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Are the Boys Scouts of America Discriminating Again?

The Boy Scouts of America has been credited with building boys up, but do they also tear young men down with their discriminatory policies? First there was the issue with gay youth and now it's overweight children and volunteers. New weight restrictions may keep some scouts and their parents from participating in activities. One report said:

A new mandatory weight requirement by the national Boy Scouts of America that will take effect next January has some longtime volunteers concerned they will be left out of trips they've enjoyed with their sons for years.

This means one father who currently weights in at 370 pounds and has long been involved in the organization would have to drop to a minimum of 239 pounds to be allowed to "participate in any high-adventure activity and events in which emergency evacuation would take longer than 30 minutes by ground transportation."

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Moms Moms 8 years
I am teaching my children to be open minded so I'd never sign them up for the scouts since I think the organization's rules are discriminatory.
meandtheo meandtheo 8 years
I would feel more comfortable if my child's scout leader was in good physical shape and could be looked up to as a role model/leader for my far as sexual orientation goes, i have a HUGE problem with the boy scouts discriminating against gay leaders. it actually really ticks me off, i am looking forward to the day when conversations about people's sexual orientation will be as passe as conversations about racism.
SlugGirl SlugGirl 8 years
I think it's pretty obvious that the Boy Scouts are discriminating based on weight. Whether they have a valid reason for it is an entirely different question. And Buttercuppy, please don't pretend to speak for me.
Akpril Akpril 8 years
They are not excluding obese from all activities, but from the high adventure ones. I would have a hard time imagining a parent or child that is very overweight on a 50 mile hike or a rock climbing weekend. I think this really is about safety. Like mstrauss said- they're not asking participants to be skinny or even healthy, they are covering their own liability.
Symphonee Symphonee 8 years
I agree with Danni99. If people over these weights are willing to sign waivers to participate, let them. My sons were not around a gay scoutmasters, they were around friends and to be truthful I feared less for their safety and well being then than when my youngest started to visit his father overnight. Most gay men do not whisper in your child's ear that "being gay is the only way you'll be cool" or whatever. They also are less likely to be peodphiles as was already stated. I, as a parent do not take issue with it.
Zivanod Zivanod 8 years
Their policies are discriminatory. They should be more then welcoming of people of all sizes. Afterall isn't the best way to lose weight and to promote an active lifestyle is to actually do these things? Unable to take part in events means these people will likely stay home and not get the health benefits they would have received on the trip. And WTF on the gay thing. You tell me the last time you ever heard of a gay man or woman molesting a child!
snowysakurasky snowysakurasky 8 years
*i think you are homophobic if you are afraid of a gay man being in a caring/leader position with your son
snowysakurasky snowysakurasky 8 years
i would not mind my son having a gay caregiver or scout-leader... it does seem that they are a bigoted organization. i think you are homophobic if you feel that way. otherwise you need some basic education on sexuality. aren't most pedophiles disguised as married straight men?
Danni99 Danni99 8 years
Statistics bear out the reality that a gay man is far less likely to engage in pedophilic acts than a straight man. Considering how frequently coaches, scoutmasters, and religious figures who are supposed "family men" are accused (and often found to be guilty) of inappropriate sexual contact with minors, I'd have to say I feel much safer exposing my minor children to gay men then straight men. So, sorry to say, you surely don't speak for this parent. As I said before, medical concerns may be different than sexual orientation bigotry, but both of them smack of elitism and exclusionary practices. An obese person can sign waivers acknowledging the increased danger they will be subject to and still be allowed to participate.
mstrauss mstrauss 8 years
I don't think anyone should be embarassed on Buttercuppy's behalf. Everyone has their own opinion. I should just say that saying "Most parents would feel the same" is unfair since you do not know how other parents think. I find that people are very honest on lilsugar and if someone feels the same way you do, they will say so on their own. I am personally not sure how I would feel if my son's Boy Scout leader was gay since I have never been in the situation. I don't think that having a gay leader would make my son gay and I don't think the intention of the leader would be to make anyone gay, so why not...but again, I am not sure I would feel the same if I were actually in this situation. In regards to being overweight, I do feel that they are doing the right thing by putting a weight limit for certain outdoor adventures. They are not saying you have to be skinny, but you just have to be under a certain weight which is not so low. Let's be honest, 250 pounds is still overweight, but it is safer than being 300 pounds. After watching the Biggest Loser for so many seasons, no one wants to be 300 pounds and even though they might complain about these rules, I'm sure they would rather just be healthier in the first place. Maybe this will push more people to actually lose enough weight to be healthy.
sham28 sham28 8 years
Buttercuppy, you made me sigh out loud at my desk. I'm embarassed on your behalf.
skigurl skigurl 8 years
buttercuppy...why wouldnt you want your son to be with a gay scout leader? there's absolutely no reason to discriminate on sexual orientation like that....and i agree with HACB, you really don't represent most parents on this one
HACB HACB 8 years
I think a weight limit is arbitrary. Shaquille O'Neal is 325 pounds and 7' 1" (according to I consider him to be physically fit. However, he exceeds the boy scouts limits according to the chart above. Would they exclude him? If it required some sort of physical fitness requirement or clearance from a doctor, then I wouldn't be as offended. Buttercuppy - I'm fairly certain you don't speak for most parents.
Sarana Sarana 8 years
How does someone even reach a weight of 360? I think there is nothing wrong with this.
kmckay kmckay 8 years
seriously buttercuppy? do you think gay men are pedophiles? would you be uncomfortable with your son sleeping over at a friend's house where his friend's 'straight' mother would be? standards about weight = safety. standards about sexual orientation=bigotry
mhg mhg 8 years
while i don't agree w/ their policy on sexual orientation, i completely see their point on this concerning volunteers. someone who is 370 pounds would pose a considerable risk in many outdoor/adventure situations. i can think of countless ones off the top of my head. and i think childhood obesity is a significant problem. encouraging young boys to keep active and fit is what they need. the problem, i can see though, will be that these guidelines may discourage them from joining,not to mention, what it would do to a child's self-esteem if he were to be kicked out or whatever b/c he is too large.
PiNkY-PiNk PiNkY-PiNk 8 years
ugh, I don't really like a lot of these groups that have kids go around selling stuff for them. I never buy anything from them. I know it has nothing to do with this particular story but I just wanted to rant.
sassy_chick sassy_chick 8 years
The Girl Scouts are actively recruiting girls from different backgrounds (I saw one volunteer at school trying to recruit Hispanic females, which they believe are under-represented in their group!), while the Boy Scouts are discriminating against people who don't fit their mold. I have a good friend who became an eagle scout when we were in high school, but now I will actively speak out against the group. Good grief!
Danni99 Danni99 8 years
I refuse to support the boy scouts in any way, shape, or form. They can be as bigoted and exclusionary as they wish to, and I'll continue to exercise my reciprocal right of freedom of association to refuse to have any part in their group. We don't even purchase from their fundraisers. And when my kids or their friends ask why, we explain our feelings about their bigotry. Although there could be an argument made for safety issues here, it certainly doesn't excuse the other discriminatory practices their organization promotes.
lickety-split lickety-split 8 years
isn't the whole purpose of private clubs to include just a certain sub group? if people don't like it they can start their own group.
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