tv Inside Story Al Jazeera August 1, 2015 5:30am-6:01am EDT
it's "inside story". welcome to "inside story", i'm ray suarez. the country's acceptance of gay people changed. it's happened quickly. more places offer gay people legal protection from discrimination. marriage moved from one state in 2004 to 50 states today. gay men and women, members of congress, corporate chiefs. now that acceptance of gay men and women as volunteers, leaders and role models has been extended to the scouting movement. the boy scouts moved first from prohibiting gay youth from being members to allowing them to join or maintain membership to now
allowing units to accept gay men and women as adult volunteers. for those that oppose the change and those that support it. there'll be adjustments made. allen schauffler has more. >> are you open about homosexual. i was taken aback by the question. it felt like a question occupant of the 1950s. >> reporter: from that blunt question the scout master gave an honest answer. i said i wouldn't answer this question, but if i was truthful, yes. that got him kicked out. he is the first to have the charter rejected for coming out. the '98 timber wolves belong to the baden powell service association, the international scouting group.
the charter was held by a local sponsor, where same-sex marriages are welcome and inclusiveness is a watch word. >> we are not losing sleep being invited back. we'd like to be invited back, if the boy scouts live out their own values. to be truthful and honest to say who you are. >> the kids, of course, couldn't careless about sexual politics, some of their parents do. max in red, getting a lift from his buddies, will be a scout next year. mcgrath's position was a reason she joined. >> i also really like the fact that they have taken a stand, whether they needed to or not and opened up to all, girls, boys, backhand. religion. they have ratified changes to
its charter, mother the way for men like jeffrey mcgrath, but could allow church based organizations and others to shut gays out. >> i support a policy that respects our different beliefs. allowing religious organizations based on religious freedom. to establish their own standards. >> gate says any other course of action could mean the end of the scouting as a movement. boy scout movement dropped in the last decade, but 2.5 million kids are involved, and openly gay scouts are allowed in since january of last year. >> we must deal with the world as it is, not as we wish it would be. the status quo in the membership standards cannot be sustained. >> local seattle council president calls the change inevitable and positive. it says the '98 and the church
that withheld the charter can be applied. >> some argued for the change. all the churches don't agree with each other. it's not surprising, given the variety of view points. ultimately it will get there. this is a good thing for the scouting movement. >> mcgrath calls the changes a blanket policy of rejection, allowing continued discrimination at the local level. as for whether these kids will be boy scouts of america, mcgrath and church leaders say they have not decided and have not been gormally invited back. >> it gesture. >> would you accept. >> i want to be in a position free to accept. there has been no offer. >> you night ano. >> i night say yes. i'd like the opportunity. >> for the timber wolves, it's scout businesses as usual. knots, tents, high energy
togetherness, and the adults play their own games. joining us for a look at the new policy on gay adult volunteers, and what is it means to the century old organization. it's been a big part of the lives of million of boys. zach, the cofounder and executive director of the scout free quality, he's the author of "my two mums - lessons of love, strength and what it takes to make a family", and from jackson victim, a senior litigation counsel for liberty council, as luck would have it, you two gentlemen were on together the last time we covered the policy and looked forward to the changes. let me hear from both of you. you first. does that policy give religious organizations enough freedom of movement.
>> thanks for having me on. this gives a message to religious organizations that we'll tolerate you for now. it's clear with the sfeed that the boy scouts removed their policy from the long-standing policy of not accepting homosexual conduct, it's clear that it will continue to push out and marginalize the religious organizations and churches that built scouting. if you look at the response from the religious organizations, back to catholics and mormons, it's almost a million scouts represented, and all are reconsidering their long-standing partnership with the boy scouts as a result of the change. i'll come back to you on the point. i want to hear from zach. does this get you where you thought it would be?
>> this is an historic step in the right direction. scouts for equality is committed to building more inclusive units in the boy scouts. we are working with the association, leaving the boy scout. bringing them back into the family and other progressive groups. we have to reach out to schools bring them back. >> let me follow up with you. you are talking about a slippery slope argument. is there any indication from national council in texas, local councils around the country that this is the beginning of a process that ends with churches being pushed out the door? it sounds like you are predicting a future that is dire and terrible, instead of talking about the actual policy that has been put in place, allowing the organization to be who they want to bep.
>> you have to listen to what zack said, it's a step in the right direction. if you look at the announcement from the human rights campaign, that no dissent in local churches should be tolerated. equality doesn't ply if you have a long-standing historical view if the practices is immoral. teaching children to make ethical and moral choices - this choice by the leadership is a social and political choice, it's not a moral choice. the result will be that churches will be pushed out. forced to reconsider the partnership for a reason that moral standards do not match-up with the moral standards adopted bit the boy scouts of america.
because people disagree with you, there that there must be something wrong with it. the units you are talking about can continue to have standards in place excluding volunteers. >> the landscape now, the legal landscape and president gates was looking for. homosexual activist organizations and rights groups are quick to litigate to make their point. and churches that are in jurisdictions that have nondiscrimination laws that include sexual orientation, they can be opened up to liability by compromising to do business with a group like the boy scouts of america, that now openly accept practice. they can lose exemptions and be forced to open the doors for conduct that is against their own moral teaching. >> let me get a quick reaction,
he makes an interesting point, there are many religious organizations, it excludes those that she homosexuals as a protected class and protected by civil rights legislation. >> i want to be clear, no one has been removed from the boy scouts of america because he's a mormon, catholic or baptist. our position has been that the boy scouts of america is about community service - things that do not depend on religion, sexual orientation, and if you believe in the issue of more. >> stay with us, as an institution, does scotting have a window for approving the work eighty of a change leaving so many unhappy. are those with misgivings willing to wait and see, willing to give the policy a chance.
>> i had never been bullied, everyone hates me. >> from oscar winning director alex gibney. >> shut the cam --. >> a hard hitting look at the real issues facing american teens. the incredible journey continues. keep the ban, willing to see how this plays out. >> i think you are going to see a different reaction, depending on the organization itself. some organizations will let the local churches, indeed, the
local jurisdictioning make the decision for themselves. what you are hearing is that at the national level several religious organizations, particularly the southern baptist, the catholic church and the mormon church expressed doubt as to the ability to continue in a partnership with an organization like the boy scouts, now that it has not adopted a neutral policy. the boy scouts would allow kids with same sex attraction, they were never excluded, but it had a conduct policy, now that it changed the conduct policy, it's no longer taking a neutral stance towards the issue of sexuality. >> what can you say that would keep an organizations that values scouting in proximity long enough to see if this will work. roger and many who believe, as he does, have fears about what is coming down the road.
those have to be allayed else the movement will break up. >> the boy scouts of america's core mission, the ability to make ethical decisions, if you believe the discrimination is a decision over the course of one's life. maybe you were supported the previous policy. if you believe that discrimination shouldn't be a part of 21st century america, and you believer they took a step in the right direction, it's an easy decision to support. i want to be clear, there's the ability for churches to select leaders in line with principles. this is something that will be controversial. given the way the boy scouts are structured or depend on other partners to deliver the programme, i think it's a compromise that makes a sense. >> if you take the large
organizations, since ptas pulled back, and other reasons, mormons, methodists, map tists, those represent an enormous percentage of the chafrterring organizations, a lot of people not familiar, you need a sponsoring charter. a venture. i'll go back to the point i made earlier. no one has been forced out because of his faith. no one removed a mormon or methodist. we don't support na. we believe they are loyal, courteous, kind. these things are universe am. affiliation. >> is scouting so valuable to the groups, it's the youth programme. that they are willing to wait and see. that is the core question. whether this will work. >> well i think that - i think
that we will see a lot of changes coming, a point can be emphasised. this policy equates to religious groups. historic practices as discrimination, for that reason. calling what churches do discrimination, is the reason why they want to run away from the organization, now that it's adopted the policy, it's a reason why we don't think that this will stop. it's discrimination that must be eliminated at all cost. that's why they are so concerned about the new era and language. does there have to be an example of what you fear happening in order for it to give people a reason to look for the exit door. >> i'm not sure of the answer to that. each organization will have to
evaluate the policy on its own terms, or how it matches up with its own admission. >> what we are seeing here is legitimate concern not just a hypothetical future for churches and the boy scouts but the announced intentions of zack and his group. >> roger, the senior litigation counsel for the liberty council, and zach walls, cofounder and executive director, thank you both, good to see you again. if you worked as an adult volunteer in an organization that serves children. you may have noted the added disclosure, hoops and training to remain a workerin good standing. scouting is no different. if the policy is to work. what should the training and screening look like to build in
in an organisation entrusted with turning boys into men, this has lurked below the surface. what should sa good training programme look like, to protect children and reassure families. joining me is clinical psychologist - blogging for psychology today. are those two different things. reassuring families and actually protecting children. >> that's a good question. they are and they aren't. it's understandable, of course, parents are concerned about children and want to be reassured. we want to make sure that
the people working with children are psychologically balanced and healthy. in terms of reassuring parents, what is important, what may have fallen between the cracks is concerns may be based on miss information as opposed to accurate information. in regard to the relationship between homosexuality and paedophilia, that is, in some areas, widespread and common belief. snoop what does the... >> what does the reach say dism. >> there is no link between homosexuality and paedophilia. if you look at the studies - there have been studies on child molesters, and the attraction to children is based on just that - the attraction to children, not the s of the child. that's a big difference. child molesters are actually in
their adult relationships, no more likely to be homosexuals than straight. >> are the cleans in place -- screens that are in place, that have been developed - this is a field that has come a long way in pa short time. are they any good, can they catch people that are not well wired and shouldn't be working with children. >> the developer of a widely used assessment tool will tell you there's no perfect test. we can screen for people, it will not be 100% full-proof test. some groups within the psychological community that's maybe the tests haven't been subjected to scientific rigor that we would want to see.
>> what does a good test look like? >> it presents images to people, and it's based on where people's attention goes. will there be images of children, and if your advantages lingers on a child, it may children. >> people will say is it a great measure, to have your eyes linger does not a child molester make. is that a measure of sexual interest in children. >> in various scouting organization, there's 2 million kids. you need a lot of adult leaders to get an institution like that up and running and moving. it seems the more rigor us you
make the test. the more lengthy, moving in and diplomat. >> the third test is more riggurous and gives more information in an environment where you want to keep it going, we are forced to make it a bit shorter. we want to find out about health across the board. who are the people washing with our children. are we sure that, of course, we want to look at this aspect. who - who is it. moulding and shaming our children in the environment. what are the marks of someone whoa is psychologically healthy for working with kids at this
stage. 12 to 18. working with and encouraging children to be open and to be attuned to bull griing, as a change is coming up, that we should have more stand up against bullying policies. more gay-straight alliances. this is an age where children are developing voices and want themselves. >> you can agreed the writings at psychology today. thank you for coming by. >> i'll be back in a moment with a final word about scouts as a skim boll and assist real people who live in the real world. it's "inside story".
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advice about tobacco, drugs, alcohol, bullying, legal prejudice and even masturbation. it has not been polianish. it may be the rest of us that want to pretend to live in the norman rockwell world. it is working hard to keep a foothold in the center cities, to be there for a population of youth that is more black and brown than previous generations, every bit in need of guidance. what the latest fight was about was whether gay men and women, as scout masters, could model adulthood with integrity and be gay. we are about to find out the i'm ray suarez. that's "inside story".
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