Boy Scouts of America considering changing membership policy to include gays

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vgmaster831:
I, for one, am more proud than ever to be part of the Boy Scouts of America now that it is supporting it's gay members.

Good for you, but I really hate this attitude.

Supporting gay people/members isn't something to be proud of, it's something that should be expected.

I'm not picking a fight with you (intentionally), but it's something that should just "be" there shouldn't be anything special about having gay members.

Good for the gay community who want to be boy-scouts and huzzah and all that for things moving forward, but it's not something that should be commended. It's something that should have been common sense from the beginning.

It is definately welcoming that BSA is finally moving their standards even slightly towards the more international ones. Hurray for finally achieving...normality? Status quo?

Yeah, questions like these shouldn't even be significant for scout organizations. They should be assumed right from the start; equality and friendship over borders and distinctions being one of the core Scout values I was always taught. 'You know you have the correct attitude regarding those who are handicapped, of different religion, of different sexual orientation or of different nationality when you realize you have no attitude. When they are just individuals, to be treated like every one else.'

Thankfully, WOSM and WAGGGS haven't had quite such bouts of 'traditional' values in their activities though of course as international overarching organizations their activities with basic level memebrs aren't quite so numerous and regular, and they have no official power over the national organizations.

By the way, is BSA still officially excluding atheists / non-christians from their activities?

Blablahb:
...
There's a part of the US constitution that says "So every private organisation has a right to enact homophobic, racist or otherwise discriminatory policies"?

There's a part which guarantees the right to express religious and political views freely. Which with the BSA is a right to right to enact homophobic, anti-atheist, or otherwise discriminatory membership policies.

Freedom of expression doesn't even enter the debate. Discrimination is not an expression, and neither is freedom of expression able to cancel out other rights, like equal treatment and non-discrimination.

Freedom of Expression covers Freedom of Association as well, when (dis)association is a necessary part of the expression. There wouldn't be much point to or expression in a "girls are icky" club, if it was legally required to let girls join. And per its own official policy, the BSA is pretty much the equivalent of a "gays are icky"[1] club. Which is of course as stupid as it is vile, but not illegal.

If anyone disagrees, go around telling you hate someone you'd pay money to have them killed, or how people should support and enlist for Al Qaida, see if freedom of expression is indeed all-encompassing and overwrites other considerations... ^_^

Incitement of violence has never been protected speech anywhere.

[1] ...but apparently not as much as atheists, whom it'll still exclude as a national policy, even if its "consideration" on allowing local groups a choice in whether they wish to discriminate gays or not comes through.

Imperator_DK:
There's a part which guarantees the right to express religious and political views freely.

Like said before: Irrelevant, discrimination is not a view, nor an opinion, nor would it cancel out other people's rights even if it was.

Imperator_DK:
Incitement of violence has never been protected speech anywhere.

Trying to secure funding or recruits for Al Qaida is not inciting violence, but still illegal. So maybe freedom of expression isn't unlimited and doesn't cancel out other laws and rights eh?

Blablahb:
...
Like said before: Irrelevant, discrimination is not a view, nor an opinion, nor would it cancel out other people's rights even if it was.

Not in Europe, no, but the US Supreme Court have ruled otherwise in the US. When a membership policy is a necessary part of a private organization's religious/political expressions, it's protected by the First Amendment. Meaning that neither federal laws nor state laws can infringe upon it, or censor their expression by completely undermining the framework for it. The BSA is ultimately a religious organization with an official set of beliefs, and just like private churches don't have to admit people of other faiths into their congregations, it doesn't have to admit people who clash with its dogma into it.

They can't get any public funding due to their discrimination of gays and atheists though. And major sponsors have been trickling away, which is presumably the reason for these religious ogres considering this slight improvement. I doubt it'll make much of a difference though, their name is by now intrinsically linked with homophobia.

Trying to secure funding or recruits for Al Qaida is not inciting violence, but still illegal. So maybe freedom of expression isn't unlimited and doesn't cancel out other laws and rights eh?

Funding a terrorist organization is very much incitement of and accessory to violence.

Well, good. It shouldn't have been an issue in the first place.

Do the scouts have sex with each other at their clubhouses? No? Then sexuality shouldn't have any bearing whatsoever on the Scout organisation. There's no intersection. Scouting should be neither pro/anti gay nor pro/anti straight.

The Gentleman:

cobra_ky:
This is a pathetic excuse for the national organization to deny responsibility, while happily allowing bigotry to persist at the local level. Wake me when they take an actual stand against discrimination like the Girl Scouts have.

So allowing local control to allow more enlightened troops to let Gay/Lesbian members/leaders in isn't progress? Considering the number of troops which are charted by religious organizations, some of whom would revolt over a mandate to let gay or lesbian members in, this is probably the best option which allows troops the maximum flexibility with the least overall pushback. Had they gone with a more sweeping mandate, they could have potentially crippled the organization as the hard-line religiously chartered scout groups either dissolved or broke away.

Regardless, gay scouts can now join troops and gay adults can be leaders. That is one hell of a change.

it's progress but it's not nearly enough. THis is exact same tactic opponents of marriage equality use when they argue marriage is a "state's rights" issue; they yield the battle on the national level and instead exert their will through state governments, where they have more control. It's great that homosexuals can join if they're lucky enough to leave a troop that isn't run by homophobes, but thousands will still be excluded by the hard-line scout groups you mention.

How many scouting chapters are charted by religious groups anyway? Is it comparable to the Girl Scouts in any way? Because the Girl Scouts have allowed lesbians to join for years with minimal controversy. (it certainly hasn't hurt their cookie sales.)

Batou667:
Do the scouts have sex with each other at their clubhouses?

Probably, yes. They allow both male and female members to join (in the UK at least), and then send this mixed-gender bunch of teenagers out into the woods to camp together, with wholly predictable results. Wouldn't be surprised if the gay ones were shagging too, and why shouldn't they be?

Fun story, a friend of mine was thrown out (well, actually chased out) of a camp and by extension the scout movement because he was caught fingering the camp leader's daughter.

cobra_ky:
it's progress but it's not nearly enough. THis is exact same tactic opponents of marriage equality use when they argue marriage is a "state's rights" issue; they yield the battle on the national level and instead exert their will through state governments, where they have more control. It's great that homosexuals can join if they're lucky enough to leave a troop that isn't run by homophobes, but thousands will still be excluded by the hard-line scout groups you mention.

And as I noted before when responding to Gorfias, it's a strategic move that balanced the need for a more inclusive policy while trying to minimize the backlash.

Plus, while the national organization has the significant power to create policy for the troops, the individual troops would be the actors. We're not talking about individual states or localities where contact with the authority is relatively limited and can be screened so that less tolerant employees have minimal contact with groups they could have issue with. Troop members meet regularly and go on outings together, so the troop has a higher stake in a new member than the national organization. In this frame of reference, it does make sense to defer most membership policy to the local troops, especially when acceptance of homosexuals is still a hot button issue in some localities.

cobra_ky:
How many scouting chapters are charted by religious groups anyway? Is it comparable to the Girl Scouts in any way? Because the Girl Scouts have allowed lesbians to join for years with minimal controversy. (it certainly hasn't hurt their cookie sales.)

According to Wikipedia, ~68.4% of scout troops are chartered through religiously-affiliated organizations. If even a small but significant portion of that, particularly LDS groups, left, it could harm the organization significantly. As it stands, while there has been some grumbling from the Southern Baptist Coalition, there's been no noticeable backlash to the announcement.

The Gentleman:

cobra_ky:
This is a pathetic excuse for the national organization to deny responsibility, while happily allowing bigotry to persist at the local level. Wake me when they take an actual stand against discrimination like the Girl Scouts have.

So allowing local control to allow more enlightened troops to let Gay/Lesbian members/leaders in isn't progress? Considering the number of troops which are charted by religious organizations, some of whom would revolt over a mandate to let gay or lesbian members in, this is probably the best option which allows troops the maximum flexibility with the least overall pushback. Had they gone with a more sweeping mandate, they could have potentially crippled the organization as the hard-line religiously chartered scout groups either dissolved or broke away.

Regardless, gay scouts can now join troops and gay adults can be leaders. That is one hell of a change.

Best option? Well gee only if you're okay with bigotry and are only willing to fight it up until the point it starts inconveniencing you too much.

Dijkstra:
Best option? Well gee only if you're okay with bigotry and are only willing to fight it up until the point it starts inconveniencing you too much.

I've already made my point earlier about why this is the best option at this time. I'm not okay with bigotry, but neither am I going to support a move that could cause an organization to become severely damaged or collapse, and this move makes progress with minimal risk.

The Gentleman:

Dijkstra:
Best option? Well gee only if you're okay with bigotry and are only willing to fight it up until the point it starts inconveniencing you too much.

I've already made my point earlier about why this is the best option at this time. I'm not okay with bigotry, but neither am I going to support a move that could cause an organization to become severely damaged or collapse, and this move makes progress with minimal risk.

Yes, so as I said, up until the point it becomes too inconvenient.

Dijkstra:

The Gentleman:

Dijkstra:
Best option? Well gee only if you're okay with bigotry and are only willing to fight it up until the point it starts inconveniencing you too much.

I've already made my point earlier about why this is the best option at this time. I'm not okay with bigotry, but neither am I going to support a move that could cause an organization to become severely damaged or collapse, and this move makes progress with minimal risk.

Yes, so as I said, up until the point it becomes too inconvenient.

I'm sorry you value perfection over practicality. Pray to god you never have to be the one who has to make this kind of decision.

The Gentleman:

Dijkstra:

The Gentleman:

I've already made my point earlier about why this is the best option at this time. I'm not okay with bigotry, but neither am I going to support a move that could cause an organization to become severely damaged or collapse, and this move makes progress with minimal risk.

Yes, so as I said, up until the point it becomes too inconvenient.

I'm sorry you value perfection over practicality. Pray to god you never have to be the one who has to make this kind of decision.

I'm sorry you value something that unimportant over the rights of others.

Dijkstra:
I'm sorry you value something that unimportant over the rights of others.

Let's get something unbelievably clear here: the only right at issue with this is the "freedom of association." You do not have a right to be a part of any organization. In fact, private organizations have the right to determine their own members and to exclude members at will. The BSA has the right to exclude members. As an individual or as a member of a group or class, you do not have the right to be a part of the BSA or any private organization that does not wish to have you in their membership.

So, yeah, I value rights, but I actually know which rights apply here and they side with the organization.

The Gentleman:

Dijkstra:
I'm sorry you value something that unimportant over the rights of others.

Let's get something unbelievably clear here: the only right at issue with this is the "freedom of association." You do not have a right to be a part of any organization. In fact, private organizations have the right to determine their own members and to exclude members at will. The BSA has the right to exclude members. As an individual or as a member of a group or class, you do not have the right to be a part of the BSA or any private organization that does not wish to have you in their membership.

So, yeah, I value rights, but I actually know which rights apply here and they side with the organization.

Except of course for the government assistance, but let's ignore that. It would be inconvenient to acknowledge it when discussing bigotry and defending it for the sake of something unimportant.

This is good and bad news.

Good news that gays may be included. Bad news that the BSA have probably caved to public opinion when they didn't have to.

Dijkstra:
Except of course for the government assistance, but let's ignore that. It would be inconvenient to acknowledge it when discussing bigotry and defending it for the sake of something unimportant.

Do I really need to pull this out again? The US Supreme Court has determined that the nature of the entanglement of the organization to the government via assistance did not rise to the level of overriding the organization's right to determine its own membership.

And I find the "they need to force local groups to accept gays regardless of how those groups are going to feel about it," line of reasoning, to be ignorant of your own history where localities opted to fill in pools with cement rather than integrate them, only in this case, troops would simply disband, potentially crippling the organization as a whole. "Better to be equally unable to access" appears to be your line of argument.

The Gentleman:

Dijkstra:
Except of course for the government assistance, but let's ignore that. It would be inconvenient to acknowledge it when discussing bigotry and defending it for the sake of something unimportant.

Do I really need to pull this out again? The US Supreme Court has determined that the nature of the entanglement of the organization to the government via assistance did not rise to the level of overriding the organization's right to determine its own membership.

5 to 4 opinion. Hardly clear cut.

And I find the "they need to force local groups to accept gays regardless of how those groups are going to feel about it," line of reasoning, to be ignorant of your own history where localities opted to fill in pools with cement rather than integrate them, only in this case, troops would simply disband, potentially crippling the organization as a whole. "Better to be equally unable to access" appears to be your line of argument.

Yes, actually it is better to be equally unable to access. Or sorry, did you want the privilege of having it for yourself when some others cannot due to bigotry?

Dijkstra:
5 to 4 opinion. Hardly clear cut.

5 justices in the majority is all you need for a clear decision. It's when you have 4-1-4 decisions that it becomes less clear.

Dijkstra:
Yes, actually it is better to be equally unable to access. Or sorry, did you want the privilege of having it for yourself when some others cannot due to bigotry?

Then you do the very kids and adults you claim to side with a disservice. They want to be scouts. This policy allows them to be scouts if a troop is willing to let them join. And make no mistake, there are troops that would let them join and want them to join. The problem lies with how more than half of the local groups are chartered with religiously-affiliated organizations, most notably the LDS church, who may opt to dissolve their program rather than let gays in. If this is done on a large enough scale, the organization nationally may collapse and everybody looses. How exactly does this help the gay kids who want to be scouts?

The Gentleman:

Dijkstra:
5 to 4 opinion. Hardly clear cut.

5 justices in the majority is all you need for a clear decision. It's when you have 4-1-4 decisions that it becomes less clear.

It's hardly enough to say that there is no room for argument when 4/9 of the experts say otherwise.

Dijkstra:
Yes, actually it is better to be equally unable to access. Or sorry, did you want the privilege of having it for yourself when some others cannot due to bigotry?

Then you do the very kids and adults you claim to side with a disservice. They want to be scouts. This policy allows them to be scouts if a troop is willing to let them join. And make no mistake, there are troops that would let them join and want them to join. The problem lies with how more than half of the local groups are chartered with religiously-affiliated organizations, most notably the LDS church, who may opt to dissolve their program rather than let gays in. If this is done on a large enough scale, the organization nationally may collapse and everybody looses. How exactly does this help the gay kids who want to be scouts?

Letting bigots be bigots without pressure doesn't help. Taking a hard stand against them in all matters makes it a fight. Instead of bowing to their idiocy because they'll take their ball home otherwise.

Dijkstra:

The Gentleman:

Dijkstra:
5 to 4 opinion. Hardly clear cut.

5 justices in the majority is all you need for a clear decision. It's when you have 4-1-4 decisions that it becomes less clear.

It's hardly enough to say that there is no room for argument when 4/9 of the experts say otherwise.

"Room for argument" doesn't mean there wasn't a clear decision. You can have a 9-0 decision and still have room for argument. Stop moving the goal posts.

Dijkstra:
Yes, actually it is better to be equally unable to access. Or sorry, did you want the privilege of having it for yourself when some others cannot due to bigotry?

Then you do the very kids and adults you claim to side with a disservice. They want to be scouts. This policy allows them to be scouts if a troop is willing to let them join. And make no mistake, there are troops that would let them join and want them to join. The problem lies with how more than half of the local groups are chartered with religiously-affiliated organizations, most notably the LDS church, who may opt to dissolve their program rather than let gays in. If this is done on a large enough scale, the organization nationally may collapse and everybody looses. How exactly does this help the gay kids who want to be scouts?

Letting bigots be bigots without pressure doesn't help. Taking a hard stand against them in all matters makes it a fight. Instead of bowing to their idiocy because they'll take their ball home otherwise.

The "Take a hard stand, damn the consequences" approach tends to be counter-productive to one's goals. Better slow and steady progress than a banzai charge where you're more than likely to end up making no progress and probably end up dead.

Again, you hurt the very people you're trying to help with this method. Even if the national organization forced these unwilling troops to accept gay scouts and they opt to technically allow them in, that does nothing to really prevent the local troops from driving them out via bullying or harassment, nor would a gay scout be particularly inclined to join such a troop in the first place.

So if the effect under the best of circumstances are the same, why create unnecessary hostility? Your approach advances nothing but ego whereas this at least allows gay kids to join the scouts and open the door for allowing a full ban on discrimination farther down the road when there will be less pushback.

The Gentleman:

Dijkstra:

The Gentleman:

5 justices in the majority is all you need for a clear decision. It's when you have 4-1-4 decisions that it becomes less clear.

It's hardly enough to say that there is no room for argument when 4/9 of the experts say otherwise.

"Room for argument" doesn't mean there wasn't a clear decision. You can have a 9-0 decision and still have room for argument. Stop moving the goal posts.

Disagreeing with you is not moving the goal posts. I am saying that what you provided is not definitive proof. Do you even know what moving the goal posts is?

Then you do the very kids and adults you claim to side with a disservice. They want to be scouts. This policy allows them to be scouts if a troop is willing to let them join. And make no mistake, there are troops that would let them join and want them to join. The problem lies with how more than half of the local groups are chartered with religiously-affiliated organizations, most notably the LDS church, who may opt to dissolve their program rather than let gays in. If this is done on a large enough scale, the organization nationally may collapse and everybody looses. How exactly does this help the gay kids who want to be scouts?

Letting bigots be bigots without pressure doesn't help. Taking a hard stand against them in all matters makes it a fight. Instead of bowing to their idiocy because they'll take their ball home otherwise.

The "Take a hard stand, damn the consequences" approach tends to be counter-productive to one's goals. Better slow and steady progress than a banzai charge where you're more than likely to end up making no progress and probably end up dead.

No, it's super effective.

Or in other words, if you won't be bother to come up with reasoning instead of dogmatic claims about reality then neither will I.

Again, you hurt the very people you're trying to help with this method. Even if the national organization forced these unwilling troops to accept gay scouts and they opt to technically allow them in, that does nothing to really prevent the local troops from driving them out via bullying or harassment, nor would a gay scout be particularly inclined to join such a troop in the first place.

So you believe that the BSA have no ability to enforce any of their policies?

So if the effect under the best of circumstances are the same, why create unnecessary hostility? Your approach advances nothing but ego whereas this at least allows gay kids to join the scouts and open the door for allowing a full ban on discrimination farther down the road when there will be less pushback.

[/quote]

Hostility towards bigots is never unnecessary.

And you are faaaaaaaaaaaaar from proving the effect is the same under the best of circumstances.

The Gentleman:

cobra_ky:
it's progress but it's not nearly enough. THis is exact same tactic opponents of marriage equality use when they argue marriage is a "state's rights" issue; they yield the battle on the national level and instead exert their will through state governments, where they have more control. It's great that homosexuals can join if they're lucky enough to leave a troop that isn't run by homophobes, but thousands will still be excluded by the hard-line scout groups you mention.

And as I noted before when responding to Gorfias, it's a strategic move that balanced the need for a more inclusive policy while trying to minimize the backlash.

Plus, while the national organization has the significant power to create policy for the troops, the individual troops would be the actors. We're not talking about individual states or localities where contact with the authority is relatively limited and can be screened so that less tolerant employees have minimal contact with groups they could have issue with. Troop members meet regularly and go on outings together, so the troop has a higher stake in a new member than the national organization. In this frame of reference, it does make sense to defer most membership policy to the local troops, especially when acceptance of homosexuals is still a hot button issue in some localities.

cobra_ky:
How many scouting chapters are charted by religious groups anyway? Is it comparable to the Girl Scouts in any way? Because the Girl Scouts have allowed lesbians to join for years with minimal controversy. (it certainly hasn't hurt their cookie sales.)

According to Wikipedia, ~68.4% of scout troops are chartered through religiously-affiliated organizations. If even a small but significant portion of that, particularly LDS groups, left, it could harm the organization significantly. As it stands, while there has been some grumbling from the Southern Baptist Coalition, there's been no noticeable backlash to the announcement.

Ah, that is an organizational difference with the Girl Scouts then. It's unfortunate the BSA is structured that way, but thank you for setting me straight.

I spent 3 hours type a post that got eaten by a shut off wifi, so I'll just address two points to save time and end this pointless exercise.

Dijkstra:
Disagreeing with you is not moving the goal posts. I am saying that what you provided is not definitive proof. Do you even know what moving the goal posts is?

"The figurative use alludes to the perceived unfairness in changing the goal one is trying to achieve after the process one is engaged in"

In response to your claim that there was not a clear cut ruling on the issue of the BSA's status as a private organization, I stated the uncontroversial fact that 5 justice majority in a US Supreme Court ruling is a definite majority ruling and clear decision on the issue. You suddenly claimed that you only needed to show "room for argument" rather than the lack of a clear decision on the subject, which drops the burden of your claim to the ability to form a rational sentence in dissent to the majority ruling. This is the definition of moving the goalposts (in this case towards you rather than away from me).

Hostility towards bigots is never unnecessary.

Except hostility without a constructive reason is just purposeless malice, no matter who it is directed against or how justified it is.

You keep stating, unequivocally, that you would rather the organization fall apart than accept a solution that preserves the organization and allows gays to join. You have no intention of actually proposing a real solution with a better outcome and are only stroking your absolutist ego. I'm done with you and your inability to recognize that an organization has more than just "what is right" to deal with when they are crafting a policy.

Dijkstra:

The Gentleman:

Dijkstra:
5 to 4 opinion. Hardly clear cut.

5 justices in the majority is all you need for a clear decision. It's when you have 4-1-4 decisions that it becomes less clear.

It's hardly enough to say that there is no room for argument when 4/9 of the experts say otherwise.

Dijkstra:
Yes, actually it is better to be equally unable to access. Or sorry, did you want the privilege of having it for yourself when some others cannot due to bigotry?

Then you do the very kids and adults you claim to side with a disservice. They want to be scouts. This policy allows them to be scouts if a troop is willing to let them join. And make no mistake, there are troops that would let them join and want them to join. The problem lies with how more than half of the local groups are chartered with religiously-affiliated organizations, most notably the LDS church, who may opt to dissolve their program rather than let gays in. If this is done on a large enough scale, the organization nationally may collapse and everybody looses. How exactly does this help the gay kids who want to be scouts?

Letting bigots be bigots without pressure doesn't help. Taking a hard stand against them in all matters makes it a fight. Instead of bowing to their idiocy because they'll take their ball home otherwise.

What about non-bigots? Can we pressure them? Just because you disagree with someone doesn't mean you should pressure them to let other people join their group. It's their right to choose and sure you may disagree with them but to say hostility towards people who disagree with you is always necessary is just a little overboard. Here's an idea, make your own group that allows whoever you choose to join. That's a better solution that'll benefit far more people.

The Gentleman:

The "Take a hard stand, damn the consequences" approach tends to be counter-productive to one's goals. Better slow and steady progress than a banzai charge where you're more than likely to end up making no progress and probably end up dead.

Again, you hurt the very people you're trying to help with this method. Even if the national organization forced these unwilling troops to accept gay scouts and they opt to technically allow them in, that does nothing to really prevent the local troops from driving them out via bullying or harassment, nor would a gay scout be particularly inclined to join such a troop in the first place.

So what's left? Apparently, as foolish as the forced solution may be, your solution is to shut up and hope for the best.

It took gays over 200 years in this country to finally be able to shut down laws that lock us up just for being gay. How many hundred years you want to wait for this next change?

Xan Krieger:

Dijkstra:

The Gentleman:

5 justices in the majority is all you need for a clear decision. It's when you have 4-1-4 decisions that it becomes less clear.

It's hardly enough to say that there is no room for argument when 4/9 of the experts say otherwise.

Then you do the very kids and adults you claim to side with a disservice. They want to be scouts. This policy allows them to be scouts if a troop is willing to let them join. And make no mistake, there are troops that would let them join and want them to join. The problem lies with how more than half of the local groups are chartered with religiously-affiliated organizations, most notably the LDS church, who may opt to dissolve their program rather than let gays in. If this is done on a large enough scale, the organization nationally may collapse and everybody looses. How exactly does this help the gay kids who want to be scouts?

Letting bigots be bigots without pressure doesn't help. Taking a hard stand against them in all matters makes it a fight. Instead of bowing to their idiocy because they'll take their ball home otherwise.

What about non-bigots? Can we pressure them? Just because you disagree with someone doesn't mean you should pressure them to let other people join their group. It's their right to choose and sure you may disagree with them but to say hostility towards people who disagree with you is always necessary is just a little overboard. Here's an idea, make your own group that allows whoever you choose to join. That's a better solution that'll benefit far more people.

Only if our new group can also get government assistance like the BSA does. But I don't see that happening, do you?

GunsmithKitten:

Xan Krieger:

Dijkstra:

It's hardly enough to say that there is no room for argument when 4/9 of the experts say otherwise.

Letting bigots be bigots without pressure doesn't help. Taking a hard stand against them in all matters makes it a fight. Instead of bowing to their idiocy because they'll take their ball home otherwise.

What about non-bigots? Can we pressure them? Just because you disagree with someone doesn't mean you should pressure them to let other people join their group. It's their right to choose and sure you may disagree with them but to say hostility towards people who disagree with you is always necessary is just a little overboard. Here's an idea, make your own group that allows whoever you choose to join. That's a better solution that'll benefit far more people.

Only if our new group can also get government assistance like the BSA does. But I don't see that happening, do you?

So I say cut the government assistance for them, they're a private group.

Captcha: I think so
It agrees with me

GunsmithKitten:

The Gentleman:

The "Take a hard stand, damn the consequences" approach tends to be counter-productive to one's goals. Better slow and steady progress than a banzai charge where you're more than likely to end up making no progress and probably end up dead.

Again, you hurt the very people you're trying to help with this method. Even if the national organization forced these unwilling troops to accept gay scouts and they opt to technically allow them in, that does nothing to really prevent the local troops from driving them out via bullying or harassment, nor would a gay scout be particularly inclined to join such a troop in the first place.

So what's left? Apparently, as foolish as the forced solution may be, your solution is to shut up and hope for the best.

It took gays over 200 years in this country to finally be able to shut down laws that lock us up just for being gay. How many hundred years you want to wait for this next change?

Laws are much easier to change than norms. The civil rights movement, sexual revolution, and labor movements had a very serious backlash in the 1980s, possibly to the point of actually making the situation worse (to some observers, I'm on the fence on that). The laws that protect them are still good, but the "culture war" that spawned has been at varying levels of intensity since then.

Knowing when, where, and how to fight your battles, whether they are on a battlefield or in the halls of a state legislature helps maximize the positive to benefit ratio. Make too big of a splash or beat too big of a drum, and you have the opposition seeing what you're doing and rallying the troops to fight. Do it quietly and under the radar and you end up changing far more (see the current anti-abortion tactics up till recently).

Private organizations, on the other hand, are far more difficult if they have a substantial reason to be resistant and aren't legally obligated to conform with your aims, as is the case with the BSA. You convince them that it is in their substantial interest to change, which often requires you to compromise as much as them. The larger and more influential the organization or the more dependant they are on resisting your option, the more you're going to have to settle for piecemeal approaches rather than grand gestures.

The Gentleman:

Laws are much easier to change than norms. The civil rights movement, sexual revolution, and labor movements had a very serious backlash in the 1980s, possibly to the point of actually making the situation worse (to some observers, I'm on the fence on that). The laws that protect them are still good, but the "culture war" that spawned has been at varying levels of intensity since then.

Never minding that there's always going to be a backlash no matter what, I don't see a case where risking a backlash is reason enough to keep a status quo that screws you over. You either take the pain of the lance, or you let the boil continue to grow and spread.

Knowing when, where, and how to fight your battles, whether they are on a battlefield or in the halls of a state legislature helps maximize the positive to benefit ratio. Make too big of a splash or beat too big of a drum, and you have the opposition seeing what you're doing and rallying the troops to fight. Do it quietly and under the radar and you end up changing far more (see the current anti-abortion tactics up till recently).

Again, to the opposition, there is no such thing as "too big a splash". ANY splash is too much for bigots to deal with. They will rally regardless. Hell, they're still rallying to this day to overturn the Civil Rights act; their guy to do it was a presidential candidate for cripe's sake.

Private organizations, on the other hand, are far more difficult if they have a substantial reason to be resistant and aren't legally obligated to conform with your aims, as is the case with the BSA. You convince them that it is in their substantial interest to change, which often requires you to compromise as much as them. The larger and more influential the organization or the more dependant they are on resisting your option, the more you're going to have to settle for piecemeal approaches rather than grand gestures.

Okay, fine, but how does one accomplish that aside from the sit on your hands and don't make a peep approach you seem to advocate?

And how much compromise before you pretty much give away your whole cause in the first place?

GunsmithKitten:
Okay, fine, but how does one accomplish that aside from the sit on your hands and don't make a peep approach you seem to advocate?

I think you're mistaking what I mean. I'm not saying "do nothing." I'm saying "make substantive progress rather than symbolic progress" because it's the symbolic progress that's going to have more push back and the substantive progress that's going to get what you want.

And how much compromise before you pretty much give away your whole cause in the first place?

Compromise is never pleasant, especially when you're being very public about it, because you have to give in order to gain. But, more often than not, it makes for a better deal and optics for both, "standing for your values" and all that. That's why I would side with this approach by the BSA: gay rights groups can get a serious victory while the BSA can go and say they gave more power to individual troops (and, more importantly, no revolt by religious troops).

On one hand, we must remember that the BSA is a private organization. They don't have to follow policies that government supported groups have to. They make their own choices on their own policies and we have to respect this. At one point the U.S. government provided police protection for NeoNazis when they were doing a demonstration. Also nobody is stopping outsiders from forming their own organization that accepts homosexuals. They can do this at any time. On the other hand, about 9 out of 10 troops don't really pay attention to BSA national policies or politics. Here is a compromise I came up with. Each troop can have its own political and religious policies so long at they follow the law. One troop in the deep south can say they wish to say true to Mormon or Foot Baptist teachings and not have homosexuals in their troop. Another in New York or New Jersey can stick to more liberal ideas and accept homosexuals in the troop. I see where the BSA is coming from with their idea of no homosexuals. They don't want anybody on a trip getting any bad ideas. Especially adult leaders. But they already have policies such as "two deep leadership" to prevent such things. This is just one of those issues where you have to respect one side's beliefs while seeing the other side's point.

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