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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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Recipients of Scouting For All's Fran Crawford Volunteer of the Year Rainbow Award

Scouting for All's Essay Contest

Scouting For All established the Fran Crawford Volunteer of the Year Rainbow Award to recognize some of the many volunteers throughout the country and internationally. Through the efforts of our volunteers and members we are helping to make the earth a better place. This Rainbow Award as Fran Crawford describes it, recognizes the courage, commitment, and compassion of our volunteers and members, standing against the social injustice of the Boy Scouts of America's policy, which discriminates against gay youth, adults, and atheists.

The Award is named after Fran Crawford our first recipient because Fran Crawford's life epitomizes the vision of Scouting For All, standing against social injustice, embracing the diversity of the human family.

Fran's acceptance speech is a reflection of his passion for social justice, his loving spirit and what the award symbolizes for us all. It must be noted in honor of Fran we have changed the name of the award per his request from the Scouting For All Fran Crawford Volunteer of the Year Award to the Scouting For All Fran Crawford Volunteer of the Year Rainbow Award.

Scott Cozza, Pres.
Scouting For All

The Scouting For All Rainbow Award by Fran Crawford

It is not too late to change the name of this volunteer award to a happier name: The Rainbow Award. I ask the Board to give it the name Rainbow Award because that better expresses the meaning, from my point of view, of the Fran Crawford Award. The Rainbow stands for inclusion and for civility in society. When I think of human rights I take the humanist view of the history of world civilization, that civility helps humanity to move out of barbarism.

An ancient example of such a cultural step forward lies in the story of Abram and Sarai reported about five thousand years ago and later inscribed in the Jewish Torah and adopted in the Christian bible, book of Genesis. As I see it, Abram became known as Abraham and Sarai became known as Sarah, when Abraham, in a covenant with his God, moved to end the practice of blood sacrifice that prevailed at his time. You can refer to the book of Genesis for the bloody details.

A more recent example of movement toward a more mitigating civility occurred in the nineteenth century when the practice of killing homosexuals, atheists and other heretics lost its popular support. As education and enlightenment increased in society, old beliefs were revised and no longer were expressed in barbarous actions.

A more contemporary example of civilization moving forward in a positive way was the adoption by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Much later, on December 16, 1966, the United Nations General Assembly embodied the rights in the Declaration in two covenants to be adopted by its member nations: 1. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; 2. The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. As recognition of the human rights that are enumerated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights becomes acknowledged in the process of ratification of the International Covenants by member states of the United Nations. The world we live in moves towards a more humanistic civility.

In the same spirit, with its name a tag line for its policy of inclusion, Scouting For All stands for the implementation of human rights within scouting. Scouting For All supports the Rainbow concept: That is, inclusive participation in Scouting by gays, atheists, and females. By working for the principles of Scouting For All we are helping to make a change in a segment of our society.

Based on population figures one can safely estimate that in the United states of America there are seven million gay males and one to two million atheists, plus at least one hundred forty-million female citizens. Surely, then, we in Scouting For All can say that the Boy Scouts of America loses a lot when it denies equal participation in Scouting by millions of people who could contribute to and who would benefit from Scouting. I hope that this Rainbow Award will conceptualize and represent work for human rights in general, and in the Boy Scouts of America in particular.

Despite my indifference to the idea of personally receiving the Rainbow Award or any award, I do want to honor the Rainbow Award. In the light of the ideas given above, I cannot refuse it. To refuse the award would be to turn my back on the symbolism of the Rainbow Award, would mean. For example, that I think it is all right for the President of the United States to continue as Honorary President of the Boy Scouts of America; or that the United States Congress is right to refuse to revoke the Congressional Charter of the Boy Scouts of America. Rather, I dream of the day when the President of the United States of America receives the Rainbow Award for having resigned as Honorary President of the Boy Scouts of America; and. I dream of the day when the United States Congress receives the Rainbow Award for having revoked the Boy Scouts of America's Congressional Charter. Better yet, let us work for the day the Boy Scouts of America STOPS excluding gays, atheists, and females from equal participation in Scouting. That will be the day that Scouting For All can bestow the Rainbow Award on the Boy Scouts of America!

Ultimately, the Rainbow Award is about social responsibility. Long ago, Rabbi Hillel spoke of this when he wrote, "If I am not for myself, Who will be for me? If I am not for others, what am I? And if not now. When?"

The inclusiveness of the Rainbow was epitomized in the words of Mencius:

"Nothing that is human is alien to me"

and, Mahatma Gandhi could have been speaking of this mature recipient of the Rainbow Award when he said, "A man is the sum of what he has done, of what he can do, nothing else."

Fran Crawford, 10/28/00




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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