The following quip comes courtesy of Albert Mohler, anti-gay pundit and president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (but I repeat myself), from a column he titles "Boy Scouts on the Brink':
"How, exactly, are openly-gay boys to be included in the activities of Scouting? We are talking about boys who will now be expected to participate in everything from camping trips to travel with boys who are openly gay. Boys of these ages just might be the least equipped of all God’s creatures to deal with the complexities of the situation. Most parents are likely to decide that, all things considered, this is just not something they want imposed on their sons." [SOURCE]
The forced differentiation is of course offensive. It's something we've seen throughout this debate. Some have even suggested a modern day variation on Jim Crow, where gay Scouts will have to have their own sleeping and bathing facilities. Others, like American Family Association president Tim Wildmon, has said gay Scouts should create their own "Gay Scouts of America." I trust that you grasp the insult without any further explanation.
But what's more at play in Albert Mohler's words is a lack of realization of how much things have changed since he was a Boy Scout. Mr. Mohler is working under the false belief—his belief—that young people circa 2013 are just as hostile to the idea of gay boys as young people were in past eras. Mr. Mohler and others are projecting their adult baggage onto young people who are growing up in a world that is rejecting these past biases at a rapid rate. He doesn't realize that the expectation to participate in an event alongside a gay friend is, to a growing number of young people, as incidental as participating alongside a friend of a different race, faith, background, or handedness.
This is a key point in this ongoing conversation. Virtually all of the adult voices, from John Stemberger to the Family Research Council to everyone in-between, are working off of a clock that is stopped, at best—and running backwards, more typically. But the Boy Scouts of America is not operating on this time frame. The BSA, like all American institutions, are working from a 2013 and onward model. And when you work on this forward-looking frame, it's very easy to see why this change is on the table. it's even easier to understand why it's likely to pass.
A majority of American adults are polling in favor of full equality for LGBT citizens. That's happening right now, even in a world where the majority of us have grown up without anything close to full acceptance. Just imagine what the picture will look like in ten or twenty years! The trend lines are moving in one decided direction, and the ones who are moving it are the young people. This is not an accident or an anomaly that will soon roll back the other way. Younger parents are raising more tolerant kids, here in a world where growing exposure and opportunities have cut through the anti-LGBT movement's decades of misinformation. Many of these kids would surely enjoy a program like the Boy Scouts, but many of these parents would not even consider the program, so long as it bans their LGBT friends and family members.
Anti-LGBT pundits like Mohler are always telling us to "think of the children." When it comes to the Boy Scouts debate, I couldn't agree more! If Scouting officials and voting delegates are really thinking about the children of today and tomorrow, then they will meet these current and future generations where they increasingly and irrevocably are. Which is nowhere near Mohler on this issue.