It's been a while, and I apologize, although I hope you've been enjoying the other posts I've put up, there's some fun stuff there.
If you read nothing else, and watch nothing else, read this amazing article from Rob. Here's the crux:
You’re safer leaving your son in the care of a man who says that he’s gay than with a man who says that he’s not.
Next up, Literally Unbelievable, one of my favorite blogs hits it out of the park (and so of course, so does The Onion):
And here's the deal, some kids know they're LGBT when they're in kindergarden. Some people don't figure it out until they're in high school or college. Some anti-gay, Republican lawmakers still haven't figured it out (Larry Craig), the point is we're each on our own journey. What we should be worried about is supporting all kids, giving them a place they feel safe and helping them become better community leaders.
Lawmakers in California are mulling stripping the BSA of their tax exempt status. Now to be fair, that policy should be extended to all groups that discriminate, not just the BSA, nor do I think it will pass, but it's interesting to see. Non-profits work on a shoe string budget, and this would certainly cause some cuts to be made.
You may have heard that the BSA will hire convicted criminals, but not anyone who is LGBT. This looks like it's just a local council application, but, it is actually illegal to deny employment (at least I think it is) based on criminal background. You can certainly find something else, but that can't be the official reason. The reason the BSA can discriminate against the LGBT community is because they are a 501(c)3, which are normally exempt from non-discrimination laws, such as what we have in Allegheny County.
There was a rally in Texas where Scouts (in uniform) were used as a backdrop to support the ban, Gov. Perry let us know he supports the ban, and Ameriblog looks at the connection between DADT, the BSA, the Mormons and pro football:
“Now that the armed forces ban on openly gay service members has been lifted, and polls show increasing acceptance of same-sex marriage, most American voters think it’s time to open up the Boy Scouts, too,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of Quinnipiac’s Polling Institute.
James Dale, from the original lawsuit, has spoken out again in support of lifting the ban:
With this one letter, the work to which I had dedicated more than half of my young life came completely undone. I was devastated. Yet, it was precisely the sense of leadership, respect, equality and community that the Scouts had instilled in me that would not allow me to accept this injustice, done not just to me but to countless other young gay people who had found a home in the Boy Scouts of America. Not fighting my expulsion from the Scouts would have been a betrayal of all I’d learned in the Scouts....
...If sexual issues are not brought up in the Scouting environment — and in my experience, they never were, until an outside party publicized my homosexuality — that’s all the more reason that it should not matter if some members happen to be gay. It has no impact on their ability to earn an American heritage merit badge, join the Order of the Arrow or achieve lifelong Eagle Scout status.
And just remember, the hateful policy affects people, but we carry on. An Eagle Scout and EMT was killed by a drunk driver. Flags were at half mast and the community has been rocked. And he made a moving It Gets Better video:
As the vote that didn't happen approached, 1.4 million signatures were delivered, President Obama reaffirmed his stance that the program should embrace equality (so did Romney by the way) and the Human Rights Campaign has said what we're all thinking though, that the end of the ban as proposed, still would leave rampant discrimination. I don't think it will happen, and I think their proposal is a small first step, but a step in the right direction. I guess I'm torn, but I'll take any progress.
Two gay brothers share their Scouting story:
Ameriblog also covers the Mormon Church. They have a chance to make a difference, to embrace their own dogmatic change they made last year (proclaiming that LGBT persons can be members of their church), but time will tell. I'm not holding my breath.
Zach Wahls, from Scouts for Equality eviscerates a homophobic parent on CNN and Carol Costello does the same to the head of the FRC.
Zach also spoke to Democracy, Now:
And this is just a reminder, there always have been LGBT members of the BSA and there always will be. We're just pushing for equality, trustworthiness and an organization that tells an entire swath of the population that they are broken.
And that's what we have to change. I fight for this change, not for me (although I would like to go back to volunteer at camp), but for the kids coming after us. They all need our support, straight and gay, and the BSA needs to be a program that is inclusive and affirms that all youth, no matter their sexuality, have worth.
All my best,