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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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Scouting for All's National Campaign

End Discrimination Within The Boy Scouts of America

What You Can Do To Help

"In Germany they first came for the Communists and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the Unionists and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade Unionist. Then they came for the Catholics and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me and by that time no one was left to speak up."

Pastor Martin Niemoller



Scouting for All's historic National Day of Protest on August 21, 2000, marked a new era in our national campaign to end the discrimination of the Boy Scouts of America against gay and nontheist youth and adults. Steven Cozza, Eagle Scout as a 12 year old wrote a letter to the editor stating the BSA didn't practice its own Scout Law when they discriminated against gay youth and adults. On January 22, 1998, Steven called a press
conference and launched his national campaign petition drive to place pressure on the BSA to rescind it's policy of discrimination.

Steven's courageous actions have been the inspiration for the current Scouting for All movement. He dedicated his efforts in the memory of Robin Reed a gay, 15 year old Petaluma High School student who killed himself
because he felt rejected and to all gay youth who have taken their lives because they felt like they didn't belong. We will no longer tolerate our gay youth having to remain "invisible" out of fear. We will continue to work towards helping to create a society where our gay youth can feel safe to live as the individuals they have come blessed to be in this life. Steven and others who stand with him against the social injustice of the program he loved, the Boy Scouts of America, allowed themselves to feel the pain of the Robin Reeds in this life and decided to take a stand. The tragedy to date is that the Boy Scouts of America has not allowed themselves as an organization to feel the pain they have caused our gay youth, to their families and friends and to all individuals who believe in
justice. The BSA's immoral policy offends all who value social justice and human rights. Their policy of discrimination is increasingly harmful to Scouting and to both gay and straight youth as well as being fundamentally contrary to the precepts and principles for which Scouting was founded.

We are dedicating the Scouting for All National Day of Protest as a new beginning in our effort. The light of hope will shine brighter than ever in the name of human rights. We are launching a heightened national/international campaign calling upon individuals and groups to take action on the side of social justice and human rights. S4A has since renamed our National Day of Protest to S4A's Annual National Rally and Recognition of Gay (GLBT) Youth and Gay and Nontheist Scout Month. It is held each year the month of October. Scouting for All is advocating the following actions:

1. Individuals who Believe in Justice for All: It is everyone's responsibility to speak out against social injustice, in this case the social injustice of the BSA. We must not turn our backs on those who are being discriminated against. We encourage parents and guardians to make sure your child participates in youth organizations that value the diversity of the human family and have inclusive policies and abide by those policies. In fact the Boy Scouts of America is the only youth organization in America that discriminates against gay and nontheist youth and adults.

We suggest you send a letter to your local scout council and to the BSA national in Irving, Texas to inform them that you will not be have your child join the BSA until it rescinds its policy of discrimination.

Alternative youth programs include: Boys and Girls Club, 4H, Campfire USA, and Girl Scouts USA.

2. BSA Members, Scout Units, Sponsors, Councils: Through the Scout Oath and Law, the Boy Scout Handbook, and the Citizenship merit badge booklets, we can see that scouting teaches its members to help make the earth a better place. Discrimination and Bigotry have never been a part of Scouting. Those in Scouting have an ethical and moral obligation to stand against the bigotry of its current leadership.

If you are an individual member (adult leader, scout), scout unit, or a scout sponsor (charting organization e.g. churches, service clubs, etc.) insist that your Scout unit adopt an anti-discrimination statement and send it to the BSA and to your local Scout Council.

3. Financial Contributors United Way & Businesses: We call upon the businesses and organizations such as the United Way who fund the BSA to follow their own business and organization's anti-discrimination policies.

Only donate/contribute funds to youth organizations that don't discriminate. Inform the Boy Scouts of America that they must rescind their discriminatory policy against gay and nontheist youth and adults or be terminated as a beneficiary.

4. Schools & Government: This includes the military, municipalities, schools, police and fire departments, PTA's, city, state, and federal government. We ask that you reexamine your relationship with the BSA in light of your own anti-discrimination policies. Insist that discrimination be prohibited by any group that uses your services and or facilities. We ask all school districts to think about the message that you would be giving our gay and straight students if you allowed organizations that discriminate against gay and nontheist youth such as the Boy Scouts of America to use your school facilities and allow adult BSA leaders to recruit in your schools. Just think about the harmful message you would be giving our gay and straight youth.

For helpful aids on working with schools in helping your local school district deal with the BSA policy of exclusion of gay and atheist students please check out the GLSEN, Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network at
their web site: www.glsen.org or www.glsen.org/pages/sections/bsa/. You can also contact Scouting for All at info@scoutingforall.org for assistance.

Scouting For All asks school districts throughout the United States of America to support GSA clubs (Gay Straight Alliance Clubs) by granting permission for students to establish them in your school district high schools.

Gay Youth often experience deep feelings of rejection and loneliness and GSAs offer our GLBTQ youth support and our straight youth understanding and acceptance. Scouting For All has devoted our effort in the memory of
Robin Reed and to all gay youth who have taken their lives because they felt rejected, like they didn't belong. Eagle Scout Steven Cozza and his sister Anne started a GSA at the high school he attended, Petaluma High School in 2000. This is the same high school Robin Reed had attended. If Petaluma High School had a GSA in 1995 the year Robin Reed took his own life, Robin may still be alive today! GSAs are saving lives! Lets embrace all of our youth by establishing GSAs in every high school in America! The power for healing change is in your hands. Together let's make it happen.

For information on how to start a GSA at your high school go to www.glsen.org

5. Religious Congregations and Organizations: Scouting for All is advising that as a minimum to advise all chartering (sponsoring) organizations within your faith communities adopt policies of non-discrimination. Also
insist that any group or scout unit that uses your facilities, sign a similar statement of non-discrimination. The heritage of strong faith and the belief that all human beings have inherent worth asks this of you: that you be lights of hope, beacons of courage and love, and defenders of the disenfranchised.

S4A has initiated the following strategies to implement this new era of our National Campaign:

1. We will continue to use the www.scoutingforall.org web page to rally support, educate, advocate, and to help mobilize our volunteers and members across the country and internationally. Steven's Petition will continue to be utilized to help educate and rally support.

2. The Scouting for All Alliance for Human Rights: The "Alliance" is be made up of individual grassroots organizers, community based organizations and national organizations committed to getting the Boy Scouts of America to rescind its discriminatory policy, harmful to both our gay and straight youth. The Alliance is joined by a common bond and spirit that social justice and human rights should be for all to experience. The "Alliance" has been established in an attempt to help mobilize, network, create, and support efforts across the country and internationally. This Alliance is a bright light of hope for both our gay and straight youth that they may someday live in a society that values social justice, acceptance, and cherishes the diversity of the human family.

For further details on the Alliance go to www.scoutingforall.org and click Join the Alliance.

3. Scouting for All's Regional Directors and State Directors will help mobilize, network and provide support in the implementation of our National Campaign throughout the United States. We have divided the United States divided into 5 regions including: Southwestern, Northwestern, Midwestern, Southern, and Northeastern. Our National S4A headquarters is responsible for generating international advocacy and support as well as coordinating and supporting our regional offices. We ask that you contact the Regional Director covering your region by going to the Scouting for All home page and clicking your region on the map.

Scouting for All Board of Directors, Regional Directors, Members and Volunteers
08/26/00, amended 03/30/01, updated 07/04/04

Scouting for All, PO Box 2832, Petaluma, CA 94953-2832, tel: 707-778-0564
email: info@scoutingforall.org web page: www.scoutingforall.org

Scouting For All's National Campaign
Download, print the brochure and help to end discrimination within the Boy Scouts of America

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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.

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.

 

 

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