Response to BSA Resolution
The Boy Scouts of America have adopted a resolution dated
February 6, 2002, in which gays and atheists are deemed unfit and
unacceptable role models for scout youth. Although the Boy Scouts have
an unwritten policy concerning gays, this is the first time in their 92-year
history that it has become an actual resolution.
The resolution came about in response to the many individual Scout Councils who are calling for change within their organization. These Councils were fighting to maintain their right to choose their own membership and leadership, even if this included leaders and scouts who happened to be gay.
But the new resolution strikes down local authority and autonomy and in effect says that parents and volunteers cannot be responsible for choosing the best leadership for their own children. "...the BSA values cannot be subject to local option choices," the resolution reads, "but must be the same in every unit..."
"It is ironic that the BSA core value of respecting diversity is not practiced within the organization," said Scott Cozza, president of Scouting for All. "And it is a shame that the BSA National Office is turning a deaf ear to its own members."
Scouting for All, and their supporters who struggle for human rights, salute the bravery of the councils in standing up to the National Office. "It is no small thing to risk getting kicked out of an organization you love," said Steven Cozza, 16-year-old co-founder of Scouting for All. But denouncing bigotry and prejudice is really what the Scout Oath and Law are about. These councils recognized that and did the right thing," he concluded.
"If the BSA wants to continue to symbolize bigotry," said Scott Cozza, "let it do so, but without the support of Americans and individual Scout Councils who oppose bigotry and discrimination. To this end our organization will continue to work for change by asking the United Way to adhere to their anti-discrimination standards, and by asking that public schools not allow the BSA to recruit in our schools until they include all of our children in a democratic fashion. We will also work to ensure that local and national government agencies - including the White House, really rethink their support of an organization that leaves our gay and atheist children behind as well as gay and atheist leaders. Scouting for All also urges President Bush to step down as the Honorary President of the BSA. He stated in his State of the Union Address, "to leave no child behind." Lets see if our President will stand by his own words.
For Further information Contact:
Scott Cozza, Pres.
Scouting for All Pager: 1-800-974-0624
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