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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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Steven and his dad Scott Cozza, traveled 3 hours to present at a PFLAG / GLSEN meeting in Modesto, California.

--- The Modesto Bee ---

Boy's video free of hate for Scouts

By MARIJKE ROWLAND
BEE STAFF WRITER
(Published: Tuesday, March 06, 2001)

Summarized Article



Steven, is quoted as saying,

"When I started in Boy Scouts, I didn't realize they discriminated against gays," said the now Eagle Scout. "I was shocked when I found out they did. I couldn't see myself being in scouting when other kids were not allowed to be just because they were gay. I couldn't live with myself if I didn't do something."

Steven began his effort when he wrote a letter to the editor in December '97. That letter statred the grassroots Scouting For All movement.

Steven was quoted as saying,

"All this time the Boy Scouts were teaching me to make the world a better place," said the Petaluma High School sophomore. "I was just doing what they taught me."

Steven and his father gave the PFLAG / GLSEN members a copy of the Scout's honor documentary to review before they arrived.

David Barbaree of GLSEn said he wanted to bring local awareness to the issue.

"People can empathize with both sides," he said. "I think the Boy Scouts are a sensational organization. It's painful to see them have this roadblock in front to them."

David was also quoted saying that the film sends an important message, "The message they are sending is so important," said Lee Means, a GLSEN member and the local Girl Scouts executive director. "I thought it was very touching. I'm sure it will impact people."

Steven got his values from his parents.

Steven said,

"I've always felt a passion for having diversity," he said. "It is a great thing. If we didn't have diversity, life would be boring."

It hasn't been an esay road for the Cozza's as they stand for human rights. They have received death threats and Steven has been called names by some at his school. Although Steven says since people at his school are being educated there is less name calling now.

Scott noted that "the character flaw of the Boys Scouts of America is that they won't acknowledge the pain and hurt their policy of discrimination causes our gay youth. That is the difference between my son Steven and all of you here tonight. Stevan and all of you have allowed yourselves to feel the pain and have decided to do something about it"

Steven has left the BSA and his goal is to ride in the tour De France as one of his role models Lance Armstrong did. Scouting for All is still in his life. He and his sister started a Gay-Straight Alliance at school. And he continues to speak across the country.

"The message is more than the messenger," he said. "It can get a little tiring, but I know it's worth it. I know it's right."

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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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