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.
Core Values of Scouting or Core Values of Religious Fundamentalists?
An Official from the Boy Scouts of America's National Office says "Gays are excluded because they don't follow
the core values of Scouting: fidelity, abstinence, and chastity."
On August 21, 2000 Scouting For All lead a National Day of Protest across the country, protesting the Boy Scouts
of America's policy of discrimination against gay youth, adults and atheists. Protests were held in over 21 states
and 35 locations at various Scout Councils. Scouting For All had hoped to meet with Scout Officials at the National
headquarters in Irving, Texas.
Given over a months notice the BSA had secretarial and custodial staff meet our contingent at the headquarters
front door. We were told all officials were out of town at a conference. Those who we spoke to promised that we
could phone national officials at a later time in the hopes of scheduling a meeting in the future. After calling
once a week for over a month and a half and requesting to speak to an official of the BSA, Scott Cozza, Pres. of
Scouting For All, asked the secretary if the BSA treated all of its members in that manner. Mr. Cozza reminded
her that he was still a member of the BSA and had expected the BSA to treat him in a civil and respectful fashion
and that not returning his phone calls was not respectful, Mr. Cozza asked the secretary if the BSA treated all
of its members who questioned BSA policy in the same manner they had treated him. She agreed that someone should
have gotten back to him. She told Mr. Cozza that she had been forwarding all of his messages and that it was out
of her control. About 2 hours later Mr. Cozza received a call from an official of the BSA's National Office External
The following is a paraphrased version of the conversation that took place between Scott Cozza, Pres. of Scouting
For All and the BSA Official:
BSA Official: "The Chief (Executive, Roy Williams) is not going to meet with Scouting For All. We have a task
force established to find a resolution. We are familiar with your program and understand your position. Your views
are well established. I am not here to dialog with you about this issue, but
would be glad to answer any questions you might have".
Scott Cozza: "Okay, I have a question about the Learning for Life program. How can the BSA maintain the position
of excluding gays from traditional Scouting units and allowing gays in the Learning for Life program? We are very
pleased that the BSA doesn't discriminate against gays in Learning for Life".
BSA Official: "The traditional program of Scouting speaks to duty to God, fidelity, abstinence, and chastity.
Learning for Life is a separate program. It is not an extension of the Boy Scouts of America. Learning for Life
involves 3rd parties being allowed to use elements of the Boy Scouts of America Scouting program to meet their
own organization and or community needs. You can go to the Boy Scouts of America web page to learn about the Learning
for Life program".
Scott Cozza: "How can United Ways who decide to only contribute to the Learning for Life program be assured
that the funds will only be used for Learning for Life and not filtered to the BSA National traditional Scouting
BSA Official: " We have ethical standards we follow. Monies donated for specific programs are only used for
those designated programs".
Scott Cozza: "How does fidelity, abstinence, and chastity have anything to do with the Boy Scouts of America's
decision to exclude gay youth and adults"?
BSA Official: "I am not going to answer that".
Scott Cozza: "Why? It's a pretty simple question. Is it that the Boy Scouts of America lacks substance in
their position of excluding gay youth and adults.?
BSA Official: "I've been instructed not to enter into that dialog with you. Thank you very much.! (Hangs up).
End of conversation
The BSA Official's statement referred to the values of fidelity, abstinence, and chastity as being Scouting's core
values. He stated these values in reference to why the BSA excluded gays from the traditional Scouting program.
The truth of the matter, I'm afraid, is that the Scouting Official was not
quoting from any official BSA document, but from his own interpretation of the Bible. You see there is not an official
document anywhere to be found in Scouting that excludes gays from the Scouting program. It appears that religious
fundamentalists have taken Scouting over in America and have
corrupted both the Scout Law and Oath for their own political and religious agenda. The BSA National is currently
in violation of their own 1916 Charter which states the BSA is a nonsectarian youth organization whose membership
is to be determined by each chartered organization and scout unit.
Scouting For All will continue to work for healing change within the Boy Scouts of America in the hope of taking
back the Scouting program in America so it again become the program it was intended to be; a program for all kids
not some kids, a program which embraces the spirit and diversity of the human family, a program that cherishes
our differences as a people and views those difference as a strength of the human family.
Scott Cozza, Pres.
Scouting For All