- Eric Jones simply told the director of the Boy Scouts camp where he worked that he was gay. He was removed.
- Ryan Andresen was denied his Eagle Scout rank. Why? Because of the Boy Scouts' “Youth Leadership” policy statement, reading: “In the unlikely event that an older boy were to hold himself out as homosexual, he would not be able to continue in a youth leadership position.”
- Denise Steele was removed from leading her son's troop when one of her fellow assistant scoutmasters outed her as gay.
- Jennifer Tyrrell was in good standing with her son's local pack—until the national BSA discovered she is a lesbian.
But if you believe John Stemberger, the man leading the opposition to Boy Scout inclusivity, the aforementioned people are all fake. They are fictions. All lies. That's because according to Mr. Stemberger, people are only denied opportunities if they "[wave] the rainbow flag and [promote] gay activism." Take a listen:
*SOURCE: Bill LuMaye Show, 5/14/13
This is a complete fabrication! If these folks (and many others) are national activists now, it's because activism often stems from injustice. When people are wronged for being who they are, they sometimes step up and speak out. But becoming an activist doesn't weaken the case. The fact of the matter is that good, decent, and qualified people are kicked out of the Boy Scouts of America because they happen to LGBT people of America—and this is wrong.
But while Mr. Stemberger's deliberately disingenuous claims are enraging, they are also very telling. His words tell me that he knows perfectly well that kicking people out of the program simply because they are gay is very wrong and ultimately unsustainable. He is trying to shape the BSA's past actions into a battle against political activism because he knows that the truth (i.e., that people are kicked out because of who they are as people) makes his cause look as discriminatory as it is. He is reframing the conversation because the picture in the current frame is one that quite plainly crops out participants in a highly divisive, obviously exclusionary, and downright mean-spirited way.
If that were my cause, I'd want to hide it too.