Are there gay Girl Scouts and should I buy cookies?

January 28, 2009 at 7:11 am 11 comments

February 9, 2013: This old post (Jan. 28, 2009) has been getting a lot of traffic lately so I thought I should update.

…It’s that most wonderful time of the year.

I haven’t purchased Girl Scout cookies for several years because I didn’t know anyone with children, but my mom usually gets around to sending a box in May or so.  I am now working in a building with many people with children and there are “Cookies!” signs up all over.  I was going to order a couple of boxes, but then I started wondering if the Girl Scouts have the same anti-gay policies as the Boy Scouts (in case you missed it, here is an article about the Supreme Court ruling on the Boy Scouts barring gay troop leaders and A Review of BSA’s Gay Policy.)

Update 2/9/13: Boy Scouts are in the news again this week, having first announced they are going to reconsider their policy of banning gay scout leaders and members, then announcing they are putting off that decision until May.

Now, I don’t think the Girl Scouts, whose stated goal is “in an accepting and nurturing environment, girls build character and skills for success in the real world” should become consumed with pushing any particular political agenda, but I’m not about to give one pretty penny to an organization with a policy of discrimination against my favorite group of people.

The official website for Girl Scouts of America does not state a policy on the topic of lesbian members and leadership, so I poked around for awhile on the World Wide Web.  (I did learn from the website that two-thirds of female members of Congress have been Girl Scouts.)

For the record, as a child I spent a couple of fairly uninspiring years in Brownies.  I have fuzzy memories of a week-long summer Brownie day camp tie-dying t-shirts and roasting bananas with chocolate and marshmallows.  During afternoon troupe meetings I remember cross-stitching a cutesy puppy.  Or rather, not cross-stitching a puppy – what about the hiking and fire making, hello?  That was 1982; now the girls earn badges in aerospace and computers.  I graduated to Girl Scouts in third grade just as I was entering a new school with a bunch of Mean Girls and quickly dropped out.  So much for my senatorial career.

Note:  I was hoping to insert a picture here of some punk rock Girl Scout flipping the bird, but I was afraid to do an image search for “Bad Girl Scout.”

Anyway, here’s what I found on the gay topic:

Girl Scouts on

“Although at various times in its history, the Girl Scouts organization and affiliated troops have expressed fears about homosexuals working with children and have conducted witch-hunts to purge lesbians from positions of leadership, the Girl Scouts of the U. S. A. has had an inclusive non-discrimination policy since 1980.”

“Though many feel that the Girl Scouts’ policy–which states that the organization does not discriminate or intrude into personal issues–amounts to a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy about lesbians in scouting, it is still remarkably open for a young people’s organization in the United States.”

Girl Scouts of the USA by Debra L. Stang

“In a letter sent to parents, Girl Scouts states, “The Girl Scout organization does not discriminate, but we do not endorse any particular lifestyle and we do not recruit lesbians as a group.”

“Only about two dozen of the 300+ Girl Scouts Councils have adopted explicit non-discrimination policies.  The rest operate on a vague “don’t ask, don’t tell” basis. Each Council is also allowed to interpret Girl Scouts rules in its own way.” … “Unlike Boy Scouts of America, which remains mired in unabashed bigotry, Girl Scouts of the USA is trying to move towards a policy of acceptance.”

 Girl Scouts Blazing Its Own Trail On Lesbian Issue by Barbara Raab

“It’s a non-issue for us,” said Lori Arguelles, communications director, who stressed that rigorous background checks are required for all staff and volunteer leaders. “We don’t ask people to declare X, Y, or Z. It’s not in our makeup to have to define people like that. The Boy Scouts believes that to be gay is somehow immoral. That is not our feeling.”

The councils, (spokesperson) Christie-Ach added, are solely responsible for the hiring and training of staff, consistent with the national policies, but always, she says, subject to interpretation “depending on community norms.”

“Girl Scouts is not like McDonald’s,” she added, “The councils are not franchises. We allow Girl Scout councils to know best how to operate in their communities. That’s what our founder wanted.”

Fair enough.  I look forward to enjoying some Shortbreads or new-fangled Lemonades with my tea.   Plus, there’s just nothing better than discovering half of tube of frozen thin mints in July.



Entry filed under: My Favorite People, Uncategorized, Videos and Articles. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , .

To Think I Used To Be A Vegetarian January is a really long month.

11 Comments Add your own

  • 1. jessieisskoopy  |  January 28, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    This is the best I could do for you . . .


  • 2. Anonymous  |  May 30, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    I never gave thought to the Lesbian issue and Girl Scouts. That is until my sister dropped my neice off for her first troop meeting. Much to her suprise the leader is the father of another Scout. My sister goes to church with a couple who got divorced, the husband went to I think, China and had a sex change. “Mr. Smith” is the Scout leader. She dreads the day her daughter will figure out her friend’s daddy is now a mommy. She also dreads the day the other moms and dads will find out. The little girl is now discussing the fact that dad is now mom. My sister has to attend every meeting because she does not want Mr. Smith explaining the issue. She feels she should discuss the issue with my niece but is fearful if she does her daughter may tell others.

    Anyone want to explain this to a group of 7 year olds? The Girl Scouts should at least tell the parents and let them decide if the leader is what they want for a role model.

    • 3. saratoday  |  June 6, 2012 at 9:32 pm

      The scenario you describe sounds like a highly unusual one. It does seem like something parents should be informed about. The article I sited says, “We allow Girl Scout councils to know best how to operate in their communities.”

      I can imagine that discussing gay and transgender issues with children might be challenging, but there are transgender people in the world and the kids are going to encounter them sooner or later. I think kids are amazingly resilient and understanding especially if presented with information in a matter-of-fact way.

    • 4. Anonymous  |  February 12, 2013 at 5:11 am

      Why not? It can help them see the transgendered as regular people like the rest of us; it’s only a big deal if you make it one.

  • 5. AZ GS Troop Leader  |  July 17, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    I am a co-leader of a GS troop with a lesbian (I am a heterosexual female) and I can tell you, the girls don’t really ask very much why Miss Suzanne has a wife. My 6 year old daughter asked once, because it was confusing for her, who has a mom and dad. I simply told her that Miss Suzanne has a wife instead of a husband. When she looked at me funny I told her that it happens. Sometimes boys fall in love with boys and sometimes girls fall in love with girls. Literally she has never asked again. In this scenario, which is unusal, a simple explanantion like “Mr Smith has an operation that changed him to a lady” may be enough for younger kids. Now, I do think the parents should have been told ahead of time so they could be prepared for the questions A sex change is a lot easier to spot than homosexuality.

  • 6. susanna  |  January 17, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    the sooner you have these conversations with kids, the sooner they will grow up and not be as close-minded and bigoted…phobias are rooted in fear and ignorance…let’s empower our kids with confidence, adventure and full information…so they don’t grow up bashing or being hateful towards people who don’t look, act, present like them in the world!

    • 7. OT  |  February 6, 2013 at 8:53 pm

      How is it that I have a belief system that is considered bigoted by you and have to bend to your beliefs? Homosexuality is an abberant behavior, lifestyle choice. A very very tiny minority of individuals who are screaming and pushing their sexuality in everyone else’s face demanding we accept their deviation from nature. Go create your own Lesbian or Gay scouts of america and leave other people’s belief to them.

      • 8. saratoday  |  February 9, 2013 at 2:48 pm

        OT, Not sure if you’re responding to my post or Susanna’s comment. My conclusion is that the Girl Scouts aren’t requiring anyone to bend. They’re letting local troupes decide was in best for the community they represent.

        Also, may I suggest a website that may be of interest to you?


  • 9. susanna  |  January 17, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    ps…i totally came upon this thread because it is that time of year again…and i was trying to get a sense if GS is an organization i want to support…as an individual who identifies as queer (gender non conforming), i feel that it is a little convenient for GS to say, “We allow Girl Scout councils to know best how to operate in their communities.” that’s a cop out…they should hop off the fence and take a position…until that happens…i will not be buying GS cookies…

    • 10. saratoday  |  January 18, 2013 at 11:43 pm

      Hi Susanna,

      It surprises me people keep finding this old post. “Operating Locally” is a little bit of a cop-out, but I’m okay with it for now. I think progress on the gay-rights front is inevitable. For some things, the military for instance, I’m all for legislation, lawsuits and forcing the issue. For others, like the girl scouts, I’m alright with more organic, albeit slower, approach.


  • 11. Megan  |  February 21, 2013 at 9:21 am

    I am a lesbian troop leader. I am not scared to lose my position or have someone “tattle” on me. I have ran into my troops parents before at the store with my partner and nothing was said. Just a quick “hello how are you?” and then we were both on our way.

    I think anyone who decides not to buy girl scout cookies because they don’t have a straight up decision for you is trying to find an excuse to just not support them. For god sakes they allowed a Transgender female into the program…..THAT IS AWESOME!!! I am so proud to have my daughters in the program and so proud to be involved in an organization like this.

    Oh btw, I am in a conservative southern state. If that makes any difference.My partner and I recently got engaged and yes I wear my ring. My partner is also a volunteer in our troop too and sometimes our kids will call us by our parent names(Mommy and Momma) and no other child has said anything about it.

    Again, proud to be a Girl Scout Mom!!! 😀


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

I Can Fit In There

Check out my new website

Loyal Readers & 1-Hit Wonders


Where do they all come from?


%d bloggers like this: