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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Eagle Scout Reaches Out to Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey
Dear Congresswoman Woolsey,
I apologize for not being able to be present Wednesday on behalf of Scouting For All, as I am committed to prior
engagements. I would like to take this time to extend my thoughts and support.
As an avid gay rights activist and Eagle Scout, I wish you the best of luck in the passage of this legislation
to revoke the charter of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). On April 28th of this year, the same date the BSA argued
their case in front of the Supreme Court of the United States, I was sent a letter notifying me of my expulsion
from the BSA organization. While I was given no reason for my expulsion in that letter, I was later explained
that it was because of my sexuality, and it's inconsistency with the Scout Oath and Law. As someone who was a
member of the BSA for over 14 years, I was deeply hurt. For years, I was entrusted with the care of children in
my capacity of Assistant Scoutmaster. Suddenly my qualifications and character changed because of an additional
little fact about my life 'that I am gay'. To compound the hurt, I was expelled from the same council, and by
the same executive as James Dale was nearly 10 years earlier. It is apparent that the Boy Scouts have failed to
grow as an organization during that time.
Your proposal to revoke the charter of the BSA goes a long way in saying to the Boy Scouts that times have changed,
and so should they. We no longer live in a society where homosexuality is considered deviant behavior, and we
certainly do not live in a society that condones discrimination. As President Clinton has said, "To discriminate
against another American is Un-American." How can the Boy Scouts of America discriminate against fellow Americans?
And how can our United States Congress allow this discrimination to continue by continuing its charter of the
Boy Scouts of America?
Scouting For All, an international organization designed to end discrimination within the BSA, joins with you
in support of this legislation. Revoking the charter of the BSA would send a clear message to the executives of
the organization that discrimination of any type is not welcome in the United States of America. Ending Congress'
85 year relationship with the BSA would go a long way in helping to restore the Boy Scouts of America to the organization
Lord Robert Baden-Powell formed over 90 years ago. That organization was a supportive one, open to ALL BOYS, designed
to teach them the skills they need for life. Is discrimination a skill we need to be teaching our youth? And
is the BSA truly open to all boys? Apparently not. Good luck in all of your efforts, and thank you for taking a
stand against discrimination, and against the BSA.
Scouting For All
Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey, 6th District, California Leads Call for President Clinton to Resign
as the Honorary President of the Boy Scouts of America
Join Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey as she and her colleagues introduce the Scouting For All Act:
Legislation to Revoke the Boy Scouts of America's Congressional CharterWednesday, July 19, 2000
HC-9, The Capitol
Help Congresswoman Woolsey Show that the United States Congress Won't Support ntolerance!
For information, call Heather Brewer at 202-225-5161
Woolsey Leads Call for President to Resign as Honorary Head of Boy Scouts
Clinton Urged to Pull Support Because of BSA's Anti-Gay Policy
WASHINGTON, D.C.-- Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey (D-Petaluma) on Thursday Sent a letter, signed by more than 10
Members of the House of Representatives, to President Clinton urging him to resign his position as honorary head
of the Boy Scouts of America in protest of the organization's policy against homosexuals.
"In order to disavow this policy of intolerance, as well as to clarify any misconception of Presidential
approval, we urge you, the leader of our nation, to resign as the honorary head of the BSA," the letter stated.
On June 28, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that as a private organization, the Boy Scouts Of America could exclude
homosexuals from participating as leaders and, by extension, scouts.
Woolsey and her colleagues accept the Court's decision, but they believe that the BSA policy barring gays teaches
intolerance and should not receive the support of the federal government.
"Scouting should help boys grow and learn bow to be leaders and good citizens," Woolsey said, "but
intolerance is not a value we want our children to learn and
it's not a value that the President of the United States should support."
In addition to Wool sey, Representatives Bob El bier (D-Calif), Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.), Barbara Lee D-Calif),
Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), George Miller (D-Calif), Barney Frank (D-Mass.), Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif), John Olver (D-Mass.),
Janice Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and Jerold Nadler (D-N.Y.) signed the letter.
Woolsey became active in the effort to expand the Boy Scouts to include gays when Steve Cozza, a teenager in Woolsey's
hometown of Petaluma, Calif, started Scouting For All, a national grassroots campaign aimed at Convincing the Boy
Scouts to change its policy against homosexuals.
"Private groups have the right to choose their membership and leaders, but the federal government should not
support intolerance," Woolsey said. "We aren't saying the Boy Scouts are bad; we're saying intolerance
is," Woolsey said.
In addition to the President serving as honorary head of the BSA, the group also holds a Congressional charter.
Woolsey plans to introduce legislation next week to address the implication of Congressional support of the BSA's
The Honorable William Jefferson Clinton
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear President Clinton:
We are writing to ask you to resign as the honorary head of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). In light of the recent
Supreme Court decision which effectively allows the BSA to exclude homosexual males from its leadership and potential
membership, we are deeply concerned that the office of the President, in its capacity as honorary head of the BSA,
is seen as giving implicit approval to this self.proclaimed intolerant policy. In order to disavow this policy
of intolerance, as well as to clarify any misperception of implicit Presidential approval, we urge you, the leader
of our nation, to resign as the honorary head of the BSA.
We understand that the BSA is a private organization arid the Supreme Court has ruled that it may continue their
policy of intolerance. Despite the Court's decision, we still believe intolerance is unacceptable and that the
federal government should not condone, play a role in, or be a partner to this policy.
Like the majority of Americans, we encourage and endorse the ever-widening circle of acceptance of gays and lesbians
in this country, and we deeply regret that the recent ruling places the BSA outside this circle. At a time when
hate crimes are rising in frequency, we strongly feel that the federal government's responsibility is to support
policies and set an example that will help our youth to be accepting and tolerant of the many differences in our
nation. It is incumbent on everyone to encourage and support all our children and to work for an end to
intolerance on all levels. Therefore, again, Mr. President, we urge you to demonstrate our government's
opposition to this lesson of intolerance by resigning as the honorary head of the Boy Scouts of America