It’s OK to be a Scout and be gay!
I am pleased that the Scout Association has launched an initative to make it clear that being gay is no bar to being involved in Scouting, as a Young Person or as a Leader. This was never the case – despite popular perception and resistance from religious groups. This is made clear by the Association’s Equal Opportunities Policy.
The Association has produced advice for Scouts on sexuality and “coming out” and factsheets for Leaders and other adult Members. The UK Chief Commissioner, Wayne Bulpitt, has also made a video for Stonewall’s anti-bullying campaign “It gets better… today”, which he makes it clear:
In Scouting we believe that all young people, irrespective of their sexuality, gender, race, creed or background, have an equal opportunity to develop and to be themselves.
I am very pleased that the Scout Assocation is undertaking this exercise and focusing on spreading the positive message about the movement, including attending Pride marches – we are here and open to everyone, regardles of sexuality.
Unfortunately, there are also people who object to it on outdated moralistice views and otherwise spreading misinformation (such as that only Christians or religious people can join – rather than the truth that the rule is purely that only those with an avowed disbelief are prevented, and even that is only from a uniformed role).
We should spread the message that Scouting is open to all so that we can have more Leaders getting involved and thus allow more young people to experience Scouting.