NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:
The Norman chapter of Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) asks that the Boy Scouts of American (BSA) change its policies to welcome the participation of gay individuals as members and leaders in order to fulfill what the BSA claims to be.
The BSA describes itself as a youth program to build character and cultivate citizenship in boys. Inherent in both good character and good citizenship are honesty, mutual respect and inclusion. As parents, families and friends of gay individuals, we have had the opportunity to learn that sexual orientation has no bearing on character. By acknowledging and respecting diversity, the BSA has the same opportunity to enrich its program in the same way our families have been.
Leadership requires the courage to change when past practices are newly understood to be detrimental.
By welcoming boys, parents, and leaders without regard to sexual orientation, the BSA will demonstrate that it is a safe place for all boys to learn life skills, both practical and inspirational, that prepare them for productive lives in the reality of a diverse society.