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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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The Boy Scouts' Mormon Masters

By Lisa Neff
Advocate Magazine April 12 issue page 56

Since 2000, when Eagle Scout James Dale went to the nation's highest court in an unsuccessful challenge to the Boy Scouts of America's gay ban, the youth group has dealt with dozens of public and private institutions
restricting or terminating relationships with scouting troops.

Most recently, in late 2004, the U.S. Defense Department reluctantly agreed to end direct sponsorship of hundreds of Boy Scout units.

But the religious institutions that charter about 60% of scouting units in the United States remain loyal to the BSA, which maintains that "an avowed homosexual cannot serve as a role model for the traditional moral values espoused in the Scout Oath and Law."

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints remains the largest sponsor of Boy Scout units in the United States - 30,000 units with 400,000 scouts.

The church, which considers homosexual activity a sin, uses scouting to prepare boys for leadership roles within the religion. So when the BSA's gay ban came under fire, the LDS Church offered its assistance, along with the National Catholic Committee on Scouting, the General Commission on United Methodist Men, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, and the National Council of Young Israel.

"The Mormon Church was very much front and center in pushing the Scouts to adopt an antigay attack position," says Evan Wolfson, the attorney who handled Dale's landmark case.

Today, LDS spokeswoman Kim Farah says the church takes "no position on gays being members of the Boy Scouts" But the church, echoing the national BSA, continues to emphasize that homosexuality is contrary to the
faith-based rules required in scouting.

(It also should be noted that the article left out that during the James Dale Supreme Court hearing the LDS Church threatened the BSA national leadership that if they rescinded their antigay policy the LDS Church
would leave scouting)




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