Sunday, May 20, 2018
Editorials

Editorial: A step forward for Boy Scouts

Progress rarely arrives perfectly packaged. The vote by the national council of the Boy Scouts of America to allow openly gay boys to participate in the venerable organization reflects the country's rapidly increasing acceptance of homosexuals. The decision reflects significant progress and reflects well on an organization deeply woven into the fabric of so many families and communities.

No media were allowed inside a convention center in Grapevine, Texas, last week as more than 1,400 volunteer members of the Boy Scouts national council convened for two days. But published reports point to a group that came together for a frank conversation about an issue that could no longer be ignored.

In the end, more than 60 percent of the national council voted to end the ban on gay troop members. Such significant support on such a difficult issue for the Boy Scouts sends a powerful message.

Such an outcome seemed unlikely just five months ago, when Boy Scouts leaders postponed a previous vote amid growing turmoil and then commissioned a poll of membership on the topic. Many prohibitionists had counted on the strong religious connection to scouting — 70 percent of all Boy Scout troops are sponsored by religious groups — to continue to insist on the politics of exclusion. But that bloc is not monolithic. Last month, the Mormon Church, which organizes one out of every four troops, constituting 15 percent of the Scout population, signaled it would support the change. So did the Episcopal and Presbyterian churches and the National Jewish Committee on Scouting.

Last week's decision to change the membership requirements of one of the nation's most recognized groups came after broad discussion and thoughtful consideration by those adults and leaders most involved in its activities. Left unresolved is whether those gay scouts will be embraced once they reach adulthood as Scout leaders. But this decision affirms that the nation's growing support for fellow citizens who are homosexuals will continue. Opening the doors of scouting to all boys is real progress.

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Editorial: Tampa Bay House members fail to stand up to Big Sugar

Editorial: Tampa Bay House members fail to stand up to Big Sugar

Big Sugar remains king in Florida. Just three of the state’s 27 House members voted for an amendment to the farm bill late Thursday that would have started unwinding the needless government supports for sugar that gouge taxpayers. Predictably, the am...
Published: 05/18/18
Editorial: Bondi holds drug industry accountable for Florida opioid crisis

Editorial: Bondi holds drug industry accountable for Florida opioid crisis

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s lawsuit against the nation’s largest drug makers and distributors marks a moment of awakening in the state’s battle to recover from the opioid crisis. In blunt, forceful language, Bondi accuses these companies of ...
Published: 05/18/18
Editorial: A sweet note for the Florida Orchestra’s violin program for at-risk kids

Editorial: A sweet note for the Florida Orchestra’s violin program for at-risk kids

This is music to the ears. Members of the Florida Orchestra will introduce at-risk students to the violin this summer at some Hillsborough recreation centers. For free.An $80,000 grant to the University Area Community Development Corp. will pay for s...
Published: 05/17/18
Updated: 05/18/18
Trump backs off China tariff threat as China pumps money into a Trump family project

Trump backs off China tariff threat as China pumps money into a Trump family project

In barely six weeks, President Donald Trump has gone from threatening to impose $150 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods to extending a lifeline to ZTE, a Chinese cell phone company that violated U.S. sanctions by doing business with Iran and North K...
Published: 05/17/18
Editorial: Activism as seniors helps put Hillsborough graduates on the right path

Editorial: Activism as seniors helps put Hillsborough graduates on the right path

Lots of teenagers are walking together this week in Hillsborough County, a practice they’ve grown accustomed to during this remarkable school year.We can only hope they keep walking for the rest of their lives.Tens of thousands of them this week are ...
Published: 05/17/18
Editorial: Bondi holds drug industry accountable for Florida opioid crisis

Editorial: Bondi holds drug industry accountable for Florida opioid crisis

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s lawsuit against the nation’s largest drug makers and distributors marks a moment of awakening in the state’s battle to recover from the opioid crisis. In blunt, forceful language, Bondi accuses these companies of ...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/18/18
Editorial: Johns Hopkins All Children’s should be more open about mistakes

Editorial: Johns Hopkins All Children’s should be more open about mistakes

A state investigation raises even more concern about medical errors at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital and the venerable St. Petersburg institution’s lack of candor to the community. Regulators have determined the hospital broke Florida law by ...
Published: 05/16/18
Updated: 05/17/18
Editorial: St. Petersburg recycling worth the effort despite cost issues

Editorial: St. Petersburg recycling worth the effort despite cost issues

St. Petersburg’s 3-year-old recycling program has reached an undesirable tipping point, with operating costs exceeding the income from selling the recyclable materials. The shift is driven by falling commodity prices and new policies in China that cu...
Published: 05/15/18
Updated: 05/18/18
Editorial: HUD’s flawed plan to raise rents on poor people

Editorial: HUD’s flawed plan to raise rents on poor people

Housing Secretary Ben Carson has a surefire way to reduce the waiting lists for public housing: Charge more to people who already live there. Hitting a family living in poverty with rent increases of $100 or more a month would force more people onto ...
Published: 05/15/18
Updated: 05/18/18
Editorial: Voters should decide whether legal sports betting comes to Florida

Editorial: Voters should decide whether legal sports betting comes to Florida

It’s a safe bet Florida will get caught up in the frenzy to legalize wagering on sports following the U.S. Supreme Court opinion this week that lifted a federal ban. Struggling horse and dog tracks would love a new line of business, and state l...
Published: 05/15/18
Updated: 05/16/18