“No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.”
–Boy Scouts of America, excerpt of proposed resolution
Wow! That sounds pretty damn compelling, right? Finally! No more unfair and unfounded criticism for this piece of Americana organization which is a fine and upstanding part of our community and never does anything wrong. This will finally shut up those annoying critics.
Alas, as the rest of the internet has noticed, the proposal only applies to “youth.” Homosexuals are still prohibited from serving as scoutmasters and den mothers.
However, something else about the line of text caught my eye. Do you see it, too? I may very well be the only son of a bitch in the universe to have caught on. Aren’t you lucky to know me? Membership has its privileges.
I’m not a lawyer nor do I play one on TV. Basically everything I know about the law is that any contract I’ve ever signed, no matter what it said, has been successfully used to fuck me. I have an equivalency Ph.D. in Legally Fucked.
I also never earned my Boy Scout Merit Badge of Legalese. The shining pinnacle of my existence happens to be the time I was able to turn my Cub Scout pin right-side up for one day. Yep, that’s about it. It was only 24 hours but oh what a day!
So keeping in mind my legal knowledge is dwarfed by organizations like the Boy Scouts of America, let me state, for the record, my concern is the word “alone” tacked on at the end.
I want it noted in the ship’s log!
I know I’m just a backwater idiot with no understanding of the fancy schmancy things like words and stuff, but why not just say this?
No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference.
–Boy Scouts of America, excerpt of proposed resolution, revised by Tom B. Taker, fair use claimed under the Treaty of Versailles, Chapter 7, Article IV, Section 3, Paragraph Beta Omega, Sub-Paragraph 42.
See what that does? Without the word “alone” the text still gets the job done. In fact the omission of that word makes things crystal clear. It works just fine.
So why append the word at all? What is function of that word? What sort of devil of obfuscation is in play here? What are you up to, “alone,” if indeed that is your real name and where the hell where you at 2am on the night of April 15th?
Remember the hell caused by a the presence of a single comma in the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution? A comma! Yet here we are dealing with a whole damn word! That’s monumental in these sorts of situations.
Compare the two versions. The official BSA text and my revised text. How do they read to you? What do you think is the different? Dammit, Jim. I’m a negativist, not a lawyer!
To me, it almost makes it sound like, when considered in conjunction with other criteria, the state of being homosexual could still be used to deny membership.
The proposal only prohibits the denial of membership when the criteria being considered is sexual preference alone. It sure as hell doesn’t address what happens when that criteria is not alone.
In other words, little Tommy is homosexual and fat. Membership denied! Yeah, we got that sick little bastard right where he eats. High Five Badges for the rest of us.
Without the addition of the word “alone” at the end of the sentence, I do not think a scenario like that would be possible.
What do you think? Am I just being paranoid? Should I, like always, simply accept on trust and goodwill the good intentions and good faith of the other parties? Should I enjoin ex parte to a writ of habeas corpus without prejudice or ad damnum inter alia while seeking quid pro quo or merely acquiesce to nunc pro tunc? I feel I have no choice but to issue a peremptory challenge to inclusion of the word “alone” in the proposed text to wit.
You tell me!