University Park Father Gets Booted as Popcorn Sales Volunteer

Four years ago I wrote a column about University Park resident and single father of triplets, Jon Langbert. He’s a hard working, St. Mark’s grad, Harvard educated, super involved parent. So why is he no longer allowed to be the dad in charge of the Boy Scouts of America popcorn sales campaign for pack 70 at University Park Elementary? Because he’s gay.

Langbert said that in 2009 he took over the fundraiser and rallied troops to the tune of $13,000, a $9,000 increase from the previous year. He held training lessons for every den and even led “walk the block” sessions and did pretend, role-playing sales so the scouts could practice before hitting up neighbors.

In September he and his son were invited to recruit new scouts on KPAW, the U.P. Elementary morning televised announcements. But now he claims he’s been told that he can’t wear the uniform or act as an official volunteer. Why? Because some non-volunteer dads complained.

Langbert said, “I’ve been told to ride in the back of bus, that I’m a second class citizen. It’s a history story.” And he wonders why it’s being taught in HPISD buildings that his tax dollars support.

By Merritt Patterson Oct. 15, 2010 | 10:54 am | 94 Comments | Comments RSS
  • boysmoms

    Readers, Friends of Jon, please define for me “gay”. Was he in a marriage, had 3 kids, and discovered it didnt fit? Did he adopt the kids? Does he have a partner? or is he out looking for love? these things matter, just like they matter with heterosexual parents. Are we swingers, or are we home on Saturday night with our family. It’s really more of a lifestyle rather than a orientation.

  • D

    I’m sorry, I missed it, was Jon Harvard educated?

    Having lived here for some time but not from here, none of this surprises me. Sadly. Just more of the same of the hypocritical moral stance of many so called “religious” people in this community.

  • DemBones

    According to Wikipedia, Pete Sessions is on the Circle Ten Council of BSA. Why not ask his opinion of the treatment of this volunteer in his Council? He is in a position of influence with the Scouts. He ought to answer; he wants your vote.

  • Michael Allen

    So the guy is able to increase fundraising by almost 250% and some guys who are too lazy to even get involved are going to complain? It’s crazy that in 2010 America is so hellbent in being so bigoted.

  • Sammy

    @James: I certainly understand elements of the argument you are making, but don’t you think that to say it’s 100% how Mr. Langbert decides to handle the situation (“Jon has to be the one to decide how to handle it. He has to be the one to teach his kids to move forward without constantly looking sideways or backwards. He has to be the one to teach his children tolerance and teach them how to teach others to be tolerant.”) is allowing everyone else a free pass?

    So every time a person comes up against some bigotry, or a bully, or racism, or intolerance, etc., the onus is 100% on the recipient of the action and none on the perpetrator?

    Of course Mr. Langbert will be responsible for his own actions, and how he deals with his children and their reactions, etc. But the community as a whole (and specifically the people who have a “problem” with him as a gay father) need to take some responsibility too.

    Hopefully by the time his kids GET to middle school, there won’t be any more “lame-brained teenagers” making anti-gay comments, because their parents got some sense into them and raised them right.

    And I really can’t even think of how to respond to your “Maybe he needs to stop BEING gay and start BEING daddy.” comment. I think you probably would want to just take that one back as being out of line. From all I’ve heard, he’s an excellent dad, and the gay part seems to be the big issue with other people, not him.

  • Lone Star

    Leisl, careful about words like “molested” and “rape”. This is the Park Cites, bad things like that can’t happen here!

    Boy Scouts: Their policies are consistent with protecting children and young adults from abuse. While abuse of girls & young women is an even larger problem as Zoe correctly points out, one otherwise winces while getting some insight into how common misconceptions are cultivated & maintained, especially the confusing of absolutes and proportions. Estimates in the social sciences are inherently fraught and there is the temptation to advocate through statistics. There is not serious question, however, that a significant proportion of boys & young men are sexually abused by adult men and that only a small proportion of adult men are non-heterosexual. Unless one is prepared to argue that heterosexual men (self-defeatingly) or women are the perps, one is backed-into the conclusion that a significant minority of non-heterosexual men are abusers and at rate much higher than the general population. No doubt there are studies ‘on the internet’ one can find to comfort any hothouse belief, but the facts speak for themselves. The BSA is under attack from a Progressive Pincer — name-callers that advocate for putting (others’) children at risk one the one hand, complemented by trial lawyers seeking to cash in on the back-end when the BSA is found to have failed to protect. The leadership has not been vigilant enough in the past and is right to be increasingly intolerant and phobic of things like this: http://topics.oregonlive.com/tag/timur%20dykes/index.html The vast majority of non-heterosexual men are NOT abusers but the vast majority of abusers ARE non-heterosexual men — both can be true at the same time. The BSA is right to put the considerations of the most vulnerable in society first let alone the need to staunch the legal, financial & reputational damage the organization is suffering.

    The Bad Dads: I am not acquainted with Mr. Langbert and can’t ‘look at the person’. Even those that can, however, need to be humble about their ability to judge hearts accurately enough when the stakes are so high. And if you would trust your own child to be with Mr. Langbert, what about other men that might be coming and going? (Barney Frank’s apparently genuine bewilderment about the gay prostitution ring being run out his home by a ‘friend’ comes to mind.) I’ll bet that most readers would encourage the Bad Dads to carry life insurance to protect their kids against a very low probability but very bad-outcome-if-happens risk; why should anyone expect bumper-sticker philosophy to cause them to suspend judgment in this context? I expect that the Dads do ‘tolerate’ but what some commentators really want them to do is to ‘accept’ irrespective of the natural parental desire to protect their children from premature exposure to ‘alternative lifestyles’ or even their safety. Dads should be able to send their sons to Cub Scouts without having to think about it. It’s commonsensical enough that I suspect that Bad Moms are behind it all.

  • Margot Keller

    BoysMom, Jon has been gay & “out” about it his entire adult life. He has a partner. The triplets are his biological children, born through a surrogate. The story of his decision to become a father was featured on 20/20 about 10 years ago. Jon went to great lengths to become a dad and moved to the Park Cities for all the right reasons. When I asked him why on earth he’d spend all that money to live in such a small, essentially conservative community with zero social opportunities to network with other gay parents, this was his answer: “The people here are highly educated and usually kind. It will cause a stir when the triplets enter kindergarten because I’m the gay dad, but by the time they hit 4th grade, it will be old news and they will just be the triplets.” He made a bet of more than a million dollars of UP real estate that we would embrace his children in this community. I’m ashamed that he appears to be losing that bet.

  • James Tucker

    @sammy, First I most certainly do NOT want to take back the comment “Maybe he needs to stop BEING gay and start BEING daddy”. What I will do is reiterate the WHOLE comment. Obviously you stumbled over that phrase and never got to the rest of the statement. The whole statement reads:

    “Maybe he needs to stop BEING gay and start BEING daddy. Stop defining himself by his sexuality and define it by his fatherhood. Stop letting other people define him by his sexuality and force them to look at him for his success….this is the problem in the Bubble more than anything else…we allow other people to define who we are.”

    Only captioning the first sentence takes the entire idea out of context. Can you really argue with that idea?

    If you, Margot and Jon are going to sit around waiting for your pound of flesh you might be waiting a long time. I love how Margot put it “There is a time to right the old wrongs and that time is now, whether you and this community can handle it or not.”. It has that “I’m going to get you and your little dog too.” quality to it. You can’t put your life on hold waiting for someone’s comeuppance. You can’t wait for an apology from someone that hurt you. A good friend of mine once told me that when faced with circumstances that have hurt you you can poll 100 of the people you are acquainted with. 90 of them won’t care, 5 will feel sorry for you and one or two might even find a way to help you. But the other 5 will secretly be glad it’s happening to you. My friend grew up in the Bronx and is hyper-cynical but you get the drift. Most people that have hurt you don’t even realize they did. A fair percentage of people that realize they hurt wouldn’t care. Jon needs to act now and take a higher road than other people around. Does that preclude him from acting behind the scenes to amend a policy he feels is discriminatory? Of course not. By all means start with Pete Sessions. Sounds like a better plan than what I have heard so far.

  • 1635

    @ Lone Star: No doubt the BSA, like many groups, has had its problems with pedophiles, and I agree that it is a serious problem that demands a serious response. But when the BSA itself has defended its anti-gay policies (in court and elsewhere), it does not usually refer to the issue of pedophilia. Instead, it states clearly that its policy is that homosexuals, by definition, are not “morally straight” and are not “clean.” Likewise, atheists and agnostic cannot be members because the BSA believes that (again by definition) they cannot be “the best kind of citizens.” So,again, according to the BSA itself, the BSA does not have these policies out of mere deference to the sensitivities of some of its families or church supporters, or as a way of addressing the problem of pedophilia. Instead, the BSA (at least at the institutional level) teaches very specific and explicit moral and religious judgements of gays, atheists, and agnostics. Which is fine, of course, for a private religious organization. But this private religious organization has a very powerful political lobby, and now even has its own special little federal law (the “Boy Scouts Equal Access Act”) that likely means that HPISD won’t be able to do much to address Mr. Langbert’s concerns (even if it were so inclined). I nevertheless still call on HPISD to review the matter, consistent with applicable 1st amendment concerns.

  • Margot Keller

    James, the comment of mine you quoted in your post above is not some sort of veiled threat, as you seem to believe with your mention of “I’ll get you, and your little dog, too.” I don’t know how much more clearly I can state it, but here goes: sometimes practices/notions that we used to uphold need to change because they’re unfair or discriminatory to other people. In the fullness of time, we typically see that and correct it. Notable examples would include civil rights for women & persons of color. I think the BSA needs to recognize that their policy against gay leaders is antiquated (especially in light of the fact that the GSA removed the same clause from their charter in 1991) and change it. I’m not waiting on (or wanting) anyone’s comeuppance and I love little dogs, lol. The reason I’ve posted on here repeatedly using my real name is because I think it’s important enough to risk getting flack about it, something I’m sure Merritt also had to think about before posting this story. It’s about integrity and doing the right thing. If I was interested in anyone’s comeuppance, I’d be “outing” the fathers who allegedly are responsible for this. But I’ve got a child following this blog and the lesson I want her to get is that when she sees an injustice taking place, it is her duty as both a Christian and a citizen to lend a hand and a voice for change.

  • boysmoms

    Thanks MK. I must say there are some REALLY smart people blogging here: I”ve had to dig out my dictonary a few times to follow the dialogue.

  • Sammy

    @ James: I read and believe that I clearly understood your entire paragraph. I just used the first sentence instead of copying/pasting the entire piece.

    I don’t think that Mr. Langbert IS defining himself by his sexuality – just as I’m sure you don’t define yourself by your sexuality. My guess is that it’s really no big deal to him, and he has quite obviously done a LOT of things that should cause others to ‘force them to look at him for his success’.

    To me, the problem is that no matter WHAT Mr. Langbert does in his life: whether it’s winning “Father of the Year”, becoming a championship golfer, or being elected Senator from Texas (hopefully replacing Cornyn!), to many small-minded people, he will be “that gay”. I don’t think it’s his job or mission to show up these people, or constantly have to prove himself to them. And my guess is that his self-esteem or identity isn’t defined by them anyways.

    It’s up to the people who are defining him that way to open their eyes and their hearts, and realize that it’s their problem, not his.

  • Sharpay

    I’m late to this posting – but if I get this right, in 2010 there are people worried about how a St Marks, Harvard and UT grad with a proven year-on-year result may impact character and leadership in popcorn sales? Who’s raising this issue, the Oklahoma grads? (I only picked on them because I went to a rival state school and, as a native Texan, it’s only right to be suspicious of the intentions of our northern neighbors. If we turn our backs even for a second, they will invade.)

  • SERIOUSLY?

    Run the registered sex offenders in 75225 – one in UP involved female, age 14 (the other is in Preston Hollow – involved a male, age 18)

    Sex offenders in 75205 – total of 8. 6 involved females, ages 12, 15, 16, 11, 12 and unknown); 1 involved male, age 12, 1 offense unknown. The two that technically live in our school district assaulted underage girls.

    LONE STAR – please share – what are the statistics for sexually abused girls? Are they abused by MEN???? Who should we REALLY be afraid of?

    Using Lone Star logic, we should not have male coaches, teachers AND NEIGHBORS because aren’t they most likely to offend the FEMALE children in OUR neighborhood???

    Oh yeah – per Lone Star’s stats, we need to get an all female priesthood for the local catholic churches NOW because we KNOW that all male Catholic priests are pedophiles, just like all the other homosexuals???? Cause aren’t all Catholic priests homosexuals??

    Message from JT: If you are not a WASP (evangelical preferred!!) and you move to the PC with a “liability,” whatever treatment you get you deserve (especially if you are Harvard educated.) Obviously proud of this intolerant neighborhood, under JT logic, if you move here and we don’t accept you and your kind of “liability,” it was your own naive fault for moving here in the first place. You knew what you were getting into, so tough noogies. Take the high road and move NOW, before we force you and your “liability” out. Oh yeah, and sorry if our kids (who we are so carefully teaching to be intolerant by our behavior) mistreat yours (after all YOU were the one who decided to have these kids with “liabilitites” in the first place.) Told ya to take the high road and get out – FAST.

    OOPS – almost forgot – whiles we are generalizing and classifying, we all remember about the underage female who was manipulated/molested by her pediatrician. Turns out she wasn’t the only one – when they can to arrest him for sexual assault of a minor (he mid 30’s, she 16), he took the easy way out and committed suicide. Never did find out how many others there were. Message: Find a female pediatrician for your daughters cause we all know that male pediatricians are child molesters….

    LONG LIVE LIABILITIES!! (Mine, not yours, of course!!) MAY THE BUBBLE NEVER BURST!!!

    IJS…

  • zoe

    James and Lone Star: If you can’t see the value in discussing issues like this then why do you continue to participate? You can’t seem to grasp any of the reasons why this story is important no matter how many people try to explain it to you. Still, I’m going to throw out one last reason why I’m glad this story was covered that I think you might be able to wrap your head around: After reading this story, I’ve learned that the BSA is an organization that I will not support in any way. Is that legitimate enough for you?

  • x

    James – a lot of us don’t have the courage to put our comments and name out there like you do, but know that many of the readers of this blog very much agree with, and appreciate, your perspective. Thanks!!!

  • James Tucker

    @Seriously, If you are going to post on this blog you need to keep up. Read the posts in their entirety rather than just grabbing bits and pieces (or in your case just one word.). Also when you read a post it is important to grasp the context of the post rather then your gut reaction to a single word. Also when you quote someone else’s post you might want to include entire sentences instead of fixating on one word and then making up your own story. IJS….

    PS. YOUR intolerance is showing.

  • Jan

    We can (mostly) all agree that Jon is a fine father and a great volunteer. Most are outraged he is not allowed to be a BSA member. Would you feel the same way if you met Jon coming out of the woods at Norbuck Park zipping up his pants while you had the HP cross country team out for a practice run? Judging the individual and judging the orientation are different. But paramount above all is the BSA’s right to determine membership eligibility. Did not this man read what he was signing?

  • James Tucker

    @Sammie, We are what we are. Nothing I can say or do will make you like me, like what I do or any other aspect of my life. You and I and Jon are all in this same boat. You cannot force someone to agree with every aspect of your life or your opinions. There are people out there with definte opinions about Jon’s homosexuality that are never going to change their opinion. There are people out there who don’t care. Their are people out their that care deeply. Because of this fact the only thing left is to overcome as best as possible. If Jon thinks the way to overcome is to cast aspersions on everyone who disagree’s with his homosexuality then so be it. I think it is to the benefit of his kids to focus on the kids and what is best for them rather then what is best for Jon. No one has convinced me that what is best for them is for Jon to become an in-your-face activist against the BSA and HPISD.

  • James Tucker

    @Zoe, Please read my comment to @Seriously. It pertains to you. If you haven’t noticed I’ve been blogging the heck out of this topic. The fact is that you don’t like my opinion and so you think I am somehow trying to minimize this story. I don’t think this is a BSA story or a HPISD story. It is about how is Jon going to handle this situation story. I have an opinion about how he should handle it which you don’t like. Again I refer you to @Seriously because your intolerance is showing.

  • Margot Keller

    @Jan,
    Jon actually contacted whoever was the pack leader before he had his son join several years ago, to ensure that the leader knew that Jon was gay and to ask if the pack leader thought there were any problems with that. He was assured that it wasn’t an issue and so he joined. I’m not sure if you intended to sound offensive with the reference to “Jon coming out of the woods at Norbuck Park zipping up his pants”, but it came across that way. It’s okay for people to disagree on this blog, but a certain civility should prevail. I can assure you that as a single parent of 3rd grade triplets who owns/runs his own business and is involved in a committed relationship, Jon is not the kind of man who would do that. I’m also confused why you would equate his homsexuality with some sort of sexual encounter in the woods. Most people I know, gay or straight, use a bed for that stuff. IJS.

  • D

    @James Tucker,

    Whatever your opinion on what is right or wrong, you can’t seriously think that this is not a BSA or HPISD story. It can also be a story about how Jon handles it, but it most certainly involves the other two groups. That is really not a matter of opinion, but fact.

  • James Tucker

    D, it isn’t a BSA story or HPISD story. The rules that these organizations abide by are well known. If you want to find an org to blame you can put Troop 70 as a separate entity. But all you can say about them is that they didn’t follow well published rules and they handled the situation clumsily. Still all about how Jon is going to handle it as I have repeatedly pointed out in my posts.

  • D

    It isn’t? So, if the rules are well known (the BSA rules are), it is still a story when situations run up against those rules, whether you agree or not. As to HPISD, I get concerned when they allow organizations with some of the views of BSA to be affiliated with the school. I am a practicing Christian, but I also believe in the separation of church and state, and am also concerned with how HPISD let’s these connections continue. So to me, and obviously many others, this is part of the story.

    So it is YOUR view that this is all about how Jon handles this. Fair enough, I respect that you have the right to your opinion. And for the record, I can see both sides of this issue, the BSA clearly have a policy of not allowing gays to participate in BSA leadership. I don’t agree, but then again, I don’t have to. But then, they also shouldn’t be able be involved in public schools with this discriminatory position. And since it seems that he has not hid his homosexuality from anyone, they shouldn’t have let him volunteer in the first place. But they did, so THAT is also part of the story.

  • Mom of Boys

    OMG! This is ONLY about the fact that Jon is gay. How ridiculous! That is the reason the non-volunteer dads reported him and had him removed. Not because of the job he did. Not because of the kind of neighbor he is. Not because of the kind of parent he is. They had him removed because he is gay and that made them uncomfortable. It’s wrong of the people who had him removed, including the BSA. I think we need to focus more on the bigotry and less on Jon. He’s gay. So what?

  • Maggie

    @James. Thanks for standing strong amidst all the criticism. The BSA is an excellent organization. Both my boys were Eagles.

  • James Tucker
  • Dad of Boys

    @Mom of Boys… You are correct. The root of the situation is the bigotry that runs through our community. Whether we’re talking about this situation with the BSA or any other, the problem lies within the unfortunately closed-mindedness of many of our neighbors. While I am impressed (and honestly shocked) by the outpouring of support on this blog, this isn’t how the majority of the Park Cities community feels. I first felt it when I waited in line for two hours back in 2005 to vote on Prop 2. In my life, I have never been surrounded by so much hatred and bigotry (made worse by the fact that most of the folks saw nothing wrong with what they were saying). And now, five years later, it continues… and sadly, in five more years I’m afraid we’ll still be in the same place. I truly applaud Jon for being such a fine member of our community and having the courage to stand up for what is right.

    As far as the BSA and their position, as many of you have said… the policies aren’t going to change nor do they have to. The only thing we can hope for is that the Scouts of today take what is good about the group (and there are a lot of good aspects) and leave behind what is wrong with it as they mature into the young men that will be the future leaders of the organization. I, for one, am an Eagle Scout and I look back on my days in Scouting positively… I also know that the intolerance they exhibit is not something that I want to be a part of today.

  • SERIOUSLY?

    Me thinks JT’s intolerance for others opinions prohibits others from being even remotely correct. HE has decided that this is all about Jon and the rest of us should quit blogging about the dads that ratted him out, the BSA, HPISD, discrimination, intolerance, etc., etc., etc.

    Here is the way out:

    Nothing in this policy shall be construed to require the District to sponsor any group officially affiliated with the Boy Scouts of Ameri- ca, or any youth group listed as a patriotic society.
    Boy Scouts of America Equal Access Act, 20 U.S.C. 7905

    HPISD: Do the right thing and disassociate Troop 70 from UP Elem School.

  • D

    @ James,

    Oh, I know the policy.

    As to the BSA, I think it is a wonderful organization filled with great people. My son is a Cub Scout, and the people involved are fantastic. Doesn’t mean that I agree with the BSA’s stance on all things, however, just as I don’t agree with my Church’s stance on some things, but I’ve come to terms with them.

  • James Tucker

    @Seriously, as I have said your intolerance for my opinion is self evident in your previous posts. I have never belittled anyone else’s OPINION rather I tried to further mine. Your inane posts can’t really count as an opinion as it is more about attack.

    Your way out is no way out because Troop 70 is not sponsored by the school district but rather is sponsored by “concerned citizens of University Park” as detailed by their website. As such the school district is statutorily required to make its facilities available to them.

    It continues to be my opinion that this is about how Jon is going to handle this and not about the BSA or about HPISD. As I have previously stated the Troop itself may have some ‘splaining to do to the community because of the clumsy way that this appears to have been handled, but Jon is both the lynch pin and the key to how this will play out.

  • Jim Rain

    @James Tucker – You and others have poured out a lot of words here, and I apologize if I’m missing some of your points. I certainly agree that each of us must take responsibility for how we respond to the pain and injustice that’s part of every life. But why is teaching children to “to overlook the prejudices of others and move on” necessarily the best response? Isn’t decrying injustice and shining a light on it a brave and honorable act? Why is “quietly working behind the scenes in seeking justice” necessarily the best response? Sometimes it’s best to say — clearly, loudly, and publicly — “This is wrong, and it must change!”

  • http://Annaselectric.com Anna Procaccini

    Let me get really personal here…let’s go back to that time, when a very young man was approached, in a vulgar way, by an older man. Gives you the creeps to remember it, right? Now let me set the record very straight (no pun intended); the man that groped you was a PEDOPHILE.
    A pedophile is an adult that is sexually attracted to children…has absolutely nothing to do with being straight or gay. I have volunteered for the Dallas ISD for more than 20 years, soliciting my gay and straight friends to serve in many capacities. It is a terrible waste of a vast resource, when gays are prevented from serving. Ignorance is not bliss.

  • James Tucker

    @Jim Rains, since your post was addressed to me I want to make sure that everyone understands that your quote “to overlook the prejudices of others and move on” is not something that I have said. “quietly working behind the scenes in seeking justice” is something I have said and I have said it in relation to his kids. His kids should be the focus of his time and energy. Teaching tolerance and using this as a teachable moment for my kids is what I would be doing not getting on every TV and radio program I can to “clearly, loudly, and publicly — “This is wrong, and it must change!”

    At the end of this day I have my answer. This is about Jon, it is about his ego and it is about his feelings. This is not about his kids. To bad.

  • James Tucker

    This is my last post on this subject. I have learned some things this evening that make me believe that this is entirely a setup whose outcome was predetermined. A celebration is taking place on Facebook for all the face time Jon is getting. I’m disgusted by the use of children for these political points.

  • Jim Rain

    James – The phrase, “to overlook the prejudices of others and move on” is taken verbatim from your first post, paragraph 6. There’s no indication that you were quoting someone else, so I have to conclude that they are, in fact, your words.

    I don’t know JonLangbert from Adam, haven’t seen him on TV, and don’t know what kind of father he is, so I can’t comment on his parenting. He sounds like an involved dad, but maybe he is publicity seeking. That doesn’t mean that the other commenters are wrong to criticize the BSA’s policy. I’m the father of an Eagle Scout, and I think the Boy Scouts are a tremendous asset to our community and our country, but this policy is a bad one.

  • Mark

    @ James,

    How exactly was this entirely a setup? For the last couple years, Jon Langbert was a volunteer for the Cub Scouts. He didn’t join to make a political statement — he joined because of his son. Jon didn’t openly proclaim his sexual orientation to other people in that organization — it wasn’t like he stood in front of the cub scouts & their parents and said, “Hey everyone, I’m gay…..Now what are you going to do about it?”

    No. Jon was “outed” by an another adult in the Cub Scout pack who knew that Jon Langbert was gay, and therefore didn’t want him in the organization anymore.

    As you mentioned, I’m pretty sure that Jon knew about the Boy Scouts’ policy of discrimination & exclusion towards gay men (and gay boys, for that matter). But Jon decided to have his son to take part of the Cub Scouts anyway, because HE WAS THINKING ABOUT HIS SON’S INTERESTS (the thing you accuse him of not doing).

    I don’t see anything wrong with Jon Langbert getting any “face time” out of this……From what I can tell, he is an upstanding member of the community who is just another victim to BSA’s policy of discrimination. Will Jon Langbert change the Boy Scouts’ policy towards gays? Probably not. But it does shed light on discrimination within the Boy Scouts of America, within our local community.

    As a side note, the Boy Scouts’ exclusion of gays is increasingly becoming out-of-touch with the times. Excluding gays from the Boy Scouts or even refusing to acknowledge that, yes, some people are gay or lesbian, is a disservice to today’s youth. It sends a message that people who are “different” — as in gay — are either to be made invisible, avoided, or even confronted & harrassed.

    What is a Boy Scout supposed to do when he finds out that the man who lives next door, is openly gay? Should he run away in fear? Or recite Bible verses and tell the man he is not “morally straight”?

    What is a Boy Scout supposed to do when he sees a gay, or slightly effeminate, classmate being harassed or tormented? Should he join in, and call him a “f****t” too, because that’s what all the other popular boys are doing? Wait, that wasn’t covered in the Boy Scout Handbook……

    In our society, people who are gay or lesbian, are gradually becoming more open about who they are. Providing an illusion to boys that these people don’t exist, or that they are to be looked down upon, or even despised or hated, is a disservice to our youth.

  • GMOM

    Blah, Blah, Blah…. Bottom line, does anyone see the similarity between the Catholic Church (Priests) and the BSA? Both all men groups, both homo/abusive/swept under the carpet scandals. What’s the matter with dumping the GSA and the BSA and keep going with the Indian Princess, Indian Guide programs. At least they are YMCA and probably not so homophobic. Merritt, why hasn’t the detective in you “outed” these disgusting fathers. You know the kids now-a-days really don’t care what color you are or what your sexuality is until the parents who are anti black and anti gay etc toss out their opinion, right. They just love their friends!! Kids Rock!!

  • http://www.fiduciarypro.net Village Idiot

    Great energy on this topic. Can’t wait for the abortion thread.

  • Pingback: Gay dad can’t be Scout leader in University Park « Punauni's Blog()

  • SMc

    What a shame! Supposedly educated people who are so ignorant!

  • kmom

    Lord, now @James Tucker has become a conspiracy theorist. Just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there!!!!!!!

    @Jim Rain said what I believe the majority of people that have come to this site to comment are trying to say, “Sometimes it’s best to say — clearly, loudly, and publicly — “This is wrong, and it must change!” Bravo and Hallelujah!

    I’m glad to know @Margot Keller, what an amazing mom, friend and neighbor you are!

  • bob’s mom

    When I was in high school a social studies teacher pointed out to my class that social change does not occur unless individuals are willing to stand up and be heard. That may mean doing things that some or most of us find loud, distasteful, annoying or shocking. But without their protests, strikes, displays, civil disobedience, or involvement with the media, NOTHING CHANGES.

    I am thankful for individuals who are willing to put themselves out there, when the rest of us would rather be “quietly working behind the scenes.” These people have real courage and can more speedily and efficiently affect real change that makes life better for all of us.

  • John Tiller

    Can we please have the names of the complaining fathers from UP? I bet that close scrutiny of their personal lives will reveal something that we could find fault with. Why is it the non-doers, the “Non-Volunteers”, always have something bad to say about the ones that make a difference? These UP “non-doer” Dad’s must be part of the Small Hands, Small Feet club!

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