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.
Scouting for All is a 100% Volunteer 501-(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization. Every dollar donated goes toward our education and advocacy programs, and is tax deductible.
August 9, 2004
For Immediate Release and Distribution
- Scott Cozza, President, Scouting for All email: firstname.lastname@example.org , Tel: 707-778-056
- Lori Martin, State Director Pennsylvania, Scouting for All email: Lmartin@scoutingforall.org , Tel: 610-352-5093
- Margaret Downey, President, Freethought Society of Greater Philadelphia email: email@example.com , Tel: 610
- Rita Addessa, Director, PLGTF at the Friends Center email: firstname.lastname@example.org , Tel: 215-817-1100
Boy Scouts of America's Cradle of Liberty Council, a Discriminatory Organization, Should NOT
Be Allowed to Use Any Public Building in the City of Philadelphia
We are calling upon our supporters to write Mr. John Street, mayor of Philadelphia; Ms. Anna Verna, president of
the Philadelphia City Council, and to all the members of the Philadelphia City Council.
The City of Philadelphia should be proud that it has antidiscrimination ordinances which protect all Philadelphians.
These antidiscrimination ordinances include both sexual orientation and religion. We ask Mayor Street and all of
city council members to enforce the city's antidiscrimination ordinances by NOT allowing any organization that
is in violation of the ordinances to either rent or lease any city-owned building.
Currently, the Boy Scouts of America's Cradle of Liberty Council occupies a city-owned building at 22nd and Winter
streets, rent free. The Boy Scouts of America Cradle of Liberty Council is in violation of the city's antidiscrimination
policy because it discriminates against gay and atheist youth and adults by revoking their membership whenever
they become identified as being gay or atheist. They adhere to the BSA national policy
Mr. David Lipson, president of the Cradle of Liberty Council, is quoted as saying he disagrees with the BSA's national
policy of excluding gay youth and adults. Mr. Lipson needs to put is words into meaningful action. He
also fails to include atheist youth and adults in his statement. Mr. Lipson's belief will not protect any gay or
atheist scouts or adult leaders from being expelled from the organization if such are reported to the BSA national
headquarters in Irving, Texas. Mr. Lipson also says one thing, but allowed an 18-year-old gay and atheist scout
named Greg Laterra to be expelled in 2003, simply because of his sexual orientation and spiritual belief, and did
not allow him to complete his Eagle project.
Position statements 4 and 7 of the Cradle of Liberty Council state the following:
4. The Cradle of Liberty Council is chartered by the National Council, Boy Scouts of America to conduct its
various programs in Philadelphia, Delaware and Montgomery Counties. As such the local council affirms that it will
carry out all policies as set forth by the national organization.
7. Applications for leadership and membership do not inguire into sexual orientation. However, an individual who
declares himself to be homosexual would not be permitted to join Scouting. All members in Scouting must affirm
the values of the Scout Oath and Law, and all leaders must be able to model those values for youth.
Both gay and atheist youth and adults have been expelled from the Boy Scouts of America. There have not yet been
a single BSA Scout Council with the courage to defy Boy Scouts of America's national policy of exclusion. In each
case, when a gay or atheist youth's has been identified to BSA national headquarters, that individual has been
quickly dismissed. It also must be noted that the Boy Scouts of America also kick out members who speak out against
its policy of exclusion. There have been many, but to name a few, Dave Rice, 60 years in Scouting, Scott Cozza,
Asst. Scoutmaster, Troop 74, Petaluma, California. Their interpretation of the Scout Oath and Law was contrary
to the Boy Scouts of America national leadership's interpretation, which is bigoted and discriminatory.
Currently, Philadelphia's mayor and city council members are debating the issue whether to allow the BSA Cradle
of Liberty Council to continue to using the city-owned building it now occupies. We say there should be no debate.
The only acceptable way to allow the BSA Cradle of Liberty Council to continue using the city-owned building should
be if the Cradle of Liberty Council openly defies BSA National policy by adopting its own
antidiscrimination policy and sending a copy of it to both the BSA National and to the Philadelphia City Council.
Mere words and "good intentions" are simple not enough and not acceptable.
Ask yourself: "Would the mayor and Philadelphia City Council tolerate the Cradle of Liberty Council's exclusion
of African-American youth and adults or of Catholic youth and adults or any other segment of our society?"
We think not! Then why should we, or the city council or anyone else who believes in justice for all, tolerate
the exclusion of gay and atheist youth and adults? The Boy Scouts of America Cradle of Liberty Council MUST vacate
the building they now occupy rent free! We believe in Scouting but NOT discrimination!
We ask Scouting for All supporters to send your letters to the following persons:
1. John Street, Mayor, city of Philadelphia
2. Anna Verna, President of the City Council, Philadelphia
3. City Council Members
at the following address:
Philadelphia City Hall
Rm. # (different for each council member)
Philadelphia, PA 19107-3290
The following are a list of city council members and their respective room numbers:
Frank Dicicco, Rm. 332; Anna C. Verna, Rm. 405; Jannie l. Blackwell, Rm. 408; Michael A. Nutter, Rm. 404; Darrell
L. Clarke, Rm. 484; Joan L. Krajewski, Rm. 591; Richard T. Mariano, Rm. 599; Donna Reed Miller, Rm.
312; Marian B. Tasco, Rm. 577; Brian J. O'Neill, Rm. 562; Blondell Reynolds Brown, Rm. 580; David Cohen, Rm. 588;
W. Wilson Goode, Jr., Rm. 316; Jack Kelly, Rm. 594; James F. Kenny, Rm. 330; Juan F. Ramos, Rm. 590; Frank Rizzo,