RE CHRISTINE Flowers' Dec. 7 op-ed on the Boy Scouts:

I've been in scouting going on 66 years. I am an Eagle Scout and have held many positions in scouting, including on the executive committee of the Cradle of Liberty Council.

If I interpret the bylaws of scouting correctly, no scout (from 10 and a half years old until he is 18) is ever questioned about his sexual orientation and is welcomed into scouting. But when you proclaim that your sexual orientation is not that of the scouting code and you are 18 or older, this matter does come into play.

I think, as Christine Flowers does, that the boys are the ones that really will be affected by the closing of this wonderful building.

It is a known fact that any boy who spends even as little as six months in scouting has a different outlook on life and - percentagewise - does not get into trouble like those who have never been scouts.

I could go on forever with the real good attributes scouting gives to an individual and what it does for him morally, physically and mentally.

Louis Tartack, Philadelphia

I believe that Mayor Street and others involved in the current issue of the Boy Scouts are working from a false premise - that the scouts are "anti-gay."

My perception is that the Boy Scout organization is not against those who practice homosexual behaviors, but rather refuse to allow those who would promote such practices from having a platform as members of the Boy Scouts.

I remember my reaction to those homosexulas gays who wanted to march in the New York City St. Patrick's Day parade several years ago. They had not been prohibited from marching, but now wanted to march as a group with a banner announcing their sexual preference.

The analogy that came to mind was that such a practice would be like a group marching in the St. Patrick's Day parade with a banner announcing their preference for being spanked while having sex. None of these things have anything to do with being Irish or with St. Patrick (who was English, but that's another story).

Consider my analogy. It seems obvious, once considered, and I ask that you either agree, and act accordingly, or if you don't, please let me know why so I can be corrected.

Dan Homan Jr., Philadelphia

Waiting for Mumia

I feel sorry for Maureen Faulkner - too much time has gone by. Gov. Rendell acts like he's the friend of the Faulkner family, but in his first term, he could have signed a death warrant for Mumia Abu-Jamal.

The death penalty would work if it were actually used. Waiting 26 years for a murderer to pay for his crime is a crime for the Faulkner family.

Joe McAllister