(U-WIRE) EAST LANSING, Mich. ? The Jewish Reform movement should be commended for calling on its members to break ties with the Boy Scouts.

In a letter to Reform congregations earlier this month, the Joint Commission on Social Action said the Boy Scouts of America?s stance on gays is ?incompatible with our consistent belief that every individual, regardless of his or her sexual orientation, is created in the image of God and is deserving of equal treatment.?

Court decisions

In June 2000, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Boy Scouts, as a private organization, had the right to exclude gays from leadership. It also left the door open for exclusion from membership.

This overturned a ruling by the New Jersey Supreme Court that disallowed the Scouts? exclusion of a leader after a newspaper article revealed he was gay.

The Jewish Reform movement was right to take action. The message of discrimination and exclusion sent forth by the Boy Scouts? exclusionary policy is not something that should be let go.

Other organizations should follow the example of the Reform movement, but an outright ban against the Scouts should not be encouraged. However, the Reform movement and those who follow suit should be careful that their actions do not punish the boys involved with the Scouts.

A statement should be made against the Scouts? actions, but the boys who participate in scouting should not have to suffer the consequences of the organization?s policy by being kicked out of meeting space or made to feel excluded themselves.

While the government cannot and should not force the Boy Scouts to include gays, the organization?s choice to discriminate is wrong.

In an attempt to provide good role models for boys, the Scouts have left out an important factor in that the boys now do not have positive gay role models. Gay role models could help to spread more understanding and acceptance in the organization.

Negative stereotypes

The statement the Boy Scouts are making by upholding the ban is that gays are immoral and unclean.

The Scouts are giving in to negative stereotypes about gays and helping to perpetuate them in future generations. This is not the message that should be relayed those across the country who take part in scouting.

Parents need to decide if they want their children to be part of a group that fosters negative stereotypes and endorses discrimination.

There are other positive activities children can participate in that reflect a more accepting attitude.

The Boy Scouts should take a cue from their female counterparts, the Girl Scouts. They do not exclude lesbians from being leaders or members and have progressed into an accepting and diverse group aiming to prepare girls for life in modern America.

The Boy Scouts have contradicted themelves and their moral standards by excluding instead of including. The Jewish Reform movement set an admirable precedent by breaking out against the Boy Scouts? actions.

The move-ment?s statement sends a message to the Scouts that their policy of discrimination is not right and should not be continued.



The Catholic Times Presents: ‘Ulysses’ by James Joyce, Part I

We are proud to introduce our new fiction serial, “The Catholic Times Presents,” which will feature history’s greatest novels in weekly portions.

The AI Divide: Creating a New Class System in Education

The conversation around AI in education isn't just about technology; it's about fairness and opportunity.

Football team’s newfound mediocrity threatens beloved losing tradition

Five wins in a season threatens to undermine the UR’s historic losing tradition, disgracing George Eastman’s legacy beyond compare.