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Scouting for gays
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated.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.

When I read that the Great Salt Lake Council of the Boy Scouts of America wrote that a decision to allow individual units to accept openly gay Scouts and leaders should not be taken without "complete and open discussion and deliberation with professionals, volunteers, parents, chartered partners, and all other stakeholders of the organization," I just laughed ("Salt Lake Scouts: Keep no-gay policy — for now," Tribune, Feb. 5).

People have wanted an open discussion of this topic for years, and pious Scout leaders have just said no, it's wrong. No discussion.

Now, when things might change, they finally say, "Let's talk." I don't believe them. They don't want a real discussion; they're just dragging their feet, stalling.

The proposed policy change doesn't force any of the 5,000 Mormon Scout troops in the area to accept openly gay leaders and boys; it just allows other units to do so, if they choose.

What are they afraid of? That gay Scouts will excel in merit badges for theater, music and textiles? Get past the stereotypes; see that gays are real, moral people, no different than anyone else.

This let's-go-slow-and-talk-about-it approach sounds like the calm, rational racists who resisted civil rights.

Richard Winter


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