Students support LGBT rights
February is known throughout the country as the month of love, when happy couples exchange tokens of love with one another. And with Valentine's Day coming up, the question inevitably arises: Is all love equal?
The question was brought into the public eye with the announcement from the Boy Scouts of America on Jan. 28 that it would discuss "potentially removing the national membership restriction regarding sexual orientation."
In other words, if the ban on gay scouts is lifted, the board will no longer dictate a position on the matter to any BSA unit, rather leaving the decision to local chapters.
As the situation unfolds, River Valley High School students have had the chance to input their opinion about the situation. Senior Mandeep Phagura said he strongly supports lifting the ban. "Not allowing a boy to join the Boy Scouts just because he's a little different should not be allowed. Being gay should not stop children from joining activities like that," Mandeep said.
Senior Josh Krehe said, "The Boy Scouts are supposed to promote inclusiveness and being equal. So how does excluding gays from the Boy Scouts promote inclusiveness or being equal in the least bit? It's time that (the BSA) turn back from this hypocrisy."
Indeed, many look forward to a day when the LGBT community will not be shunned by society. "The kids of our generation and generations to come should start to realize the true meaning of equal rights to all, regardless of sexual orientation," said senior Jasmine Lakhian. "Allowing gay Boy Scout members can be a start to a new world of enlightenment on the issue of gays and lesbians."
President Barack Obama, in a CBS interview before the Super Bowl on Sunday, expressed the same opinion as the students of RVHS: "My attitude is that gays and lesbians should have access and opportunity the same way everybody else does, in every institution and walk of life," he said.
Chris Oliver, a senior, says he supports Obama's statement. "Why should (the LGBT community) be discriminated against because of who they are naturally attracted to?"
Despite the onslaught of voices demanding the Boy Scouts to allow gays, the board decided Wednesday to delay the decision until May.
"The volunteer officers of the Boy Scouts of America's National Executive Board concluded that due to the complexity of this issue, the organization needs time for a more deliberate review," the BSA said in a statement.
Regardless of what the Boy Scouts of America Board decides, the gay rights movement will continue to be a long, drawn-out struggle. The best RVHS students can do now is remain in solidarity with the LGBT community as they continue fighting this war.
Alejandra Cervantes is a senior at River Valley High School. Her column appears every six weeks in Education.