aefenglommung (aefenglommung) wrote,

More working it out in my head

So, if BSA approves gays for membership and leadership next week -- or, rather, allows charter partners to admit whom they please without blocking people for their sexual orientation -- what was the point of all the furor some years ago as BSA battled the gay lobby all the way to the Supreme Court?

Well, several important points were won which condition this move now. First, BSA did not crack under pressure. They turned aside the direct legal onslaught and then stood up under an avalanche of negative publicity and proxy fights aimed at their supporters. They won. And what they won was not only the brawl, but the right to their own identity.

The lawsuits brought by gays and their supporters against BSA for their membership requirements sought to establish that BSA was a public accommodation within the meaning of the law, and therefore could not be allowed to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. As a public organization, rather than a private one, membership would be a right, not a privilege; the claim was that BSA was denying a public good to some people who had a right to it. If the gay lobby had won on those points, BSA would have been fundamentally changed.

Ask yourself this: do you think the guys parading in their penis rings down Castro Street in San Francisco really wanted to do Scouting? No. They just wanted to force it open, to make it what they wanted to spite those who valued something else about it. And after they'd muddied someone else's water, they'd lose interest and go on to something else. But they lost, utterly. BSA is now contemplating allowing gays to join openly -- but on BSA's terms. Those who actually want to do Scouting and are willing to abide by the rules like everybody else can find a way to belong.

While I agree with The UMC position that the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching, I don't want or expect to keep homosexuals in some kind of box. But if we are to get along, then we have to be less publicly obsessed about sex. If the gays had beaten the Boy Scouts in those court cases years ago, we would all wind up more obsessed about sex. So maybe there's some sanity ahead that we can hope for. I don't know.

The occasional gay leader or gay kid in a group of leaders and kids, all of whom are NOT standing around talking about sex but rather tying knots or something is a far cry from a whole group of people shouting how gay they are at the top of their lungs and making a big deal out of their being gay Boy Scouts. Anyway, we'll see how it goes. It may be less of a big deal than some fear. I hope so.

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