Robert Donaldson 0

Scouting for everyone!

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Hi my name is Robert Donaldson.
I am an Eagle Scout from Troop 1154 in Ashburn, VA.

Scouting has been a huge part of my life, since I joined Cub Scouts in 1995. It has shaped my life and taught me valuable skills while helping me build friendships which I still enjoy to this day.

However, the one sore spot in my scouting career has been The Boy Scouts of America's(BSA) attitude towards the LGBTQ and especially Gays in Scouts.
As an American I respect the BSA's right to exclude members based on their rules, because they are a private club and are thus granted this right. However, as a compassionate human being I find it sickening that many of my friends and other good people are forced to miss out on the great aspects of scouting due to their sexual orientation/preference.

After much research though, I believe I have found a case that would not allow the BSA to exclude Gay scouts. The sections are listed below and can be found in the Boy Scout's bylaws.
Please read them, or scroll past them for a synopsis.

Section 1. Declaration of Religious Principle, clause 1. The Boy Scouts of America maintains that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God. In the first part of the Scout Oath or Promise the member declares, “On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law.” The recognition of God as the ruling and leading power in the universe and the grateful acknowledgment of His favors and blessings are necessary to the best type of citizenship and are wholesome precepts in the education of the growing members. No matter what the religious faith of the members may be, this fundamental need of good citizenship should be kept before them. The Boy Scouts of America, therefore, recognizes the religious element in the training of the member, but it is absolutely nonsectarian in its attitude toward that religious training. Its policy is that the home and the organization or group with which the member is connected shall give definite attention to religious life.
Section 1. Activities, clause 2. The activities of the members of the Boy Scouts of America shall be carried on under conditions which show respect to the convictions of others in matters of custom and religion, as required by the twelfth point of the Scout Law, reading, “Reverent. A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.”
Section 1. Freedom, clause 3. In no case where a unit is connected with a church or other distinctively religious organization shall members of other denominations or faith be required, because of their membership in the unit, to take part in or observe a religious ceremony distinctly unique to that organization or church.
Section 1. Leaders, clause 4. Only persons willing to subscribe to these declarations of principles shall be entitled to certificates of leadership in carrying out the Scouting program.

Essentially these laws state that a scout must believe in God, but the Boy Scouts have no control over what that God is and what defines their religious beliefs. Furthermore, they have to be respectful of said religious beliefs.

What does this mean?
To me, this means that if a Gay Scout’s religion allows for him to be of a different sexual orientation other than heterosexual, the Boy Scouts must respect said scouts wishes otherwise they themselves would be violating their own bylaws which would render them mute.

If you believe in this cause please sign, Once i have reached my goal of ten thousand signatures I will send this to the Boy Scouts of America.


Robert Donaldson


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