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Dave Rice

Dave Rice

Dave Rice


Vitae

  • Fifty-nine (59) years of Scouting
  • Fall 1938 - March 1941: Cub Pack 91, Oakland, California
  • April 1941 - June 1947: Scout Troop 41, Oakland, California
  • June 1944 - June 1947: Explorer Post 1, Oakland, California
  • Summers 1945-1950: Camp Staff Member, Dimond-O Camp, Oakland Area Council, California
  • June 1947 - June 1948: Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop 41, Oakland, California
  • September 1948 - April 1950: Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop 30, Oakland, California
  • May 1950 - August 1951: Scoutmaster, Troop 30, Oakland, California
  • September 1951 - September 1953: Military service, US Army
  • October 1951 - January 1952: Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop 74, Fort Benning, Georgia
  • Summer 1952: Camp Staff Member, Camp Nacimiento, Santa Lucia Council, San Luis Obispo, California
  • October 1953 - March 1962: District Scout Executive, Marin Council, San Rafael, California
  • April 1962 - March 1965: District Scout Executive, Verdugo Hills Council, Glendale, California
  • April 1965 - March 1969: District Scout Executive, Sonoma-Mendocino Area Council, Petaluma, California
  • April 1969 - February 1970: District Scout Executive, Sequoia Council, Fresno, California
  • Fall 1969 - August 1970: Committee Member, Cub Scout Pack, Fresno, California
  • March 1970 - August 1971: in transition, disability and education
  • September 1970 - June 1971: Committee Member, Pack 101, Petaluma, California
  • Summer 1971: Camp Director, Camp Oljato, Stanford Area Council, Palo Alto, California
  • June 1971 - June 1972: Webelos Leader, Pack 101, Petaluma, California
  • June 1972 - January 1973: Committee Chair, Troop XX, Petaluma, California
  • January 1973 - January 1976: Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop XX, Petaluma, California
  • January 1976 - January 1978: Scoutmaster, Troop XX, Petaluma, California
  • January 1978 - September 1980: Merit Badge Counselor and Member Council California Camping Committee, Sonoma-Mendocino Area Council, Petaluma, California
  • Summer 1979: Program Director, Camp Masonite-Navarro, Sonoma-Mendocino Area Council, Petaluma, California
  • September 1980 - December 1992: Scoutmaster, Troop XX, Petaluma, California
  • January 1993 - date: Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop XX, Petaluma, California

Awards

  • 1959: Woodbadge (#4585)
  • 1960: Vigil Honor, Order of the Arrow
  • 1982: Award of Merit
  • 1991: Silver Beaver

How I became involved in Scouting for All

In 1981 I first read the news accounts of Tim Curran's lawsuit against the BSA for being kicked out of Scouting. I recall at the time I said to my wife, "What would I do if a Scout or assistant Scoutmaster of my troop came to me and said he was gay?" I wrestled with that for ten years, but my immediate resolve was that I would not kick him out!

In 1986 I went to work for the National Park Service (NPS) in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and soon found myself on the Equal Opportunity Committee (EOC). As EO chair I was asked to draft the second policy memorandum in the NPS extending EO employee protection to include sexual orientation, and the first such policy in the NPS extending that right to NPS volunteers (including Scout troops and Eagle Scout candidates working on service projects).

In early 1992 I read of the policy adopted by Troop 260 of San Jose. "We do not agree that sexual orientation is immoral. Sexual preference is a private issue. We don't believe it to be relevant in the selection of adult leaders or in the awarding of Eagle Scout rank." I wrote to Scoutmaster Mike Cahn supporting him.

In 1992 I heard a sermon saying that while there was no guarantee that our decisions were right, we still had a duty to act. I knew that I had to do something about gays and Scouting. "I'm there, I know, I can, I must!"

In 1993 the first steps were taken to form Scouting for All, with Mike Cahn, Bob Smith, Ken McPherson of Forgotten Scouts, Don Henry of the NPS Western Region EO office (Eagle Scout), myself, and others.

Scouting for All became moribund until Steve Cozza's letter to the editor in December 1997 attracted wide media attention and public support. The rest is history!

More Information

I have been married 43 years to Mary; we met at my Scout troop paper drive in which her brother was participating. We have four children and three grandchildren, with two more on the way.

I am an elder in the Presbyterian Church.

My proudest award is an engraved Sierra cup given by my troop when we realized I had completed 20 50-miler backpacking trips with them, 1000 miles, from 1974 to 1996.

I graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1951, with an AB in Education. I received my California teaching credential with a major in History from Dominican College, San Rafael, in 1971.

I served two years as a lieutenant in the US Army during the Korean War, 1951-1953. I was a district Scout executive in four California BSA councils 1953-1970. I taught grades 4-5-6 in San Anselmo, CA 1971-72, and in Napa Valley 1972-1985. I worked for the National Park Service in Golden Gate National Recreation Area from 1986-1994, as secretary, in public affairs, as a park ranger, and as an editor, besides the collateral duty of Equal Opportunity Committee Chair. I retired in 1994.

I have been to five National Scout Jamborees, two with Scouting, and three with the NPS on the conservation trail.

I am a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Petaluma, and an ordained elder. I am also a member of the Sierra Club, Presbyterians for Lesbian and Gay Concerns, and ACLU.

Hobbies: grandchildren, church, photography, hiking, natural history, though Scouting for All is taking up a lot of my time now.

Dave


Dave Rice's Dismisssal From the BSA

Western Region · Boy Scouts of America
4765 S. Lakeshore Drive · P.O. Box 22019 · Tempe, Arizona 85285-2019
602-752-7000 · FAX 602-752-0093


VIA REGISTERED CERTIFIED MAIL
March 16, 1998
Mr David A. Rice
XXX Xxxxxxxx Xxxxx
Petaluma, California 94954-3818
Dear Mr Rice:

I write to inform you that after careful review, we have decided that your registration as an adult leader for Boy Scouts of America should be terminated. Accordingly, you are requested to sever your relations with Boy Scouts of America. You will receive a refund of your registration fee.

By your actions of involving Scouting youth in your efforts to change Scouting's policy of not selecting open homosexuals for leadership positions, you have disqualified yourself from volunteer leadership in Scouting. While adult members of Boy Scouts of America are free to engage in responsible efforts to seek changes in Scouting policies through appropriate channels, members are not free to promote their own contrary views on policies among Scouting youth.

Adult membership is granted in order to advance Scouting's mission of instilling the values of the Oath and Law in Scouting youth, not to serve as a vehicle for promoting a personal social agenda.

Your involvement with Scouting over a substantial period of years does not excuse you from the requirements and standards applicable to all adult volunteer Scouters.

You are entitled to have this decision reviewed by a committee of National Office volunteers. If you wish to have this decision reviewed, please write to the Chief Scout Executive, Boy Scouts of America, 1325 Walnut Hill Lane, P.O. Box 15207, Irving, Texas 75015-2079, within 30 days of the date of this letter, giving your explanation of why your registration as a BSA member should be restored.

Sincerely yours,

Roy L. Williams
Regional Director
RLW:po
cc:
David Parks
Terry Kelley, SE
Jim Martin


DAVID A. RICE
XXX XXXXXXXX XXXXX
PETALUMA, CALIFORNIA 94954-3818
April 6, 1998
Mr Jere B Ratcliffe
Chief Scout Executive
Boy Scouts of America
1325 Walnut Hill Ln
P.O. Box 152079
Irving, TX 75015-2079
Re: Demand for Review of Termination of Registration as Adult Leader

Dear Mr Ratcliffe:

This letter shall serve as my demand for a review of the decision to terminate my registration as an adult leader with the Boy Scouts of America, as stated in Mr Roy L Williams' letter to me dated March 16, 1998.

I dispute in its entirety the contents of Mr Williams' letter for the reasons set forth below.

Mr Williams' letter states one reason for the decision to terminate my registration, "By your actions of involving Scouting youth in your efforts to change Scouting's policy of not selecting open homosexuals for leadership positions..." Apparently, as a BSA adult leader, I am "free to engage in responsible efforts to seek changes in Scouting policies through appropriate channels...," however, "members are not free to promote their own contrary views on policies among Scouting youth." (See Mr Williams' letter, second paragraph, emphasis added.)

The last paragraph of Mr Williams' letter indicates that my dispute should contain "your explanation of why your registration as a BSA member should be restored." In order to completely respond to the termination letter, I demand that the specific facts and circumstances of my termination be provided to me. I am unable to fully respond without knowing precisely what the basis was for the decision.

What I have been provided with is a vague allegation that I "involved" Scouting youth in my effort to change Scouting policy. What "involvement" is alleged? When? Where? Who was present? What did I do? How does the BSA expect me adequately to reply to this vicious attack without disclosing the facts?

This letter shall serve as my vehement denial of the reason for my termination as set forth in Mr Williams' letter. At no time whatsoever have I ever "involved" Scouting youth in my efforts to change the BSA policy on exclusion of homosexuals. I have acted in strict accordance with the guidelines provided to me by the Redwood Empire Council, Troop XX committee, and the Scoutmaster with respect to my advocating inclusion of gays in BSA.

Those guidelines were provided me by Terry Kelley, Scout Executive of the Redwood Empire Council, Cathay Zortman, chair of the Troop XX committee, and Scoutmaster Theo Mainaris;

they are as follows:
Not to mention the matter at troop meetings or activities, Not to wear the Scout uniform in connection with the matter, Not to identify with the troop number, and Not to contact parents or Scouts about the matter.

In addition to items numbered 1 through 4 above, on January 29, 1998 at a meeting with Troop XX parents, committee, and leaders, Captain Stefan Venckus, president-elect of the Redwood Empire Council, stated that advocating for homosexuals in the BSA was a free-speech issue, which meant that individually we could work for change in the BSA.

I have acted in full reliance on what he said and in strict compliance with items 1 through 4 above. My investigation of this matter to date has revealed that Mr Williams authored the letter of March 16 and included information of which he has no direct knowledge. Mr Williams told me, "I am not privy to the evidence" that was used to arrive at the conclusion of my termination.

Again I ask who made that determination and upon what evidence was it based? It is not possible for me to provide an explanation of why my registration should be restored until such time as I receive both the answers to my questions and the documents listed below.

In order to fully defend my position I must receive from you current editions of the following documents: Charter and Bylaws of the BSA, Rules and Regulations of the BSA, and Procedures for Maintaining Standards of Membership.

If items a through c above are not provided to me prior to the hearing on this matter or prior to the date at which a final determination is reached, it will not be possible to reply to the allegation, as those documents provide the policies and procedures for review, all of which under nonprofit law are public record.

I reserve my right to provide supplemental information, witness statements, or such other documents or testimony as may be necessary to support my position at such time as I have been informed of the facts and circumstances that form the basis of the allegation asserted for my termination.

The document entitled Procedures for Maintaining Standards of Membership (1994 edition) provides in the "Introduction" that "This booklet provides a single reference for addressing questions of suitability for membership in the Boy Scouts of America... It carefully delineates the procedures that must be followed at the council, regional, and national levels for revoking or denying the registration of ineligible members." (Emphasis added.)

Upon receiving an allegation of misconduct, the Scout executive must take the steps set forth in Procedures..., "Procedures to be Followed: Non-Child Abuse Cases." (pages 11 to 13, nos I through 9).

I note the following violations of BSA policies contained in Procedures for Maintaining Standards of Membership:

Number 4 states that the local council president or Scout executive is to prepare the letter of termination if the decision is to revoke the individual's registration (Procedures ..., "...Non-Child Abuse Cases," page 12, no. 4). Here the letter was prepared by the Regional Director, Mr Williams, who admits to having no direct knowledge of the contents of his letter.

Number 7 provides that, if I seek a reversal of the revocation of registration, I am entitled to have a review of the circumstances involved; "first by the region, then, if necessary,by the National Council whose decision is final." (Procedures ..., "...Non-Child Abuse Cases," page 12, no. 7). (Emphasis added.) Here, it appears from Mr Williams' letter that the BSA, represented by Mr Williams, has already made a decision without allowing me my due process as set forth in Procedures.... His letter states that the review of this matter is to be decided by "a committee of National Office volunteers" (Mr Williams' March 16, 1998 letter, last paragraph).

This is in direct violation of item 7 which calls for a review first by the region, and then, if necessary, by the National Council. If the Western Region has performed a review, then it is obvious that I was not given any opportunity to defend my position, as I was not informed of the review until after the fact. If the Western Region has not reviewed this matter, then pursuant to these procedures, I demand a review in the Western Region prior to a review by the National Council.

Procedures..., "The Review Process," (page 23. no 1 ) provides: "[T]he regional review proceeding will be initiated only upon the timely receipt by the regional director of a written request from the applicant who has been denied registration. The request must include the applicant's version of the facts supporting the claim that his registration should not have been revoked." (Emphasis added.)

I would note for the record that this response is timely, but I have been asked to submit it to the National Office, not the Western Region. Also, as stated above, it is simply not possible to include my "version of the facts" until such time as I have been informed of the facts. To require that I respond to a set of facts that has not been disclosed is ludicrous.

Upon receipt of my request for a review in the proper form (which is not explained), "...[T]he regional president, in consultation with the regional director, shall appoint three regional committee members to act as a regional registration review board" (Procedures..., "The Review Process," page 23, no 2) (Emphasis added.)

Again, it appears that the process as outlined in the procedures is being violated. Instead of the appropriate regional committee being appointed, this matter is being reviewed by the National Office.

The remaining provisions of Procedures..., "The Review Process" outline the procedures the committee must follow. The fact that the committee can review the "record" and not have a hearing or not having to interview me is outrageous.

I demand the opportunity to face my accusers and to present my case. The fact that in this process I am not allowed to be present when witnesses testify, and that the review committee can consider "second-hand reliable information" is equally outrageous. (Procedures..., "The Review Process," page 25, no 6.) Procedures..., "The Review Process" (page 26, nos 8 and 9): Items 8 and 9 are vague and subjective and on those grounds I object to such a standard being applied. Should be review committee meet and reach a decision without giving me the opportunity to respond, I then demand a copy of the memorandum referred to in Procedures..., "The Review Process," (page 26, no 12).

Further, I demand that, should the review committee deny my continued registration in the BSA, the BSA comply with the remaining provision contained in item 12.

I object to any review of this matter by the National Council pursuant to Procedures..., "Procedures to Be Used by the National Council." (page 27, nos 1 through 3), until such time as all of the procedures set forth in Procedures... have been complied with to the letter.

I am aware that other statements and letters were written by people in Troop XX. I was given the opportunity to scan, not to read, only a few of them. If any of these will be used by the review committee, I demand copies of them so I may respond appropriately to the committee.

If there will be any delay in responding to the above questions and requests for documents, so that I will need more time to prepare and possibly to write another letter for the review committee, I demand an extension to the 30-day (April 15) deadline Mr Williams mentions.

Although Mr Williams' letter indicates recognition of my involvement with Scouting over a substantial period of years, my BSA vitae is as follows:

Fifty-nine (59) years of Scouting;
Fall 1938-March 1941, Cub Pack 91, Oakland, California
April 1941-June 1947, Scout Troop 41, Oakland, California
June 1944-June 1947, Explorer Post 1, Oakland, California
Summers, 1945-1950, camp staff member, Dimond-O Camp, Oakland Area Council, California
June 1947-June 1948, Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop 41, Oakland, California
September 1948-April 1950, Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop 30, Oakland, California
May 1950-August 1951, Scoutmaster, Troop 30, Oakland, California
September 1951-September 1953, military service, US Army
October 1951-January 1952, assistant Scoutmaster, Troop 74, Fort Benning, Georgia
Summer, 1952, camp staff member, Camp Nacimiento, Santa Lucia Council, San Luis Obispo, California
October 1953-March 1962, district Scout executive, Marin Council, San Rafael, California
April 1962-March 1965, district Scout executive, Verdugo Hills Council, Glendale, California
April 1965-March 1969, district Scout executive, Sonoma Mendocino Area Council, Petaluma, California April 1969-February 1970, district Scout executive, Sequoia Council, Fresno, California
Fall 1969-August 1970, committee member, Cub Scout pack, Fresno, California
March 1970-August 1971, in transition, disability and education
September 1970-June 1971, committee member, Pack 101, Petaluma, California
Summer, 1971, camp director, Camp Oljato, Stanford Area Council, Palo Alto, California
June 1971-June 1972, Webelos leader, Pack 101, Petaluma, California
June 1972-January 1973, committee chair, Troop XX, Petaluma, California
January 1973-January 1976, assistant Scoutmaster, Troop XX, Petaluma, California
January 1976-January 1978, Scoutmaster, Troop XX, Petaluma, California
January 1978-September 1980, merit badge counselor and member council camping committee, Sonoma-Mendocino Area Council, Petaluma, California
Summer, 1979, program director, Camp Masonite-Navarro, Sonoma-Mendocino Area Council, Petaluma, California
September 1980-December 1992, Scoutmaster, Troop XX, Petaluma, California
January 1993-date, assistant Scoutmaster, Troop XX, Petaluma, California

Awards:
1959, Woodbadge (#4585)
1960, Vigil Honor, Order of the Arrow
1982, Award of Merit
1991, Silver Beaver

Attached hereto and incorporated herein by reference are letters from individuals who support my continued participation in the BSA. Your consideration of this matter and reversal of the decision is awaited. Should reversal not be forthcoming, please promptly provide the information requested herein. In addition to these items I demand the opportunity to be heard at any hearing on this matter and present witness testimony in support of my position.

Respectfully submitted,

David A Rice

cc:
Terry Kelley, Scout Executive, Redwood Empire Council
Roy L Williams, Regional Director, Western Region


Enclosures: letters and statements made a part of this letter:

[name withheld], father of Scout in Troop XX, April 5, 1998
Scott Cozza, Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop XX, April 3, 1998
Steve Cozza, Life Scout, Troop XX, April 3, 1998
David M Heaney, Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop XX, April 5, 1998
[name withheld], First Class Scout, Troop XX, April 5, 1998
[name withheld], Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop XX, April 6, 1998
Curtis Newsom and the Newsom family, parents of a Scout in Troop XX, April 1,
1998

Support From Scott Cozza

April 6, 1998

To Whom It May Concern,

I understand that you (BSA) have dismissed Assistant Scout Master Dave Rice from the BSA program. I am writing this letter on behalf of Mr. Rice. He has devoted close to 60 years of his life to the Boy Scouts of America's program. He deserves better.

I will testify under oath if it need be, that Mr. Dave Rice has never talked to my son Steven, attempting to convert him to believe that homosexuals should be allowed in the Boy Scouts of America. My wife Jeanette and I are proud that we have raised both our children Anne and Steven with the belief that this world is made up of a diverse human family. We have taught them that we should always respect others and cherish our differences. Because it is in our differences where we find strength as a people. We have brought them up with the family value that discrimination of any kind is morally wrong.

So Steven had his belief that gay people were also a special part of the diversity of the human family long before he met Mr. Rice. We discovered that Mr. Rice shared a common moral conviction that discrimination was morally wrong. He at no time has he ever attempted to influence my son. And Steven had walked in the Gay freedom Day Parade two times before he met Mr. Rice. When he was 7 years old and my daughter 9 they walked with those people living with HIV and AIDS in support.

At age 11 he walked with me and the transgendered community in support against the discrimination they face. And last year I asked Steven if he would walk with me to take a stand against the BSA's discriminatory policy against gay people.

We were inacting our first amendment right of freedom of speech and respected the BSA policy of not wearing our uniform for a non-scouting activity Mr. Rice is an outstanding human being who my son has learned alot about scouting. In fact I would have to give Mr. Rice the credit for lighting the scouting spirit within my son. Steven loves the Boy Scouts of America. He has taken the program to heart and truly believes and lives the Scout Oath and Law.

Steven on his own shared with me to my surprise that he was very saddened inside when he learned from me at age 12 that the BSA discriminates against gay youth and adults. He saw the inconsistencies with the belief that gay people should be excluded from scouting and the Scout Law. He felt ashamed that the BSA would have such a policy. Steven believes his attempt to change the policy will improve the program he so dearly loves.

I ask you in your duty to be fair and just not to turn your back on a loyal, devoted and dedicated scout leader, Mr. Dave Rice. I ask that you respect his right to question and attempt to change a scouting practice that he believes is harmful to children (gay). Mr. Rice has violated no scouting rule or regulation. He respects the BSA so passionately not to disrespect the BSA in any way. Mr. Rice in his over 60 years of life has emerged as a leader in our Petaluma community. He has been a positive role model for adults as well as for youth. The BSA needs more men and women with the character of Mr. Rice.

Sincerely,

Scott Cozza, Assistant Scout Master
XXX-XXX-XXXX


Support From Steven Cozza
April 6, 1998

To Whom It May Concern,

You should not have kicked out Mr. Rice. He is a great scout master. He is the best one in our troop. He has taught us scouts alot about being a good scout. He taught me how to survive in the wilderness, how to backpack on a 50 miler, how to take care of the wilderness, how to help other scouts.
I don't know why you don't kick out the scout masters in our troop who yell at us scouts and who are mean sometimes. That just doesn't make sense to me.

Mr. Rice wasn't ever trying to get me to believe gays should be in scouting. My mom and dad taught me that. And I believe what they taught me. It is one of my family values. Scouting has taught me the importance of family values.
Why wouldn't I believe gays should be allowed in scouting? I don't believe in discrimination. I love the Boy Scouts of America. I'm just doing what I've been taught by the Boy Scouts, being a good scout.

I'm trying to make this earth a better place to live. I am trying to make the Boy Scouts of America a better program for all kids not just for some kids. Your policy just teaches us scouts to be mean and to discriminate against other kids.

My sister told me that in school yesterday that some boys were making fun and being mean to a boy who was different than them. She said he sort of acted like a girl. My sister told them to stop being mean and they walked away and left the boy alone. I know gay kids and I don't feel any better than them because I am not gay.

Robin Reed killed himself by jumping off the Golden Gate bridge. He was gay and felt rejected. Your policy only adds to that problem of rejection that gay kids feel and some of my friends feel. I think that is wrong. It is just teaching us boy scouts to discriminate.

Mr. Rice is my scout leader and a great person. Please don't hurt my friend Mr. Rice by kicking him out for something that he did not do. He just believes different than you. I thought it was ok to have different beliefs in America.

Sincerely,

Steven Cozza, Life Scout


Support From David M. Heaney
April 6, 1998

David M. Heaney
XXXX Xxxxxx Xx
Petaluma, Calif. 94954

Dear Sirs,

My name is David Heaney. My son Joe has been a member of Troop XX in Petaluma for the last 4 years.

In that time I have worked closely with David Rice. We've done a 50 mile hike and a one week summer camp together for Troop XX. I admire him greatly as a leader and a human being. He symbolizes and embodies the true scouting ideal in my mind.

In the 4 years I have known him I have never heard, seen or been told of any conduct on his part that was less than exemplary. I do not believe he has attempted to involve youth in his efforts to bring change to scouting.

I hope that you will investigate this matter with the utmost dilligence and clarify it for both Mr. Rice and all parents involved with Troop XX. I do not have any knowledge of his attempting to involve youth in his efforts. I believe he has attempted to follow both the letter and the spirit of scout law. To remove David Rice from scouting after all his earnest, excellent years of service would be a travesty of justice and a blemish on the Boy Scouts of America.

Sincerely,


David M. Heaney


Support From The Newsom Family

Curtis, Cindy, Nicole and Andrew Newsom
XX Xxxxxxxxxx Xxxxx
Petaluma, CA 94952
April 1, 1998
Chief Scout Executive
Boy Scouts of America
1325 Walnut M11 Lane
Irving, TX 75015-2079

Dear Chief Scout,

I am writing this letter in response to an action taken by the Boy Scouts of America regarding Scoutmaster David Rice. We understand that the BSA has informed Mr. Rice that he must sever his ties with the organization. Essentially, Mr. Rice has been expelled by the organization for actions that are not clear to him, or to us. Mr. Rice has been an active Scoutmaster in Troop XX, Petaluma, California, for many years.

We came to know Dave at the First Presbyterian Church of Petaluma about 15 years ago. We can authoritatively vouch for Dave's moral character and strong principles. Cindy and I have served on various leadership commissions and participated in many fellowship events with Dave and his wife, Mary.

Our son, Andrew, decided to join Troop XX in November ostensibly because of his respect for Mr. Rice. Dave has been present at most of the meetings and outings attended by Andrew. He happens to be the one adult Andrew feels most comfortable with and has proven to be a resource to him on scouting matters. Losing his expertise will be a blow to all.

I know Dave has been active in the organization "Scouting for All' which is concerned with the BSA policy excluding homosexuals. I know he has prayed and deliberated on this issue and truly feels he must continue his efforts to open the BSA to all kinds of people.

You should be advised that Dave has conducted himself in a responsible way, never wishing to involve Troop XX in this campaign. He has followed the rules laid out by the troop and has not used scouts to carry out "his social agenda". In fact, my son's first exposure to Dave's involvement in "Scouting for All" just now occurred when he learned of his expulsion. Andrew is shocked.

Your course of action concerns me greatly. I know Dave will appeal your ruling in the proper way because he is a Boy Scout, tried and true. Although I can not speak for Dave, I suspect he will accept the final decision and consider it to be in Gods's hands. I can only hope that you will act accordingly and reverse your decision to expel Mr. Rice from the BSA.

Sincerely,


The Newsom Family


Dave Rice's Request For Information and a Regional Review Committee
5-18-98

DAVID A. RICE
XXX XXXXXXXX XXXXX
PETALUMA, CALIFORNIA 94954-3818
May 18, 1998
Mr Jere B Ratcliffe
Chief Scout Executive
Boy Scouts of America
1325 Walnut Hill Lane
P.O. Box 152079
Irving, TX 75015-2079

Dear Mr Ratcliffe:

On advice of my attorney I ask for a timely response to my letter to you dated April 6, 1998 and received by you on April 14, 1998. It has now been over 30 days since I demanded a regional review committee hearing on the termination of my registration as an adult leader. In that letter I asked for answers to my questions and printed materials I need to properly prepare my case.

Since Roy L Williams' letter of March 16, 1998 gave me 30 days to respond to you, courtesy requires a similar response time from you. Please be aware that when I receive the answers and materials I need, I will require a reasonable amount of time to prepare for the hearing.

Please respond in a timely manner to these questions:
When may I expect an answer from you? When may I expect the information and materials I need? When will the regional review committee meet?

Respectfully submitted,

David A Rice

cc:
Terry Kelley, Scout Executive, Redwood Empire Council
Roy L Williams, Regional Director, Western Region

Acknowledgment From The BSA June 4, 1998

Boy Scouts of America
National Office
1325 West Walnut Hill Lane
PO Box 152079, Irving, Texas 75015-2079
972-580-2000
June 4, 1998
David A. Rice
XXX Xxxxxxxx Xx
Petaluma, CA 94954-3818

Dear Mr. Rice:

This letter will acknowledge the receipt of your request for a national review of the denial of your registration in the Boy Scouts of America. Pursuant to your request I enclose copies of the procedure for appealing the revocation of BSA registration, BSA Charter and Bylaws, and BSA Rules and Regulations.

In response to your question, information leading to the revocation of your registration came from Internet web sites attributed to you and published articles quoting you. We will arrange for such a review and advise you accordingly.

Very truly yours,

Scott A. Teare Administrative Assistant to the CSE

hr Encs.

The following information is provided should you desire a review by the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America of the decision to deny your registration. Within thirty days, you must request in writing a review of the denial of your registration. Your request should be sent to the Chief Scout Executive.

In your request, you must include a statement in support of your claim that registration should not have been denied. Upon receipt of your written request, a committee will be appointed to review the situation. The committee will review the facts. The applicant or witnesses will not be present at the review. You will receive a letter setting forth the findings of the committee. The decision of the National Council will be final.

Dave Rice's Third Request For A Regional Review Committee Hearing, June 30, 1998

June 30, 1998
Mr Jere B Ratcliffe
Chief Scout Executive
Boy Scouts of America
1325 Walnut Hill Lane
P.O. Box 15207
Irving, TX 75015-2079
Dear Mr Ratcliffe:

This acknowledges receipt of Scott A Teare's letter to me dated June 4, 1998.

Since the "procedure for appealing the revocation of BSA registration" enclosed with his letter requires a request for review within 30 days, this constitutes my third request for a regional review committee hearing, before any national review committee hearing.

Procedures for Maintaining Standards of Membership (1994,the only edition available to me), in its introduction states, "This booklet provides a single reference for addressing questions of suitability for membership in the Boy Scouts of America.... It carefully delineates the procedures that must be followed at the council, regional, and national levels" (emphasis added). Since the Boy Scouts of America has violated and continues to violate its own rules in the following ways, I must consider Roy L Williams' letter of March 16, 1998, terminating my resignation, as moot.

Procedures... provides that the local council president or Scout executive is to prepare the letter of termination (page 12, no. 4). I have received no such letter.

Mr Williams indicated he was "not privy to the information" used to dismiss me.

Procedures... entitles me to a review, first by the region... (page 12 no. 7). You are attempting to skip this step, at which I may be present to present my evidence. Mr Williams' letter states that I will receive a refund of registration fee. I have received no refund. Therefore I am free to resume my relationship with Scouting.

I thank you for providing me with the Constitution and Bylaws and Rules and Regulations. However, the BSA has still failed to provide the information needed to make any effective appeal. I require the following:
An up-to-date copy of Procedures for Maintaining Standards of Membership and Leadership (Rules and Regulations, Article XI, clause 22) in order to know and comply with the rules under which I am being reviewed.

The specific information that is being used to dismiss me, including but not limited to what Mr Teare is referring to when he states that information for the revocation of my membership came from "internet web sites attributed to me and published articles quoting me." I request the specific internet website and the date, on which the alleged information upon which the BSA relied, was on the internet.

I also need copies of the published articles quoting me. (It is patently impossible for me to cruise the entire internet and read every periodical, it is likewise impossible for me to know what exactly Mr Teare may be referring to. I have no website. I have found ten articles which mention my name, but none of which state that I have "involved Scouting youth," the charge against me. I must know which website and articles he refers to.)

A copy of the rule, from Scouting literature, that prohibits "involving Scouting youth" in the alleged activities. What are these alleged activities?

I am awaiting a timely reply from you, with the information I need, and with the acknowledgement that you will henceforth comply with the BSA's own rules and with the procedural rights of any citizen.

Sincerely,

David A Rice

cc:
Scott A Teare, Administrative Assistant to the CSE
Roy L Williams, Western Region Director
Terry Kelley, Redwood Empire Council Scout Executive

Dave Rice's Letter To The BSA, July 10, 1998

DAVID A. RICE
XXX XXXXXXXX XXXXX
PETALUMA, CALIFORNIA XXXXX-XXXX
July 10, 1998
Mr Jere B Ratcliffe
Chief Scout Executive
Boy Scouts of America
P.O. Box 152079
Irving, TX 75015-2079


Dear Mr Ratcliffe:

Enclosed please find a letter from Theo Mainaris, Scoutmaster of Troop XX, Petaluma, which is to be included with the file on my case presented to the regional review committee, and possibly subsequently to the National Council review committee.

My complete file must now contain the following:
My letters dated: April 6, 1998 (received by you April 14, 1998)
May 18, 1998 (received by you May 26, 1998)
June 30, 1998 (received by you July 6, 1998)
This letter, dated July 10, 1998
Letters from parents, Scouters, and Scouts of Troop XX:[Name withheld], father of Scout, April 5, 1998 Scott Cozza, Assistant Scoutmaster, April 3, 1998
Steve Cozza, Life Scout, April 3, 1998
David M Heaney, Assistant Scoutmaster, April 5, 1998
[Name withheld], First Class Scout, April 5, 1998
[Name withheld], Assistant Scoutmaster, April 6, 1998
Theo Mainaris, Scoutmaster, June 30, 1998
Curtis Newsom and the Newsom family, parents of Scout, April 1, 1998

The regional review committee must contact the following parents, Scouters, and Scout by telephone. Their testimony will demonstrate that I have obeyed the rules given me and have never attempted to
involve Scouts in Scouting for All.

[Name withheld]: days (XXX) XXX-XXXX, evenings (XXX) XXX-XXXX
Scott Cozza: days (XXX) XXX-XXXX, evenings (XXX) XXX-XXXX
Steve Cozza: days and evenings (XXX) XXX-XXXX (summer)(afternoons and evenings only during school)
David Heaney: days (XXX) XXX-XXXX (summer), afternoons (XXX) XXX-XXXX(during school), evenings (XXX) XXX-XXXX
[Name withheld]: days (XXX) XXX-XXXX (pager, will call back),evenings (XXX) XXX-XXXX
Theo Mainaris: days (XXX) XXX-XXXX, evenings (XXX) XXX-XXXX
Curtis Newsom: days (XXX) XXX-XXXX, evenings (XXX) XXX-XXXX
Cindy Newsom: days and evenings (XXX) XXX-XXXX (unavailable days during school)

According to Procedures for Maintaining Standards of Membership (1996) ("introduction," pg 5), certain procedures must be followed at the council, regional, and national level.

According to Procedures... (pg 27, "Procedures to be Followed by the National Council," no 2) the National Council review committee can only review the procedures of the regional review committee. Without the regional review committee's memorandum of their actions, the National Council review committee can take no action. Therefore, any action the National Council review committee might take, without the regional review committee having met first, will be in violation of Procedures...

This is in addition to the other ways the Boy Scouts of America has violated and persists in violating its own rules:

No letter of termination from the local council president or Scout executive (Procedures...,pg 12, no 4).

Regional review committee circumvented (Procedures..., pg12, no 7).

No refund of registration fee (Procedures..., pg 29,Appendix B).

If the Boy Scouts of America continues to disobey its own rules in Procedures..., I must consider myself no longer bound by its letter of termination and free to resume my Scouting activities. I await notification of the date, time, and place of the regional review committee's meeting.

Sincerely, David A Rice

enclosure:
letter, Theo Mainaris, Scoutmaster, Troop XX

copies:
Scott A Teare, Administrative Assistant to the CSE
Roy L Williams, Western Region Director
Terry Kelley, Redwood Empire Council Scout Executive


Final Decision Of The BSA Review Committee, August 6,1998


Boy Scouts of America
National Office
1325 West Walnut Hill Lane
P.O. Box 152079, Irving, Texas 75015-2079
972-580-2000
June 4, 1998
Mr. David A. Rice
XXX Xxxxxxxx Xx
Petaluma, CA 94954-3818

Dear Mr. Rice:

On August 4, 1998 a review committee composed of volunteer members of the Executive Board of the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America reviewed the denial of your registration in the Boy Scouts of America.

Please be advised that it was the decision of the national review committee to uphold the action of the region in denying your registration.

Sincerely,

Jere B. Ratcliffe
Chief Scout Executive
hr

Dave's Final Letter To The BSA, September 2, 1998

DAVID A. RICE
XXX XXXXXXXX XXXXX
PETALUMA, CALIFORNIA XXXXX-XXXX
September 2, 1998

Mr Jere B Ratcliffe
Chief Scout Executive
Boy Scouts of America
P.O. Box 152079
Irving, TX 75015-2079


Dear Mr Ratcliffe:

I have received your letter of August 6, 1998 which contains the decision of the Boy Scouts of America to deny my registration.

This letter is sent in protest of that decision for the reasons stated herein.

The Boy Scouts of America has consistently failed to follow its procedures contained in the publication Procedures for Maintaining Standards of Membership (Introduction, page 3) which states that "this booklet provides a single reference for addressing questions of suitability for membership" and "carefully delineates the procedures that must be followed" (emphasis added). However, in my case, you have disobeyed the rules of the BSA in denying my registration, as outlined below. (All references are to Procedures for Maintaining Standards of Membership.)

I have received no hand-delivered letter from the Scout Executive. (#4 and #6, p 12) (Roy L Williams, who sent a letter March16, 1998, stated he was not privy to the reasons for my dismissal.)

I have received no refund of my registration fee. (appendix B, p29; and Roy L Williams' letter, March 16, 1998)

No regional review committee has been convened, as I requested.(#2, p 23)

I was not notified of any regional review committee meeting that I might attend. (#5, p 24)

The witnesses I submitted, who could give testimony, were not called. (#6, p 25)

I have received no copy of the memorandum of the regional review committee. (#12, p 26)

The National Council review committee "will review only the procedures used by the region," including the (never convened) regional review committee and its (non-existent) memorandum, and cannot take other action. (#2, p27) (emphasis added)

Your actions have violated the rules of the Boy Scouts of America. I will renew my service in Scouting, a movement I strongly believe in, until such time as the BSA follows its own rules and procedures.

My letter of April 6 outlines the Boy Scouts of America review process and contains the basic procedural rights of a BSA member. In my case the BSA has repeatedly failed to follow its own procedures, which makes the underlying termination of my BSA membership and this decision highly suspect.

Until such time as the BSA follows its own procedures, I will not acknowledge or accept the decision of the review committee of the Executive Board of the National Council, as stated in your August 6 letter. I request that in order to catch up, I be sent the copies of Scouting magazine I have paid for with my registration fee, and copies of the Redwood Empire Council's newsletter I have missed.

Sincerely,

David A Rice
Copies:
Scott A Teare, Administrative Assistant to the CSE
Roy L Williams, Western Region Director
Terry Kelley, Redwood Empire Council Scout Executive


An Open Letter to the Chief Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts of America,
September 11, 1998

September 11, 1998
Mr. Jere B Ratcliffe
Chief Scout Executive
Boy Scouts of America
P.O. Box 152079
Irving, TX 75015-2079


Dear Mr. Ratcliffe:

For the last ten years or so I have watched with increasing concern the Boy Scouts of America's increasing and inappropriate political entanglement with theso-called Religious Right. This entanglement has subjected theScouting movement in this country to severe but well-deservedpublic criticism through its defense of these politicalcommitments in a series of court cases.

In these court cases, the BoyScouts of America, the congressionally chartered custodian of theScout Oath and Law has - with much success - portrayed itself as a private club that can keep gays and girls and atheists out of its organization on much the same grounds as a country club orthe Ku Klux Klan can restrict people of color from their memberships.

Hardly the company with which most morally serious people would choose to associate, don't you agree? And hardly appropriate for an idealistic youth organization founded by congressional charter.

Given the Scouting organization's politics of late, I found it quite ironic that on March 16, 1998your agent, Mr. Roy L. Williams, sent Mr. David Rice of Petaluma,California a letter of termination on the grounds that he allegedly involved Scouts in inappropriate political activity. Mr. Williams, in his letter of that date, states:

By your actions of involving Scouting youth in your efforts to change Scouting's policy of not selecting open homosexuals for leadership positions, you have disqualified yourself from volunteer leadership in Scouting. While adult members of Boy Scouts of America are free to engage in responsible efforts to seek changes in Scouting policies through appropriate channels, members are not free to promote their own contrary views on policies among Scouting youth.

Adult membership is granted in order to advance Scouting's mission of instilling the values of the Oath and Law in Scouting youth, not to serve as a vehicle for promoting a personal social agenda.

It should be pointed out that Mr.Williams' interpretation of Scouting's policy in this regard does not exclude homosexuals from Scouting leadership positions - only open homosexuals. Apparently only forthright homosexuals arei nappropriate role models; closeted ones are fine.

He has also neglected to mention that the Scouting organization's policy excludes gay youth as well as adults.

And it should also be pointed out that at no time did your organization make any serious attempt to establish Mr. Williams' allegation. If you had, you wouldcertainly have followed the Boy Scouts of America's very ownProcedures for Maintaining Standards of Membership. Your refusal to abide by your own rules - as outlined in Mr. Rice's letter to you of September 2nd, ensured not only that Mr. Rice was denied his right to due process, but also that the people making this decision would be denied access to the necessary facts.

This policy of selective process makes adult Scouters such as myself wonder how seriously we should endeavor to conform our own or our chartered churches' Scouting activities to National's policies, considering how sorely neglected they are by National itself.

An objective analysis of theinformation at Scouting for All's web site (http://www.scoutingforall.org/dismissal.htm) leadsone to conclude that Mr. Rice restricted his political activities in an apparently vain attempt to work within the Scouting organization's own guidelines. As Mr. Rice indicated in hisletter to you of April 6th of this year:

I have acted in strict accordance with the guidelines provided to me by the Redwood Empire Council, Troop 74 committee, and the Scoutmaster with respect to my advocating inclusion of gays in BSA. Those guidelines were provided me by Terry Kelley, Scout Executive of the Redwood Empire Council, Cathay Zortman, chair of the Troop 74 committee, and Scoutmaster Theo Mainaris; they are as follows:

1. Not to mention the matter at troop meetings or activities,

2. Not to wear the Scout uniform in connection with the matter,

3. Not to identify with the troop number, and

4. Not to contact parents or Scouts about the matter.

My most serious complaint with Mr.William's letter, however, is his position that Adult membership is granted in order to advance Scouting's mission of instilling the values of the Oath and Law in Scouting youth, not to serve as a vehicle for promoting a personal social agenda.

Mr. Rice apparently has thed ubious distinction of being dismissed from Scouting for promoting an oxymoron. What on earth can Mr. Williams mean by a personal social agenda?

The values of Scouting's Oath and Law, as instilled through organizing and participating in National's own Scouting for Food drive or voter registration drives (to cite just two examples) is apparently acceptable. Instilling the values of the Oath and Law in Scouting youth through teaching acceptance - mere acceptance- of gay and non-theistic people is, according to Mr. Williamsown statements, not tolerable.

In a pluralistic, democratic society, politics are defined by personal agendas. If personal agendas unacceptable to the National Council are silenced via the McCarthyite tactics of personal attack and intimidation, then political agendas of a "tolerable" nature become mere rubberstamps to totalitarianism unacceptable in an organization congressionally chartered to teach democratic process to American youth.

Is not feeding the hungry or promoting participation in democratic process examples of personal social agendas? I suggest you read the reports out of Sudan (to say nothing of the biblical accounts of the prophets of the Hebrew Scriptures as well as the New Testament accounts of Jesus' efforts in this regard) to see just how political such activity is.

It is quite evident to me, based on my 31 years of involvement in the Boy Scouts of America, that the Scouting program is - and should be - inherently political. In both Boy Scouting and the Order of the Arrow, we teach young boys (and will eventually teach young girls) to elect their own leadership. We advise such leadership in the tools of representative democracy to empower them to develop their own program. And we teach that a necessary part of such a program is the political activity of service to others.

It is the particular Scout Oath and Scout Law guided commitments of Mr. Rice's alleged political activity that your institution finds objectionable, not political activity itself.

And now it is your particular political commitments that I find objectionable.

Your policies teach impressionable young men that gay and non-theistic adults are inappropriate role models - just as you taught Scouts of my generation that women were inappropriate role models - and that gay, non-theistic or female children do not belong in the recreational, social and educational company of decent boys.

So you and those leaders who teach their Scouts inclusion and acceptance of those who are different are both involving the youth in politics - only yours is the politics of ignorance and fear while theirs is the politics of understanding and fellowship.

In the end, Mr. Ratcliffe, the BoyScouts will reverse its immoral policy of excluding gays,atheists, and girls from membership in its program in much the same way as it reversed itself with respect to the acceptability of women leaders. As with that issue, one day the Boy Scouts - no doubt only after being forced through governmental pressure and public outrage - will simply announce (with no apology) that theyare now, suddenly, acceptable.

And the Boy Scouts of America will inevitably include gays,atheists and agnostics, and girls because Scouting's current exclusionary policy in this matter violates its very own Oath and Law. Scouting's house is divided against itself, Mr. Chief Scout Executive and - as history and the scriptures teach us - can not stand.

The Scouting organization's own blundering efforts to get the toothpaste back into the tube - as witnessed by its unscoutlike behavior in the David Rice affair as well as by its recent and disastrous attempts to dictate the content of religious education to the Unitarian-Universalist Association - are serving to push relatively moderate Scouters such as myself into taking a sadly overdue public stand on this issue and initiating appropriate political action.

From this point forward, I plan to be vocal and active regarding the Scouting organization's immoral policy in this matter.

This open letter, as well as anycorrespondence I receive in response to this letter, may be forwarded or posted electronically.

Sincerely,

William Bekkenhuis
Exploring Volunteer
bekkenhuis@fast.net

http://www.users.fast.net/~bekkenhuis/Ratcliff.html


 

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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