I have been a den mother in the Boys Scouts of America Cub scouting program for the last four years. It has been an honor to work with young boys and teach them values of respect and self-reliance, how to pick up a snake so it won't bite you and how to get spiders out of your tent.
I love this program because it offers boys an alternative to their Xboxes and portable gaming systems and gets them out into the woods and into their communities. I talk weekly with "my boys" about what they did to get outside themselves and to do something kind for another person.
I have something to admit, though. I am attracted to men. There, I said it. I'm married to a man. Does that make you feel you can't trust me with your son? Does knowing that about me makes you feel I am more inclined to molest a child?
I am so grateful no one has ever questioned my right to work with my son and his peers because I am a straight woman. I can't imagine the pain it would cause me to know that other people thought that just because I was attracted to men, I would be attracted to little boys and thereby be untrustworthy, deviant, mentally ill. Yet the BSA and many supporters are sending that message every day they continue their support of discriminatory policies toward gay parents and gay scouts.
Pedophilia is a mental illness. Homosexuality is not.
Bravo to the Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way for taking a stand against discrimination. The BSA is taking a baby step forward by considering revising their policy on gay parents and scouts. As an enthusiastic member of the Scouting organization, I hope they do the right thing.
Susan Jordan, Lewisburg