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Letters: Perspective on the Boy Scouts

September 21, 2012

Re "Boy Scout files show suspects got help hiding," Sept. 16

With the Boy Scouts, once again — just as with the Roman Catholic priests and Penn State football — we find that at the heart of the sexual assault of children lies a nest of heterosexual men protecting pedophiles.

And who got the blame all these years? Gay men, of course.

AIDS was blamed on "dirty homosexuals," but we now know it's highly likely that AIDS was brought to America by heterosexual Haitians (who brought it from Africa). But gay men died in significant numbers first. And so gays were blamed.

Will society ever apologize to us?

Ray Shelton

Glendale

Your front-page article that focused on incidents that happened at least 20 years ago was totally one-sided. I have never been in Scouting, but I know that the organization has helped boys to become leaders and to contribute to their communities in many valuable ways. Some have even saved lives because of their training.

The Boy Scouts of America has contributed to society for more than 100 years. I suggest you spend your time on real news.

Robert Dourian

Northridge

Parents are entitled to nurture and love their children with the hope they will become responsible adults. But parents are continually blindsided by religious and lay institutions that protect predators in their organizations who sexually, physically and emotionally abuse children. And the families of these children also suffer emotional trauma when they learn the horrors their children endured.

And now the Boy Scouts takes center stage. If the past is a guide, there will be a public outcry for a few days, followed by insincere apologies, and the story will fade.

Why the apathy? Why aren't we outraged at what is a serious, long-standing and continuing epidemic?

Marie Pietrasanta

Encino

The Boy Scouts of America's leadership seems to have joined the Catholic Church hierarchy in the above-the-law club. Child caretakers are required by law to report even suspected cases of abuse, and inaction typically leads to further harm. Systematically covering up abuse is even more heinous and amounts to participation.

Until these facilitators of child abuse are prosecuted, innocent children are not protected.

Although it is a cliche to say that no one is above the law, this statement should be scrupulously honored in crimes against children, regardless of status, prestige or affiliation.

Gery LeGagnoux

Santa Monica

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