Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Scouts and LGBTQ Families

From my blog posting on
During my young childhood, the group that had my nearly undivided attention (besides church) was my Cub Scout troop, hosted by the United Methodist Church we attended.
I happily donned my royal blue uniform, with all its cloth badges and appliqu├ęs, and yellow kerchief. But the Cub Scouts was not just a solo experience: it was a family affair. My Mom was a dutiful Pack Mom, hosting our pack when it was her turn to provide activities, freshly baked cookies, and milk. My Mom and Dad proudly watched our Cub Scout pack march in neighborhood parades, and supported our civic projects. My Dad took an active interest in helping me with my balsa-wood airplanes and race cars, and was delighted to lead our group of Webelos in my last year of Cub Scouts.
We learned to tie knots, and picked up other skills that we would find helpful on camping trips. While I was smitten with the world of Scouts early on, when I was thirteen years old I chose to become a Civil Air Patrol cadet instead of a Boy Scout because of my love of flying.
Much has changed since I left the Cub Scouts and became a parent. As a parent, I would have enjoyed participating with my daughter if she were to have become a Girl Scout, and with my son were he to have chosen to become a Boy Scout. While the Girl Scouts are open and accepting of young Scouts who are lesbian and their lesbian moms, the Boy Scouts’ story has been a different one. In 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Boy Scouts of America could bar any activity by gay Scouts or LGBTQ parents because the Scouts are a private organization. On July 17, 2012, after a secretive two-year review of their policy toward gay Scouts and LGBTQ parents, the Boy Scouts reaffirmed its policy to exclude gays from joining or being leaders.
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