The ban on gay scouts or gay scout leaders in the Boy Scouts of America is close to its end. This has been a timeless tradition for the BSA, and has been so since basically the beginning of scouting itself. However, times are changing, and the tradition may be coming to an end. After nearly 1.4 million signatures on online petitions, declining numbers in scouting and declines from sponsors, BSA is getting close to ending its ban. The discussion of ending this ban has raised voices from both sides about why or why not the ban should end. While tradition is very important, some rules need to be changed.
Ending the ban on gay scouts and leaders makes a lot of sense in many ways. The first reason for this being that it simply raises the number of people in scouting. Scouting is only as strong as how many scouts are actually in the organization. Ending the ban would most likely increase the numbers in scouting, and provide a more welcome environment for more scouts and leaders to join in. The next reason is that it also gets rid of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy scouts have that completely contradicts the first point of the Scout Law, “A scout is trustworthy.” This policy makes gay scout to lie if they want to stay in scouts. If they are open about their sexuality, they would be kicked out of the organization. One of the biggest supporters of this movement is President Barack Obama who released a statement saying “The scouts are a great institution that are promoting young people, exposing them to opportunities and leadership that will serve people for the rest of their lives and I think nobody should be barred from it.” There are many reasons why this ban should be ended, but there are also arguments against ending the ban.
Now, there are also reasons why the ban should continue. One of the best reasons for this is the fact that it is tradition for the BSA, and should be held as tradition. This has been in the BSA since basically its beginning, and tradition is an important thing to the BSA. Another legitimate concern about getting rid of the no gay ban is the fear of child molestation and rape cases from leaders and scouts. While this is a threat, the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” current policy doesn’t help too much at getting rid of these types of cases. A supporter of keeping the gay on scouting is Texas Gov. Rick Perry,who released a statement on this issue “Scouting is about teaching a substantial amount of life lessons, and sexuality is not one of them, doesn’t have to and doesn’t need to be.” There are good arguments on both sides of this spectrum on whether or not to end this ban.
As for me, I believe that the ban should be lifted. Seeing all the responsible scouts and their leaders be denied the great lessons taught by scouting makes me ashamed to wear my Eagle rank. Great scouts can come in all shapes, sizes and sexualities. People aren’t determined by what their sexualities are, but by what kind of a person they can become. The BSA has plenty of reasons to lift its ban on no gay scouts and leaders, and should act accordingly.