In the past few day it seems that a sort of “can’t we all get along?” vibe has taken over. First we saw Ireland… yes Ireland a predominately Catholic country… become the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote. And then the president of the Boy Scouts announced that gay scout leaders were just fine and perhaps it might be time to stop banning them. Then the Girl Scouts defended their long standing transgender inclusive policy and once again formally welcomed transgendered girls into the club.
In Ireland, it was a long fought battle and that seemed to have swayed the peoples vote. But while the vote may have cut across age and gender, geography and income, it was really the motivation of younger urban voters to get out and vote that moved Ireland beyond the trivia of gender, sexuality and religious doctrine.
For the Boy Scouts it seems that moving beyond sexuality is more a matter of survival.
On May 21, 2015 former Defense secretary Robert Gates speaking at a meeting of the organization’s leadership in Atlanta said, “We cannot ignore the social, political and judicial changes taking place in our country.”
I must speak as plainly and bluntly to you as I spoke to presidents when I was director of the CIA and secretary of Defense. “We must deal with the world as it is, not as we might wish it to be. The status quo in our movement’s membership standards cannot be sustained.”
Part of Gates’ problem is that gay Scouts are growing up. The organization voted two years ago to allow openly gay Scouts. Last month, the Greater New York Councils said it was hiring the first openly gay Eagle Scout, Pascal Tessier, 18, to work as a camp leader this summer.
Boy Scout president calls for end to ban on gay leaders
Even the Girl Scouts of the USA, who have had a long standing transgender inclusive policy had to defended this policy when they recently came under fire from conservative religious groups.
Andrea Bastiani Archibald, chief girl expert at the Girl Scouts had this to say in an email to Newsweek:
Our mission to build ‘girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place’ extends to all girls. Inclusion of transgender girls is handled at a council level on a case-by-case basis, with the welfare and best interests of all members as a top priority.
If a girl is recognized by her family, school and community as a girl and lives culturally as a girl, Girl Scouts is an organization that can serve her in a setting that is both emotionally and physically safe.
Girl Scouts Faces Backlash Over Transgender Policy