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Some Scout Councils Get Approval from BSA National to Secure Funding by Misleading the Public and Funders: The Issue is addressed by Scouting for All


7/2/01

Dear Ed:

You are absolutely correct. Several Scout councils have taken this approach to skirt the issue and mislead the public and funders such as the United Way. The BSA has always had a policy covering "inappropriate behavior" as a reason to terminate a member from the Scouting program. If you ask these councils who have taken this approach if they follow and adhere to the National BSA policy of excluding gay kids and adults you'll find that they'll tell you that they do follow the BSA National policy of excluding gays. Just to note this policy of discrimination against gays is new. It has taken place over the last 20 years as we have seen religious fundamentalists gradually take over the influence of the leaders at the national level. There is absolutely nothing in the BSA bylaws or membership standards that excludes gay youth and adults from Scouting. It appears that the current national leadership is being influenced by religious fundamentalists who have corrupted both the Scout Oath and Law for their own political and religious agendas. You see in the BSA Bylaws it also states that the BSA is nonsectarian. It is not to be run by any religious organization or denomination. We find just the opposite happening today when the BSA tells other religious groups such as the Universalist Unitarians how to interpret their religious doctrine and if they don't concede to their current interpretation of the bible they are kicked out.

Let's not allow Scout Council's to mislead the American public by saying they changed their policy when in reality all they did was attempt to mislead funders to secure funding and mislead the American public to attempt to secure new memberships and retain current members. Membership is currently on the decline in many regions across the county resulting from the BSA's policy of exclusion of gay youth and adults as well as atheists.

Scott Cozza, President
Scouting for All
Kicked out for my belief that gays should not be discriminated against.

Hello,

I'm a 19-year-old gay former scout from Rochester, NY. I read an interesting article today about what is supposedly a new policy on gays that has been adopted by Otetiana Council, which is located in Rochester. (I've enclosed a link to the article at the end of this e-mail.)

The article seems to be very vague. They claim that their new policy does not conflict with the BSA's policy against allowing "avowed homosexuals" to participate in scouting. If that is the case, then I don't see how this policy changes anything except
perhaps semantically.

The new policy states that they do not ban "homosexuals" per se but instead will not allow anyone who participates in "inappropriate behavior." But they don't define what is considered inappropriate. I wonder whether they will apply the same standard to all scouts and scoutmasters, gay or straight. (For example, it is common for straight scoutmasters to bring their wives to awards ceremonies, etc., but if a gay scoutmaster brings his partner that may be considered inappropriately flaunting his sexuality.)

Anyhow, this new policy is probably a step in the right direction and indicates that they know that many of us want to move away from the BSA's exclusive policies. I wrote a letter to the editor of the newspaper thanking the council for the change and
encouraging them to truly promote inclusively by applying the policy equally to all people, gay and straight.

Here's the link:

http://www.rochesternews.com/0612story1.html

Best wishes,

Ed



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