Why We Left Cub Scouts

I say “we,” but the decision was ultimately up to My Chemical Romance — he was a den leader and very involved for many years. Earlier this month he took a week off from work to be a leader at Cub Scout day camp. Earlier this week he attended a den planning meeting.

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My Chemical Romance receives a camp leader award, with help from Cousin It

Meanwhile, there’s no love lost between me and BSA. I have long referred to attending any Cub Scout related activity as time spent with “the gay-hating bible-thumpers.” I was not entirely joking. As far as being bible-thumpers, well, Boy Scouts of America is made up of charters, and most of those are through Christian churches across the United States. And as a private organization, BSA does not admit avowed atheists.

I’ve always let My Chemical Romance deal with that aspect of religious intolerance. I’m not an atheist, so although I find that policy eye-roll-inducing, I personally think it’s somewhat benign.

But prohibiting membership for any openly gay scouts or leaders is where I draw the line.

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Both My Chemical Romance and I feel very strongly about equality. We think everyone should be allowed to get married and have equal rights and protections, regardless of their sexual orientation. So, when BSA recently assembled a panel to address the issue of openly gay scouts and leaders, only to UNANIMOUSLY reaffirm their ban, I could not stand by them anymore.

My Chemical Romance said, “But our local den isn’t homophobic!”

That is true. Our local den, and our den back in Charlotte, are amazing. I’ve never heard anyone say anything homophobic or intolerant. Additionally, both Mecklenburg county (Charlotte) nor Wake county (Raleigh) voted against Amendment 1.

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But the point is, our local dens and council are part of the BSA national organization. And BSA receives money from our local pack. Therefore, anything we do locally in Cub Scouts directly supports of Boy Scouts of America.

And we will never support intolerance and discrimination.

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6 Responses

  1. I’m not sure where your battle is. Are you against private, religious organizations practicing their beliefs? As you stated BSA is a private, Christian organization. Their panel has not changed their belief, only reaffirmed it. Why is it that “you can not stand by them anymore” when their beliefs have not changed?

    I’m all for equality when it involves the government. However, I think private organizations should continue to have the liberty to operate in accordance with their beliefs. Have you checked out the 4H in your area?

    • Hi Brenda, thanks for your comment. I accept that a private organization can do whatever it wants and I’ve always known BSA doesn’t allow openly gay scouts or leaders (and atheists). I’ve just tried to quietly ignore that aspect, as I’ve never heard it directly addressed. But this public reaffirmation makes it impossible to bury my head in the sand any longer and/or pretend it’s just an unspoken thing.

      Yes to 4-H, we are joining a homeschool 4-H group in the fall — my boys are really excited for robotics and my oldest girl is excited for dogs. We have also found a group called Navigators USA that is a scouting-based organization that is inclusive. There’s a group 30 minutes away and they’re even looking for a male mentor, so my husband will hopefully fill that role.

  2. I give huge props to you both for standing up for something you believe in. If things are ever going to change, it’s going to be in response to those leaders who say “enough” and make a stand. I hope that things work out for your husband and Navigators USA! I’m sure they will be very happy to have him 🙂

  3. I have been in a huge debate over this issue lately. I know the BSA has the right to set the rules it wants … but I also have the right not to associate with jerks. And I’m sorry, but this was a jerk move. And it infuriates me to hear people (my FB friends, mainly) say “Oh, thank goodness they’re not changing their policy, we would have to quit if they did.” Seriously? Having a fellow scout who is gay is going to make your kids “catch it”? Doesn’t work that way folks!

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