Ever since my family found out about how the Boy Scouts discriminate against gay boys and men, we decided to cease supporting them in any fundraisers or other activities that they do. I hate to say no to a kid working hard to earn his badges, but I think it’s important.
Ever since then, I have heard of troops surreptitiously allowing gay members to participate. I heard about a dad who started a Boy Scout troop that not only allows gays, but also girls! (This is very important, I must tell you, because my daughter is in the Girl Scouts and as much as she loves it, the Boy Scouts have much more fun things to do at their events—such as animal exhibits at the History Museum events, whereas the girls have bracelet-making that my daughter’s not interested in at all.) His troop proves the motivation and desire that parents have for such a club, by the way, as the parents of 40 local kids want to join him.
I have heard about awards being given to scouts despite the prejudice laws, such as in the case of the Mount Diablo-Silverado Boy Scout Council, which just awarded a 12-year member his Eagle Scout Award. Unfortunately, now the executive of the local scouts is refusing to sign off on the award; you can contact him here.
Sponsors are also puling funds from the Boy Scouts until they agree to let gay members participate. Merck, for example, has suspended funding until the organization ceases its bigoted policies. Previously, Intel and UPS have also cut their funding after learning about the discrimination the organization promotes. This means that the boys will have to work harder at fundraising, unfortunately—but hopefully the dollar signs put pressure on the Powers That Be to change their ways.
I totally agree that a business—whether it be the Boy Scouts or Chik-fil-A—has the right to its own ethical principles (of course, these, to me, are the opposite of ethical), but most forms of discrimination are outlawed. Banning a person due to sexual orientation is not an ethical practice but a discriminatory one reminiscent of Jim Crow laws in this country. Every person—no matter their color, race, religion, sexual orientation, or other identifier—should be protected from discrimination per the law. And until the law catches up with our needs—as it always seems to be behind them—it is our duty to pressure businesses and organizations to do so.