To the Editor:
I have a great deal of respect and gratitude for Gusher Smith and all that he has done for this community and especially for Ticonderoga’s Boy Scouts. I also see how much scouting does to help boys develop into the kind of men this world needs, men who are respectful, kind, responsible and who help build up their communities.
Still, I have to respectfully disagree with Mr. Smith (letter, Aug. 18) and with the Boy Scouts of America, because the great good that they do is marred by how they treat a certain group of boys and men. It is a shame that the Boy Scouts have banned gay men from leadership. It is a shame that boys who participate in scouting have to hide who they are when they discover that they are gay – hide who they are or risk being bullied and kicked out of scouting. It is a shame that good Boy Scout leaders are banned, just because they are gay, even if in every way they are exemplary.
My son and husband have been beneficiaries of the many good things that scouting offers. All boys deserve the same opportunity. It is time to stop shaming, bullying and excluding boys and young men who are gay, yet who in every way live fully all that the Boy Scouts stand for.
I would love for a respected group such as Boy Scouts to take a stand for all boys against the terrible bullying and shaming of any boy or young man. We have seen more than enough of the heartbreaking damage that bullying inflicts, which too often ends in suicide. It is time for the Boy Scouts to support all boys as they grow into men. I hope that happens soon.
Mary Kay Glazer