WBEZ | boy scouts http://www.wbez.org/tags/boy-scouts Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Gay journalist battles Boy Scouts in court for 18 years http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/gay-journalist-battles-boy-scouts-court-18-years-110793 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/StoryCorps 140905 Noel Tim bh.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Growing up in Berkeley, California in the 1970s, Tim Curran loved camping. When his best friend joined the Boy Scouts, Curran signed up too. He rose up through the ranks, achieving scouting&rsquo;s highest honor, Eagle Scout, during high school.</p><p>Curran, who is gay, came out when he was a teenager. His troop was supportive of him. But after his senior year, he was featured in a newspaper story with his prom date, who was also male. And the newspaper found its way into the hands of some higher-ups within the Boy Scouts, who decided to take action against Curran.</p><p>These days Curran works as a journalist with CNN, but three decades ago, he found himself in a very different position, as the plaintiff in a lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America. Curran was in Chicago recently for a convention of the National Gay and Lesbian Journalists Association, when he stopped by the StoryCorps booth with his partner, Noel Parks.</p><p>Curran was a freshman at UCLA, when he got a letter at his dorm. &ldquo;I opened it up and it was from the council executive, the head guy of the local scout council, the Mt. Diablo Council. And it said, &lsquo;Your application to attend the national jamboree is rejected. And we need to have a conversation about your future participation with scouting.&rsquo;</p><p>So I called the council executive from my dorm room and I said does this have something to do with the article in the [Oakland] Tribune? Does this have something to do with the fact that I&rsquo;m gay?&rdquo;</p><p>And he sort of hemmed and hawed and said &ldquo;Well, yes, and we can talk about it at Thanksgiving.&rdquo;</p><p>So that&rsquo;s what happened. My mother and my stepfather [and my troop leader] and I met with this council executive guy over Thanksgiving vacation and we had this lengthy conversation the gist of which was, &ldquo;Do you still espouse homosexuality?&rdquo; And I said: &ldquo;If by that are you asking whether I&rsquo;m still gay, the answer is yes.&rdquo;</p><p>And he said, &ldquo;Scouting does not believe that you have the moral qualifications to be a leader. And so we are revoking your registration in scouting, we&rsquo;re revoking your registration in your troop.&rdquo; And he said knowing that my troop knew that I was gay and was perfectly happy to have me. So that was the end of that.</p><p>I just remember shaking with anger at the injustice of it, but also sort of impotent to do anything about it. But also knowing that you&rsquo;re talking with this guy, it&rsquo;s a civilized conversation and you just have to keep cool and act like a scout would act.</p><p>And so in April of 1981, we filed suit against the Boy Scouts of America. We meaning myself and the ACLU of Southern California.<br />It was a trial with testimony, and both sides, my friends in scouting getting on the stand and me getting on the stand, and the council executive, all testifying.</p><p>And the judge at the trial ruled against us, so we appealed. And 18 years almost to the day after we filed that suit, I lost.</p><p>But I have to say that I think it&rsquo;s very much made me a better journalist.</p><p>Because unlike nearly all of the people I&rsquo;ve ever worked with in journalism, I know what it&rsquo;s like to be on the other side of the mic.<br />I volunteered for that. But it has very much informed the way that I treat others and the way that I concern myself with accuracy. Because I heard my story misreported a million times, and knew how the little details could be gotten wrong. And so I really struggled &ndash; much to the annoyance of my editors - to get those details, the nuances right, even though sometimes it takes more time to tell a story that way.&rdquo;</p></p> Fri, 12 Sep 2014 15:12:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/storycorps/gay-journalist-battles-boy-scouts-court-18-years-110793 Boy Scouts could lift ban on gay members http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/boy-scouts-could-lift-ban-gay-members-105341 <p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/4862952011_fcd25a682d_b.jpg" style="height: 375px; width: 500px; margin: 5px;" title="Boy Scouts gather at the 2010 National Scout Jamboree in Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia. (Flickr/Preston Kemp) The group doesn't allow gay members currently, but is expected to vote Wednesday on the issue." /><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F77863070" width="100%"></iframe></p><div class="image-insert-image ">The Boy Scouts of America is expected to vote Wednesday on whether to lift a ban on gay members at the national level. If the vote passes, the decision on whether or not to allow gay members would be left up to individual troops.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The issue is dividing some Chicago area churches, many of which serve as meeting places for Boy Scout troops.</div><p>The Rev. Keith Williams, who&rsquo;s pastor of Cornerstone Christian Fellowship Church in Country Club Hills, is against lifting the ban.</p><p>He said he&rsquo;s against any leader, gay or straight, who strays from the church&rsquo;s teachings.</p><p>&ldquo;I would not like to see them superimpose a gay lifestyle on a young man, because I don&rsquo;t know where sexuality becomes a function of teaching Scouts how to do what Scouts should have to do,&rdquo; Williams said.</p><p>Although Cornerstone doesn&#39;t currently host a Boy Scout troop, Williams said lifting the ban on gay members would likely encourage him to start hosting one:</p><p>&quot;If they did lift the ban, I&#39;d probably want more to host [a troop] simply because we could make sure young people are not led in one direction, in the direction that&#39;s opposite to the word of God,&quot; Williams said. &quot;We would be able to watch, at least.&quot;</p><p>Some local churches are on the other side of the issue:</p><p>&ldquo;To exclude individuals because of their gender identity is kind of archaic and discriminatory,&quot; said Liala Beukema, who&#39;s pastor of Lakeview Lutheran Church. &quot;The opportunity for everyone to have access would be a wonderful thing.&rdquo;</p><p>While Beukema&#39;s church doesn&rsquo;t currently have a troop, the pastor says she&#39;s interested in hosting one if the Boy Scouts lift the ban.</p><p>But if they vote &quot;no&quot; this Wednesday, that would change.</p><p>&quot;It totally would alter our interest, just in basic principal. We would not be in allegiance with people who would discriminate against others,&quot; Beukema said. &quot;It wouldn&#39;t be within our mission plan.&quot;</p></p> Mon, 04 Feb 2013 17:05:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/boy-scouts-could-lift-ban-gay-members-105341 Chicago's toilet trouble http://www.wbez.org/blogs/charlie-meyerson/2013-01/chicagos-toilet-trouble-105188 <p><p><a href="http://www.suntimes.com/video/index.html?freewheel=58285&amp;sitesection=chicagosun&amp;VID=24283653"><img alt="Sun-Times video image" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Screen%20shot%202013-01-28%20at%2011.42.00%20PM.png" style="height: 160px; width: 300px; float: right;" title="" /></a><strong>FOR LACK OF A MORE DESCRIPTIVE PHRASE: EWWWwwwwww.</strong>&nbsp;The <em>Sun-Times</em>&#39; Dan Mihalopoulos says O&#39;Hare Airport&#39;s supposedly new <strong>&quot;hygenic&quot; toilet seats</strong> ...&nbsp;<em>aren&#39;t: &quot;</em>As the plastic wrapping rotates ...&nbsp;<a href="http://www.suntimes.com/17865481-761/new-hygienic-toilet-seats-at-ohare-arent.html">it drags up liquid from the rim of toilet bowls and leaves drops of that liquid atop seats</a>, on the clear plastic film that&rsquo;s supposed to be clean.&quot; (By the way, that&#39;s orange juice in the video, for demonstration purposes.)</p><p><strong>RED LINE REVIVAL. </strong>The CTA says private companies are enthusiastic about investing in plans to <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-cta-companies-enthusiastic-about-partnership-for-red-purple-line-projects-20130128,0,5285047.story">stretch the Red Line south to 130th Street and to rebuild North Side Red and Purple Line tracks</a>, according to the <em>Tribune</em>&#39;s Jon Hilkevitch.<br />* A bus rider&#39;s dream -- <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-planners-push-boldest-bus-rapid-transit-option-105187">dedicated rapid-transit lanes along Ashland Avenue</a>, letting buses move people at speeds rivaling the L -- may run afoul of business owners and other drivers.<br />* Survey shows <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/survey-cta-riders-want-arrival-screens-more-shelter-105182">what CTA riders want most</a>.</p><p><strong>RADIO HOST CHARGED. </strong>A <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-radio-host-charged-in-10-million-mortgage-fraud-20130128,0,7579538.story">lawyer with a national radio show</a> is accused in a $10 million mortgage fraud scheme, the <em>Trib</em>&nbsp;reports.<br />* Rush Limbaugh: &quot;<a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2013/01/rush-limbaugh-immigration-fox-amnesty-86823.html">It&rsquo;s up to me and Fox News</a>&quot; to stop immigration reform.<br />* <a href="http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2013/01/obamas-message-2016-wannabes-who-arent-hillary-cool-it/61489/">Blessing Hillary Clinton for the presidency</a> may be in Obama&#39;s best interest.</p><p><strong><a href="http://tweetping.net/" target="_blank"><img alt="Tweetping.net" src="http://cdn.theatlantic.com/static/mt/assets/science/Screen%20Shot%202013-01-28%20at%2011.29.27%20AM.png" style="width: 300px; height: 225px; float: right;" /></a>TWITTER&#39;S WORLD.&nbsp;</strong>A new Web site,&nbsp;<strong><a href="http://tweetping.net/">Tweetping</a></strong>, visualizes Twitter activity in real time, superimposing each tweet as a flash of light on a global map. The Atlantic&#39;s Megan Garber says it shows Twitter as &quot;<a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/01/what-twitter-really-looks-like/272583/">its own kind of organism</a>.&quot;<br />*&nbsp;<a href="http://mashable.com/2013/01/28/twitter-monitored-inauguration/">Presidential security monitored Twitter</a>&nbsp;during inauguration.<br />*&nbsp;<a href="http://bigstory.ap.org/article/secret-service-dog-falls-death-biden-event">Secret Service dog falls to death</a>&nbsp;at Joe Biden event.</p><p><strong>SCOUTS HONOR 21ST CENTURY.</strong>&nbsp;Boy Scouts of America is considering dropping a longtime (and&nbsp;<a href="http://jezebel.com/5952882/anti+gay-boy-scouts-of-america-actually-harbored-thousands-of-child-molesters">long ineffectual</a>)&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/29/us/boy-scouts-consider-lifting-ban-on-gay-leaders.html?_r=0">ban on gay members and leaders</a>.<br />* WBEZ&#39;s Nico Lang:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/nico-lang/2013-01/breaking-church-gay-methodist-love-story-105179">A gay Methodist love story</a>.</p><p><strong>&#39;INSTEAD OF JUST SEEING YOUR CAPPUCCINO, YOUR FRIENDS CAN SEE HOW YOU <em>FEEL</em> ABOUT YOUR CAPPUCCINO.&#39;&nbsp;</strong><a href="http://www.cultofmac.com/212904/legendary-iphone-hacker-geohot-about-to-release-new-iphone-app-called-reactions/">A new iPhone app</a> -- pending approval from Apple -- takes simultaneous photos of you and the thing you&#39;re shooting.<br />* App offers to, um, <a href="http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2414681,00.asp">help find right condom size</a>.</p><hr /><p><em><strong><a href="http://apps.facebook.com/gomakebabies/"><img alt="" src="http://gomakebabies.herokuapp.com/assets/img/wbez_drive_logo-d45f5f405af4be2ea524e1003f596b58.png" style="width: 188px; height: 186px; float: right;" /></a>ANNOUNCEMENTS.</strong><br />* Get this blog by&nbsp;<a href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/WbezCharlieMeyerson">RSS feed</a>. (Remember:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/charlie-meyerson/2013-01/we-got-yer-friday-news-quiz-right-here-105140">Another news quiz</a>&nbsp;on the way Friday, so don&#39;t miss a thing.)<br />* On Twitter? Follow <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZ">@WBEZ</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/Meyerson">@Meyerson</a>.<br />* On Facebook? <a href="http://apps.facebook.com/gomakebabies/">Go make babies</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 29 Jan 2013 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/charlie-meyerson/2013-01/chicagos-toilet-trouble-105188 Facebook embarrassments now easier than ever to find http://www.wbez.org/blogs/charlie-meyerson/2013-01/facebook-embarrassments-now-easier-ever-find-105112 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/usaf.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><strong><a href="http://actualfacebookgraphsearches.tumblr.com/" target="_blank"><img alt="U.S. Air Force appears in Facebook search for &quot;Current employers of people who like racism.&quot;" src="http://profile.ak.fbcdn.net/hprofile-ak-ash4/c90.0.781.781/s160x160/425843_10150814084844989_801553969_n.jpg" style="width: 160px; height: 160px; float: right; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid;" /></a>FACEBOOK EMBARRASSMENTS.&nbsp;</strong>The Web site &quot;<a href="http://actualfacebookgraphsearches.tumblr.com/">Actual Facebook Graph Searches</a>&quot; reveals awkward things now easily found on Facebook -- like &quot;Current employers of people who like racism,&quot; &quot;Married people who like prostitutes,&quot; and &quot;Mothers of Jews who like bacon.&quot; (The site&#39;s creator, Tom Scott, is also the guy behind the <a href="http://klout.com/home">Klout</a> parody &quot;<a href="http://www.tomscott.com/klouchebag/">Klouchebag</a>.&quot;)<br />* GigaOM: Facebook&#39;s new search function means&nbsp;<a href="http://gigaom.com/2013/01/23/facebooks-graph-search-and-the-end-of-privacy-by-obscurity/">the end of &quot;privacy by obscurity.&quot;</a><br />* Champaign-based&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wolframalpha.com/">Wolfram Alpha</a>&nbsp;upgrades tool to reveal &quot;<a href="http://gizmodo.com/5978542/wolfram-alpha-will-tell-you-even-more-about-your-facebook-page-than-you-ever-knew">more about your Facebook self than you ever knew</a>&quot; -- including your most-liked and most-commented posts, your friends by gender and age, and more.<br />* Google <a href="http://thenextweb.com/google/2013/01/24/google-unveils-a-more-beautiful-reliable-and-faster-image-search-with-inline-results-and-metadata/">upgrading image search</a>.</p><p><strong>THE FIRE THEY STARTED.&nbsp;</strong>A number of big backers, including UPS and the Intel Foundation, are&nbsp;<a href="http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/01/boy-scouts-verizon-protest-lgbt">dropping or postponing funding for Boy Scouts of America</a>&nbsp;because of its policy of excluding homosexuals, according to&nbsp;<em>Mother Jones</em>.<br />* Some older female veterans not wild about decision to let&nbsp;<a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-women-in-combat-tammy-duckworth-applauds-pentagons-decision-to-lift-combat-restrictions-20130123,0,349253.story">U.S. women serve in combat</a>.</p><p><strong>FOR DESTRUCTION, ICE IS ALSO NICE.</strong>&nbsp;A photographer who didn&#39;t grow up around here delights in day-after shots of the <a href="http://blogs.reuters.com/photographers-blog/2013/01/23/fire-and-ice-2/">now-ice-encrusted Chicago warehouse</a> where fire broke out Tuesday.&nbsp;<br />* <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-freezing-firefighting-0124-20130124,0,4939289.story">Ice&#39;s weight weakens burning buildings</a>, endangering firefighters.</p><p><strong>FIVE ... FIVE ... FIVE-DOLLAR LAW-SUIT. </strong>The&nbsp;Subway chain faces a legal challenge in Chicago because a customer says a footlong sandwich he ordered was <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/17758324-761/suit-subways-footlongs-come-up-short.html">just 11 inches long</a>.<br />* At post time for this blog, &quot;#<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/19/subway-response-footlong-controversy-measurment_n_2511316.html">NotIntendedToBeAMeasurementOfLength</a>&quot; not <a href="https://twitter.com/trendinghashtag">trending on Twitter</a>.</p><p><a href="https://twitter.com/AgentM" target="_blank"><img alt="Marvel's @AgentM" src="https://twimg0-a.akamaihd.net/profile_images/2676916712/ee19170115faf3f3e75187124a97ce3b.png" style="width: 100px; height: 100px; float: right;" /></a></p><p><strong>HULK TWEET.&nbsp;</strong>Looking for a model social-media presence? Consider&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ragan.com/PublicRelations/Articles/2d80c25a-6bd6-4638-9ede-96e8f6ecf4fe.aspx?utm_medium=twitter#">Marvel Comics</a>, whose&nbsp;<strong><a href="https://twitter.com/AgentM">@AgentM</a></strong>&nbsp;has more than 1.3 million followers.<br />* Chicago comics shop opens&nbsp;<a href="http://timeoutchicagokids.com/things-to-do/hipsqueak-blog/237441/challengers-comics-opens-sidekicks-a-store-for-all-ages-comic-boo">separate all-ages store</a>, specializing in stuff for kids.<br />* Star Trek comic serves up&nbsp;<a href="http://www.superherohype.com/news/articles/174601-star-trek-into-darkness-comic-book-prequel-reveals-a-surprise-character">surprise about new Star Trek movie</a>&nbsp;mythology.</p><p><strong>THE CASE FOR BEYONCE.&nbsp;</strong>A <em>Slate</em> writer who&#39;s also a pro musician says he&#39;s certain&nbsp;<a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/culturebox/2013/01/beyonce_lip_syncing_at_the_inauguration_musician_mike_doughty_says_she_was.html">she <em>was</em> singing at the inaugural</a>.<br />* <em>The Borowitz Report:&nbsp;</em><a href="http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/borowitzreport/2013/01/obama-urged-to-resign-over-beyonc-scandal.html?mobify=0">Obama urged to resign over Beyonce scandal</a>.<br />* Are journalists <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/craig-kanalley/journalists-joking-twitter_b_2535813.html">joking too much on Twitter</a>?</p><hr /><p><em>ANNOUNCEMENTS.<br />* Soundtrack for preparation of this issue: Yesterday&#39;s &quot;Afternoon Shift,&quot; <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/what-happened-nike-missile-sites-around-chicago-105087">exploring the history of Chicago-area Nike missile sites</a>.<br />* The countdown to this week&#39;s news quiz&nbsp;</em><em>is&nbsp;<strong><span style="color: rgb(255, 0, 0);">ON.&nbsp;</span></strong></em><em>Limber up your quiz-taking muscles by taking <a href="http://cpm.polldaddy.com/s/D4AE27F3118C62BA?pop=10">last week&#39;s edition</a>.</em><br /><em>&nbsp;</em><iframe frameborder="0" height="27" scrolling="no" src="http://free.timeanddate.com/countdown/i3gyz4um/n64/cf12/cm0/cu4/ct5/cs1/ca0/co0/cr0/ss0/cac000/cpcf00/pcfff/tcfff/fs100/szw256/szh108/iso2013-01-25T07:30:00" width="200"></iframe></p></p> Thu, 24 Jan 2013 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/charlie-meyerson/2013-01/facebook-embarrassments-now-easier-ever-find-105112 Chicago-area Boy Scouts 'deeply regret' abuse http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-area-boy-scouts-deeply-regret-abuse-104177 <p><p>The head of the Chicago-area Boy Scouts of America council is apologizing for the sexual abuse of scouts.</p><p>CEO Charles Dobbins says he hasn&#39;t seen a lawsuit filed Tuesday accusing his group and the national organization of failing to protect children from a convicted pedophile.</p><p>The suit was filed in Cook County on behalf of a former scout who said he was molested by Thomas Hacker in 1985.</p><p>New documents show Hacker was banned from scouting in Indiana in 1970 for sexually assaulting boys but later became an Illinois scoutmaster and went on to molest more boys.</p><p>Attorney Christopher Hurley, who represents the anonymous scout, said the Boy Scout organization needs a better system to protect children.</p><p>&ldquo;[Hacker] was able to move from one boy scout local to another without detection,&rdquo; Hurley said. &ldquo;The method the Boy Scouts set up to prevent this type of movement was completely inadequate.&rdquo;</p><p>The 75-year-old Hacker was convicted in 1989 and is serving concurrent 50-year prison terms.</p><p>Dobbins said the Boy Scouts now routinely conduct background checks and members must report suspected abuse to law enforcement.</p><p>The Boy Scouts of Chicago said they can&rsquo;t comment on the lawsuit but released a statement:</p><p>&ldquo;Any instance of child abuse is intolerable and unacceptable. While we have not seen this lawsuit, we deeply regret that there have been times when Scouts were abused, and for that we are very sorry and extend our deepest sympathies to victims.&rdquo;</p></p> Tue, 04 Dec 2012 11:16:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-area-boy-scouts-deeply-regret-abuse-104177