From Family Watch International
Over past 10 days, a major controversy has erupted in the U.S. involving the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). A few members of their board are attempting to change the scout’s century old policy that excludes openly homosexual men and boys from participating as leaders and members in the scout program. The proposed policy would have allowed each local BSA Council to determine its own policy with regard to homosexuals.
Since BSA is the largest member of the World Organization of Scouting, any major policy change like the one being considered would likely reverberate throughout the scouting world.
Understandably this proposed policy change, initiated under pressure by the LGBT lobby, set off a firestorm of opposition from scout supporters across the U.S. As a result, the board has decided to postpone a final decision until their meeting in May.
We applaud the BSA board for taking this action. In our letter to the board, we urged them to delay the vote so they could have the time needed to thoroughly evaluate the health impacts the proposed policy could have on scouts.
Factions on both sides of the issue have a lot at stake. For the LGBT lobby, overturning the current BSA policy would mean they had conquered one of America’s major protectors of moral values—the Boy Scouts. For religious groups, many were calling for a mass exodus from the Boy Scouts if the new policy was implemented, saying they could not support an organization that has changed its core moral value of helping boys to be “morally straight.”
When an effort is made to base decisions on the facts, it is often easy to identify the best policy.
As we stated in our letter to the BSA board, “The most important fact that should be driving this debate is the science and clinical experience showing that homosexuality is not innate and immutable.” Homosexual individuals are not ‘born that way.’ Rather, we know that homosexuality is the result of a complex interaction of some likely genetic predisposition (often referred to as the “nature” component) and a variety of environmental and experiential factors (often categorized as the “nurture” component). Solid research shows that environmental factors play a major role in the development of same-sex attraction. “
In evaluating this proposed policy change we also urged the board to keep in mind that it is normal for adolescents to question their sexual orientation as a part of the maturation process. For those who may be troubled by developing but unwanted same-sex attraction, or are otherwise vulnerable to developing homosexuality, the “nurture” aspect of scouting can be a significant factor in whether they do in fact become homosexual.
Scouting has been successful for over a century precisely because the nurturing environment it provides has proven effective in molding boys into responsible and successful men. So permitting BSA Councils to allow openly homosexual scout leaders and fellow scouts into the program could be a very significant factor in the personal development of young men who are vulnerable to developing same gender orientation. Such an influence easily could become one of the significant “nurture” factors that contribute to sexually confused youth actually becoming homosexual.
The final key fact is that there are well documented and significant mental and physical health risks associated with the homosexual lifestyle. We cited several studies in our letter: “For example, after reviewing more than 125 years of scientific research and clinical experience, the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) concluded that as a group homosexuals suffer about three times more physical and mental health problems than the heterosexual population.”
Based on these basic facts, it becomes quite obvious that continuing the current policy is in the best interest of all the young men in the scouting program and particularly those who are vulnerable to developing same-gender sexual orientations.
In recent months we have seen other examples where ideology and political correctness seem to be driving major social policy decisions even in the face of facts and experience that strongly suggest that adopting these policies would be harmful.
In France, for example, the new Socialist government is trying to ram through legalizing same-sex marriage and allowing same-sex individuals to adopt children. It is doing this in the face of clear recommendations against doing that made just eight years ago by a commission created by the French National Assembly. This commission based its recommendations on extensive hearings and a review of all the available scientific research.
A similar situation is also occurring in Britain, where on Tuesday the House of Commons voted overwhelmingly to legalize same-sex marriage. Again, the government appears to be pushing this almost exclusively for ideological reasons. There has been virtually no serious consideration of the available science and legal scholarship on this issue. But anyone familiar with relevant data can predict with considerable certainty that if same-sex marriage ultimately becomes law, Britain will find it far more difficult to deal with the burgeoning social problems that country already is facing.
We will be continuing our efforts to ensure that these kinds of policy debates are fact based. We will also continue to alert you to the opportunities where you can help achieve this goal and give you the tools to be more effective in your efforts.
Family Watch International