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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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Den 7 Pack 1 of Los Angeles California Opposes BSA Policy

W. Gregory Stewart
Los Angeles CA 90049

Mr. Ed Whitacre Jr., President
Boy Scouts of America
Southwestern Bell
175 E. Houston St.
San Antonio, TX 78205

October 27, 2000

Dear Mr. Whitacre,

We are parents, including the Pack and Den Leader, of Cub Scouts in Den 7, Pack 1, currently sponsored by the Corinne A. Seeds University Elementary School at UCLA in Los Angeles, CA.

Our sponsoring school is dedicated to diversity in its fullest interpretation. We, as Scouts, cannot, in conscience, do any less than embrace that interpretation as our own – and we do so, willingly and eagerly and proudly. It is not simply right that we do so, it would be morally and socially reprehensible if we did not. Human dignity and worth has nothing to do with sexual preference or gender accommodation, and we find it lamentable that the Boy Scouts suggest that this could ever be the case.

Since Southwestern Bell’s own policy (indeed, the policies of PacBell, Verizon and the entire Telecom Industry) is much more closely aligned with UES than the BSA, we are hoping that you will find at least some small area of agreement with our stance. Indeed, the SBC Foundation writes of being “... a catalyst for strategic change that can improve the greatest number of lives.”

Our school is fortunate in finding among its families a number of 'non-traditional' family structures. Among these are gay or lesbian couples who have decided to open heart and hearth to become loving, caring, responsible families. These families are our friends, and our children's friends, respected peers and valued associates. Our children play together, we all spend time together, we all work together - and the stance that the BSA has taken in the matter of 'avowed homosexuality' has become divisive, and indeed intolerable. While the BSA has, in recent position statements, expressed a desire to leave boys free of such politics, it is obvious that any son whose parents are excluded from full and meaningful participation is thrust rudely and immediately into the epicenter of such politics.

And by policy and practice – if not by-law - these parents ARE excluded, and resultingly those boys are placed in painfully untenable positions. This policy in effect creates a caste of second-class parents - assuming any gay or lesbian or bi-sexual or trans-gendered family would submit themselves to this indignity in the first place. THIS IS WRONG.

It is time for the Boy Scouts to change its policy, and we in Pack 1 invite all families to participate as fully in Cub Scouts as they may wish, in the hopes that this small step takes us all closer to the day when the BSA can open its doors to everyone.

We also suggest that for a 'private organization', the exercise of any policy not based in constitution, by-law or charter, a policy that cannot point to a long established and demonstrably documented history or published 'official guideline' of long standing and impeccable origins is in danger of becoming in fact and practice no better than a secret society, and at its least is guilty of playing a game with arbitrary rules that can be changed or made up at a minute's notice. There is no good lesson in this for our sons - and no honorable practice for anyone. If there existed any written prohibition, it would still be wrong - but the fact that this erring, hurtful position cannot point to any official guideline - nor even so much as an incidental statement from Lord Sir Baden-Powell himself - makes it the worst kind of ad hoc hate mongering.

Know that we are not crusaders. We are ordinary parents who implore you to open the doors of Scouting wide, to bring all those in who would choose to enter, for the good of the boys, and their families and their community. Until then, please know that ours WILL be open, in our small part of the world, as we begin to try to make whatever difference we can.

We are:

Michael Brown, Parent
Jeanne Feder, Pack Leader
Liz Forer, Parent
Cheryl Miller, Parent
Julia Perkins, Parent
Karen Schwartz, Parent
Alexandra Seros, Parent
Helen Shoenfeld, Parent
W. Gregory Stewart, Den Leader

Anti-Discrimination Support Network
c/o Freethought Society of Greater Philadelphia
P.O. Box 242
Pocopson, Pa 19366

Scouting for All
PO Box 600841
San Diego, CA 92120-0841
National Office Phone
Tel: 619-229-1612







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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