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Response to HERVEPA (Reply #11)

Mon Jan 28, 2013, 02:03 PM

17. First off, this would be a first step.

Nobody is saying "this is all we should do". I would eventually like to see Scouting opened to everyone (including atheists), but this would be a very good first step and would open the majority of the organization to gays.

Second, you need to remember how Scouting is structured. The BSA works similar to a franchise operation, where every scouting unit "belongs" to its chartering organization. The chartering organization creates the scouting unit, funds the scouting unit, and often provides leaders and assistance in its operation. In essence, the chartering organization "owns" the scouting unit.

The problem here is simple. Groups like the LDS church have threatened to defect en masse from scouting if they are forced to allow gay leaders into their scouting units (which are 100% funded by their church and where most of the scout leaders are appointed by their church leadership). Financially, the overnight exodus of nearly 30% of their scouting units would bankrupt the BSA and make the entire discussion moot.

That's why this is a good first step and compromise. It allows the majority of scouting units to open their doors to a group that they never wanted to exclude in the first place, while allowing the fundie groups to keep on doing whatever it is they're doing (and in all honesty...what gay person would want to be in a fundie church-run scouting unit anyway?) It also allows the BSA to remain financially solvent and would allow them to recruit MORE non-fundie members and units. By doing THAT, the fundie money becomes less relevant. Once the BSA isn't financially dependent on the Mormon units anymore, the policy can be expanded and the BSA can tell the Mormons to open up or hit the road, without risking the existence of the remainder of the organization.

There is no perfect solution here. Only a series of imperfect solutions that may eventually lead to something we're all happy with.

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