Reverse the decision on anti-gay policy
This petition made change with 28 supporters!
NOTE: I am asking all current Boy Scouts, especially Eagle Scouts, to sign this petition to ask the BSA to reverse their decision on their anti-gay policy. By signing, you are commiting to relinquish your Eagle Scout rank and cut all ties to the BSA. This is not a decision to be taken lightly. I will relinquish my rank of Eagle Scout on July 14, 2013, the day before the 2013 Jamboree begins, if the BSA does not reverse their policy. Please let us know what troop you belong to and the year you received your Eagle Scout rank in the reasons.
If you are not a Boy Scout or Eagle Scout, please consider signing any of the other petitions asking the BSA to reconsider. I am intending this to be a petition signed by Scouts to show the BSA how their members feel about their anti-gay policy.
To the Boy Scouts of America,
My name is Carter Bailey, Eagle Scout of Troop 354. I achieved the rank of Eagle in the summer of 2003 after seven years of Boy Scout membership and 3 years of Cub Scouts. I dedicated ten years of my youth to Scouting and everything it represented. Scouting is one of the best and most defining experiences of my upbringing, teaching me the values and skills that have turned me into the upstanding, successful, and productive citizen that I am today. I have many great memories and learned much from Scouting, and for those reasons, it saddens me that I must now contemplate relinquishing my Eagle Scout rank and cut all ties to the Boy Scouts of America. I will give you until July 14, 2013 to make a decision to reverse the policy. The reason for this date is two-fold: it gives you one year to reconsider and it is a symbolic date as this is the day before the 2013 Jamboree.
I am not gay, but I make these decisions based on the values and lessons I learned as a Scout, as a citizen of the United States, and as a citizen of the world. I make these decisions in support and solidarity for many friends, family, and even strangers who are, or have been affected, by your policies. I make these decisions for my future sons, nephews, cousins, and everyone who will be affected by these policies.
The policy of excluding homosexual members and leaders creates a hostile environment that breeds intolerance towards those members who may or may not be gay. The policy encourages gay members to hide in fear of hatred and ostracism. The policy causes repression and damage to their psyche, emotional development and attitude. The policy teaches that intolerance is acceptable.
The policy goes against every tenant of what defines Scouting.
The Scout Oath calls for scouts to do their duty to God and country. Doesn't God call for us to love our neighbors as ourself? Doesn't our country call for us to give equal opportunity?
The Scout Oath calls for scouts to help other people at all times. Does excluding gay potential scouts and stripping existing gay scouts of their awards help them?
The Scout Oath calls for scouts to keep themselves physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight. Being gay does not violate any of those tenants. Those who blindly exclude others because of their sexuality are not mentally awake.
From a Scouting website (http://usscouts.org/advance/boyscout/bsoath.asp), "To be a person of strong character, your relationships with others should be honest and open. You should respect and defend the rights of all people. Be clean in your speech and actions, and remain faithful in your religious beliefs. The values you practice as a Scout will help you shape a life of virtue and self-reliance." How does excluding people based on sexuality follow "defend the rights of all people?"
The Scout Oath calls for scouts to follow the Scout Law. When the Law says "Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind..." does that sound like an invitation to exclude and ostracize others based on their sexuality? It sounds like we should accept them for who they are.
From the BSA website itself (http://www.scouting.org/sitecore/content/scoutparents/Scouting%20Basics/What%20Scouting%20Is/Scouting%20Is%20Diverse.aspx) "Scouting is Diverse"
"Scouting is truly a melting pot. Scouts come from all walks of life, all types of family units, faiths, and racial and ethnic groups. The BSA respects the rights of people and groups who hold values that differ from those encompassed in the Scout Oath and Law, and aims to allow youth to live and learn as children and enjoy Scouting without immersing them in the politics of the day."
From the BSA website itself (http://www.scouting.org/sitecore/content/scoutparents/Scouting%20Basics/What%20Scouting%20Is/Scouting%20Vision.aspx) "Scouting's Vision"
"The Boy Scouts of America is the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training. In the future, Scouting will continue to:
Offer young people responsible fun and adventure
Instill in young people lifetime values and develop in them ethical character as expressed in the Scout Oath and Law
Train young people in citizenship, service and leadership
Serve America’s communities and families with its quality, values-based program."
I don't have kids yet, but I was excited about the chance to walk with my son through Scouting. I was excited about the possibility of watching him grow into a young man and eventually an adult. I was excited to help him learn how important it is to respect others, never accept mediocrity in himself, and the importance of being a part of something bigger than yourself. I now fear that I won't ever have the chance to share my wonderful experience of Scouting with him. I have to fear because I can't know if he will be gay or not, and I can't place him in an organization that has decided it is acceptable to treat homosexuality as a disease and something that is not "morally straight." How can I, in good conscience, allow him to be put in a situation that could lead to him being bullied, excluded, or taught that it is acceptable to treat other people this way? I can't, and I won't.
As a human, as an American, as a future father, as an Eagle Scout, I ask you to reconsider your policy. If you cannot or will not change your policy, I have no choice but to relinquish my Eagle Scout rank on July 14, 2013 and cut all ties to the Boy Scouts of America. I humbly ask for all other like-minded Eagle Scouts, Scout Leaders, and other Scouts to join me in solidarity for our fellow scouts and future scouts who may have a different sexuality than us but are no different than us through and through. To my fellow Eagle Scouts, I understand that this is a lot to ask of you and the many years of work that you put into your achievements, but the lessons, values, and skills that we learned as Scouts cannot be taken away. A badge is merely a physical token to commemorate our achievements, and only things that are physical can be taken away from us. Not our pride, our values, or our honor.
Thank you for the many years of adventure, education, and camaraderie.
Troop 354 of Tyler, Texas
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