Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Gay Scouts

There has been lots of social network attention recently on the campaign Scouts For Equality. The head hunchos at Boy Scouts of America recently voted unanimously to keep their ban on gay scouts. I was at first shocked then confused about this news. I first spoke with a friend of mine who is a life long Scout member, Dave was also shocked but not confused his response of "Its bullshit" is blunt but accurate.

I did a bit of research myself and found out more proof (if Dave's testament isn't enough) that British Scouts not only welcome gay members and leaders but offer training,
advice and leaflets on the dealing with subject should it come up. They have recently also been supporting anti-bullying campaign led by gay rights charity Stonewall. 

In such a well loved and world wide institution I dont understand where this homophobia comes from. I can think of no reason in Scouting where sexual preference would be influential, its a children's organisation there is no sex even remotely involved. There have been references to child molestation and the "bad" influence on impressionable young youths which I won't even bother to counter due to the ridiculousness of the argument (and because it really makes me fume). Something I will comment on are the complaints of allowing gay members would lead the organisation away from their origins. Most of theses are religious, saying that it would be veering away from the organisations Christian roots and ethics. This is also rubbish. British Scouts have had multi religious and cultural ethos for decades, accommodating to allow Hindus, Muslims and girls to join, and Boy Scouts of America should be ashamed of their hypercritical bigoted rules and take a leaf out of British Association of Scouts. And to those going on about the origins of Scouts could also take note of our equal opportunity stance as Scouting started in Britain

The vote last week is a disappointing result and I feel sad but I'm also glad its not all Scouts, just the American ones. If you want to help out the yankee scouters you can sign the petition here. I'm proud that our British Scouts are setting a the bar for equal rights and I'll finish with a quote to that effect.

         'In Scouting we believe that all young people, irrespective of their sexuality, gender, race, creed or background, have an equal opportunity to develop and to be themselves.'      Wayne Bulpitt, Chief Commissioner British Scouting Association.