More about Gayness and “Will and Grace” (13 Mar 13)

(From my posting on the BSA’s SCOUTING magazine blog):
Wallace wrote in part: “Ed… Something must have happened or why would the BSA adopt the policy…”
Yeah. The United States had a “growth spurt” and with it some additional maturity.
A scant 15 years ago, we were laughing at NBC’s “Will and Grace” and built the program to one of its highest rated shows. If you don’t recall, Will and Grace was about two gay men (Will and Jack) along with their straight friends Grace and (I forgot the other woman). It treated Gayness at a time that we Americans were still going through the HIV/AIDS period with honesty, truth, and a lot of laughter at the expense of many of us “straight people”. It is still being shown in reruns on over the air and cable TV to this day. That was the start of America’s maturity with regard to Gayness.
Since that time, a generation of children have grown up around Gay and Lesbian people — for the good, not the bad. We have Gay police and fire personnel, 911 operators, teachers, church leaders, ministers, checkout workers at stores and businesses big and small around our nation. When we further found out that we won’t “catch cooties” standing around them, eating at places where they are eating, enjoying a beer at the bar while watching Monday Night Football, and walking in the park; and when we also stopped averting our eyes whenever two males or two females would walk hand-in-hand or even kiss (in broad daylight, not hidden behind a bush somewhere…), the nation grew up even more.
And then the acceptance, after a lot of pull and tugs, that we have Gay people in our armed services and that except for people who cannot grow up (the “Happy Gilmores” of our society), they performed just as well — some better! — than many of our lazy “straight people who can’t get a clue”.
There was a policy — “Don’t ask, Don’t tell…” and it was being adheared to; but why? Did it really make any difference when bullets are flying and peoples lives are on the line whether you liked Eve or Steve? The policy was taken down. Oh my gosh…did the Gays take over the military?
Are they wearing pink and purple everywhere?? Is there a new march with “sway” in their steps?
No. But that’s what many said would happen, just like people said that our children would all “turn Gay” from the teachers, and “start eating Gay foods”. If anything, we “lardbutts” would probably LEARN a thing or two from our Gay and Lesbian friends, who as a population (at least from what I’ve read) are *healthier* overall than the “straight population.” They have to be — for many are denied health care.
So with corporations no longer “barring” or “restricting” Gay and Lesbians from employment, supervision or leadership. With school systems acknowledging that the sexual orientation of a teacher, adminstrator, even a school bus driver has no bearing on their performance. With community organizations saying “look, we have to serve everyone”. There’s a need for America’s premiere youth serving program to “get with the program.”
The compromise is very simple, which is why I love it. Just like with everything else the BSA has historically done, the proposal will leave it to the chartered organization — the organization which “owns the charter” for a Cub Scout Pack, Boy Scout Troop, Varsity Scout Team, Venturing Crew or Sea Scout Ship — to decide and approve the BEST PEOPLE THEY FEEL WILL WORK WITH THEIR YOUTH. That person may be Gay. Or Straight. Or a Baptist, Latter-Day-Saint, or even have NO religious slant at all. The CHARTERED PARTNER ORGANIZATION, not the “national BSA”, nor the local Council, makes that call.
Don’t like the leadership in the unit — fine. Go down the street, find a chartered partner who “speaks your language”, has “your thought patterns”, and organize a Scouting unit to MEET YOUR NEEDS and those likeminded as you are. Simple as that!
As far as youth in Scouting — look. Our kids have grown up with other kids — Gay, straight, gluten intolerant, bulimic, from the stricted of homes and the most open of homes — and while we can pull up stories of the exceptions, most of our kids have no damage, no issues, no problems being around any of those kids. To THEM, they are friends. They are workmates at school or church or both. They live in the same communities, drink the same water and shop at the same grocery stores and eat the same foods.
Well, maybe not. Note what I said about the gluten-intolerant. Some have peanut allergies. Some can’t smell watermelon without throwing up all over the creation.
But we have grown up and matured a bit as a nation. We in the BSA need to act like it.


About Mike Walton

Take your standard Oliver North. Add strong parts of Bill Cosby and Sir Robert Baden-Powell (the founder of Scouting). Throw in Johny Bravo without the "hurhhs!" and his pecks. Add a strong dose of parenting, the sexuality of a latin lover, and Mona Lisa's smile. And a 40 year old's body frame. That's me basically *grinning*
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