Return to sender
by Tom McMasters-Stone
August 22, 2012
Boy Scouts of America
1325 Walnut Hill Lane
P.O. Box 152079
Irving, Texas 75015-2079
Enclosed you will find my Eagle Scout badge, earned over 40 years ago. While it breaks my heart to return it, it does not break my heart as much as your current policy on not admitting gays to membership and leadership positions in Scouting.
If/when you change your policies, I would gratefully accept it back. That Court of Honor had been one of the proudest days of my life, but that is no longer the case.
It is 2012, and we clearly know that gay people are born that way, that it’s a case of nature and not nurture. Your policy on gays thereby becomes the same thing as, say, not admitting African Americans, Hispanics, or American Indians.
In case you didn’t know it, you already have many gays in the Boy Scouts, they are just forced to live a lie.
Despite the fact that it is 2012, gays and lesbians are still mistreated, abused, and even killed for their sexual orientation. It’s in the news every day.
Young gay men would greatly benefit from the Scouting experience, and it would create a better world of tolerance and understanding as well.
The Boy Scouts is a vigilant organization, and has become even more so over the years. Despite that, you have had your share of scandals. Certainly, having gay boys reaching puberty together will require the same vigilance, and could sometimes be problematic, but the benefits to literally hundreds of thousands of potential members far outweigh the risks.
Rather than shy away from the issue, the Boy Scouts should be taking the lead on it! Sure you will lose some sponsors, and maybe even some members, but you will gain other, new ones that don’t currently participate.
Trustworthy. Loyal. Helpful. Friendly. Courteous. Kind. Obedient. Cheerful. Thrifty. Brave. Clean. Reverent.
I remember it now as well as I did when I learned it almost 50 years ago.
Too bad you have forgotten it.
Thomas J. McMasters-Stone