Stemberger: Ending Gay Ban in Boy Scouts Will Lead to 'Sexual, Physical and Psychological Abuse'

John Stemberger of the Florida Family Policy Council and the new group, On My Honor, is out with a new list of the top ten reasons [PDF] to oppose a plan to end the ban on gay youth in the Boy Scouts. He warns that openly gay Scout members will create “further public scandal to the BSA, not to mention the tragedy of countless boys who will experience sexual, physical and psychological abuse” by jeopardizing the sleeping arrangements and safety precautions.

Opening the Boy Scouts to boys who openly proclaim being sexually attracted to other boys and/or openly identify themselves as "gay" will inevitably create an increase of boy-on-boy sexual contact which will result in further public scandal to the BSA, not to mention the tragedy of countless boys who will experience sexual, physical and psychological abuse. BSA’s own Youth Protection videos indicate that “70% of abuse to boys is by teenagers”. Two-deep leadership will have to be at least three-deep for units with homosexual youth. The complexity of sleeping arrangements will create a myriad of social and liability challenges. Sexual awareness and harassment training will be required in all Scouting units. The leaders setting forth the proposed policy clearly did not have the safety and security of the boys in the BSA as their paramount concern.

He also argues that it will lead to a loss in support from major church groups, even though the two largest church sponsors, the United Methodist Church and the Mormon Church, are comfortable with the policy change.

If the proposal is enacted, it will gut a major percentage of human capital in the BSA and utterly devastate the program financially, socially and legally. Of the faith based Scouting units, the vast majority of them are Latter-day Saints, Methodists, Catholics or Southern Baptists. Despite what denominations may decide for political reasons, the majority of local churches that charter Scout units will not be able to embrace this policy without violating their religious convictions. The BSA’s own “Voice of the Scout” surveys provide solid evidence that tens- and possibly hundreds of thousands of parents and Scouts will leave the program if the proposal is adopted. The financial impact from such a significant membership loss would be enormous. Camps will close, executives will be let go and properties will be sold off as a result of the vast loss of finances from major donors, private foundations and declining membership.

Stemberger concludes that a young gay man will only join scouting so he can begin “flaunting his sexuality and promoting a leftist political agenda” and “inject a sensitive and highly-charged political issue into the heart of the BSA”:

The Resolution robs parents of the sole authority to raise issues of sex and sexuality with their kids. Parents should have the exclusive right to raise issues about sex and sexuality with their children in their own time and in their own way, in the privacy of their homes; not brought up by other older boys around a campfire. Allowing open homosexuality would inject a sensitive and highly-charged political issue into the heart of the BSA, against the wishes of the vast majority of parents. Under the longstanding current policy, boys who have a same-sex attraction are not banned or removed from the program unless they act out in a manner that distracts from the mission of the BSA. Under the new policy all Scouting units would be required to accept a 17-year-old gay activist openly flaunting his sexuality and promoting a leftist political agenda.

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