Opinion: Boy Scouts, end discrimination against gays
September 27th, 2012
01:11 PM ET

Opinion: Boy Scouts, end discrimination against gays

By Herndon Graddick, Special to CNN

Editor's note: Herndon Graddick is the president of Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

(CNN) - This week, Jennifer Tyrrell and her family went to the headquarters of the Boy Scouts of America in Irving, Texas, to deliver a petition of 300,000 signatures asking the organization to end its ban on gay Scouts and gay Scout leaders.

The BSA's policy of "not granting membership to open or avowed homosexuals" is a travesty.

It led to the dismissal of Jennifer, who was the den leader of her own 7-year-old son's troop in Bridgeport, Ohio. By reaffirming its anti-gay policy this week, the BSA is telling the entire nation that maintaining its legacy of discrimination is more important to them than strengthening the bond between a mother and her son.

The BSA clearly has its priorities backwards. In spite of calls for change from its own board members, from high-profile Eagle Scouts and from Americans of all stripes, it refuses to budge. Other organizations, such as the Girl Scouts, 4-H clubs, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and even the U.S. Armed Forces, have put an end to such discrimination.

It might not be easy for an organization to admit it is wrong. Especially since the BSA has had this policy for decades; it has even gone all the way to the Supreme Court to try to preserve it.

But just because you have a right to discriminate doesn't mean it is right to discriminate.

Read Herndon Graddick's full column

soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Willliams

    Gay scout masters...encouraging the temptation for molestation is not wise...don't let it happen.

    February 3, 2013 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  2. CSX

    As parents and adults, it is the responsibility to provide a safe environment from evil and a place to grow and learn.
    Yet the world fight to have these perverts with AIDs hang around and lead boys? Have ye sold your soul so cheaply?

    October 1, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
  3. fiftyfive55

    Gays were banned in scouting because the gay scoutmasters kept abusing the boys at night when other scouts were sleeping.I was a scout during the 60s when this action was occuring and happen to know a few guys from other troops who were abused.Nothing is more vulnerable to gays than innocent little boys and I dont care what type of speech is politically correct.Gays and scouts have no business together.

    October 1, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Katie

      There's a difference between a gay person and a child molester. They are not mutually inclusive, just as they are not mutuallly exclusive. There are people who say that all preists are molseters – they are wrong. Just because there are a few sick individuals who would take advantage of children doesn't mean that all gays would.

      October 5, 2012 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  4. Bing

    I wonder if coach Jerry Sandusky was a Boy Scout?

    September 28, 2012 at 2:25 am | Report abuse |
  5. sean

    I open ok with gay people. BUT, i think the scouts being a private organization should be allowed to have there own policys.

    can i eat meat at a vegan meeting ? gays could start their own organization.

    September 27, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
  6. leslie

    i think its messed up to allow openly gay people be in scouts or the military. i remember being in P.E in school in swimming class and my teacher was lesbian and she wouldnt let us change out behind a curtain and it bothered me, and there was a lesbian who always stared at me who had a major crush on me as i had to get naked to change to my swim suit. disgusting to me. no one wants to feel like someoen likes there body when they are all naked or might as well let boys and girls get undressed together. you wouldnt do that so why shoudl there be an exception. NO! i disagree!!!

    September 27, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • tom.ay

      So, its okay for straight females to be den leaders of boy torups?

      October 1, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |