Boy Scouts of America Is Homophobic
Abraham Lincoln once said, “In this age, in this country, public sentiment is everything. With it, nothing can fail; against it, nothing can succeed. Whoever molds public sentiment goes deeper than he who enacts statutes, or pronounces judicial decisions. ” President Lincoln demonstrated great foresight in this statement. The overall attitude of the public is more important than the statues and laws that govern the public. The Boy Scouts of America has recently demonstrated many discriminatory injunctions against the rights of homosexuals.
They have deemed it necessary to ban homosexuals from becoming leaders and members of their private organization. Leaders of the Boy Scouts of America have declared that homosexuals are incapable of living up to the Scout code of being morally straight and clean, thus revoking their right to be apart of their organization. The United States government has maintained the Boy Scouts decision by granting them the right to ban homosexuals from participating in their organization in the Supreme Court ruling Boy Scouts of America v. James Dale in 2000.
Due to these discriminatory policies, Widget International has recently revoked all charitable contributions originally allocated to the San Francisco and Los Angeles Area Boy Scouts’ chapters. Public response to this action
Because of the financial stability of our company, the possibility of WI facing any economic consequences is very minute. This matter is not of economic constraint but that of moral and ethical implications. As a sitting member on the board of directors for Widget International I hereby extend my proposal to eliminate charitable contributions to the Boy Scouts of America in order to promote tolerance of all sexual orientations and protect our company’s good name by separating ourselves from an organization with such demeaning and discriminatory values.
This proposal of terminating relations with the Boy Scouts of America not only protects our company’s reputation and credibility but also is a demonstration to society that homosexuals should have the same rights and privileges as heterosexuals. If funding is recommenced, WI will be supporting the Boy Scouts values that homosexuals are not equal and are not “morally straight” and “clean. ” Supporting such a group would be detrimental to our company’s ethics in that we would be direct contributors to the education and administrating of anti-gay beliefs among our nations youth.
Many studies have found that homosexuality is not a choice and is predetermined either by heredity or some other kind of genetic relationship. Although researchers are still not completely certain that there is such thing as a “gay gene” or any relation to homosexuality and genetics. “A study conducted at the University of Texas has found that the brains of gay men respond differently to auditory stimuli than the brains of heterosexual men.
The Study published in the Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology, found that the brain waves of gay subjects differed the size and timing from the waves of heterosexuals when presented with certain sounds” (Neu, p. 7). Even though we might not know exactly what makes someone homosexual or heterosexual, there is evidence that their brains respond in different ways that are not related to sexual orientation. This helps prove that there are underlying differences between in the genetic makeup of straight and gay individuals.
It is fairly clear that homosexuality not a choice, especially taking into the consideration the ridicule and discrimination that homosexuals are exposed to in our society. “Some homosexuals feel that if the world realizes that homosexuality is something people are born with, just like the color of your skin or your eyes, then people will begin to be more accepting of the homosexual life-style” (Newman). In cutting off funding to the Boy Scouts of America, WI as a corporation is taking a stand and supporting the fact that homosexuality is not a choice. I never asked to be gay. The choice was never given to me, just like it wasn’t given to you. I can’t change my sexual orientation any easier than you can change yours. I’m talking about that feeling in the pit of your stomach, that curl in your toes, that beautiful smile that lights up your face when you’re in the arms of the one you love-is that really a choice? Of course it isn’t” (Stout). This excerpt was taken from an article written by a gay journalism student in reaction to President Bush’s efforts to amend the Constitution in order to prohibit same sex marriages.
Consider a different set of circumstances. Perhaps instead of discriminating against gays, the Boy Scouts of America were against having African-American leaders or members. There would be a great deal of opposition if the Boy Scouts discriminated against African-Americans, if fact society as a whole would be outraged at the thought of a group with a United States Congressional Charter discriminating against a racial group. What makes sexual orientation any different? Ethical principals change as society evolves. “Slavery (i. e. the ownership of another human being as property) was once generally accepted as ethical by every major philosopher or religious teacher of every stamp and hue (Neu, p. 6). Now slavery is widely accepted as immoral and unethical. Society is already adapting to tolerance of homosexuals, it is groups like the Boy Scouts of America that are stunting the progress. From a business point of view it is in our best interest to be a gay friendly company. Gay and lesbians for the most part are a very wealth demographic. The USA Today states that the 16 million gay consumers ages 18 and older in the US boast $641 billion in buying power.
With the increasing number of homosexual people in our society this demographic is expanding vastly. The USA Today also states that last year (2005) 175 of the Fortune 500 companies actively marketed to homosexuals through marketing, this figure is compared to only 19 of the Fortune 500 that did in 1994 (Iwata). As an international corporation we must look at other corporations and their reactions to the discriminatory nature of the Boy Scouts. Private and public companies as well as private individuals and governmental entities have discontinued ties to the Boy Scouts of America because of their ongoing anti-gay discrimination. Companies such as Chase Manhattan Bank, Levi Strauss, Wells Fargo, Fleet Bank and CVS have all terminated corporate contributions to the Boy Scouts” (Lambda Legal). We must stand together with these other companies that will not tolerate the Boy Scouts of America’s beliefs and practices. There have been 360 school districts encompassing over 4,500 schools spanning 10 states that have stopped sponsoring the Boy Scouts because of their anti-gay beliefs. Many law enforcement agencies and fire departments in such cities as Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Clara, Chicago, have also cut ties to the Boys Scouts.
Perhaps the largest and most publicized donation cut was that of the United Way. The United Way was once one of the largest contributors to the Scouts, however over 50 chapters withdrew funding after learning of anti-gay discrimination. World renowned director Steven Spielberg who is himself an Eagle Scout, and was on the organization’s advisory board for over 10 years, severed ties with the group saying, “I thought the Boy Scouts stood for equal opportunity, and I have consistently spoken out publicly and privately against intolerance and discrimination based on ethnic, religious, racial and sexual orientation…” (Lambda Legal).
We do not stand alone in our decision to terminate contributions, and reinstatement would clearly send the message that we support and condone the fact that the Boy Scout discriminate against homosexuals. There are many other public and private organizations that we are in agreement with on this issue. This is not an issue as to whether or not the Boy Scouts have the right to discriminate against a certain group of people. It is whether or not Widget International should reverse their decision the cease funding for the Boy Scouts of America.
The Constitution gives them the “freedom to assemble” and the “freedom of speech. ” However we as a corporation have the freedom to donate money to whomever we deem fit. By deciding to reverse our decision and continue to financially support a discriminatory group such as the Boy Scouts of America, we would be no better then they are and would take shared tenure of their beliefs. I would like to end by saying that as a board member at Widget International I would like to state that I strongly suggest that we continue to cease charitable contributions to the Boy Scouts of America.
Sticking with our original decision will not only ensure the credibility and reputation of our company, but we will be taking a stand against discrimination against homosexuals and sending a message that homosexuals have the right to be treated fairly, whether in the Boy Scouts or in every day life. It is time that we as a company do what is morally and ethically right and fight for the rights of all human beings and stand by our decision to cut off funding. Annotated Bibliography Said, Carolyn. “Marketing comes out of the closet. San Francisco Chronicle. June 25th 2006. Article that discusses the different companies and techniques that companies use to market to gays. More, Tina. “City poised to evict Boy Scouts council. ” Philadelphia Inquirer. July 22nd 2006. Article about Philadelphia Mayor Street, he is going to evict the Boy Scouts from it’s City Center headquarters, or pay fair market rent unless it stops discriminating against gays. Kilburn, Will. “Reading the bible the gay-friendly way, a forum offers rare affirmation,”
Boston Globe. November 26th 2006. An article that is about interpreting the bible in a way that is accepting of gays. Newman, Dara. “The Genetics of Homosexuality. ” Serindip. February 18th 2002. http://serendip. brynmawr. edu/biology/b103/f97/projects97/Newman. html. Article describing the many links of homosexuality to genetics. Although no proven scientific facts have been proven that link homosexuality to genetics, there is a correlation. Stout, Brian. “Homosexuality not a choice. ” Daily Orange.
Syracuse, New York. http://media. www. dailyorange. com/media/storage/paper522/news/2004/02/09/Opinion/Homosexuality. Not. A. Choice-601361. shtml Article written by a journalism student that talks about how being homosexual is not a choice. Saitinover, M. D. , Jeffery. “The Gay Gene? ” July 13th 2002. http://www. leaderu. com/jhs/satinover. html. Article talks about if there really is a gay gene, evidence provides Johnson, Ramone. “Top gay-friendly companies. ” About. com: 2006. http://gaylife. about. om/od/gayatwork/a/gaycompany. htm This is an article about the most gay friendly companies in the United States. Iwata, Edward. “More marketing aimed at gay consumers. ” USA Today: 2006. Article about many of the marketing techniques Bender, Bryan. “Military retaining more gays: lawyers see growing acceptance in ranks. ” March 19th 2006. Associated Newspapers. Police force that recruits in gay publications and offer same-sex couples equal rights to married staff and named Britain’s most gay friendly employer.