Take a stand
I have always had the impression that one of the goals of the Boy Scouts of America is to build young men of character. For this reason, I think it’s unfortunate that local Boy Scout leaders did not seize the “teachable moment” that presented itself recently. When Montpelier’s City Council asked representatives to come and discuss the BSA policy of banning gay adults from leadership roles, the Scout leaders declined. Apparently, they didn’t want to draw attention to a topic that is highly controversial within the BSA ranks. The Green Mountain Council of the BSA reportedly voted against the current national policy of discrimination. If, in fact, the Green Mountain Council of the BSA truly opposes the national policy, why not take a public stand against this policy? Why not seek guidance, as Montpelier’s city clerk suggested, from an inclusive organization such as Scouts for Equality? To do so would be a hallmark of character.
I am the chair of the Welcoming Congregation Committee of the Unitarian Church of Montpelier, a member church of the Unitarian Universalist Association. On Sunday mornings from September through June, when our church holds worship services, you’ll see a rainbow flag flying in front. Throughout the year, you’ll find a rainbow rectangle on the sign in front of the church. These are meant to be public indicators that our church welcomes members of the LGBTQ community. The Unitarian Universalist Church believes that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning individuals should not face any kind of discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. We welcome all to come and march with us in Montpelier’s parade next July 3. We’re the folks who’ll be waving rainbow flags and wearing gold-colored “Standing on the Side of Love” T-shirts.
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