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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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Twelve Year Old Boy Scout Steven Cozza's Two Letters to Jerry Ratcliffe, Chief Scout Executive, BSA 1998
(Mr. Ratcliffe never responded back to Steven)

First Letter
January 19, 1998

Boy Scouts of America
Mr. Jerry Ratcliffe, Chief Scout Executive
P.O. Box 152079
Irving, Texas 75015-2079

Dear Mr. Jerry Ratcliffe,

My name is Steven Cozza. I am a 12 year old Life Scout and I live in Petaluma, California. I would like to find out form the headquarters of the Boy Scouts of America, about the current status of the policy which excludes gay youth and adults from being in Scouts.

I am working very hard to get this policy changed. In gathering signatures, I am seeing that there is a lot of support to change this policy to include all kids in America. In just one day, I got 650 signatures in front of Lucky's Market. Many politicians, two clergymen, scout leaders, family members with gay siblings who took their lives, all spoke at the press conference I organized last Saturday, January 17, 1998. They all support changing the current rule that discriminates against one piece of our American people - the gay!

What is really wrong with allowing gays in scouting? The Boy Scouts just teaches kids to discriminate by not allowing gay youth or adults in scouting. I'm tired of the poor role model excuse. Gay adults were taught by heterosexual teaches and they didn't turn out heterosexual. Some heterosexual people were taught by gay teachers and they didn't turn out gay. Why can gay adults be pediatricians, dentists, teachers, coaches, camp counselors if they are so bad? And pedophiles molest children, not gays!

I think people are afraid of them and until they get to know someone who is gay they will never get over their homophobia and realize the wonderful things they contribute to our society. We just have to learn to appreciate their difference
like everyone else. As far as I'm concerned, they are part of MY RAINBOW! As I said on TV, "The colors of the rainbow are what make it so beautiful. That's how I see our world. What a lousy world we'd have if it were all one color or
everyone were just alike."

Many people have called me with their very sad stories about being excluded from scouting. I never knew how many people have been affected by this rule. I don't think in today's world that being a good scout should mean excluding anyone from the wonderful opportunities scouting has given me. I love being in the Boy Scouts of America. I enjoy my troop members and all the great outings we go on! Scouts has taught me so much but I just can't turn my back on its discriminatory policy.

Thank you for taking the time to hear my thoughts. Please write back to me about any discussions or revisions that might be in the works. I will continue to work very hard to spread public awareness and to educate others on this very important issue. I believe this rule discriminates and I am going to work very hard to get the policy changed. I have people from many different states call me wanting to support SCOUTING FOR ALL. I feel what I'm doing will make the boy Scouts of America a better program. Like my dad said, "Right now the Boy Scouts of America has one major character flaw, it discriminates against gay youth and adults." I'm a shamed of that and so are millions of other people in America.

Sincerely,

signed: Steven Cozza, Life Scout

PS My sister Anne just told me (She's 15 and plays basketball.) That in the late 1800s women were allowed to play basketball and have games but the men were not allowed to watch them play. Can you believe it? I'm glad that rule changed
because my sister is a star basketball player at her school and I would hate not to be able to watch her play basketball.


Second Letter
2-8-98

Boy Scouts of America
Mr. Jerry Ratcliffe, Chief Scout Executive
P.O. Box 152079
Irving, Texas 75015-2079


Dear Mr. Jerry Ratcliffe,

Hi, I'm Steven Cozza. I'm a 12 year old Life Scout. I live in Petaluma, California. I wrote to you last month. I would like to find out from you about the current status of the policy which discriminates against gay kids and adults from being in the Scouts. I have not heard from you and would like you to read and respond to my letter. I have enclosed a copy of the letter I sent you dated, January 19, 1998.

The Boy Scouts of America say that gay people don't follow family values. How can the BSA say that gay people don't have family values? There are gay families and lesbian families with children who teach their kids family values. Family values to me means to accept all people and not to discriminate against anyone. Family values to me means to help other people in need and to love one another even if we are different. Family values means to me to respect other people. My parents have taught me that the world is like a rainbow with many different colors. This world would be boring if the rainbow was only one color. And then you say that gays are not morally straight because they love each other. That does not even make sense. We need more people to love one another. The Boy Scouts of America is not morally straight when it discriminates against anyone, in this case gay people. How can that be good? I would like to know who made up such a mean policy. And I'd like to see a copy of it. Please send me a copy. I believe my effort to get this discriminatory policy changed will only improve the Boy Scouts of America because it will then become a morally straight organization like 4-H which I belong to and also like the girl Scouts of America. My dad told me the boy Scouts of America is the only youth organization which discriminates against gay kids.

I will continue to work hard on changing this mean policy. I am not giving up. People around the country and even in other parts of the world have notified me that they are signing my petition and support getting your discriminatory policy against gay people changed. The whole "rainbow" of people are supporting my campaign.

Sincerely,
signed: Steven Cozza, Life 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.

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