This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
I am thankful I was a Scout. I am sad that the Boy Scouts of America didn't grant local choice on whether to allow openly gay Scouts and leaders. As a gay man, I agree with President Barack Obama that "gays and lesbians should have access and opportunity the same way everybody else does."
Still, Mormons should be allowed to sponsor troops that match their moral world view, even if I now disagree with it. But why should everyone have to?
More troubling were conservative supporters of the ban who held a prayer vigil at BSA headquarters, carrying signs that read, "Don't invite sin into the camp," and "Homosexuality is a sin! BSA please resist Satan's test." With that rigid, self-righteous attitude, I'm surprised fundamentalist Christians are OK with Mormons being in Scouting.
So what if we have separate-but-equal troops that allow or don't allow gays? We already have separate troops of Catholics, Mormons and Methodists. What's one more category?
But what would happen when pro-gay and anti-gay Scouts rub shoulders at regional events for all troops? Well, everyone would get to practice the Scout Law, which instructs that "A Scout is … courteous, kind." Not a bad thing.
Salt Lake City