NOTE: This is a repost of an article I had up on a now dead forum I made. I first posted this May 24 2005:
So the Boy Scouts of America aren't allowing gays or Atheists into their organization. (Technically, I was still Jewish while I was in the scouts, so no "rules" broken there.) Some groups such as "Scouting For All" are trying to force the Boy Scouts to stop this policy.
The Boy Scouts are a private group. They have the right to allow or disallow whomever they want for whatever reason. Do we have to like it? Nope. But we can't destroy that right whenever it displeases us. You ever see that sign in some stores that say "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone"? I want that right and I feel the Boy Scouts have that right too.
Of course, another major issue is that the Boy Scouts are also trying to pretend it's a government funded organization, and deserves the big federal grants it gets. It's currently one of the only groups that is getting away with saying it's both government funded (and thus open to Federal anti-discrimination regulations) and a private organization. They are trying to have it both ways, and eventually that will cause them problems. Law suits and judgments are already coming that are going to force their hand one way or the other.
So what should we do? If you can't join 'em, beat 'em. Start a similar organization and allow gays, Atheists and everybody else to join. Create an organization that beats the Boy Scouts by emulating all their best qualities and removing all the practices we disagree with. Scouting For All is off to a good start. Hopefully they will flourish, or some other group will.