UndercoverMan saidFor the life of me I can't understand why a gay man would want to be around kids for any length of time anyway, but that's just me.
Considering the devastating implications to your entire life of even the whisper of impropriety with a minor, I wouldn't accept the risk - straight or gay. All it takes is one allegation - substantiated or not. Even if your name is cleared all people will remember is the salacious gossip.
Also, it doesn't help our cause when you see gay men dressed as scouts or scoutmasters at Halloween or other costume events. It further perpetuates the idea of gay man as youth predator. It even gives me the creeps.
Sometimes we gays help perpetuate the very stereotypes used against us.
I would also see it as a risk which I personally would be unwilling to accept. However, some gay men have accepted similar risks and have experienced no problems. It's a decision that everyone must make for himself.
But as an organization shouldn't it have the right to decide who can belong to the organization? They don't allow girls. Do they? You can say girls have the Girl Scouts but a girl could argue that achieving the status of Eagle Scout carries great weight and she should be allowed the opportunity to achieve said status. I don't believe the girl scouts have anything comparable. Joe Schmo on the street probably could name it even if the Girl Scouts do.
If individuals are allowed to make decisions for themselves based on the risk (perceived or otherwise) shouldn't organizations be allowed the same? I may not like their decision but I also have the freedom to organize my own group.
Q: Until 1990, when they were being sued, guess what the Boys and Girls Club USED to be called?http://digitalcommons.law.ggu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1530&context=ggulrev
Now, Title IX actually excepts the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, explicitly, along with the YMCA and YWCA, as "voluntary service organizations," a status whose criteria, I presume, the Boys Club could not establish:http://www.dol.gov/oasam/programs/crc/titleix.htm
DOL Page on Title IX
(6) Social fraternities or sororities; voluntary youth service organizations
this section shall not apply to membership practices --
(A) of a social fraternity or social sorority which is exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of Title 26, the active membership of which consists primarily of students in attendance at an institution of higher education, or
(B) of the Young Men's Christian Association, Young Women's Christian Association; Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Camp Fire Girls, and voluntary youth service organizations which are so exempt, the membership of which has traditionally been limited to persons of one sex and principally to persons of less than nineteen years of age
The Boy Scouts can, and does, have membership policies that define how boys can join their group. "Desire to engage in intercourse exclusively with the opposite gender by the time the member reaches sexual maturity," would be a slippery criterion for obvious reasons. And way back when, they didn't have the presence of mind to call themselves the Straight Boy Scouts to make exclusionary appeals on the basis of tradition.http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/BoyScouts/AdvancementandAwards/joining.aspx
Boy Scouts of AmericaMeet the age requirements.
Be a boy who is 11 years old, or one who has completed the fifth grade or earned the Arrow of Light Award and is at least 10 years old, but is not yet 18 years old.
Find a Scout troop near your home.
Complete a Boy Scout application and health history signed by your parent or guardian.
Repeat the Pledge of Allegiance.
Demonstrate the Scout sign, salute, and handshake.
Demonstrate tying the square knot (a joining knot).
Understand and agree to live by the Scout Oath, Scout Law, motto, and slogan, and the Outdoor Code.
Describe the Scout badge.
Complete the pamphlet exercises.
With your parent or guardian, complete the exercises in the pamphlet How to Protect Your Children From Child Abuse: A Parent’s Guide.
Participate in a Scoutmaster conference.
Turn in your Boy Scout application and health history form signed by your parent or guardian, then participate in a Scoutmaster conference.
If you're a young man that can do all those things, and pay whatever dues they require, your orientation shouldn't matter terribly much.
Also, the first link notes the BSA established a "Learning for Life" program in 1991 that technically isn't scouting, but was created to allow for "girls as well as gay boys" to join, perhaps as a hedge against future lawsuits about participation.