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Scouting for All Opposes Some Scout Councils Adopting A "Don't Ask Don't Tell" Policy

February 23, 2002

Scouting for All opposes Scout Councils who have adopted a "Don't Ask Don't Tell policy regarding gay and atheist youth and adults. This new strategy of the BSA is some scout council's attempt to secure funding by misleading funders. The only scout council in America that says it absolutely won't discriminate against gays is the Piedmont Council in Piedmont California. All the scout councils who have adopted "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policies are say they adhere to the BSA National policy discriminating against gay youth and adults.

Scouting for All also believe a "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy gives GLBTQ youth a rejecting horrific message that they are no good. It keeps gay youth and adults in a position to have to hide who they are out of fear of being found out. As a parent, how would you feel if the BSA had a "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy for heterosexual youth and adults? That type of policy would not be tolerated. We should not tolerate this kind of policy for gay youth and adults either. The following are examples of such policies by two scout councils.

Scott Cozza, Pres.
Scouting for All

The Green Mountain Council (Vermont) executive board approved this statement July 17, 2001. I agree that it is certainly less than forthright, but Scout Executive Gerry Lupien's statements to the press (following) make it clear that sexual orientation is something they are just not going pay any attention to. (This puts him at odds with the BSA's "Procedures for Maintaining Standards of Membership," which require that the Scout executive investigate even anonymous accusations.)

The Green Mountain Council, Boy Scouts of America subscribes to the following:

Scouting values include respect for the dignity of individuals and acceptance of beliefs, characteristics and customs that are different.

Scouting teaches tolerance and promotes diversity, and asks those with a differing viewpoint to accord Scouting the same respect.

The Green Mountain Council, Boy Scouts of America does not inquire into the sexual orientation of existing or prospective members, youth or adult.

The Green Mountain Council, Boy Scouts of America believes that issues or questions of human sexuality arising among its members are the province of a member's family, religious leader, physician, or other qualified advisor.

The Green Mountain Council, Boy Scouts of America requires it members to agree to live by the principles of the Scout Oath and Law. The Green Mountain Council reserves the right to review the membership status of a member if his or her behavior becomes inappropriate.

Promoting sexual behavior or orientation within the confines of the Scouting program is inappropriate and may hinder, distract, or prevent the The Green Mountain Council from attaining its long sought and well-established goal of fostering the development of youth.

The Green Mountain Council supports the misson of the Boy Scouts of America to "prepare young people to make ethical choices over their lifetimes by instillin them the values of the Scout Oath and Law" and will not permit its organization to be used as a vehicle to promote any other personal, political, social or religious agenda.

The Green Mountain Council, Boy Scouts of America complies with all applicable laws and regulations dealing with employees' rights and the fair treatment of people.


Vermont Scouts adopt nondiscrimination policy

Vermont's Boy Scouts organization has adopted a nondiscrimination policy that, unlike national rules, permits gay Scouts and Scouts leaders. The Green Mountain Council of the Boy Scouts began examining its policies after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that the Boy Scouts had a right to bar individuals from the organization. In Vermont, some schools have refused to allow the Boy Scouts to recruit on school property. Some individuals and businesses have withdrawn their support in the wake of the court ruling. Others have expressed their approval. "We've had some people write us letters and say, 'We're gonna support you because you're antigay,"' said Gerry Lupien, executive director of the Green Mountain Council. "I just shudder
when somebody says that." The Green Mountain Council tried to stay out of the debate over the court ruling. "We finally felt that we had to speak out and let people know who we are and what we stand for," he said. Last summer, the Green Mountain Council wrote its first nondiscrimination policy and has just now begun publicizing it. The Vermont chapter now has "a policy of inclusion of all people regardless of their sexual orientation." That differs from the Boy Scouts' national organization. Greg Shields, a spokesman for Boy Scouts of America, said the organization makes no attempt to discover a person's sexual orientation. But Shields said if it's discovered that a Scout or Scout leader is gay "the individual would probably...not be extended membership." Although the national organization might recommend expulsion, the decision is up to the local chapter, Shields said. Lupien said the Vermont organization already has invoked its nondiscrimination policy in regard to sexuality when a new group was organized in a community. "Somebody called and said it was rumored that the person proposed to be
scoutmaster was gay. And I said. 'So?' he said. "That's none of my business. If you're going to call me and tell me that he behaved in an improper way with the kids, then please let me know."


The mission of the Boston Minuteman Council, Boy Scouts of America is to provide character development, citizenship training, growth in physical and mental fitness and leadership opportunities for the young people of the Boston metropolictan area. We pride ourselves on the diversity of our members, and we are committeed to providing young people with an educational and stimulating environment in whch to learn and grow, Through the Scout Oath and Law, we pledge to respect all people and to defend the rights of others. Bias, intolerance and unlawful discrimination are unaccceptable within the ranks of the Boston Minuteman Council.

The Boston Minuteman Council serves over 18,000 youth through 3,300 volunteers in over 330 Packs, Troops and other units without regard to color, race, religion, ethnic background, sexual orientation, or economic status.

Here are some guidelines to follow in choosing these leaders:

1 You should not ask about the sexual orientation of any current of potential leader or member of the Boy Scouts of America.

2. As has always been the case, a Scout unit is part of the youth program of your chartered organization. You should select leaders who represent the values of your organization.

3. Everly leader must be trained in and practice the principles of Youth Protection. Any instance of child abuse is totally unacceptable.

4. The purpose of Scouting is to serve youth, not cater to adults. If someone wants to be a Scout leader for his or her own personal benefit, or for self-affirmation, or to use Scouting as a platform to pursue a personal, political or social agenda, we b elieve that person doesn't have the intent to serve youth which leadership in Scouting movement requires.

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