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Thread: RE: BSA and LGBT members from outwith the USA

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    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    RE: BSA and LGBT members from outwith the USA

    Duncan Hill has rasied an issue with Wayne and from past exchanges with Duncan I know how deeply he feels about this issue.

    As Scouts we should not only do the right thing, but be seen to do the right thing. Now, on an individual level that is an ideal that we all veer from from time to time. We are not perfect. However, as a movement, the SA has in the past held itself up as being the model of citizenship and I think that it is falling short here.

    If a human right is being infringed, then it is simply wrong and we should speak out as a movement to support those who are at a disadvantage - be that in the USA or Uganda, or Russia, or Indonesia or the UK. We cannot be in a position where we are quietly ambivilent about injustice and inequality and prejudice. Sometimes we have to think, screw the politics, this is right and that is wrong and we need to stand up and say so.

    If a Scout organisation had declared that disabled people were not welcome, would we accept that? If a Scout organisation decalared itself a single race organisation, would we accept that?

    Is there some idea that, by not coming out (no pun intended) and openly telling the BSA that they are out of step, out of order, that we might influence them quietly, in the same way that our government thinks that by running alongside the USA that we can influence their foreign policy?

    We stand for equality. We stand for fair play. The BSA has been digging itself in on this battlefront for some years and now it is engaging in trench warfare that can only damage Scouting in the US and damage the image of Scouting globally. Time we joined others in sending a clear and open message about their bigotted stance that excludes not only adults but young people. And we should send that same message to any Scout Association that holds any exclusive and discriminatory views as a matter of policy.

    We have to ask, is this right, or is this wrong - and we must act accordingly.

    BTW, I am not angry and I am not motivated by personal circumstances.
    Ewan Scott

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    Senior Member marcswales's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    Duncan Hill has rasied an issue with Wayne and from past exchanges with Duncan I know how deeply he feels about this issue.

    As Scouts we should not only do the right thing, but be seen to do the right thing. Now, on an individual level that is an ideal that we all veer from from time to time. We are not perfect. However, as a movement, the SA has in the past held itself up as being the model of citizenship and I think that it is falling short here.

    If a human right is being infringed, then it is simply wrong and we should speak out as a movement to support those who are at a disadvantage - be that in the USA or Uganda, or Russia, or Indonesia or the UK. We cannot be in a position where we are quietly ambivilent about injustice and inequality and prejudice. Sometimes we have to think, screw the politics, this is right and that is wrong and we need to stand up and say so.

    If a Scout organisation had declared that disabled people were not welcome, would we accept that? If a Scout organisation decalared itself a single race organisation, would we accept that?

    Is there some idea that, by not coming out (no pun intended) and openly telling the BSA that they are out of step, out of order, that we might influence them quietly, in the same way that our government thinks that by running alongside the USA that we can influence their foreign policy?

    We stand for equality. We stand for fair play. The BSA has been digging itself in on this battlefront for some years and now it is engaging in trench warfare that can only damage Scouting in the US and damage the image of Scouting globally. Time we joined others in sending a clear and open message about their bigotted stance that excludes not only adults but young people. And we should send that same message to any Scout Association that holds any exclusive and discriminatory views as a matter of policy.

    We have to ask, is this right, or is this wrong - and we must act accordingly.

    BTW, I am not angry and I am not motivated by personal circumstances.
    Wot 'E said, all of it.
    Previously CSL/ ASL now Witch Master General ( West) ( Poacher turned gamekeeper!)
    Refugee from Dodge, washed up on the shore of a District that has read POR.

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    Senior Member CambridgeSkip's Avatar
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    Ewan

    In principle I agree with you. This whole thing broke just as we were recruiting a new ACSL who got the wrong idea, thought this applied world wide and very nearly walked away. Thankfully we pointed her in the right direction and her application is all back on track. But that in itself shows how strongly many people feel about this and I think the time has come for the rest of the world to start leaning more heavily on BSA.

    A couple of things though.

    Is the USA alone in this? Does anyone know in which countries homosexuality is legal but where it is a bar to being involved in scouting? It's important because as you said scouting is about fare play, and if we pick out BSA for this we can't simply ignore other countries where it is also the case. It would not surprise me if it were the case in some staunchly Catholic countries in Central and South America too. I think it is always best to be fully aware of what you are up against before deciding on a course of action.

    Secondly what practical action can we, as individuals or as an organisation take? What are the options? Do we make this simply open condemnation, which is what I think you are implying. Or do we want to take further action that may adversely affect the young people we serve (jamboree boycotts etc)?

    Finally, Duncan, if you are reading this, your message back to Wayne refered to a document produced by the Catholic Church that has been aproved by the SA. Could you point me in the direction of this as I would be very interested to see what it has to say.

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    I think it's a good, clear statement from Wayne, if a little late. The only question I'd have is why we didn't already have something to this effect permanently linked from the homepage already - what we believe as an organisation should be promoted permanently, not simply as a reaction to events elsewhere.
    Group Chairman, Webmaster, SSA
    1st Cuddington & Sandiway Scout Group
    www.candssg.ismysite.co.uk

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    Senior Member Smartiepants's Avatar
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    Couldn't agree more. I've been very vocal about this on fb, because a number of my peers questioned my involvement in Scouting. It is just a pity that the statement on TSA homepage is so late and not well publicised.


    Anastasia

    Deputy County Commissioner (Development) Warwickshire


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    AGSL Russell Corrie's Avatar
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    I believe the document Ducan is refering to is this one
    Russell Corrie
    AGSL 1st Southgate
    http://www.srfexplorers.org.uk

    "the future's bright, the future's scouting" Tarquin Merryweather

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    We have to ask, is this right, or is this wrong - and we must act accordingly.

    .
    Agree with what you say, Ewan.
    My long-time watching of the way WOSM deals with things leads me to conclude that an outsider WOULD think Scouting is in the pocket of the Church, and specifically the Roman Catholic Church. I'm sure that's not what B-P would have wanted, but there it is.

    This affects issues that include attitudes to LGBT and the Promise in general.
    please note, I said "Scouting", not TSA.

    However I'm not clear how far TSA is hogtied. Or indeed how much BSA are.

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    when we as a movement are perfect in every regard then we can start preaching to other associations, until then we should respect other countries and associations points of view. I thought what Wayne said was just right and it should be left there.
    Paul Austin
    Kent Scouts SASU Water team
    G0AXQ, intrests in Scouting, Cycling, Hiking, anything on the water. seeing the young people achive.

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    Senior Member marcswales's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rover View Post
    when we as a movement are perfect in every regard then we can start preaching to other associations, until then we should respect other countries and associations points of view. I thought what Wayne said was just right and it should be left there.
    I broke the law this morning ( exceeded the speed limit in a motor vehicle) I'm not going to wait until I'm perfect to shout if I see someone assualting someone else.

    The SA is so far ahead of the BSA in human rights that the one issue remaining shouldnt be seen as a reason not to tell the rest of the world that the BSA is WRONG! It's wrong in it's attitudes about the 3Gs and it's wrong to be in bed with the church(s). No matter how wrong you think the SA is that doesn't make the BSA any less wrong, and their attitude is affecting our brand, both nationally and locally. Etierh we are are agaisnt them or we risk being lumped in with them.
    Previously CSL/ ASL now Witch Master General ( West) ( Poacher turned gamekeeper!)
    Refugee from Dodge, washed up on the shore of a District that has read POR.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rover View Post
    when we as a movement are perfect in every regard then we can start preaching to other associations, until then we should respect other countries and associations points of view. I thought what Wayne said was just right and it should be left there.
    ]

    Sorry, Rover, going to disagree. Read my original post. This should not be a case of he who is without sin cast the first stone. On the basis of your argument, we would have stood alone and slavery would have continued unabated, perhaps for another 100 years. We realised that slavery was wrong, we, as a nation, took a stand and our Navy was employed to blockade slave ships.

    Is apratheid acceptable? Yes or No? Is excluding and dehumanising a set of fellow human beings acceptable? Yes or No?

    If you answer , Yes, then perhaps you should step down from your role in Scouting. If No, then let's have the guts to stand up and say so. The USA is not the only nation to behave this way, being homosexual or even of a different faith in some nations can result in exclusion, and even death under the watchful eye of an ambivilent government. But the BSA is the single largest member of the WOSM and it weilds a huge amount of influence, and if it goes unquestioned in its actions, some other national associations may well take a lead from the BSA, as they are under pressure from their own religious and political overlords.

    It is NOT being a responsible citizen to turn and look the other way when a wrong is done. If we show our members that it is okay to think something is wrong but do nothing, then we fail miserably. This discussion is but a single step from Godwinisation.
    Ewan Scott

    It seems that there are a lot of Nawyecka Comanch around....





    Nawyecka Comanch'": "Means roundabout--man says he's going one way, means to go t'other" Ethan Edwards - The Searchers



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    AGSL Russell Corrie's Avatar
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    Dear BSA

    We the members of TSA abhor the fact that you are discriminating against homosexuals and demand you stop as it is wrong!
    Your the ever correct TSA

    PS you can discriminate against atheists(after all they are just wrong) as we do
    PPS If we change that policy we will be back to tell you off again.
    Russell Corrie
    AGSL 1st Southgate
    http://www.srfexplorers.org.uk

    "the future's bright, the future's scouting" Tarquin Merryweather

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    Senior Member Walsallwizard's Avatar
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    What is the SA’s stance of single sex organisations? Rainbows start at 5 years so chances of getting youngsters into Beavers are reduced, perhaps that is why our Beaver Colony finds it hard to recruit girls as those interested in what we offer already have a place in Guiding? Just a thought!

    The USA is fundamentally totally different in many aspects to that of the UK, in many aspects it is still in a lot of areas frontier country and mentality. There is a strong faith background to a lot of the country and they also have some very strong views on how people behave within communities; and then they have the hugely cosmopolitan areas of the big cities.

    Will any proclamation of our views persuade the BSA, will worldwide condemnation get them to consider their position? I think the answer is no because those that have the control and power to change things are not and will ever listen, they are part of the “bible belt”, shoot first, USA is best brigade. We have to tell them but I think we have to accept that they are not listening.
    Richard Fenton
    CSL 1st Hartburn Sea Scouts (Graham Mellanby's Own)
    www.hartburnseascouts.org


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    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    I see no issue with an open declaration that the SA is fully supportive of equality and openness regardless of race, creed, religion or gender. That it does not support any actions that run counter to those aims and ideals.

    A simple statement of what I hope is fact. We should nail our colours to the mast, or have we consigned Honour to the dustbin in favour of political expediency?
    Ewan Scott

    It seems that there are a lot of Nawyecka Comanch around....





    Nawyecka Comanch'": "Means roundabout--man says he's going one way, means to go t'other" Ethan Edwards - The Searchers



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    Senior Member Gooders's Avatar
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    The four lead readers' letters in USA Today this morning are all on this subject. Two are for and two are against BSA's stance. Unusually well balanced.


    Sent using Tapatalk, which is no excuse for poor spelling, punctuation or grammar.
    Stephen Goodman

    All opinions expressed here are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my Group, District or any other organisation of which I am a member.

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    The demographics of the USA are changing rapidly. Who'd have thought that we'd have a Black American President twenty years ago? Ten years ago?

    I like the USA - half of my family are American, so maybe thats inevitable. Every now and again the US belief in democracy and their lack of cynicism put us to shame. Why are we so sure that change won't come from within the BSA? Just look at how wider US culture has changed over the last 50 years. Please have a little faith in our "American Cousins" (or at least mine).
    Washathi, CSL 14th Southampton
    http://www.highfieldscouts.org.uk

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