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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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Scouting For All's Response to the Dale Vs BSA Supreme Court Decision

Scouting For All Launches a New Phase for Its National Campaign

Scouting For All's National Day of Protest scheduled for August 21, 2000 will mark a new phase in its national/international campaign to end the Boy Scouts of America's policy of discrimination against gay youth, and adults, and atheists.

Protests will be occurring in 21 states including the District of Columbia representing 36 protests/rallies across the country. For a list of protest/rally locations and organizers to interview go to www.scoutingforall.org and click the Action Alert Information Center and then click the heading List of Protest Sites.

Steven Cozza, Eagle Scout and the Board of Directors of Scouting For All will be leading a protest at the Circle Ten Council in Dallas. After the protest in Dallas Steven will lead a contingent to the BSA National headquarters in Irving to request a meeting and to give them a copy of the 55,000 signatures against their policy of discrimination he has collected.

The message Scouting For All supporters is giving through the protest/rally is to counter the horrific message the BSA has given our gay youth. We will be conveying to our gay youth the message that we will no longer tolerate their having to remain invisible out of fear. We will continue to work towards creating a society where gay (GLBTQ) youth can feel safe, accepted,
and loved for the beautiful individuals they have been blessed to be. We will also be giving the Boy Scouts of America the message that all Americans who believe in social justice have been offended and violated by the social injustice perpetuated by them. Their policy of discrimination is increasingly harmful to Scouting and to both gay and straight youth as well as being
fundamentally contrary to the precepts and principles for which Scouting was founded.

We are dedicating this National Day of Protest as a new beginning in our effort. The light of hope will shine brighter than ever in the name of human rights.We are launching a heightened national/international campaign calling upon individuals and groups to take action on the side of social justice, and human rights. We are advocating the following actions:

1. All individuals: It is everyone's responsibility to speak out against social injustice, in this case the social injustice of the BSA. We must not turn our backs on those who are being discriminated against. We encourage parents and guardians to make sure your child participates in youth organizations that have inclusive policies and follow them. In fact the BSA is the only youth organization in America that discriminates against gay youth and adults.

2. Scouts, Adult Members and Sponsors: Through the Scout Oath and Law and Citizenship merit badge booklets Scouting teaches its members to help make the earth a better place. Discrimination and bigotry have never been a part of Scouting. Those in Scouting have an ethical obligation to take a stand against the bigotry of its current leadership.

If you are a Scout sponsor (chartering organization e.g. churches, service clubs etc.) insist that your Scout unit adopt an anti-discrimination statement and send it to the BSA and to your local Scout council.

3. Funders of the Boy Scouts of America: We call upon the businesses and organizations such as the United Way who fund the BSA to follow their own business and organization's anti-discrimination policies. Only donate funds to youth organizations that don't discriminate. Inform the Boy Scouts of America that they must rescind their discriminatory policy against gay youth
and adults and atheists or be terminated as a beneficiary.

4. Public Organizations: This includes the military, municipalities, schools, police and fire departments, PTAs, etc. We ask that you reexamine your relationship with the BSA in light of your own anti-discrimination policies. Insist that discrimination be prohibited by any group that uses your services and or facilities. We ask all school districts to think about the kind of
message that you would be giving our gay and straight students if you allowed organizations that discriminate against gay youth such as the BSA to use your school facilities and allow adult BSA leaders to recruit in your schools.

Scouting For All will initiate the following strategies to implement this new phase of our national campaign:

1. We will continue to use the www.scoutingforall.org web page to rally support, educate, and advocate for human rights.

2. We are going to help organize a Scouting For All Alliance for Human Rights. This Alliance made up of both national and community based grassroots organizations, will come together to advocate for the end of discrimination within the Boy Scouts of America and for human rights. This Alliance will become a bright light of hope for both our gay and straight youth that they
may some day live in a society that values social justice, acceptance, and cherishes the diversity of the human family.

For further information on the Scouting For All National Day of Protest please contact each individual protest site organizer and or call Scouting For All at 707-778-0564.


Scott Cozza, President
Scouting for All
Board of Directors, Members, Volunteers, and Friends

"We all stand together as our commitment grows stronger"


Massachusetts's Bay State Scout Councils Will not Follow the Boy Scouts of America's Policy of Discrimination!

United Way to continue funding Boy Scouts in Massachusetts

The Advocate Tuesday, July 25, 2000
http://www.advocate.com//html/news/072500/072500news05.html

Although the Boy Scouts of America bars gays, the United Way says it will continue funding Massachusetts's Bay State Scout Councils because they have complied with the charity's antidiscrimination rules, the Boston Herald reports. 'To date, the five local Boy Scout Councils we fund have complied with the United Way of Massachusetts's nondiscrimination policy [which bans discrimination based on sexual orientation],' the United Way said in a written statement, adding that United Way officials would meet with Boy Scout leaders to ensure its policy is enforced. Brock Bigsby, Scout executive of the Scouts' Minuteman Council, said that the United Way's statement is correct. 'We have never banned anyone from participation on [the basis of sexual orientation],' he said. But Jerry Rudolph, leader of a Weymouth, Mass., Boy Scout troop, said he will stand by the Scouts's national policy: 'Our council leaders support the policy of the Boy Scouts of America meaning, no homosexuals in the program.' Last year the United Way gave $288,000 to Massachusetts's five Boy Scouts councils.

----------------------

The Massachusetts Scout Councils will let gay youth and adults be in Scouting. They will not discriminate against gay youth or adults, defying the the BSA's policy of discrimination.

Scouting For All is encouraging all supporters to write a letter of support to Brock Bigsby, Scout Executive of the Boston Minutemen Council:

Brock Bigsby, Scout Executive
Boston Minuteman Council
199 State Street, 3rd Floor
Boston, MA 02109
e-mail: council@bsaboston.org

----------------------------------------
Bert Leatherman, Eagle Scout and Scouting for All Member and Volunteer reports:

"I called Brock Bigsby's assistant, and apparently the story is accurate. Yay!"

Bert Leatherman, Eagle Scout


ACTION ALERT

Send Your Eagle Badge and other Scouting Awards to Scouting For All not to The BSA

Scouting For All will support those who want to protest the Boy Scouts of America's bigoted position against gay youth and adults and atheists by accepting all scouting awards that you may want to send to the Boy Scouts of America. We will keep your Eagle Award or other scouting award in trust for you, pending the day when you can retrieve it from us because Scouting has ceased to discriminate. We do not believe sending your Scout Award back to the BSA would even phase national officials. They don't seem to care about the fact that their policy is hurting so many of our youth. In fact they don't even deserve the Eagle or any other scouting award because of their bigoted practice. So send the scouting awards to us. We will keep them safe for you.

Please provide us with return address information so we may return them to you. Also let us know if you would like us to post your name on this page as a scout who turned in their scout award as a form of protest. We will not post names unless you grant us permission in writing. Also let us know if you would like to be contacted by the media. They have been asking for names and we haven't given any out because we haven't received permission.

If you have already sent in your Eagle Badge or other scout honor to your local scout council or to the BSA National headquarters in Irving Texas let Scouting For All know at info@scoutingforall.org. If you grant us permission we will also include your name, troop, rank and scout council along with others who have turned in their Eagle Awards and other scout honors to us.

Please send your Eagle badge or other scouting awards as your protest against the Boy Scouts of America's practice of discrimination to:

Scouting For All
PO Box 2832
Petaluma, CA. 94953-2832

With Much Admiration
Scouting For All Board of Directors


The following is a list of Scouts who have sent their badges/awards to Scouting For All as a courageous act of protest against the Boy Scouts of America's immoral policy of discrimination against gay youth, adults and atheists:
[an error occurred while processing this directive]


July 22, 2000


Mr. Roy L. Williams
Chief Scout Executive
Boy Scouts of America
PO Box 152079
Irving, TX 75015-2079

Re: Scouting For All in Dallas/Irving

Dear Chief Scout Williams:

The Board of Scouting For All has directed me to write informing you that we will be traveling to Dallas next month to participate in a gathering there before the Circle Ten Council headquarters on Monday morning, August 21, to protest the anti-gay "policy" of the BSA. We will also conduct a spiritual service of "healing and reconciliation" the evening prior to our protest to address the hurt and pain of those men and boys and their families who have been excluded by the Scouts or have suffered other indignities because of their stand for acceptance and dignity. Similar demonstrations will occur at council offices throughout the nation on that day. The Board wishes you to be fully aware of our determined but law-abiding presence there, as well as the fact that a delegation, including Eagle Scout Steven Cozza, will also call upon you
personally at the Irving headquarters that same day.

Although you have not responded to our correspondence to you of May 6 and June 28 or any of Steven Cozza, Eagle Scout letters to your office wherein we requested to meet with you regarding our strong aversion to the current stance of the BSA against the participation of gay men and boys in the American Scouting movement, nevertheless, we wish to make clear our continuing determination to be ready to meet with you regarding this issue. Our presence
in Irving on August 21 provides an excellent opportunity for such a meeting, and we are hopeful that you will accept our invitation to meet with you or your designated representatives at that time.

As we see it, the purpose this meeting would be for us to provide you with a better understanding of who we are and precisely what we advocate. Together we could have a productive dialog about the current BSA "policy," the growing groundswell of reaction against it, and the role that Scouting For All can play in assisting the BSA to bring closure to this divisive issue which is increasingly harmful to Scouting and fundamentally contrary to the precepts and
principles for which Scouting stands.


As we have mentioned to you previously, our organization is comprised mostly of Scouts, former Scouts and Scout leaders, as well as concerned parents and interested individuals. We have always supported the Scouting program and maintain a deep and abiding appreciation of Scouting. We take issue only with the so-called "policy" which excludes from Scouting many
boys and men who have already or wish to participate honorably and productively within it. Until we reach a satisfactory resolution with you, we must continue to protest this injustice until Scouting lives up to its own professed ideals and is truly for all. We anticipate your positive response and look forward to meeting with you in Irving.

Yours in Scouting,



Scott Cozza
President
SC:kt


TO: ALL BOY SCOUTS, SCOUTMASTERS, ADULT LEADERS, & SCOUT COUNCILS
FROM: BOARD OF DIRECTORS, SCOUTING FOR ALL
DATE: June 28, 2000

RE: TAKE A STAND FOR SCOUTING "A CALL TO ACTION"

Dear Fellow Scouts and Scouters:

A Call To Action

Scouting For All, a national educational and advocacy 501C-3 nonprofit organization composed of Scouts, former Scouts and their friends, calls upon all individual Boy Scouts and Scout leaders throughout the United States to take a stand against discrimination within the BSA.

What Has Happened?

In the last several years, the BSA national office has expelled from Scouting anyone who has been identified as a gay person, regardless of their good behavior or high accomplishments. They have even expelled non-gay persons who have objected to this bigotry. Furthermore, they have stated that any gay person is not acceptable as a Scout by definition, not based upon their behavior, abilities or accomplishments. As a young assistant Scoutmaster in New Jersey, James Dale took legal action against the BSA upon his expulsion from Scouting, asking to be reinstated. Although the New Jersey Supreme Court agreed with Dale, the BSA appealed the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Recently, the Supreme Court of the United States issued their judgment in the Dale case, reversing the judgment of the New Jersey Supreme Court, and affirming that the Boy Scouts of America are a private organization which may decide its own standards for membership, regardless of public laws which prohibit discrimination against certain people. The decision was split 5 to 4, with those four justices vigorously objecting to the majority in a dissenting opinion twice as long as the majority one. The BSA continues to declare that some boys and men, and that some Scouts and Scout leaders “ those who happen to be gay or those who are not gay but who voice support for ending discrimination in the Boy Scouts “ are not worthy to be Scouts." We strongly disagree. The Supreme Court has allowed the BSA to discriminate, but it did not say it had to do so!

What Is The Issue?

Scouting For All agrees that discussion of one's sexual orientation and sex education do not belong in Scouting. Scouting For All vigorously supports the already existing standards of conduct for Scout leaders. This issue is not about outsiders trying to join or destroy Scouting. Over 87 million young men have been welcomed into Scouting's ranks over the years. Don't you suppose that many of these 87 million men and boys have been gay? Gay men and boys have
always been Scouts and Scout leaders, and many are still in Scouting. This issue is about human rights and discrimination against some people, not because of anything they have done, but simply because of who they are. This issue was created by the BSA when they took action against certain men and boys and expelled them from Scouting because they happen to be gay. This was wrong:
Scouting is for all!!!

Many accomplished and dedicated Scouts and Scout leaders are gay, but now they fear that disclosure of their identity will result in their expulsion from Scouting. Tens of thousands of adult Eagle Scouts all over the United States are gay, and feel angry and dishonored by the current "policy" of the BSA. This "policy" is divisive to Scouting. Scouts should not reject other Scouts (or anyone else) just because that person happens to be "different." Let's remind the BSA that bigotry is not a Scout value. Scouting is for all!!!

What Does Scouting Say About This Issue?

In a letter sent to James Dale, the BSA said that they had expelled him because he did not adhere to "the standards of leadership established by the [BSA], which specifically forbid membership to homosexuals." But where is this anti-gay "policy"? It is found nowhere in official BSA publications. Even the Supreme Court justices remarked that "It remained, in effect, a secret Boy Scout policy" and this policy ". . . appears to be no more than a private statement of a few BSA executives . . ." In fact, the BSA states officially that "[n]either the charter nor the laws of the [BSA] permits the exclusion of any boy... " . . . our membership shall be representative of all the population in every community, district, and council."

Although the BSA has clearly stated that sexual matters are "not construed to be Scouting's proper area," they have also stated that they "teach young boys who are Scouts that hmosexuality is immoral." Even though some people in Scouting believe this, especially some religious groups that charter troops, many other religious groups do not adhere to this belief and, in fact, believe to the contrary “ that discrimination against homosexuals is wrong." The BSA bylaws state that the BSA is "absolutely nonsectarian in its attitude toward religious training" and in fact it " does not define what constitutes duty to God or the practice of religion." Yet,despite the BSA's denials that it addresses sexual matters or that it espouses a articular religious doctrine, the BSA has condemned homosexual identity, the specific moral doctrine of only some of its religious supporters! We are afraid that the Boy Scouts of America is being taken over by the relgious fundamentalists who use the Scout Law and Scout Oath as weapons of hatedred,
discrimination, and bigotry to hurt people who are gay in the same way they use the bible, Jesus Christ and God to hurt gay youth and adults. This type if behavior is what is immoral.

The BSA bases its exclusion of gays on the Scouts Laws that a Scout is clean, and morally straight. But the Boy Scout Handbook itself says the following about cleanliness:

"Swear words, profanity, and dirty stories are weapons that ridicule other people and hurt their feelings. The same is true of racial slurs and jokes making fun of ethnic groups or people with physical or mental limitations. A Scouts knows there is no kindness or honor in such mean-spirited behavior. He avoids it in his own words and deeds. He defends those who are targets of insults." (emphasis added).

About "morally straight," the Handbook also says, "To be a person of strong character, guide your life with honesty, purity, and justice. Respect and defend the rights of all people." (emphasis added). Clearly, it seems to us that a gay person who is being "honest" about who he is and who strives for justice is "morally straight," and that the non-gay who defends his rights is also "morally straight." Regarding this Law, the Scoutmaster Handbook says, "A boy's courage to do what his head and his heart tell him is right," is moral fitness.

Another interesting statement by the BSA is the following found in the Cub Scout Leader How-To Book:

"Prejudice can be thought of as a social disease. People catch it from other people. No one group is immune from prejudging others. However, we can recognize and build up resistance to prejudices in ourselves and help children do the same . . . Self confident children learn not to take negative cultural myths about other people seriously. They make up their minds about people as individuals, not as members of a category." (Excerpted)

Finally, the BSA argued that James Dale's mere presence in the Boy Scouts would convey a message about his homosexuality, even if he never mentioned it (which he did not). Yet the BSA officially does not concern itself about the views or activities of its leaders outside of Scouting! The BSA does not censure its adult leaders because they express beliefs outside of Scouting, such as pro- or anti-abortion, environmental activism, Democratic or Republican membership, etc, etc. Nor does the BSA concern itself with behavior outside of Scouting, such as smoking, drinking, marital issues, etc. Why is James Dale any different?

The inconsistencies and ironies mentioned above clearly demonstrates the hypocrisy inherent in the current BSA stance on gays. Evidently, the BSA is acting contrary to its own stated and cherished principles.

Who Is Scouting For All?

The motto of Scouting For All is, "Committed to Scouting, Open to Diversity." Scouting For All is composed of Scouts and former Scouts who are dedicated to the Scouting movement and wish to see it return to its fundamental values: fairness, compassion and respect for others. We love Scouting. We would like all boys in Scouting who are gay to remain Scouts if Scouting can respect who they are. We want all adult leaders who are gay to remain in Scouting if they are respected for who they are. We want all kids, gay or not, to be able to become Scouts. We want all interested and competent adults, whether gay or not, to be permitted leadership roles within Scouting according to their talents and merit. We want parents and their children to participate in Scouting, as long as Scouting does not advocate bigotry towards others. We want to end bigotry in Scouting, because Scouting is for all!!

What Can You Do?

Now is the time to stand up and be counted. Every good Scout must stand up for fairness, and against bigotry. Scouts everywhere must speak out, telling the National Council of the BSA that they and their troops and Councils will not discriminate!

What can you do? We recommend the following:

1. Work to have your scout unit to adopt a statement that declares that your troop welcomes all Scouts, and does not discriminate against kids or adults who are gay (a sample statement may be obtained from the Scouting For All website in the links menu in the section Scouts Take A Stand).

2. When your troop adopts that statement, tell us about it at Scouting For All. We will honor your troop by entering it onto the "Rainbow Role," designating it a troop that stands against discrimination and bigotry in Scouting. Send your scout units antidiscrimination statement to
the local scout council, national BSA and to your sponsoring organization.

3. Write a letter or speak to the Scout executives at your local BSA Scout Council and tell them that you want them to support troops and individuals who do not discriminate against gay men or boys. Ask them to issue a non-discrimination statement for the entire Council similar to the one your troop is adopting. If they do, let us know at Scouting For All. We will honor your Council by entering it onto the "Rainbow Role," designating it a Council which stands against discrimination and bigotry in Scouting.

4. Write a letter to Chief Scout Executive of the BSA and say that you do not want discrimination in Scouting and ask that the anti-gay "policy" of the BSA be rescinded. Send us at Scouting For All a copy of your letter.

5. Write a letter to President Clinton and ask him to speak out against the discrimination of gays and atheists in Scouting in his capacity as the honorary president of the BSA, or to resign that position. Send us at Scouting For All a copy of your letter.

6. Join Scouting For All by visiting our website at <www.scoutingforall.org>, keep up-to-date on the latest developments, and join us in our events and protests.


What If My Troop Continues To Discriminate?

7. If you are unable to persuade your troop to stand up against discrimination, then we must advise you to search for a troop in your area that has an anti-discrimination statement (many scout units are developing anti-discrimination statements throughout the country) if you are unable to locate one then we highly recommend that you resign as a member of the Boy
Scouts of America "outed" as a bigoted orgnaization. Remaining a member of a Scout troop which permits open bigotry is contrary to the Spirit of Scouting. Colluding with that bigotry implies agreement with it by association. We hope it doesn't come to that. But if you do resign, please tell us at Scouting For All. We want to support you in your grief and anger at the BSA. We want to help you understand that, although the BSA has failed you, ironically you are a good Scout for following the highest principles of Scouting.

8. If you are an Eagle Scout and wish to relinquish your Eagle badge in protest, send it to us at Scouting For All. We will hold it in trust for you, pending the day when you can retrieve it from us because Scouting has ceased to discriminate.

Lets Win Back The Boy Scouts!

Certain powerful and influential professional Scouters, and certain chartering organizations which donate large sums to Scouting, have hijacked the BSA by trying to impose their own bigoted values upon the whole Scouting movement in the United States. Scouting does not belong just to professional Scouters, or to certain bigoted chartering institutions. Scouting belongs to every Scout, past and present. Scouting is for all!!!

The Boy Scout Handbook declares that an "obedient" Scout is one who obeys the law and the rules of his community, but, "If he thinks these rules and laws are unfair, he tries to have them changed in an orderly manner." This is precisely why Scouting For All is calling for the steps enumerated above. All Scouts learn to "Be Prepared." Let's prepare ourselves to struggle against bigotry in Scouting and, in so doing, redeem the tarnished honor of the Boy Scouts of America!

Yours in Scouting: The Board of Scouting For All (www.scoutingforall.org)

Steven Cozza, Eagle Scout Asks the President of the U.S. to Resign as the Honorary President of the BSA

Scouting For All Committed to Scouting Open to Diversity

7-15-00

Dear President Clinton,

My name is Steven Cozza. I am a 15 year old Eagle Scout. I love scouting and believe that it should be open to all kids not just some kids. I am writing to you because I want to know if you would help out my gay friends. The Supreme Court said that the Boy Scouts of America has a right to discriminate against gay kids and adults. As an Eagle Scout of the Boy Scouts of America I think any
form of discrimination is wrong. When I received my Eagle Award Certificate, you had signed it as the Honorary President of the Boy Scouts of America. The current leadership of the BSA have shamed scouting in America by supporting a practice of discrimination against gay kids and adults and atheists. My mother told me that when you ran for office the first time you told the American people, "To discriminate against an American is Un-American". I agree with you. The Boy Scouts of America, as an organization through its practice of discrimination is acting Un-American. As an Eagle Scout, I am asking you to find the courage to step down as the Honorary President of the Boy Scouts of America.
This courageous act would give a GREAT message to millions of gay kids in this country that they are accepted, loved, and supported by you as the President of the United States. This would mean so much to gay kids. Right now all that my gay friends have heard from the BSA is that they are immoral and no good. Actually, the Boy Scouts of America is acting immoral by the way they are discriminating.

Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey, from the 6th district which my family is from here in California will be asking you to step down as the Honorary President of the Boy Scouts of America. Also, please listen to Ms. Woolsey and all of the gay youth in America who face discrimination every day of their lives just because they were born who they are. They need your support. I hope that you reach into your heart and do what you know is the right thing to do.

Sincerely,
Steven Cozza, Eagle Scout
Cofounder of Scouting For All
Founder of the Petaluma HS Gay/Straight Alliance
707-778-0564


Scouting For All Action Alert in Response to the Dale Vs BSA Decision

June 28, 2000

The Court clearly states that the BSA is a private organization. They have the right to discriminate against any person they want to as a private organization. So the Boy Scouts of America have finally been "outed." Since they are a private organization, they are not entitled to any government support. So, until such time as the BSA changes their policy of bigotry and discrimination against gays, we are calling for the following actions:

  1. That all public entities supported by taxpayer revenues " including police and fire departments and public schools" revoke the special support and privileges heretofore extended to the Boy Scouts of America;
  2. That the Congress, which represents all the people, revoke the Congressional Charter of the Boys Scouts of America; and
  3. We call upon the President of the United States "who represents all Americans" to resign as the Honorary President of the Boy Scouts of America.
  4. We call upon all supporters to join us in a National Day of Protest at the Headquarters of the Boy Scouts of America in Irving, Texas, at a date to be set soon. During this National Day of Protest for those who are unable to join us at the BSA headquarters we are asking that you protest in front of your local council. For further information and to join us in this National Day of Protest please contact Scouting For All at info@scoutingforall.org or call 707-778-0564.
  5. We are asking Scout Leaders and Scouts across the country to take a stand with us. As Steven Cozza, Eagle Scout says, "How can a boy scout live with himself while his fellow gay scouts are being hurt. They are told they are no good and have to hide out of fear of being kicked out." You can take a stand by having your troop write an anti-discrimination statement including sexual orientation and sending it to the Boy Scouts of America's national headquarters. As Steven says we must not turn our backs on our gay friends and fellow scouts.
  6. Scouting For All is appealing to supporters for financial support. Scouting For All is a 501C-3 non-profit charitable organization, so all donations are tax deductible. We count on your financial support to help us carry on with our educational and advocacy campaign reaching out to both gay and straight youth in our effort to get the Boy Scouts of America to rescind its harmful practice of discrimination against gay youth and adults.

Together We Stand and Together We Can Make A Difference on the side of Human Rights


Scouting For All
Committed to Scouting, Open to Diversity

June 28, 2000

Dear Mr. Williams,

Please respond to the attached letter dated June 28, 2000. My son Steven Cozza, now an Eagle Scout, had written to your predecessor on two different occasions and never received a response from him to his inquiry. Scouting For All sent you a letter dated May 6, 2000 requesting a response, and to this date has not received one.

You may not agree with our belief that there is no room in Scouting for bigotry and discrimination, in this case against gay youth and adults, but at the very least you could respond to our sincere offer to work with scouting to help it become a program that espouses the values of cherishing the diversity of the human family. As you are aware Scouting For All is an organization that was founded by those of us in scouting or were members of the BSA. We love the scouting program and have sought to create healing change from within, which are the core values of the Scout Law and Oath. The citizenship merit badges all speak to becoming a good human being and contributing to help protect our environment and to respect and defend the rights of all people. I hope you can respect that about our efforts. We hope to hear from you soon.

Sincerely,
Scott Cozza, President
Scouting For All


Scouting For All Committed to Scouting, Open to Diversity

June 28 , 2000
Mr. Roy L. Williams
Chief Scout Executive
Boy Scouts of America
PO Box 152079
Irving, TX 75015-2079

Re: Dale Denouement

Dear Mr. Williams:

Today the Supreme Court of the United States has spoken. Since a Scout is "loyal" and "obedient" and must "do his duty to his country," as Scouts good and true we must all abide by the High Court's ruling. However, as Solemn as it may be, a legal ruling can only constrain behavior. It cannot command or impose upon us the power of justice. For this we may look only to the guidance of our hearts and consciences and to the enlightenment of our better nature.

Now that the Dale case is behind us, Scouting For All would like to challenge the Boy Scouts of America to rise to the very highest of its principles of fairness, courtesy and kindness by explicitly welcoming all, including gay men and boys, back into the American Scouting Movement. Together we can agree that the time is proper to move forward with a strong Scouting
program which demonstrates that discriminatory exclusion of anyone based upon their fundamental personal characteristics is morally wrong, and that a Scout and Scouting stands for toleration and acceptance of innate human differences.

As previously mentioned, Scouting For All remains deeply committed to the Scouting program in America and to ending injustice within Scouting. We are prepared to assist in every way possible to make the Scouting program available to every young American, regardless of gender, religious belief or sexual identity.

We reiterate the three steps mentioned previously in our correspondence of May 6, 2000 concerning the actions the BSA and Scouting For All can take together to move toward a mutually satisfactory resolution of our differences:

  1. Meet together (representatives of Scouting for All and the BSA) to formulate a new, more inclusive policy which no longer excludes gay men and boys (and others) from Scouting.
  2. Work together with Scouting for All and other organizations to implement the new policy by developing seminars to educate local councils, troops and sponsors about how to deal with the diversity within Scouting.
  3. Announce a general amnesty to all former Scouts, both youth and adults, who have been expelled from Scouting due to their sexual identity, religious belief or their opposition to the gay exclusionary policy, and invite them back into Scouting where they belong.

Again we state that we stand ready to meet with you and your associates to discuss how together we may achieve these goals.

Yours in Scouting,

Scott Cozza
President, Scouting For All


Steven Cozza, Eagle Scout's Statement on the Dale Vs BSA Supreme Court Decision

June 28, 2000

I think this is a sad day in the world. This very day the human family still has hatred towards a certain group of people, gays. And by the Boy Scouts of America winning the right to discriminate they are not being good scouts. They are now going to continue to hurt the lives of millions of gay kids and adults. That is so sad. The Boy Scouts of America will continue to pretend that they are not hurting anyone with their bigotry. Their policy hurts me and millions of gay and straight scouts throughout the world. They say that people who are gay are less then they are. That they lack family values and are not moral. But you know something, it is the Boy Scouts of America who is lacking of morals when they hurt another member of the human family. If they don't change their policy on their own they should be called the bigoted Scouts of America.

I thought America is supposed to be the home of the free! How can you be free if you are discriminated against, when you are denied the human rights that others in America have. Gays not only can't join the Boy Scouts they can't even marry
each other when they love each other.

As, President Clinton says, "An American who discriminates against another America is un-American", I'm sad to say, the Boy Scouts of America has been "outed" today as an un-America organization.

I'd like to encourage my fellow scouts across the United States and throughout the world to stand with me and protest against the boy Scout's of America's discrimination against gay youth and adults. We are not giving up.

Steven Cozza, Eagle Scout
Co-founder Scouting For All
GSA leader Petaluma HS



A Sad Day for Scouting in America
Scouting For All Statement on Dale Decision


Friends, Fellow Scouts, and Supporters of Scouting For All,

This is a sad day for Scouting in the United States. By reversing the New Jersey court's ruling that upheld Eagle Scout James Dale's right to participate in the Boy Scouts as an adult leader "despite his gay identity " the Supreme Court of the United States has indirectly but officially sanctioned bigotry in American Scouting. Bigotry has no place in Scouting. Scouting is for
all!

The decision rendered by the Supreme Court was a split one. Although the majority ruled against Dale, it was a 5 to 4. The vote was close and reflects the conservative Supreme Court the United States has at this time . Although this ruling settles the issue for the short run, the Court has reversed itself following upon previous split opinions and may do so again. For instance, in the late 1890s segregation by race was ruled by the United States Supreme Court as Constitutional. This Supreme Court decision was overruled by the Brown vs the California Board of Education in 1954, which said segregation is inherently
unconstitutional. We confidently believe the Supreme Court will eventually revisit this ruling in the future with different results. Until then, Scouting For All must abide by the High Court's ruling, since a Scout is "obedient" and "does his duty to his country." Although we regret that the law cannot compel the Boy Scouts to cease bigotry and discrimination, they may still do so voluntary as a result of the conscience and compassion of the majority of Scouts and Scouters. We believe that they will.

As we mourn the Dale decision, we also mourn the continuing pain and sadness caused by this cruel "policy" of the Boy Scouts. Their bigoted stance continues to cost dearly: Far too many fine and upstanding boys are being harassed, debased, scorned, rejected and excluded, for nothing they have done except simply being who they are. Far too many good men are being humiliated, spurned, dismissed and expelled, either because they also are "morally straight" about themselves (that is, true/honest), or because they courageously support those who are. Knowing of their pain and sadness, we commend these men and boys for their great courage ” their courage to be themselves, and to be good Scouts despite the flaws of Scouting. By standing firm against injustice, by remaining true to themselves and the ideals of Scouting, we recognize that they have honorably lived up to the Scout Law ” that a Scout is "trustworthy" and "brave." This gay exclusionary issue has shamefully rent asunder American Scouting. It dishonors many who have served Scouting with devotion and distinction. It disgraces Scout officials and volunteers who enforce it. It harms everyone.

Despite this legal setback, the conclusion of this court case does not signal the end of the efforts of Scouting For All. We do not intent to fold our tents and steal away. In some ways our work has just now begun. In fact, we must now increase our efforts to continually remind the Scouts of their injustices until they choose to do other otherwise. The Court has ruled that the law cannot force Scouting as an organization to cease discriminating against gays. But individual Scouts, troops and councils may still choose to cease this destructive course. And we are confident that the National Council must eventually do so too if the honor of Scouting is to be upheld. To this end, Scouting For All will pursue the following measures:

  1. We will continue to remain ready and willing to meet with representatives of the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America to assist them to formulate a clear policy that rescinds the exclusion of gay men and boys from Scouting.
  2. We will encourage all local Scout Councils and chartered organizations to protest this policy to the National Council, to adopt local measures accepting gay Scouts and leaders in their ranks, and to develop programs to educate and sensitize local Scout leaders about the issues of discrimination.
  3. We will encourage troops and their chartered organizations to accept gay boys and men in their ranks and to protest discrimination against them to the National Council.
  4. We will continue to support and advise individual gay boys and men who wish to participate in Scouting to persevere in their quest, and encourage gay Scouts and Scout leaders to continue on in the Scouting program.

Obviously, there is much to be done. Even in the face of this disappointment, Scouting For All maintains its faith in the basic values of the Scouting Movement. Bigotry is not a Scouting value. We shall hold the honor of Scouting in trust, patiently awaiting the day when Scouting returns to its own ideals of brotherhood and kindness, and when healing and reconciliation are embraced by all Scouts in America.

In the meantime, Scouting For All will continue its mission to eradicate all forms of discrimination within the Boy Scouts of America. We call upon all those of goodwill within Scouting and upon Scouts everywhere, both past and present, to join with us in these worthy efforts. Together we will continue to lobby the BSA to expand its vision of service to youth, free of discrimination, by accepting the participation of gay men and boys, as well as girls and atheists. Only when these goals are attained will Scouting in America truly be for all.

June 28, 2000
As written by kirk Thomas, Eagle Scout, Board Member Scouting For All

 

 

 

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.

Any communications sent to Scouting for All or any Scouting for All representative may be published on the Scouting for All web site or in Scouting for All materials unless the communication specifically requests that it not be published.

Copyright 1999-2009 Scouting for All and its content providors.

 

 

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