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.
Scouting for All is a 100% Volunteer 501-(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization. Every dollar donated goes toward our education and advocacy programs, and is tax deductible.
For Immediate Release and Distribution
December 26, 2005
Scouting for All, 501C-3
Asking you to read Steven's letter to you as a Scouting for All supporter. Scouting for All is a grassroots
organization of all volunteers. Most of our team is made up of Eagle Scouts and prior BSA members. We believe in
Scouting, not discrimination. All donations go to direct service.
You can make a donation to Scouting for All by going to our web site www.scoutingforall.org and using paypal
or you can send your tax
deductible financial contribution to Scouting for All, POB 2832, Petaluma, CA 94953-2832
Scouting for All's 2005 Annual Fund-raiser
Dear Supporter of Scouting for All,
My name is Steven Cozza, Eagle Scout. I am now 20 years old. In 1997, when I was 12, I took a stand against
the Boy Scouts of America
because of its discrimination against gays and atheists. My advocacy inspired the creation of Scouting for All.
Donations from supporters like
you have helped us in our efforts to convince the Boy Scouts of America to end its discrimination. Each year, Scouting
for All conducts an annual fund-raiser. It is that time of year again, and Scouting for All needs your financial
support. I am writing to ask you to stand with us again by making a contribution to Scouting for All's annual fund-raising
campaign for 2005. This is Scouting for All's only fund-raising event of the year.
We have come a long way over these last eight years. In fact, we have had a number of gay youth and several
gay adults who have told us that Scouting for All saved their lives by letting them know that there is an organization
which advocates for their civil rights and conveys a message that being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered
I am not giving up on my efforts to stand against the discrimination by the Boy Scouts of America, and
I'm also asking you not to give up! We should all continue to maintain the vision of social justice for everyone
and strive to reach that vision's goals of liberty and justice for all.
The BSA discriminates against my gay and atheist friends. Its policy of discrimination hurts people and
teaches my fellow Scouts to
discriminate. As an Eagle Scout, I'm actually ashamed of the current national leaders of the Boy Scouts of America.
They are ruining a good
program that was meant to include all youth, not just some youth.
When Lord Robert Baden-Powell founded the Scouting movement in 1907, and I am sure that he would never
have supported discrimination against gay or atheist youth or adults. He wanted Scouting to accept all kids. Most
scouting organizations in the world do not discriminate against gays, girls or atheists. Why does the BSA? The
Boy Scouts of America should represent the very best in us as a nation, but its current national leaders choose
to embrace the very worst: bigotry, discrimination, sexism and homophobia. The BSA's policy of discrimination really
hurts kids, both homosexual and heterosexual.
The leading cause of death for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth is suicide because
they experience rejection from society. As an Eagle Scout I hold organizations like the Boy Scouts of America and
individuals like President Bush who is the Honorary President of the BSA and who condones the BSA's bigotry by
remaining silent accountable for the high LGBT & Q youth suicide rate. A college student, Matthew Shepard
was murdered a few years ago by an Eagle Scout and a Mormon, because he was gay. Homophobic institutions do play
a role in causing hate crimes. Scouting for All works every day to challenge the BSA's policy of discrimination
and by doing so we challenge all institutions in America that discriminate including President Bush, who says
"No child left behind", but he leaves homosexual and atheist youth behind. Scouting for All continues
to be very successful in lobbying the United Way and other funding organizations around the country to end their
funding of the BSA. Nearly one-third of the funding that formerly went to the BSA through the United Way has been
diverted to other nondiscriminatory organizations. Yet, we still have much more work to do.
Scouting for All has many educational activities and outreach programs. These include maintaining our Internet
web site, www.scoutingforall.org; providing consultations to BSA members, religious groups, governmental bodies,
schools, businesses and the United Way; providing support to Gay-Straight Alliance Clubs in high schools; organizing
protests at BSA events, including its annual BSA National
Council meeting; participating in gay-pride events; providing support to gay and atheist or nontheistic scouts
and leaders; creating and
distributing literature from Scouting for All; speaking at national and regional conferences, including PFLAG (Parents,
Families and Friends of
Lesbians and Gays) and the NGLTF (National Gay and Lesbian Task Force); organizing our Annual National Recognition
of GLBT Youth and Gay and Atheist Scout Month in October, which includes rallies, fund-raisers and celebrations
for GLBT youth; and coordinating Scouting for All's Alliance for Human Rights. We are reaching out to our current
President of the United States asking him to take a stand against the intolerance of the Boy Scouts of America
by stepping down as the Honorary President of the BSA. We will also work to get Congress to revoke the BSA's congressional
charter. We are currently working with Gus Van Sant , film director and HBO to create a movie about my advocacy
and Scouting for All that will give an affirming and empowering message to LGBT and Q youth and provide a normalizing
message to the general public about what it means to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered or atheist including
As the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
Please support Scouting for
All with a generous, tax-deductible donation. We are a 501©) (3), charitable, nonprofit organization.
On behalf of my family and the entire Scouting for All organization, I want to thank you in advance for
helping us to make the world a better
place for all people. In this time of darkness in America, let us all become lights of hope for fostering healing
social change, peace and
justice. Strength and compassion lie within our own hearts not to turn and walk away, but to step forth and be
Steven Cozza, Eagle Scout
Cofounder of Scouting for All