Latest News

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.

Scouting for All is a 100% Volunteer 501-(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization. Every dollar donated goes toward our education and advocacy programs, and is tax deductible.

PayPal Pixel

Visitor Count:

Page Counter

Petition Count:

Linda Hodges
Hi, my name is Linda. I am married and the mother of five wonderful children. I always knew I wanted my kids to be in scouting, so it was with great pleasure that I took my oldest child and only daughter to the Girl Scout store to get her first girl scout uniform. What followed were many years of
camping, learning, community service and just plain fun. I liked that the Girl Scouts taught about diversity, tolerance and love. It was a good group for her to be involved in.

About the time that our oldest boy was ready to be in cub scouts, my husband's brother John, told us that he was HIV positive. We were devastated. From that moment on, AIDS stopped being about other people who had a disease and started being about someone we dearly loved who was dying.

At a loss for what to do next, we decided to educate ourselves as much as possible about AIDS and about homosexuality.* We read everything we could get our hands on, but we learned the most by just being around John and his friends. My husband and I did not consider ourselves to be homophobic, but being with John made us realize that we did have misconceptions about what
being gay meant. It also opened our eyes to the horribly demoralizing effect that homophobia has on individual gay people. Imagine going through life knowing that people all around you think of you as lower than human or unfit to live just because of who you are. Imagine what that would do to your
self-esteem. It is no wonder that gay youth have the highest suicide rate of all kids. Being a mother of five, this saddened me greatly. What if one of my kids discovered they were gay when they became teens or young adults? I was filled with dread at the thought that one of my babies could face such a future just because of who they were.

Two years later, John was gone. We miss him still. By this time, three of our four boys were involved in Scouting. We decided to let them stay in even though we were opposed to the BSA's policy against gays. We rationalized that they were so young that it didn't matter yet. But when it was time for our oldest son to move up into a Boy Scout troop, we knew we had talk. So we
sat down, the three of us, and talked about John and about being gay and how the Boy Scouts were against gay people being scouts. Even though my son is straight, he made the decision to drop out of Scouting. He couldn't understand how the Boy Scouts could discriminate against anybody. He did not want to be part of a group that would not have included his beloved uncle.

I wish we had known about Scouting for All at that point. If we had, we would have been able to stay in scouting, while doing something about their discriminatory policy. As it was, our oldest son missed out on many great adventures.

About two years later, I happened upon Scouting for All's web page. I sent an e-mail expressing my support for their cause and I wrote a little bit about my family's situation. I got an immediate response back from Scott Cozza and soon we were talking on the phone. Scott and his family invited our family to Steven's Eagle Scout Court of Honor. I took my three sons, the oldest, who had dropped out of scouting because of their discrimination policy and my next two who were now in Boy Scouts thanks to finding Scouting for All.

It was an incredible experience. Steven and Scott and Dave Rice and many others gave incredible testimonies about the Scouting Life. We listened to their impassioned pleas to include all people into the scouting family. We heard from Steven's gay pastor who had been a role model for Steven all his
life. We heard stories from people who had been hurt by the Boy Scouts policy of exclusion. My family walked away from that day, more determined than ever to make a difference in this world. They had been raised with a gay uncle. It was beyond their comprehension why gay people could not be included in the Scouts. When Scott asked me to be on the Board of Directors, I said yes!

So that is where we are today. I am the first woman and the first Hispanic to be on the Board. I am active in my church and am working on going into the Seminary to get my Masters of Divinity degree. My goal is to promote justice for all. No one on the planet should be made to feel bad about themselves because of who they are. As a mother, I feel that the world's children are my children and I can't bear to see any of them hurting just because they happen to be Gay.

I was born in the 60's and I always wondered if I would have made a stand for Civil Rights if I had been an adult at that time. I consider the Gay Rights Movement to be the Civil Rights movement of our time. I am making a stand. Won't you stand with me?

*AIDS is not a disease that only hits the Gay Community.

Linda Hodges




Scouting For All is not an alternative scouting program.
We are an education and advocacy organization reaching out to gay and nontheist youth and adults in our effort to get the Boy Scouts of America to rescind its exlusionary policy.

Any communications sent to Scouting for All or any Scouting for All representative may be published on the Scouting for All web site or in Scouting for All materials unless the communication specifically requests that it not be published.

Copyright 1999-2009 Scouting for All and its content providors.