We, the Scouting community and community members of South-East Idaho urge the Grand Teton Council to reject the Boy Scouts of America's anti-gay policy.
Service organizations including the Girl Scouts, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and the 4H Club all welcome gay kids and adult leaders. Also, the American Medical Association has opposed the Boy Scouts' anti-gay policy, saying it could cause psychological trauma in youth.
We love the Boy Scouts, but we can’t support this policy. That's why we urge you to speak out 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!
Your Council has not prepared itself for the inevitable change.
The country clearly has moved forward. 13 states in the Union support same-sex civil unions or marriage. The Federal Government has been affirmative and non-discriminatory for 20 years from hiring practice, and has now moved into extending same-sex benefits. 50% of all churches are either LGBT tolerant or LGBT affirmative. Including the LDS church: see its statement on the http://mormonsandgays.org page. It is possible for gays to be moral in the LDS Church. The Church simply expects them to be chaste. Other churches allow gay clergy. Even gay clergy who are coupled via civil union or marriage. Chastity exists in same-sex unions within the context of civil union or marriage.
Change is coming. What are you doing to prepare the Council for it?
May I suggest starting some training for your staff, volunteers, interested public? May I suggest perhaps viewing the excellent material provided by The Inclusive Scouting Network? May I suggest engaging in dialogue with the Chartering Organizations at the liaison level first? Time is of the essence to be prepare them now regardless of the outcome of the National Conference in May. Because change is coming.
I have a copy of of the DVD "Scouts Honor" produced by The Inclusive Scouting Network (we discussed this earlier). May I suggest a public screening underwritten by the Grand Teton Council followed by a panel discussion of with a representative of the Grand Teton Council, and invitations to clergy, and mental health/psychological personnel who are both for and against the proposed policy change? You may pre-screen the video to determine suitability and appropriateness online at this link: http://video.pbs.org/video/2335773495/
Call me if I can be of help. I am an Eagle Scout. I am a former Scoutmaster of this Council. I have a twin who is an Eagle Scout. He is gay. I have six sons who were Cubs and Scouts in this Council. 2 of my sons are gay. I have had to wrestle with this issue for over 25 years. I will be helpful in this process while obeying all of the Scout Law. All of it.
My contact information is: (208) 569-4698 or firstname.lastname@example.org
David O. McGrath