Cathy Ruse

The lead scenario in the February survey describes a boy who joins as a tot and dutifully fulfills all requirements over the years until, at the moment he stands before the review board to receive his Eagle Scout Award, “he reveals that he is gay.” Is it acceptable for the board to deny him his Eagle Scout award?

In an obvious slip, the survey instructions were made public along with the survey questions. They tell survey-takers to present this scenario first every time, while rotating others involving boys sharing tents and “gay male troop leaders” who “follow the youth protection guidelines” on camping trips.

But even the results of this survey went wrong for those gunning for a change: Sixty-one percent of parents and Scout leaders favor keeping the current policy, while only 34 percent favor changing it. News agencies aren’t reporting it that way, though, because the official media statement released by the BSA executives includes nothing of the actual survey results but only this very calculated and utterly misleading claim: “While perspectives and opinions vary significantly, parents, adults in the Scouting community and teens alike tend to agree that youth should not be denied the benefits of Scouting.”

The “Executive Summary” of the survey is also crafted to deceive, leading with vague and disingenuous claims that suggest parents support the membership policy change while burying in a heap of diversionary words at the bottom of page 2 the real numbers that show parents overwhelmingly oppose it.

If the survey was slanted, the official documents released to the public and the press about its results are sheer treachery. How un-Boy Scout of them.

There will be a showdown in Grapevine, Texas, on May 23rd. But will it be a fair fight? Sources inside the Boy Scouts are hearing troubling reports about hundreds or even thousands of additional delegates arriving in Grapevine to cast a vote, anonymously, on the membership policy resolution. Their identities have not been revealed. Voting members of the National Council who support the current policy are in discussion with legal counsel and taking steps to preserve their right to a full and fair vote, an unfortunate step to take in a fraternal organization like the Boy Scouts, but obviously a necessary one.

The first tenet of Boy Scout law is to be Trustworthy. Even those at the top of the organization should not count themselves above it.

Cathy Ruse

Cathy Ruse has devoted her professional career to promoting the dignity of the human person. Her professional experience spans the fields of communication, public policy, and law.