregarded the MacIntosh report (1994) published in the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association (1995) that in a responsive survey of 285 psychoanalysts who reported having analyzed 1,250 homosexual patients, 23 percent changed to heterosexuality from homosexuality and that 85 percent had significantly benefited from therapy. The National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality report of 1997 confirms MacIntoshs study.
We take exception to Dr. Newmans attitude that parents disturbed over this development are homophobic -- an erroneous term (for it does not meet the criteria of phobia) coined by the gay movement to stigmatize all parents who disapprove of this condition, for no parent ever raises a child to be a homosexual.
Tolerance, compassion, and understanding of both child and parents, along with a recommendation for psychoanalytic therapy, should be the position of dedicated and responsible psychiatrists.
Ones compassion for the plight of the prehomosexual child and his parents, the childs own responsiveness as a patient, and his value as a human being lead to a mutuality of gratitude and satisfaction between child, parent, and therapist that well justifies the commitment to the alleviation of this important and serious disorder. It is no kindness to children with a gender-identity disorder disturbance in gender-defined selfidentity-a precursor to adult homosexuality and other sexual deviations-to suggest that this condition should be not only accepted but embraced by both the patient and his family.
Charles W. Socarides, M.D.
New York, N.Y.
Abraham Freedman, M.D., Philadelphia, Pa.
Harold Voth, M.D., Topeka, Kan.
C. Downing Tait, M.D., Atlanta, Ga.
Benjamin Kaufman, M.D., Sacramento, Calif.
From NARTH's site.
It seems to me, as an outsider, that BSA's best course of action now is to step up and 1) reaffirm the "no gays" policy that they defended before the Supreme Court, 2) explain that the policy is an integral part of the YP program, 3) restate the need for the YP program, and 4) state for the record that yes, the gay ban is about pederasty and the disproportionate tendency among gay men to participate in, or wink at, pederastic abuse of youths, inasmuch as it is visited not just on gay youth, but on all youth indiscriminately.
Gays who brag in private about their exploits with teenaged boys and "skinning some chicken" cannot then expect to be believed in the forum when they profess with a straight face that their concern for youth protection is the equal of the rest of the community's. The record of scandals and abuses, not just with the Catholic Church but generally, shows that this is just not so. It's high time that BSA grasped that nettle and pulled it up.
As an aside, it would have made a difference to me, if gay leadership at e.g. HRC and GLSEN and PFLAG had rung down interdicts of the most wrathful punishment on pederasts and pedophiles generally, and professed publicly a promise and pledge of fidelity to the community's sensitivities about young people and sexuality. But they have not done this, and so far as I can see, even from the chitchat on "TableTalk", they remain in solidarity with, and secret or even public admirers of, gay men who succeed in introducing formative teenagers to homosex as their first significant sexual experience.
What we have here, Ron, is you guys on the one hand trying to maintain the YP program, and these other people acting in bad faith to break it down.
My two cents.