Addendum: Gary, you lit a fire under my butt to send this off to AT&T Chair Randall Stephenson (BSA Board):
Mr. Stephenson --
I hope by some chance this email finds its way to your screen.
Let me give you a perspective you may not have considered on the gay scouting issue. There's a lot of yelling going on, invoking all kinds of platitudes, and I doubt anyone is listening. In my mind, personal stories are the best illustrations.
I'm a Scout from the 60s-70s. I am also a suvivor of childhood sexual abuse. My perpetrator was my high school's director of guidance who was also a former church camp director, where the abuse continued. He was married and had four children.
He was also a Scout leader. It's hard for me to even think about the havoc he may have wreaked on other young lives in that position. He was a "respectable" man with a respectable family and held "respectable" positions. And he murdered my soul. I was already in an abusive situation at home - my sexual orientation being only one issue - and he used that issue and my "shame" to rape me.
Had I an openly gay scoutmaster in whom to confide at the time, I think my life would have been considerably different and the perp, deceased in 1998, might have even gone to jail.
Therefore, thank you for doing, in the best Scouting tradition, what is right. And, yes, if it will help, you have my permission to use my story.