Menstuff® has compiled information on the issue of the Boyscouts. Roughly 60% of BSA troops are sponsored by religious groups and the Mormons, who basically took over the BSA back in the early1980's, sponsor about 30,000 troops.It wasn't until the early 80's that the BSA started a vigorus campaign to exclude gays and athiests, while still accepting government money and free or nearly free use of government office buildings and land. Kidnapped by the religious right and particularly the Mormon chuch Thomasa S. Monson said of the Boy Scouts "I like the way the church has coordianted and fully correlated the activities of the young with the instruction we provide in the Aaronic Priesthood...so that it's one boy, and one troop, one church and one program."
Penn & Teller Bullshit - Boyscout (1 of 3)
Penn & Teller Bullshit - Boy Scout (2 of 3)
Penn & Teller Bullshit - Boyscout (3 of 3)
Against athiests and gays but pedaphlies?
Boy Scouts of America to begin accepting
Boy Scout board approves end to blanket ban on gay adults
Boy Scouts executive committee OKs ending ban on gay leaders
Boy Scouts of America president says ban on gay leaders unsustainable
Sex-abuse civil trial to unveil Boy Scout 'perversion' files
Boy Scouts Of America Consider Dropping Ban On Gay Members And Participants: Report
Abuse Claims in Scout-Police Program
'Don't Be Fooled by Councils' Boy Scout Rhetoric'
Boy Scouts Hit With $1M Verdict in Sex Abuse Suit
Boy Scouts of America to begin accepting
"Starting today, we will accept and register youth in the Cub and Boy Scout programs based on the gender identity indicated on the application," Boy Scouts of America communications director Effie Delimarkos said in an emailed statement.
Delimarkos' cited shifting definitions of gender under state laws, which can "vary widely from state to state," in explaining the change.
Delimarkos said while the organization offers programs for all youths, its Cub and Boy Scout programs are specifically for boys. The change will allow children to apply even if male is not listed on their birth certificate.
In 2013, the Boy Scouts voted to lift a ban on openly gay scouts
that had been in place throughout the organization's history. Two
years later, the organization lifted its blanket ban on gay adult
leaders after its president called the ban unsustainable.
Source: www.aol.com/article/news/2017/01/30/boy-scouts-of-america-to-begin-accepting-transgender-boys/21703534/ (Editor's note: Seeing that more than half of the troops are affilicated with the Mormon Church, it will be interesting to see how this new policy pans out.)
Boy Scout board approves end to blanket ban
on gay adults
The new policy, aimed at easing a controversy that has embroiled the Boy Scouts for years, takes effect immediately. It was approved by the BSA's National Executive Board on a 45-12 vote during a closed-to-the-media teleconference.
"For far too long this issue has divided and distracted us," said the BSA's president, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates. "Now it's time to unite behind our shared belief in the extraordinary power of Scouting to be a force for good."
The stage had been set for Monday's action on May 21, when Gates told the Scouts' national meeting that the long-standing ban on participation by openly gay adults was no longer sustainable. He said the ban was likely to be the target of lawsuits that the Scouts likely would lose.
Two weeks ago, the new policy was approved unanimously by the BSA's 17-member National Executive Committee. It would allow local Scout units to select adult leaders without regard to sexual orientation - a stance that several Scout councils have already adopted in defiance of the official national policy.
In 2013, after heated internal debate, the BSA decided to allow openly gay youth as scouts, but not gay adults as leaders. Several denominations that collectively sponsor close to half of all Scout units - including the Roman Catholic church, the Mormon church and the Southern Baptist Convention - have been apprehensive about ending the ban on gay adults.
The BSA's top leaders have pledged to defend the right of any church-sponsored units to continue excluding gays as adult volunteers. But that assurance has not satisfied some conservative church leaders,'
"It's hard for me to believe, in the long term, that the Boy Scouts will allow religious groups to have the freedom to choose their own leaders," said the Rev. Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.
"In recent years I have seen a definite cooling on the part of Baptist churches toward the Scouts," Moore said. "This will probably bring that cooling to a freeze."
Under the BSA's new policy:
Gates, who became the BSA's president in May 2014, said at the time that he personally would have favored ending the ban on gay adults, but he opposed any further debate after the Scouts' policymaking body upheld the ban. In May, however, he said that recent events "have confronted us with urgent challenges I did not foresee and which we cannot ignore."
He cited an announcement by the BSA's New York City chapter in early April that it had hired Pascal Tessier, the nation's first openly gay Eagle Scout, as a summer camp leader. Gates also cited broader gay-rights developments and warned that rigidly maintaining the ban "will be the end of us as a national movement."
The BSA faced potential lawsuits in New York and other states if it continued to enforce its ban, which had been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2000. Since then, the exclusionary policy has prompted numerous major corporations to suspend charitable donations to the Scouts, and has strained relations with some municipalities that cover gays in their non-discrimination codes.
Stuart Upton, a lawyer for the LGBT-rights group Lambda Legal, questioned whether the BSA's new policy to let church-sponsored units continue to exclude gay adults would be sustainable.
"There will be a period of time where they'll have some legal protection," Upton said. "But that doesn't mean the lawsuits won't keep coming. ... They will become increasingly marginalized from the direction society is going."
Like several other major youth organizations, the Boy Scouts have experienced a membership decline in recent decades. Current membership, according to the BSA, is about 2.4 million boys and about 1 million adults.
After the 2013 decision to admit gay youth, some conservatives
split from the BSA to form a new group, Trail Life USA, which has
created its own ranks, badges and uniforms. The group claims a
membership of more than 25,000 youths and adults.
Boy Scouts executive committee OKs ending
ban on gay leaders
In a statement Monday, the BSA said the resolution was approved by the 17-member executive committee on Friday, and would become official policy if ratified by the organization's 80-member National Executive Board at a meeting on July 27.
The committee action follows an emphatic speech in May by the BSA's president, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, declaring that the longstanding ban on participation by openly gay adults was no longer sustainable.
In 2013, after bitter internal debate, the BSA decided to allow
openly gay youth as scouts, but not gay adults as leaders. That
change took effect in January 2014.
Editor: This changes the national policy but leaves it up to the local troop to decide whether to discriminate or not. It does not really make gay scout leaders as welcome., especially when transfering from an accepting community to a discriminating one. How would it be if it was left up to the local Troop as to whether Mormons were allowed to lead. Disabled, scout leaders of color, you get the picture. What would be admirable is the national organization to strictly adhere to a background and criminal check on every Scout Master in the system, especially transfers from other Troops, exposing the current pedophiles floating around the system from Troop to Troop.
Boy Scouts of America president says ban
on gay leaders unsustainable
Boy Scouts' President: Gay-Leader Ban 'Cannot Be Sustained' (Editor's note: It's about time! - Gordon Clay)
Boy Scouts of America President Robert Gates said on Thursday the group's ban on adult gay leaders cannot be sustained, a move that could open the door to ending the policy that has caused rifts in the 105-year-old organization.
Gates said at a national meeting of the group in Atlanta he does not plan to revoke the charter of Boy Scout councils that allow gay leaders, according to a text of the speech.
"We must deal with the world as it is, not as we might wish it to be. The status quo in our movement's membership standards cannot be sustained," said Gates, who as U.S. secretary of defense helped end the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy that barred openly gay individuals from serving in the military.
He said he was not asking the Boy Scouts' national board to make any policy change at the current meeting.
"Dozens of states - from New York to Utah - are passing laws that protect employment rights on the basis of sexual orientation," he said. "Thus, between internal challenges and potential legal conflicts, the Boy Scouts of America finds itself in an unsustainable position."
Those pushing for change, applauded Gates' stand.
Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates addresses the Boy Scouts of America's annual meeting on Friday, May 23, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn., after being selected as the organization's new president. Gates is taking over one of the nation's largest youth organizations as it fights a membership decline and debates its policy toward gays. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)
"We are 180 degrees from where we were a year ago," said Zach Wahls, executive director of Scouts for Equality. "This is a very, very positive development."
The Irving, Texas-based organization lifted its ban on gay youth in 2013 but continues to prohibit the participation of openly gay adults.
The selection last year of Gates as president of the Boy Scouts was seen as an opportunity to revisit the organization's policy on gay adults.
Gates said he personally would have supported going further toward lifting the Scouts' ban on gays but would not reopen debate during his two-year term.
The ban received its first major challenge in April when the first openly gay adult was hired as a summer camp leader by the Greater New York Council of Boy Scouts.
In Ohio, an assistant scoutmaster in Westerville was expelled in
March for being openly gay, according to local media reports.
Sex-abuse civil trial to unveil Boy Scout
Opening statements were scheduled in Santa Barbara, where a man who is now 20 and was molested by a Boy Scout volunteer in 2007 is seeking punitive damages. He claims the Scouts failed to educate and warn parents and volunteers about the dangers of sex abuse.
A judge ruled earlier this month that the man's attorney, Tim Hale, could introduce more than 30 years' worth of "perversion" files kept by the Boy Scouts as evidence in the case.
The files cleared for use by Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge Donna D. Geck include 16 years of documents - from 1991 to 2007- that have never been seen before.
The papers could reveal how much the national organization has improved its efforts to protect children and report abuse after several high-profile cases sparked a youth protection policy in the late 1980s.
Previous large verdicts against the Scouts focused on cases where alleged abuse occurred before the policy was put in place.
In 2012, the Oregon Supreme Court ordered the Scouts to make public a trove of files from 1965 to 1985. The records showed that more than one-third of abuse allegations never were reported to police and that even when authorities were told, little was done most of the time.
Those documents came to light after a jury in 2010 imposed a nearly $20 million penalty against the Scouts in a molestation case in Portland, Oregon, that dated to the early 1980s.
Since then, plaintiffs' attorneys in several states, including Texas and Minnesota, have sought to publicize the more recent records through similar lawsuits.
Those cases settled before trial, leaving the records sealed, but there has been no indication that either side in the upcoming California case wants to settle.
The lawsuit alleges that 29-year-old Scouts volunteer Al Stein pulled down the plaintiff's pants when he was 13 and fondled him while the two worked in a Christmas tree lot.
Stein pleaded no contest to felony child endangerment in 2009 and was sentenced to probation. He served time in prison after authorities discovered photos of naked children on his cellphone.
He was paroled early, however, and was last living in Salinas, California, as a registered sex offender.
The Boy Scouts have said Stein's actions were unacceptable but declined to comment on the larger issue of the "perversion" files in the case.
Attorneys for the Scouts have not replied to repeated emails and calls seeking comment. They said in previous court hearings that the documents are not relevant.
Under the judge's ruling, Hale can draw from thousands of pages of documents when he presents his case, but records that are not used will remain sealed.
After trial, the plaintiff's counsel and other interested parties can petition the court for the release of all the files.
That's what happened in Oregon. The Oregon Supreme Court ordered
the Scouts to make all the documents public after The Associated
Press and other media outlets intervened.
Abuse Claims in Scout-Police
Sponsors have promised reforms to the program, which attracts tens of thousands of teens annually.
Among recent cases:
The East Ridge, Tenn., police department suspended its Explorer program after Officer Keith Maynard, 31, was charged with two counts of statutory rape and two counts of aggravated child molestation, accused of having sex with a 15-year-old girl in the program. He is awaiting trial.
In Haltom City, Texas, former police officer John Ross Ewing, 28, was indicted by a grand jury in March on charges that he sexually assaulted two male Explorer scouts, ages 15 and 16, at his apartment.
In San Bernardino, Calif., Freddie Lee Johnson, 34, pleaded guilty in April to having sex with a 16-year-old girl on a scout-related camping trip. According to court records, the girl woke up in her tent and found the officer on top of her. He was sentenced to 60 weekends in jail.
"I was scared that if I said anything, I would get into trouble and I would have to leave the sheriff's department," the victim said in a statement at the sentencing hearing.
Her mother added: "We trusted him. How could we not? He was a law-enforcement officer. He was our daughter's (Explorer) adviser. He was invited to our daughter's graduation dinner at our home. He shook our hands, gave me hugs, and all of the time, he was betraying our trust."
Law Enforcement Explorers is a co-ed program affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America. The broader scouts Exploring program also places 14- to 20-year-olds with firefighters, medical providers, lawyers and others to learn about those careers.
In 2002, about 43,000 Explorers were assigned to police and sheriff's departments around the United States.
Boy Scouts of America officials said they were surprised and concerned to learn of the incidents.
"One child, 12 children, it's always one too many," said Boy Scouts of America national spokesman Gregg Shields.
"I really don't understand why this is happening," said John Anthony, executive director of the Learning For Life program, which oversees Explorers.
Anthony's office is reinforcing youth protection guidelines with all law enforcement Explorer programs and requiring supervisors to go through training about how to protect participants from abuse.
The extent of the abuse is detailed in research released by University of Nebraska criminal justice professor Samuel Walker and his colleague Dawn Irlbeck, who study police sexual abuse of women.
Almost half of the reported teenage victims of police sexual abuse in the past decade were enrolled in police Explorer programs, they found, with the rest abused during arrests, traffic stops and in other situations.
"When you have repeated incidents across the country, a new one every month, that's a real problem," Walker said.
Even where abuse is not alleged, critics have faulted some programs for endangering teens.
Explorers have been used on undercover pornography stings in which they enter adult bookstores and purchase materials banned for their age group. In other cases, scouting officials said, they have been allowed to drive marked patrol cars, which could expose them to harm from gang members and drug dealers.
"Stings are prohibited and always have been prohibited," said Shields, the Boy Scouts spokesman. "These are juveniles and it's just not proper."
The Explorer program's own written guidelines discourage the practice of allowing teens to drive patrol cars, noting, "This is potentially putting inexperienced (immature) youth in harm's way."
Under those guidelines, unsupervised, one-on-one contact between Explorers and officers is banned, with one exception - during certified law enforcement ride-alongs. But this is when many of the reported cases of abuse have taken place, the research found.
"I think it's a program that allows inappropriate contact between the officers and the kids without the proper supervision," said attorney Todd Walburg, who represents a former Explorer alleging in a lawsuit that David Kalish, a candidate for Los Angeles police chief last year, sexually abused him while in the program during the 1970s. Kalish, 49, has been suspended as deputy chief, pending grand jury action.
But others emphasize the benefits of the program.
Sgt. Rick Martinez of the Anaheim, Calif., police said he was inspired by his experiences as Explorer 30 years ago to join the force.
Abuse is "a rare and unfortunate instance," he said. "But keep in mind there are thousands of kids who go through this program without abuse, exposing them to career options and teaching them to help their communities."
Even so, Martinez is all too aware that problems can happen.
He resumed his position as the program's adviser last year after the former leader, 31-year-old officer Jason David Rosewarne, was charged with having sex with a 17-year-old female Explorer.
Rosewarne, who resigned, was charged Oct. 25 with one felony count of oral copulation with a minor.
But the married father of two may never go to trial. Rosewarne, who was born in Britain and has dual citizenship, recently moved with his family to the London area. Prosecutors initially said they would seek extradition, and a judge issued a warrant for his arrest. But because the age of consent is 16 in Britain, he will not be returned to the United States.
Even when officers are convicted in this country, sentences are often light, records show.
For example, in March, a judge reduced charges against former
Woodlake, Calif., police officer Eric Martinez from three felony
charges to a misdemeanor after the officer, in a plea deal, admitted
he had sex with a 17-year-old girl in the Explorer program. He was
ordered to perform community service and was placed on probation.
Source: Martha Mendoza
The Boy Scouts of America has
had a history of Scout Master's who have molested Boy Scouts in their
charge. In many cases, the Scout Master would move to another area
and continue as Scout Master in that area. When asked by the Big
Brother program to join them in doing criminal checks on
Scout Master to protect the children, the Boy Scouts of America
said no. This may have changed and we have made the
inquiry of the organization but have yet to hear back from them. The
statement by their spokesperson, Gregg Shields, however, seems to
bely either a lack of awareness that there is a problem that seems to
be well documented by everyone but the Boys Scouts of America, or
it's apolicy to cover up the activity similar to what has been done
within the Roman Catholic Church. - Gordon
Boy Scouts Of America Consider Dropping Ban
On Gay Members And Participants: Report
NBC cites a number of "scouting officials and outsiders familiar with internal discussions" who say a revised BSA policy would not only lift the ban on gay participants from the national youth organization's rules, but also allow local sponsoring organizations to decide for themselves whether or not to admit gay scouts.
The chartered organizations that oversee and deliver scouting would accept membership and select leaders consistent with their organizations mission, principles or religious beliefs, BSA Director of Public Relations Deron Smith tells the site, adding that individual sponsors and parents would be able to choose a local unit which best meets the needs of their families."
Discussions are reportedly nearing their final stages and if approved, the policy change could be announced as early as next week, NBC notes. Read the full story here.
Among those to praise the possible change was Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) President Herndon Graddick, who noted the shift "will only strengthen its core principles of fairness and respect" in an email statement.
Scouts for Equality founder Zach Wahls echoed those sentiments. "This would be an incredible step forward in the right direction," Wahls, who's also a HuffPost blogger, is quoted as saying. "We look forward to working with BSA Councils and chartering organizations across the country to end the exclusion of our gay brothers in Scouting, as well as the gay and lesbian leaders who serve the organizations so well.
Last year, the BSA "emphatically reaffirmed" its policy of excluding gays as both leaders and Scouts, according to the Associated Press.
"The vast majority of the parents of youth we serve value their right to address issues of same-sex orientation within their family, with spiritual advisers and at the appropriate time and in the right setting," the Scouts' chief executive, Bob Mazzuci, told the AP, before noting that "no single policy will accommodate the many diverse views among our membership or society."
Prior to that declaration, the BSA's anti-gay policy had been the subject of frequent debate following the case of Jennifer Tyrrell, who was forced to resign as leader of her 7-year-old son's Tiger Scout den after revealing she is a lesbian.
The Merck Company Foundation, the Intel Foundation and UPS are just three of the corporations to drop or postpone funding to the BSA in the wake of the policy's reaffirmation.
UPDATE: Smith has released an official statement with regard to the potential policy change:
"The policy change under discussion would allow the religious, civic, or educational organizations that oversee and deliver Scouting to determine how to address this issue. The Boy Scouts would not, under any circumstances, dictate a position to units, members, or parents. Under this proposed policy, the BSA would not require any chartered organization to act in ways inconsistent with that organizations mission, principles, or religious beliefs.
Boy Scouts Hit With $1M Verdict in Sex
The plaintiff, Kerry Lewis, said he was molested by Timur Dykes, an assistant scoutmaster, beginning in 1983 when Lewis was 10.
"We are gravely disappointed with the verdict," the Boy Scouts of America said in a statement on its Web site today. "We believe that the allegations made against our youth protection efforts are not valid. We intend to appeal."
The Multnomah County Circuit Court jury also found that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which had previously settled a separate lawsuit with Lewis for an undisclosed sum, bore some of the responsibility for the abuse.
At issue in the lawsuit was whether the Boy Scouts of America knew of scout leaders who posed a potential risk to boys. Kelly Clark, Lewis' attorney, compared the behavior of Boy Scouts administrators to the Catholic Church's cover-up of pedophile priests, The Oregonian newspaper reported. Clark told the jury that the organization had known about pedophile scout leaders since 1925, when it began keeping a secret list of them, but failed to notify the parents of children in the Boy Scouts.
Chuck Smith, the lead lawyer for Boy Scouts of America, said Clark's comparison was unfair, since the group only kept the list so that it could ban those suspected of potential abuse.
According to The Oregonian, however, the judge in the case, John Wittmayer, ordered the Boy Scouts to hand over to the jury more than 1,000 files on suspected pedophiles within the organization.
In those documents, it was revealed that Dykes had confessed to Gordon McEwen, a Mormon bishop, that he had molested several children in the Boy Scouts. But records seem to indicate that after being removed from his position as assistant scoutmaster, Dykes was allowed to continue to have contact with boys and participate in scouting events. As a result, his lawyer argued, Dykes eventually went on to molest Lewis.
In its verdict, the jury allocated the payment of damages -- which totaled $1.4 million -- so that the Boy Scouts of America accounted for 60 percent of the negligence; the local chapter, the Cascade Pacific Council, accounted for 15 percent; and the Mormon church accounted for 25 percent.
Punitive damages have yet to be determined, and during that phase
of the trial, jurors could impose additional penalties of up to $25
million against the Boy Scouts.
'Don't Be Fooled by Councils' Boy Scout
The Minsi Trail Council of Allentown, Pennsylvania, and the Hiawatha Seaway Council of Syracuse, New York all reported in recent months to the news media that they have adopted a policy that focuses on "inappropriate behavior" and not sexual orientation. Most recently The Minuteman Council of Boston, Massachusetts has been quoted as saying they have adopted a new policy of "don't ask don't tell."
Scott Cozza, the President of Scouting for All made contacts with these Scout Councils and all reported they continue to follow the National Boy Scouts of America's current policy of excluding gays from scouting. One such interaction took place between Scott Cozza and Tom Herrington, Executive of the Minsi Trail Council. Cozza, asked Tom Herrington, "If a scout or scout leader were reported to the Minsi Trail Council for being gay by a parent or another scout leader how would the Council respond?"
Mr. Herrington answered the question by stating, "The Council adheres to the National BSA policy of excluding homosexuals from scouting." Mr. Herrington further stated, " We don't have a policy (referring to their "new" behavior policy) different from the National organization. It was approved by the National office."
Mr. Herrington also agreed with Mr. Cozza, that his Council's "new" policy focusing on behavior was nothing new to scouting. National BSA has always had a policy to terminate members from scouting for "inappropriate behavior."
It seems very clear that the National BSA is giving consent to the some local Councils to reword current policy so that it can be interpreted in such a way as to meet funder anti-discrimination requirements. For example the Minsi Trail Council with its "new" policy was granted funding from the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley.
Mr. Cozza, spoke to Mr. Scharff, Executive of the UW of the Greater Lehigh Valley. Mr. Scharff was surprised to hear the statements of Mr. Herrington, that the Council continues to adhere to the National BSA policy of discrimination against gays and atheists. After finding this out Mr. Scharff, representing the UNGLV found it very difficult to take any action because in Mr. Scharff's words, "the religious right has threatened to pull funding from the Lehigh United Way if we discontinued funding the local council."
Scouting for All is cautioning the general public and funders of
the Boy Scouts of America whose funding is dependent on
anti-discrimination policies to not be "fooled" by the rhetoric of
the National BSA and some Scout Councils, who claim to have a "new"
policy. The truth is the only Scout Council in America who absolutely
does not adhere to the BSA policy of discrimination is the Piedmont
Council in Piedmont, California. The Piedmont Council told the
National BSA in a letter that their current policy of excluding gays
from scouting was in violation of both the Scout Oath and Law and
they would not adhere to such a policy.
Source: Compiled by GayToday: www.gaytoday.badpuppy.com/world.htm