The Boy Scouts of America voted today, May 23, 2013, to allow gay youth to join its ranks and earn the same medals, titles and ranks as their heterosexual peers. According to CBS News, http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57586000/boy-scouts-approve-plan-to-…, this is a reversal of a policy banning gay youth that has been in effect for over 100 years, since 1910. The vote is seen as an effort by the Scouts to adapt to the changing times in America whereby gay marriage and other social issues in support of gays are gaining more support. The vote, which took place in Irving, Texas today also continued the Scouts’ long time ban on adult gay leadership in its ranks; although some sources close to the issue expressed their beliefs that the adult leadership ban also will be lifted someday. The ban lifting measure passed by a 61% margin of the 1,400 eligible voting members.
Today’s vote, according to observers, will result in a loss of membership among some of the ranks who are not as liberal and progressive as others. One such member was Theodore Anderson, an eighteen year scout leader from Springfield, Mo.. Anderson said that the vote went against his fundamental beliefs and that he could not, in clear conscience, continue in his position as a Scout leader. However, the Mormon Church of America, (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints), which historically always has been a very conservative organization, announced that it will continue to support the Boy Scouts because of its commitment to American youth and its proper upbringing.
The Catholic Church of America was much less consistent in its approach to the vote and its ramifications. Bishop Paul Loverde, of the Catholic Diocese of Arlington County, VA, said that he will have to “reconsider” his diocese’s support of the 50 Scout troops that are sponsored by the diocese. However, officials of the Diocese of Washington have stated that they do not consider the new Scout policy to be in conflict with the teachings of the Catholic Church.
Boy Scout 100 Year Anniversary poster.
This is the Boy Scout Centennial Poster, commemorating 100 years of the Boy Scouts of America from 1910 to 2010. The boys in the beige uniforms with green hats are Boy Scouts and the boy in the blue uniform and hat is a Cub Scout. The words BSA in the white balloon symbolizes the name of the organization, Boy Scouts of America. Notice the U.S. flag in the left corner of the flag which symbolizes the patriotism and love of country that the BSA has always taught since its inception.
The Three Founders of the Boy Scouts of America
Motivated by a sense of country and a need to follow in the footsteps of the predecessor organization, Boy Scouts Association, William D. Boyce ,Ernest Thompson Seton and Daniel Carter Beard, founded the Boy Scouts of America. The men were inspired by an already existing organization called, The Boy Scouts Association, which taught boys a sense of duty, and taught them to walk people across the street, pick up litter and do other things to help people. The founders incorporated these principles of duty with loyalty to country and reverence to God, and founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910.
Scout reciting BSA loyalty oath.
The Boy Scouts have a solemn oath that includes elements of patriotism, duty and love of God:
On my honor, I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.
Furthermore, a Scout is:
Those principles still abound among the boys of the BSA and the organization’s vote today shows that the BSA now believes that it can continue to do so with gay youth among its ranks.
The medals that all scouts want to earn.
All scouts of all denominations, ethnic origins and sexual orientations want to earn medals. Everybody likes recognition and everybody deserves to have opportunities to succeed and win medals and commendation from peers and elders. These are the patches and medals of the Scouts, and now all scouts will have an equal chance to win such recognition and develop self-confidence.
Old time BSA music on a 45.
The music is spinning on this very old 45 which plays the theme music of the BSA. As the record spins so do the times of the BSA, both above and below the radar, so to speak. The BSA has taken a very brave and bold step today and, as time spins by, we shall see what else develops for the organization in the next few years.