GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Opinion

October 23, 2012

Editorial: Scouts send powerful message

Thousands of people across Cape Ann and no doubt millions across the nation have learned a great deal from their time in the Boy Scouts of America. But an Eagle Scout from Rockport and a group of parents and leaders with a Rockport Cub Scout troop have shown they’ve learned one of the most important lessons of all – not to be afraid of standing up for what you believe is right.

That was the message delivered loud and clear last week by leader with Rockport Cub Scout Pack 55, who issued a prepared statement saying that they “vehemently disagree” with Boy Scouts of America’s anti-gay policy, which “does not proactively inquire about the sexual orientation of employees, volunteers, or members,” but also “does not grant membership who are open or avowed homosexuals.” And Weaver drove home his stand against such discrimination in the Boy Scouts separately in a powerful letter to the editor that appeared in Monday’s Times.

The Boy Scouts, as a private institution, may want to adhere to their policy and supposed values. But if national Boy Scout leaders continue to hold to that policy, they can also expect to further be blocked for the use of public parks and other facilities if, indeed, their events are not clearly open to all.

In the meantime, it’s not clear whether the Scouts’ national leadership will decline to renew the Rockport Cubs’ charter. But both the Pack 55 leaders and Weaver should be well aware that their courageous stands in favor of inclusion are far more honorable than any policy that discriminates on any level.

It is they, not the national policy makers, who have shown true Scouts’ honor.

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