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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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The Greater New York Council asks for a "Timely Review" of the BSA National's Policy of Exclusion

NEW YORK POST 12/16/00
1211 Avenue of the Americas, New York,NY,10036
(Fax 212-930-8546)



Local Boy Scouts councils yesterday rebelled against their national group's anti-gay policy, asking for a "timely review" of standards that wound up getting the Scouts booted out of Big Apple schools.

"The Greater New York Council's Executive Committee has written this resolution to communicate to the [Boy Scouts of America] National Office the true inclusive nature of the youth development programs as they are administered here in New York," the local board said in a statement.

The New York Scouts said they want "to work with the National Office in the formulation of a policy that retains the positive values and traditions of the Boy Scouts of America while acknowledging the evolving mores and contribution of the local community."

Scout programs have served more than 5 million kids and families around New York since 1922.

New York Scout leaders sought to distance themselves from the national organization's exclusionary policy toward gays after Schools Chancellor Harold Levy eliminated sponsorship and recruitment activities in schools - and banned the organization from bidding on future Board of Ed contracts.

One conservative Queens community school board - District 24, which runs through Ridgewood, Glendale, Middle Village, Maspeth, Elmhurst and parts of Woodside and Sunnyside - passed a symbolic resolution on Thursday backing
the Boy Scouts and their activities despite the controversy over gays.

But Levy said the organization's anti-gay edict violated the board's policy against discrimination. Mayor Giuliani backed the chancellor's decision, noting the city's human-rights law bans discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Central board President Bill Thompson yesterday applauded the New York Scouts for "attempting to approach this in a realistic fashion."

Daniel Dromme, a gay teacher at PS 199 in Queens, called the action a "step in the right direction." But he said the New York Scouts had little choice.

"Getting hit in the pocketbook forces people to change," Dromme said.

NY1, December 15, 2000

NY Boy Scouts Challenge Organization's Ban On Gay Troop Leaders

NY1 has learned that the Greater New York chapter of the Boy Scouts of America is breaking ranks by challenging the organization's national ban on gay troop leaders.

Currently, openly gay people are not permitted to be scouts or scoutleaders. However, on Wednesday, the New York chapter sent a letter to the national Boy Scout president asking him to meet with scout leaders from large cities and review the policy.

Mayor Rudolph Giuliani applauds the move, saying, "That would be a very positive development. It would help to allow for cooperation with the Boy Scouts, because there are a lot of positive things that they do. And it might even help to reverse the national policy, which is a policy of discrimination."

The letter comes two weeks after New York City Schools Chancellor Harold Levy barred the scouts from bidding on future contracts with the Board of Education unless they change their policy.

"Any action the Boy Scouts take to come into compliance with the Board of Education's policy against discrimination is a good thing, and if my decision prompted them or assisted them, then that's valuable," said Levy.

New York Boy Scout sources say the anti-gay policy has cost them $2.6 million in corporate donations.

The national Boy Scouts did not return calls for comment.




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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