Robert Knight

Boy Scouts learn to start fires by rubbing two sticks together. Now, the national Scout leadership is playing with fire. Scratch that; they’re playing with explosives.

Under consideration for a vote during a Feb. 4th to 6th board of directors meeting is a rules change that would overturn the Scouts’ ban on openly homosexual members and leaders.

A press release on Jan. 28 by Scouts spokesman Deron Smith said, “This would mean there would no longer be any national policy regarding sexual orientation, but that the chartered organizations that oversee and deliver Scouting would accept membership and select leaders consistent with their organization’s mission, principles or religious beliefs.”

In other words, sponsoring organizations could now coerce Scout troops to accept openly homosexual men and boys. Scout councils in liberal jurisdictions would lose the national shield. Those that resist would be kicked out of schools and other locales. This “local option” would signal surrender and destroy the Boy Scouts. Without parental trust, the Boy Scouts, founded in 1910 and who have been instrumental in helping millions of boys transition to manhood, would implode like a popped balloon. Does anyone other than leftwing ideologues and America’s enemies think this would be good for America?

The policy change would pose a real and present danger to the boys, as vividly illustrated by the still-simmering scandals involving serial boy molester Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky and dozens of Catholic priests. Although homosexual activists try to camouflage the real issue by saying that it’s about pedophilia, not homosexuality, most of the priests’ victims were male teens and young men. Catholic reformers say that the problem is a homosexual subculture that was allowed to thrive in seminaries before a multitude of incidents came to public light. As the Vatican works mightily to restore trust and prevent further incidents, the Boy Scouts seem to be on the verge of going in the other direction.

A 1994 book, Scouts Dishonor, by former Washington Times investigative reporter Patrick Boyle, revealed 1,800 cases in which Scout leaders had been dismissed for abusing boys. In 2010, a jury awarded $18.5 million to a man abused by a pedophilic Scoutmaster. Given all this, it’s unfathomable for the Scouts to flirt with the idea of opening their ranks to males attracted to other males. Some of the perpetrators were married, but they obviously had same-sex inclinations, which is the whole point. We don’t allow men – even trustworthy men – to take innocent young girls camping. It’s a common-sense precaution.


Robert Knight

Robert Knight is an author, senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a frequent contributor to Townhall.