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Charging Scouts For School Space Illegal, Suit Charges

by Beth Shapiro Newscenter

(February 18, Washington) Public Advocate, a conservative advocacy group with ties to several fundamentalist churches says charging the Boy Scouts of America to use school facilities is a violation of the Education Bill.

A rider to law, forced through by Sen. Jesse Helmes (R-N.C.), known as the Boy Scouts of America Equal Access Act would deny federal funds to any school district that "discriminates against the scouts" for their refusal to admit gays.

Public Advocate late last week filed a civil rights complaint with the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights against Montgomery County, Maryland

Eugene Delgaudio, of Public Advocate, said in the complaint that the "fees were imposed to punish the Boy Scouts for exercising their Constitutionally-protected right to exclude self-professed homosexual males from leadership positions."

A spokesperson for the county school district said the Boy Scouts were being charged the same amount as other groups like the Girl Guides and 4-H groups to use the facilities.

Two years ago Delgaudio formed the Committee to Impeach the President (Clinton) Again, and has been involved in "pro-family" organizations.

If the complaint is successful, Montgomery County could be striped of their $40 million in federal education funding.

Boy Scouts officials in Montgomery County say they had nothing to do with Delgaudio or Public Advocate.


Comment from Scouting for All

The Helms Amendment didn't say anything about "special privilege." Scouting for All is advocating the BSA no longer be granted "Special Privileges." They should be made to pay for using a school facility and they should not be allowed to recruit in the schools. If they are allowed the "Special Privilege" of recruiting then they should be made to only hand out recruiting materials that honestly reflect the current policy of the BSA. Recruiting materials should say the "BSA excludes gay and atheist youth and adults from joining."

Scouting for All board of Directors.

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