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Activist Groups Urge Obama to Reject Boy Scout Honor

From Fox News:

Activist groups, including Scouting for All, urge President Obama not to accept the honorary Presidency of the Boy Scouts of America until they stop discriminating.

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Parents of Troop 335 West Lafayette, Indiana Tell the BSA Discrimination is Wrong

July 31, 2000

Mr. Page Berry
President, Sagamore Council
Boy Scouts of America
PO Box 865
Kokomo, IN 46903-0865

Dear Mr. Berry:

We are parents of boys in troop 335 in West Lafayette and some of us serve as adult leaders. We write to express our strong opposition to the BSA's policy of excluding gay participants. According to the Boy Scout Handbook, part of being "morally straight" is to "respect and defend the rights of all people." We believe that this moral obligation must include people with differing sexual orientations. We also believe that by becoming a more inclusive organization, the Boy Scouts will help fulfill its goal of developing responsible and caring citizens and leaders of tomorrow.

We support and appreciate the BSA's concern for child safety and its desire to have adult leaders serve as role models for children. But we feel that allowing gay adults to participate in no way compromises these goals. We are further concerned about the potentially devastating emotional effects of the BSA policies and attitudes on boys who are involved and committed to scouting and who then become aware that they are gay. The BSA's policies encourage them to be dishonest with themselves and others, or possibly face shame and degradation.

Enclosed is a copy of an article from Newsweek that describes a young boy who committed suicide when he could not reconcile his homosexuality with his dedication to the Mormon Church. Could the BSA put a boy in a similar position?

We try to instill positive values in our children and usually the BSA is an alley in doing this. But unfortunately in this case, we feel that the opposite is true.

We respect that you convey our thoughts to the Sagamore Council and ask the council to express opposition to the BSA policy to the national office. We would also appreciate an opportunity to meet with the council to discuss this issue. (Two of us have already met with our troop committee to discuss this.)

Thank you for consideration of this letter.


John Duvall and Kathy Schroth
Frank and Shiela Rosenthal


Bill Hover
Scoutmaster Troop 335

Dave Taylor
Committee Chairman, Troop 335




Scouting For All is not an alternative scouting program.
We are an education and advocacy organization reaching out to gay and nontheist youth and adults in our effort to get the Boy Scouts of America to rescind its exlusionary policy.

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