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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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PFLAG Flag Bearer Award

Steven's Acceptance Speech

PFLAG: Family Voices For Equality
Saturday, April 29, 2000
Awards Banquet & Reception
Crystal Gateway Marriott, Washington, DC

This years Flag Bearer Award recipients:

Senator Edward Kennedy
Coretta Scott King
Steven Cozza, Eagle Scout
Rev. Jimmy Creech
American Airlines

Rev. Paul Beeman, PFLAG President, presented Steven with the Flag Bearer Award


I am very honored to receive the PFLAG Flag Bearer Award. It gives me encouragement to stand strong and not give up. And you know something? Every person in this room is a Flag Bearer!

The vision of PFLAG I have is a mother walking in 1972 in a parade side by side with her gay son. That is love and courage. We need to all stand side by side against bigotry and discrimination.

PFLAG, GLSEN, Student Pride U.S.A., Youth Pride Alliance D.C., Scouting For All and other organizations are reaching out to gay and straight youth with a positive message about diversity, acceptance, and love.

What's wrong with the Boy Scouts of America?!

Their message of discrimination hurts gay kids and teaches straight scouts to discriminate. Did you know an Eagle Scout killed Matthew Shepherd! Maybe if the Boy Scouts of America gave a different message, Matthew would be alive today!

How can the Boy Scouts of America who is suppose to represent the very best in our society, embrace the very worst, bigotry and discrimination? That doesn't even make sense!

I have taken my stand against the Boy Scouts of America's policy of discrimination against gay kids and adults, not to receive awards, but because their policy hurts people who are gay. It hurts my gay friends.

As a boy scout I became ashamed of the Boy Scouts of America. I love scouting, but won't accept discrimination even if it is from a program I loved. I love scouting, but I couldn't turn my back on my friends!

Robert Espindola, my Christian Camp Counselor taught me about God, family values, the difference between right and wrong, the importance of taking care of the environment and helping others.

Robert is a person I look up to. He's my role model. Robert will always be a part of my life through the things he taught me and through his acceptance and love.

And you know something? Robert is gay! Robert please stand up.(applause)

I'm proud to be receiving this great award as an Eagle Scout. The Boy Scouts of America should also be proud of me, but they probably aren't. And I'm being honored for my stand for human rights.

I ask all scouts and adult leaders to stand with me proudly- respecting and defending the rights of all people. Lets tell the boy Scouts of America that there is no room in scouting for bigotry and discrimination.

We must not turn our backs on our gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered friends. They include: brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, our grandpas, grandmas, our aunts and uncles.

The gay community represent a BRIGHT color in the rainbow of the human family!

I applaud all of you here tonight!

Thank you very much. I am truly honored.

Steven Cozza, Eagle Scout



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.