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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

Santa Barbara California City Council Denounces the Boy Scouts of America

A resolution was introduced by Santa Barbara County Supervisor Susan Rose to denounce the BSA for discriminating against gay boys and gay fathers as a conflict with County Anti-Discrimination Ordinances and declaring the Scouts' position as 'unsupportable' by the County of Santa Barbara. Resolution. Interestingly, the Las Padres Council was represented by their new Executive Director who claimed the Scouts do NOT discriminate; he replaced Len Lanzi, the former Scout Executive who was fired by the Scouts for stating he was gay at a prior Board hearing. Resolution Passed: Vote 3-2]


My name is Terry Leftgoff and I am a former Scout who grew up to be President of the Gay and Lesbian Business Association of Santa Barbara.

It is truly dismaying to see a once venerable organization fall prey to a band of extremists acting on the sly to gain control for their own purposes. Such is the case with the Boy Scouts. There has been a stealth take over of the BSA in Texas and it is tragic.

We believe this Resolution is an important step. We'd like to commend Supervisor Rose for responding to the Human Relations Commission and introducing the resolution. Your law outlawing discrimination based upon sexual orientation is meaningless unless you condemn it when you see it firsthand.

The Scouts have spent considerable resources to gain the right to be declared a private group for no other reason than so they can discriminate. Not only against gay boys and gay parents, but also against those who do not share their religious belief. While we are saddened, we fully respect their choice. But once made, they then must relinquish the public support and subsidies they historically enjoyed as a public group that previously served everyone. And it is significant to note the Girl Scouts have pursued no such policy; we commend them for continuing to welcome everyone.

I wanted you to know that following the last hearing I received a hate call at my home. The caller identified himself as a supporter of the Scouts with a relative who is an active member. It was tinged with anti-gay and lesbian epithets. As hate tends to do, it escalates in the face of indifference.

To the good people of Santa Barbara and those of good conscience everywhere, I urge you to stand up and be counted. Do not be indifferent.

To my fellow Scouting families, is this the lesson you intended to be taught to your children? The local Scout Council fired a man for no other reason than that he was gay. If you do not condemn it, then you condone it. I challenge you to work to change the national BSA policy and teach tolerance to your children.

As for the ad sponsored by COLAB and Andy Caldwell. Shame on you. I am appalled you would equate this Board’s action enforcing our anti-discrimination ordinance to the Holocaust. I am equally appalled by the comments you repeated on your public access television program. You owe us all a public apology. And I support this Board's protest action last week. [Note: 3
County Supervisors walked out on Mr. Caldwell during the public comment period when he refused to apologize for his paid advertisement entitled, "Holocaust Santa Barbara Style?".]

I would remind Mr. Caldwell and others that in addition to Jews and Gypsies, gays and lesbians were among those rounded up and killed by the Nazis. It is the very reason the pink triangle has been adopted as the international symbol of the gay movement. We at GLBA are proud to incorporate it into our logo. It is a message that bears remembering today: All it takes for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing.

It is ironic. By going to such extremes, Mr. Caldwell has shown how much our anti-discrimination laws are needed.

On behalf of the Board of the Gay and Lesbian Business Association I urge you to make a clear and unequivocal statement that discrimination is unacceptable. I further urge you to make the tone of the condemnation as strong as the dejection felt by our children and our gay parents who are left outside in isolation and in deliberate stigmatization.

Please do what numerous government agencies and non-profits across the country have begun to do in the face of the Boy Scouts’ vow to discriminate. Sever your ties until they change their policy. Urge others including the United Way to do likewise.

We at GLBA keenly understand the corrosive effects of discrimination. The GLBA Scholarship Fund exists to address the very rejection and discrimination we seek to address today. We want our youth to know we are proud of them and they are a welcome part of public life. Please tell them that today.





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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