The Anti-Gay Policy that Dare not Speak its Name (or, an Exercise in Insulting the Reader)

A stamp issued on February 8, 1960, for the 50th anniversary of the Boy Scouts in the U.S. As interpreted by the organization’s current leadership, the Scout oath is incompatible with being openly gay or bisexual.

News and commentary continue to sprout up all over the Internet about the recent reaffirmation by the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) of its anti-gay policy. I’m pleased to see all the coverage, as it draws attention to an important issue affecting millions of young people. Plus, most of the coverage has been favorable, or at least fair, to those advocating for equality and inclusiveness. Among the BSA news items that most struck me, however, was a piece written by the chief scout executive, Bob Mazzuca, and the BSA’s national president, Wayne Perry; together they penned a defense of the policy for a recent installment of the New York Times’ “Room for Debate” series. I’m not sure what the authors intended, but their contribution to the debate is so evasive and transparently inaccurate that it’s much worse than merely unpersuasive: It’s also an insult to the reader.  

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