There are often times when I read something and wonder whether I jumped into a time machine and have been transported back in time. Our neighbours to the south are at it again: discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation.
By now you’ve no doubt heard that the Boy Scouts of America stands by its ban to admit gays into its 102-year old organization. It all just seems so backward to me. I am just not sure what one’s sexual orientation has to do with learning leadership skills, respect for one’s elders and knot-tying ability. It isn’t my intention to trivialize their importance and role in the community, I just don’t see why it matters whether one of their leaders or troop members is gay.
According to chief Scout executive Robert Mazzuca, “the vast majority of the parents of youth we serve value their right to address the issues of same-sex orientation within their family, with spiritual advisors and at the appropriate time and in the right setting.” I have no problem with that. If I had kids, I, too would want conversations like that to take place in my home as well.
But here’s where I am having trouble with the decision. I have had friends who were both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. I never recall them ever sharing with me that discussions about sex came up during any of their meetings, outings in the community or in fact, during any time they were Scouts. They never mentioned talking about sex, dating, marriage or anything that really ought to be conversations held with and initiated by their parents. I personally don’t feel it’s the Scout’s place to talk about those things – be it about gay or heterosexual relationships.
To underscore my point, the ruling came after a petition circulated that was signed by over 275 thousand people who protested the dismissal of a den mother, following the discovery that she was gay. Okay, first of all, it seems pretty clear that sexual orientation aside, prior to the “discovery,” she was upholding the duties of her position as well as any straight den mother. Apart from that, her lifestyle was never in conflict with her responsibilities. She kept that part of her life private, which is why it was discovered. She didn’t wear her sexuality on her sleeve. She did her job and didn’t bring her lifestyle into it.
Something else I find even stranger is the fact that while the ban is upheld by the Boy Scouts of America, the Girl Scouts of America lifted the ban. What conclusions are we to draw there? Is there a greater threat of discussing same-sex relationships with boys than there is with girls? Are boys more vulnerable than girls, and if so, to what?
Fortunately, Canada removes the controversy out of the equation by not discriminating against anyone, regardless of sex, sexual orientation, religion, or culture.
Until next time,
Peace, love and vitamin C!