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Boy Scouts policy shift on gays

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The recent decision by the Boy Scouts of America governing board to reverse a policy that has been in effect for over sixty years has stirred much controversy; allowing openly gay boys to become members ( they still bar openly gay adults from holding leadership positions).

Many religious organizations have become split over the issue. The more conservative churches have withdrawn all support from the BSA, while those with a more liberal attitude have embraced the policy as being enlightened.

Some have compared the change to the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy in the military which began during the Clinton administration and much like that policy, there are those that feel it is too permissive, while other think it is not permissive enough.

This shift in policy on the surface makes little sense. If the issue is exposing young boys to the homosexual lifestyle, it would make more sense to bar gays outright. After all, young boys are more likely to be influenced to behave a certain way by their peers rather than adults if one were to believe that "gayness" is a learned behavior.

From a legal standpoint, the Supreme Court has previously opined that the BSA is a private organization and therefore has the right to control who can and cannot become a member. Has the BSA suddenly become more tolerant, or just acquiescing to a vocal minority?

Whatever the reason for the policy shift, there are concerns that this may be the end of an organization that has been an integral component to the development of young boys into young men (and young girls into young women in the case of Girl Scouts) for over half a century as those organizations that have previously supported the BSA/GSA financially and in other ways withdraw that support and membership declines because of parental concerns.

This is still America. Although we find some forms of speech distasteful and intolerance unpleasant those that care to prohibit certain members of our society from being members of a private organization have that right.

Those that disagree with any private organizations membership policy have the right to disagree and if they so choose, to start their own organization.

This is the beauty of America.

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