My letter to the Boy Scouts of America

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,

Sutherland 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.

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

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