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Gays good for Scouting

Published March 3, 2013 11:19 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

In "Gay men and Scouting" (Forum, Feb. 27), Fred Burton poses a real concern about Boy Scout leaders abusing children. His conclusion that gay men should not be Scout leaders is faulty.

First, the ban on gays in Scouting did not stop the abuse of thousands of Scouts over the past decades, nor the cover-up.

Second, Burton implies that all pedophiles associated with Scouting are gay. Even if true, the reverse, all gays are pedophiles, is not true.

Openly gay men would be less likely to abuse children since they would be under more scrutiny. Having gay leaders would open others to their humanity.

It would help gay Scouts realize that nothing is wrong with them, increasing their self-esteem and reducing bullying and the high suicide rate among gay youth.

Outcomes we could all embrace.

Don Ries

Salt Lake City