An Open Letter To The Boy Scouts of America, RE: Equal Rights

Dear Boy Scouts of America,

I am the mother of a Wolf Cub Scout who has tremendously loved his first two years of scouting. As a former Girl Scout, I was very eager to sign him up when he entered first grade, but the truth is, I almost didn’t because of one reason: your discrimination of gay people.

Looking back on why you originally took this stance, I think that in the face of a child abuse scandal, you mistook pedophiles for homosexuals. But the reality is, homosexuals are not by default pedophiles. Look at Jerry Sandusky. He is a straight man, married with children. Yet he is a monster. My your rules, he could have been a leader in any BSA pack or troop because he did not identify himself as gay. But take a law abiding, moral gay man or woman, and they are unable to serve because… well, I’m honestly not sure why.

Jennifer Tyrrell was told that she couldn’t remain her son’s Den Leader because, as a gay woman, she didn’t meet the BSA’s family morals, or some such thing. Yet, if the same mother of four was married to a man, she could serve. So apparently the difference is who she loves, but I don’t understand how that makes any difference, as long, of course, the person she loves is of consenting age.

It’s time to make a change. I want to be able to share my son’s Cub Scout accomplishments with complete pride, instead of being proud of him, with a slight wash of shame for the organization. Whether you realize it or not, people now associate your organization with discrimination and bigotry. Every time my son puts on his Cub Scout uniform, I honestly wonder if people think I also condone discrimination and bigotry. I thought the Boys Scouts of America stood for honesty, integrity and the American way, aka freedom and equality.

I urge you to take notice of what is going on in our country. It is not wrong to be gay. People who are gay are just like everyone else. They want to be part of an organization that, with this exception, does so many great things.

I think Eagle Scout and a son of lesbians Zach Wahls said it best: “It was a very important part of my life … the Boy Scouts really reinforced the values that my moms taught me. The Scouts are right on literally thousands of things, and they’re only wrong on one. So I really do hope that they can change this policy so they can go back to having that perfect scorecard.”

Please change this policy. Make me 100% proud when my son wears his Cub Scout uniform. Let’s include everyone. It’s time.

Sincerely,

Dana Sheehan

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