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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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Press Release
For Immediate Release and Distribution
October 15, 2004

Barry Lawrence, Board Member
Scouting for All
Tel: 707-795-2376

Scouting for All Asks Roger Schrimp, Community Leader, Modesto, California to Reject on Principle Two Awards from the Boy Scouts of America

Roger Schrimp, attorney and community leader from Modesto California will be receiving the Boy Scouts of America's Distinguished Citizen for 2004 and Distinguished Eagle Scout awards at a 5:30 award dinner, being held October 27, 2004, at the Double Tree Hotel in Modesto, California. Scott Cozza, president of Scouting for All says, "What an irony that the Boy Scouts of America would even have such an award, "Distinguished Citizen," when this "private" organization who continues to receive public funds and benefits from tax payer money discriminates against American citizens who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and atheist and other nontheists, both youth and adults. This is unthinkable and the Boy Scouts of America's policy discriminating against gay and atheist youth is un-American." Scouting for All has asked Mr. Schrimp to act on principle and denounce the BSA's policy of discrimination by refusing to accept the awards. The BSA policy of discrimination is in violation of both the Boy Scouts of America's Scout Oath and Law and I'm sure is in violation of Mr. Schrimp's professional code of ethics as a lawyer.

The we ask Scouting for All supporters to write Mr. Schrimp and make a statement by protesting at the awards dinner on the 27th. The following is a letter Scouting for All sent to Mr. Schrimp's office.

Roger Schrimp, Attorney
1601 I Street, 5th Floor
Modesto, CA 95354
tel: 209-526-3500

October 14, 2004

Dear Mr. Schrimp,

I am writing you representing an organization called Scouting for All.

We are a 501 c3 charitable nonprofit. Scouting for All was founded by Steven Cozza, Eagle Scout when he was a 12 year old Life Scout. Steven took a stand against the discriminatory policy of the Boy Scouts of America against gay and atheist youth and adults. He said at the time he could not live with himself if he remained in scouting and turned his back on his gay friends. It was Steven stepping forth with nothing to gain and everything to lose who spoke out, and by doing so inspired the Scouting for All movement across America and internationally. We have since learned that the Boy Scouts of America also discriminates against atheist and nontheist youth and adults. Our members include current and past BSA members, the general public who believe discrimination is morally wrong, as well as national organizations such as PFLAG, GLSEN, NGLTF, ACLU, American Atheist, and most international scouting associations throughout the world.

We understand that the Boy Scouts of America want to award you with the Distinguished Citizen Award for 2004 and their Distinguished Eagle Scout Award. Scouting for All representing its national and international
members and supporters ask that you not accept these awards on the grounds that the current leadership in Irving, Texas is in violation of both its own Scout Oath and Law when it mandates it members to discriminate against gay and atheist youth and adults. The current BSA policy of exclusion of a segment of our society is also in violation of your own professional code of ethics as a lawyer. As a 12 year old Life Scout, in 1997 found the courage to step forth against discriminatory forces; we ask you as an Eagle Scout and distinguished community leader to also step forth and be counted on the side of social justice and denounce the award until the BSA rescinds its bigoted policy. Ask yourself if the Boy Scouts of America discriminated against African Americans, Mormons, or any other segment of our diverse society would you accept the awards? If your answer is no
then why would you accept the BSA awards when they discriminate against gay and atheist community. We ask that you act in the true Spirit of and Eagle Scout and show the strength of character to oppose the BSA policy of
exclusion by not accepting the awards.


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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