To take action in this last week before The BSA takes a vote on ending the ban on gay Scouts, call your local council: https://www.scoutsforequality.com/action/.

May 16, 2013

Dear National Executive Committee of The Boyscouts of America,

As a Cub Scout, Webelos and Boy Scout I learned valuable lessons for life from this great American institution. Just this past weekend the opportunity to camp with the local Boy Scout Troop provided me respite and time for deep reflection into the social struggles of our time. Setting up tents, collecting firewood and starting a lean two fire to cook a Pineapple Upside Down cake involved teaching five young scouts a lesson or two about cooking fires. One of those lessons had to do with selecting the right firewood: Pine versus Oak; Sweet Gum versus Black Walnut; and Sugar Maple versus Eastern Red Cedar to name a few. The other lesson to teach these impressionable scouts is that all males regardless of their sexual orientation should be able to learn how to safely start a campfire.

In scouting there is reason to discriminate against a particular type of firewood based on flammable qualities. But there is no reason to perpetuate discrimination against boys who self identify as gay, bisexual or transgender.

This is one reason why I, wholeheartedly, support the proposed amendment striking the ban on gay boys from participating in The Boy Scouts of America (BSA).

As a Charter Organization Representative of the sponsoring organization (Wadley First United Methodist Church of Alabama) I have conveyed to The Greater Alabama Council the desires of the congregation that I pastor and the leadership of the troop to change the current policy of discriminating against openly gay boys. The current policy is unenforceable, for nowhere in the application process is a prospective scout asked his sexual orientation. As a legalist and a strict egalitarian I view this social issue from a perspective of what constitutes justice for all not what appeases the status quo. Furthermore, as a religious leader who interprets Holy Scripture for guidance and wisdom I do not find justification to continue the discriminatory policy of The Boy Scouts of America in excluding openly gay boys from the character development and leadership training that is a hallmark of this American institution.

From my perspective The Boy Scouts of America and the American society at-large are out of step with one another. Figuratively speaking, if these two institutions where to pair up in a three legged race the outcome would be a stumble from the starting line. The feet of American society is progressing toward more open acceptance and tolerance of LGBT persons. All the while the feet of The Boy Scouts of America is digging their heels into the sand by prolonging discrimination of gays based upon a skewed interpretation of the last phrase of the Scout Oath, “… to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.” It baffles me how one can conjure the position that a gay adolescent boy is incapable of achieving a morally straight disposition.

Back to the life lesson of building a camp fire for cooking tasty dishes in a Dutch oven. I would suggest to the power brokers that just as a camp fire is dependent upon a bundle of sticks for a good cooking fire, so is The Boy Scouts of America in need of gay, bisexual and transgender boys to become a truly inclusive organization comprised of the best and brightest male civic leaders our society has to offer. It is time for all boys to benefit from the life lessons taught in the scouting adventure. I call on the National Executive Committee to be brave and vote to strike the discriminatory language from The Boy Scouts of America membership standards.

Sincerely,

Disney A. Weaver

Pastor of Wadley First United Methodist Church

Charter Organization Representative for Troop # 5044

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To take action in this last week before The BSA takes a vote on ending the ban on gay Scouts, call your local council: https://www.scoutsforequality.com/action/.

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