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The Blue & Gray Press | May 22, 2018

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Staff Editorial: Boy Scouts' rules plant seeds of discrimination in growing minds

The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) is an organization that has existed since 1910; by all accounts, it is an organization that ceased to be newsworthy long ago as it quickly established itself as a part of American culture and has done little to change its image over time. This changed when the BSA announced last week that it was reconsidering keeping in place a long-standing ban on allowing homosexuals to join.

The debate that has resulted brought with it a number of differing opinions from both sides and we at the Bullet believe it is important to address the inherent bigotry that has permeated the organization for nearly a century.

On the front page of the Boy Scouts’ website, their mission statement reads, “The Boy Scouts of America provides a program for young people that builds character, trains them in the responsibilities of participating citizenship and develops personal fitness.”

On the organization’s “About” page it continues, “The Boy Scouts of America believes — and, through over a century of experience, knows — that helping youth is a key to building a more conscientious, responsible and productive society.”

If their statement is to be believed, then why are the higher-ups using discrimination to forcibly weed out potential members who could help carry out their stated goal? It is easy to understand how a convicted criminal might not be able to contribute to a more productive society, but homosexuals have committed no crime.

It is shameful that an organization that is at the forefront of American society can be taken seriously when their outlook on the world is as aged as they are.

The time a kid is eligible to be a member of the BSA occurs during the part of their life where their perceptions and views of the world are still being shaped. Teaching someone so young, who has no real stake in the world yet, to discriminate against someone for their sexual preference goes against the values the BSA claims to be most associated with.