Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Open Letter to Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council

Dear Mr. Perkins:

I was always under the impressions that the bullies were the ones who excluded other people. As my parents taught me when I was younger, those who stand up for the rights of those being excluded are the ones we should respect.

If the Boy Scouts want to continue a national policy of excluding gays from membership and leadership positions, by all means, let them do so. It tarnishes their reputation, it cheapens their claims to be a place for boys to grow into mature role models, and it puts them on the same side of history as men like George Wallace and Laurie Pritchett, men who also argued that discrimination was morally superior to inclusion and upholding human worth. It's not a choice I would make, but it's their choice.

I'm encouraged that the Boy Scouts are reconsidering their national ban on gay members and might be willing to leave it to individual troops to decide to permit openly gay men to serve in Scouts, based on the views of their sponsoring organizations.

The Scouts can and do accomplish a lot of good things for the children and teens who belong to their troops, but it's despite that ban, not because of it. It's time to do right on this issue as well.

David Learn

Copyright © 2013 by David Learn. Used with permission.

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