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DECLINES BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA REQUEST TO SIGN TRIBUTE LETTER


news release - from:
US Representative Barney Frank
Congressman, 4th District, Massachusetts
2252 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
(202) 225-5931

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Peter Kovar 202-225-9400
January 27, 2004

Congressman Barney Frank today released a copy of the letter he sent to Roy Williams, Chief Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts of America, expressing his surprise that the organization had asked him to send them a
letter of endorsement.

Frank noted that the Boy Scouts have characterized gay men as unfit to associate with, and he declined to engage in an act of "hypocrisy" by signing the letter.

Congressman Frank's response to the BSA, and Mr. Williams original letter follow.

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TO: Mr. Roy L. Williams
Chief Scout Executive
Boy Scouts of America
1325 West Walnut Hill Lane
Irving, Texas 75038

January 27, 2004

Dear Mr. Williams,

I was very surprised to receive from you a prepared text that you wish me to sign, expressing my support for the Boy Scouts of America. Where there is much about the Boy Scouts that I admire, and I am a former Scout
myself, I was under the impression that you considered people like myself to be unworthy of association with the Boy Scouts.

I am a gay man, which according to your policy, as I read it in various court decisions, means that I am neither "morally straight" nor "clean." Why do you want a person you so characterize to sign a tribute to you?

So I will not be agreeing to any of the three drafts you sent me, because it seems to me hypocritical of you to ask me to sign it, and even more hypocritical for me to do so.

BARNEY FRANK, Member of Congress


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******************************************

FROM: BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA
National Office
1325 West Walnut Hill Lane
P.O. Box 152079, Irving,
Texas 75015-2079
972-580-2000

TO: Honorable Barney Frank
US House of Representatives
2252 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

January 9, 2004

Dear Representative Frank,

For 94 years, the Boy Scouts of America has been preparing young people to make better choices over their lifetimes. Through the efforts of more than 1.3 million volunteers, Scouting teaches its 3 million youth members
important lessons about leadership, character, and service.

In 2004, we will build on this legacy of service by launching a national service initiative called Good Turn for America. This national call to service is a collaborative effort of some of the most respected service
organizations in the nation, including Habitat for Humanity, the American Red Cross, and The Salvation Army. US Surgeon General Richard Carmona has agreed to serve as our honorary national chairman.

We would be honored if you would lend your support to this important effort. Together, we will continue to positively influence the lives of young people throughout the nation. I have included a limited edition Good Turn for America coin as a token of my appreciation, as well as a brochure that provides more information on the initiative and sample letters of support for your reference.

Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you. If you have any questions regarding Good Turn for America, please contact Mr. Willie Des, group director for Development/Strategic Initiatives, at
972-580-2102.

Sincerely,

Roy L. Williams
Chief Scout Executive
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