JULY 7, 2012
Re: Letter to the Advocate – In response to Mr. Chol’s letter to protect the scouts
As a former member of the Boy Scouts Troop 85 in Abbeville and Human Rights Watchdog, I would like to respond to Mr. Chol’s letter from the July 6th edition of the Advocate concerning protecting the scouts by keeping LGBT individuals from joining.
Let me say that while I do understand Mr. Chol’s concerns, I support the idea that the scouting districts should have an informed choice over whether or not for LGBT individuals to be accepted into the scouts. I did support the Supreme Court ruling at first back in 2000; but since then my overall viewpoint has changed on this subject because of the notion that individual districts should have the right to make the decision over whether or not to admit LGBT individuals based on an educated decision and my concern with the ruling today is even though I do not support government mandates that would marginalize individuals, there should be a right to an informed choice.
Let me give you a prime example of what I am talking about, as a Future Farmers of America Alumnus from Abbeville, I remember while covering the lesson on the history of the Louisiana FFA organization, there was a discussion about how the Louisiana FFA chapter dealt with how to admit Female members during the late 1970’s. Women were not allowed to join the FFA in Louisiana until the 1977-78 academic year but thanks to an informed choice campaign by state and national chapter leaders, the FFA in Louisiana became one of the most diverse state chapters in the country.
My point to Mr. Chol that having an informed choice option for local scouting districts to admit LGBT individuals can really help promote not only diversity but a sense of inclusion while ensuring that the overall mission of the Scouts is intact.
Jason W. Weill – Human Rights Watchdog: Abbeville