Out and Scouting
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated.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.

Scouting is one of the best programs for boys anywhere. It teaches principles and values that engender character and integrity. It's time its leadership is forced to uphold those principles and values that the organization espouses.

The naked truth is that gays and lesbians are and have been an integral part of the Boy Scout movement since the beginning; they just haven't been allowed to say so. (There is substantial evidence that Scouting founder Lord Robert Baden-Powell was homosexual.)

Like the military, Scouting has maintained a "don't ask, don't tell" policy with regard to gay members and leaders. So long as gay people don't make a fuss, there is no problem with participation.

The leadership should put this issue to bed by allowing us gays and lesbians to continue doing what we've always done — enrich and ennoble the lives of the boys, men and women who participate in its program — but do so openly.

This whole thing is a distraction from the organization's mission. In the end, maintaining the current policy just paints Scouting unnecessarily with an obvious and justifiable brush of hypocrisy.

That's not good for the program; more important, it's not good for the boys.

D. Allen Miller

Salt Lake City