Can’t support Boy Scouts’ gay ban

Due to the discriminatory ban Boy Scouts of America maintains against homosexuals, I recently returned the Eagle Scout award I earned in December of 1994.

Growing up, I loved Scouting. My father encouraged me to join Tiger Cubs when I was 6 years old, and I remained active until high school. I made many great friends throughout the years, and I learned a variety of skills from camping to leadership.

However, the greatest thing I learned in Scouting was values. I have always strived to embody the Scout Law’s twelve points, and I credit Boy Scouts for shaping me into the husband, father, and citizen I am today.

Despite my positive feelings towards Scouting, the policy barring homosexuals from participating has bothered me for years because its treatment of gays goes against the values I learned within the program.

Troop 175 in Peachtree City taught me to be friendly, courteous, and kind. We were taught not to judge others by things beyond their control.

Homosexuality falls into that category. It is neither immoral nor sexually deviant, and those who are gay should have the same right to be as true to themselves and others as heterosexuals are.

Recent events have prompted me to no longer tolerate Scouting’s discrimination. Jen Tyrrell of Ohio should not have been removed as a Den Mother because she is a lesbian.

Having met all the requirements, Ryan Andresen of California should not have been denied his Eagle award due to his sexual orientation.

The 11-person committee that reviewed the policy last July should not have reached a “unanimous consensus” to maintain the status quo.

Actions like these are reprehensible and inexcusable. History will look unfavorably on these moments because Scouting had the opportunity to stand up for equal rights and chose not to make the right, morally straight decisions.

Last weekend I went to a hardware store with my 11-month-old son in my arms. Outside the front entrance, there was a young man in his Boy Scout uniform with his mother selling popcorn to support his troop.

Seeing this, I pictured my own son in that outfit, and I asked myself if I would be like my father and encourage him to join.

The answer was both immediate and clear. As long as the Boy Scouts of America maintains a policy that discriminates against others, neither he nor I will be associated with the organization.

Disappointed but hopeful for the future,

Kenneth Hamner

Peachtree City, Ga.

ptctrader2010's picture
Joined: 03/06/2010
Love the Sinner... Hate the Sin...

Mr. Hamner... you have been assimilated by the Borg of our changing morality. My son is an Eagle Scout. Why is there no tolerance for those who would hold with the moral teachings of our churches and the bible? So if the requirements of scouting are not for you... fine. I have to think something changed from the time you were accepting your Eagle in 1994 and now. What was it? And why does it cause you to admonish those of us who will never share your viewpoint? Take the high road and just move on.

MYTMITE's picture
Joined: 02/14/2008
So PTC2010, does love the sinner, hate the sin also cover the

pedophiles who preyed on innocent young boys for years? Does it include those in scouting who could have done something about it but chose to look the other way, thus allowing the abouse to continue? If so, sorry, there is no way in Hell, and no pun intended, that I could love someone who preys on innocent children, often threatening them and leaving them marked for years. I also can find no love in my heart for those who could have prevented further abuse when they learned of the incident/s. They are just as guilty. We tell our children to speak up, that they will be believed and protected, but that didn't happen. Parents send their children to such organizations as scouts, thinking they are leaving them in good hands. If I found out my child had been abused by one of these monsters who had been using his role as scout master to harm my child, believe me there would have been no love in my heart for this person. Scouting could not have stopped the incidents they learned about after the deeds, they could have stopped that pedophile from continuing in scouting. No matter what kind of 'pillar of the community' this sicko was I would have been shouting his name from the rooftops.

Husband and Fat...
Husband and Father of 2's picture
Joined: 07/23/2012
This quote just annoys the heck out of me.

The Boy Scouts of America is a great organization. I was a scout, (though not an eagle) and I have my son now in Cub Scouts. But like every organization, you sometimes encounter bad people. If you read the AJC recently, there is an article about a scout leader in Athens who molested boys for THREE DECADES while the scout and church leaders who sponsored the troop did NOTHING because this man was "upstanding citizen"

The Boy Scouts’ so-called “perversion files,” which were released to the public last month following the settlement of a lawsuit accusing the scouts of covering up sexual abuse for generations. National scouting officials apologized for past failures and said the organization now follows model policies to prevent abuse.

There are bad people everywhere. Scouts, churches, sports teams, ect... are not immunned to any of this. Most now require background checks, however this is still not enough to stop the problem.

The morality of the world is obviously changing and some for the better. Where was the morality of the scout and church leaders when they were first informed of the problem and they stood by with their thumbs in their mouths not doing what was morally correct?

You stated Love the Sinner but Hate the Sin. Really???????? Your going to hug the man but denounce his sin? Your going to hug the scout and church leaders for doing nothing while this occured under thier watch to protect the boys? Would you say that if, "god forbid", it was your kid?

Do you think the man who wrote the letter to the editor had the wisdom, experience, and moral compass of a 40 year old man at the age of 17?

Joe Kawfi
Joe Kawfi's picture
Joined: 07/20/2009

Where's the tolerance of the ideas of others Mr. Hamner? There's nothing hateful about it. The BSA just doesn't want sexual deviants put in charge of young boys. Any rational person knows that.

BobbyBiplane's picture
Joined: 02/21/2007
BSA Gay Ban

As a long time scout and scouter, I support the BSA gay ban as do the majority of my gay friends and relatives (9 of 11 during a recent family gathering).

Mr. Hamner, I support your right to an opinion and your right to return, throw away or otherwise dispose of your Eagle Scout Award. You will, of course, never be able to return those experiences that made you the leader you are.


MYTMITE's picture
Joined: 02/14/2008
Sadly, the Boy Scouts have 'protected' young boys from gays but

have covered for pedophiles in their midst for years. They have let scouts be abused and kept it quiet. Evidently what they are concerned about is their 'good name' and not the safety and well being of those young men. So sad. When will people ever admit that gays are not pedophiles and pedophiles are not gays?

Spyglass's picture
Joined: 01/28/2008


SPQR's picture
Joined: 12/15/2007

I too hate to see people discriminated against because of issues that are no fault of their own. But since scouting has always been gender oriented perhaps a third branch of scouting that is not gender defined would work.

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