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-Boy Scouts Back Away and Delay Gay Policy Change

by Dr. D ~ February 6th, 2013

Original Boy Scouts of America emblem

                            (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America announced today that they were delaying their decision on changing their current policy which excludes Gay members and leaders. Now any proposed change will be voted on by the 1,400 members of the national council at their annual meeting in May.

Last week the Executive Board indicated that they would be announcing a major change in the policy today but after a week of extreme pressure from both sides of the issue, the board is now deferring that decision to the larger national council which has representatives from troops all around the country.

The proposed change would have allowed local scout troops decide for themselves whether to allow gay participation or not. Meanwhile, there were a myriad of responses to the possible change including a statement from President Obama calling for the change and one from Texas Gov. Perry against it. Then there were a large number of Christian organizations and churches which mostly opposed the change. It must be remembered that 70% of the troops are actually sponsored by religious denominations which include conservative churches like the Roman Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention, and the Mormon Church (LDS).

In final analysis, neither side was particularly happy with any possible compromise that would allow some troops to be inclusive of gays while others were not.

Response: It is a good decision to delay a major change like this until everyone has had their say and until the complete ramifications can be fully assessed and vetted. Some very large Christian sponsors are indicating that the new policy might be a ‘deal breaker’ for them and might force them to leave and form their own alternative organization.

The announcement last week that a change of policy was imminent was a real disappointment to many of us who have respected the Boy Scouts organization for standing up for traditional Christian morality. I believe that any change that results in a mixture of some troops accepting Gays while others don’t will end up destroying their unity and doom the organization in the long run.            *Top 

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2 Responses to -Boy Scouts Back Away and Delay Gay Policy Change

  1. Brian

    One of the ramifications which no one has commented on, but which I submit would be very serious, would be potential liability for abuse of a minor. Presently, if you are a scout leader and another leader in your troop is alleged to have molested a boy, you are likely to get sued. The reason for the suit is that insurance policies do not cover intentional acts (and molesting a 12 year old is the quintessential example of an intentional act which is not covered). But negligence IS covered. The savvy plaintiff’s attorney will assert that every other scout leader involved with the wrongdoer in any way was negligent in failing to watch out for, prevent, and stop the abuse. Naturally, the other scout leaders have a great defense: “We had no knowledge that the wrongdoer was a homosexual. Scout policy forbids homosexuals to join, so we were confident that leader X was not a homosexual. We saw no indication of wrongdoing or of homosexuality by leader X. If leader X had homosexual inclinations, he had to keep them carefully concealed to be a scout leader, which is what he did. Therefore, we were not negligent.” This is a winning argument.

    But what happens when the scouts reverse the policy on admitting homosexuals, and a scout leader is accused of molesting a boy? The other leaders who are accused of negligence now face a two-edged sword. If the plaintiff’s attorney asks “Were you on the lookout for potential homosexual abuse of boys by scout leaders?” and the defendant responds “No” then plaintiff’s attorney argues to the jury that “He had to have known that the scouts now admit homosexual leaders, but he put his head in the sand and ignored the risk – and my client has been assaulted because of his negligence!”

    On the other hand, if a defendant scout leader is asked “were you on the lookout for potential homosexual abuse of boys by scout leaders”, now the plaintiff’s attorney argues to the jury “He was aware of the risk. He know that there are homosexual scout leaders now. He knew he should be alert – and he has admitted as much! But clearly, he was not paying attention enough – and my client has been assaulted because of his negligence.”

    It becomes a no-win situation.

    I believe that, while clearly homosexual activists are very interested in undermining, infiltrating and subverting the Boy Scouts of America, lurking behind the scenes encouraging them are some of the very lawyers that played a leading role a few years ago in sex abuse litigation against the Catholic Church. They see an opportunity to make big bucks off the Boy Scouts, and are merely trying to lay the foundation for future litigation.

    Brian

  2. Dr. D

    Thanks Brian for the in-depth analysis of the dire possibilities from a legal perspective. Obviously some of the pressure for the change is self-serving. Even a better reason to delay until everything is considered.

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