Queerty is better as a member

Log in | Register
SCOUT'S (DIS)HONOR

“Morally Straight’ Boy Scouts Dump Lesbian Den Mother

Denise Steele is like a lot of other moms in Potomac Falls, Virginia. She juggles work with family life—like being a den leader to her 12-year-old son’s Boy Scout troop.

But unlike the other parents in her neighborhood, Steele is a lesbian—a fact that got her bounced from son Jackson’s troop in June after an assistant scoutmaster ratted her out to the national Boy Scouts of America council.

By all accounts, Steele’s involvement in Jackson’s scouting activities was exemplary: His troop earned numerous badges and won the prestigious Blue and Gold Award five years in a row.

Steele has been in a domestic partnership with Jackie Funk for the past 19 years—raising Jackson, sister Jaden, 9, and Steele’s nephew, Will, 10. According to the Louden Times, Steele’s sexuality was a non-issue among troop parents:

“Some of the guys would come down and ask her advice,” Funk said. “Being a woman, forget about the gay part, it didn’t matter. They respected her for her commitment and what she offered and how much she put into it. They respected her.”

When Jackson graduated to Boy Scouts, he and his moms chose Troop 761, which is sponsored by the conservative Christian Fellowship Church. Steele was upfront about her sexuality and her two-decade relationship with Funk, and was allegedly told by scoutmaster Mike Tucker that it was no problem. But the fact remains that the Boy Scouts of America organization states that, “open homosexuality is inconsistent with [its] values,”  which creates a rather gray area in which LGBT parents are beholden to the good will of their neighbors.

Enter assistant scoutmaster James “Skip” Inabinett. (You gotta wonder about a grown man named “Skip.) Seeing Funk pick Steele up from a camping trip one Monday, Inabinett began questioning other parents about their relationship and then suggested Steele should be removed as an assistant scoutmaster.

In an email that Inabinett sent to a close personal friend of Steele’s and whose son was also in the troop, he stated, “If what you said about Denise Steele being an active sexual is true, do you feel comfortable talking with her about stepping down/resigning as an ASM … as her friend, this may be an opportunity for you to share with her about Christ’s love and the need to believe that as sinners we cannot get to heaven on our own and that we need a savior.”

The situation escalated over the next several weeks, with Inabinett declaring Steele’s lifestyle choice a sin. Eventually, Inabinett went directly to the national organization—bypassing the troop scoutmaster and local and district committees—to have Steele ousted.

“He went straight to the highest level because that’s where he would get his answer. He went to the highest point to get me removed,” Steele said.

As it stands now, there is no recourse or appeals process for Steele, save perhaps the court of public opinion. Though you gotta wonder why her fellow troop parents let Steele twist in the wind like that.

For its part, the Boy Scouts of America doesn’t see anything wrong with getting rid of a terrific scoutmaster simply for the gender of her spouse. So long as, y’know, they’re nice about it:

“The [Boy Scouts of America] recognizes that some do not agree with its position on this issue, but values the freedom of everyone to express their opinion and teaches its members to use courtesy and respect at all times,” [spokesperson Deron] Smith said in an email. “To disagree does not mean to disrespect. The [Boy Scouts of America] will continue to strengthen common interests, while respecting differences and will focus on its mission and on reaching as many youth as possible in order to help them grow into good, strong citizens.”

Good citizens who realize that basic human rights are not a matter to be debated, no matter how politely? Not so long as its outdated and homophobic policy is still in place.

 

Source: Louden Times

By:           Dan Avery
On:           Aug 29, 2011
Tagged: , ,
  • 47 Comments
    • Nick Thiwerspoon
      Nick Thiwerspoon

      What a loathsome creep In-a-minute is! All that “Christian” hypocrisy! All that brotherly love! All that genuine concern for the welfare of the scouts! And they wonder why we call them the ChrisTaliban. We must share with her Christ’s love. ‘Cos this revolting drongo, this herpy-derp-derp certainly doesn’t have any to share.

      Aug 29, 2011 at 8:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      Oh My Goodness! She’s been in a 19 year relationship, raised children and was an exemplary scout master. I can see why he thought that all of these made her such a sinner.

      Sounds like the little drama queen, assistant scoutmaster James “Skip” Inabinett, running around like a 5th grade girl trying to find out who stole her her Hello Kitty pencil case, may have some major closet issues.

      Aug 29, 2011 at 9:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Yes Yes
      Yes Yes

      Yes, yes. I agree with you all, but here’s the thing: why do we keep chasing down these organizations that don’t want us (Boy Scouts, Churches, etc)? I mean, it’s not like this is a surprise given the history of both the church and the boy scouts. There are orgs that don’t discriminate. Go join one of them and fuck the BS (by which I mean boy scouts).

      Aug 29, 2011 at 9:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hf2hvit
      hf2hvit

      @Yes Yes: AMEN!

      Aug 29, 2011 at 9:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dave
      Dave

      As an Eagle Scout and a gay man, I remain saddened, frustrated, and angry that Boy Scouts of America has been hijacked by anti-LGBT bigots and extremists. I also feel conflicted, because I gained so much that was positive as a Boy Scout. Ironically, it was as a Boy Scout that I first began to understand the importance of social justice. And it was as a Scout that I first realized the incredible spiritual importance of time alone to contemplate in natural surroundings, and came to understand the value and rewards of both manual and mental labor in service of others.

      Despite this, and while I’ve heard many argue for the need to change the organization from within, I have not been able to bear to expend effort, time, and money supporting an organization that espouses what can only be described as intolerance and hatred–albeit packaged in a wrapper of faux civility. I can only imagine and mourn for the valuable experiences and lessons Scouts throughout the USA have been deprived of because of the stance of the few twisted, morally corrupted individuals in BSA leadership roles at the national level.

      Mementos of my time as a Boy Scout–my uniform, photographs, journals, my Eagle Scout medal and my Order of the Arrow sash–remain stored in a cedar chest at the foot of my bed. I hope that one day I will be able to take them out and show them to friends and their children with pride. Until that time however–until the removal of the evil men and women who have tried to make those mementos the symbols of an organization with hatred and bigotry as core values–I will continue to cherish the good and useful things I learned as a Boy Scout, and to call for the BSA to reject hatred and bigotry and to re-commit to encouraging and modeling REAL freedom, justice, loyalty, friendliness, kindness, and courage.

      Aug 29, 2011 at 10:00 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Elloreigh
      Elloreigh

      “To disagree does not mean to disrespect.”

      It pretty much does mean disrespect when that ‘disagreement’ is used as an excuse to force out an award-winning den mother.

      On the other hand, why would any self-respecting gay person continue to associate with the Boy Scouts of America, knowing its anti-gay history and policies?

      Aug 29, 2011 at 10:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the crustybastard
      the crustybastard

      The BSA stood before the highest court in the land, and under oath, testified that they are and always have been an explicitly anti-homosexual organization and the presence or toleration of even one gay person in the organization would undermine their organization’s anti-homosexual purpose.

      Why would any gay person join such a bigoted enterprise? For that matter, why would any SENSIBLE person?

      So I have no sympathy for Ms Steele or her family. She’s another one of those nitwits who deludes themselves into that “I’m changing things from within” bullshit, because she’s unwilling to admit she is so weak and pathetic that she’s compelled to lick the boots of people who hate her and people like her.

      Nor am I surprised by the atrocious and quintessentially Christian behavior of her colleagues and friends. At least the law prevents Christians from actually burning her now.

      Dave, your hope that one day you will be able to display your BSA memorabilia with pride is no different than hoping that one day you could proudly show off your KKK robes to your black friends. No different. Really. If it were mine, I’d pack all that shit in a box, take a dump in the box, tape it up and mail the whole stinking mess to BSA HQ.

      Fuck the Bigot Scouts and the Christians who own them.

      Aug 29, 2011 at 10:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark
      Mark

      @Dave:

      The Boy Scouts have not been hijacked! This is what it is! Come on. Why do people go insane like this? The Boy Scouts has been a religious organization in the U.S. forever. There have been court cases.

      It simply begs common sense why anyone gay would contribute to such an organization! Aren’t there other organizations for children? Why would someone put their kid into an environment where they will be indoctrinated into hate?

      Aug 29, 2011 at 10:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark
      Mark

      @Dave:

      The Boy Scouts have not been hijacked! This is what it is! Come on. Why do people go insane like this? The Boy Scouts has been a religious organization in the U.S. forever. There have been court cases.

      It simply begs common sense why anyone gay would contribute to such an organization! Aren’t there other organizations for children? Why would someone put their kid into an environment where they will be indoctrinated into hate?

      Th Ku Klux Klan offers family socials and other learning opportunities for families but do you see non-whites and Jews queuing up to enroll their kids?

      Aug 29, 2011 at 10:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • chrissypoo
      chrissypoo

      You know in a few years, there is going to be the news story about the Boy Scout troop leader named Skip who is accussed of molesting children. He just needed to get rid of he lesbian who would have ratted him out first.

      Aug 29, 2011 at 12:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jodie
      Jodie

      She should look at leading a Spiral Scout troupe http://spiralscouts.org/ – in fact, it seems that they have an opening for a leader in Virginia http://spiralscouts.org/node/220

      Aug 29, 2011 at 12:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Anexum
      Anexum

      So one person inflicting his opinion on others. Sounds a bit like napoleon syndrome to me. Excersisng petty authority when they are not wanted.

      Though its the last bit of the email I abhor (the fact that missionary activity is discoraged in the bible).

      Aug 29, 2011 at 12:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Richard
      Richard

      That’s why DON’T support the Boy Scoots. I DON’T donate, or buy anything from them.

      Aug 29, 2011 at 12:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Sarah
      Sarah

      @the crustybastard: Did you ever think that maybe she was doing it for her kid? How do you explain to a kid that he can’t go and learn how to tie knots and earn badges with his friends because his mommies don’t agree with their politics?
      As a parent sometimes you have to suck it up and be a part of something you may not like for the sake of your child, and from the sounds of it she didn’t seem to have any problems and probably began to enjoy herself immensely until this prick showed up.

      Aug 29, 2011 at 12:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dave
      Dave

      @the crustybastard & Mark:

      You both seem to have an excellent grip on the strategy used by organizations like PETA and the NRA: Present extreme cases as the norm; make your exaggerations as hysterical and as angry as possible; attack even those who agree with your position if they do not seem as angry and as radical as you are; and ignore the fact that your arguments lie outside the experience of reality for the vast majority of your intended audience. That’s the surefire way to success–you have but to ask the NRA and PETA how well-respected and culturally dominant they are after years of just this type of shrill screeching.

      Frankly, I’m not convinced that I need to defend what I originally wrote, as both of you (tellingly) resort to the silliness of comparing BSA members to the Ku Klux Klan–a winning argument if I ever heard one. I suppose it’s possible that tens of millions of gay ex-Scouts are victims of Stockholm Syndrome who harbor tremendous self-hatred–but it’s orders of magnitude more likely that you’ve let the anger and pain felt by all gay men affect your ability to think rationally. The simple truth is that despite numerous calls–stretching back decades–for LGBT folks to secede from society at large and form our own little queer utopia, no such thing has ever come close to happening. I strongly suggest that you spend some time thinking about this, and researching why every large-scale attempt to date has failed before it ever got off the ground. The sooner you search out and understand the reasons why the queer utopia you’re implicitly calling for has been a total bust (Hint #1: queer folks aren’t exactly free of discrimination and bigotry, even when it comes to other queers), the sooner more rational folks will be able to take you and your arguments seriously.

      Aug 29, 2011 at 12:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Grace Alexander
      Grace Alexander

      It’s hard. My son loves scouting, but I have to leave my partner at home and pretend I’m single for fear he will be ostracized just for having a bisexual mom. I hate the Boy Scout creed but don’t want to tell my son he can’t Scout. It’s sad that such a huge organization has so many ugly sides to it – it’s not only their stance on LBGTQ individuals, but their brand of Christianity, their political affiliations, etc. I dread the day when he comes to me in tears and says they won’t let him transition to Eagle Scout because of me.

      Aug 29, 2011 at 1:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • A
      A

      This is messed up.

      Grace, you should never be ashamed of who and what you are.

      I guess I never realized boy scouts were so bent on being jesus f*cks as well.

      Aug 29, 2011 at 1:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • No One Said It Would Be Easy
      No One Said It Would Be Easy

      To those parents lamenting the difficulty in telling your child “no,” may I remind you that no one said parenting was easy and that maybe, oh just maybe you’ll be teaching your kid a much more valuable lesson in the process. Help him understand why he wouldn’t want to be a part of an organization like this–even if his friends all are. There are plenty of other organizations to get involved with.

      Aug 29, 2011 at 2:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 18 · No One Said It Would Be Easy wrote, ‘To those parents lamenting the difficulty in telling your child “no,” may I remind you that no one said parenting was easy and that maybe, oh just maybe you’ll be teaching your kid a much more valuable lesson in the process. Help him understand why he wouldn’t want to be a part of an organization like this–even if his friends all are. There are plenty of other organizations to get involved with.”

      Rather, you should be asking “family value” types why they think they are promoting “family values” by making life more difficult for families, particularly in ways that make children miserable.

      Aug 29, 2011 at 2:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Caliban
      Caliban

      In case you’re not aware, the homophobic stance of the BSA is yet another thing we have the Mormons to thank for. As part of their squeaky clean image, the LDS have adopted Scouting in a big way and are major financial backers of the organization, with highly placed members on the board. There are Mormon-specific troops where merit badges can be earned by doing work for the local “stake,” which apparently caused some controversy in BSA circles because those “merit badges” for dubious achievements like cleaning carpets at the temple enabled Mormon troops to turn out Eagle Scouts in half the time it normally takes.

      http://www.mormoncurtain.com/topic_boyscouts.html

      This is also another instance where we’ve allowed the opposition to “spin” the story, to make it seem as if it’s about adult gay males wanting to be Scoutmasters when that is the least of the issues. Whenever the topic comes up the BSA and their defenders make it sound like there are gay men lined up around the block to become Troop Leaders, raising the specter of sexual molestation. Never mind that sexual predators are usually straight-identified and married, men who are “good with kids” and go out of their way to be around them. How other than seeming harmless would they get close to their prey? In this one instance it IS about a lesbian Troop Leader but that’s unusual to say the least.

      The REAL issue is discrimination against gay youth. Most boys enter Scouting as Cub Scouts at elementary school age, 2nd or 3rd grade, well before most have any concept of sexuality all, much less their own. (When I joined the Scouts they were allowed to recruit in schools. I don’t know if that still happens.) As some of these boys grow older they come to understand and acknowledge their innate sexuality and that’s where the problem begins. The issue is NOT gay men wanting INTO Scouting as Troop Leaders, it’s about gay youth getting kicked OUT of an organization they’ve been with since early childhood, not for anything they’ve done but for their sexuality.

      It’s important to keep the focus on that, where it belongs, rather than the imaginary boogeyman of rapacious adult gay male Troop Leaders. FWIW, the Girl Scouts are unaffiliated with the BSA and do not have homophobic policies, though that might change at the troop level (I don’t know). Also, in the UK (where Scouting started) they don’t have these same policies and (I think) allow girls to join.

      Aug 29, 2011 at 3:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daez
      Daez

      Why would any proud and out gay want their children to belong to such a bigoted organization? Scouts hating gays isn’t new. It isn’t news to most of us. This isn’t even the first case that has made national headlines.

      Aug 29, 2011 at 4:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • slanty
      slanty

      “An active sexual.” As opposed to a passive sexual? Women must be bottoms, after all! YHWH said so.

      Aug 29, 2011 at 4:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • suzy anand
      suzy anand

      I wish that along with this post you had provided information about who to protest to at the BCA for their despicable policy in general and action in this case specifically.

      Aug 29, 2011 at 6:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kris
      Kris

      Shame on the BCA for such blatant hatred.

      And shame on the people in this post who are encouraging a passive dismissal of the BCA as the answer.

      If not for the people in history who have stood up time and again and insisted on equality in all aspects of life, even the stupid Boy Scouts… we would still have segregation by color. I’d bet money that the BCA would make themselves a white-only organization if they could but throughout history we have refused to let them and others do so by our repeated standing up for equality.

      And bravo to suzy anand for cutting straight to the chase and asking where we can go to protest.

      I second that!

      Aug 29, 2011 at 6:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • purplegrrl
      purplegrrl

      in australia the scouts (not boy scout) allow girls to join and I have had a couple of friends who are lesbian (as am I) have both scout leaders and girl guide leaders without trouble. Feel sad for ms steel and her son. But hey a lot of religious nut jobs like skip have a strange concept of morality and ethics.

      Aug 29, 2011 at 6:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CD
      CD

      You know, if the Loudoun Times reporter could avoid inadvertently perpetuating the ignorance of groups like the boy scouts by referring to her ‘lifestyle choice’ as something other than a lifestyle or a choice it would help. A choice is: chicken or steak for dinner. A lifestyle is: avid camper or avid golfer.

      Aug 29, 2011 at 6:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Crysta
      Crysta

      Here’s a thought, why don’t we start our OWN competing group, an ALL-INCLUSIVE group.

      None of this boy/girl scouts…

      Make our kids an American Savior. Girls, Boys, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, EVERYONES allowed in. The only main rule… Be respectful of your fellow Savior.

      The religious wingnuts can complain all they want about our use of Savior (and American)

      Or for added WTF factor, call us Saving Humanity by Introducing Tolerance. (Yes, SHIT)

      Basically, tell them to go F* themselves and make a better replacement for the hate groups!

      Aug 29, 2011 at 7:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mother of 2
      Mother of 2

      As the mother of two and a grown woman in a relationship with another grown woman I simply have the following to say….. People throw gays under the bus everyday, based on their personal religious views. I ask, how can you have faith in God if you judge me? How can you say you have faith without question in what you cannot see but you question my faith because you do not understand my life choice?! I do not force my choice on others…. My son has a girlfriend and my daughter has a boyfriend and they were raised by women, yet I was raised by a christian man and I am a woman that is engaged to marry a woman! You can not control who the heart chooses to love! I vote, I raise my children to be well mannered members of society, I don’t commit crimes….. But others see me as trash because I am with my own gender!! It is not the same sex partners that are wrong it is the people who judge what they don’t understand!!

      Aug 29, 2011 at 7:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Steve
      Steve

      The Boy Scouts USA used to be a very gay organization — from its founding up until the 1970’s. It just wasn’t talked about. Gay boys would go camping with the other gay boys, and with the straight boys who had not yet discovered girls. The vast majority of the straight boys would drop out as soon as they discovered girls. The gay boys were the ones who stayed in. They got to go camping, overnight, and share a tent with another gay boy. But, it was never talked about. The adults didn’t want to know, so the boys didn’t tell them. And, the adults who did know didn’t want the boys to know that they knew…

      That all changed in the 1970’s. When gays began ‘coming out’, the religious organizations that sponsored the boy scouts became nervous. BSA started interpreting the “morally straight” part of the Boy Scout Oath as meaning specifically “heterosexual”, for the first time. And they began a witch hunt to find and eject all the homosexuals they could. In 1982, National Council published a policy that said, for the first time in writing, that homosexuals may not register as scouters. That’s when I stopped registering.

      As their hateful and bigoted positions have become less and less popular, more and more churches have decided not to sponsor BSA units. Public schools cannot sponsor units any more, either, since BSA declared that they BSA is a “religious” organization. I think that was in the Dale case. Many churches that used to sponsor BSA units, now refuse to do so. The Morman church (LDS) now makes up a huge fraction of the BSA market. And, LDS has declared that it will drop BSA if BSA ever changes its anti-gay policy. Because LDS is BSA’s largest customer, by far, BSA would likely go bankrupt if that happened.

      So BSA has painted itself into a corner. It is basically now no more than part of the LDS youth ministry. BSA is no longer open to “all boys and young men”, as required by the World Scout Movement. And, scout units are much less available to boys, since schools and most churches will no longer sponsor them. The finances get worse each year. For more than a decade, BSA has been downsizing, merging councils, and selling camps.

      It is a true pity. The methods of Scouting work, very well, to help boys become confident, capable, independent young men. They let their bigotry get in the way of actually doing their mission. And, it will very likely destroy the entire organization.

      If they would reverse the anti-gay policy, I would support them, and I would ask my church to sponsor a unit. I very much doubt it will happen in my lifetime.

      Aug 29, 2011 at 8:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dave
      Dave

      For what it’s worth, there ARE things that individuals can do help make Boy Scouts of America an organization free of bigotry. Scouting for All (http://www.scoutingforall.org/) has been working for years to this end, and their website provides updates and invites involvement in the campaign to end discrimination in the BSA; it also lists direct action methods for individuals.

      There are already several organizations that have been founded with the intent of providing a non-discriminatory alternative to Scouting USA. While I freely admit that I know very little about the alternative organizations, I think that it is wrong to imagine them as rivals to the BSA, in the sense that there is no reason for BSA to be the only scouting-type organization for boys in the US–regardless of the BSA’s policies.

      Still, the truth is and will remain that BSA is by far the largest such organization, and the idea that it should be abandoned because revisionists claim it was essentially founded as an anti-LGBT hate group is not only ridiculous but reactionary in the worst way. How many social, business, non-profit, and governmental entities were founded long ago by folks who would have been repulsed by LGBT individuals, happy to see them persecuted or even executed because of who they are? And how many such organizations have quietly changed over the years as society has? I would argue that to condemn the entire Scouting movement because of the bigotry and fear of a few religious nutters in positions of power would be a shame.

      Great Britain, the country where Scouting was founded in 1907, ended its policy of discrimination against LGBT youth and adults in 1997. Scouting International’s member organizations include a number of national Scouting organizations that are free of such bigotry. There is no reason that the BSA cannot be one of those. In fact, as Steve points out above, BSA’s policies violate those of the World Organization of the Scout Movement, leaving BSA open to sanction or even revocation of their right to use the name “Scouting”. Folks in the United States can help to bring about such changes by (for instance) insisting that local United Way organizations withhold funding to discriminating groups like the BSA.

      Of course, one could simply stand off to the side, ridicule those whose children are Boy Scouts and who volunteer to help children (not the organization) grow, and call for LGBT folks to refuse to associate with any and all organizations with a history of discrimination of any type. However, while such suggestions might resound with righteous fury as rants on an Internet message board, they aren’t very practical even if one thinks they are justifiable. I’d prefer to deal in realism, and realism means working to make this very imperfect world more just–because demanding a new one isn’t going to work, no matter how indignantly it’s done.

      Aug 29, 2011 at 9:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ogre Magi
      Ogre Magi

      I am soooo sick of christians!

      Aug 29, 2011 at 9:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the crustybastard
      the crustybastard

      @Dave:

      Bet you don’t have a Reading Comprehension Merit Badge.

      Dumbass.

      Aug 29, 2011 at 10:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the crustybastard
      the crustybastard

      @Sarah:

      If you think it’s more important for your son to learn to tie knots with his friends than to learn about principles and why it’s wrong to cooperate with evil, keep sending him to Scouts.

      @A: “Grace, you should never be ashamed of who and what you are.”

      Grace isn’t ashamed of who she is, she’s ashamed of her partner. Another fine lesson she’s allowing the Boy Scouts to teach her kid.

      Aug 29, 2011 at 10:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dave
      Dave

      @the crustybastard: If you thought what you wrote was defensible and you wanted it considered in another light, an explanation would have worked quite a bit better. I’ve reread everything I’ve responded to and everything I’ve posted several times, and there’s no reason to rescind or apologize for any of it–but then again, I don’t have much input from you beyond a silly insult.

      I very much understand your anger at BSA and your stance towards the organization; I’ve considered doing what you originally suggested several times, minus “tak[ing] a dump in the box”. I choose not to do it; others might legitimately come to a different decision. Your direct comparison of the BSA to the KKK was, however, over the top and unnecessary–and yes, regardless of what you thought you wrote, that’s exactly what you did. Twice. They don’t pay me to teach college-level rhetoric classes for nothing.

      Having said that, I’d like to think differently of you–but I’ll admit that Internet denizens who respond to strongly-worded and robust debate with playground one-liners don’t generally sit well with me. Correct me when you feel I’ve misread or misunderstood, but do it intelligently. I’m a reasonable guy, and if you want to converse with me again I’d certainly be up for a discussion provided you leave the immaturity at the door.

      Aug 29, 2011 at 10:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Riker
      Riker

      Without all that knot-tying practice the Scouts gave me, how else would I have discovered an interest in bondage? :P

      Aug 30, 2011 at 12:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jimmy Fury
      Jimmy Fury

      @No One Said It Would Be Easy: “There are plenty of other organizations to get involved with.”

      “Plenty” might be a stretch. Your options for non-denominational sexuality-inclusive scouting groups are… The Girl Scouts, Camp Fire USA, and Spiral Scouts (spiral scouts being founded as a wiccan/neopagan alternative to the BSA but open to all religions)

      Of those the Spiral Scouts don’t have the national recognition, resources, or spread of the BSA. The Girl Scouts, obviously, not going to cut it for boys. So that leaves Camp Fire USA. Which is good too but still. Not a huge selection if your kid is set on scouting.

      Aug 30, 2011 at 12:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Anon
      Anon

      For those of you who go on to the original Loudoun Times article, you should be aware of problems throughout the piece. The “reporter” Laura Peters did absolutely no research in her mad dash to present Steele’s plight, and in the process made grievous errors which make the article laughable. I outlined the errors in an emil to Peters and excerpt them below:

      “First of all, your ignorance of BSA programs is advertised in almost every sentence. A few examples: Cub Scouts are organized into “packs,” not “troops.” Scoutmaster is one word, not two. The training to become an Assistant Scoutmaster takes less than a week, not a year. Now let’s get more specific:
      1. You paint Mrs. Steele as a selfless volunteer who sinlehandedly saved a Cub Scout “troop”: “Steele started out in Boy Scouts as a den leader for her son, Jackson, 12, for his school, Horizon Elementary. No other parent would step up to the plate to take on the responsibility of leading a Cub Scout troop.[sic]” Den Leaders do not lead a Cub Scout pack. Packs are broken into dens, each den would be at least 2 boys and ideally no more than 8. The pack is run by a Cubmaster, not a Den Leader. Den Leaders are only responsible for leading activities during den meetings, and if a pack were to be unable to accomodate Steele’s son and his classmates, there are–like Boy Scout troops–many packs that they could have joined instead; for example, there are 5 Cub Scout packs within 10 minutes of my home in the suburbs of Richmond.

      2. You report that Steele’s “troop [sic] excelled at everything, including accomplishing badges and winning the Blue and Gold Award all five years, one of the highest awards for Boy Scouts.” Again, your ignorane of Scouting shines. You are reporting on the period before Steele or her son were involved in Boy Scouting–they were Cub Scouts–yet you call them Boy Scouts. Worse than that, there is no such thing as a Blue and Gold Award in American Cub Scouting. Even if there were such an award, it would not be among the highest awards available to Boy Scouts, Cub Scout awards cannot be worn on the Boy Scout uniform (except for the Arrow of Light). The Blue and Gold Banquet is an awards dinner held by Cub Scout packs to recap their year and recognize advancement for the scouts; everyone in the pack is invited, it isn’t elite.

      3. Your statement that “After graduating from Cub Scouts, the next step is to find the right Boy Scout troop. All boys are able to select which troop best fits them instead of being automatically placed based on the schools they attend.” implies that Cub Scouts are automatically placed in a pack based on school or street address. They are not. Like Boy Scout troops, Cub Scout packs are open enrollment. Again: Google is your friend.

      4. Lest I spit it out, I had to postpone a sip of coffee when I read “The training process to become a scout leader usually takes about a year. Steele completed it in three weeks. ” This is utterly false. There are 4 training components to become an Assistant Scoutmaster and wear he “Trained” patch: Youth Protection Training, This is Scouting, Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills, and Leader Specific Training. Youth Protection training takes 30 mintes to an hour, max; it is an onlinevideo and quiz series, which you can view here: myscouting.org. This is Scouting is a basic introduction to the Boy Scout program, it is also online and takes less than an hour to complete. Intro to Outdoor Leader Skills teaches basic scouting skills to adult leaders (so they’re competent when teaching the boys) and takes one weekend campout. Leader Specific training is an indoor session that takes one Saturday afternoon to complete. If Mrs. Steele is the person that told you it takes a year to complete the training to become an Assistant Scoutmaster (as she aspired to be), then she lied to you. While you were eager to create an aura of “uber leader” around Steele by tauting her 3 week “accomplishment” all you really did was demonstrate that she took more time to complete the training than is necessary. Anyone can complete the training in 2 weeks.
      On top of that, the only one of these 4 training components that is required to register as an Asst SM is Youth Protection; the others are optional. A National policy change will require the other 3 next year, but the fact of the matter is that currently Steele could be an Asst Scoutmaster in a matter of minutes.”

      Aug 30, 2011 at 10:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @Mark: said…

      “The Boy Scouts have not been hijacked! This is what it is! Come on. Why do people go insane like this? The Boy Scouts has been a religious organization in the U.S. forever. There have been court cases. ”
      _______________________________

      Actually they have been hijacked in some way.

      They used to be all over the place in every school etc… But the Mormon and Catholic churches exerted more and more control over them and when they were pushing more of the religious and discriminatory aspects of them, the public buildings and public schools stopped dealing with them.

      So now their main membership comes from Mormon churches and Catholic schools.

      Aug 30, 2011 at 10:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the crustybastard
      the crustybastard

      @Dave:

      Who would pay you to teach college-level rhetoric?

      I compared the BSA to the KKK because both clubs assert their unjustified and bigoted policies and positions regarding people’s identities — positions based entirely on stereotypes rather than evidence — inure them some Constitutional right to ignore antidiscrimination laws which are based on evidence, and do provide necessary remedial effects to disadvantaged minorities. Further, both the BSA and the KKK attack people based only on their identities, not on their actions.

      I point out that BSA lied in the SCOTUS to ensure their right to discriminate (contrary to state laws), and properly describe them as “a bigoted enterprise.”

      You assert my comparison is inapt (somehow…just because it’s not a “winning argument” in your opinion), then you compare me to PETA and the NRA, because you disagree with those organization’s messages.

      It’s just a laughably poor argument, Dave.

      As for “playground one-liners,” aren’t you the same Dave who posts all that insipid “Lady CaCa” crap?

      Look, the BSA is a vertically integrated membership organization like the Roman Catholic Church or the Nazi Party. To say that the organization doesn’t deserve to be harshly criticized because some of it’s membership at the bottom doesn’t necessarily share all of the ideology of the leaders at the top is just dumb as shit. Seriously, that’s making the claim that you cannot maintain the Nazis were entirely bad because Oskar Schindler was a Nazi and he was nice.

      It’s just a facepalmingly stupid argument.

      Maybe someday you’ll understand that.

      Aug 30, 2011 at 11:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Steve
      Steve

      @Dave:

      Leadership in service sometimes takes very strange forms. It is only right that we should guide them, until they realize that hate and discrimination are wrong. At some point, BSA will abandon their policies of hate and discrimination. When that happens, can reasonably expect that many LDS scouters and professionals will resign. At that time, they will need us. Until then, we can only speak the truth, knowing that they will eventually listen.

      Aug 30, 2011 at 9:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dave
      Dave

      @Steve: I hope that you are right. I think you will be!

      Aug 30, 2011 at 11:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Anon You're A JERK
      Anon You're A JERK

      To ANON (AKA Friend of Skippy):

      For those of you who go on to the original Loudoun Times article, you should be aware of problems throughout the piece. The “reporter” Laura Peters did absolutely no research in her mad dash to present Steele’s plight, and in the process made grievous errors which make the article laughable. I outlined the errors in an emil to Peters and excerpt them below:

      “First of all, your ignorance of BSA programs is advertised in almost every sentence. A few examples: Cub Scouts are organized into “packs,” not “troops.” Scoutmaster is one word, not two. The training to become an Assistant Scoutmaster takes less than a week, not a year. The woman works for a local paper. Did she do all of the proper fact checks? No. But why are you attacking her? She’s a 25 year old woman getting started in her career at a local paper.

      Now let’s get more specific:
      1. You paint Mrs. Steele as a selfless volunteer who sinlehandedly saved a Cub Scout “troop”: “Steele started out in Boy Scouts as a den leader for her son, Jackson, 12, for his school, Horizon Elementary. No other parent would step up to the plate to take on the responsibility of leading a Cub Scout troop.[sic]” Den Leaders do not lead a Cub Scout pack. Packs are broken into dens, each den would be at least 2 boys and ideally no more than 8. The pack is run by a Cubmaster, not a Den Leader. Den Leaders are only responsible for leading activities during den meetings, and if a pack were to be unable to accomodate Steele’s son and his classmates, there are–like Boy Scout troops–many packs that they could have joined instead; for example, there are 5 Cub Scout packs within 10 minutes of my home in the suburbs of Richmond.

      We know they are call Cub Scout Dens and Boy Scout Troops…have the parents don’t get this right. So back off on this one. Cubmaster vs. Den Leader…right again. Relevance? Wrong about the whole “join another pack” statement. EVERYONE knows that most kids align with dens at their elementary schools (with the typical only alternative being a church). Having been there, I know that these boys would have walked away.

      2. You report that Steele’s “troop [sic] excelled at everything, including accomplishing badges and winning the Blue and Gold Award all five years, one of the highest awards for Boy Scouts.” Again, your ignorane of Scouting shines.

      Wow…now you’re calling the reporter “ignorant.” Big man. The reference was simply to the den’s involvement in the Blue and Gold Banquet, which celebrates the birthday of scouting.

      You are reporting on the period before Steele or her son were involved in Boy Scouting–they were Cub Scouts–yet you call them Boy Scouts. Worse than that, there is no such thing as a Blue and Gold Award in American Cub Scouting. Even if there were such an award, it would not be among the highest awards available to Boy Scouts, Cub Scout awards cannot be worn on the Boy Scout uniform (except for the Arrow of Light). The Blue and Gold Banquet is an awards dinner held by Cub Scout packs to recap their year and recognize advancement for the scouts; everyone in the pack is invited, it isn’t elite.

      3. Your statement that “After graduating from Cub Scouts, the next step is to find the right Boy Scout troop. All boys are able to select which troop best fits them instead of being automatically placed based on the schools they attend.” implies that Cub Scouts are automatically placed in a pack based on school or street address. They are not. Like Boy Scout troops, Cub Scout packs are open enrollment. Again: Google is your friend.

      Huh? What’s your point?

      4. Lest I spit it out, I had to postpone a sip of coffee when I read “The training process to become a scout leader usually takes about a year. Steele completed it in three weeks. ” This is utterly false. There are 4 training components to become an Assistant Scoutmaster and wear he “Trained” patch: Youth Protection Training, This is Scouting, Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills, and Leader Specific Training. Youth Protection training takes 30 mintes to an hour, max; it is an onlinevideo and quiz series, which you can view here: myscouting.org. This is Scouting is a basic introduction to the Boy Scout program, it is also online and takes less than an hour to complete. Intro to Outdoor Leader Skills teaches basic scouting skills to adult leaders (so they’re competent when teaching the boys) and takes one weekend campout. Leader Specific training is an indoor session that takes one Saturday afternoon to complete. If Mrs. Steele is the person that told you it takes a year to complete the training to become an Assistant Scoutmaster (as she aspired to be), then she lied to you. While you were eager to create an aura of “uber leader” around Steele by tauting her 3 week “accomplishment” all you really did was demonstrate that she took more time to complete the training than is necessary. Anyone can complete the training in 2 weeks.

      Again, you are a king.

      On top of that, the only one of these 4 training components that is required to register as an Asst SM is Youth Protection; the others are optional. A National policy change will require the other 3 next year, but the fact of the matter is that currently Steele could be an Asst Scoutmaster in a matter of minutes.”

      Ms. Steele did not become a scoutmaster in a matter of minutes. YOU ARE AN ASS.

      Aug 31, 2011 at 12:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dave
      Dave

      @the crustybastard: Who’s paid me to teach at the college level? Flagship state universities and a couple of large community colleges.

      As for your comparison, I say again that it is patently ridiculous–so ridiculous that your credibility fades the longer you continue to insist that it is appropriate. Are you at all familiar with the KKK? For most of its modern (post-Great Depression) history, the KKK could hardly be called a “club”–and if you insist on calling it that, then you will have to explain its secrecy and its ties to law enforcement and political office, at least in those times and places in which the KKK and law enforcement and politicians were separate entities.

      The Boy Scouts of America is an organization with a policy of bigotry at the national level due to the presence of several hard-right religious nutters on its governing board. Individual councils and troops typically adopt their own informal policies with respect to LGBT folks, and those with open policies are only bothered when someone reports them to the national office.

      The KKK meanwhile, is a loosely-knit confederacy of bigots who come together specifically and only to promote racism and intolerance–they exist solely because of hatred, and their sole intent is to spread that hatred. The KKK is responsible for the murders of thousands–and possibly tens of thousands. The lynchings, bombings, and targeted assassinations they carried out amounted to a reign of terror that lasted decades in large swaths of the South. The KKK’s campaigns of terror and intimidation emptied communities, forced folks to sell or abandon land that had been in their family for generations, closed businesses, deprived tens of thousands of work and paychecks, made the lives of many times that number miserable, and ultimately forced the government to call out the military to restore peace and order in many communities during the height of the civil rights movement. And though smaller in scope, today their campaigns of intimidation, murder, and other criminal activities such as the manufacture and sale of illicit drugs as a means of funding their activities continue.

      And yet you compare BSA to the KKK. With all the honesty and sensitivity I can muster: Your comparison is far, far beyond inspiring serious consideration. Or any consideration, for that matter.

      When you state that I compare you to PETA and the NRA because I do not like their messages, you are missing the point by miles. In actuality, I agree with large parts–probably the majority–of both organization’s messages. I compared them to you not because of any personal feelings on my part though, but because the problem they have is the same as yours: Just like the NRA and PETA, you want people to take you seriously. And just like the NRA and PETA, that’s going to continue to be a problem for you as long as you try to make your points by means of fantastical hyperbole, apocalyptic warnings, and refusing to admit the existence of any grey area whatsoever. Many folks who own guns, like guns, and want to keep and use their guns thought that Charleton Heston looked and sounded unhinged when he raised a rifle above his head at a national meeting of the NRA and screamed “From my cold dead hands!” They agreed with his message but his presentation and delivery failed. You have the same problem: Many of us who agree with you at core find it impossible to support your message because so many of your assertions are overheated and overblown. I don’t think your comparison of BSA and the KKK is inapt; I think it borders on insane, along the same lines as comparing a public high school to a Nazi concentration camp. You are damaging your own credibility when you say such things, and your argument is damaged by extension–hence my “winning argument” line.

      You should be seeing a pattern here: Statements I post commenting on your method of argument become personal attacks in your mind when you read them. If you can’t prevent this from happening, it’s probably best to refrain from loudly shouting an unconsidered opinion in a crowd–because someone will almost certainly challenge it, and you will end up with hurt feelings.

      Finally: No, I am not the same Dave who posts one liners about “insipid ‘Lady CaCa’ crap”. In all honesty, I wonder how you could make such an error, but that’s neither here nor there. As for the bad Nazi comparison and “facepalmingly stupid” and the other blather you finish with–there you go again. Your own final statements contain little more than this poorly a thought-out comparison and a dramatic, exaggerated attempt at a final kiss-off. After noting that I’ve done my best to maintain civility despite your behavior, I am done conversing with you.

      Aug 31, 2011 at 1:01 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the crustybastard
      the crustybastard

      @Dave:

      Oh yeah, the Boy Scouts have NOOO ties to law enforcement or politics. None. Nope. Never.

      I’m sure that, despite their belief you’re a filthy pervert with no business being around decent young folks, the BSA really appreciates your impassioned defense of their indefensible acts.

      Keep up the good work, kapo!

      Sep 1, 2011 at 2:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dave
      Dave

      @the crustybastard: Sigh. Remember that snide reading comprehension comment you made? You should revisit it, and consider your own skills in that department. Not once in my life have I ever defended BSA’s bigotry and hatred–here or elsewhere. Pointing out that BSA and the KKK have differences that are vast and substantial isn’t defending BSA; it’s acknowledging reality. I simply refuse to believe that you aren’t intelligent enough to understand the distinction. As for the reality of BSA’s policy and the morally bankrupt bigots responsible for it: The filthy, indecent message that BSA sends to youth and their parents, the real and terrible damage it does to the self-concept and self esteem of those involved, the justice and dignity it deprives so many of, and the utter pointlessness of the hatred and fear behind it all is PRECISELY the reason that I do not, can not, and will not support BSA or be involved with it in any capacity until and unless it ousts the bigots responsible, unequivocally rescinds the policies in question, and recognizes, lists, and apologizes for the irrevocable and serious damage it has done to millions of good folks who never deserved such treatment. And THAT is why there’s nothing I need to defend; my position is clear. You, on the other hand, appear to have fallen prey to the same type of defective thought processes-intense hatred combined with willful lack of rationality–that the diseased BSA leaders suffer from. Or has it not occurred to you yet that treating those with whom you think you disagree with an utter lack of respect, comparing them to Nazis and Nazi collaborators, is behavior that mirrors the sick psychological justifications necessary for Scouting’s leaders to condemn an entire group for similar reasons?

      Sep 1, 2011 at 6:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Father of three
      Father of three

      I will not let my boys join the Boy Scouts precisely because of this disgusting attitude towards diversity. I have explained to them my reasoning, and while it did initially bother them, after they shared my reasoning with their friends, most of their friends dropped out. It is a shame. I remember being a boy scout and the camping trips. But now, my boys go with their church group. It is far more accepting.
      It is a shame the mothers picked a very conservative church, but that is not the problem. They never should have picked the Boy Scouts in the first place. It teaches children of gay parents that their parents are evil There in lies the true sin.

      Sep 1, 2011 at 9:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dave
      Dave

      @Father of three: To be succinct, Amen. I’m glad you’ve found an alternative for your sons!

      Sep 1, 2011 at 2:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

    Add your Comment

    Please log in to add your comment

    Need an account? Register It's free and easy.



  • QUEERTY DAILY

     


    POPULAR ON QUEERTY


    FROM AROUND THE WEB

    Copyright 2014 Queerty, Inc.
    Follow Queerty at Queerty.com, twitter.com/queerty and facebook.com/queerty.