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NEWS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 9, 2001

Scouting for All Cautions the Public and Funders of the BSA NOT to Be Fooled by Current Rhetoric


Over the last few months several Scout Councils in the United States seemed to have attempted to mislead the public and funders into believing that they don't discriminate against gay scouts or leaders. Several councils have said they have adopted a "new" policy. The Minsi Trail Council of Allentown, Pennsylvania, and the Hiawatha Seaway Council of Syracuse, New York all reported in recent months to the news media that they have adopted a policy that focuses on "inappropriate behavior" and not sexual orientation. Most recently The Minuteman Council of Boston, Massachusetts has been quoted as saying they have adopted a new policy of "don't ask don't tell."

Scott Cozza, the President of Scouting for All made contacts with these Scout Councils and all reported they continue to follow the National Boy Scouts of America's current policy of excluding gays from scouting. One such interaction took place between Scott Cozza and Tom Herrington, Executive of the Minsi Trail Council. Cozza, asked Tom Herrington, "If a scout or scout leader were reported to the Minsi Trail Council for being gay by a parent or another scout leader how would the Council respond?" Mr. Herrington answered the question by stating, "The Council adheres to the National BSA policy of excluding homosexuals from scouting." Mr. Herrington further stated, " We don't have a policy (referring to their "new" behavior policy) different from the National organization. It was approved by the National office."   Mr. Herrington also agreed with Mr. Cozza,
that his Council's "new" policy focusing on behavior was nothing new to scouting. National BSA has always had a policy to terminate members from scouting for "inappropriate behavior."

It seems very clear that the National BSA is giving consent to the some local Councils to reword current policy so that it can be interpreted in such a way as to meet funder anti-discrimination requirements. For example the Minsi Trail Council with its
"new" policy was granted funding from the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley. Mr. Cozza, spoke to Mr. Scharff, Executive of the UW of the Greater Lehigh Valley.  Mr. Scharff was surprised to hear the statements of Mr. Herrington, that the Council continues to adhere to the National BSA policy of discrimination against gays and atheists. After finding this out Mr. Scharff, representing the UNGLV found it very difficult to take any action because in Mr. Scharff's words, "the religious right has threatened to pull funding from the Lehigh United Way if we discontinued funding the local council."

Scouting for All is cautioning the general public and funders of the Boy Scouts of America whose funding is dependent on anti-discrimination policies to not be "fooled" by the rhetoric of the National BSA and some Scout Councils, who claim to have a "new" policy. The truth is the only Scout Council in America who absolutely does not adhere to the BSA policy of
discrimination is the Piedmont Council in Piedmont, California. The Piedmont Council told the National BSA in a letter that their current policy of excluding gays from scouting was in violation of both the Scout Oath and Law and they would not adhere to such a policy.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Tom Herrington, Scout Executive, Minsi Trail Council, t: 610-264-8551
Jerry Scharff, United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley, t: 610-758-8010
Piedmont Council, Piedmont, California, t: 510-547-4493
Scott Cozza, Pres. Scouting for All, National Office, 707-778-0564,


NEWS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 10, 2001
Scouting for All's 2nd Annual National Rally Week
Theme: National Recognition of Gay Scouts and All Gay Youth Week

"We will no longer tolerate our gay youth having to remain invisible out of fear. We will continue to work with other concerned individuals and groups in a united effort towards helping to create a society where our gay youth can feel safe to be who they have come blessed to be."

Scouting For All Board of Directors, Volunteers and Members

Date: August 19 through the 25. Some Rallies will occur before and after the official National Rally Week.

Location: The National Rally will occur throughout the United States and internationally at various locations. For Rally locations go to the Scouting for All web page, www.scoutingforall.org and click the National Rally icon at the top of the home page.

This year's National Rally will be "kicked off" by our Albuquerque, New Mexico Scouting for All Alliance for Human Rights members. The contact person is Ellen Grigsby qegrigsby@yahoo.com or 505-266-7840. The date of this first Rally is Saturday, August 11th.

Purpose: The purpose of this national annual event is to get the Boy Scouts of America to rescind its discriminatory policy against gay youth and adults as well as atheists. Each year a new theme will be selected. This will mark Scouting For All's 2nd National Annual Rally. Last year's theme was "Give voice by protesting the Supreme Court James Dale / BSA Decision." Last year's protest lead to the creation of Scouting For All's National Campaign.

The purpose of this year's theme is to acknowledge, recognize, and embrace gay youth with an empowering message. The Rally occurring across the USA and internationally will be a vehicle to give voice to this healing message.

Scouting For All's National Campaign (www.scoutingforall.org):

S4A's National Campaign is our national strategy to get the BSA to rescind its policy of discrimination. It calls for the following actions:

1. Individuals who Believe in Justice for All outside of Scouting to speak out in opposition of the BSA policy.
2. BSA Members, Scout Units, Sponsors, Council to speak out in opposition of the BSA policy. Silence equals collusion with the discriminatory practice of the BSA.
3. We are asking funders such as the United Way and businesses to NOT fund any organization which discriminates against any segment of our society.
4. We are asking schools and government to NOT support any organization which discriminates against any segment of our society.
5. We are asking religious congregations and denominations to say NO to the BSA's policy of discrimination against our gay youth, adults and atheists.

Goal(s): (the list is not in any order of priority)
01. To draw media attention on a national level
02. To rally current national support to further implement our National Campaign
03. To inspire new support to begin to implement our National Campaign in new
locations
04. To continue to give the BSA the message that their policy hurts youth, especially gay youth
05. To continue to give the BSA the message we are not giving up in the name of social justice and in honor of our gay youth 06. To acknowledge gay youth exist and that we must create a society that embraces them
07. To encourage GSAs, Gay Straight Alliances in every H.S. in America, GSAs build bridges
08. To help reclaim Scouting back to its core values as taught in the Scout Oath and Law
09. To increase the Scouting For All Alliance for Human Rights membership and the S4A organization's membership / vol.s
10. To provide support to gay scouts throughout the United States of America
11. To continue to give a national voice to the issue of discrimination against our gay youth

For Further Information you can contact each Rally site by going to www.scoutingforall.org and clicking the National Rally icon at the top of the S4A home page. You can reach Scott Cozza, National Rally Coordinator at 707-778-0564 or scottcozza33@comcast.net



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