Cub Scouts: Gay Dad Can be ‘Popcorn Fundraiser’ But Not Leader

Another example of the Boy Scouts' discriminatory, anti-gay policies has reared its ugly head in the Dallas area.

The Dallas Morning News reports: Popcorn

"A University Park father learned this week that he will not be able to serve as a leader in his 9-year-old's Cub Scout pack because he's gay. For the last two years Jon Langbert has organized a popcorn fundraiser for Pack 70 at University Park Elementary. Then at a September Scout meeting, someone complained about his homosexuality, Langbert said. He said he was told this week that he can't wear the Scout leader shirt he was given last year and that he cannot serve in a leadership position because of his sexual orientation. 'What message does that send to my son? It says I'm a second-class citizen,' Langbert said. Robert McTaggart, the Cubmaster for Pack 70, said Langbert will be allowed to continue as a popcorn fundraiser. That position is not considered a leadership role and can be held by a volunteer. The Boys Scouts of America has had a long-standing policy that rejects leaders who are gay or atheist. In 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the organization's rules in a 5-4 decision."

Langbert is taking action now over the school district, which allows the Boy Scouts to use its facilities:

"He said he is angry the Highland Park school district allows the Boy Scouts to use its facilities in spite of their discrimination. He said he has contacted attorneys. 'My tax dollars are paying for their discrimination. And the next gay dad who wants to come along can't. I'm not going to let them,' Langbert said. 'My position is that the school cannot allow the use of their facilities to an organization that discriminates.'"

(via truth wins out)

Comments

  1. Brad says

    Why in the world would you enroll your son in an organization that systematically discriminates? What message does that send your son? It’s okay to ignore policies of hate because you really, really want to be a scout anyway? The Boy Scouts are wrong to discriminate but why would you sign up your child into such an organization in the first place?

  2. CoMo'mo says

    Brad: I think that his intention was to let his son have some worthwhile experiences that probably aren’t available from other sources. This IS in Dallas, which seems more and more like a pit of nastiness. I contribute to the Salvation Army kettles at holidays. I know the money goes where it should. the SA wouldn’t hire me but I would get help I needed if there was an emergency. We all make compromises with principle. It’s survival.

  3. Troy says

    Brad, He may have been getting mixed signals from his local troop and thought his leadership role was valued equally, who knows? A lot of gay dads are too busy being parents to know the depth of discrimination or lack of autonomy in some of these organizations. What I do know is that I’m grateful that Mr. Langbert stepped into the mix and flushed out misused tax dollars. University Park is a very wealthy school district.

    My partner was an eagle scout growing up and would love for our son to learn all of the valuable things he did in the context of working with other kids in Boy Scouts side by side with his school friends. Because we do know just how bad the situation is, we provide other opportunities for him. He hates missing out on the things his friends do, but it also makes him mad that there is discrimination. He’s happy to tell his friends exactly why his family isn’t participating. Now if we can just help his friends’ parents get it.

  4. David in Houston says

    The lawsuit is a good idea. However, Mr. Langbert should pull his child from the Cub Scouts. Children need to learn that you don’t support organizations that discriminate against people. I’m sure there are a lot of other clubs and organizations that are inclusive.

  5. Randy says

    Maybe he’s surprised because up until recently they treated him with respect and dignity? Maybe he thought that the group’s reputation was isolated? Maybe his son begged him to let him join?

    Seriously folks, why does every comment thread always involve blaming the victim on here?

  6. Free & Clear says

    I am so happy I don’t live in the Excited States of America. Gay people in Canada are free, equal and not subject to religious persecution or state-sponsored prejudice and bigotry. The USA is turning into a theocracy and the population is too busy watching reality TV, dancing shows and talent contests to care.

  7. MikeInSanJose says

    ‘What message does that send to my son? It says I’m a second-class citizen,’ Langbert said.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Unfortunately, that’s exactly the message they want to send to your son.

    If it’s okay to be gay, then there wouldn’t be any reason for the cub scouts to keep quiet about their “straight” married uber-religious scout leaders sneaking into the childrens’ sleeping bags when they go camping. Nor would the altar boys be scared silent for fear of gwad’s retribution.

  8. Tanner says

    I applaud the lawsuit efforts being made, as this is absolutely ridiculous. Perfect avenue to take too. To David, and all of the others suggesting he pull his son from the group, I disagree. If his kid likes being there, it’s not fair that he be immediately yanked because the adults can’t play nicely. There is loads of time to teach children politics; let the little bugger have some fun while he can!

    At the same time, if I were his dad, I’d consider it important to explain in the best way possible, WHY the grown-ups are fighting. Kids can really be amazing sometimes, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he decided he didn’t want to go anymore because the group isn’t treating his dad properly.

  9. Fenrox says

    Damn right, Fight the boy scouts! I think it is %100 fine for the group to ban gay people, but it can’t receive .0001% of any help from any public source.

    You want fairness boy scouts, that would be fair!

    And I am SO TIRED of the argument for normalcy. It is not normal for your kids to go to the scouts, if you think it is you need to grow up! Normalcy is another way to say “I don’t want to think about it”.

  10. Soren says

    Langbert enrolled his son in an organization that discriminates against gays. Case closed.

    That means that it’s not just about him but about children who are gay being rejected.

    Would Langbert allow his son to enroll in an institution that discriminates against Jews, Asians, Latinos, or blacks just because he begged to join?

    Let’s be real about this. The Boy Scouts have a LONG history of bias against gays.

  11. peterparker says

    @COMO’MO: The Salvation Army has a statement on their website opposing marriage equality. The Salvation Army also refuses to grant domestic partner benefits to their GLBT employees. Why on earth would you put money in their shitty red kettles?! Certainly there are better organizations to which you could donate? A Dallas based AIDS Service Organization, perhaps? Or a center for GLBT teens?

  12. dennis says

    what kind of father, gay or straight, would enroll his son in an institution which is openly homophobic? i am so sick of gays who claim catholism, gays who claim the republican party, gays who call themselves mormon blah blah blah. accepting hatred as acceptable is the biggest challenge we as gay people have today. when are we going to stand up for ourselves and stop supporting those who opening hate us? this father needs to get a grip on reality.

  13. TANK says

    Rather ironic coming from an institution that has more pederasts, per capita, than the catholic church, and was, in fact, founded by the inspiration for NAMBLA, everyone’s favorite dirty pedo, Baden Powell.

    LOL! I remember my involvement with the boyscouts in fourth grade lasted…fifteen minutes. “Oh, you make crafts, go camping, and wear those outfits, yeah? Survival skills and whatnot….sounds really interesting”–To father: “We’re leaving, so you can stop pretending to be interested in what the other parents have to say.”

  14. Soren says

    Come on. Would any of you enroll your kid in an organization that discriminates against gay kids?

    The Boy Scouts don’t just discriminate against adult leaders. They also refuse membership to gay kids.

    Would this guy enroll his kid in the Hitler Youth of America?

    This guy had no problem when the Boy Scouts used public facilities when he was given a free pass all the while knowing that the organization would ban any gay kid from participating. Once he got hit with the discrimination stick, he suddenly develops a conscience?

    It’s not about attacking the victim. It’s about asking if this guy really is a victim or someone who was willing to play along with a victimizing organization as long as he was given a free pass.

  15. Paul R says

    Screw the Cub Scouts. They kicked me out when I was 8 for having skipped a grade. Said I could form a new troop with other boys who had skipped grades. Guess how many there were? Zero. Nice organization that makes an 8-year-old feel like a pariah.

    And I agree with many other comments. I can see why the father is furious, but he should hardly be surprised. This is hardly new behavior. A youth mentor friend of mine in the Eagle Scouts got kicked out after they hired a detective to follow him around and figured out he was gay. Abhorrent organizations.

  16. roadtripboy says

    I don’t understand why he would even put his kid in the cub scouts. Was he the only gay guy in America who did know how the boy scouts feel about us?

  17. says

    There must be another organization that’s not the Boy Scouts, and that centers itself around tolerance and understanding (instead of bigotry), as a choice for people. Right?

  18. Zlick says

    Since I don’t know Mr. Langbert, I’m gonna give him some benefit of doubt. Moreover, I can understand not really getting it about discrimination till it hits you in the gut, even if you knew it in your head.

    There were plenty of anti-war protests I supported but never attended. All of a sudden, post-Prop8, I was out in the streets. Like it or not, for some good and reasonable people, it can take a personal experience of emotional impact to make that difference.

    And we all grow and learn and hopefully get better. If Mr. Langbert is getting a bit better now (and in my book he is), let’s applaud that and not scream hypocrisy. Sheesh.

  19. Jerry says

    It’s well-known that Mormons have infiltrated the administration of the Boy Scouts, and have a lot to say about policy. Tax dollars should not be allowed to support this or any other organization that officially discriminates.

  20. Michelle says

    The Boy Scouts is a notoriously bigoted organization. This was first discovered by my family when my atheist father was allowed to host troop meetings in our home for my brother’s troop, but he was not permitted to hold any rank within the the organization– despite being more available and involved than any other parent.

    This news is disappointing, but not surprising.

  21. says

    @Ryan:

    Actually, Campfire USA (was Campfire Girls when I was a kid – oh, boy did I want to be a Campfire Girl!) is inclusive of sexual orientation, as is the Girl Scouts. They have an impressive mission statement, and I’m thrilled that there is an alternative to the discriminatory Boy Scouts for my children.

  22. ian f says

    I just got bamboozled into buying popcorn from a neighborhood kid. It wasn’t until I had already signed my name to his sheet that I realized it was a Boy Scout fundraiser. I just didn’t have it in me to try and explain why I wanted to take back my pledge to a 10 year old. Now I feel dirty.

  23. says

    Maybe he’s surprised because up until recently they treated him with respect and dignity? Maybe he thought that the group’s reputation was isolated? Maybe his son begged him to let him join?

  24. ratbastard says

    Free & Clear said:

    ‘The USA is turning into a theocracy…’

    ****************************

    F&C:

    Canada’s head of state [Queen Elizabeth] is the titular head of the Church of England [Anglican / Episcopal USA].

    Canada’s head of state is hereditary based and by law must be a specific religion. Example: A Catholic or Jew can never be head of state of be the married spouse of Canada’s head of state.

    The U.S. has by law strict separation of church and state to an extent that I’ve never observed in European nations [for example] or even next door in Canada. Americans and others might be surprised that many ‘secular’ and ‘sophisticated’ European nations have long established official state religions and extensive cultural leanings even in 2010, including of course England. All taxpayers in England have some of their taxes go towards the upkeep of the Anglican Church regardless if they’re Anglican or not. And of course the Queen is head of state [not the prime minister], and she again must by law be Anglican, can’t marry a non-Anglican without losing the throne, and is the titular head of the Anglican Church. There are no parallels in the U.S.

  25. Chris says

    Back in the day when I was a scout The Regan 80’s, I remember it being about respect and dignity for one’s country and the world we live in. It had a much more Native American bend to it. I learned to really respect the natives, their culture, the way they cared about everything.

    Now, today, it is nothing more than a Christian ROTC trying to groom young boys for life in the military, which I find disheartening.

    I was also a member of the CADETS, which IS a Christian Boy Scouts. I would understand THEM discriminating against gay and atheist leaders… not the Boy Scouts. That organization has gone downhill. Sad.

  26. Carl says

    The popcorn is crappy anyway. My neighbor’s boy is in the cub scouts and I bought some popcorn from him. It was the nastiest (and most over-priced) popcorn I’ve ever had.

  27. Craig says

    There are several other organizations in Dallas that he could/should join, similar to Boy Scouts but that specifically do not discriminate – my godsons in Dallas belonged to the other group becuase their straight mom wouldn’t allow her kids to be in an anti-gay grouip like Boy Scouts. But Como’mo doesn’t work much about Dallas, I’d say – Dallas has a gay sheriff, gay county clerk, and is the among the most pro-gay sections of Texas. Plus, this technically ISN’T happening in Dallas; Highland Park is an uber-exclusive bubble suburb.

  28. Jerry6 says

    In the 1960’s, I was the Treasurer of our local Boy Scouts Troop, and two of my sons were Scouts. One was Gay; and so am I. HA HA Boy Scouts of America.

  29. Jerry6 says

    I was a Boy Scout in the 1930″s, (I was born in 1927)and there did not seem to be a problem about gays, then. As a matter of fact, we “sissies” had our own Patrol, and no one seemed to care what when on in our tents on camping trips.

    Probably, the problem today with Gays has nothing to do with us, but with the current “Leaders”. Homophobia does not belong anywhere. Get rid of the homophobic members of the scouting leadership, and the problem will go away.

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