As a young man, achieving the rank of Eagle Scout was one of the proudest accomplishments of my life up to that point. The leadership development and values of scouting had a profound effect on me and have served me well in adult life. As an out gay person, the Boy Scouts of America have let me — and the entire world — know in no uncertain terms that I am not welcome. Their policy sends a message to kids around the country that it is indeed OK to discriminate against gay people.
And yet the scouting values still resonate with me and guide me in life today. Being honest means talking about how exclusionary policies hurt the Scouts; being kind means working to let every young man have the same opportunities in scouting without having to hide who they are; being brave means breaking ranks with an organization that I loved so much. In this case, being helpful means working to end these unfair rules.
It is so exciting to see that, after decades of excluding gay, bisexual and transgender young men from scouting, the Boy Scouts of America are signaling a willingness to change their policies. They have asked for public comment on whether to change their policies, so that local entities can decide to include all young people. While it would be so much better if they were considering a broad, national non-discrimination policy, it is very encouraging that they may be willing to change.
The Boy Scouts of America want to hear from the country on this issue!
I’d like to ask that your good turn for the day by sending a letter or calling them directly at 972-580-2330.