I also think this is a hill to die on. Our values become real through our living them.
I struggled recently with my nearly-7 year old's desire to rejoin gymnastics. We left because his instructor physically forced him to perform skills he (an intrinsically cautious person) did not yet want to do. In our family we don't use physical force unless deemed necessary for safety reasons, and we respect each other's bodies and boundaries.Ultimately, even though he really loves gymanstics, it was a clash of fundamental values. We're finding other ways for him to learn trampoline and balance beam work, his favorite aspects.
My partner and I feel just about as strongly about sexual orientation and secular orientation as we do about physical autonomy. Actually, I wouldn't even allow my son to join Canadian Boy Scouts (which does not discriminate against LGBTQ people like the American organization), as I also have an ethical/equality issue with most gender-specific organizations (why does one need a penis to go camping and perform service projects with friends? What awful thing would happen if kids, rather than kids with penises, were allowed to enjoy these activities together?) We are excited about 4-H, though!
What did your son most want to get out of Boy Scouts? How else might you meet those needs and desires?
As for those who think homosexuality isn't an issue in the BS because it isn't discussed... homosexuals make up at least 10% of our population. I'm not willing to let 10% of the people we love and cherish in our lives become part of the null curriculum: http://www.facetofaceintercultural.com.au/the-null-curriculum/. They deserve to be a part of our everyday lives and activities.
This topic comes up from time to time so I thought I would update the thread with BSA's decision about the exculsion of gays and lesbians after a two year review: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-bsa-gay-20120718,0,5267056.story
In short, they stand by their bigotry. Note too that a recent petition to allow gay families and leaders within the confines of a local group was not approved.
I have 2 boys that are not quite boy scout age, but I will not be allowing it, in light of the current decisions. I read though a little bit of this thread, and what struck me was when someone listed and defended the BSA core values, saying no where is the word bigot noted. But I think the parts I bolded clearly indicate hypocrisy. I think this list has great values, I strive to instill these in my children as well. But I do not raise my sons to pick and choose or have religion or any other group decide for them who these values apply to. Compassion, Courage, Respect. for EVERYONE. My boys do not exclude their dear uncle, family friends, or other strangers from our moral code because of whom they choose to love and share their lives with.
If a private organization wants to exclude a group, such as homosexuals, that's their choice, and we all have the choice to join/not join. But they should not claim that their core values include compassion and respect as defined below. That's false advertising, and that's what I'm really taking issue with.
Cub Scouting's 12 Core Values are
Citizenship - Contributing service and showing responsibility to local, state, and national communities.
Compassion - Being kind and considerate, and showing concern for the well-being of others.
Cooperation - Being helpful and working together with others toward a common goal.
Courage - Being brave and doing what is right regardless of our fears, the difficulties, or the consequences.
Faith - Having inner strength and confidence based on our trust in God.
Health and Fitness - Being personally committed to keeping our minds and bodies clean and fit.
Honesty - Telling the truth and being worthy of trust.
Perseverance - Sticking with something and not giving up, even if it is difficult.
Positive Attitude - Being cheerful and setting our minds to look for and find the best in all situations.
Resourcefulness - Using human and other resources to their fullest.
Respect - Showing regard for the worth of something or someone.
Responsibility - Fulfilling our duty to God, country, other people, and ourselves.
Katie, sahm to two wild and crazy guys (8/07) and (3/10) and their sweet new baby sister (4-1-13)
Actually, I wouldn't even allow my son to join Canadian Boy Scouts (which does not discriminate against LGBTQ people like the American organization), as I also have an ethical/equality issue with most gender-specific organizations (why does one need a penis to go camping and perform service projects with friends? What awful thing would happen if kids, rather than kids with penises, were allowed to enjoy these activities together?) We are excited about 4-H, though!
Just FYI Scouts Canada is not gender specific. From their FAQ:
Does Scouts Canada Admit Both Boys and Girls?