Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Our Family Oath

Our conversation went like this the other day.

Imagine if the Boy Scouts decided one day that they wouldn't let boys be a Boy Scout if they had blue eyes. Ryan yelled at me first "No way. They would never do that. I have blue eyes." Imagine if they said only brown eyed boys could join. "They couldn't." I then asked, "What about if African-American boys couldn't join?" "They couldn't do that," they yelled.

I then exhaled and began a very difficult conversation. We would not be allowing our boys to rejoin the Boy Scouts. I explained the latest ruling by the Boy Scouts. Weeks earlier, the Boy Scouts announced that "While the B.S.A. does not proactively inquire about the sexual orientation of employees, volunteers, or members, we do not grant membership to individuals who are open or avowed homosexuals or who engage in behavior that would become a distraction to the mission of the B.S.A.”

When I read those words in the newspaper, it hit me straight in the gut. My boys just finished up a week at a fantastic Boy Scout summer camp. They were really getting into earning badges and making friends. When I read the announcement, I had to make a choice.

Before I talked to my boys, I kept thinking that it just wasn't right. I can't allow my children to think that it is OK to exclude others. And it isn't OK for me to be apart of this organization as a family.  It goes against everything I believe. My heart goes out to any gay boy that is close to earning the Eagle Scout badge. And to the great leaders that may be gay, I am sorry that the organization that you have dedicated your life of service has now decided that you are unworthy.

The Supreme Court ruled in 2000 that the Boy Scouts of America have the right to restrict their membership. I understand their rights. But I found it interesting that the Girl Scouts have vowed to allow gay membership. Big Brothers Big Sisters also allow gay members. I know the organization has the right to make their own rules. But, as a parent, I make mine.

And to my children, I don't know if you are gay or not. I just want you to know that your mom was trying to teach you a lesson that day in the van. You may not remember why exactly you can't be a Boy Scout. You will know what we value and that we stick up for others. The Boy Scout Oath states that you are to "help others at all times."  We are taking a stand and being vocal for those that are being excluded from this organization.  It is our family oath.


Cristine said...

Good job!

ladygeekgeek said...

So proud of you for making a stand. This craziness has to end.

Lara said...

Maybe if mor parents would take a stand there wouldn't be so much prejudice. Great parenting and advocating!

Kerri said...

awesome - absolutely awesome! not too long before they'll head to massanetta with the middle schoolers!

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