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The outcry from some over the recent decision of the national board of the Boy Scouts of America makes me ashamed for them. This decision was absolutely necessary and this issue continues to be “evolving,” just as it is with society as a whole.
Brad Tilde, president of the Chief Seattle Council of the BSA, stated in a recent article that it is important to distinguish between sexual orientation and sexual behavior. There is no place in scouting for any scout or leader to promote his/her personal sexual behavior. Most sexual crimes against minors are committed by “straights” — so, should we not be afraid of a “straight” leader? Sponsoring institutions should know the character of the leaders they approve and, of course, the national organization has always and will continue to require background checks on all who register for leadership.
We do not understand the “why” as to those who are “gay” versus those who are “straight.” These are not things of personal choice, but rather things of the heart that no one can define or manage.
The scouting program has never focused on sex education, but, rather, on character, patriotism, personal growth, leadership skills, appreciation and love for the outdoors, and exposure to various professions and skills through the merit badges they earn.
Scouting is a worldwide organization, uniting boys and families of all faiths, “under God,” for the good of all humanity. Our military heroes today include all sexual identities, including women.
Patty Patton Tillerson