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05/17/2013

And now in news for the naive: As long as gay scouts are banned, boys won't discuss sex

by Jeremy Hooper

I've already done a lengthy breakdown of the claims that John Stemberger and his crew are using to derail basic equality for gay Boy Scouts, so I won't rehash them. But I do want to highlight this one, particularly ridiculous claim that Stemberger makes in his latest document on the subject. Stemberger writes:

The proposed Resolution robs parents of the sole authority to raise issues of sex and sexuality with their kids. Parents should have the exclusive right to raise issues about sex and sexuality with their children in their own time and in their own way, in the privacy of their homes; not brought up by other older boys around a campfire. Allowing open homosexuality would inject a sensitive and highly-charged political issue into the heart of the BSA, against the wishes of the vast majority of parents.
FULL DOC: OnMyHonor.Net Response to Pro-Resolution BSA Officials’ “Points of Clarification” [On My Honor]

Ludicrous. Does anyone seriously think that when we ban gay Boy Scouts, it keeps prepubescent boys from discussing sex around the campfire? If you really do believe that, your parental naiveté is likely to affect far more than just your plans to keep your home LGBT-free.

Let's get real. As long as there are boys, there will be talk about sex. The cocky ones will act like they know more than they do, in reality getting things hilariously wrong. The shy ones will ask their questions "for a friend." The jokesters will sometimes turn the conversation toward the crude. In short: They will act like kids. Kids talk. They try to figure things out for themselves. And they do this not because they are straight kids or good kids or gay kids or bad kids—but because they are kids.

The real possibility (and the one that Mr. Stemberger fears most) is that inclusive scouting, like all inclusive institutions, will lead to more robust discussion about gay people. With more inclusion comes less stigma; with less stigma comes greater understanding. Mr. Stemberger doesn't want the world to accept LGBT people and our rights (e.g. he even opposes basic nondiscrimination ordinances) so he doesn't want campfires where gay kids might someday speak for themselves.

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