Boy Scouts push for “morally straight”, discrimination and intolerance

Carly Yamrus, Opinion Editor

“On my honor I will do my best 
to do my duty to God and my country
 and to obey the Scout Law; 
to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, 
mentally awake, and morally straight.”
That’s the Scout Oath of the Boy Scouts of America, a youth organization for young men whose mission is to build character, leadership, citizenship and physical fitness.
The only part of that oath in question is that little part at the end that they tacked on in effort to promote ignorance and intolerance: “morally straight.” Meaning you cannot be openly gay.
Good news, though, you can still be gay but you just can’t tell anyone. I will assume that this ban was simply implanted to make the group feel better about themselves. To sweep the issue under the rug, if you will. If we don’t talk about being gay then our members won’t ever have the idea that maybe they are, in fact, homosexual.
While we’re at it we might as well inculcate our ignorant beliefs into the minds of young boys so we can stretch this fight for equality as long as we possibly can.
Those two words, “morally straight,” have caused quite a stir recently when the Boy Scouts decided to re-evaluate a ban on gay members and Scout leaders within the organization.
The Boy Scout policy says that openly gay people will be a distraction to the organization’s mission.
A distraction to the mission. The mission, being to “prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes.”
Please tell me, what is so unethical and immoral about equality?  Please tell me how discrimination is honorable. Please tell me how, in the 21st century – after we overcame slavery, after we granted women their rights – that we cannot find it in us to allow young boys, who happen to be gay, to be a members of a group that sanctions character.
Who ARE WE, as people, to tell someone that they are not allowed to be in a group that promotes model citizenship because they prefer the same sex? Who are we as people to tell others that they are flawed in nature and thus ineligible, unqualified, unworthy of opportunities entirely unrelated to the given “problem.”
As a country, we should be ashamed of ourselves that we are still teaching young people to separate themselves from others who are not the same as them.
This relationship between sexual preference and Scouting is beyond me.
We need to look at who is actually making this a pressing issue. Do young boys really have this strong opinion about gay rights? When you were 11 years old, did you have this aversion to differences within your group of friends? No. You didn’t. You don’t come out of the womb believing that being gay is wrong. You are taught.
How sad it is to see little boys holding signs that say “stay strong” in support of the ban. This should have never been an issue for them.
I know the Boy Scouts’ vision is rooted in Christianity, and I am not about to make this a religious argument nor am I going to acknowledge this from a religious standpoint.  But I will argue it from a human rights standpoint.
How are we still grounded in such selfish mindsets? Who gave straight people the authority to decide who has the inalienable rights cited in the Declaration of Independence?
The Boy Scouts are a private organization, and thus have the right to discriminate. They also have the right to understanding and tolerance.
You don’t have to agree with gay rights, nor do you have to like them. But it is 2013, and it’s about time we start acknowledging people for who they are, not who they like.