What I did about “Openly Gay Leaders” in my Boy Scout Troop

Last Monday night this happened:

zackeagle cakeAnd this:

zack eagleceremony

And the next day I received an email to all Troop leaders about a meeting to discuss how to deal with the BSA policy on allowing openly gay leaders.  I decided that since my son was finished, it was time to “out” myself, and since at the ceremony Zack gave a mom pin to each of his moms, and said, “I love these two, they are my moms”, he had already “outed” us to the people in attendance.

I decided to address the Troop leadership and give them some food for thought as I was not able to attend the meeting.  So I hit reply all (Something I NEVER do) and sent this email:

Hello all,

I cannot be at the meeting tonight as I have another meeting in VB at 6:30. I usually stay quiet on these issues, and have for many years. It may have come as a surprise to those of you in attendance at the COH on Monday that Zachary has two moms. It may not have. But if it did that is because we were very quiet about Zachary having two moms so he would not incur any prejudice or bias based on the fact that he lives in a two mom household. Those of you who know Zachary know that he has an excellent character and is a kind, compassionate, smart, and honest young man. I never wanted him to be judged on his character based on his parents but instead on his own actions.

If I had been open about being gay I believe I would have had a hard time finding a troop willing to accept my son, and he would not now be an Eagle Scout, which was VERY important to our family. Those of you who know me may also have been surprised about who my partner is. If you know me or have worked with me then you know that who I choose to spend my life with has not diminished my ability to effectively parent, or serve in the military for a 20 year career, or be an effective medical assistant, or an effective cub scout leader. My choice of partner has not affected the content of my character or my patriotism. It has not affected the way I interact with or care for and about the boys I have known in Troop 16. If you are a parent of a boy who is friends with my Zachary then you know that my choice of life partner has not affected my ability to care for or be as best a mentor as I can be to your own children.

My point in saying all of this is that who we choose to spend our lives with does not diminish from our ability to lead or care about, or mentor young human beings. I do not need any of you to agree with my life, but I urge you to look into your hearts and see if someone’s choice of partner causes them to be unable to lead young people effectively. If you are a Christian I would also urge you to remember that Christians are supposed to love their neighbors as themselves and not cast judgement or throw stones. I am Jewish and these are tenets I also grew up learning.

I do not require anyone to respond to me unless you feel compelled to do so. I just cannot be at this meeting tonight and I wanted to share my thoughts and words with you regarding this issue that is close to my heart!

Thank you for taking the time to read this email. I LOVE Troop XX. I have immense respect, admiration and care about every one of the leaders that has given so much of their love, energy, time and care to the boys of Troop XX. I would not want to think that this group, who I care for so deeply would be willing to turn people away, when as long as I have been involved with the Troop, I have seen boys and men of all races, ethnicities, and intellectual abilities be welcomed with open arms.

With Kindest Regards,

Carol Rood

I did receive a few emails back that were very supportive, and that was nice.  It was good to know that I wasn’t the only one who is okay with openly gay leaders. I would urge any of you to respond similarly to this if your Boy Scout Troops are concerned about the new BSA policy. I also want to say that our Troop is AWESOME and I did receive an email from the “faith Liaison” who expressed to me that sexuality shouldn’t even be an issue because all leaders should keep it about the boys, and not about them.  That was MY thought exactly

The bottom line for me is that Boy Scouts is not a place we should be worried about sexuality.  We should be worried about the BOYS and MERIT BADGES, and CAMPING TRIPS, and CANOEING, etc etc etc.  So it shouldn’t matter what anyone does in their bedroom at ALL!!

I am happy my son has finished his BSA career as a “boy”, and can now take his open, inclusive attitude into the BSA if he chooses to be a leader.