There’s a distinction
Two recent letters to the editor suggest the national organization of the Boy Scouts of America is correct in its stance of banning gay men from leadership positions because the writers “have witnessed what happens when a preying adult homosexual is given access to young boys.” While I probably cannot change the opinion of the letter writers, I do want to make clear to the paper’s readers that what they describe is inherently false.
It is pedophiles who sexually prey on children. Most are heterosexual men. The vast majority of gay men are simply normal human beings who have a same-sex orientation. That the letter writers continue to promote this not uncommon misunderstanding equating pedophilia and homosexuality indicates they are ignorant of the medical science clearly describing the differences and the realities of the normal lives led by the many gay men. In fact, they are our sons, brothers, fathers, uncles, local businessmen, ministers, doctors, lawyers, taxicab drivers, etc.
The BSA policy may have been based on a mistaken notion they must protect young men from predators, but, as is the case in the Catholic Church, it is pedophiles, not gays, who are the culprits. The BSA policy, in the end, is based on fear and ignorance and only hurts good men who might volunteer and the Scouts themselves. One would hope that local Scout leadership would be anxious to discuss these issues in public forums in order to help educate those who don’t understand the basic issues involved.
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