THE BLOG
05/20/2013 02:49 pm ET Updated Feb 02, 2016

Dear Boy Scouts, Being Straight Doesn't Make You 'Morally Straight'!

Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office via Getty Images

As we're all aware, the Boy Scouts of America tries to pretend that LGBT people aren't morally straight. That's the entire basis for keeping us out of scouting. Well, I have news for them: There's a long list of straight people who've been involved in scouting who are not morally straight. Here a few examples.

  • Dennis Rader, also known as the BTK (bind, torture, kill) killer, was a Boy Scout leader, yet he tortured and killed women for years.
  • Richard Angelo, a nurse at the Good Samaritan Hospital on Long Island, poisoned patients in hopes of saving them in front of his colleagues, but his activities resulted in several deaths, thus making the entire nation scared of hospitals. The desire to be a hero in others' eyes made him a monster. He is an Eagle Scout.
  • Marion Barry, a former mayor of Washington, D.C., remains a public figure in the city despite a cocaine conviction in 1990. Most of America saw the now-infamous FBI sting video showing him smoking crack cocaine with a woman who was not his wife. Remember Barry's comments that "bitch set me up"? He served a six-month sentence, but unbelievably, he was once again elected mayor. He's since faced further drug and tax problems and charges of corruption. He is an Eagle Scout.
  • Russell Henderson, one of Matthew Shepard's killers, is an Eagle Scout.
  • It is rumored that Charles Manson is a Life Scout.

A side note: The Boy Scouts of America is technically a private organization, but, like the Red Cross, Fannie Mae and the United States Olympic Committee, it was granted a charter by Congress. Backed up by this charter, and with the president of the United States as the honorary president of the organization, the Boy Scouts of America enjoys a special status in our society. The charter is also the basis of a muscular intellectual property approach used to "protect the brand." The Boy Scouts of America have registered dozens of exclusive trademarks, including "Be Prepared," "Scoutmaster," "Merit Badge" and "Scouting." Unlike countries like France and Germany, which have a variety of scouting programs with different membership rules, there is only one brand of Boy Scout in America. This means that the Boy Scouts can have it both ways: They enjoy a government-sponsored monopoly and, like a private club, they get to discriminate against gays and atheists.

The Boy Scouts of America will vote on this matter this week, so please let your opinion be heard! Go to glaad.org/scouts to see what you can do.

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