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Gays as Scouts: 'Sexual Brokenness'

May 20, 2000

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on a case that could determine whether the Boy Scouts of America has a constitutional right to exclude gays from its organization. The issue arose as a result of a New Jersey Supreme Court ruling that the Boy Scouts' ban on gays is illegal under that state's anti-discrimination law. The Boy Scouts appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that forcing the organization to accept gays violates the organization's 1st Amendment rights and conflicts with the credo that Scouts should be "morally straight." Atheists and others who do not agree with the Scouts' moral code would also be effected. MAURA E. MONTELLANO spoke with a leader of a Christian-based ministry in Orange County, and also with the mother of two Scouts.



Associate director, Desert Stream Ministries, Anaheim

As I understand it, the Boy Scouts is a private organization that holds to a certain moral creed. Anyone wishing to become a Scout or serve as a Scout leader pledges to adhere to that creed. As a private organization, the Boy Scouts should have the right to dismiss someone who violates those moral grounds. Particularly in the case of the Boy Scouts, we have an organization based on biblical virtues for leadership.

The debate over homosexuality, whether inborn or environmental, is not over. However, the Boy Scouts is not the environment in which the adult debate should be held. In my case, as a Christian man and a former homosexual, I am uncomfortable with the idea of an openly gay man espousing homosexuality while mentoring young boys still in the formative stage of their sexual orientation.

Our ministry believes that homosexuality is but one of many expressions of sexual brokenness. Many of the men we have ministered to were introduced to homosexuality as children--before they were capable of understanding what was going on. We could not accept an openly gay leader as a role model for male youth.

Respect and tolerance must be given to the individuals who have made their choice, who believe they are created homosexual. However, they need to find a private organization or group that agrees with them and that can also embrace that choice.

In the meantime, those who disagree with them, such as the Boy Scouts, should be able to retain their right to disagree.

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