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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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New Jersey Newspaper Letter To The Editor: Boy Scouts of America

June 8, 2006

Regarding "Take a hike!" (Page A-1, June 8) and "nature deficit disorder" in children:

I am a leader in an organization dedicated to providing an outdoor experience for the youth of our area. I am the Scoutmaster of Troop 53 in Fair Lawn.

Within the last 12 months our troop has:

provided a week of camping for boys.

organized a 50-mile canoe trek through the Adirondacks.

taught boys how to orienteer.

hiked seven miles through Harriman State Park.

backpacked on the Cannonball Trail.

rafted nine miles down the Lehigh River.

In addition we have gone biking and skiing.

We have camped at Great Adventure Amusement Park and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

To find out more about Scouting, please check out the Web site of the Northern New Jersey Council of the Boy Scouts of America ( or call them at (201) 677-1000.
Jim Wrynn
Fair Lawn, June 8

Response To The Letter To The Editor

Scoutmaster Jim Wrynn, in his letter on page O-3 of June 11, lists many of the fine outdoor experiences the Boy Scouts offer to boys.

It is just a real pity that the Boy Scouts, subsidized to the tune of many hundreds of thousands (probably much more) of taxpayer dollars, would refuse membership to a boy from an atheist family whose family has not taught him to "honor a supreme being" -- and would refuse membership to a boy if he happens to be open and honest and admit to gay feelings. The Scouting program has given wonderful outdoor experiences and ethical life
experiences to a vast number of boys over the years -- and years ago was known to welcome "all boys."

The shame is that the current policy, which many millions of dollars have been spent by the Boy Scouts to defend in court, is discriminatory and humiliating to young boys who are ostracized and rejected. In a state like New Jersey, with clear laws against discrimination,
no group that takes funds from the public pocketbook should be exempt from those laws.

For more information on this matter and for examples of actual cases, readers are invited to or by email at

Jim Cooper
Paramus, NJ

[the writer spent 25 years as a cub, scout, explorer and leader in the BSA. He was awarded Vigil Honor in Order of the Arrow and worked for three summers on staff of Philmont, the national scout ranch.]




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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.

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