A hypocrite the Boy Scouts can love

New Boy Scouts President Robert Gates: ‘I Would Have Supported Having Gay Scoutmasters’

Despite media to the contrary, Robert Gates, the Bush and Obama Administration, Defense Secretary, LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Trans) insiders didn’t view him as a true friend helping to repeal “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”. He had no problem accepting any and all kudos that may have come his way, however. By now mention of active duty troops and veterans who had to endure nearly 3 extra years of discrimination under Gates, until he finally relented and put a freeze on dismissals. has been dutifully scrubbed from his biography.

But Gates’s latest demonstration of his underlying hypocrisy is revealed by his first public address as the newly appointed President of the Boy Scouts. He actually said . . .

Robert Gates (WikiCommons)

Robert Gates
(WikiCommons)

A year ago, this meeting saw a respectful and civil debate over membership policy. In a democratic process, a strong majority of the volunteer leadership of this movement from all across the nation voted to welcome gay youth into scouting. In all candor, I would have supported going further, as I did in opening the way for gays to serve in CIA and in the military. […]

[…] Given the strong feelings — the passion — involved on both sides of this matter, I believe strongly that to re-open the membership issue or try to take last year’s decision to the next step would irreparably fracture or perhaps even provoke a formal, permanent split in this movement — with the high likelihood neither side would subsequently survive on its own. That is just a fact of life, and who would pay the price for destroying the Boy Scouts of America? Millions of scouts today and scouts yet unborn. We must always put the kids and their interests first. Thus, during my time as president, I will oppose any effort to re-open this issue.

 

This is a classic, really. Few profiles in public cowardice are so flagrant. It is glaringly obvious now: he was hired exactly because he wouldn’t bring needed change. Due to public pressure, the Boy Scouts had to reverse its discriminatory practice of throwing out young boys because they were gay. The next obvious step was to stop discriminating against scout leaders (often former scouts themselves) by throwing them out because they were gay.

A May 2013 ABC poll found that 56 percent of Americans oppose the organization’s “intention to continue to ban gay adults.”

By not taking this step, the Scouts are further discriminating against gay youth by demonstrating, in fact, that being gay is a bad thing, and that these young gay Scouts shouldn’t need positive adult role models, who happen to be gay. Hypocrisy writ large that will endure through Boy Scout President Gates 2-year term unless we ramp up pressure and right this wrong.

If you can, support and work with organizations such as Scouts for Equality, who, along with more than 1.8 million petition signers have called on the Boy Scouts to end its anti-LGBT practices.

 

 

Alison Gardner

Alison Gardner

Alison Gardner is co-founder of VenusPlusX, and writes frequently on global sexual freedom, American fundamentalists exporting hate and homophobia, and grassroots activism.
Alison Gardner