I went to the pancake breakfast again this weekend. The one hosted by the Boy Scouts. I went with the intent of supporting my son's friend, who has been working tirelessly toward becoming an Eagle Scout. It was a goal he set for himself years ago. It was so important to him that he even promised his mother that he would accomplish this task before he got his license to drive. He made this promise long enough ago that it never occurred to him that the organization that would bestow this high honor on him might be out of step with him morally. As a resident of the Bay Area, and as a high school sophomore, he has had more than his share of opportunities to consider whether keeping a particular type of boy out of the scouts was a bad idea. I know this because I have asked him about it.
He has made connections and associations through his Boy Scout Troop that he would be loathe to simply walk away from. He has worked to hard for him to simply quit. That's why I could go and sit at a table and eat those pancakes and orange slices, with my choice of ham or little sausages. The orange juice was awful, but the all-you-can-eat aspect was appealing. And as I sat there, enjoying the community sense of things, I couldn't help but wonder: were any of these young men in their shorts and badged shirts gay? Statistics floating around suggest that anywhere between three and eight percent of the United States' population is homosexual, meaning that out of the hundred or so scouts, Cub to Boy, three of them could be gay. Not that there is anything wrong with that, unless you happen to be in the Boy Scouts. It's still against their rules to be gay.
Bill Gates used to be a scout, and he thinks it's time for the Boy Scouts of America to change their policy. Madonna, who was never a scout but has certainly earned her merit badges for sex and boys, says the Scouts should "change their stupid rules." And that's all well and good for celebrity millionaires who have long since passed the age of scouting, but what about my son's friend? It causes him to sigh and furrow his brow. He would rather not think about it. He's got pancakes to make.