This photo taken Monday, Feb. 4, 2013, shows a close up detail of a Boy Scout uniform worn by Brad Hankins, a campaign director for Scouts for Equality, as
This photo taken Monday, Feb. 4, 2013, shows a close up detail of a Boy Scout uniform worn by Brad Hankins, a campaign director for Scouts for Equality, as he responds questions during a news conference in front of the Boy Scouts of America headquarters in Irving, Texas. (Tony Gutierrez/The Associated Press)

The Boy Scouts of America is still muddling the issue of whether to allow openly gay people to take part in the time honored activity of indoctrinating young boys in the woods.

Exactly when America will tire of debating this issue remains to be seen. Will there ever come a time when people shake their heads and say, "They used to argue over that #$%? Seriously?"

Hey, the idea that people once debated the merits of slavery seems idiotic to us today, but it was serious moral business to them. They fought a war over it and everything.

Having a recognizably gay scoutmaster would have been difficult when I was a kid. Being highly impressionable back then, I believed all of the idiot indoctrination about gay people that I got from straight people.

I probably wouldn't have been able to get past the commonly held belief that gay men simply weren't rugged enough to lead a bunch of demonic trolls into the wilderness and bring them back again.

I suppose my actual scoutmaster could have been a closeted gay. I doubt it. Ray was way too obviously heterosexual. If we were gone from civilization longer than 24 hours, he stared too longingly at female campers.

Besides, Ray did other stuff to us that BSA would have found objectionable. He sometimes whacked us around, tied us to stuff, cussed at the top of his lungs, and burned our private property/contraband.

A couple of times Ray even threatened to murder us, which anyone (except maybe the Jesus police) will tell you is way worse than being even partially gay.


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Truthfully, Ray only ever threatened to kill me and the Leavitt twins. Both times he was provoked. Once by a fish grenade, and another time by the husband of an enormous woman whose underpants we borrowed with the idea of making a parachute for a squirrel.

WOODCRAFT NOTE: To the squirrel's considerable dismay, it didn't work.