Coming up in May, a decision will be handed down by the Boy Scouts of America as to whether or not they should continue their policy of banning openly gay individuals. When hearing this news, a severe wave of indifference may wash over you, as it did me, and you may in fact stop reading this article out of disinterest.
My off-hand response is that the Boy Scouts should lift the ban to show they are a forward thinking organization.
The military has abolished their policy, so why not the Boy Scouts? This is only a big deal because proponents and opponents have made it so.
First, I would say that both sides have made errors in addressing the situation.
On the opposed side is a plausible moral argument based in Christian values that could likely sway the undecided.
After all, it is a children’s organization and I find that most people don’t even approve of heterosexual relationships being acknowledged in front of their kids.
This argument quickly wilts in the face of supporters who proudly rant uneducated homophobia which quickly scares off the people on the fence.
Proponents, however, have given the opposition a new target with their chosen tactic.
That tactic, in their opinion and mine, is blackmail.
By pressuring organizations that donate to the Boy Scouts into pulling their funding, gay rights groups are keeping a large amount of revenue away from the Scouts unless they agree to lift the ban.
Specifically, according to ABC news, chapters of United Way are pulling their funding of troops left and right.
If this ploy works then I am afraid that the Boy Scouts will not have amended their practices for the sake of progress. They will instead have done it for the money.
“To an uninvolved observer, tragically, the 103-year-old moral absolute by the Scouts has gone to the auction block. Money, not morality, rules,” said Jerry Luquire in his take on the gay ban.
As president of the Georgia Christian Coalition based in Columbus, Luquire is for the continuation of the ban. While his use of the word “morality” may be of a different subtext than mine, I agree with his statement and believe it is accurate, no matter your position.
Due to this, I think what could have been a mild issue that would have passed with grumblings one way or the other, has become a heated debate where there can be no actual victory.
Either a blow will be struck for gay rights through underhanded means, or against it, stymieing forward-thinking Americans and giving bigotry a rallying point.
In both cases, I believe America will be the poorer for it.