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Some Letters To The Commissioners of Cheltenham, PA Asking That They Disassociate From The Boy Scouts of America


April 24, 2006


To: The Commissioners of Cheltenham, PA:

Harvey Portner hportner@cheltenham-township.org,
Jeffrey Muldawer jmuldawer@cheltenham-township.org,
Mickey Simon msimon@cheltenham-township.org,
Michael Swavola mswavola@cheltenham-township.org,
Robert Gerhard rgerhard@cheltenham-township.org,
Charles McKeown cmckeown@cheltenham-township.org
Paul Greenwald pgreenwald@cheltenham-township.org
David Kraynik (Township Manager) dkraynik@cheltenham-township.org

Dear Commissioners,

I always saw Pennsylvaniaas a state that expressed the principles of religious and social tolerance, as founded by your Quaker forebears. But you, as a group,have expressed a highly intolerant attitude towards atheist and gay Boy Scouts, by making that intolerance a matter of policy for the township of Cheltenham -- by supporting the Boy Scouts and that organization's hateful intolerance of gay and atheist Scouts.

Surely William Penn is turning over in his grave. The England where Penn grew up was a highly intolerant place, and it was precisely for that reason that he and other Quakers came to the U.S. -- to create a placewhere they could findgreater tolerance, and extend that tolerance to others. One of the places they came was Cheltenham, where 15 refugee English Quakers established themselves in 1682.

My Warren ancestors were Quakers who came over in 1640 and settled in Amity, Long Island. So, while I am not a constituent of yours, I feel I have a vested interest in the history of your state and your township.

Cheltenham'ssupport of Boy Scout intolerance is shameful. As commissioners, you should not be needing somebody like me to teach you the history lesson. You shouldbe bringing your political power to bear on the Boy Scouts and teaching themthe history lesson that they so desperately need to learn.

Sincerely yours,
Patricia Nell Warren


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Hello,
My family and I have recently been informed that your county is disregarding the need for fairness and non-discrimination by not addressing the BSA’s use of public facilities for free. This is unfortunate for your township and my family. We had planned to take our yearly 2-week vacation exploring Philly and its history, but are changing our plans to support one of the many other places we can go where gay and lesbian people are honored and treated fairly.

We believe this is a civil rights issue, and that the people must override a conservative Supreme Court decision by enacting laws protecting gays and lesbians in all ways. The BSA clearly does not do so, and your support, regardless of how long this discriminatory support has gone on—60 years is nothing in the span of this world—it must be addressed and abolished now. There is enough misuse of gay and lesbian issues in the political arena. It’s time to make a strong statement in favor of fairness and democracy for all.

Thank you for reading this. I ask that you pass this along to the other commissioners. And thank you for your service to your community,
Rev. Casey Moffett-Chaney
--
Rev. Casey Moffett-Chaney
Senior Minister


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Dear Charles McKoen, Commissioner of Cheltenham, PA

Scouting for All and its 1,000s of members nationally and internationally ask you to vote to have the Cheltenham Township to disassociate from the Boy Scouts of America. City Councils are supposed to represent all the people not some of the people. Tax payer money should notin any way go to a bigoted organization. Currently the Boy Scouts of America discriminates against homosexual and atheist youth and adults. Some in your community may say, "Well I have not seen any discrimination here." To those individuals we must ask them, would they say that about the KKK or any organization that discriminates. Because we have not witnessed it here does meanthat we should still support them or have anything to do with them. Scouting for All says no, and all those American's who believe in human rights and social justice for all would also say absolutely no to the BSA.

It would only take one person in your community to report toyour local scout council and to the BSA nationalthat he or she suspects a scout unit has a homosexual and or atheist youth or adult as a member and they would be investigated and kicked out if those individuals were found to be "guilty" of being homosexual or atheist.

The leading cause of death for homosexual youth is suicide. The Boy Scouts of America's discriminatory policy and practice only adds to that problem.

So I ask you and your fellow council members to vote on the side of justice and human rights and not on the side of bigotry, hatred, exclusion, divisiveness and discrimination. Vote to disassociate from the BSA until the BSA national changes its national bigoted policy.

Sincerely,
Scott Cozza, Pres.
Scouting for All
www.scoutingforall.org


Response From the Commissioner To Cozza

Our Solicitor for the Township is looking into matters for all of the Commissioners......As I see it, our Scout Troupshave not done anything wrong, and I will not Vote against the Scouts, unless you can prove to me that they are doing something illegal, or un- Constitutional.............
For more info on this matter, call our Township Manager, David Kraynik.

Charlie McKeown
Commissioner

Cozza's Response Back to Charlie McKeon, Commissioner

Dear Charlie McKoen,

We are not asking you to vote against the scouts. We are asking you to vote against a program that blatantly discriminates against some of the people who you represent, who live in your community. If they discriminated against African Americans but there were no such incidents in your community would you still support such a program? I think not. It is about not wanting to tolerate bigotry in any form against any American.As Pres. Clinton once said in one of his speeches "To discriminate against an American is un American." The current BSA is currently acting un American. To support the local scout units is to close your eyes to the issue or just not care. You see homosexual and atheist youth are beinghurt by the BSA policy. Heterosexual youth are also hurt if they are atheist or have homosexual parents or brothers. Take a courageous stand and vote against the bigotry of the Boy Scouts of America by dissociating from them as a township. Ask yourself if you had a homosexual child, would you still support the BSA? I'm a parent and i'll tell you I would never support any organization that discriminated against my children based on race, relgion, disability, gender or sexual orientation. You see you have to put yourself in the shoes of those who are being discriminated against and allow yourself to feel their pain. Don't turn your back on them.

Sincerely,
Scott Cozza, Pres.
Scouting for All

 

 

 

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