The Scouts really need to get their act together. For years, they’ve cruelly banned LGBT members; but even after they relaxed the policy last year to include gay youth, gay adults are still prohibited.
That’s led to ridiculous situations such as the one faced by twin brothers Liam and August Easton-Calabria. The Seattle-area teens have identical merit badges, but Liam is gay, so he’ll have to leave as soon as he hits with 21st birthday.
It’s nuts, obviously, that the organization would reject a guy who devoted a year of his life to it. Even crazier that a twin brother can remain, as if their sexuality makes any material difference.
But that’s the policy for now, and the Scouts show no sign of modernizing. In fact, the Boys Scouts of America have been downright loathsome about it. Last month, when they learned that a beloved troop leader was gay, Council leader Sharon Moulds claimed that he had “intentions to make a public statement about his orientation and use our program as a means to further a personal agenda.” That’s simply not true, and Moulds knew it. Troop Leader Geoffrey McGrath wasn’t using the program to further a personal agenda. He was using the program to mentor young kids, teach them skills and help them socialize with their peers. That’s pretty much the extent of his personal agenda.
Nevertheless, the Boy Scouts revoked the charter from the Methodist Church that sponsored the troop.
So what’s next for Liam? It sounds like he’s dedicated to fixing the Boy Scout policy. “I’m going to do as much as I can, to see my children in scouting with me involved,” he told a reporter. It took years of lobbying to get the scouts to allow gay kids; hopefully it won’t take as long to get them to finish their evolution.