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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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Boy Scouts expected to reverse their stand

Uploaded: Feb 5, 2013
Perhaps it should not have been a surprise, but it was to me when the Boy Scouts of America announced the organization was prepared to reverse its position on homosexuals as Scouts or leaders.
The organization, a private one with voluntary membership, has won a Supreme Court decision upholding its policy of banning gay teen-agers and men from the program. The key has been that it's a private organization, not one directly supported with taxpayer money and thus is free to establish its own standards for membership.
That all could change this week when the national board of directors is expected to vote to give each local group the flexibility to include or exclude gays.
The national group is abandoning its principled stand under consistent political pressure from the gay rights groups who have been targeting donors, particularly big businesses. The challenge for those organizations is that they, correctly, cannot discriminate in hiring—but the Scouts have the right to determine standards for membership—they are different issues.
The local option being pursued by the Scouts is way too familiar because it's a tactic that the Presbyterian Church USA has taken since 2006 when it moved to give local governing bodies the flexibility to ordain pastors and elders based on whatever standards they established. It was one of several breaking points along a 40-year slide that has seen the denomination shrink to half of its all-time size. Changes to a new form of government wiped out the unifying connection.
The same will be true for the Scouts.
And it will have the same result with confusion and major challenges at the local level. Each troop is sponsored by an organization—many of them are churches. The church I attend, Centerpointe, has sponsored a Scout troop for decades. There are many Scout groups chartered through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the Mormons) who will have the same challenge Centerpointe will with the policy.
Centerpointe welcomes all, but holds to the biblical standard that marriage is between a man and a woman and officers should either be married or celibate in singleness. That doesn't fit well with the narrative in society about civil rights and doing your own thing. I can understand that when it comes to government, but voluntary associations need to be free to follow their own standards.
Finally, I have long remembered a conversation I had with former Pleasanton Mayor Ken Mercer who related what he discussed over dinner with current state Treasurer Bill Lockyer. Lockyer told Ken that gay marriage would not be an issue in 15 years because views will change. That was a number of years ago and Lockyer was sadly prophetic.
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Posted by liberalism is a disease, a resident of Birdland,
on Feb 5, 2013 at 9:15 am

liberalism is a disease is a registered user.

Gay activists can't stand the fact that there are still some groups of people who stand up for morals and values for their kids. It's sad that the Scouting organization may cave in to these obviously unhappy, odd activists.
This whole episode makes you wonder if the meaning of 'private organization' no longer exists. I suppose as long as there are people who refuse to play by the rules and carry around an illogical jealousy for something they can't have, we'll never be able to uphold the standards required to raise our kids with a strong set of morals.

Posted by David Karlsson, a resident of Pleasanton Heights,
on Feb 5, 2013 at 10:51 pm

David Karlsson is a registered user.

I would be very happy to applaud the Boy Scouts of America if they choose to change their position on homosexuals serving in leadership positions and especially their youth membership. It is a silly thing to exclude someone for.

The Boy Scout's donors are their community. If the organization must change because of the donors wishes, then it's the community that is driving the change.

Perhaps it is Mr. Hunt that needs to find a new community. Hopefully, the Scouts are moving forward without him.

Posted by Daniel Bradford, a resident of Foothill High School,
on Feb 6, 2013 at 1:56 am

Daniel Bradford is a registered user.

(Portions of this post were removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff because it contains personal information about an individual or business.)"The national group is abandoning its principled stand..."

I suppose bigotry is a "principle" if you want to call it that.

Whatever happened to judging people by the "content of their character"? Disregard their race, their religion, their gender, and their sexual orientation, and just look at the type of person they are.

Here's an Eagle Scout who also happens to be gay:

The movement of history is against bigotry and prejudice. We have seen great advances just in the past 40 years for equal rights for people of color, for women, for the disabled, and now for gays.

Knowing Tim Hunt's views, ... I am not surprised to hear him lament that "political pressure" is forcing the Boy Scouts to recant their bigotry.

I notice that Tim is silent on the child molestation scandal that has hit the Boy Scouts, as well as that of the Catholic Church. These two institutions set themselves as the arbiter of America's moral standards, yet clearly did not practice what they preached. Both the Boy Scouts and the Catholic Church covered up decades of child molestation perpetuated by their scout leaders and their priests.

Here's a link to a story about child molestation in the Boy Scouts:

Web Link

And no, child molesters are not gay. The typical child molester is a heterosexual male or woman who is married and even has children of his/her own.


People who invoke the name of God as an excuse for their bigotry--i.e., this is God's will--are despicable. If you don't like gays, or blacks, or women, or Jews, or any other group, just own up to it. But no, they've even that much courage; instead, they have to claim that it's God Almighty authoring their prejudice, when it fact it comes from nowhere but their own stunted minds and tainted hearts.

Never attended worship at Centerpointe Church. It's not a place where I'd feel welcome, despite what Mr. Hunt says. But then again, I wouldn't feel welcome at Ku Klux Klan rally, either.

p.s.--since Mr. Hunt doesn't like government interfering in religious affairs, I'm sure he will sign my petition to have the federal government repeal the tax-exempt status of churches of all denominations in the United States? Giving a tax exemption to religious organizations is promoting religion at taxpayer expense, since local, state, and federal government agencies are deprived of tax revenue that could otherwise be collected. I'm sure Mr. Hunt wouldn't want his beloved Centerpointe Church to be subsidized by the federal government, would he?

Posted by Daniel Bradford, a resident of Foothill High School,
on Feb 6, 2013 at 1:58 am

Daniel Bradford is a registered user.

Darn, I got so worked up I forgot to include the story from CNN about the gay Eagle Scout:

A gay California Boy Scout's application for Eagle rank was rejected by a Scout council, an official with the organization said Tuesday.

In response, the Scout's parents pledged to press their son's national campaign for gay Scouts to be eligible for Eagle status.

John Fenoglio, Scout executive for the Mount Diablo-Silverado Boy Scout Council, said the Eagle rank application from Ryan Andresen of Moraga, California, wasn't approved because of "membership standards," specifically "duty to God, avowed homosexuality, and the fact that he is now over 18 years of age."

Web Link

Posted by Daniel Bradford, a resident of Foothill High School,
on Feb 6, 2013 at 2:13 am

Daniel Bradford is a registered user.

Let's put it another way: Any organization that promotes bigotry of any kind should NOT receive tax breaks from the federal government nor from the State of California.

Centerpointe Church,(Portions of this post were removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff because it contains personal information about an individual or business.)is tax exempt and is therefore subsidized by the government.

Centerpointe is a private organization and can do as they wish? Sure, no problem...but not with MY tax money, buddy. Pay your property taxes and pay on the income of your church. Quit being a leech, in other words. Worship your God with your money, not mine.

Posted by liberalism is a disease, a resident of Birdland,
on Feb 7, 2013 at 3:11 pm

liberalism is a disease is a registered user.

Daniel, lest you appear to be a hypocrite, I'm certain you'll support removing all breaks for exclusionary organizations like La Raza, the Congressional Black Caucus, the Black Firefighters and Police associations, etc. They are get breaks and/or support from Uncle Sam and yet they exclude those who are not the same color as them. Are you just bigoted against people of faith or are you an equal opportunity hater?
I'm sure the groups above meet your criteria of judging people by the content of their character', which is why they are so color blind. LOL.....Maybe discrimination is a good thing...for some.

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