Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who is now president of the Boy Scouts of America, told his group May 21 that it was time for the BSA to admit gay Scout leaders voluntarily before the courts order them to do so.
Gates, who was defense secretary when the military ended its “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, also said it was important that local sponsoring organizations “determine the standards of their Scout leaders.” Considering that about 70 percent of local troop sponsors are religious organizations, should they resist such a policy change or be forced to go along it?
Gates has a clear vision for the future of the BSA and is committed to focusing on what has made Scouting one of America’s greatest youth organizations for the past 104 years.
— Ralph W. Turner Jr., Fort Worth
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Gates’ approach shows weakness. Surrendering to gays is unacceptable and unfair to young minds. The gay poison needs to be snuffed out.
— Glenn Catlett, Grapevine
How can Gates “restore the stature” that the BSA used to enjoy?
By unequivocally denouncing bigotry of any kind and welcoming all qualified Scout leaders — regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation.
— John Barcus, Fort Worth
If gay Scout leaders are admitted, the Boy Scout oath will have to be amended to omit the words “morally straight,” for some leaders will be attracted to boys.
— Carl Fleece, Fort Worth
Most of the gay people I know follow the law and the mores of society. Although no parent wants his child abused, the chance of a Scout leader doing such is minimal.
— Grady Fuller, Kennedale
Replace or fire Gates. Allowing gay men over gay Boy Scouts is stupid. But that furthers the underlying agenda, doesn’t it?
— Richard M. Holbrook, Weatherford
This could lead to the possibility of same-sex married couples becoming leaders in charge of Scout groups.
— George J. Anthony, Fort Worth
Considering the Catholic Church’s experience with sexual abuse, it would seem that any religious organization should be reluctant to have gay scoutmasters and gay Scouts in close contact.
— Curt Lampkin, Azle
As the CEO of Scouting in Fort Worth, I thought it would be good to point out that Gates’ full remarks can be found on www.scoutingnewsroom.org.
— John A. Coyle, Longhorn Council, Boy Scouts of America, Hurst
It’s not “loyal” or “kind” to tell a gay Eagle Scout he can no longer be in scouting as an adult, and the proposal gives churches the power to decide for themselves, so I think religious organizations should go along with whatever the BSA decides.
— Chris Osburn, Mansfield
The homosexual lobby is waging the same old game of divide and conquer — using their large sums of money to beat down opponents by draining the coffers of opponents through drawn-out legal actions.
I hope the Scouts fight this battle, and I urge all former Scouts to financially support the effort.
— Jay V. Beavers, Granbury
I have no problem with gay men being leaders as long as the same rules apply to them that apply to all other leaders — gay, straight or otherwise. It’s a children’s organization. Any kind of sex — in talk or practice — has no place there.
— Bob Buckel, Azle
Reject the proposal, withdraw all financial support and protect the boys from the evildoers.
— David W. Johnson, Decatur
I don’t like it. Period. But will I quit Scouts because of it? Hell, no!
Scouts need to be all-inclusive. People like me will adapt. That’s what you have to do to survive.
— Gerry Sauls, Fort Worth
As a proud former Boy Scout, I find discrimination of any sort repugnant and contrary to what I was taught as a Scout.
— Dan Nation, Fort Worth
Religious organizations should resist this policy change, but if they are forced to comply by the courts, they should abandon the BSA.
— Jean King, Fort Worth
As a former Scout leader I could not be more disappointed in Robert Gates. He needs to stand up for the Boy Scouts or step aside.
— Dan Scoggins, Bedford
Yes, Boy Scout sponsors should resist Robert Gates and refuse to allow gay Scout leaders. The Bible teaches that homosexuality is a sin and results in eternal punishment.
— Blake Morgan, Fort Worth
Gay Boy Scout leaders sounds pretty stupid to me, especially since we’re supposed to protect our children.
However, in the politically correct world, protecting our children has fallen by the wayside.
— Jim Sanderson, Fort Worth
Gates is a politician, and he’s proposed a politician’s non-solution.
He’ll change the policy of the national organization to avoid lawsuits, but allow local sponsors to continue the gay ban. So the churches can get sued instead of Gates?
— George Michael Sherry, Fort Worth
All Points each Monday features reader responses to a question posed by the Editorial Board. With each week’s responses comes the next week’s question. All Points responses are not counted toward the monthly limit of one letter to the editor from each writer. Readers are welcome to send their own ideas for All Points topics to Editorial Director Mike Norman, email@example.com.