The Presbytery of New York City wants the 221st General Assembly to tell the Boy Scouts to stop discriminating against girls and lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people.
In Overture 043, the presbytery asks the General Assembly to “call upon the Boy Scouts of America to institute policies that welcome children, families and adult leaders into all programs offered by the Boy Scouts of America regardless of gender or sexual orientation;” and to “end all discriminatory policies excluding leaders based solely on sexual orientation and excluding girls based on gender.”
It does thank the Boy Scouts for their “decision to end all discriminatory policies excluding boys based on sexual orientation,” but, the overture says in its rationale that “despite this change, as well as its goals and commitment to oppose discrimination, the Boy Scouts of America has a longstanding policy and practice of excluding lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender adults from its leadership and also prohibiting girls from membership as scouts.”
According to the overture’s rationale, the negative consequences of the Boy Scout’s policies include:
- “potential scouts and families will not join the organization because it is viewed as discriminatory;
- “the policies draw negative media coverage including the recent petitions and resolutions condemning discriminatory practices based on sexual orientation;
- “funding and support has been withdrawn by numerous corporations, organizations (e.g., Intel, UPS, local United Way affiliates), and individuals;
- “scouts are no longer welcome to use many churches and schools for scouting activities; and
- “numerous Eagle Scouts have returned their rank in protest of these discriminatory policies.”
New York City Presbytery cites Scripture (Gal. 3:26-28), A Brief Statement of Faith, found in the denomination’s Book of Confessions, (10.3, lines 27-32) and Desmond Tutu, archbishop emeritus of Cape Town, South Africa, who said, “I can’t for the life of me imagine that God would say, ‘I will punish you because you are black; you should have been white. I will punish you because you are a woman; you should have been a man. I punish you because you are homosexual; you ought to have been heterosexual.’ I can’t … for the life of me believe that that is how God sees things.”
The overture cites the Boy Scout web site and recent studies which conclude that “For more than 100 years the work of the Boy Scouts of America has made a positive impact on our youth in many ways, including by nurturing academic skills, self-confidence, ethics, leadership skills, and citizenship skills; by fostering positive connections with siblings, friends, neighbors, and religious communities; and by promoting protection of our environment.”
Therefore, the overture continues, “By ending policies that exclude leaders based solely on sexual orientation and exclude girls based on gender, the Boy Scouts of America would move toward extending their impact on our young people and society.”
The 221st General Assembly will be held June 14-21 in Detroit, Mich. The official GA web site can be found here. The Layman’s coverage of the 2014 GA can be accessed here.
Isn’t that what the Girl Scouts is for? This country has lost it’s collective mind.
GA should petition ALL the denominations of the world to do the same. Heck, why not include the Muslims of the world? (By the way (are the Girl Scouts taking boys into membership now?)
The last thing the BSA needs is to welcome girls into the organization. It’s bad enough that women, many of them lesbians, have infiltrated the leadership of the organization. The BSA would die a slow death if girls were included.
If GA adopts this overture, one thing the BSA should keep in mind is that PCUSA members make up about 1/2 of one percent of the population of the United States — and that number is dropping, literally every day. Furthermore, the overture represents the viewpoint of a minority of those members. BSA needn’t spend much time worrying about the opinions of such a marginal group.
Wonder what would happen should a commissioner offer an amendment so that the overture was “inclusive” in that it applied to BOTH the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts? Would the Girl Scouts find having male members and male leaders as acceptable? Would the Presbytery of New York City find such inclusiveness acceptable for their overture or would they opt for exclusiveness (Boy Scouts only)? Would be interesting to observe the reactions.
And while they’re at it, the PCUSA should stop their incredible, and totally unacceptable practice of only allowing PCUSA members to hold office in their churches, or to be commissioners to the General Assembly, and a host of other practices that non-members are DENIED. This is a fundamental denial of human rights. All should be able to do whatever, wherever, for crying out loud. Just where are the mohammedans, the hindus, the wiccans, baptists, episcopalians, lutherans, methodists, and other pagans in our PCUSA churches?!? It is an outrage!!! Where is Desmond TooToo when you need him (or her)?
The PC(USA) GA needs to get over its fixation on unusual sexual behaviors. Why not instead start scrubbing the anti catholic bigotry out of the Book of Confessions.
No wonder the PCUSA continues to disintegrate and lose so many members.
young persons who identify as female but are biologically male are already welcome to become members of the girl scouts, and several troups have welcomed them without incident
Wow. That’s actually quite stupid. It would not be the “Boy” Scouts if they let “Girls” in. Boys have Boy Scouts, Girls have Girls Scouts. Both programs are designed to meet gender specific developmental needs. What is so difficult about that concept for liberals to understand?
If this is the type of proposals coming out of the PCUSA Presbyteries these days, there really is no hope for this denomination.
I don’t think the BSA is on tenterhooks waiting for instructions from the PC(USA) so they’ll know what to do next.
You see some boys happen to have different sexual organs as other boys. That shouldn’t mean they can’t join the other boys in Boy Scouts. The stuff they have in Girl Scouts won’t apply to him as much as Boy Scouts. (I was in Girl Scouts for most of my childhood and it doesn’t offer the same things. For example: the boys got to play with toy guns and learn how to shoot as we learned about female peer pressure. There was never anything about our body parts.)