The first Boy Scout in the state of Maine to leave the national organization over its anti-gay policy is just 9 years old.
Christopher Tiner’s father was a former Scout leader who recently decided to leave the organization, and 9-year-old Christopher learned about Scouts leaving the organization nationwide for its stance on LGBT people. Christopher decided he would leave too.
In the end, does Christopher regret his decision?
“No,” he said.
And that’s great for that 9-year-old and all, and I really hope he made that decision himself.
I’m going to on the record stating this: Do I think it sucks BSoA won’t allow openly gay troupe leaders or den moms? Yes. But if my hypothetical future child comes to me and says, “I wanna be a Boy Scout,” I’m going to let him.
That’s his choice. And BSoA teaches many great life skills other kids are lacking. You should SEE the Eagle Scout in my tech theater class. He’s brilliant. He’s going to teach a few standard knots to the rest of the class because no one knows anything other than a square knot.
If my hypothetical kid joins BSoA and wants to quit because he realizes they discriminate, then I’m going to ask him to weigh the pros and cons and make that decision himself. He has to have a CHOICE.
By not allowing children to join groups like BSoA, we’re erasing all the good those groups can do and can teach. And I know our local troupes don’t teach that gays are bad or homosexuality is bad. I can be the parent and teach my kid to love and respect all people no matter what.
The policy of a national organization means nothing to a little kid who wants to make new friends and thinks the idea of camping out and starting fires is completely badass.
To me, not letting a little kid join a group he wants to be part of because we as adults have problems with policy is no different than telling him letter he can’t date that girl/guy because s/he’s Republican/Jewish/Catholic, and more importantly, we’re taking the choice away from the kid.
GWALP is badass…but I’m sure you all know that already.