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The Scout Movement in SVG will celebrate its 100th anniversary on April 17. (IWN photo)
The Scout Movement in SVG will celebrate its 100th anniversary on April 17. (IWN photo)
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Morrison Baisden, president of the Scouts Association of SVG. (IWN photo)
Morrison Baisden, president of the Scouts Association of SVG. (IWN photo)

Gay and lesbian scout leaders will not be tolerated in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, says Morrison Baisden, president of the Scouts Association of SVG.

Baisden made the point at a press briefing on Tuesday to inform the media of plans to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Scouting in SVG, this year.

(Read also: Scouts in SVG prepare to celebrate 100th anniversary)

He said that the Scout Movement has been affected by pressures to improve even as financing declined, and in the face of “a lot of rumours, some founded, some unfounded”.

Asked to elaborate on the nature of the “rumours”, Baisden said that local Scout Movement, like the World Scout Movement, was affected by “the spectre of homosexuality”.

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“The World Scout Movement took the decision for its international parts, that you have zero tolerance of homosexuality. It apparently reared its head in St. Vincent and it was dealt with,” he said.

“We have to refer to it as rumours, because in every case where it was investigated, they were not able to prove that it was so. But there was sufficient talk for it to dissuade young people and parents from coming into the Movement in the way that they were coming before. And I think that applied to everybody who was in scouts and whose children were in those areas where the rumours were circulating.

“… A number of the people who were involved were themselves leaders and well-trained leaders and they had to go. They were all asked to leave,” Baisden said.

He said that the position of the local School Movement is the same as the World Organisation of Scout Movements.

“That is, that we cannot have leaders that are homosexuals, but if boys show a tendency toward homosexuality, we will not deny them participation in the Movement,” he said, adding that the policy is the same for lesbians.

Baisden said that there are also steps to help prevent the abuse of children.

“The World Scout Movement says that if you suspect paedophilia in the Scout Movement, the Cub Scout Movement, or the Guides Movement as well, then you must report the suspicion to the police immediately and the person must be suspended until it is clear that it is not so,” he said.

He said that the Scout Movement locally has overcome those problems and is rebuilding.

“We made a decision that we would put the emphasis on the Scout Movement at the younger level, the Cub Scout level, and we have made significant progress in that,” Baisden said.

There was an investiture ceremony for a Cub Scout pack in Colonarie and there are vibrant packs across the country, Baisden said.

4 replies on “Zero tolerance for gay, lesbian Scout leaders”

  1. Homophobic remarks have no place in this society. These are people we are talking about, human beings. This guy should be banned from visiting countries where have the freedom to live in peace and respect for each other.

  2. Ok, I am not for this alternative lifestyle even though I respect your right to live your life as you wish…but I find this position by the Scouts Association to be asinine. Are you saying “straight” men wouldn’t molest little boys? How do you assessed someone who says he is not gay but perceived to be gay? Do you have some sort of test to determine this? Do you put this individual in a room with a little boy and wait for the outcome? What if the person has bisexual “tendencies”, how do you account for that person?

    I am being a bit facetious here with these questions but what I am getting at is to challenge this notion of a direct linkage between sexual abuse of children and homosexuality. According to some literature on this issue, “the consensus among researchers is that the sexual abuse of children is not a question of sexual ‘orientation’, whether heterosexual or homosexual, but of a disordered attraction or ‘fixation.'” I guess this is another discussion for another time but I am just saying.

    Now, the Association is saying that if boys and girls show homosexual tendencies that they would not be denied from participating in Scouts, wow, are we not merciful. So, what if a young boy “express” his feelings to another boy, maybe he is in that “confuse” phase of his adolescent life- how would the Association deal with such situation? Let me guess, attached the scarlet letter of “F” on the kid and shame the bejesus outta him until he show “straight” tendencies? I dare to “mek jokes” but this is some serious concerns.

    Look, this is 2014 and this position by the Scouts Association belongs to the neanderthal era. I am well aware that this is the universal(US) position of the Scouts, so this fool in Vincyland is merely being servile to the dictates of his supreme leader. The Association position should simply be, that no discussion of sexuality be part of the curriculum teachings of the Scouts[fear of indoctrination?] and any question of such will be dealt with on an individual basis with the parents or guardian involvement.

    I believe the Association heart is in the right place in regards to keeping our kids safe…but I also believe this policy is simply one of blatant discrimination and backward thinking. Granted the Scouts Association is a private organisation[subject to correction] and have the right to accept whoever they want, so I guess, to each his own?

    I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin[AND THEIR SEXUALITY] but by the content of their character.”

  3. Carlos Walcott says:

    Only a dumb and uneducated person would make such hateful remarks. I do not condone homosexuality but I’m not the judge, jury or executioner of anyone who chooses to. As a leader of such of prestigious group, this man should know better than to utter such homophobic words. Please step down, Mr. Baisden

  4. The scout leader is trying to protect innocent children who can fall into these closeted people hands. It doesn’t matter if they are gay or straight – keep them out.

  5. Careful guys or girls or maybe those in between! You are climbing up the wrong tree. The scout leader has the right to ensure the people involved with kids are not going to take advantage of their position to interfere with those kids. What’s wrong with that? By the way did Martin mention gays in “I have a dream”?

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