Wednesday, January 08, 2014
Boy Scouts start officially accepting openly gay members; yet right wing rhetoric follows
The Boys Scouts of America officially began accepting openly gay scouts on January 1, 2014, but we’re seeing some of the old rhetoric that I remember from the far right in the 1980s when HIV broke loose.
For example, Bryan Fischer from “Rightly Concerned” says that public policy should “discriminate” against behavior (or its proponents) it considers anti-social, and goes on to compare homosexuality to a long list of other evils (even cannibalism, or the “Silence of the Lambs” kind – what a metaphor). He talks about being “destructive to social fabric” without any concrete reasoning other than the appeal to religion and the Bible. Perhaps he should face the idea that contemplation of male homosexuality makes marginal heterosexuals less confident that they can get and keep a heterosexual relationship and raise a family. That really is what Russia’s argument is all about – Putin seems unashamed to admit that it’s about low birth rates and reproduction. So do most lower income cultures. The link to his post is here.
There's no question that the slow-motion but eventually successful repeal of the military "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" put rhetorical pressure on the BSA.
A Boy Scout leader in Texas compared gays to “thieves” (maybe of resource that would otherwise go to parents) and said they should be referred to counseling, as in a Huffington Post story in the Gay Voices column, here.
Libertarian Richard Sincere (GLIL) reposted his 1999 Wall Street Journal article, before the 2000 Supreme Court decision in favor of the BSA, in which he talks about the loss of private spaces to government regulation, link here. Sincere says the article had been lost in search engines but was still in the archives of the Independent Gay Forum, still online but without the discussion boards popular around the year 2000. The forums took too much volunteer time to monitor. By the way, I've never thought about searching LexisNexis for an article.
Of course, over the years the BSA’s use of public space became controversial. I remember being compelled to try Cub Scouts at the age of 7. I went no further. But it was such a prominent cultural institution over the decades that I wonder how private it really was. It even advertised job openins for programmers in the 1980s. The HQ is near DFW airport, as I recall, from having driven past it in rental cars in return trips to Texas (where I lived in the 80s).