When I was 8, I joined the Boy Scouts. I lasted three weeks--couldn't get the hang of all that knot tying, and no one was interested in singing show tunes around the campfire. I was gay and I knew it. At that time, revealing my sexual identity would have resulted in my exclusion from Scouting. Until the Boy Scouts of America's historic May 23 vote -- which allows gay youth to join the scouts, but upholds the ban on gay adult leaders -- thousands of boys across the country faced similar discrimination from the Scouts, who actively and vocally banned gays. The Scouts' decision to include gay youth is part of the sea change sweeping across the United States on the issue of gay equality, an issue that has long centered on equal rights for all. But discrimination, in the Boy Scouts as in every walk of life, brings with it another effect that is left out of the conversation on rights: poorer health.
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