He was the US Defense Chief who allowed gays to be recruited in the army. And now the Boy Scouts of America have him as their new president. But the Boy Scouts organization still doesn’t allow gay adults to enter its ranks.
At a yearly gathering in Nashville, Tennessee, the group decided to elect Gates as their novel president. The future of the posse depends on actions and policies implemented by Gates.
Already, the organization has closed a chapter based in Seattle due to the overt gay behavior of one of its leaders. The BSA allowed any youth entering its echelons the right to their personal sexual preferences, but when it came to adults such behavior was suspect.
Various gay rights groups based in Seattle signed a lengthy petition to stop donating money to BSA. There were over 125,000 signatures on that petition.
It is yet to be seen whether Gates will be able to change a whole mindset. There is a belief that such blatant discrimination as goes on in the BSA is a pernicious influence that is best rooted out.
To nip the evil in the bud, some bold and brave steps need to be taken. But the question is who will beard the lion or bell the cat. In fact, the BSA is thinking of lowering the age of sexual freedom for scouts from 21 to 18 years of age.
In May 2013, BSA voted in favor of adjusting its membership rules to read: "No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.”
The terms of policy and rules and regulations of the organization are strict and stringent indeed. Gates meanwhile is to begin his two year term as president.
“This is a policy that currently is telling youth gay and straight that discrimination is okay and that’s a message that has no place in scouting at any level,” said Zach Wahls, an eagle scout and executive director of Scouts for Equality
Whether Gates will be able to turn the tide remains to be seen. If he was to have his way, all the members would be allowed their idiosyncrasies since what a person does in his private life is his personal business and no concern of anyone else.