The Boy Scouts of America have denied 17-year-old Ryan Andresen his Eagle pin because he came out as gay. My nephew Matt received his Eagle pin about 10 years ago, and his father Jeff, my brother-in-law, was a troop leader. I was curious about where Matt and Jeff stood on the issue.
It's time that we did more than sign Karen Andresen's petition to protest the recalcitrant Boy Scouts of America. Until the BSA changes its anti-gay, anti-humane policy, no synagogue, church or school should sponsor a Boy Scout troop.
If parents who condemn discrimination permit their children to participate in the Boy Scouts, I can assure them that not too many years in the future their children will look back and say, "What the hell were you thinking?"
In a world where diversity isn't simply tolerated but valued as an integral part of what sets our species apart as well as evidence of our evolution, organizations that display intolerance or discriminate for congenital traits would find themselves out of step with society.
Last week I decided to send my Eagle Scout medal back to the Boy Scouts of America in protest of their policy on homosexuality. The irony is that the Boy Scouts constantly emphasized tolerance and inclusion.
The BSA's current policy is a variant of "don't ask, don't tell." We no longer live in that world. Many things have changed since 2000, not only the sentiments of the American people but the ways in which we organize.
The recent decision by the Boy Scouts to reaffirm their ban on gay scouts and scoutmasters from participating in any part of their organization was disheartening; the NCAA's tough stance on Penn State's football program was more welcome.
Imagine if we could turn the Chick-fil-A outrage toward organizations that matter more. Our attention should be focused squarely on organizations that discriminate against our LGBT youth, chiefly the Boy Scouts of America.
Soon his friends will be Cub Scouts, and he may come to me and ask to join. Then Bruce and I will have the unpleasant task of sitting a little boy down and figuring out the least painful way of saying, "Baby, they don't want you." And my little boy will know firsthand what discrimination is.
As a gay father, I have the right to speak to my children about opposite-sex attraction before they ever hear anything about it in the big scary world. If we are going to be completely fair, I think that heterosexual men and boys should be denied entrance to the Boy Scouts as well.