It would be logical to most Americans that having openly gay adults supervising impressionable young boys under the age of consent might be a bad idea, setting aside moral or religious considerations. It would also be logical to most Americans that private organizations reserve every right to set membership standards on moral and/or religious considerations. And to most lay persons, it would seem downright un-American for any American city to evict the Boy Scouts of America, of all organizations, from city-owned property for what amounts to political correctness.
Yet in covering such a story in "Philadelphia Gives Boy Scouts Ultimatum," the Washington Post's Dafna Linzer paints the Scouts as "anti-homosexual" while failing to suggest the city's liberal Democratic politicians are "anti-Boy Scout."
Indeed, although Linzer noted in her November 19 story that the Philadelphia-area Boy Scouts Cradle of Liberty Council leadership tends to disagree with national BSA policy on homosexuality that it is bound by national rules on homosexual membership and homosexual scoutmasters.
In other words, if the Philly Scout leaders could do so and remain nationally-chartered, they'd have a more liberal stance on homosexual Scout leaders. Even so, Linzer insisted that a 2004 statement by the Philadelphia area BSA council simply (my emphasis) "gave the chapter cover to continue the anti-homosexual hiring practices of the Boy Scouts of America."
Nowhere did Linzer find any parents, clergy, Scouts, or men or women on the street to slam the liberal city council as needlessly "anti-Scout."
What's more, although it's not directly related to the immediate issue at hand, it bears repeating that Scout policy on homosexuality has legitimate purposes for the protection of underage boys, moral or religious considerations aside.
Take the case of former Philadelphia-area assistant scoutmaster David Mayberry, convicted a few weeks ago on numerous sexually-based criminal offenses:
A Montgomery County man convicted of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy was sentenced to 40 years in state prison today. 52-year-old David Mayberry was arrested in 2005 by the PA Attorney General's office when he traveled to Bucks County to meet who he thought was a 12-year-old boy. The boy was actually an undercover agent. In July of 2005, Mayberry pleaded guilty to charges of unlawful contact with a minor, involuntary deviant sexual intercourse, corruption of minors and criminal use of a computer. He was also charged with recklessly endangering another person because he had sex with the teen knowing he was HIV- positive.
Update/Related Item (Nov. 20 | 13:30): Bob Knight of the MRC's Culture and Media Institute has a column at Townhall.com about the Post article. Knight argues that Post "stepped delicately around the thuggish tactics employed by Philadelphia City Solicitor Romulo Diaz" who has given the Scouts an ultimatum to accept gay Scouts and Scout masters or lose a favorable lease arrangement that rents city property to the Scouts for a nominal annual fee.