Skip to comments.(Vanity) Seeking Legal Advice Re. BSA Policy Change
Posted on 08/05/2013 7:11:53 AM PDT by kinsman redeemer
My Boy Scout Troop is considering alternatives and possibilities for the future of the Troop - in light of the policy changes that will become effective in January.
Really, it is a matter of how we would react to changes that are likely to take place AFTER January.
I am looking for competent legal advice about how my Unit's Bylaws could be modified so that two points are clear:
The moment that BSA policy changes cross either of two lines, we will leave the organization.
1. When the National Organization tells us who can/ can't be an adult leader, and
2. When the National Organization dictates what we can/ can't teach.
We hold a firm conviction that we must not turn away from opportunities to witness the Love of God, His plan of salvation for all sinners, and the inerrancy of God's Word.
We see the recent policy change as an OPPORTUNITY to show young men that we serve a loving God who is full of GRACE and MERCY.
I am looking for competent legal advice about what we could say in our Bylaws that would help protect the Unit from liability and at the same time declare our unyielding intent not to tolerate sin (not sinners).
If you must, please "Private Reply" me with any contact you might offer.
I need to speak with someone who is an expert in this particular area of the law.
I hope you will help.
You must know that there are new Scouting organizations springing up to accommodate troops that can’t stomach the BSA’s policies. Why not look into going with one of these organizations? The only real problem is that the BSA has lots of great real estate for camps, but if you can get past that issue, leave.
We are looking/watching developments of “OnMyHonor.org”
We place a lot of value in the BSA legacy.
As a FORMER ASM (who left because of the policy change), allow me to point out that the BSA policy change has placed your Scout Master, ASMs and leaders in what most would perceive as an untenable position:
Either you support the BSA policy of acceptance of gays and the lifestyle as just a life choice,
You remain true to the duty to God and proclaim the biblical principle that homosexuality is a sin and against God’s will.
Either the BSA policy is true, or God’s word is true. You can’t hold both at the same time.
If you need a lawyer, my advice is that you find a lawyer - face to face and in your area based on local recommendations.
As general advice, I would suggest keeping a low profile that does not provoke a lawsuit. Even if you win the lawsuit, you lose - you lose time with the kids, money that should be spent on activities with the kids, and focus on developing character. You’re better off with an informal, unwritten policy. You’re better off turning away the new volunteer and his “partner” because you already have a full slate of Assistant Scoutmasters than because of something the perverts will represent as discriminating based on sexual orientation. You’re better off turning away the 16 y/o boy who wants to join as a Scout and talk about sex with the younger boys because premarital sex is not an appropriate BSA topic than because he “happens” to be discussing gay sex.
This is just my opinion, but I hope you will give it due consideration. Everything is limited, even time, and it may be better to dodge this fight.
I have a 3 acre plot of land on the bank of a creek and woods I would be happy to allow any troop to use as a campground free of charge.
One possible answer to the Boy Scout dilemma is for us to (repulsive as it is) act more liberal.
By this, I mean that we can lie about our selection of leaders. (”We didn’t reject Bawny Fwank because he boinks our kids, we rejected him because he has the IQ of a slime mold and the morals of mbnbc employees.”)
We can lie about reasons for terminating leaders. (”We fired Mr Fudgepack because we found him using politically incorrect language...and he actually listened to Rush.”)
We can lie in court if sued. (”I cannot recall, and besides, what difference does it make?”)
After all, lying is the centerstone of liberalism.
Let’s use it.
The issue I see the OP wishes to address is fighting for right vs seeking the path of least resistance.
Fights are by their nature messy and expensive, there is considerable risk of an adverse outcome as well.
More folks need to step up like the OP. While the risk is great theme reward is more liberty. (What our founders went for, vs freedom ie liberty’s byproduct)
FReepmail Albion Wilde to be added or deleted from the Boy Scouts pinglist.
Our unit just found out we’re losing our Chartered Org. (evangelical church) because of the policy change. Essentially, their position is that supporting any BSA organization is supporting the pro-sodomites at National and they can’t.
IANAL, but our unit is approaching this dilemma from a behavorial point of view.
No sexual activity/activism of any kind (hetero or homo) will be tolerated. It is not in keeping with (what’s left of) Scouting’s values and disciplinary action up to expulsion is a remedy for failing to comply with the standards.
As for me, I see some of our boys through Philmont next summer and then I’m out.
I will not tacitly or implicitly endorse or condone National’s policy or their board members by my continued participation.
Best of luck to you.
Stick with hate the sin, love the sinner and you can’t go wrong.
1. When the National Organization tells us who can/ can’t be an adult leader, and
2. When the National Organization dictates what we can/ can’t teach.
The BSA already does both. Adult Leaders must be trained to BSA standards or they cannot be leaders. They also dictate how merit badges are taught.
Lets use it.
Is that a rooster I hear crowing ?
There are some that unlike you puffed up and have made a knee jerk reaction and quit BSA.
The chartered institution must make the decision to leave BSA and flounder or stick it out and see how things progress. You will be told that there are other organizations being formed blah blah but that is pie in the sky.
If you have a good solid troop with strong leadership jumping off the horse into the river is a poor choice
Making pink underwear a mandatory part of the uniform?
My Son pulled him self out if Scouts. His reason, "How can a scout be morally straight and be gay?" He has zero interest in being the next tent mate for a gay scout. His troop will likely not have a gay scout, or gay leader in the near future, but he is stuck on his moral values and I am not going to change his mind. (by the way he is 12 and loved scouts)
BSA has a hard enough time controlling perverts, even with the mandatory youth protection classes we all have had to take. It will only get worse in the future.
For those who advocate hate the sin and love the sinner, how do you broach counselling with a scout who has same-sex attraction tendencies without including a discussion on sex which is verbotten by BSA National? Just look at what happened to Exodus International this year. It crashed and burned after 38 years of ministry.
Yes, those who chose to exit BSA will be leaving an excellent and established program. However, there are options which have been covered exhaustively here on FR. Yes, it will be tough slogging, but then that which is deemed worthwhile, has always been an uphill climb. It is time to put on our big boy pants.
We are in the process of re-writing our by-laws in a similar way. It appears, based on BSA published docs that the chartering organization is the one who gets to make the call on this issue, regardless of what the BSA may do.
For that reason we are having the official church body (board of elders or whatever name your local group goes under) require that we submit or by-laws to them as a condition of renewing the charter.
I’m not lawyer, but that really looks like it gives some protection. In the meantime, it may only be treading water until BSA grants the okay for homosexual leadership, at which point we will probably move to something like the OnMyHonor.net group.
This is from Boy Scout Publication 522-023_WB.pdf, page 9
Available here: www.scouting.org/filestore/membership/pdf/522-023_WB.pdf
Chartered Organization and Council Responsibilities
The chartered organization agrees to:
Conduct the Scouting program according to its own policies and guidelines, as well
as those of the Boy Scouts of America.
Include Scouting as part of its overall program for youth and families.
Appoint a chartered organization representative (COR). This person will serve as a
member of the unit Key 3, will be a member of the organization, and will coordinate
all Scout unit operations within it. The chartered organization head or chartered
organization representative must approve all leader applications to ensure that the
individuals meet the organizations standards as well as the standards of leadership
of the Boy Scouts of America.
Select an organizing committee (minimum of three) of parents and members of the
chartered organization who will assist in the selection of leaders.
Provide adequate facilities for the unit(s) to meet on a regular schedule with time and
Encourage the unit(s) to participate in outdoor activities and all programs of the council.
The council agrees to:
Respect the aims and objectives of the organization and offer the resources of Scouting
to help meet those objectives.
Provide year-round training, service, and program resources to the organization and
Provide training and support for the chartered organization representative as the primary
communication link between the organization and the BSA.
Provide techniques and methods for selecting quality unit leaders and then share in the
approval process of those leaders.
Provide primary general liability insurance to cover the chartered organization, its board,
officers, chartered organization representative, and employees against all personal
liability judgments. This insurance includes attorneys fees and court costs, as well as
any judgment brought against the individual or organization. Unit leaders are covered in
excess of any personal coverage they might have, or, if there is no personal coverage,
the BSA insurance immediately picks them up on a primary basis. Vehicles owned by
the chartered organization and loaned to the unit will be covered on an excess basis
for the chartered organizations benefit.
Provide camping facilities, a service center, and a full-time professional staff to assist the
organization in every way possible.
For information about training the chartered organization representative, go to www.scouting.
I wouldn’t call our approach ironclad, but we are largely just buying time till the other shoe falls and there is a viable alternative to jump to.
Hope that helps.
Along the way, I will be interested in seeing if BSA makes any changes to the YPT after January 1- especially these lines (from the current training):
All persons involved in Scouting shall report to local authorities any good faith suspicion or belief that any child is or has been physically or sexually abused, physical or emotionally neglected, exposed to any form of violence or threat, exposed to any form of sexual exploitation including the possession, manufacture, or distribution of child pornography, online solicitation, enticement, or showing of obscene material. No person may abdicate this reporting responsibility to any other person. (emphasis mine)
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