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.
"Scouting is a fundamental American institution. As a Life Scout, I know the value that one can attain
from participating in the Scouting movement," said Matt Foreman, Executive Director of the National Gay and
Lesbian Task Force. "If we end discrimination in the Boy Scouts of America, it will mark a tremendous change
toward inclusion in our society - not just for [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender] people but for America
itself. That is why I am so proud to support Scouting for All and the important work they do."
As a youth living in Utah, Matt Foreman rose to the rank of Life Scout in the Boy Scouts of America. His
family had a long tradition of Scouting involvement. His father, an Eagle Scout and Scoutmaster; his mother
held the position of Den Mother.
Today, Matt Foreman is the Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, http://thetaskforce.org, a position he begun in May 2003. However, he has worked for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights for over 25 years.
He was appointed as Executive Director of the Empire State Pride Agenda in New York, the nation's largest
statewide lesbian and gay political advocacy and civil rights organization in 1997. During his tenure, the
Pride Agenda was the driving force behind: a statewide law banning discrimination on the basis of sexual
orientation (2003); a law increasing penalties for hate-motivated violence, including crimes against gay, lesbian,
bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) people (2000); a law repealing the consensual sodomy statute (2000); four laws
extending equal benefits to surviving domestic partners of those killed in the September 11 terrorist attacks (2002),
and the state appropriating $11.8 million specifically for LGBT (non-HIV) health and human services (unique in
nation) (1998-2002). Other accomplishments include leading the creation of the "September 11 Gay & Lesbian
Family Fund" which raised and distributed $378,000 to surviving domestic partners (2001-2002); winning equal
NYS Crime Victims Board benefits for all surviving domestic partners of homicide victims (2002); negotiating one
of the nation's most comprehensive domestic partnership laws (New York City - 1998); and local nondiscrimination
laws in Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties.
From 1990 to 1996, Foreman served as Executive Director of New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project
(AVP), building it into the nation's leading GLBT crime victim assistance agency. Foreman used aggressive case
advocacy and street activism to focus attention on hate violence, organizing anti-violence marches and demonstrations
in all boroughs of the city. His leadership has been credited with galvanizing the community's response to a surge
in hate violence in the early 90's and forcing the police department to devote significantly greater resources
to the crisis. AVP also led the Hate Crimes Bill Coalition, a diverse coalition of more than 100 organizations
working to pass a meaningful Hate Crimes law in New York State.
Prior to joining AVP, Foreman worked in prison policy and administration for 10 years, including service as
Assistant Commissioner of the West Virginia Department of Corrections, Executive Assistant to the New York
City Correction Commissioner, and as director of a medium/minimum security facility on Rikers Island.
Foreman is a founder of Heritage of Pride (organizers of NYC's lesbian and gay pride events), where he
originated many hallmarks of the annual celebration, including the lavender line down 5th Avenue, the moment of
silence in memory of those lost to AIDS, and the annual "Dance on the Pier" and fireworks display. He
also served for many years on the board of Dignity /NY, an organization of GLBT Catholics.
He is a 1982 graduate of New York University School of Law, where he was President of the Student Bar
Association and a lead organizer of the 1979 national conference "Law and the Fight for Gay Rights."
He graduated from West Virginia Wesleyan College in 1976, where he was president of the student body and an
anti-strip mining activist.
Foreman has been recognized for his work by many groups, including Out, HX and New York magazines, the
Anti-Violence Project, the Log Cabin Republicans, Gay & Lesbian Independent Democrats, The New York State Coalition
Against Sexual Assault, the Downstate Coalition for Crime Victims, the Lesbian and Gay
Lawyers Association of Greater New York, Parents & Friends of Lesbians and Gays, and the Greenwich
Village Chamber of Commerce. He was male Grand Marshal of New York City's annual GLBT Pride March in 2001. In October
of 2002, Foreman was appointed to the New York City Commission on Human Rights by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.