John-Michael Criswell 0

Equality In The Boy Scouts of America

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Dear Boy Scouts Of America, As you prepare to make a decision regarding the membership of homosexuals in The Boy Scouts, I would like to provide you with my honest thoughts and opinions. As an Eagle Scout representing Troop 41 in Newnan, Georgia, I want to say thank you. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to gain great skills, the joy of making best friends, and the tools to be successful and “prepared” for the future. Furthermore, thank you for giving me my first taste of leadership. As a leader in the troop, I got the chance to make a difference and become a role model. To be a role model is truly a gift, which has no substitutes. Because of Boy Scouts, I realized that life is not about me. It is about the world around us, and what we can do to make it a better place. It is about “doing a good turn daily.” By inspiring the world, we inspire ourselves. To me, boy scouts is about much more than the words we say in meetings. It is about what we do with those words. As you get closer to making a decision, please know that I firmly support changing the membership restrictions of homosexuals. Scouting is more than a journey from tenderfoot to eagle. It is more than tying knots and camping. Scouting is about embracing the world we live in to make it a better place. Scouting is not about what you are. It is about who you are. No young man should be denied the opportunity to build character, learn skills, make friendships, and create memories that will carry him throughout his future. In this time of great debate, I come to you as a Christian, an Eagle Scout, and a gay man. There are hundreds of young men across the country who are scared to embrace who they really are because of the hurtful and frightening gaze of discrimination. The Boy Scouts of America gives a gift that can’t be received from joining any other organization. If it is better to give than to receive, why don’t we share this gift to everyone who wants to take the journey? As I have opened my heart to you, I hope that you will open your arms to all boys. Cordially, John-Michael Criswell

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