By David Peel
As a Christian lawyer, I have been asked a lot about the controversy surrounding the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) policy regarding possibly allowing leaders who have declared themselves as openly homosexual.
I am proud to be an Eagle Scout, parent of two young Scouts, and a longtime contributor to, and active in, Friends of Scouting fundraising.
Scouting already has a large black eye due to past allegations of sexual abuse. BSA has taken a strong stand on some policies, which I agree with, that make it highly unlikely for that to continue. The BSA has adopted the following policies for the protection of its youth members; however, they also serve to protect adult leaders. “Two-deep leadership,” meaning two registered adult leaders (or one registered leader and a parent of a participating Scout or other adult, one of whom must be 21 years of age or older) are required for all trips and outings. One-on-one contact between adults and Scouts is prohibited. In situations that require personal conferences, such as a Scoutmaster’s conference, the meeting is to be conducted in view of other adults and youths. Separate accommodations for adults and Scouts are required. When camping, no youth is permitted to sleep in the tent of an adult other than his or her own parent or guardian. Councils are strongly encouraged to have separate shower and latrine facilities for females. When separate facilities are not available, separate times for male and female use should be scheduled and posted for showers. Likewise, youth and adults must shower at different times. Scouts must use the buddy system, and any accusation must be taken at face value by leaders and investigated.
However, BSA is considering a change in policy that I cannot support: the placing of men who have declared themselves openly homosexual as scout leaders.
The final decision will be made in May. Unfortunately for BSA, there are two members in the national Board that are lobbying for this change. Below is a link you can look up if you agree with me. It is a petition requesting removal of the two BSA national board members who are understood to have been pushing the change in membership policy: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/demand-removal-of-james-turley-and-randall.
Either way you might feel, please keep praying for God’s hand to remain on the BSA, its leaders, its programs, and all of its members, as the Scouts have done so much good for so long. Many Eagles are astronauts, presidents, military commanders and, yes, lawyers. Regardless of where you stand on the controversial subject of homosexuality, we can agree it would be a shame if millions of parents fled the great and esteemed institution of the Scouts due to the institution of such a policy.
Peel seeks justice for those injured in car accidents, work place incidents, medical malpractice, and nursing homes. He often addresses churches, clubs and groups without charge. Peel may be reached through PeelLawFirm.com wherein other articles may be accessed.