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U.S. Scouts shun gays, Europeans don't

By Randy Dotinga, Gay.com / PlanetOut.com Network


http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/po/20010731/co/u_s_scouts_shun_gays_europeans_don_t_1.html

SUMMARY: As President Bush (news - web sites) reiterates his firm support for Boy Scout "values," a gay-friendly Scout organization is heading across the Atlantic to spread a message of tolerance to 25,000 children from around the world.

As President Bush reiterates his firm support for Boy Scout "values," a gay-friendly Scout organization is heading across the Atlantic to spread a message of tolerance to 25,000 children from around the world.

Bush lauded the Boy Scouts on Monday during a videotaped presentation to 32,000 boys attending the National Scout Jamboree near Richmond, Va.

"Every society depends on trust and loyalty, on courtesy and kindness, on bravery and reverence," Bush said, according to the Associated Press. "These are the values of scouting, and these are the values of America."

The Boy Scouts are under attack for their opposition to gay scoutmasters and scouts. The jamboree has brought new media attention to the issue, including a cover story in the current issue of Newsweek.

Meanwhile, the Scouting for All organization, which supports gays in scouting, headed to Europe this week to take part in the Swedish Scouting Association's International "Scout 2001" Jamboree.

Scouting For All says it will hold workshops that will educate more than 25,000 children about the dangers of anti-gay discrimination.

Scouting For All also plans to request that the World Organization of the Scouting Movement condemn the Boy Scouts of America for its anti-gay attitudes.

"Under United States law, the [Boy Scouts have] the legal right to discriminate, but that does not make discrimination a wise choice," writes Scott Cozza, president of Scouting for All, in a letter to the umbrella organization. "Discrimination necessarily involves violating the foundational principles of scouting, including the principle that scouting is open to all, and the principle that the scouts must respect the religious beliefs of all persons."


J.D. Hurst



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