This letter from Chris & Lauren Glaros was shared on Facebook and deserves recognition for its strong stand, articulate arguments…it is absolutely Fantastic. I could not have put it better myself. Supreme kudos for those who stand up against narcissistic bigotry. Definite MUST READ…and SHARE!
Our resignation from the Boy Scouts of America today:
Robert J. Mazzuca, Chief Scout Executive
Boy Scouts of America
1325 Walnut Hill Lane
Irving Texas 75038
Dear Mr. Mazzuca,
It is with great regret that we remove our seven-year-old son from the Boy Scouts of America due to the organization’s continued discrimination against gay and lesbian Americans.
Our son Lincoln greatly enjoyed his time as a Tiger Scout and learned a great deal from his terrific scouting leaders in Worthington, Ohio. We are grateful for our local leaders’ time and commitment to our youth. Each of them devotes countless hours to provide terrific programming for our children, helps shape their character with important values, and trains them for future citizenship. We are proud to call these scout leaders our friends and neighbors.
But we were deeply dismayed to learn that another scouting leader—just an hour away from us in Bridgeport, Ohio and equally committed to the mission of the Boy Scouts—was fired simply because she is a lesbian. This den mother, Jennifer Tyrrell, deserves better. Her seven-year-old son, Cruz, deserves better. And so does every other gay and lesbian American who wants to be involved with your venerable institution.
It is unconscionable that the Boy Scouts of America would announce today that it will still actively and consciously discriminate against good Americans who simply want to serve others. Your decision is all the more unbelievable after a two-year institutional review during which eleven states and the District of Columbia—governing 83,063,462 people—have endorsed domestic partnership rights or civil unions; eight states and the District of Columbia—representing 35,090,117 people—have embraced gay marriage; the United States military—served by 2,915,362 Patriots—has accepted the service and sacrifice of gay and lesbian Americans; and the President of the United States—who speaks for all of us—has voiced steadfast support for equality.
Your website boasts that “the BSA is the THE BEST organization for the development of young boys to responsible adults.” Your decision to perpetuate bigotry belies this assertion.
You claim that “Scouting provides youth with a sense that they are important as individuals. It is communicated to them that those in the Scouting family care about what happens to them”. Do you not believe that gay and lesbians are “important as individuals”? Do you not care, and are we not to care, about what happens to “them”? Are they not American citizens and God’s children, too?
You proclaim that “perhaps most importantly, Scouting promotes activities that lead to personal responsibility and high self-esteem. As a result, when hard decisions have to be made, peer pressure can be resisted and the right choices can be made.” It is never responsible to discriminate. Bigotry should not facilitate a false self-esteem. And peer pressure to ignore these truths and make “right choices” must be resisted.
Your announcement today says that “the vast majority of parents we serve value their right to address issues of sex and sexual orientation within their family. They do not sign their children up in the BSA to introduce these topics.” We agree. We never had to have a conversation with our seven-year-old about sex or sexual orientation—straight or gay—until we could no longer countenance your position and had to explain why we could no longer allow him to participate in the Boy Scouts.
We do not read anything in the “Scout Oath” or “Scout Law” to prevent you from treating gays and lesbians with dignity and understanding, American generosity, and basic humanity; to the contrary, the values you profess call on each member of the Scouting family to do exactly that:
On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.
A Scout is:
Trustworthy – A Scout tells the truth. He keeps his promises. Honesty is part of his code of conduct. People can depend on him.
Loyal – A Scout is true to his family, Scout leaders, friends, school, and nation.
Helpful – A Scout is concerned about other people. He does things willingly for others without pay or reward.
Friendly – A Scout is a friend to all. He is a brother to other Scouts. He seeks to understand others. He respects those with ideas and customs other than his own.
Courteous – A Scout is polite to everyone regardless of age or position. He knows good manners make it easier for people to get along together.
Kind – A Scout understands there is strength in being gentle. He treats others as he wants to be treated.
Obedient – A Scout follows the rules of his family, school, and troop. He obeys the laws of his community and country. If he thinks these rules and laws are unfair, he tries to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobey them.
Cheerful – A Scout looks for the bright side of things. He cheerfully does tasks that come his way. He tries to make others happy.
Thrifty – A Scout works to pay his way and to help others. He saves for unforeseen needs. He protects and conserves natural resources. He carefully uses time and property.
Brave – A Scout can face danger even if he is afraid. He has the courage to stand for what he thinks is right even if others laugh at or threaten him.
Clean – A Scout keeps his body and mind fit and clean. He goes around with those who believe in living by these same ideals. He helps keep his home and community clean.
Reverent – A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.
We hope and pray that you will reconsider today’s decision to continue ignoring the humanity of countless gays and lesbians who would support and join the Boy Scouts. If, and when, you do, we will gladly sign-up our son Lincoln again to participate in the Boy Scouts. Until then, we stand in solidarity with Jennifer Tyrrell, her son Cruz and family, and the millions of Americans who your “values” hurt today.
Chris and Lauren Glaros