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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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Ms. Warren was born and raised in a big cattle ranch in southwest Montana. Her family has a rich mixed-blood ethnic heritage of native American and European. She attended K-12 school in Deer Lodge, MT, where she belonged to a number of national youth organizations -- 4-H, Campfire Girls and Order of the Rainbow for Girls. She was president of the Powell Champs 4-H Club and represented her club at the state congress. Hence her conviction that Scouting for All and other such organizations have enormous value for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and questioning youth. She graduated in 1953 from Powell County High School, Deer Lodge, MT. as class salutatorian. In 1957 she got her BA in English Literature at Manhattanville College of the Sacred Heart in New York.

Warren worked as a Reader's Digest editor 1959-1980. She has been a published author since 1971, with eight novels (including gay bestsellers The Front Runner, Harlan's Race, Billy's Boy, The Wild Man) to her credit. Also she has written innumerable magazine articles in gay and mainstream publications, from Los Angeles Times, The Reader's Digest, and Atlantic Monthly, to The Advocate, Gay & Lesbian Review, Genre, Out Magazine and many others. In 1994 she founded her own independent publishing company, Wildcat Press, with L.A. media specialist Tyler St. Mark as her business partner.

Her debut in youth advocacy and educational work was in 1994, in Los Angeles Unified School District, when she did volunteer teaching in a GLBT dropout program. She served as a commissioner on LAUSD's Gay and Lesbian Education Commission, 1996-98, advising the L.A. Board of Education on issues relating to GLBT youth. She was co-chair and chief fundraiser, LAUSD Models of Pride Youth Conference (for GLBT youth), 1996-97. Subsequently she served on LAUSD's Human Relations Education Commission, 1999. As a result of these experiences, she has written a great deal about the issues and challenges facing GLBT youth.

As a lecturer, Warren has made many appearances at college and high-school level, starting with publication of The Front Runner in 1974, which resulted in her being invited to address gay-rights groups at UCLA and other schools at that time. Therefore she has a lot of experience in speaking to students, and has watched U.S. student life go through some drastic changes over a quarter century.

Over the years, her university lectures and conferences include Harvard, University of Toronto, University of Pennsylvania, Penn State, University of Michigan, Middle Tennessee State, New Mexico State University, Montana State College, Montana State University, Eastern Montana College, Cal State Northridge, UCLA, University of California (L.A.). Also she has lectured at private libera l-arts colleges and community colleges, including Occidental College, Sacramento City College and Santa Monica College. Sometimes she has been the first GLBT lecturer to appear on campus -- as at Lebanon Valley College, a Methodist liberal-arts institution in Pennsylvania, where she was picketed by the KKK.

The ACLU (of which she is a member) has arranged some lectures for her, notably the Arthur Fiske Memorial Lecture at Case Western Reserve School of Law in Ohio and a Montana "free speech" tour with a stop at Montana State University.

Ms. Warren has been an individual plaintiff in two of ACLU's biggest legal battles free speech on the Internet, partly because of her conviction that the Communications Decency Act and the Children's Online Protection Act would bar minors from certain lifesaving information on the Web. Organizational conference appearances have also included PFLAG and GLSEN.

Her perennial subjects: American history, gay history, women's history, human rights, free speech, gay literature, people of mixed ethnic heritage. She has done writing workshops for young people at both college and high-school level. Her MO is to be entertaining as well as informational, and to involve students directly by Q & A and discussion.

Warren speaks fluent Spanish -- she lived in Spain for several years and has worked extensively with Spanish-speaking students in Los Angeles.

On the nonprofit front, she founded her own Patricia Nell Warren Endowment Fund, which supports selected GLBT youth who are artistically gifted and economically challenged. Her YouthWrites! program is being launched by Wildcat Press in 2004. She will be doing workshops across the country, focusing on helping groups of young people to improve their creative skills and to get some professional grounding at a time when the media are very challenging to deal with.

Warren lives in Los Angeles today.

Contact info:

Wildcat Press
8306 Wilshire Blvd. Box 8306
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
323/966-2466 phone 323/966-2467 fax

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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.

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