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So, Intel and UPS have now cut their funding to the Boy Scouts of America on the basis that their policies are discriminatory.  Namely, they do not allow gay scouts or leaders.  I say kudos to Intel and UPS.  And I hope every other corporation funding them will follow suit (although I think the LDS church will probably increase their funding because they encourage this kind of behavior).  So, I decided to do some Google News searches on BSA and came up with an astonishing (to me, anyway--maybe everyone else has known for a while) revelation.

For decades, the organization has tracked men among its own ranks who have sexually abused the scouts that they work with.  (also here)  My first reaction to this is incredulity at the hypocrisy and irony of the situation.  If a man is honest and admits that he is homosexual, the organization will ban him from service (even just being a volunteer) in their club.  But if he pretends to be straight and secretly takes advantages of the boys in his care, he is protected.  In this way, the BSA is allowing actual predators to remain in their ranks and removing those who are no real threat to the youth in their care.  Isn't this the opposite of what they should be doing?  Get rid of the child molesters (whether gay or straight) and keep the ones who are willing to be a positive role model (again, whether gay or straight).

Anyway, I was shocked for another reason.  Just a week or two ago, I was emailed an updated code of conduct for my place of employment.  As I was reading through it, there was really nothing in there that wasn't common sense to me.  Part of the changes were emphasizing that if I were ever to become aware of a colleague or someone else that I work with who is sexually harassing someone else, I am to report it.  This was not a surprise to me.  I don't need to be told that I should report something like this.  If I see injustice happening, I talk about it.  If I ever were to encounter someone abusing a minor or harassing another person, I would let them know that's not appropriate, and I would report it.  So, why is this a seemingly foreign concept to the BSA?  What do they have against booting people in their organization who are preying on the boys in their troops?  Personally, I am disgusted.

I'll just be honest, I don't want to have anything to do with this organization.  I don't want to promote this kind of activity.  I don't want to help out a group who has demonstrated that they think it's okay to stand idly by as children are molested.  Even with their anti-gay policy set aside and forgotten, I am thoroughly disgusted by their actions.  They may have been acting in their own self-interest, not blowing the whistle because they don't want a scandal on their hands.  But, this is far worse than if they had simply released the information when they first obtained it.  This makes them enablers to the crime.

The BSA's Director of Public Relations is on record for saying, in regards to the UPS announcement, "These types of contributions go directly to serving young people in local councils and this decision will negatively impact youth."  I don't believe that they have the best interest of the youth in mind.  They have their own interests in mind.  They're sad that they're losing their $80,000 donation.  If they actually cared about the youth in their program, they would seek to eliminate the predators in their organization rather than keeping secret all of the information they have concerning them.  This organization needs some serious reformation.

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