A Scouting for All Member Asks His Church To Take A Stand
I am a former resident of Beavercreek, and grew up involved in Hawker Church. I was excited when asked to participate
in the Hawker Church anniversary celebration. I have always maintained ties to Hawker through family and holiday
As part of the celebration, there is a Boy Scouts reunion Sunday. Having grown up in Scouting and as an openly
gay parent with two boys, I cannot fathom a national organization discriminating against children. With the Supreme
Court decision, The Boy Scouts of America are allowed to discriminate, but shouldn't the local sponsoring organizations/scouting
units be allowed to
decide for themselves? My hope is that Hawker Church and the local scouting units do not discriminate, but as
a high school teacher, parent, and gay man, I cannot condone being associated with any organization that openly
discriminates. Would we condone other discriminatory groups within our churches?
I was proud when the United Church of Christ decided not to discriminate against gay parishioners. I realize that
The Boy Scouts of America, that I held in high regard as a youngster, is now an organization where I would no longer
be welcomed or allowed to belong. Across the country, this discrimination is being challenged. And yes, The Boy
Scouts of America has been a fine organization, but aren't there other organizations where our children can belong
without threat because they are different? The Boy Scouts of America needs a merit badge for cultural diversity
that would include sensitivity training on the impact that sexism, homophobia, racism, and discrimination have
on youth and their self esteem. In our schools, we take great American pride in providing a "safe" place
for all children. Why should Scouting be different?
So, I must take action and reject the offer to participate in the Hawker Church celebration and only hope that
this letter might illicit discussion, action, and letters to The Boy Scouts of America.
December 19, 2000
An open letter to the Hawker Church community:
I am writing this letter with a heavy heart. As most of you know, I grew up in Hawker Church only leaving it to
pursue my dreams in the outside world.
You can imagine my excitement when I received a letter from Miriam Allen asking me to sing in the anniversary celebration
for Hawker Church. I have always maintained close ties to Hawker through my family and occasionally singing at
When I read the program of events, my heart sank, for I learned the Boy Scouts are having a Sunday dedicated to
them. I grew up in Scouting, and loved every minute of it, but as an openly gay parent with two young boys in
my household, I cannot even fathom an organization that discriminates against any group, let alone children, within
the United States. I guess with the Supreme Court decision, the Scouts are allowed to have their discrimination,
but I as a high school teacher, parent, and gay man, cannot condone being listed on the same page as an organization
that openly discriminates against any individual. Would we condone the KKK or any other discriminatory group to
parade within our church sanctuary and services?
I was very proud when the United Church of Christ decided not to discriminate against their gay parishioners.
It was with great joy that I embraced this good news. I only have control over my own world and the people that
I interact with: my family, my community, and my workplace. I now realize that the Boy Scouts that I held in such
high regard as a youngster, is now an organization that I would no longer be welcome and would not be allowed to
belong. I reject their discrimination as many good citizens and organizations throughout this great country have.
And yes, the Boy Scouts have been a fine organization, but until they change their discriminatory policies, there
are more worthwhile groups that "our" children can participate in without the threat of being thrown
out because of their being different. In our schools we take great American pride in providing a "safe"
place for all children. This discrimination flies in the face of individual rights and freedoms that we have all
grown to hold so dearly.
I no longer belong to Hawker Church, but I have such loving, happy memories of the people and the community. My
sister has assured me that there are many gay families within the Hawker Church community. I am happy to hear
that they have found a rich and safe environment. Maybe it takes an outside perspective, I don't know, but I could
not expose myself, my lover, or my
children to a place where such discrimination is tolerated.
So, with a heavy heart, I must reject the offer to participate in the Hawker Church celebration and hope that in
the future, we may all live in a world built on a firm foundation of love, understanding, openness, and inclusion.
It is not a perfect world, but I can create for my family and myself an environment where we can be safe and free.
With much love,