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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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February 20, 2005
It has come to my attention that your Board is about to vote on whether to grant funds to your loca Boy Scout council. While I am not a resident of Ohio, we also have United Way campaigns here in New Jersey, and your decision will influence my responses to our local UW campaigns.

Let me just say that I was a member (in good standing!) of the BSA for over 25 years - from Cub Scouts thru Boy Scouts and then Explorer Scouts and then various leadership positions including Asst. Scoutmaster (while in college), Explorer Post Advisor, Merit Badge Counsellor, Committee Member for troop and post, etc. I am a Vigil Honor member of the Order of the Arrow and served as the OA Lodge Advisor for several years.

Also, I spent one full summer working in the ranch office of the Philmont Scout Ranch at Cimmaron, NM -- where I was within 20 feet of the office of the Assistant Chief Scout Executive. And I was appreciated enough to be hired back the second summer to be the assistant camp director of the largest camp on the ranch. And
again the following summer I was hired as the camp director of a trail camp with two teen scouts working for me.

With all this activity and commitment to the BSA, I never once had a problem or a bad word about me. However, under the current BSA policies I am no longer wanted in their organization because they have decided that atheists and gay men must be discriminated against.

Granted, during my time with the BSA I did not "come out" and tell them my background, but my point is that I was a good productive member and well accepted by everyone. So why should I be treated differently now?

The point I want to stress to UWCO at this time of funding decisions is that United Way insists that they do not fund organizations that discriminate. Boy Scouts of America has made it very clear, in their statements and in courts, that they openly discriminate -- not only against certain adults, but also against BOYS who may be aethist, agnostic, or gay.

If the BSA wants to continue operating with that discriminatory membership policy, that is their choice. BUT THEY SHOULD NOT BE FUNDED WITH PUBLIC MONEY or with money from programs such as United Way that claim not to support discriminatory groups.

When BSA goes back to living their previous motto of "Scouting for ALL boys" I will not only support them, but I will support UW support of them as well. Until then, I urge your Board to withhold your funding of BSA Councils until they are again "Scouting for ALL boys"... thank you.

Jim Cooper




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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