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Scouting for All Calls on Religious Leaders to Take a Stand

Posted by: QueerScapes Webmaster
http://www.queerscapes.com/article.php?sid=15

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."



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