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Activist Groups Urge Obama to Reject Boy Scout Honor

From Fox News:

Activist groups, including Scouting for All, urge President Obama not to accept the honorary Presidency of the Boy Scouts of America until they stop discriminating.

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Core Values of Scouting or Core Values of Religious Fundamentalists?

An Official from the Boy Scouts of America's National Office says "Gays are excluded because they don't follow the core values of Scouting: fidelity, abstinence, and chastity."

On August 21, 2000 Scouting For All lead a National Day of Protest across the country, protesting the Boy Scouts of America's policy of discrimination against gay youth, adults and atheists. Protests were held in over 21 states and 35 locations at various Scout Councils. Scouting For All had hoped to meet with Scout Officials at the National headquarters in Irving, Texas.

Given over a months notice the BSA had secretarial and custodial staff meet our contingent at the headquarters front door. We were told all officials were out of town at a conference. Those who we spoke to promised that we could phone national officials at a later time in the hopes of scheduling a meeting in the future. After calling once a week for over a month and a half and requesting to speak to an official of the BSA, Scott Cozza, Pres. of Scouting For All, asked the secretary if the BSA treated all of its members in that manner. Mr. Cozza reminded her that he was still a member of the BSA and had expected the BSA to treat him in a civil and respectful fashion and that not returning his phone calls was not respectful, Mr. Cozza asked the secretary if the BSA treated all of its members who questioned BSA policy in the same manner they had treated him. She agreed that someone should have gotten back to him. She told Mr. Cozza that she had been forwarding all of his messages and that it was out of her control. About 2 hours later Mr. Cozza received a call from an official of the BSA's National Office External Communications Division.

The following is a paraphrased version of the conversation that took place between Scott Cozza, Pres. of Scouting For All and the BSA Official:

BSA Official: "The Chief (Executive, Roy Williams) is not going to meet with Scouting For All. We have a task force established to find a resolution. We are familiar with your program and understand your position. Your views are well established. I am not here to dialog with you about this issue, but
would be glad to answer any questions you might have".

Scott Cozza: "Okay, I have a question about the Learning for Life program. How can the BSA maintain the position of excluding gays from traditional Scouting units and allowing gays in the Learning for Life program? We are very pleased that the BSA doesn't discriminate against gays in Learning for Life".

BSA Official: "The traditional program of Scouting speaks to duty to God, fidelity, abstinence, and chastity. Learning for Life is a separate program. It is not an extension of the Boy Scouts of America. Learning for Life involves 3rd parties being allowed to use elements of the Boy Scouts of America Scouting program to meet their own organization and or community needs. You can go to the Boy Scouts of America web page to learn about the Learning for Life program".

Scott Cozza: "How can United Ways who decide to only contribute to the Learning for Life program be assured that the funds will only be used for Learning for Life and not filtered to the BSA National traditional Scouting programs"?

BSA Official: " We have ethical standards we follow. Monies donated for specific programs are only used for those designated programs".

Scott Cozza: "How does fidelity, abstinence, and chastity have anything to do with the Boy Scouts of America's decision to exclude gay youth and adults"?

BSA Official: "I am not going to answer that".

Scott Cozza: "Why? It's a pretty simple question. Is it that the Boy Scouts of America lacks substance in their position of excluding gay youth and adults.?

BSA Official: "I've been instructed not to enter into that dialog with you. Thank you very much.! (Hangs up).

End of conversation

The BSA Official's statement referred to the values of fidelity, abstinence, and chastity as being Scouting's core values. He stated these values in reference to why the BSA excluded gays from the traditional Scouting program. The truth of the matter, I'm afraid, is that the Scouting Official was not
quoting from any official BSA document, but from his own interpretation of the Bible. You see there is not an official document anywhere to be found in Scouting that excludes gays from the Scouting program. It appears that religious fundamentalists have taken Scouting over in America and have
corrupted both the Scout Law and Oath for their own political and religious agenda. The BSA National is currently in violation of their own 1916 Charter which states the BSA is a nonsectarian youth organization whose membership is to be determined by each chartered organization and scout unit.

Scouting For All will continue to work for healing change within the Boy Scouts of America in the hope of taking back the Scouting program in America so it again become the program it was intended to be; a program for all kids not some kids, a program which embraces the spirit and diversity of the human family, a program that cherishes our differences as a people and views those difference as a strength of the human family.

Scott Cozza, Pres.
Scouting For All




Scouting For All is not an alternative scouting program.
We are an education and advocacy organization reaching out to gay and nontheist youth and adults in our effort to get the Boy Scouts of America to rescind its exlusionary policy.

Any communications sent to Scouting for All or any Scouting for All representative may be published on the Scouting for All web site or in Scouting for All materials unless the communication specifically requests that it not be published.

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