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Eagle Scout Asks Monroe County, Florida NOT to Give the Boy Scouts of America Any Favors Until the BSA Discrimination STOPS Brian D. Harper, West Palm Beach, FL

August 1, 2004

To the Monroe County Board of County Commissioners,

Last week I was flying out of the Key West airport when I encountered a large group of Boy Scouts also waiting for a plane to return them to their hometown. I made inquiry into why they had been to the Keys and heard them describe the 'Out Island Adventure Program' which is housed on Summerland Key (The Brinson Center) and Big Pine Key (The Munson Island).

These are two of the three Boy Scout locations in Monroe County, the third being the Florida National High Adventure Sea Base in Islamorada.

This may seem like benign information to you; however, it was shocking and offensive to me. I am a frequent visitor of the Florida Keys and my company has offices in Monroe County. I am proud of Monroe County's
stance on human diversity and applaud the 'One Human Family' message of antidiscrimination. What offends me is that the Boy Scouts of America have an open discrimination policy for any individual who is gay or bisexual or who does not subscribe to their concept of 'God'.

I am a former Eagle Scout and come from a Scouting family. But, I have surrendered my scouting badges and severed all ties with the BSA and any agency which directly or indirectly supports the BSA. I am a member of Scouting For All, a nonprofit organization which protests the open discrimination policies of the BSA and which seeks to ensure that funding officials are aware of the practice of discrimination in the BSA. I have enclosed a copy of their mission statement and encourage Commissioners to become aware of their excellent work in seeking to end discrimination in the BSA.

I encourage the Board of County Commissioners to be aware of the three BSA islands in Monroe County and to advise the Boy Scouts of America that their discriminatory policies are inconsistent with the policies of Monroe
County. Further, I ask that you act as sentinels for the community to ensure that Monroe County funds are not used for the purposes of the BSA until they adopt a policy of equality and fairness. I cannot discount that the BSA can and should be an organization the community can support. But, given their open policy of discrimination I feel they should enjoy no support in the Florida Keys.

Sincerely,

Brian D. Harper



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