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.
FBI Probes Boy Scouts Over 'Phantom' Members In Gay Ban Wake
by Doug Windsor 365Gay.com New York Bureau
Posted: January 25, 2005 9:02 pm. ET
(New York City) The FBI is investigating the Boy Scouts of America amid allegations the organization is inflating
its membership to gain funding. Membership in the BSA has declined since a 2000 Supreme Court ruling that
held that the Boys Scouts and its affiliates can prohibit gays. The high court said the constitution gave scouts
the right to choose its members.
The Scouts also prohibits atheists. A number of cities banned the scouts from using public facilities, and charitable
groups like some United Way chapters cut off the scouts. But, in cities where agencies like the United
Way continues to fund the BSA it is alleged that troops are being encouraged to list fake names as members to boost
enrolment making the group eligible for more money. Federal agents are probing local councils in at least three
states - Alabama, Georgia, and Texas. "The BSA national leadership continues not to follow their own oath
of honesty," Scott Cozza. of Scouting For All told 365Gay.com. "This isn't the way to deal with dwindling
numbers - being inclusive is." In Birmingham, Alabama, boy Scout volunteer Tom Willis said he knew something
was wrong when he saw that 20 youngsters on the list for a scouting program all had the same last name: Doe.
"It was just so blatant, Willis told the Associated Press. "They didn't even try to make up names,"
said Willis, a dentist from Decatur and a former Eagle Scout who serves on the board of the Greater Alabama Boy
Scout Council, which runs scouting programs in northeastern Alabama. The FBI refused to comment on its investigation.
Greg Shields, a spokesman at the Boy Scouts' national office in Irving, Texas, said the organization has numerous
policies meant to ensure the accuracy of its membership rolls, and is "dedicated to the accurate reporting
of membership." The Greater Alabama Council claimed 10,000 new Scouts that year, and tax forms show it had
revenue of $6.5 million, including $100,709 in government grants. In a United Way funding application, the group
said it served almost 120,000 youths and adults in 2003. "I would say the numbers are probably inflated 30
to 40 percent in our council," Willis said.
Federal prosecutors have subpoenaed the Boy Scouts' grant applications, audits and tax forms from 1999 through
last year from the United Way of Central Alabama. Nationally, the Boy Scouts claim 1.2 million adult leaders and
3.2 million youth members in six programs, including the Cub Scouts and the Boy Scouts. Suspicions have led to
investigations elsewhere. In Texas, a Scout group removed thousands of names from its membership rolls and a federal
grand jury two years ago looked into the matter. No charges were filed. In Atlanta, independent auditors are investigating
claims the metropolitan area's Boy Scouts inflated black membership numbers to 20,000 to gain more donations. A
civil rights leader contends there are no more than 500 blacks actively involved.