Boy Scouts Reprimand Scout Leaders For Marching In Gay Pride Parade

by
Owen Poindexter
The Boy Scouts continue their clash with their own sexuality as the Utah chapter of the Boy Scouts of America may revoke the memberships of two scout leaders for marching in a gay pride parade in Scout uniforms.

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Two Boy Scout leaders have been reprimanded by the Utah chapter for marching in gay pride parade. PHOTO: Kitty Rainbow, CC License
 
The Boy Scouts continue their clash with their own sexuality as the Utah chapter of the Boy Scouts of America may revoke the memberships of two scout leaders for marching in a gay pride parade in Scout uniforms. The Boy Scouts have already been questioning themselves all over the place this Spring: they decided to allow openly gay members for the first time in a highly contested vote, which maintained the ban on gay staff members. Now the Utah chapter is reaffirming its right to be homophobic by reprimanding Scout leaders Peter Brownstein and Neil Whitaker. They Utah chapter claimed that this was not about the whole gay thing, just that Boy Scouts cannot use their Boy Scoutiness for political causes:

"We were very disappointed that you used Scouting to advance the gay agenda at the Utah Pride Parade," council leaders wrote to Brownstein, according to the AP. "You and others are welcome to participate in the parade as supportive citizens but not as uniformed members of the BSA."
 
Did you spot the code term? Ten points for your Hogwarts house if your eyebrow raised at "the gay agenda." This is a term used by homophobic groups to talk about how the gays want to turn Christmas and marriage into gender indiscriminate orgies (or something like that). Furthermore, it's a little rich to claim that the Boy Scouts are apolitical, when they, y'know, banned gays.
 
Whitaker and Brownstein both refused to sign apology letters. Whitaker told the Salt Lake Tribune, that he was the one being apolitical:

"We weren’t rallying for a politician or political event," Whitaker said. "To me, it was being supportive of my fellow human beings." He also pointed out that Scouts regularly march in Utah's "Days of '47" parade which commemorates the Mormon journey to freedom and acceptance.
 
Brownstein was equally defiant:

"I am a straight scoutmaster with a wife, two children and a golden retriever so it does not impact me other than the loss to our troop of some great volunteers to the program," Brownstein told ABC News Radio.

He added to the ABC News Salt Lake affiliate: "What we did was carry the American flag proudly at the front of the parade; and having scouts in color guards in parades is as American as apple pie."

The argument between the two Scout leaders and the Utah chapter shows the shifting tides of gay rights in America. The Boy Scouts of Utah aren't so much wrong as behind the times. Twenty years ago, marching in a gay pride parade would absolutely be considered a political statement. These days, it is still a political statement, but one that has become so mainstream that it is the reaction to what they did that makes the far more notable statement. And the fact that this argument has reached the Utah chapter of the Boy Scouts of America shows just how far the gay rights movement has come.

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