June 6, 2013

By Staff

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Boy Scouts of America makes right decision

Boy Scouts have played a big role in Newcastle, as well as shaped numerous boys and young men to be better citizens.

Local Scouts provide numerous community service hours of good deeds, from food drives to litter cleanup, to the many Eagle Scout projects that provide new amenities around town today.

However, the Boy Scouts of America have not led by example, choosing to discriminate against gays. Last week, BSA’s National Council voted by secret ballot to change the rules to open their ranks to openly-gay members. It’s a good step, but a tiny one.

The 61 percent vote in favor of allowing gays, does not condone sexual conduct by any gay or straight Scout — a solid value all teens should learn. But, the ruling doesn’t go far enough. First, it doesn’t go into effect for a year. And, gay Scout leaders are still prohibited, even if they have sons of their own in the program.

Discrimination of any kind should not be tolerated, and sexual orientation should not rob a young man of the opportunity for service, skill building, leadership training and friendship. Half the fun of joining a club is the feeling of belonging. An organization that tolerates discrimination instead of teaching inclusion and welcoming diversity does not have a home in America.

We like to hope that in spite of organization rules, discrimination does not live among our Newcastle Boy Scouts.


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