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Activist Groups Urge Obama to Reject Boy Scout Honor

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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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Pediatricians and Family Practitioners Should Consider the Implications of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Policy Discrimination Against Gay Youth and Adults

The Pediatric Forum
vol. 155 .no.3
The Pediatric Form
Boy Scouts of America Policy on Homosexuality  
Pediatricians and family practitioners should carefully consider the implications of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) policy excluding homosexual persons from membership. According to a national BSA spokesperson, an openly gay child may be "worked with" and asked to leave the BSA if he or she persists in being gay. Openly gay scoutmasters like James Dale are asked to leave despite outstanding records of leadership, compassion, and skill. The BSA policy tells children and parents that if they are gay there is something wrong with them. They are told that people who are gay are morally unclean and unfit role models. There is no medical evidence to suggest an association between homosexuality and impaired moral judgment. Children raised by gay or lesbian parents do not differ from children raised by heterosexual parents with respect to emotional and social adaptation, self-esteem, gender identity, sexual behavior, or sexual orientation1 By asserting that "an avowed homosexual is not a role model for traditional family values," the BSA stands without scientific foundation. There is evidence that gay youth have a significantly higher rate of suicide attempts and health risk behaviors than their heterosexual peers.2, 3 Messages of societal intolerance undoubtedly play a significant role in that trend and in promoting hate crimes. The BSA therefore practices and promotes misunderstanding and intolerance, contradicting its own stated mission, with potentially life-threatening consequences.

While the Supreme Court has given the BSA the legal right to exclude people who are homosexual, society gives the BSA moral authority through its support. Fortunately, there has been an outpouring of public condemnation across the United States. The BSA has been forbidden from using public facilities in many cities. Numerous organizations like the United Way have withdrawn their financial support. We, as pediatricians and family practitioners, should be an equally loud voice in support of our homosexual patients and their families. We can recommend organizations that do not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, such as the Campfire Boys and Girls. We can also educate BSA leaders, our communities, our patients, and their families to see sexual orientation as a noncontagious trait that has no bearing on one's ethical/moral fiber or parenting ability. Those of us involved with the BSA have a unique opportunity to work within the organization to affect change. Our continued
support should be conditional upon the BSA leadership amending its policies.

Silence on the issue implies consent.

John M. Girard, MD
Mark Levy, MD
Julie Ellner, MD
Tao Kwan-Gett, MD, MPH
4575 Sandpoint Way NE, Suite 108
Seattle, WA 98105

1.Perrin E. Children whose parents are lesbian or gay. Contemp Pediatr. 1998;15:113-130.

2.Garofalo R, Wolf RC, Wissow LS, Woods ER, Goodman E. Sexual orientation and risk of suicide attempts among a representative sample of youth. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1999;153:487-493. ABSTRACT |  FULLTEXT

3.Garofalo R, Wolf RC, Kessel S, Palfrey J, Durant RH. The association between health risk behaviors and sexual orientation among a school-based sample of adolescents. Pediatrics. 1998;101:895-902.




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.

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