Photo credit: James Estrin/The New York Times
Another day, another step in the LGBT march for equality, though this one seems like more of a half-step, really, maybe a quarter step.
As of today, the Boy Scouts of America [BSA] will end its ban on gay leaders — good news — though some scouting groups, like the Mormon and Roman Catholic Churches, will still be able to limit leadership jobs to heterosexuals — bad news.
So, while it’s a step, it’s a step in the direction of separate but equal. Michael Harrison, a businessman who worked for this change:
“There are differences of opinion, and we need to be respectful of them. It doesn’t mean the Mormons have to pick a gay scoutmaster, but please don’t tell the Unitarians they can’t.”
To me that sounds like the old marriage equality argument — that old marriage equality argument from a month ago — that said the states should be able to choose whether same-sex couples could marry. A gay Boy Scout whose troop is under the aegis of a gay-friendly church or organization can be a scout leader, but if he moves to another troop, under the Mormon Church or the Catholic Church for example, then he can no longer be accepted as a leader.
Separate, but equal; and that never works.
So, while this is being trumpeted by both the Boy Scouts and the LGBT advocates, and while it is a slight step forward, it isn’t a full step, it isn’t full equality. You cannot tell me that I am acceptable in one place, but not another; not in a nationwide organization like the BSA.