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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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The Monmouth Council Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has adopted a policy in an attempt to clarify its position on homosexuals in Scouting, But Failed to Make any changes from the BSA's Discriminatory Policy


Article by Scott Pusillo, Eagle Scout

The Monmouth Council Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has adopted a policy in an attempt to clarify its position on homosexuals in Scouting. Unfortunately, the policy failed to make any changes, distinctions, or adjustments from the National policy. Under the new leadership of Matthew Thornton, Scouting For All was hoping to work towards change from the policies of the previous director, James Kay, which included the dismissal of at least 2 highly qualified leaders due to their sexual orientation. But ultimately the council which started this fight 11 years ago, continues it today.

In September of 2000, Roy Williams, the Chief Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts of America said "(the public) chose Scouting to help their children be better people, and when they start walking away from us, that's the signal to tell us to revisit the issue." Unfortunately, the policy of the BSA has begun to take a serious toll on the organization.

TheBSA is experiencing a continuing membership decline, according to its own "National Membership/Participation Report" (RS0582, 03/02/01). This report, issued in March, details the enrollment and activity through February 2001. When compared with the same report issued in February 2000, we find the following trends nationally: ~Cub Scouting down 5.0% ~Boy Scouting down 3.6% ~Total members down 3.4%

These losses are most pronounced in the Northeast Region (Virginia to Maine):
~Cub Scouting down 7.4%
~Boy Scouting down 8.6%
~Total members down 6.9%

Similarly,the support for a change in the policy of the BSA is greatest in the areas showing the greatest loss in enrollment. Scouting For All's volunteers and members (80% of which are connected with Scouting, 40% are Eagle Scouts) see this loss as detrimental to the Scouting program, a program that we almost unanimously support. We simply want this strong and diverse program to serve an equally strong and diverse nation.

Over 50 United Ways nationwide have pulled their funding of the Boy Scouts, and more are considering it. At least ten major corporations have stopped their funding of the BSA, including American Airlines, J.P. Morgan, and CVS. Public schools, governmental agencies, towns and cities nationwide are increasingly ending their relationship with the BSA because of this
discriminatory policy.

If Mr. Williams or Mr. Thornton were really interested in seeing Scouting continue into the future, much as we are, they would begin to review this policy. It is a shame when an organization as American as apple pie has un-American policies, and when the most influential youth organization in the country begins to suffer.




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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