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Activist Groups Urge Obama to Reject Boy Scout Honor

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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, Los Angeles California Writes to Steven Spielberg


Steven Spielberg, BSA National Advisory Council Member
c/o DreamWorks
100 Universal Plaza, Bungalow 477
Universal City, CA 91608

October 28, 2000


Dear Steven Spielberg,

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.

And we ask you to speak to the Boy Scouts to reconsider "to alter" those policies that exclude certain families from scouting, and that keep many fine members of our community from participating in the Scouting program.

Our sponsoring school is dedicated to diversity in its fullest interpretation. You know this, of course "your own children" attended this very school! 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.

We believe that we see this theme in movies and animation created by you or under your aegis, and turn to you for help, asking you to wield whatever influence you can with your current role in the Boy Scouts National Council.

Our school is fortunate in finding among its families a number of 'non-traditional' family structures. Among these are gay or lesbian couples who opened 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 JUST PLAIN 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 would 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.

Please know that we are not crusaders. We are ordinary parents who seek your assistance in an effort 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.

Will you help us?


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

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

cc
Los Angeles Times
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.

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