Posted by Bob Lord
There's a post over at Salon about a 15 year-old Boy Scout who is ready to quit if the Scouts don't change their anti-gay policies. Although the post does not say so expressly, by all appearances this kid is not gay himself. He's a devout Mormon. He joined the Scouts through his LDS Church.
And he's inches away from becoming an Eagle Scout.
On giving that up:
I was unaware that the Boy Scouts had a policy against gay members and leaders until I learned that they were considering changing it. I was shocked. Now that they have decided to postpone the decision until May, I am completely annoyed because it should not have been that hard of a decision in the first place. If they decide against allowing gay members and leaders into the Boy Scouts, I think I will leave the organization without finishing my Eagle Scout award. It would be a prestigious honor and one that I have worked hard on but I don’t want my name attached to an organization that does not honor the choices of others and feels so differently than I do on the issue.
On reconciling his views with his Mormon faith:
I have faith in the gospel and I know the Church is true; many people I interact with [at church] have anti-gay beliefs, but I do not. I can believe in the gospel and be a kind and accepting person at the same time.
When asked about his discussion of this with others in his troop:
Some (in fact, most) of the boys I worked with had extremely conservative religious upbringings, but I knew some of them were kind people and would accept my worldview. Others were not as kind, and for that reason I think attitudes have to change. This can be a hateful subject with some Mormon youth and leaders.
I'm guessing there are more than a few national Scout leaders more than a bit concerned about what will happen if this young man quits. I think they know the inspiration his courage will provide to other Scouts. When faced with the choice between giving up their homophobia or going down this road, the national Scout leaders will ditch the homophobia.