Scouting for All Calls on Religious Leaders to Take a Stand
Posted by: QueerScapes Webmaster
Topic QueerScapes News
February 3rd, 2002, is designated as Boy Scout Sunday. In churches across the country, this will be a day to honor
Scouts and leaders and to recognize the shaping role Scouting has on children and youth.
But this year, many religious organizations will not be celebrating Boy Scout Sunday. Not because they do not think
that Scouting is an excellent program; the BSA stands as one of the finest youth programs in the world. They will
not be celebrating it because the Boy Scouts of America has taken a discriminatory stand against gay youth and
adults. This, they feel, is in violation of the very ideals Scouting teaches. To teach discrimination to our youth
is to shape them into future bigots, non-compassionate adults,and prejudiced members of society.
Scouting for All is asking religious leaders across the country to join their fellow leaders in speaking out against
discrimination within Scouting. Boy Scout Sunday should be for all Scouts and their leaders, not just the straight
ones. They are asking clerics to send a message to their congregations that discrimination is never acceptable.
"The church has a much larger role in shaping our youth, more so than any other organization. Please use this
Sunday to speak for and to all of our youth." says Linda Hodges, National Religious Outreach Coordinator for
Scouting for All, "Let them know that they are supported, loved and accepted. Tell them that within the sanctuary
of their church, they are safe and loved, no matter what their sexual orientation is."
"Our Worship Committee, after much discussion, decided that Trinity must continue to remain a safe place for
all people on Sunday morning. We are committed to being a sanctuary from bias and discrimination that may exist
in the rest of the world." wrote Sally Haynes of Trinity United Methodist Church in Kansas City, Missouri,
"To celebrate an organization which rejects boys on the basis of their sexual orientation is to violate that
sense of safety and sanctuary which Trinity Church offers."
As an alternative to Boy Scout Sunday, Scouting for All asks that you consider having a "Scouting for All,"
Sunday. Any offerings donated to the organization from Scouting for All Sunday will be used to continue their fight
against the discriminatory practices of the BSA.
Linda Hodges adds, "Scouting for All is committed to bringing a message of hope and acceptance to gay youth
who are in Scouting. Please help us to shape the role of Scouting as a youth organization for all children. Let
us leave no child behind, gay and straight, all are loved by God. That love is reflected at church when we speak
out against discrimination."