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Activist Groups Urge Obama to Reject Boy Scout Honor

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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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More Letters To The Cheltenham, PA Commissioners: Don't Support The BSA

April 26, 2006

To the Honorable Commissioners and Township Manager of Cheltenham, PA,

My name is Roger Rafson, 48 years old and an Eagle Scout. In my opinion, scouting (both Boy Scouting and Girl Scouting) are the best programs for raising your kids to be honorable adults. They teach you things in scouting that they don't teach in school.

But in all my years of growing up in scouting I had no idea that discrimination was a part of the program. It was only when the US Supreme
Court allowed the BSA, as a private organization, to set their own membership policies. In this case the policy to discriminate based on
sexual orientation and on whether or not you believe in God. It blind-sided me.

Nowhere in the scouting program is discrimination taught. To my mind, discrimination is against everything scouting should be. I'd like to point
out that the Girl Scouts don't discriminate.

Both the BSA and the Girl Scouts have been pro-active in setting procedures designed to protect the scouts from sexual abuse. i.e. at all times, at least 2 adults have to be in the room with scouts. I mention this because, for some reason, there is a fear that gay people are sexual predators. My understanding is that this isn't supported by statistics nationally, but it's not an issue here anyway because of the procedures in place.

Sorry to ramble, my point is that as a governmental body, your township should not provide any assistance to the BSA, a private organization, that actively discriminates. If you provide them with free rooms and park facilities, throw them out!

However, when the BSA rescinds their policies of discrimination, I'd like to see you welcome them back.

Thank you for your time. Good luck with your deliberations. I make myself available to you via phone or email if you have any questions.

Roger R.
Eagle Scout
Pittsburgh, PA

Don't force me to subsidize bigotry

If the local troop announces that it will welcome homosexual and atheist boys in defiance of its national leadership, then I will rescind my objection.

The Boy Scouts may provide valuable services to the community without thereby deserving tax support and a blind eye to their

Donald J. Baldino
Please reconsider our township's offering its facilities free of charge to the Boy Scouts. The Boy Scouts discriminate against homosexuals and atheists. If the Boy Scouts want to practice discrimination privately, then that's OK, buy why must I be forced to subsidize it?
It is hard enough for any boy to be different. When an adult community group labels him immoral, it encourages the other boys to torment him. Don't these kids learn enough bigotry at the supper table?
The Boy Scouts' national officers include people who hate. Don't force me to help them spread their obnoxious message. Withdraw the taxpayers' support from the Boy Scouts.
Thank you
Yours truly,
Donald B.
Elkins Park, PA 

Dear Commissioners,

I understand that there is a proposal for you to take up the issue of whether or not to continue to allow free use of public property by BSA
(Boy Scouts of America). As you know, BSA discriminates by sexual orientation and religion. I thought you may want to know that BSA
rescinded my charter due to writing a basic anti-discrimination statement for our group to abide by which included "sexual orientation" and "religion" in the list of what we will not discriminate against.

Our group had a boy with 2 homosexual mothers. Should I tell him his mothers cannot participate? My son, like many teens, didn't believe in
God at the time he got his Eagle rank. (Most kids outgrow this, as did my son.) We worried that the committee might ask him and he would have to lie or forego the rank he worked so hard for. Should I counsel him to lie? This is not the right position for a child in scouting to be
in. BSA is chartered by the US Congress. BSA policies are a terrible wrong to children across America. We're one of the only scouting
organizations in the world to discriminate like this. Extremists have taken over BSA and set these rigid policies that do not jive with the
values of the majority of Americans. I ask you to please help right the injustice happening to youth by BSA by standing up against their
discrimination and help boys of America regain the scouting organization we once loved. Pressure such as public statements of protest
disallowing meeting on public property can greatly add to the pressure that is needed for change. With enough public entities making this
statement, eventually they will change. Please help prevent the hurt of discrimination from affecting boys like the one I mentioned above in my

Bev BuswellCalifornia


I sent thisletteralong to Cynthia from the PhiladelphiaInquirer.

Good morning.

I am writing in response to the article you penned for the Inquirer re. the Boy Scouts of America'suse of public property and the conflict that arises for local officials who by law must allow the boy scouts access to public properties even though the BSA discriminates in it's organization.

I am a public school board member who recently "had" to wrestle with the same federal law that dictates equal access to BSA and similar organizations that discriminate. It is a difficult issue for local politicians to reconcile. Asour school board adopted our districts' "Materials Distribution Policy",which outlines who has access to our students via flyers in backpacks, etc.,we had to concede to the bias NCLB federal law that specifically states public school facilities must be open to discriminating groups like the BSA or suffer the loss offederal funding.

It is hard to stomach the idea that a wonderful organization, like the BSA,adoptedand still toleratesbigoted tenets throughout theirranks.Local governments, however, are restricted frompreventing access to the BSA. Ultimately,and ironically theobligation to change is in the hands of Boy Scouts of America to take stand against their own narrow mindedness.

Thank you andDavid Flaks for bringing this issue to light.


Diane Koban
Victoria, MN




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