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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 head of the United Methodist Church in Northern Illinois, Bishop C. Joseph Sprague Speaks Out Against the BSA in Support of an Oak Park, IL Cub Scout Pack

"Oak Park group encouraged to keep pressure on BSA"
a Mark Skertic article summarized by Van Crozier, 5/28/01

The head of the United Methodist Church in Northern Illinois, Bishop C. Joseph Sprague, encouraged the Oak Park, Illinois, community to continue its fight to ensure that the Cub Scout Pack 14 has an open and inclusive membership policy.

The Cornerstone Church of Oak Park had attempted to be the new sponsor of cub Pack after its charter was revoked by the Des Plaines Council of Boy Scouts of America. The original sponsoring organization, a local parent teacher organizations, had objected to rules against gays serving as leaders, and had attempted to include language in its charter agreement to that effect.

Bishop Sprague said that he supported economic pressures on the Des Plaines Council scouting organization, both by seeking internal change, and by considering sponsoring other organizations for young people as an alternative.

"I'm sure the Des Plaines Council is feeing boxed in by Oak Park and others in the national office," Sprague said. Pack 14 and several other packs in the Chicago suburbs were in the news recently when their charter requests were denied by the Boy Scouts of America.

Jim Bicak, Cub Master for Pack 14 acknowledged that there is an obligation on the part of those who "know better" to do something to address the National policy that bans homosexuals from serving as Scout leaders.

Community leaders raised the issue after the Dale vs. BSA supreme court trial last summer resulted in a victory for the scouting organization, upholding its rights as a private organization to set its own membership policies such as excluding gays and atheists from active leadership roles.

Cornerstone Church pastor Wendy Witt declared that scouting is a community asset worth fighting for.

"I am very concerned that they continue to deny resources to the children and youth of this community, but refuse to come and stand before this community and tell us why," she said to a meeting of about 100 community residents, a meeting to which the Des Plaines Council had been invited, but failed to send a representative.

Bishop Sprague was quoted by reporter Mark Skertic as having said "Let's sit down. Maybe some forays can be made to the National Council. Maybe what works in Texas doesn't necessarily work for Oak Park or in other places."




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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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