My letter to the Boy Scouts of America

The following post is a transcript of a 4-minute weekly radio commentary aired on several Utah radio stations.

The Boy Scouts of America is scheduled to vote later this month on its proposed nondiscrimination policy on sexual orientation for its youth. I was asked by a BSA official to provide some thoughts on the subject in a letter and here are some of those thoughts. I wrote,

603px-Boy_Scouts_of_America_Silver_Dollar_Centennial_Commemorative_Coin_obverseSutherland Institute is sure of a few facts and consequences, if the policy is approved.

First, BSA is not being challenged legally on this issue. … In other words, this debate, as much as it has been unnecessarily contentious, is a self-inflicted wound for BSA.

Second, the proposed policy is a solution looking for a problem. The fact is that no one knows how many youth not in Scouting, but who would like to be, self-identify with a homosexual orientation. What everyone does know is that that number is unremarkably few….

Third, homosexuality, whether imagined or enacted, is incompatible with Scouting. … For a Scouter to think homosexual thoughts or to act on those attractions is not being one’s better self.

And, fourth, there is the issue of psychological and emotional abuse of a child. For BSA to passively accept the idea that a 10-year old has some irreversible homosexual “orientation” that seals his sexual fate for the rest of his life is psychological and emotional abuse of a child….

The consequences for BSA in passing the proposed policy are clear and obvious.

  • On January 1, 2014, the unremarkably few youth who self-identify as homosexual are allowed into Scouting.
  • On January 2, 2014, “gay rights” advocates will file a federal lawsuit claiming that the new Scout policy violates the “Equal Protection” clause of the U.S. Constitution by prohibiting “gay” adult leaders.*
  • By January 3, 2014, media throughout the nation will exaggerate and over-report on the relatively few “gay” youth who sign up for Scouts – for a significant moment in time the new face of Scouting will be homosexuality.
  • By January 4, 2014, media throughout the nation will underreport on the significant exodus of faithful Scouters and their families from the Scouting program.
  • By January 5, 2014, in just one week, BSA will realize it just burned down the house to fry a piece of bacon in implementing the new policy.
  • By the summer of 2014, a federal court will rule that BSA’s policy prohibiting “gay” adult Scout leaders is irrational and based on animus, ordering BSA to immediately reverse its historic policy and thereby trigger another grueling, costly and protracted lawsuit.
  • And, at some point in 2014, everyone who has ever cherished Scouting will realize that it no longer represents what it once stood for nor can it possibly meet its historic purpose and mission to serve America’s youth….

BSA is a private organization. Sutherland Institute is concerned about public policy. As a significant institution of private culture, BSA’s decisions have enormous public impact. If it’s a concern at all, please know that BSA’s decision will spill over into public policy and influence generations of law and policies to come.

That’s what I wrote to the Boy Scouts.

For Sutherland Institute, I’m Paul Mero. Thanks for listening.

* BSA has a federal charter.

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  • Zach J.

    Speaking as an ardent conservative myself, I can only say with all intended sarcasm: “Your compassion knows no bounds.”

  • Joseph Dennee

    Sorry to say Paul but you are a moron. I was in the boy scouts and had they enforced their current policy when I was in I would have sued the hell out of them because frankly discrimination is discrimination and people like the boy scouts should be above discrimination of any kind. So for you to say anything negative about them trying to correct a huge blight on the organization is disturbing and disgusting. I am a homosexual and I knew many homosexuals who were boy scouts. Shortly after I left the boy scouts of America I found out one of our troop leaders was kicked out for being gay. No I was not “out” yet but I had a big problem with it even then. HE was not a child molester or anything of the sort. This man was exactly that a man who was a great scout leader and happened to be homosexual. In other words people like you with no compassion and respect for others who do not fit your little mold of the world and how you want it to be black and white and all good or bad in your little bubble need to wake up and realize the world is a world of color and diversity and it is what makes the world great. Yes the world has some blights on it. Discrimination and prejudice is one of the biggest and bigotry fits into that. You sir and ignorant bigot and your brand is neither want nor required in this world. One day we shall wake up as a people and accept all peoples who what and who they are and not for what our preconceived notions of what others are supposed to be are. In other words, sir, evolve and come out of your little box.. Grow as a human being then come back and talk to me and others of this world. You sir do not belong advising anyone. You are not any sort of expert in this world until you can first be open and understand humanity is diversity and acceptance and love and respect for each other. That sir is our strength and the ability above all else to learn, grow and adapt.

    • I.C.

      Joseph Dennee, you seem to have mastered the Ad Hominem attack and (inadvertently) irony, but neither use of the paragraph nor reason.

      You accuse Mr. Mero of precisely what you are doing yourself, complaining that he has “no compassion and respect for others who do not fit your little mold of the world and how you want it to be.”

      That’s your game Mr. Dennee and your “little box,” which is of your own creation.

      So please, for your sake and others, take your own advice:

      “Be open and understand humanity is diversity and acceptance and love and respect for each other.”
      Not everyone sees the world as you do. Your own bigotry is blinding you.

      • Adison

        I would like to address something here that I have heard more and more. It states here in different words that if I call you a bigot then I am also a bigot or if I say you are intolerant then I am also intolerant. The first time I heard this it was said by a man I admire, James Carville, He said we must be tolerant of the intolerant and seemed to be making the point that by being nice people can accomplish more but I feel this argument is flawed. Joseph said some harsh things.However to state that for me to be a tolerant person I must simply let people walk all over me would be incorrect. To be tolerant means I will be fair with you regardless our differences. I don’t expect someone who does not believe the things I do to practice the same life as I do. However if because of their beliefs they act to stand in the way of me living my life (as long as my actions don’t take away their freedoms) then I will call them intolerant, for they are not treating me fairly. simply calling someone intolerant does not mean you have treated them unfairly. You have simply pointed out that they are not treating others fairly. He pointed out in much stronger and harsh words that Mr. Mero was not seeing the world fairly and by advising the BSA in such a way he was being harmful to people like himself (Joseph). You can argue he is wrong, you can argue he is rude, but to call someone a bigot does not make them a bigot.

  • Joseph Dennee

    ‘One more thing sir, the Organization calls themselves
    The Boy Scouts of America – funny right now they are just the Boyscouts of heterosexual bigoted discriminating America which is what they seem to want to change. So hopefully they do so. Otherwise they need to change their name as to not be falsely advertising their organization. Because to say they are the Boy Scouts of America is incorrect and false advertising because they dont represent or accept all Americans right now do they.. Unless you are saying homosexuals are not Americans or part of America. By the way Paul Mero keep something in mind homosexuals are not all ‘out to everyone, and there are a lot more of us and bisexuals plus transgendered people in this country than you think.. Get a clue, its because of unaccepting people like you that people are afraid to be out and be open and honest with others or even themselves of what and who they are and who they were born to be as whole healthy people, To thy own self be true. Also if you think homosexuality something you learn or is a choice, then realize this, can you choose to be homosexual? Can you choose to not be attracted to the opposite sex? No not if you are, then what makes you think homosexuals have a choice. We don’t which science has proven, a while ago, It is a genetic trait. Sexuality is natural and is a genetic trait. Now think about this, also specifically since we are talking about males when dealing with the Boy Scouts. I will give you a piece of information. It is the “Q-28″ portion of the “Y” chromosome that governs sexuality in males. This is subsequently different in males that are homosexual or bisexual or transgendered. It is different in each orientation. Proving this very point. Get a clue and buy a vowel because you sir do not know the answers of this puzzle. In other words, you are no expert and never will be, you are student and a failing one at that.

  • Matt Graham

    Thank you for your well-said thoughts, Mr. Mero. I could not agree with you more. Having the BSA “leave me”, so to speak, is being as emotionally difficult as anything I’ve ever faced.

    • Adison

      Is this sarcastic?

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