Letter to the Editor

Change, not a ‘revolution,’ for the Boy Scouts

Regarding the Feb. 3 front-page story “Parents press Scouts on gay ban”:

As a relatively recent Eagle Scout and a supporter of more inclusiveness by the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), I appreciated the substance of this piece, which told the story of parents who stood up for their principles in trying to bring about a change in the BSA’s policy prohibiting gays from membership. But I take issue with the style of the piece — the subhead “Grass-roots rebellions help weaken the iron wall around group” and the first paragraph speaking of “the foot soldiers of the revolution.” These are the Boy Scouts of America, not the Hitler Youth, and a less severe tone is called for as this century-old organization considers fundamental change.

As a private organization, the BSA has the right to determine who it will admit as members. The recent proposal to allow sponsoring organizations to set their own policies — while far from the across-the-board acceptance of people of all orientations that I believe would enhance the scouting experience — is a good first step toward leaving behind an anachronistic policy. I was a member of three scout troops — one sponsored by a Catholic church, one by an Episcopalian church and the third by an Army base. There is ample choice.

Still, I would caution against imposing a homogenous set of values across all of civil society. Diversity of thought and practice is good for discourse.

Kevin Bloomfield, Alexandria

 
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