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Dear Editor:

There are 12 laws of becoming a Boy Scout that influence their oath by pledging to learn the value of loving oneself as well as others. Fundamentally, the Boy Scouts experience allows youth to learn environmental consciousness. What about the gay Scouts? The Scouts’ national organization has decided to not allow openly gay persons to serve in roles of leadership within its organization. Statistically speaking, there are numerous Scouts that are gay (more than likely closeted) that will especially now attempt to hide who they are, which puts them at odds with the core values they are being taught. I question if any thought at all has been done in regard to the Scouts recent decision to discriminate.

Such practices go against what the Scouts are all about. Gay Scouts are encouraged to go against what they are taught to support hypocrisy. If a gay male wants to be a part of the organization, lying to others and very possibly himself often leads to deviancy. Is that the intention, to oppress those who are different by not supporting them, thus making them less susceptible to success? In the Scouts’ defense, they have the right as an organization to discriminate, but at what cost? Our local chapter, although not initially supportive of this new Scout agenda, has learned to step and fetch in order to maintain affiliation. Maybe they as well have forgotten what it is meant to be a Scout.

The Philadelphia chapter of the Boys Scouts wants the privilege to use property acquired via social collective resources but only for the use of certain members of society equally. The African Americans used to call the acts of one individual restricting the growth of the whole an “Uncle Tom.” Isn’t it about time that the good people in our society stand up for the understanding that, as a collective, what happens to one end affects the other, therefore equality is not only a right but a necessity?

— Frank Harp Philadelphia

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