Thursday, October 18, 2012
Boy Scouts Earns Badge in Homophobia
BSA emailed to ABCNews.com a prepared statement regarding its exclusion policy, saying it is dedicated to "delivering a program of character development and leadership training. Scouting, and the majority of parents it serves, does not believe it is the right forum for children to become aware of the issue of sexual orientation, or engage in discussions about being gay. Rather, such complex matters should be discussed with parents, caregivers, or spiritual advisers, at the appropriate time and in the right setting."
Like at night in the scoutmaster's house?
"In hundreds of cases, scout leaders allowed boys to drive cars, drink alcohol or look at pornography. They gradually tested physical boundaries during skinny dipping, group showers, sleepovers and one-on-one activities." (http://www.idahostatesman.com/2012/10/18/2314222/boy-scout-files-show-pattern-of.html)
That finding is based on the court-ordered release of 1,900 confidential files opened between 1970 and 1991. "The thousands of men expelled from the Boy Scouts of America came from all walks of life — teachers and plumbers, doctors and bus drivers, politicians and policemen. They ranged in age from teens to senior citizens and came from every state."
The confidential files, kept by the Scouts for nearly 100 years, were intended to bar suspected molesters from the organization. The Los Angeles Times obtained two decades of papers, submitted as evidence in a court case, as well as case summaries from an additional 3,100 files opened between 1947 and 2005. The dossiers contain biographical data, legal records, scouting correspondence, boys’ accounts of alleged abuse, and media reports and represent all surviving files kept by BSA as of January 2005. The organization has destroyed an unknown number of files. Hundreds more from the 1960s to the 1980s will be released Thursday by order of the Oregon Supreme Court.
"John McGrew was a Dallas scoutmaster who had been recognized as teacher of the year and received a proclamation from City Hall for his work with disadvantaged youths. Two months before he was arrested on molestation charges, he was featured in Scouting Magazine, where his supervisor praised his 'personal dedication and genuine love for these kids.'