Boy Scouts | Discrimination | News | Polls

Gay Boy Scout Brothers Call for End of Ban as New Poll Shows 55 Percent of the Public Wants That Too: VIDEO

Tessier

The BBC profiles Lucien and Pascal Tessier, two gay brothers who are also Boy Scouts.

Said Lucien in an interview from their home in Kensington, Maryland: "I think that by proposing this sort of policy where local troops decide for themselves whether to admit gay scouts or not, they're not living up to their responsibility to accept everyone."

Watch the full interview with the brothers, AFTER THE JUMP...

InclusivescoutingA new Quinnipiac poll shows that the public wants the Boy Scouts to drop its gay ban by a margin of 55 to 33 percent, Reuters reports:

A broad array of respondents, male or female, Catholic or Protestant, favored accepting scouts regardless of their sexual orientation, the poll showed. However, white evangelical Protestants opposed gay scouts by a margin of 56 percent to 33 percent.

"Now that the Armed Forces ban on openly gay service members has been lifted, and polls show increasing acceptance of same-sex marriage, most American voters think it's time to open up the Boy Scouts too," Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a news release.

The poll numbers were released yesterday to coincide with a planned vote by the Boy Scouts on the gay ban. However, that vote was postponed until May, with the BSA saying that "due to the complexity of this issue, the organization needs time for a more deliberate review of its membership policy."

Women supported gay scouts by 61 percent to 27 percent, compared to 49 percent to 39 percent among men, the poll showed. Support for gay scouts among white Catholics was 63 percent to 25 percent, among white Protestants it was 44 percent to 41 percent.

Watch the interview with the Tessier brothers, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. Again, it's that ole tam ree-ligin... Bronze-age relic. As frightened as when Mankind first discovered fire. Primative.

    Posted by: Geoff | Feb 7, 2013 8:02:15 AM


  2. For the life of me I can't understand why some of this passion hasn't gone into creating an alternative to the boy scouts -- an organization with a fully inclusive policy. The BSA doesn't have a patent on tying a square knot or building a campfire.

    Posted by: sparks | Feb 7, 2013 8:07:46 AM


  3. The Boy Scouts is 100 years old. It would take 100 years for another similar organization to reach the same stature and prestige in the eyes of the American public.

    Posted by: Bill S. | Feb 7, 2013 8:21:55 AM


  4. Stop trying to force something on an organization that doesn't want it. Surely there are other scouting organization that would accept gays; the BSA would rather not. Why would anyone want to be where they aren't wanted? So the BSA are forced to let gays and those scouts and troop leaders find themselves largely cold shoulder or just "tolerated", then what? How good a time are they gonna have when yeah they're able to join but the others make it clear that they'd prefer it if you weren't there. They're forced to allow you to come to all official meetings...but you're not invited to the after-meeting get together at McDonald's, or the party that all the other scouts are invited to at so-and-so's house.

    Don't think that just because you're allowed somewhere that people can't come up with other ways to still basically exclude you.

    Posted by: Erick | Feb 7, 2013 8:25:27 AM


  5. What terrific parents. They are not weirded out by their sons' sexuality-- they are almost disinterested in it, in a good way. Let your kids be, their sex life isn't your business-- just focus on defending them and their rights. If only the BSA took the same approach as these guys' great mom and dad.

    Posted by: Wil | Feb 7, 2013 8:25:35 AM


  6. From reading the comments of others here and in many other blogs, Camp Fire is another organization that are like the BSA, but are inclusive. That's ONE (1) option. Yet another option is all the parents and youth who feel strongly enough about the issue, pull your kids out/otherwise leave the BSA, and let the BSA feel the consequences. I suspect that- if a large number of people just leave the organization - as well as even MORE corporate sponsors take their money elsewhere, the BSA would be - truly - "singing a different tune," and in fairly short order!

    Posted by: Rod Roddy lookalike | Feb 7, 2013 9:12:00 AM


  7. Erick, while I strongly believe in the right to Freedom Of Association and the right of private organizations to control their message (and wish that gay organizations would learn how to do that)- I confess that I feel that the Boy Scouts is a special case.

    Firstly, the "members" of the Boy Scouts are not true members, they are subjects led and ruled in this club by a hierarchy they are not represented in and government they do not participate in.

    Secondly, like most Americans I suspect, I didn't even know that the BSA was a private club much less a religious one until the SUpreme Court told me that it was. This was because the Boy Scouts were not regarded as private and religious by society- they were considered a public institution open to ALL boys based on their age, not their religion and orientation.

    Recognizing the BSA's private and religious nature is not as simple as saying, "Oh well, I guess we'll have to start our own club." This organization has been built with the time, money, and taxpayer largesse of a society which thought it was wholesome and open to all boys based on age. They fought for their right to discriminate, and then whined like a bunch of titty babies when they got pushed away from the public teat.

    To simply say, "OK they get to walk away with the ball and the field." and a new club has to go buy a ball and a field is not that simple. We paid for the ball and the field.

    Posted by: David Hearne | Feb 7, 2013 9:13:11 AM


  8. Let's start at the beginning of scouting....

    In 1906 and 1907 Robert Baden-Powell, a lieutenant general in the British Army wrote a book for boys about scouting. Baden-Powell wrote Scouting for Boys (London, 1908). Robert Baden-Powell is considered the father/founder of scouting. Some very early Scouting "Thanks" badges had a swastika symbol on them. According to biographer Michael Rosenthal, Baden-Powell used the swastika because he was a Nazi sympathiser. Baden-Powell admired Benito Mussolini early in the Italian fascist leader's career. Baden Powell went on to become increasingly sympathetic to Hitler, writing in his diary of 1939: “Lay up all day. Read Mein Kampf. A wonderful book, with good ideas on education, health, propaganda, organisation etc.” Biographer Tim Jeal examined Baden-Powell's views on women, his appreciation of the male form, his military relationships, and his marriage, concluding that Baden-Powell might have been a repressed homosexual. Jeal's conclusion is shared by some biographers and disputed by others, but is not yet examined in any detail by other scholars.

    Google Robert Baden-Powell and read up on his 'legacy'.

    Seems the BSA heirarchy branches don't fall far from the tree!!

    Posted by: CB | Feb 7, 2013 9:28:52 AM


  9. There was also a piece by local NPR station WAMU:

    http://wamu.org/news/13/02/06/gay_brothers_react_to_delayed_decision_on_boy_scout_ban

    Posted by: Alan | Feb 7, 2013 9:43:05 AM


  10. This may be a "private" organization that "doesn't want" gay members, but they enjoy tax-exempt status and should NOT be allowed to discriminate. SCOTUS blew it on this one.

    Posted by: Joe | Feb 7, 2013 10:09:25 AM


  11. Only 55%?? I really thought by now, when we have a Presidents who publicly stated that he's an ally to our community, there are still IDIOTS who still believe in this twisted, demented theory about gays and lesbians without spending their actual time to know any of us at all. Ignorance at its best.

    Posted by: jeremyrain | Feb 7, 2013 10:15:15 AM


  12. WHO is funding the Boy Scouts? Without money the Boy Scouts dies a bitter death. Despite all their games over whether they will or won't (yes, the delay is a game and expect another delay or a shirking of responsibility by leaving it up to the local chapters to decide whether a kid should or shouldn't be included in their disgusting private little club) the bottom line is - rip out their funding and they will holler uncle very quickly.

    We ALL need to put pressure on those companies and corporations that dump millions of dollars into the hands of these BSA bigots. Those who continue to fund should be boycotted and publicly outed/embarrassed. Seriously, we have the power here. We can change this if we just use the power of (or lack of) money.

    Posted by: OS2Guy | Feb 7, 2013 10:32:10 AM


  13. Supposedly the Catholic Church and the LDS Church have a great deal of sway because they are the largest sponsors and donors. What I don't get is why anyone cares. Scouting for me was entirely contained at the church school I attended. I never met a scout from another troop much less another state. So why does the BSA care how large it is? Does the BSA do something I am not aware of? Is it a feeder organization for some political group that molds 20 year olds?

    Posted by: David Hearne | Feb 7, 2013 12:09:14 PM


  14. These two young men are a perfect example of what the *real* central issue is. They joined as Cub Scouts as children, before they had any inkling of their sexual orientation. The BSA policy as it stands would have them kicked out not for anything they DID, but for who they ARE. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if the younger brother IS kicked out since the family has gone public.

    Although the exact reason people are gay is unknown (and IMO unimportant), scientists who have studied these things believe there is, in at least some cases, a genetic component. In families like the Tessiers (and my own family) where there are two gay sons, there is usually a specific genetic marker they've discovered. They don't know exactly what that genetic marker DOES, what it has to do with sexuality and how it works, but they know it's commonly found, particularly in families with multiple gay male siblings. It's further evidence that gays are indeed "born this way," and thus prejudice against them/us is particularly unfair.

    I was involved with the BSA for some time though I didn't stick with it because it wasn't my cup of tea. It had nothing to do with, at that time, my sexuality. Though we met in a church basement there was very little religious content other than maybe an opening or closing prayer, which was perfunctory. It was only later that the BSA declared itself a "religious organization" in front of the Supreme Court to justify its anti-gay policies.

    Posted by: Caliban | Feb 7, 2013 12:42:16 PM


  15. "These two young men are a perfect example of what the *real* central issue is. They joined as Cub Scouts as children, before they had any inkling of their sexual orientation. The BSA policy as it stands would have them kicked out not for anything they DID, but for who they ARE."

    Thank you for putting it so succinctly. All the scary noise about pedophile scout masters reflects the usual conservative blinders to the real issue - gay youth. The most damaging challenges the Scouts have received of late have been over their refusal to honor scouts who have devoted years to the program.


    Read more: http://www.towleroad.com/2013/02/scoutbanpoll.html#ixzz2KEisKW88

    Posted by: e.c. | Feb 7, 2013 1:04:19 PM


  16. Telling SCOUT OFFICALS "how you feel" is WORTHLESS—a naive waste of time. You might as well try to spit in the ocean to turn the tides. They DO care about how their big donors feel, so THAT's where to put the pressure. The very suggestion that they might change enough to let local scouting group sponsors decide was transparently NOT the DIRECT result of calls, petitions, etc., to THEM, but the result of the number of big donors who'd recently announced they had to change.

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Feb 7, 2013 1:27:09 PM


  17. @Erick, you assume that the council that runs the BSA has the same view of all of it's members. It clearly doesn't.

    Posted by: Fensox | Feb 7, 2013 2:25:05 PM


  18. Erick:

    Stop trying to force something on a website that doesn't want it. Surely there are other websites that would accept you; this one would rather not. Why would anyone want to be where they aren't wanted? So the site is forced to let you...find yourself largely cold shoulder or just "tolerated", then what? How good a time are you gonna have when yeah you're able to write but the others make it clear that they'd prefer it if you weren't there. They're forced to allow you to come to all official meetings...but you're not invited to the after-meeting get together at McDonald's, or the party that all the other commenters are invited to at so-and-so's house.

    Don't think that just because you're allowed somewhere that people can't come up with other ways to still basically exclude you.

    Posted by: bcarter3 | Feb 7, 2013 3:01:54 PM


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