Boy Scouts Anti-Gay Ban Draws Wide Range of Reactions
The Boy Scouts of America announced this week that they would stand by their anti-gay ban, which works to exclude any openly gay members or leadership in the organization. The decision drew a wide range of reactions, from raw disappointment to unsympathetic celebrations.
On the more discriminatory end of the scale, Mike Huckabee once again took a decidedly anti-LGBT stance equating gay people to child molesters. Huckabee announced on his Fox News show this week that he supported the ban after a viewer called into the show to share his story of molestation in a Boy Scouts troop.
The Raw Story quotes the caller as saying:
I believe that homosexuals try to target groups like that to try to get a leadership area in… If there hadn’t been a homosexual in my troop, I wouldn’t have been traumatized for about three years.
Without attempting to complicate this argument, Huckabee agreed with the caller stating, “You know, I think if anybody wants to argue about this case, they need to hear your story.” He concluded that the BSA’s desicion was the “right one.” Huckabee unproblematically equates the LGBT community with molestation and sexual abuse.
Huckabee isn’t alone in simply towing the BSA’s line of thought. Local troops in Minnesota are not planning on pushing back against the reaffirmed ban. Mankato Free Press quotes Paul Wilkinson, a head of troops in the area, as saying in response to the ban, “We just follow national policy. We don’t try to create our own policy.”
The Boy Scouts of America claim that the majority of members agree with the ban, but not everyone does. Chief Scout Executive Bob Mazzuca admitted that within each troop, opinions will differ. He told the Associated Press:
While a majority of our membership agrees with our policy, we fully understand that no single policy will accommodate the many diverse views among our membership or society.
The Northern Star Council, Minnesota’s largest Boy Scout group, stood up for inclusion on Tuesday, the same day as the ban was officially reaffirmed by the BSA. The Minnesota Star Tribune quoted Kent York a leader of the Northern Star Council about the decision to remain inclusive:
We’re a reflection of the community…Our commitment has been to reach out to all young people and have a positive influence.
The Northern Star Council boasts 75,000 scouts, which means the voice of the leadership reaches far and wide. Unfortunately, Fox News reaches a wide demographic of people so Mike Huckabee’s misinformed conceptions of the LGBT community will continue to reach a whole slew of viewers and back the BSA’s recent non-inclusive policies.