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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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Send Letters to Neiman Marcus Group Asking that They STOP Funding the Boy Scouts of America


Here's a copy of a letter I mailed today to Ms. Kay Kilpatrick, Director of Corporate Giving & Matching Gifts for the Neiman Marcus Group. It is in response to her letter advising me that Neiman Marcus has no plans to cease funding the BSA.

------------------------ COPY -----------------------------
May 21, 2001

Ms. Kay M. Kilpatrick
Director of Corporate Giving & Matching Gifts
The Neiman Marcus Group
27 Boylston Street
Chestnut Hill, MA 02167

Dear Ms. Kilpatrick:

Thank you for responding to my letter regarding the Neiman Marcus Groups grants to the Boy Scouts of America. I sincerely appreciate the time you took to communicate with me and understand that your organization currently has no plans to curtail your support of the BSA. Therefore, I would like to respectfully offer several observations.

Your letter indicated that, while Neiman Marcus does not condone discrimination, "there would be too many youngsters hurt if all corporate support for the Boy Scouts ceased." While I agree that the BSA has many benefits and a broad audience, I disagree with the premise that it is acceptable to disenfranchise and stigmatize one group of youth, while offering opportunities and resources to another. Indeed, to do so is hurtful to both groups, as it exposes young minds to a blatant message of tolerance and bigotry.

Further, I would like to encourage you to think about this issue as it might relate to your own personal life. By your decision, Neiman Marcus has decided that the needs of some children outweigh the rights and dignity of others. Is this the kind of message you would want your child to bring home from a civics class? Or, would you teach your child that discriminating against any group of people, for example people of the Jewish faith, African-Americans or Irish-Americans, is wrong, especially when there are other options available?

Ms. Kilpatrick, the Boy Scouts of America is a large organization, but it is not a monopoly. I urge you to consider sponsoring or increasing your donations exclusively to organizations that do not discriminate, such as Campfire Boys & Girls, 4-H, the Girl Scouts and Boys & Girls Clubs of America. With your support and the support of other generous corporations, these quality programs can also make a difference without teaching intolerance.

You can find more information about these organizations at the following web pages.

  • Campfire Boys & Girls: www.campfire.org
  • Girl Scouts: www.gsusa.org
  • 4-H: www.fourhcouncil.edu
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of America: www.bgca.org

I know this is a difficult issue to wrestle with and thank you, again, for your valuable time and consideration. In closing, I hope you will remember that every penny of your BSA donation represents Neiman Marcus endorsement of a private organization an organization that has fought ferociously, all the way to the United States Supreme Court, for its right to be exclusionary, homophobic and intolerant. Please ask yourself and your business colleagues, how does this reflect on you and your company?

Sincerely,

Aaron Adair


Here's a copy of the letter I received from the Neiman Marcus Group.
----------------------- COPY ----------------------

Dear Mr. Adair:

After consideration, The Neiman Marcus Group has decided not to terminate our support of the Boy Scouts of America. We have been a long-time supporter of the Boy Scouts, Minuteman Council (our funding is restricted to Greater Boston), as well as the Girl Scouts, and do not plan to cease our support at this time. We also match employee gifts to the Boy Scouts through our Employee Matching Gift Program. Although NMG does not condone discrimination, there would be too many youngsters hurt if all corporate support for the Boy Scouts ceased.

Thank you for your interest in The Neiman Marcus Group.

Sincerely,

[Signed]

Kay M. Kilpatrick, Director of Corporate Giving & Matching Gifts

Comment from Scott Cozza, Pres. Scouting For All on Ms Kilpatrick's reasoning for Neiman Marcus to continue funding the BSA:

" I guess gay kids aren't being hurt by the BSA policy of discrimination or maybe there just is not enough of them being hurt! To deny funding to the BSA is not going to hurt kids. What hurts children is teaching them that discrimination is "Morally Right." There are many programs for youth to participate in other than the BSA. If Neiman Marcus is so concerned about children, why do they not recognize gay youth? The BSA kicks out gay kids and has given gay youth the horrific message that they are "morally inferior. The BSA rejects them. Neiman Marcus Company is colluding with the BSA's bigoted policy by continuing to
provide the BSA funding. Those on the board of Neiman Marcus,wake up and ask yourselves who are "you" hurting by continuing to fund the BSA."


 

 

 

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