Back to the Basics The year is 2013; now imagine being denied entry into an organization based on sexual preference. The Boy Scouts of America is currently undergoing controversial reform on their policy on whether or not to allow openly gay scouts into their programs. There are many institutions that have sponsored the program for many years, some of which are for the reform and some of which are against it. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” (US 1776). This historical quote can be found in the opening paragraphs of the United States Declaration of Independence. This country was founded on these basic principles, so why is it so difficult to live by them today? Denying entry into the Boy Scouts of America based on sexual preference challenges the basic principles founded in the Declaration of Independence as well as encourages discrimination, instills inappropriate values and morals onto our youth and hinders young men’s right to knowledge and their overall purist of happiness. Therefore, sexual preference should not be a factor when deciding whether or not to allow young men into the Boy Scouts of America. BSA also known as the Boy Scouts of America is a youth organization that has been around for over 100 years that teaches young men how to improve physically and mentally through various teachings. Historically speaking, its ban on openly gay members is one that has taken years to get to the point that it is at today. “Gay advocates called the vote a step in the right direction for the 103-year-old group, among the nation's largest youth organizations with 2.6 million youth members” (Hennessy-Fiske 1). In her article reviewing the newly lifted ban on gay scouts, Molly Hennessy-Fiske states that “Opponents vowed to fight the new policy, which they warned will damage flagging membership and funding” (1). Although it is not clear whether or not lifting the ban will have a negative effect on membership and funding, one thing is for certain, this organization has a high percentage of its contributions coming from religious influences as reported by Molly Hennessy-Fiske (1). Nevertheless, majority of these religious organizations seem to be in acceptance of the vote and will continue to support the troops as they have done in the past (Aupperlee 1). Maintaining funding from the churches is definitely sending a great message of support and acceptance to the young gay members. This sort of caring is something one would expect from these institutions of faith and its members even though they cannot control others prejudices and discrimination on the matter.
Discrimination is defined as “treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit” (“discrimination”). Basing entry into the scouts off of anything other than one’s individual merit is absolutely absurd and this issue needs to be fully rectified by the influential leaders in this historic organization. Gay scouts should be allowed membership no matter what their sexual preferences are. However, not all people agree with this sort of logic. For instance, an Ohio man and longtime member of the organization, Jeremy Miller recently proclaimed that he and his son will be leaving the Boy Scouts due to the recent decision conflicting with his religious beliefs (Wollan A.16). Remember how the old saying goes, like father, like son? As the example above states, people such as Jeremy Miller will begin to pull their children out of the Boy Scouts because of their own religious opinions and practices. Though, this is not benefiting these young boys whatsoever. This debauched action is actually counterproductive