Clark reacts to no-gay policy of Boy Scouts

Ani Mosinyan

(February 28, 2013) — Amidst the recent controversy about the no-gay policy being upheld by the Boy Scouts of America, the heart of the problem still remains. The vote on whether to end the ban has been delayed until May, and rallies, uprisings and blunt remarks have been made in response. A recent rally in Irving, Texas had hundreds of people crowding around the Boy Scouts’ national headquarters in protest of lifting the ban. The issue has affected schools, families, parents and young adults across America. Numerous Clark students who are Boy Scouts themselves feel the tension and angst of the conflict within the council. Sophomore Michael Johnson, a Boy Scout of nine years, says the ban against gays should be revoked as it would allow everyone to experience the advantages of Scouting. “I believe it is a good idea because Scouting should be available for anyone,” he said. “It is very useful; being in Boy Scouts, I’ve learned a lot of things like hiking and camping, and that could be beneficial later in life.” The delay on the voting has also given more reason to talk about the national issue. “They’re delaying it because they don’t want the main council to have their decision. They want to have everyones’ opinion on this because it’s pretty much changing a bylaw within their constitution,” said senior Matthew Diradoorian, who has been a Boy Scout for eight years. He says gays should be allowed to participate in the Scouts “because it is not discriminating another group of people.” Many students who attend Clark and local high schools are a part of the Armenian Boy Scouts. However, according to junior Sarah Balaian, a Scout leader and Boy Scout of seven years, this association has no affiliation with BSA and takes no part in the gay ban policy. Balaian says the Boy Scouts of Armenia don’t have any direct connection with BSA unless they deal with badges. “We don’t really associate with BSA unless we need merit badges. We have to follow their requirements to be able to actually earn the merit badge,” Balaian said. In the end, the people who are most offended and placed in an uncomfortable situation are the gay young men who are being targeted by the issue. Senior Pete Simpson, a Boy Scout of 12 years, is one of the numerous gay Boy Scouts across the country who are being affected by this nationwide matter. “Boy Scouts is an extremely beneficial program, I can attest to how great it is. I’ve learned all kinds of things about survival but also leadership. Things like being good to other people, to learning how to run a service project for charity,” Simpson said. “I feel like that should be available to everyone.” Simpson says being a Boy Scout has had a major impact on his life and has shaped him into the person he is today. “I know without Boy Scouts I would be extremely different. I might lack the confidence that lets me put up with whatever is thrown at me. It is Boy Scouts that has helped me become a lot of who I am, and I feel like it was the responsibility of the association to protect those boys from the ban,” he says. Simpson believes that if the decision is left to the Board of Directors, the ban will not be lifted. “One of the greatest values we have in America, in addition to serving the majority is also protecting the minority from the majority,” he said.