On Monday, July 27th, 2015, the Boy Scouts of America lifted a ban that prevented gay men from being Scout leaders. This victory came a month after same-sex marriage was legalized across the United States. However, the lift of the ban left many unhappy. From comments on news articles to posts on social media, those who opposed this event made sure they were heard.
Many of their arguments, however, do not appear to make any sort of sense. One common argument is that gay leaders will force their sexuality on their scouts. However, by preventing gay men to be scout leaders, they are pushing heterosexuality as the only acceptable sexuality out there, which is certainly not the case. Because these young boys are not exposed to something other than heterosexuality, they will bully those who are anything different, which goes against what the Boy Scouts represent. The Boy Scouts teach diversity and acceptance. No one is forcing their sexuality on anyone.
Another common belief is that gay Scout leaders will want to have sex with their Scouts. This is not the case. Homosexuality does not equal pedophilia. Statistically, more heterosexual men have been pedophiles than those who are homosexual. Pedophiles can be of any sexuality. Just like straight people do not desire to have sex with every child of the opposite gender, gay Scout leaders will not feel the need to have sex with the boys they are leading. Will there be exceptions? Probably, but that is a risk that goes with every sexuality and is not limited to homosexuality.
It has also been argued that the young boys need to have a masculine influence over their lives, and that allowing gay leaders will deprive them of this. As was mentioned before, it is important for the Scouts to be exposed to diversity. Making a statement that implies that all gay men are feminine is false and prejudicial. The men who may appear to be feminine are still men!
Someday, the world will be a place where everyone can be loved and accepted for who they are, not hated for who they love. This victory is a step towards this world.