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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Mayor Street Rocks The Cradle, The Legal Possibilities
August 5, 2006
Mayor John F. Street
Mayor's Executive Office
215 City Hall
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107
Dear Mayor Street:
I am writing you this letter on behalf of Scouting for All. Scouting for All is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit
organization that undertakes educational activities and outreach programs that oppose intolerance and discrimination
in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). We learned of your plans to evict the Cradle of Liberty Council from the offices
that the city has provided rent-free since 1298 from articles published in the Philadelphia Inquirer on July 22
and July 29. We commend you for taking this action whereby the city ends its subsidy of the discriminatory policies
of the BSA.
On July 30 Scouting for All issued an Action Alert to all of its members nation-wide. The Alert asked the members
to offer you their words of encouragement via e-mail. We know that you have been receiving these messages from
the circulation copies that we have received at our national headquarters. We also asked our members to e-mail
Council Executive Dwyer of the Cradle of Liberty Council, BSA and ask him to end the council's discriminatory policies
by issuing a "letter of intent" stating that the council would no longer discriminate against gays and
atheists. The National Council of the BSA could withdraw the council's charter if it refuses to enforce the national
policy that requires discrimination. The Cradle of Liberty Council is the third largest council in the country,
serving 87,000 youth in the greater Philadelphia area. We believe that the National Council will not deny 87,000
youth access to the Scouting program to defend their morally bankrupt discrimination policy.
We also believe that the BSA will contest your eviction in court by citing the teachings of the Supreme Court in
its Good News Club v. Milford Central School decision of 2001. They may also cite the provisions of the Support
Our Scouts Act that was incorporated into the most recent Annual Defense Appropriations Act. Both of these measures
seek to force government bodies to support Scout and religious youth groups in present and future years if they
have done so in the past. The issue to be tested is whether or not government bodies can be forced to subsidize
discriminatory behavior that is forbidden by local statutes and regulations such as the Philadelphia Fair Practices
Ordinance. We trust that the courts will not force government bodies like the city of Philadelphia to subsidize
discrimination by the BSA or any other organization. We encourage you to proceed with whatever legal action may
be required to prove this point.
Larry G. Sherman, Ph.D.
Southern Regional Director
Scouting for All