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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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Union Congregational Church affiliated with the United Church of Christ, Taunton, Massachusetts rejects the BSA's Policy of Discrimination

Boston Herald, November 24, 2000

Taunton church drops Scout program over ban on gays
by Dave Wedge

A Taunton church is severing its ties to the Boy Scouts of America in protest of the organization's ban on gays.

"We have a policy of being affirming and open to all, bar none, including gays, lesbians and the transgendered,'' said Beverly Duncan, pastor of Taunton's Union Congregational Church. "We regret having to make this decision, but we have to follow what we believe.''

The church, which is affiliated with the United Church of Christ, will end its two-year relationship with the Scouts in January in light of a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing the Scouts to discriminate against gays.

In June, the nation's highest court ruled that the Scouts are a private association with the right to set their own standards for membership and leadership. Duncan said the decision to end the partnership with the Scouts was "reluctantly'' made after several distraught parishioners expressed concern over the court ruling.

"Members of the congregation -- both gay and straight -- came to me and said, 'This doesn't feel good,''' Duncan said. "It was with great difficulty and soul-searching that we came to this decision.''

The church subsidizes the Scouts and provides them meeting space. Duncan said there were never any problems with the local troop but the national organization's stance was in stark contrast to the church's beliefs.

"We have a big, red and white banner out front that says, 'All Are Welcome,'" she said. "Jesus never said anything about homosexuality. We're taking this stance because of how we believe in Christianity.'' Duncan said the unfortunate victims are the children and the local members who enjoyed working with the church.

"It's lousy,'' she said, "because the boys are the ones who suffer. This is not a good policy.'' Representatives from the Scouts' Taunton-based Annawon Council couldn't be reached for comment yesterday.

A press release on the Boy Scouts of America Web site says the organization is "very pleased'' by the Supreme Court decision.

"We believe an avowed homosexual is not a role model for the values espoused in the Scout Oath and Law,'' the release says. "We respect other people's right to hold differing opinions and ask that they respect ours.'' The Taunton case is just the latest backlash from the landmark court decision.

In Framingham, school officials are considering prohibiting Boy Scouts from meeting on school property because of the homosexual ban.




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