Boy Scouts Grouped Gay Leaders with Child Molesters, Perverts

Josh Israel
Think Progress / News Analysis
Published: Monday 15 October 2012
“Among those leaders accused or convicted of molesting Scouts, were files on several suspected gay Scout leaders who were never accused of any inappropriate behavior.”
Article image

In June, the Oregon Supreme Court ordered the release of 20,000 pages of files kept by Boy Scouts of America on “ineligible volunteers.” Portions of those documents were released online last week. But included, among those leaders accused or convicted of molesting Scouts, were files on several suspected gay Scout leaders who were never accused of any inappropriate behavior.

KING 5, a Seattle television station, reports that of 50 cases it reviewed from the files, 48 involved allegations of molestation, but two did not. Among those:

One file is about a scoutmaster form Ellensburg who was ousted from Scouting in 1974 after the organization had collected evidence he was gay. A memorandum from a Scout Executive in Yakima to the organization’s Registration and Subscription Executive at BSA headquarters in Texas explains they’d “become aware of a suspected moral problem” with (the Scout leader). The Yakima executive received information that the man had previously been discharged as a Scouting camp counselor “on suspicion of homosexuality.” The Scouts continued to build their case in the file by obtaining “proof” of their suspicion. The record is a four page letter handwritten by the scoutmaster where he confides to a friend, “Yes, I am gay (homosexual)”. It’s unclear from the file how BSA obtained the letter. The following month BSA leaders in Texas completed their file with a lifetime ban on the scoutmaster. Their “Confidential Record Sheet” lists one reason for the move: “homosexuality”.

Boy Scouts of America has long banned gay and lesbian Scouts and scout leaders — the organization stubbornly clings to its policy of discrimination despite mounting pressures for greater inclusion. In July, the organization claimed excluding LGBT people is “absolutely the best policy for the Boy Scouts.”

By itself, the policy of discrimination has seriously harmed LGBT youth and families. But by lumping LGBT people in the same category as child molesters is even more dangerous. Drawing a connection between homosexuality and pedophilia is the same weak argument John Briggs was making 40 years ago in an attempt to ban gay teachers in California. It’s unfounded slander against the entire gay community. Psychologists have affirmed for years that “there is no inherent connection between an adult’s sexual orientation and her or his propensity for endangering others.”



People who spearhead things

People who spearhead things like this are fond of speaking in generalities and then making "innocent" suggestions that there is a causal link between X and Y when, in fact, there is none. Their over active imaginations become diabolical from being immersed in lifetime worldview of fear.

BSA is just another organization corralled by extremist, conservative religious zealots.

And that's why I never give money to the BSA or the GSA.

The GSA does not share the

The GSA does not share the homophobic policies of the BSA, and has even supported the rights of transexual girls to participate in their local troops. I wonder if the BSA has been forthright about the reasons for their bans upon undesirable volunteers - I've heard of a lot of boys and parents who were shocked and surprised when their sons came out or were outed and subsequently banned from their troops. I suspect there would be a lot fewer boys joining up if the parents realized that perfectly good scouts are frequently rejected for no good reason, but solely for cruel bigotry. After all, cub scouts are often too young to be fully aware of their sexual orientation yet, so it could easily be your son rejected and shamed before all his peers.

Comment with your Facebook account



Comment with your Disqus account

Top Stories