• Not great examples
    July 03,2014

    Not great examples

    I’m surprised by how strong the bitterness is around the issue of the Boy Scouts and the July 3 parade. I understand many feel they are helpless with regard to the national policies, but I would hope that the boys themselves and, especially, their local leadership would welcome a frank and open discussion about why their national leadership still maintains an official policy discriminating against gay men. My bet is the boys all know gay men in the area — schoolmates, neighbors, teachers and, no doubt, some parents — and I suspect they would all welcome any conscientious, dedicated adult, gay or otherwise, willing to help them in Scouting.

    Further, what message does this really send to the gay boys in the community who want to participate in Scouts — “We welcome you, but …”

    Gay kids need all the support they can muster, and Scouts could really make a difference for some of them.

    I also wonder if it was the boys who decided not to help with trash removal, or was it adults? It certainly seems like retribution. Part of Scouting when I was involved years ago was doing jobs for the sake of doing jobs, not to get some payment back. Regardless, I’d invite the Scouts to join those who have volunteered in their place to help with trash — it is a great community service, and their efforts are appreciated.

    Yes, it is a shame all this came to a head at such a late date and that, as a result, the misunderstandings are left where discussion and change should be. But I’m very disappointed that Associated Industries of Vermont felt it had to “pile on” by withholding its support for the parade. Not a very good example to all of us in my opinion.

    Hopefully, all involved will, once the garbage has been cleared, work with the City Council to develop a policy that can be used to vet all groups in similar situations so that all play by the same rules.

    John Snell


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