We, the Scouts and community members of Texas urge Circle Ten Council to reject the Boy Scouts of America's anti-gay policy.
The Boy Scouts of America's policy states:
“While the BSA does not proactively inquire about the sexual orientation of employees, volunteers, or members, we do not grant membership to individuals who are open or avowed homosexuals or who engage in behavior that would become a distraction to the mission of the BSA.”
Scouting believes same-sex attraction should be introduced and discussed outside of its program with parents, caregivers, or spiritual advisers, at the appropriate time and in the right setting. The vast majority of parents we serve value this right and do not sign their children up for Scouting for it to introduce or discuss, in any way, these topics.
The BSA is a voluntary, private organization that sets policies that are best for the organization. The BSA welcomes all who share its beliefs but does not criticize or condemn those who wish to follow a different path.
-Boy Scouts of America June, 7 2012
Homosexuality is not an alterable belief. It is a state of being, and as such, does not begin with an engagement in behavior. I have always been bisexual. This policy is saying that had I affirmed this truth in words when I was younger, none of my accomplishments in my scouting career would have been possible, and I today would not be an Eagle Scout, as I would have been labeled a “distraction to the mission of the BSA”. I was the leader of my troop for six months, a Brotherhood member of the Order of the Arrow, and a seven week long staff member of a boy scout camp in Texas. I would sincerely hope, that these accomplishments would be deemed as nothing less than ideal service to the mission of the Boy Scouts of America. The fact that the distinction between ideal service and distraction is the utterance of a truth is saddening.
I hope all who are scouts, former scouts, parents of scouts, friends of scouts, or supporters of scouts sign this petition. To add their name to this list. To support this cause so others like me no longer have to hide, and feel ashamed of who they are in this organization. For so many years I felt inadequate, as if there was something wrong with me. I value honesty, and I failed to be honest to those in my troop, about who I am. It shouldn't have to be like that. Boys shouldn't have to go through what I went through.
Among service organizations, the Boy Scouts are increasingly isolating themselves with their discriminatory policy. Organizations including the Girl Scouts, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, as well as the 4H Club all welcome gay kids as well as adult leaders.
We love the Boy Scouts, but we can’t support this policy. That's why we urge you to speak out against the ban on gay Scouts and leaders and adopt an inclusive policy like other troops, packs, councils, and lodges across the country have done -- so the Boy Scouts can maintain its relevancy, improve recruitment, and truly live by the principles it teaches its members.
NOTE: We encourage everyone to join this campaign, but if you're a current or former Scout or leader, please say so in the "Why People Are Signing" section. Thanks!