In "Gay men and Scouting" (Forum, Feb. 27), Fred Burton asked for a passionate letter about allowing gay men into Scouting.
I feel great sadness that Burton's Scoutmates experienced an abusive leader. Any man who abuses boys is just that an abuser and those types of people are straight and gay.
To suggest that allowing gay men as Scout leaders is equivalent to allowing pedophiles is simply ignorant. To suggest that banning openly gay men will keep out abusers is a bunch of hyperbole, as Burton's experience shows.
There are rules that if heeded will keep abuse at bay. For instance, when on activities with the boys, Scout leaders should never be without another leader.
As a parent, I pay attention to the people my child spends time with, and I enforce rules regarding alone time with any leader coaches, Scout leaders, teachers. This is just common sense.
However, I wholeheartedly welcome men who serve as role models and inspirations to my kids, including decent and loving gay men who are part of my village.
Organizations and their members thrive when we surround ourselves with loving, moral people. This has nothing to do with being gay or straight.