Categories
My Life

Scandalous

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

adventure programs.

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

organized religion.

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

BSA.

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

him out.

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!! 😀

Adios

6 replies on “Scandalous”

I read this article yesterday and I agree with you 100%. Why can they not leave us alone? I read somewhere once that 1 in 10 or 1 in 20 is a gay person. If these “straight people” only realized that there are a lot more of us then perhaps and this is only a guess, they might not be so rude towards gay people.

I have also heard that there is at least one gay person in every family everywhere. It that is true as well can you imagine how many that is?

The thing is all of us need to come together on these issues and stop being silent. And yes I am guilty of being silent, but if there was a way for all of us to have equal rights as “straight people” then I would come foward. And just so you know I am not completely in the closet, some of my family knows, some straight friends and ever coworkers.

So this is just my opinion and I hope St. Jean wins his battle in court.

I wonder just how many of the little angels attending this year’s Jamboree at Ft. A.P. Hill had their first or continuing homosexual experience in those camping tents at night? I have heard the stories from a number of former scouts, gay and str8. The discrimination is such total bullshit.

Haha, Yes…. I can tell you for a FACT that there is sexual activity going on in those tents..

Hell, I know FIVE gay members of staff at my BSA camp… Out of 35 total employees.

It is total bullshit, but the people at the top are conservative jerkoffs who want to keep friendly with bush and his friends… It makes me so sad that an organization that I love so much, hates me so much!

Yeah, they are such a wonderful model of tolerance, diversity, care and concern. Ha!!! All gov’t support should stop immediately.

And one more thing! This whole. “You HAVE to believe in GOD” is utter bull shit too

The boy scout hand book says. “He is faithful in his religious duties and respects the convictions and beliefs of others in matters of custom and religion.”

Saying that you HAVE TO BELiEVE IN GOD completly goes against what the boy scout oath teaches you! You are to respect the convictions of OTHERS! The BSA was not build to be a religious organiztaion, it was build to train kids to be upstanding adults, and to prepare them for military service!

ACK! This drives me crazy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.