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Religious intolerance and homophobia
Boy Scouts of America (BSA):
Gradual Elimination of Discrimination
Sexual Orientation, Sex,
Gender Identity. Discrimination
based on religious beliefs continues.
In this web site, the term LGBT refers to the lesbian,
gay, bisexual, transgender, and transsexual community.
"LGB" refers to the first three.
The first words of the Boy Scout's oath:
"On my honor I will do my best."
"No man is much good unless he believes in God and obeys His laws. So every Scout should have religion." From the book "Scouting for Boys" by Robert Lord Baden Powell (1857-1941),
5 founder of the
Scouting movement. 6
"I believe that the Boy Scouts of America does a wonderful service for this country. I support the right of the Boy Scouts of America to decide what it wants to do on that issue. I feel that all people should be able to participate in the Boy Scouts regardless of their sexual orientation." Mitt Romney, while debating with Ted Kennedy in the Massachusetts senate race of 1994.
Some quotations related to discrimination by the Boy Scouts of America (BSA):
"The Boy Scouts of America maintain that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing his obligation to God." Bylaws, Boy Scouts of America.
"Any organization could profit from a 10-year-old member with enough strength of character
to refuse to swear falsely." Editorial, New York Times, 1993-DEC-12, commenting on the
Boy Scouts' exclusion of a young Atheist who refused to lie about his religious beliefs in order to be accepted into a BSA troop.
"If a youth comes to a Scoutmaster and admits to doing wrong, like stealing, lying, cheating or vandalizing, the normal procedure is to counsel the youth privately and sympathetically. ... If the
youth admits to being a homosexual, the Boy Scouts' policy is to instantly terminate his association with Scouting." From the "Findings of fact," in a 1998 District of Columbia court case 1
"Obviously, the Boy Scouts can accept and reject whomever they wish. But officials should bear in mind that they, like the Christian Right and the Anglican bishops, are disserving the nation's boys -- mere
children -- when teaching them to hate fellow humans." Bill Maxwell, St. Petersburg Times, 1998-AUG-09
The Traditional Values Coalition's (TVC) newsletter for 2001-JUN-29 contained an article at http://www.defendscouting.org. It described a campaign that it described as intending to destroy the Boy Scouts. That web site is no longer online. Anyone can purchase their domain name from HugeDomains.com for U.S. $3,495.00. Also, the TVC website itself is no longer online. The Web Archives of the Library of Congress contains 376 links to TVC articles between 2001-DEC and 2016. Their last reference is for 2016-AUG-03. We suspect that the organization is no longer active. The Southern Poverty Law Center designated the TVC as an anti-LGBT hate group in 2010. 7
"The available evidence points inexorably to the conclusion that Baden-Powell was a repressed homosexual." Tim Jeal 2
"...the Boy Scouts of America have been brutally assailed as malicious monsters because they believe that only adults who adhere to a moral code should lead young boys." Jerry Falwell 3 (He seems to have implied that a person cannot be moral without first believing in God).
"When religion sanctifies hatred, it lends to that hatred a special ferocity. Normal moral inhibitors are erased." Johannes Cardinal Wildebrands.
Timeline of changes to the BSA discrimination policies:
Prior to 1988, the national membership policies of the BSA did not allow youth members or adult leaders to join the BSA if they:
2017-FEB: A troop within the BSA expelled a member because he was a transgender boy, then later welcomed him back. The BSA later started to allow transgender boys to join. These are youth who were identified as female at birth but now identify as being male, or as having no gender, or as having both a male and female gender.
2017-OCT: The BSA announced that it will shortly allow young girls to join as Cub Scouts.
A chronological review of the BSA's
exclusionary membership policies based on sex, sexual
orientation, gender identity, and belief in one or more deities
at various times during their history.Part 1Part 2