Posted in Defense of Marriage Act, DOMA, gay, lesbian, lgbt, prop 8, Proposition 8, supreme court

The Five Icons of Prop 8 and DOMA – The Fight Continues

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Edie Windsor

“When Thea and I met nearly 50 years ago, we never could have dreamed that the story of our life together would be before the Supreme Court…” – Edie Windsor

When we think of how we’ll be when we’re in our 80’s – if we’re even lucky enough to grow to be that old – our thoughts are usually about retirement, relaxing, spending time with our families and cherishing the limited moments we have left on Earth. That’s not the path 84-year-old Edie Windsor had in mind. Instead of spending her time relaxing, vacationing or spending personal time with her family, Edie was busy challenging the United States government on the Defense of Marriage Act. In 2007, Edie Windsor legally married her partner of 44 years, Thea Spyer. Two years later, Spyer died and Windsor was stuck with an estate tax bill of over $363,000. Unlike a federally recognized marriage, Edie was seen merely as having a personal relationship with Thea and not having a legally recognized relationship with her. A person that is legally married is not charged an estate tax when their partner dies and they inherit their partner’s estate.

Edie knew in her heart that it was wrong for the United States of America to not recognize her marriage to Thea. She had to challenge the United States government on their discriminatory law. At first, the ACLU didn’t want to represent her. They didn’t think she had a strong enough case to get the sweeping ruling that we got yesterday. Thankfully they put their trust in their team and in Edie. As it’s already known, the Defense of Marriage Act was ruled unconstitutional yesterday. It was ruled unconstitutional because of Edie and her powerful story. She truly is an icon in the LGBT community and will be immortalized as the woman that fought for equality for all of us. Edie Windsor truly is a hero in my book.

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Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo

There were four other prominent figures in the fight for LGBT equality that fought hard to get Proposition 8 overturned – Paul Katami, Jeff Zarrillo, Kris Perry and Sandy Stier. We can’t forget to herald these strong couples as influential members of the gay community as well. When they were denied marriage licenses after Proposition 8 was enforced, they sued the state of California. They took significant time and money out of their own lives to fight the state of California and eventually a private group of lawyers. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled the defendants didn’t have standing to defend Proposition 8 in the case. Virtually, the defendants could not prove they were damaged as a result of the repeal of Proposition 8, therefore they had no standing to challenge the plaintiffs.

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Kris Perry and Sandy Stier

I was actually out of the country in Singapore when the oral arguments were heard before the Supreme Court in March. I spent some of my vacation reading the oral arguments at the airport as I headed back to the United States. While I was in Singapore, the LGBT community and our allies in the United States held a wear red for marriage equality day. Even though I was 10,000 miles away, I wanted to make sure I recognized that day with my fellow LGBT community. I wanted to make sure to take photographs of myself wearing a red shirt, so I ventured out to find the perfect places to take a photo. I found a sculpture in the Boat Quay of Singapore that symbolized unity in sports. I felt just the idea of unity was impactful, and I took a photo of myself standing in front of it.

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Yesterday, I wanted to make sure I was surrounded by my fellow LGBT family and supporters as the DOMA and Prop 8 rulings came down. The Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh – a non-profit organization that helps to raise awareness to the LGBT community and hosts the Pride events every year put on a demonstration in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh yesterday. The day before I helped the Delta Foundation rally their supporters to turn out for the event. The turnout was great, the weather was great and the speakers were amazing. Yesterday was definitely a day I will never forget.

Downtown Pittsburgh set up before the masses arrived
Downtown Pittsburgh set up before the masses arrived

I didn’t want to go into great detail about the impact of Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act, I wanted to focus more on the five individuals that took significant sacrifices in their own lives to pave the way for all of us to experience equality. We can’t thank Edie Windsor, Paul Katami, Jeff Zarrillo, Kris Perry and Sandy Stier enough.

Spectators awaiting the Supreme Court's ruling in Downtown Pittsburgh
Spectators awaiting the Supreme Court’s ruling in Downtown Pittsburgh

As we transition from a country where we were treated as second-rate citizens to a nation where some of us can legally marry, while others of us still can’t, we have to gear up for the next fight. The Humans Right Campaign has an ambitious goal of getting marriage equality to all 50 states in the United States. We must petition state governments to legalize marriage equality. We must contact our U.S. representatives and U.S. senators and let them know we will not enshrine discrimination into our Constitution. The same Constitution that guarantees equality. The same Constitution that gives us the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. “Representative” Tim Huelskamp of Kansas is planning to introduce the Federal Marriage Amendment, an amendment to the United States Constitution that would define marriage as between a man and a woman. While there is no chance of it’s passage, and it’s a waste of American tax dollars, we cannot sit around and let our government officials attempt to treat us less than anyone else. We must encourage Congress to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

Part of the crowd during a demonstration in Downtown Pittsburgh awaiting the Supreme Court's rulings
Part of the crowd during a demonstration in Downtown Pittsburgh awaiting the Supreme Court’s rulings

There is still a lot of work we must do in order to establish full equality for the gay community. Let’s celebrate this triumphant win we had yesterday and look forward to what we have in store for ourselves as we fight for what is rightfully ours and our straight counterparts. It’s time we get energized and remember that love is love.

Posted in bully, gay, lesbian, lgbt, stereotype, Uncategorized

Define Me – The Only Definition That Matters

“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself.” – Harvey Fierststein

I’m gay. It took me over 10 years to be able to say that to myself, and even longer to tell family and friends. Today, I wear that label proudly. As I look back at my struggle to accept myself, I realize I wasn’t afraid of the fact I was gay, I was afraid of how society would perceive me being a gay man. I feared the definition people put on the word. We’re expected to live in a particular mold set out by society and reinforced by our families. For me, I was expected to go to college, get a job, get married to a woman and carry on the family name. It was a scary moment when I realized that wasn’t going to happen for me.

I still remember as I was coming to grips with my homosexuality, I was too quick to find a label to my sexuality. Was I gay? Was I bisexual? Was I bicurious? I didn’t give myself time to really figure out who I was as a person, because I wanted to label myself something too quickly. I was so focused on the label that I lost focus on my true feelings. That’s a problem we have in society. We all are too quick to label ourselves and each other. All too often, we accept other people’s definitions and labels of ourselves and our interests that we lose focus on who we truly are.

Years ago, while I was having a conversation with some friends, one of my friends was astonished when I said I wasn’t a fan of Cher or Madonna. My friend had this preconceived idea that gay men like those two musicians. During that conversation, the word “gaytheist” was coined. Actually, if you look at my interests, you’ll see that a lot of them don’t fit into the “mold” of being gay. I’m a sports fanatic. I love watching baseball and football. I like camping and doing outdoorsy things. I enjoy listening to rock music and while I listen to pop, it’s not my first choice.

Recently, one of my friends put two pairs of shoes in front of me. She asked me which pair would look better with her outfit. I told her I didn’t know. I’m not a fashionista, so I really had no idea. She said, “but you’re gay! You’re supposed to know these things.” Her response reminded me of a skit on, “Disappointing Gay Best Friend.” I am definitely Tyler.

Everyone has their own definition of what a characteristic means. Think for a second. What comes to mind if I say, “jock?” or “politician?” What about “conservative?” or “liberal?” I’m sure you have preconceived ideas of what those words mean, and you likely hold stereotypes about them. I know I do. It’s important to realize these characteristics don’t define a specific person. We are all different and unique in our own ways.

If you’re gay, what do you think if someone calls you a “faggot,” or a “queer?” Do you get angry? Do you allow those people to get under your skin? While I worked at a psychiatric hospital, I was working the adolescent boys unit. One boy called another boy who happened to be gay a “faggot.” Luckily, I already knew this word got to the kid and was able to intervene immediately. I told the boy that was called the name that he’s the only person that can allow those words to have meaning to him. A person can call me a “faggot,” “queer,” or whatever unintelligent word they can come up with, but those words will not mean a thing to me. People typically only use those words when they are trying to get another individual angry. If you allow those words to have meaning and you get worked up about it, you’re giving the other individual the exact thing they want. Without responding or getting visibly upset over the use of a word that offends you, you are taking control over your own life. I’m not saying I don’t get mad or upset when someone calls me a name from time to time, but by knowing a particular word gets on my nerves, I can begin working on giving that label less significance when I hear it.

Bullying has become a pandemic in the United States. The environment in schools has become toxic. Countless lives have been lost at the hands of bullying, and it doesn’t seem as though there is an end in sight. Schools, people and the government continue to do very little in regards to bullying. When a bully is abusing you or your children, they are attempting to redefine who you really are. Don’t give them that power. If everything you’ve tried has failed, try to remember that the words they call you only hold the weight you allow them to. Don’t accept someone else’s definition of you. Don’t allow others stereotype yourself, and don’t allow yourself to stereotype others.

You are the only person that can define who you are. Being gay doesn’t define me. It is a part of who I am, but it’s no more a part of my life than my being left-handed. I’ve made poor decisions in my life. Some of my decisions have taken me down a path I hadn’t anticipated. Some people might tack on “failure” as part of my definition. I wouldn’t. But there are so many people out there that will believe what they are told about themselves – don’t, or at least take it with a grain of salt. Someone could ask your best friend, your sibling and your worst enemy how they would define you and they would get three different definitions. The only one that matters is your own.

Posted in Basketball, christianity, discrimination, Florida, Football, gay, homophobia, lgbt, NBA, NFL, Sports, Uncategorized

The Tim Tebow Effect

“Christianity of the sort that Tebow preaches is the reason people like Collins have such a hard time coming out. Tebow hasn’t said anything disparaging about Collins, but evangelical Christians have no doubt acted like they’re being oppressed by the “gay agenda” while at the same time being the oppressors.” – Hemant Mehta

Recently, NBA free agent center, Jason Collins announced he is gay. Collins because the first openly gay athlete in the four major sports in the United States. The gay community heralded him as an inspiration and a hero. While I was looking up news on his coming out, I came across a woman’s tweet that said it was a sad day when people were heralding Jason Collins as a hero for his openness about his homosexuality and a football player that is outspoken on his Christian faith can’t find a job in the NFL. At that time, Tim Tebow had been released by the New York Jets. It was recently announced that Tim Tebow will become a quarterback for the New England Patriots.

Tim Tebow was brought to national prominence after leading the Florida Gators to two BCS National Championships in 2006 and 2008 and winning the Heisman Trophy in 2007. He was drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos in 2010. He has been known for his conservative views on faith before he came on the national stage. Tim Tebow is probably most famous for writing Bible verses on his black eye strips during his college years. He actually inspired the NCAA to ban such a practice. The new rule was dubbed the “Tebow Rule.”He and his mom were spotlighted in a Focus on the Family anti-abortion commercial that was ran during the 2010 Super Bowl. Focus on the Family is run by James Dobson, one of the most prominent anti-gay figures and a leader in the ex-gay movement.

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Tebow is known for touring the country, going to churches and sharing his religious testimony. I don’t hold Tebow’s passion for his faith against him and I actually commend him for standing up for what he believes in. It seems as though some Christians are trying to use Tim Tebow as a martyr for their perceived inequalities about Christianity. As pointed out in the tweet by a woman I mentioned above, and the political cartoon I posted earlier, people are claiming Tebow is being discriminated against by the NFL while everyone is embracing Jason Collins. They ignore the fact that ignorance and intolerance about homosexuality are widespread throughout sports.

So, is Tim Tebow really being discriminated against because of his outspokenness about his faith, or is he just not that great of a quarterback? I have to believe its the latter. There is more evidence to support that Tebow is a subpar quarterback that underperforms in the NFL. Former NFL quarterback, Kurt Warner led the St. Louis Rams to a Super Bowl championship in 2000 and a Super Bowl appearance for the Rams the following year in 2001 and as the quarterback of the Arizona Cardinals in 2006. I lived in St. Louis during the Ram’s heydays and it was a very well known fact that Kurt Warner was a very religious individual. He was outspoken about his faith and was often seen in Christian commercials. His religiousness never held him back from being a player on a team.

There is actually more proof arguing that people that support gay rights are being discriminated against in the NFL. Brendon Ayanbadejo, former linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens become a national icon for marriage equality during the 2012 NFL season. He is not gay, but a straight ally that used his team’s appearance in the Super Bowl to bring attention to marriage equality. A couple months ago, the Ravens released him. They stated it was not because he was outspoken about his support for gay rights, but one could argue that it is a reason. The Baltimore Ravens had actually pressured him to pipe down about his outspokenness about equality while he was a member of the team. Former kicker for the Minnesota Vikings, Chris Kluwe was also recently released by his team after he spoke up in support for marriage equality. The Vikings deny that’s the reason he was released from the team. Two weeks later, Kluwe signed with the Oakland Raiders. Both Ayanbadejo and Kluwe jointly wrote an amicus brief to the Supreme Court supporting marriage equality. I want to be clear in stating that I am not arguing these are the reasons Brendon and Chris were released by their teams, but it is important to point out for the purpose of this entry.

Chris Kluwe and Brandon Ayanbadejo at the 2013 GLAAD Awards
Chris Kluwe and Brandon Ayanbadejo at the 2013 GLAAD Awards

We know the culture within sports is tense between homosexuality and athletes. Many athletes speak against homosexuality on the air and have negative attitudes about having a gay teammate. Others are open and supportive to the idea of homosexuality in sports. The most damning evidence against the argument that Tim Tebow is the fact that he really is not that great of an NFL quarterback. He thrived in college, because the Gators were built around his type of offense and it was easier for him to run the ball in college than in the NFL. Most NFL teams are not going to build an offense around him. They would have a difficult time signing wide receivers, because they’d know they wouldn’t get to see the ball as often as other teams. Tebow’s stats in the NFL are subpar and not in line with some of the more commanding quarterbacks that teams want.

I find it rather ironic that those who tell gay people to keep their sexuality to his or her self, are now attempting to cry foul and say the media and LGBT community are telling Tim Tebow to keep his faith to himself. Hemant Mehta summarizes it best in the quote I posted above. The fact of the matter is that Tebow wasn’t being shunned by football teams because of his faith, but because he isn’t a strong quarterback. Athletic statistics don’t lie. With the help of Tom Brady and the Patriots staff, Tebow may be able to become a talented NFL QB. Maybe they can train him to play in another position where he will succeed. Time will tell if he will become a better player in the NFL, but his Christianity has nothing to do with how he performs in the NFL. It is ignorant to believe it does.

**The NHL and many other sports teams and athletes have teamed up with the “You Can Play Project,” which is an organization to bring awareness to ignorance about homosexuality in sports. It’s a phenomenal organization and if you haven’t already, I suggest you check them out!**

Posted in current events, gay, June, lesbian, lgbt, news, pride, pride parade, queer, Uncategorized

Part 2: The LGBT Pride Parade Evolves – The Modern Parade

This entry is the second part to my two part series about pride month. Check out Part One here.

Now that you have a little more understanding of how pride month and the pride parade came about, I want to discuss where we are going today in regards to pride celebrations. The subsequent marches the gay community had after the original Stonewall Riots let everyone know that the gay community was there and they weren’t going anywhere. The gay pride events were about political protests demanding equality. I feel like the modern gay rights movement has moved past the original intent of pride month and into uncomfortable territories. If you look back at the first part of this discussion, I mentioned the ignorance people have about homosexuality. One of those ignorances is promiscuity.

I was 24 years old when I went to my first gay pride event in St. Louis. Before that time, I had only seen what the media portrayed gay pride parades to be. When I saw organizations such as PFLAG marching in the parade, I knew what I had seen in the media had to have been sensationalized. It was nice to see parents marching down the street while holding signs that said, “I’m proud of my gay son,” or “I love my gay daughter.” These weren’t images the mainstream media typically showed to their audiences. Last year, I went to my second gay pride event in Pittsburgh. I remember getting emotional as I watched American soldiers marching in their military uniforms in the parade. Again, that wasn’t the image I saw later on in the news. The media typically highlights the part of the gay pride parade that feeds the public’s perception that we’re promiscuous.

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Anyone that has been to a gay pride parade can testify that they’ve seen men and women with hardly any clothes on marching down the streets of the city in the name of gay pride. I can’t help but to think that maybe we show too much of the community. Maybe we parade some of our issues around that are better left for the bedroom. I remember in 2009 seeing several floats advertising gay clubs with scantily clad men and women dancing around on floats. Last year, I took note about a float driving by that represented bears and leathers. They too had very little on in terms of clothes.

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I want to be clear. I have no problems with people that flaunt their sexual interests. I have no problem with people flaunting their bodies. What I do have an issue with is when these things happen on floats in a parade that should highlight inequalities we face and raise awareness for the gay community. Those involved in the first march after Stonewall likely didn’t march in their underwear. They marched to bring attention to their struggle and the bigotry we all face on a daily basis. They marched so what happened on June 28, 1969 would not be forgotten.

I think the pride parades have evolved since the 1970s. While we continue to march for awareness and equality, we also march to promote our community’s intricacies. It’s important to highlight our differences to the broader community, but we must draw a line at some point at what image we portray to society. It’s important for the community to show the world that just like everyone else, we’re diverse. We come from various professions, working side by side with straight people. The only real difference we have with straight people is the sex we love. The image we don’t need to spread is that we’re overly sexualized deviants.

Every year on March 17, people from around the world parade the streets of their cities to show their Irish heritage (or to use it as an excuse to drink alcohol). What we don’t see are leprechauns prancing around in their skivvies. We don’t see Irishmen carrying their “sex slaves” down the street on a leash. So why do we have fairies fluttering along the LGBT pride route?

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It seems like every year, every group within the gay community comes out in droves and each group gets some sort of recognition in the parades, regardless of the image they show the world. That needs to change. We’re losing the original intentions of the gay pride parade and we’re not helping our cause for equality. I think everyone knows straight people can be classified into different categories based upon their own interests, just like our community does in terms of fetishes they have. We must start reconsidering the image we portray to our wider audience. We won’t start winning over people’s hearts unless they can relate to us. Muscle men with their bulges hanging out for everyone to see as they provocatively dance down the streets aren’t going to do it for us. It will convey the message that we’re all flamboyant and promiscuous.

Maybe my idea of a pride parade would be boring; but with how the parades are today, we are cheapening the good causes, such as HIV/AIDS awareness, PFLAG, marriage equality that march along side these scantily clad individuals. The general public will ignore the important issues we march to raise awareness for and stick their eyes and news cameras to the less than desirable images that feed into their ignorant stereotypes. We must restore the original intent to these parades if we want to advance our causes and gain supporters in the process. Think about it this way as you walk to the parade in your local area; do you think the parade respectfully and correctly portrays the gay community, or do parts of it feed into the negative stereotypes we often face? Maybe I’m off-base here, I don’t know. I truly believe that we need to really look at how we conduct pride parades across the world. What do you think? Do we need to tone it down, or do you think the parades are just fine the way they are?

Posted in current events, gay, lesbian, lgbt, news, pride, Uncategorized

Part 1: The LGBT Pride Parade is Born – The Stonewall Riots

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Being gay in America has never been easy. While we’ve made strives in the right direction, there is still a lot of work to be done in regards to equality and education. There are two primary reasons why it has never been easy to be gay and why we have to fight for equality. The first reason is religion. So many people use their religion as a weapon to excuse discrimination against the LGBT community. The other reason is one I want to explore more in depth here – ignorance. Many individuals buy into the myths about homosexuality. Some people think we’re promiscuous, we’re pedophiles, our relationships are only about sex, being gay is a choice. They believe that if we’re given equal rights then other people will want those same “rights.” They buy into the notion that sex offenders that prey on children will fight for their “right” to offend. They believe in fallacies and use slippery slope arguments to scare people. It’s important for us to educate those ill-informed individuals by showing them we are no different from them.

In order to help people with their ignorance about the LGBT community, it is important that we all know our own history. As pride month is upon us, I have been surfing blogs on WordPress about LGBT pride. I notice a recurring theme as people celebrate the arrival of June. They don’t know why June is pride month, they don’t know the significance the pride parades hold. How can we expect others to learn about our struggles and learn that we are no different form them when many of us don’t know about our movement?

On June 28, we will be commemorating the 44th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. While the timeframe in which the gay rights movement really got its start is in debate, the Stonewall Riots can easily be argued as one of the most significant moments in LGBT history. The Stonewall Riots is the reason June is pride month. After the riots, pride fests and pride parades were born to raise awareness about the inequalities in the gay community. I don’t want to get too far into the history of the riots, but I will give a brief introduction and allow you to research the whole picture if you wish to.

In the 1950s, homosexuality was considered unAmerican and gay people were considered subversive. In 1952, despite evidence to the contrary, homosexuality was added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, better known as the DSM. It was classified as a sociopathic personality disorder. It was illegal for bars to serve drinks to homosexuals and if they did, the bar was often raided with arrests made. Raids occurred about once a month on gay establishments.

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Around 1:20AM on June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village in New York City. People inside the bar were not cooperating with police instruction when they were ordered to produce identification. As the police sorted through the people in the bar, they released some individuals into the streets of NYC. While they usually dispersed after a normal police raid, these people weren’t. They started hearing that people were being beat inside and lesbians were being sexually assaulted by the police. The crowd outside continued to grow. As word about what was going on inside started spreading, a woman yelled out, “Why don’t you guys do something?” After that, all hell broke loose. Police barricaded themselves instead the Stonewall Inn with about 10 people they had arrested. People outside the bar were setting things on fire and lobbing them at the bar. They also threw anything they could find towards the bar. Reinforcements were called in by the police and nearly three hours later, the streets were cleared.

The Stonewall Inn opened the next day. That evening, people returned to the streets to demonstrate. They started vandalizing police cars and setting trash cans on fire again. Police responded and it took several hours for the police to calm the storm.

Days after the riots, The Village Voice, a newspaper in New York City ran articles condemning the riots and calling gay people “faggots,” and “limp wrists.” A mob came back out to Christopher Street. They looted businesses, vandalized buildings and cars. They called for the burning down of The Village Voice’s offices. This riot dissipated after about an hour.

A year after the Stonewall Riots, the Christopher Street Liberation Day was held. People marched from Christopher Street to Central Park. LA and Chicago also held marches that day. On June 28, 1971, several other cities joined the movement and help marches of their own. Throughout the following years, more and more cities began having their own marches, thus giving birth to the gay pride parade.

National History Day 2012 Documentary – Stonewall: The Riots that Revolutionized a Movement

The above video is a short documentary highlighting the history and progress of the gay rights movement.—————————————————————————————————–

For more information on the Stonewall Riots, I suggest you read Stonewall: The Riots that Sparked the Gay Revolution by David Carter. For more immediate information and a brief overview, you can check out the Stonewall Inn’s history on their website: Stonewall Inn History. I will be reviewing Stonewall: The Riots that Sparked the Gay Revolution in my first book review later this month here.

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I wanted to write a brief overview of the Stonewall Riots to inform people of the importance behind the pride events we hold every June and to use it as a springboard for my own message about pride parades and pride fests. I’m getting close to the word limit I imposed on myself for these blog entries, so I will save the discussion on modern pride parades and festivals for my next entry. While you wait, what do you think of gay pride parades and events? I don’t care if you’re gay, straight, bi, whatever or if you’re for, against or indifferent about the events. What do you think of gay pride parades and events?

Posted in children, christianity, current events, gay, lgbt, news, religion, youth

The Boy Scouts Fall Out

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The Boy Scouts of America is about teamwork, camaraderie, teamwork, loyalty, hard work and being gay. At least that’s what the Southern Baptist Convention would like you to believe. The Boy Scouts of America recently boted to repeal an age-old ban on gay members. The Southern Baptists are angry. They fear the gay community is going to invade the organization and infect the minds of their little boys. The Southern Baptist convention is set to convene in Houston on June 11 and 12, where they are expected to overwhelmingly pass a non-binding initiative encouraging their congregations to end their support of the Boy Scouts. They claim its the only solution to resolve the issue of the Boy Scouts of America contradicting the church’s morals and teachings.

The Catholic archbishop to the United States has gone on the record to say the repeal of the ban does not contradict the teachings of their church, but they will allow each bishop decided what is best for their congregations. Some Catholic dioceses have chosen to drop their support for the boy Scouts. The Boy Scouts is not without support though. They have actually found support in the unlikeliest of places. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, one of the most anti-gay denominations in Christianity and one of the biggest supporters of the Boy Scouts of America supported the Boy Scout’s repeal. Other organizations that support the Boy Scouts are The National Jewish Committee on Scouting, the United Church of Christ, the Episcopal Church and the Unitarian Universalist Association.

Southern Baptists are no strangers to calling for boycotts. They called for a nationwide boycott of the Disney Corporation in the 90s due to their support of the LGBT community.

By repealing the ban on gay people in the scouts, the Boy Scouts are not stating they condone the acts of being gay. They are making a statement that any boy can be a member of their organization regardless of sexual orientation. Sexual orientation should not come into play in the Boy Scouts. It’s not as though the Boy Scouts are now going to have gay orgy camping trips, or teach a lesson on how to take it up the ass. By accepting gay people as members, the Boy Scouts is making the issue of being gay a non-issue, as it should be. Sexuality and sex has no place in the Boy Scouts regardless of whether a member is gay, straight, bisexual, questioning or whatever sexuality you want to apply here.

Southern Baptists are attempting to take a “high moral road” by renouncing their support of the Boy Scouts, but in reality they are doing something that is not Biblically-based. A core belief in Christianity is to model yourself after Jesus. Anyone with the simplest knowledge about the Bible knows that Jesus surrounded himself with everyone. He walked with sinners, he talked with sinners and he sat down and ate with them. Southern Baptists are making it clear that they will not support an organization that simply says any boy is welcome into their group. If Southern Baptists want to work against the Bible and harm their own causes in the process, I say more power to them.

The Boy Scouts are better off without the support of Southern Baptists. The teachings of the Southern Baptists contradict the core beliefs of the Boy Scouts. The falling out between the Boy Scouts and the Southern Baptist convention will broaden the horizons for the Boy Scouts while the Southern Baptists spiral downward into insignificance. Southern Baptists will continue to spread and endorse discrimination and hatred towards homosexuality. They will continue harboring and supporting anti-gay bullying while the Boy Scouts become stronger while providing exceptional service to their communities and helping to shape morally upstanding boys.