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Opinion

February 24, 2013

End the discrimination

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

We are mothers. We are mothers who understand America’s most traditional values of respect, love, equality and justice. We are mothers of sons who were scouts — Cub Scouts, Webelos and Boy Scouts. Most of all, we are mothers who love our children — all our children, not just some.

Because we understand what is important in the lives of our children and want them to be taught the most enduring of all American values, we are asking the Boy Scouts of America to end its discriminatory policy that excludes openly gay boys and young men from membership and troop leadership positions.

We were their den mothers, supporting our scouting sons to go on their camping and hiking trips, encouraging them in their merit badge accomplishments and sitting with pride and with tears in our eyes at their award ceremonies. But not all of our sons could share these experiences if they chose to be honest, for they were our gay sons.

The Boy Scouts of America has, for too long, seemed to use prejudice, the cloak of religion and false moral arguments to justify intolerance of young persons who are gay. The morality lesson that boys in scouting deserve to hear is that discrimination is immoral.

As mothers, we can tell you that your message to every boy who wishes to participate in scouting yet may be beginning to understand that he is “different” from his peers is clear. It says, “You are not welcome.” This is a sad reflection on BSA, which purports to teach young men to do what is right, even when it is difficult or unpopular.

The BSA is at a crossroads in its history: It can say clearly that “morally straight” has nothing to do with sexual orientation.

By making that choice, the BSA will deliver a message to scouts, parents and supporters across the country that needs to be heard: Intolerance is fundamentally inconsistent with the core values of scouting. We implore you to take this better path — for the sake of our sons and all future generations of scouts and troop leaders.

MOMS OF MANY

Leslie Bohon-Bothwell

Debra Galindo

Nancy Harrington

Jamie Hubbard

(This letter had 14

additional signers; Moms of Many MOM actually has about 30 Norman moms who have gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender children;)

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