The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

March 28, 2013

Boy Scout ban


---- — My son is a Cub Scout. Being a Scout isn't about religious beliefs for us. We are not a strongly religious family, nor are we atheist.

I was unaware of the ban set by the Boy Scouts of America until recently. I understand that in our country as "the land of the free," private organizations have the right to set their own rules, but also as "the land of the free" I believe that people are who they are and should be free to have the same rights as everyone else regardless of who they may love and not be discriminated against because of it.

Part of the Scout promise is "I promise to do my duty to God and my Country..." What about the duty to human beings to stand up and fight for them and not bully or discriminate against them?

I have been asked to be an assistant in my son's troop starting next year. As of right now I have agreed to do so regardless of my strong disagreement with the ban set by the BSA. I said yes for my son and his pack. They are a great bunch of boys and like the other adults in our troop, we have one goal and that is to make scouting a positive experience for our boys.

I do not know the other leaders or adults opinions on the ban and I realize now that it doesn't matter to me. What matters to me is my beliefs and the beliefs of my family. My son is aware of the ban and in his own words (from a 8-year old) he said this: "If the Boy Scouts won't let someone be a Scout or a leader because they are gay that's the Boy Scouts problem not the other person's problem. It doesn't mean they won't be a good Scout or a good leader."

We are proud of him because we try to raise him to always stick up for someone who is being bullied or picked on and that everyone has the right to be treated equally. He is doing just that. He wants to stay in Scouts and we support that, but as he gets older and if the ban stays the way it is and he wants to quit because he doesn't agree with the way things are, we will support him in that as well.

My hope is the BSA realizes that people are people, homosexual or not, and by keeping the ban they may be missing out on some great Scouts or leaders. If a church threatens to "kick" a troop out of its location if homosexuals are allowed in Scouts, they should be ashamed, not of homosexuals, but of themselves.

Crystal Doresky, Milton