I’ve decided that August is a scandalous month for me! Just go read the journal entries from years past for August! OMG! I’m such a bad boy. hehe.
Really nothing has been happening in my life. I went and spent $45 at the scout shop yesterday. opps.
Here’s some news stories that make me sad:
In 1973, fresh out of college, Dennis St. Jean was hired by the Boy
Scouts of America. He quickly worked his way up, serving in a variety
of executive positions across the Northeast. In 1991 he was
transferred to the BSA’s headquarters in Irving, Texas, where, as
Assistant Director of Professional Development, he taught management
skills to thousands of employees across the country. Ten years later,
St. Jean stepped down and moved to the Florida Keys to become General
Manager of Sea Base in the Florida Keys. There, he and his seasonal
staff of 2000 supervised the 11,000 Boy Scouts who came year-round to
snorkel, scuba, and sail at one of scouting’s three national high
But on January 28, 2005, according to St. Jean, he became the
highest-ranking and longest-serving professional scouter in the
history of the BSA to be fired merely for being gay. St. Jean had
just successfully led Sea Base through a trying hurricane season when
a representative from Irving came to Florida and presented him with
the “evidence”: a copy of his bill from Lighthouse Court Gay
Guesthouses, where he had vacationed months before. (St. Jean
believes the bill was obtained by a disgruntled Sea Base employee who
had somehow found out about the trip.) Days later, a registered
letter from Irving stated that the BSA had “lost confidence” in St.
Jean’s ability to serve as an employee. “I was like a deer in
headlights,” recalls St. Jean. “I was dumbfounded-I felt devastated,
angry, hurt.” The BSA’s national spokesperson refused to comment on
what he called a “personnel issue,” but St. Jean, who says he had
never received a professional evaluation that was less than glowing,
can see no other explanation for why he was let go.
It is not at all clear exactly when the BSA started forbidding
membership to gays and non-theists; for the first seven decades after
the organization’s 1910 founding the issue never came up in a public
way. It wasn’t until a series of court cases in the wake of a lawsuit
filed by a California Scout-who was forced out after taking a boy to
senior prom-that the BSA’s membership policies became a legal issue.
The BSA’s requires all of its approximately four million youth and
adult members (who include about 4,000 employees) to meet its
discriminatory membership standards, which were protected by the
Supreme Court’s 2000 ruling in Boy Scouts of America v. Dale. The 5
to 4 decision agreed with the BSA’s claim that its membership
policies were a form of speech legally known as “expressive
association,” and were thereby protected by the First Amendment.
Since the decision the BSA has shown no sign of changing its mind,
and that’s angered many who, Like St. Jean, have otherwise felt that
they had a home in scouting.
While the National Council’s expenditures-$125 million in 2004-are
privately funded, the organization has long benefited from a wide
variety of in kind contributions and support from state, local, and
federal governments. Dale triggered a battery of anti-discrimination
lawsuits against the BSA, resulting in court decisions that
restricted governmental support for the organization. The most
important case yet decided involves the Boy Scout National Jamboree
at Fort A.P. Hill-an Army base in Northern Virginia, which has hosted
the event every four years since 1981-which closes its nine-day run
tomorrow. An estimated 40,000 scouts and leaders from across the
country will attend this year’s summer camp-like gathering. The
Department of Defense views the Jamboree as a unique opportunity to
educate boys about careers in the military, and gives the military
experience in setting up an event akin to running a refugee camp. The
Pentagon expects to spend about $7.3 million on in-kind services in
support of the Jamboree. This support accounts for about 80 percent
of all federal funds directed to the Boy Scouts, according to Adam
Schwartz, an attorney for the ACLU. But this spring, a Federal
District Court judge for Northern Illinois declared the BSA a
religious institution, and hence ruled that the military funds
violated the Establishment Clause-which limits government support for
To fight its many legal and public relations battles, the BSA is
relying on support from a long roster of conservative and religious
organizations, who see the Scouts as just another front in the
ongoing culture wars to preserve what they, and the BSA, call
“traditional values.” Robert Bork Jr.-a former fellow at the
conservative Heritage Foundation, and the son of Ronald Reagan’s
failed Supreme Court nominee-has been hired to coordinate public
relations for the scouts; his campaign’s centerpiece website
recommends related articles from The Weekly Standard and Citizen, the
magazine of James Dobson’s Focus on the Family. The Federalist
Society, the foremost legal think tank of the right, recently hosted
a panel on the BSA’s struggles, featuring Ken Starr. Scout Councils
in Florida and Georgia have held fundraisers that have featured
conservative celebrities Ann Coulter and Oliver North.
Mark Noel, a leader in the Coalition for Inclusive Scouting, a
national network of activists working to reform the BSA’s exclusive
policies, thinks that liberal parents and scouts have been “voting
with their feet,” deciding that Scouting is no longer appropriate for
their family after hearing about the discriminatory polices at issue
in the lawsuits. Indeed, since Dale, Boy Scout rolls have dropped 3.8
percent. Cub Scout numbers have dropped by a staggering 13.8
percent-a decrease that likely foreshadows a similar drop among older
Scouts in a few years time. But the reduced public support has
perhaps had a more direct effect: One Portland BSA employee
attributed a 10 percent drop in his Council’s enrollment after the
city forbid recruitment during school hours. Meanwhile, with
corporate sponsors and local United Way affiliates cutting funds to
BSA Councils, hiring has slowed. According to St. Jean, the BSA
calculates that each new professional scouter usually recruits about
1,500 new boys.
The BSA, for its part, insists that the decline is unrelated to the
fallout from its membership policies, instead pointing to changing
age demographics and a general decrease in interest in
scouting-related activities. But the population of eligible boys has
held steady, and the Girl Scouts-a similar yet separate organization
that does not discriminate on the basis of religion or sexual
orientation-has continued to grow.
No matter the exact cause, however, the drop in enrollment is
increasing the influence of those within the organization who support
BSA’s discriminatory rules. Internal efforts to reform membership
policies have been thwarted by the BSA’s Religious Relations
Committee, which has long been dominated by representatives of
conservative churches. (The Mormon Church, whose adherents are about
2 percent of the general population but account for about 13 percent
of BSA membership, is usually described as the chief impediment.)
But reform efforts are unlikely to get far as long as the scouts
continue to stifle dissent. New leaders are required to sign a pledge
stating that they believe that someone cannot be the “best kind” of
citizen without believing in God. Activists report that the BSA
maintains a “litmus test” and refuses to promote any professional who
disagrees with the policy.
Noel, concerned about the future of Scouting, points to polls that
show younger Americans to be more tolerant than previous generations;
these future parents will soon decide whether or not to encourage
their sons to join. And he worries that Scouting, which used to
respect the values of a broader swath of Americans, will have made up
their minds for them.
It’s been more than six months since St. Jean was fired. So far, his
efforts to reach an out-of-court financial settlement with the BSA
for wrongful termination have been unsuccessful; he soon plans to
file suit against the organization, under a Monroe County, Florida,
ordinance prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of
sexual orientation, and has retained an out-of-state lawyer who
previously obtained a settlement for another gay client fired by the
He’s been unemployed since his firing. With his seniority stripped
away, the new job he’ll soon start will pay about half what he earned
at Sea Base. And it will not be with the organization he joined as an
eight year old cub scout and “never left”-that is, until they kicked
Gah! Why can’t they just accept that homos are everywhere and let them stay! I mean clearly this guy has done NOTHING WRONG within the BSA, he’s amodel employee! I struggle every day with this it annoys the hell out of me.
I LOVE my friends from Iowa.. They’re so great:
8:53:48 PM drelle: Dear Chris, please move to Ames.
8:54:01 PM drelle: I would like a cuddle buddy this very moment.
8:54:05 PM drelle: Love, Oksana
8:54:14 PM drelle: PS. Please pass me Andrew
8:54:19 PM drelle: i mean.
8:54:45 PM drelle: pass me Andrew’s contact information, so he could fulfil your duty as a cuddle buddy in your absence.
8:54:48 PM drelle: Love, Oksana
8:59:16 PM drelle: Dear Chris,
8:59:35 PM drelle: i left you a very retarded phone message, because I thought you came to iowa this week, and didn’t tell me about it.
9:00:41 PM drelle: So please, ignore the message, and let’s have a date on Friday, August 19th
9:01:00 PM drelle: with gourmet meals, lots of art, butterflies, movies and sex.
9:01:02 PM drelle: Love, Oksana
Oh how I miss having sex with Oksana! She’s so good at it too! Hehe.. Julian, Oksana, Luke and me….All having sex TWICE a week! It was so hot! We’re going to have lots of sex on Friday Aug 19th! So let me know if anyone wants to join!! 😀