The Instigator
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The Contender
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The Boy Scouts of America should allow Gay Scouts/Scoutmasters to remain in the program.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/24/2011 Category: Society
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,625 times Debate No: 18968
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (12)
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Hello Marauder- I noticed that the two of us are both associates of the Boy Scouts of America. I also noticed that you are a conservative church-goer, who is opposed to gay marriage. For this reason, I am making the (possibly incorrect) assumption that would be opposed to homosexuals being accepted openly into the Boy Scouts of America. If this is the case, then I would like to debate the issue with you, and I'll happily give you the first argument. I believe that it would be beneficial to the Boy Scouts of America to include Gay youth and leaders into it's organization.


I accept this debate on the condition that its two things are taken as axiomatic.

Axiom 1: The Boy Scout Oath is taken as cardinal importance to the Boy Scouts of America or any Boy Scout organization around the world for that matter, teaching the Oath and instilling it as part of the values and character of the boys in our program is our end goal.

Axiom 2: The Scout Law is taken the same way, and really all other scouting slogans and sayings (be prepared, do a good turn daily, leave no trace, the outdoor code, ect…)

Pro could argue all he wants about how my organization would benefit from doing something if he wants too. He could make cases about what an action would do for our PR, or increase in membership, but if the actions do not line up with and promote the creed than they are for nothing and pointless. If we opened up to let Girls in our organization it might allow for more members but that really makes no sense considering the nature of our program and who it targets.

However we argue over this topic, scouting is the common ground we have for this debate, and our cases need to use the language of scouting.

My opponent, being the Pro to this resolution, has burden of proof. A change in the current status always requires sufficient reason for doing so and that position is the one my opponent argues from this debate.

Debate Round No. 1


Crayzman2297 forfeited this round.


I understand my opponent could not post last round do to wether problems and a power outage, I will pass on this round without arguement so the forfieted round will not give me an unfair advantage

it will reduce the debate to just 2 rounds, but its not like the 3rd one is ever anything other than repeating the points already said.
Debate Round No. 2


Crayzman2297 forfeited this round.


sigh, it seems weather problems have not just kept Pro from posting but have stalled out the debate enough longer than he has the ability to hold interest in it. kind of glad I had not waisted any effort on this debate yet.

however, should anyone ever come across reading this debate cause there looking into my past debates cause they think my arguments are an awsome read, or there just interested in topics related to the Boy Scouts, fear not, I plan on posting a rant of my opinon on this topic for the final round. cant really call it an argument when there has been no one to argue with, so for this final round my case shall be only have the honor of being called a rant. ;)
Debate Round No. 3


My apologies for my previous forfeiture as well- While Round Two can be blamed entirely on "Winter Storm Albert", Round Three was the result of my own sheer negligence. Because of this, I will squeeze as much as I can into this:

I will focus on these points of the Scout Law:
Friendly, Brave, and Kind.

I will expand upon three points, for which I shall submit dictionary definitions:

adj \ˈfren(d)-lē1-
of, relating to, or befitting a friend: as
a: showing kindly interest and goodwill
b: not hostile ; also: involving or coming from actions of one's own forces [1]

If we are to accept this definition from Merriam-Webster, then being friendly involves "showing kindly interest and goodwill". The scout law does not discriminate by race or sexual orientation, therefore I should reflect a Scout's (& Scouter's) behavior towards ALL people, including Homosexuals. By treating homosexual scout leaders (many of whom are fathers) they are not embodying their own Law, for discrimination clearly violates the point of "Friendly".

adj \ˈbrāv1-
having or showing courage [2]

A Scout is Brave. Bravery, being one of the 12 points of the Scout Law, is something that the Boy Scouts of America clearly wants to encourage. Being Gay is a personal struggle that many people have trouble dealing with. It results in kids getting bullied, harassed, and targeted. For many of these kids the Boy Scouts of America offers great constructive programs, teaching them life skills that will stick with them forever... To be kicked out because you're gay just adds insult to injury. It forces many to stay in the closet, where they have to deal with pent-up emotions beyond what the average teenager already has.
"I had a lot of desperate days.... I was ashamed" [3]- says one boy who feared for what his parents and friends would think if he revealed he was gay. He had a legitimate fear of being disowned by his parents. For any boy to reveal their own homosexuality takes courage and bravery that most teens do not have to deal with. For many, coming out is a decision which affects their family, school, and social life in many drastic ways all at once.

One gay Boy Scout said that "because I knew that I was different, I felt like I had to conform or risk being ostracized." [3] This Scout is a camp counselor, and has dedicated much of his life to serving the BSA.
He also said:
"It's been a part of my life since I was 6 years old. It's really helped shape a lot of who I am today as far as communication skills, outdoors skills and working in teams. So many of my memories come from scout camp, and some of my best friends are people I've been on staff with. It's a way of life. The ideals of this program are with you forever."[3]
I do not believe that any unbiased, rational person can justify exclusion of anyone from the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of an involuntary condition from birth that does no harm to anyone.

And on that note I would like to close my argument with the point of "Kind".

a: of a sympathetic or helpful nature
b: of a forbearing nature : gentle
c: arising from or characterized by sympathy or forbearance [5]

It is in no way sympathetic or helpful to anybody to denounce gays as incapable to lead in the Boy Scouts. It is discriminatory. Most children do not become aware of their sexuality until their mid-teens... well AFTER they would have joined Boy Scouts at age 11. This discrimination sends a message of fear to them they they are not as good as the other boys, which is simply not true.

I have reached my character limit, or I would go further :(



Well it seams my opponent finally did get around to giving an argument. I shall do my best to rebut after presenting my own short case given the 3,000 character limit. To begin I would like to address Pro’s case for ‘Friendly’.

Discrimination is not by default ‘unfriendly’, if it were then the Boy Scouts are also being ‘unfriendly’ to women also as we only let boys participate as scouts in the program. But that inclusive nature of the boy scout program should be taken as insulting or rude somehow, anyone with common sense can see our program does not target girls and so there is no place for them beyond adult leadership. Likewise we do not include atheist in our organization either, are program does not target those who cant fulfill our Scout Oath to do there ‘duty to God’. Likewise we do target teaching the scouts that immoral acts are okay, that they should keep themselves physically strong, mentally awake, and ‘morally strait’ (no pun intended that’s how the Oath is phrased).

You might say ‘well maybe by your personal beliefs that homo-sex is a sin, but the BSA have no business taking a stance on it being wrong or right’ But this cannot be an option. When they intend to teach scouts to be morally strait, some kind of position has to taken on the issue one way or the other. If there was not there would be much confusion when one scout is taught by his parent homo-sex is wrong and yet his Troop allows an open practice-er of the immoral act as an adult leader.
The other option is to actively teach scouts there parents are wrong, and there pastors are wrong, and there entire system of faith is wrong about it being immoral so we can have gay scoutmasters without consequence. That would downgrade us from the most religiously diverse organization in the world to excluding all religious faiths who holy books or set of doctrines treat homo-sex as immoral.
So a position has to be taken on if it’s immoral or not, and we have taken one. If you do not like the position yourself start your own similar organization that teaches the opposite on the issue and targets the inclusion of gays, like the girl scouts target the inclusion of girls.

Your point about Kind is more or less the same, with the ridiculous assertion that our inclusiveness somehow instills ‘fear’. You justify this assertion by saying ‘it makes them feel not as good as…’ If that’s your case than the correct term to use would have been ‘in instills low self esteem’ not ‘fear’. Since that’s the case you make, while not budging on the stance that its sin could ‘lower there self-esteem’ we have to be ‘brave’ and discipline them if we really do care about them at all. To quote J. K. Rowling ‘it takes a great deal of courage to stand up to enemies, but it takes a great deal more to stand up to your friends’

And make no mistake confronting others about their behavior is hard. In my short time of experience as a assistant scoutmaster I’ve already had to have a special ‘Scout master conference’ with one of our newer scouts about his behavior. Its more fun and easier to just be the cool older scout/youngest adult leader that hangs with the scouts, talks to them about snakes that went through the campsite, plays poker with them using rocks we found as the chips, ect…. But to have to switch from that role sit down and talk to a young man that probably has liked you up till at least this point about his problem with being absolutely disrespectful to the other scouts, constantly shutting them down, is hard. And it would not work if he does not see his leaders on the same page. On is own he see’s not problem with his bullying.
Debate Round No. 4
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Marauder 5 years ago
I notice you offered no personal re-intrepretation of what the Scout Oath can mean by "On my Honor, do my best to do my Duty to GOD"
Posted by richie.halas 5 years ago
I'm a straight atheist eagle scout (no longer active) and am in complete favor of permitting gay scout membership.
The trouble with appealing to scout law points is that they're entirely subjective. What one person considers friendly another may consider rude. You might interpret "reverent" to mean a religious literalist, and I might consider it to mean "deeply respectful." The same problem applies to the oath because the being a "moral" person isn't objective and the organization doesn't need it to be.
You can work from the framework that being "moral" just means doing what you believe is right even when it's not popular or convenient. Parents who would disagree with that lesson would be abundant on both sides of this argument. The BSA doesn't need to take sides.
In regard to religion, no matter what holy scriptures say, they are all open to interpretation. There are boundless examples of Christians and Muslims who will tell you their religion requires them to abhor homosexuals, so they do AND those who will tell your their religion tells them to be peaceful and tolerant so they are. The BSA is best off teaching tolerance for religious and non-religious, not picking sides on what interpretations of what religions they are going to support.
Doing so will result in not only higher membership, but a more productive organization that produces more tolerant and open minded citizens.
Posted by 16kadams 6 years ago
I am in the BSA, am I am against having gay scouts...ew imagine...
Posted by Crayzman2297 6 years ago
It seems to me that people falsely assume that just because someone is gay, they will not only ACT different from straight people, but they will also be very "in your face" about it. Many people when they think of "gay" think of this: (image is safe)

The fact is that MOST gays don't publicize their sexuality any more than straights do. A Gay Scoutmaster wouldn't teach his kids about gay sex any more than a straight scoutmaster teaches kids about straight sex. It is not the place of ANY scoutmaster to do that.
As far as contradicting the teachings of a scout's church or parents, is it so much different than if a Mormon scoutmaster had Catholic scouts? They each have different ideas about what's right and wrong, and respective points of view on the life/death/resurrection of Jesus Christ. Kids and Adults, Scouts and Scoutmasters are totally allowed to have differing beliefs, and most parents acknowledge this- We are the Boy Scouts of America, and our goal is to create young leaders who will grow up to improve our great nations. Gays are just as much a part of this nation as non-gays.

And in regards to your argument about allowing girls..... there is a female equivalent called the Girl Scouts, and no equivalent for gays. Also, girls may join the BSA programs of Venturing and Sea Scouts once they reach 14 years of age. Gays are still excluded from these programs as well.
I just don't see how exclusion based on a trait one has from birth is ethical by any means, particularly when the ones in question can contribute just as well as their straight counterparts.
Posted by Marauder 6 years ago
if you would like to continue debating for while in the comment section or a pm or something i'm fine with that. One round debates are seldom very satisfying. I would like to hear any rebuttal you have back and forth a little.
Posted by Marauder 6 years ago
The reason this is taken as so insulting by the gays is that it just burns so much that people know we are not some bigoted hate full organization, we are not comparable to groups like the KKK, our we have had a positive effect on society for 100 years of scouting. The very term ‘Boy Scout' has become synonymous with good behavior or a helpful person you might find walking an elderly person across the street. We walk the walk. Even people who are not scouts might resort to saying ‘scouts honor' if they wanted you to believe there promise or the truthfulness of there statement.
Posted by Crayzman2297 6 years ago
My apologies for forfeiting the previous round- We just had a massive snowstorm that knocked out my power for the past 5 days..... no way to post.
Posted by Crayzman2297 6 years ago
"a Scout is Reverent".

Feeling or showing deep and solemn respect: "a reverent silence".
respectful - deferential

I personally do not accept God as an all-powerful, umlimited being that created the universe, however; I do sincerely respect Christians for their morality, and I recognize that many Christians need to feel that there is someone watching over them with an eternal plan for their souls. I would never want or try to take that away from anybody. I understand that everybody is different, and even though I do not believe in God i follow a very strict self-imposed ethical code.
My Reverence is my respect for the beliefs of others, while holding fast to my own. Is that not what 'Reverent' means for everybody?

Yes, I am seventeen, and My eagle project is already completed- I relocated my town's World War One memorial from it's previous location near a Highway to it's current location on our Town Green. Once it was moved I installed a paved courtyard surrounded by a memorial flower garden.... It all came out quite nicely.
Posted by Marauder 6 years ago
since your a scout like me, I thought you might get a kick out of this debate I did on flag burning

though its not in the voting period anymore feel free to comment.
Posted by Marauder 6 years ago
another question, How do you personally keep the 12th point of the Scout Law? I note on your profile your not religious and have often wondered in the past how 'Reverent' would mean for an atheist scout.
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