Think of the kids
I would like to add to the op-ed by Tom Somers in Monday’s Times Argus the observation that the ostracism of the Boy Scouts from the city’s July 3 celebration appears to have completely backfired on the council members who proposed it.
According to the original Times Argus article, Thierry Guerlain apparently thought that his opposition to the Scouts’ plan to sell water at the July 3 parade would send a bold message to the national Scouting organization, thrust Montpelier into the center of the national debate, and be an important teaching moment for local Scouts.
None of that has happened. Instead, the Scouts withdrew both their request to sell water and their offer to help clean up after the celebration. The city is now scrambling to find volunteers to perform the cleanup that the Scouts have historically done. The most likely outcome of this debacle is not a teachable moment or to thrust Montpelier into the national news, but a messy Capital lawn.
Like Tom, I am deeply offended by the Boy Scouts’ policy prohibiting gay Scout leaders. But that policy was created by the national Scouting organization, not our local troop. If the City Council wants to pass a resolution opposing the Scouts’ discriminatory policies, I would wholeheartedly support it.
But next time you want to make a national political point, Mr. Guerlain, please try not to do so in a way that punishes local children who had nothing to do with the formulation of the policy and undermines the spirit of volunteerism in this community.
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