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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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Reported By: Jennifer Leslie
Web Editor: Manav Tanneeru
Last Modified: 5/12/2005 10:40:08 PM

Boy Scouts Take Off Shirts in Protest

Some Atlanta Boy Scouts and their troop leaders Thursday said they were ashamed of the uniforms they used to wear with pride following allegations of questionable membership figures.

Members of Boy Scout Troop 685 took of their uniforms today in protest. "I can't know what I know and continue to wear this shirt knowing I've been exploited, we've been exploited," said troop leader Cedric

Troop leaders have for months suspected that the Atlanta area Council of the Boy Scouts of America inflated their enrollment numbers in the inner city. They believe increased funding was the motivation.

"The more participation they have, the more donors they get," Samuels said.

The allegations now have the attention of the United Way, the Boy Scouts' largest financial supporter, which is currently reviewing membership numbers from years past.

"I think the Boy Scouts knows they're lies and as soon as they come clean, we can move on with the business of the Boy Scouts," said Joe Beasley of the Rainbow/Push Coalition.

Similar allegations of minority membership padding have been raised in four other states, including Alabama, where the Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating.

The Atlanta area boy scouts hired an outside law firm to conduct an independent audit of minority membership figures. It began last fall, and the results should be released soon.

A spokeswoman for the Atlanta area Boy Scouts issued a statement saying the council was taking the allegations seriously and called for patience until the outside was ready to be released.

"We still recognize ourselves as a troop and do activities, but the shirt's supposed to be a sign of truth and integrity," Samuels said. "It has begun to represent the opposite."




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