Members of Congress Call on BSA to End Its Discrimination against Gays and Lesbians

Posted on 06 February 2010 by admin

On February 1, 2010, 26 Members of Congress urged the Boy Scouts of America to end its discriminatory policy of not accepting gays and lesbians in a letter sent to the Chief Scout Executive of the organization.

The correspondence, initiated by U.S. Representatives Gary Ackerman (D-NY) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), was sent in response to the Boy Scouts’ rejection of Cate and Elizabeth Wirth, a couple in Vermont who were told they could not volunteer for their 10 year old son’s Cub Scout pack after it was revealed that the women are lesbians. In explaining the Boy Scouts’ national policy of excluding gays and lesbians as volunteers, their district director suggested that the Wirths would “push their lifestyle on the boys.”

“Regrettably, the current, discriminatory policy of the Boy Scouts of America has denied opportunities for young scouts, community-oriented citizens, and loving parents,” the lawmakers wrote in the letter to Robert Mazzuca, the Chief Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts of America. “As you celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America, it is long past time that the Boy Scouts finally provide the opportunity for all Scouts, Leaders, and volunteers, to share in the joys of Scouting, regardless of sexual orientation.”

Ackerman, a proud Eagle Scout, continues to salute the tireless contributions of Scouts from throughout the nation but contends that the discriminatory policy of the organization must change.

“I’ll always be a proud Eagle Scout, but this discriminatory policy must end” said Ackerman. “Rejecting a Cub Scout’s mothers from volunteering just because of their sexual orientation doesn’t comply with the Scout law I recited at Scout meetings.”

“Scouting is a proud and honorable tradition in this country, but discrimination is not,” said Congresswoman Baldwin, Co-Chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus. “Children with same sex parents deserve the same opportunities to have their parents involved in their scouting experience as their classmates do and I urge the Boy Scouts of America to end this discriminatory policy,” Baldwin said.

The letter was signed by a total of 26 Members of Congress. The full text of the letter and the signatories are below.


February 1, 2010

Mr. Robert Mazzuca
Chief Scout Executive
Boy Scouts of America
National Office
1329 West Walnut Hill Lane
Irving, TX 75038

Dear Mr. Mazzuca:

We write in response to the Boy Scouts of America’s (BSA) recent rejection of Cate and Elizabeth Wirth, two mothers of a Scout, who applied to serve as parent volunteers. We call on the Boy Scouts to end its policy of discrimination and exclusion based solely on sexual orientation.

Regrettably, the current, discriminatory policy of the Boy Scouts of America has denied opportunities for young scouts, dedicated community-oriented citizens, and loving parents. Most recently, as reported on December 30, 2009, Cate and Elizabeth Wirth, both legal mothers of their 10 year old son, Dylan, were turned down as volunteer Cub Scout leaders after the local Boy Scouts District Director cited the national policy of the BSA regarding lesbian and gay volunteers, and suggested that the Wirths would “push their lifestyle on the boys.” We would think the Boy Scouts would encourage all parents to take an active involvement in their children’s Scouting life. Cate and Elizabeth had volunteered before without problem, such that the Boy Scouts happily accepted their service again until learning of their sexual orientation.

For a century, the Boy Scouts have united communities, instilled the value of public service, and encouraged civic participation among America’s youth. Congress has repeatedly recognized the importance of the Boy Scouts in our communities with numerous honors, including a Congressional charter and, most recently, a resolution expressing support for February 8, 2010 as “Boy Scouts of America Day”. As you celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America, it is long past time that the Boy Scouts finally provide the opportunity for all Scouts, Leaders, and volunteers, to share in the joys of Scouting, regardless of sexual orientation.

This policy of discrimination and exclusion is contrary to the Boy Scouts own stated values. According to Scout law, “A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.” We fail to see how it is friendly, courteous, or kind to bar loving parents from volunteering for their child’s Cub Scout pack just because of who they love. Furthermore, it is difficult to imagine how singling out the parents of one Scout for exclusion is an example of Scout loyalty.
As deeply troubling as the exclusionary policy is, the message that the policy sends is perhaps most damaging. The Boy Scouts are teaching America’s youth at impressionable ages that lesbians and gays are to be excluded because they are different, and not “morally straight” as per the Boy Scouts’ official stated position.

Furthermore, it is particularly disappointing that an organization that prides itself on inclusion and diversity remains committed to a policy that is anything but. Again, according to the Scout handbook, a Scout should “look beyond the differences that might separate you from others and accept them for who they are.”

We urge you to honor the Boy Scouts’ own stated values and reverse this exclusionary and discriminatory policy by providing the opportunity for Cate and Elizabeth Wirth and all other interested Scouts, Leaders, and volunteers to participate, regardless of sexual orientation.


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Source: Congressman Gary Ackerman Press Release.

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46 Comments For This Post

  1. Mark Says:

    Maybe members of Congress should be more worried about correctly what’s wrong with America instead of trying to destroy one of those things that produces great Americans! With the new administration our government has swung believe too far left and conservative Americans need to rapidly overcome the liberals who are out to destroy America.

  2. Todd Osborne Says:

    Sorry but the BSA is a conservative organization. Liberals have tried to sue the organization for many years because we have morals and values. It drives them insane that they can’t force our organization to submit to their immoral ways of removing God from everything possible and accepting gays. They can keep their PC BS and “tolerance” to everything that they have trashed this country with already. As we teach morals and values and how to take care of yourself, they brainwash people into depending on the government for everything coming and going, thus enslaving each generation more and more as government grows bigger. If the BSA doesn’t continue to respect the traditions of the organization, they will lose many of the people who have made it the greatest traditional organization in history, just as the liberals would like. If you don’t like everything I just said, you must be a liberal.

  3. Utah Scouter Says:

    “I’ll always be a proud Eagle Scout, but this discriminatory policy must end” said Ackerman. “Rejecting a Cub Scout’s mothers from volunteering just because of their sexual orientation doesn’t comply with the Scout law I recited at Scout meetings.”

    Wrong, Mr. Ackerman! TO KEEP MYSELF MORALLY STRAIGHT. It’s part of the Scout Oath you used to recite. Maybe you need to brush up on it.

  4. Phil Clouser Says:

    Sounds like Ackerman was simply “reciting” the Scout law, rather than taking it to heart. Seems about the same with liberals and the Constitution. The Scouts have helped raise leader for this nation BECAUSE the hold to their standards and morals. Don’t let the libs take that away.

  5. Al Says:

    @Todd Osborne: If you think this issue is as simply as conservative vs. liberal — That’s not the case, it’s far more complex.

  6. kamala Says:

    The idea is to saturate society via hollywood, education, government that homosexuality is “normal” and that if we see it everywhere then it must be okay. If you are against this policy then you are labeled as a confused, bigotted homophobe conservative. I would hope that BSA does not succumb to this liberal pressure. I for one do not see the need to announce your sexual orientation to kids. It serves no purpose.

  7. McOrin Says:

    Only 26 members signed? That’s less than .05% of Congress, but yet they are trying to dictate to an organization that numbers in the millions? I can see if 25% of Congress signed, then National would consider the motion, but 26? Give me a break. If the mothers are so concerned, I hate to say this, maybe Indian Guides would be a better fit.

  8. Roy Rosenthal Says:

    As a 18 year veteran scout leader, I fully support and understand the need form BSA to be inclusive. That said, scouting is not about sexual orientation and the program has no need to add a program to educated educate scouts on the subject of sexual orientation. Having served proudly with helpful and respectful parents who happened to Gay, has shown me that it is more about supporting the many scouting values of community and leadership development and yes good old fashioned outdoor fun, than including a a referendum on alternative lifestyles. The reality is that individual units have a governing structure that allows for local community cultural variances. I am quite confident that a BSA policy to allow all to be included providing those who choose to join do so without a destructive agenda to advance non core scouting principles.

  9. Dave Says:

    McOrin – minor math error with order of magnitude. Try 5.9%, not 0.05%.

  10. Andrew Mullaly Says:

    I personally think the BSA would be well served by being more inclusive. Or sister organization (the GSA) changed its oaths and allows people of all creeds (or none) and all sexual orientations to participate fully in their programs. There is nothing inherent in scouting that makes it a “conservative” instituion other than our current leadership. Morals do not derive from a sexual orientation. I personally have know the most moral homosexuals and many “straight” people who have only met morales in name alone.

    Baden-Powell was a firm believer that every boy had a right to Scouting and I think that this fine organization should spread its arms and take everyone into the fold.


    Andy Mullaly

  11. Paul Vanover Says:

    The comments I am reading, (ie: BSA is a conservative organization. Liberals are out to destroy America), seem to suggest that there is no place in scouting for any leader who is not a member of the GOP. BTW, those comments certainly do NOT speak for me. I have dedicated my time and money to scouting for the past ten years. Looking at scouting from the inside, what I mostly see is self-rightous hypocrosy. We are WAY too exclusive. How many of you hypocrits are divorced or living with your mate out of wedlock, (also immoral). How many of you smoke, drink, lie, cheat, GOSSIP or steal? Let he who is without guilt cast the next stone…

  12. Steve Says:

    It’s amazing……you can have groups dedicated to VERY specific people which isolate a very large range of individuals BUT you have a group like the BSA which says no to the gay / lesbian community and all of a sudden the Scouts are the ones who are hypocrites!! It doesn’t matter if an organization comes along that invites everyone to attend……SOMEONE will find SOMETHING wrong with either the date, time or place of the meetings. SOMETHING will offend someone for no reason whatsoever. This country used to be strong and have strong men and women……Now…’s just a bunch of whiners who want their way…..and only their way…..and they can have a lobbyist who will help them pave the way in Washington. Guess they wont’ be happy until all traditions and “archaic” beliefs are gone….. by then we’ll all be generic gender neutral entities with no thoughts of our own other than what “they” tell us to believe.

  13. MI Scouter Says:

    I am truly disappointed by the knee-jerk reactions to this issue on both sides. Gay parents are free to volunteer for their child’s unit, but they cannot serve as “registered adult leaders,” meaning they cannot be den leaders, cub/scoutmasters, unit committee members, etc. However, I know several gay people who serve in other volunteer capacities such as pinewood derby committee, blue & gold committee, hosting den/patrol meetings, etc.

    It really shouldn’t surprise anyone that the BSA doesn’t desire to see gays and lesbians held up before our impressionable young boys and adolescents as role models to be emulated – a policy I happen to agree with and I’m not a hater.

    The boys in my troop are constantly reminded to respect everyone because they are created by the same God that created them. However, respect and tolerance are not synonymous with acquiesence. I can respect the fact that gays and lesbians feel an attraction they cannot control, and which they would probably gladly live without if they could, and I can treat them with dignity in my interactions with them. But it does not follow that they *must* or *should* be allowed to serve as role models for our youth. Being a role model is *exactly* what being a BSA adult leader is all about. To be sure, there are plenty of things about me and about other scouting leaders that I don’t want the youth in my charge to emulate. But they all tend to be things not easily seen or in the background of my personality. It’s not that I want the boys in my unit to emulate me in whom they choose to date or marry, but I defintely do not think it’s a good idea to bring any more sexual confusion to an already very confusing time in a young man’s life.

  14. Roley Kiser Says:

    I say no, no, no! Keep the Boyscouts clean and the homosexuals out. Now, in my view we should write down the name of these Congressmen and vote them out because they do not have the best intrest of the country at heart.

  15. Jon Says:

    I’ve got a silly idea about the whole “discrimination” bit, join another organization. Have your child at the YMCA if it is so very important for you to instill a homosexual lifestyle on children.

    And Andy, GSA has turned to be all things to all girls – what are they other than cookie merchants? You don’t see them anywhere because they’ve swung so far left trying to be all things to all people that there’s hardly a glimmer of a program. I don’t know what scouts was like when you were a scout, but it really isn’t the place for promoting homosexuality as being “morally straight”. I know there are people out there who are “morally straight” if you only ignore their one addiction to crack, murder, theft, etc.

  16. Rob Says:

    The key question is will the Charter Organziations of units support the BSA if they did allow homosexuals to be registered leaders. There are several Churches that would probably not support the BSA if they adopted this policy change. By the organizations dropping their units, the BSA as a program would be severly crippled.

    Homosexuals can be involved in the BSA divisions of Exploring and Learning For Life. These divisions were made more inclusive due to many of the Charter Organizations being public entities (ie: police and fire departments, etc) which by law have to be inclusive.

  17. William Says:

    I also agree with BSA’s current policy concerning gay/lesbian. These congressmen and women who voted against the BSA, DO NOT really care about having good role models. All they want is to keep their government positions.

  18. George Fosselius Says:

    Mr Utah Scouter
    Part of morally straight, which never meant sexually straight, is to have the integrity to put one’s name behind one’s opinion. One’s world view is congruent with one’s behavior and opinions.
    In my experience as a 50-year Eagle and 50-year Scout Veteran, I found it better not to use the shortcuts of stereotypes and rules, written or unwritten, to judge the suitability a person for a job/role model.

    I only hope the BSA will reevaluate using the shortcut of policy to get around the real work of discernment and coach/counseling required to support volunteer leaders.

  19. Diana Brunner Says:

    Boy Scouts of America is a private organization that does not need to cow-tow to the liberal members of congress just because they have an axe to grind. These members of congress should have better sense! Boy Scouts of America is a grand organization that teach young men how to be contributing members of society in obeying the laws of God and country! What’s wrong with that? Congressmen Akerman should be ashamed. He is not upholding his Duty to God and Country as an Eagle Scout!

  20. Kate Says:

    I signed this petition and included my Cub Scout affiliation.

    Thank you to anyone who considers doing the same!

  21. Ed Says:

    Do you want your boy to go camping with a gay Scoutmaster or Cubmaster?

  22. Julie Says:

    It will never happen. A substantial number of charter organization (and families) would move to those Scout-type entities that do not hold homosexuality out as normal. National knows this; it’s a moot point. There are other youth organization, even scouting ones, that are specifically inclusive (Spiral Scouts, Navigators, Earth Scouts, etc). The further left GSUSA goes, the stronger its upstart competition will grow (and the bigger BSA’s Venturing program will get!).

    Instead of trying to change an organization’s values, it seems that it would be better to join (or create!) one that best fits your family’s values. This is more of an entitlement mentality — no one is ENTITLED to join BSA. BSA has specific membership requirements that likely exclude about 90% of the population (age, gender, lifestyle, etc).

  23. Bill Stewart Says:

    Folks, How many of you can honestly tell me who is or isn’t heterosexual or homosexual without one stating their gender orientation. I would dare say that no person on this blog could say with honesty that they could. Quite frankly, it is nobody’s business. And, also lets straighten up something here. According to the American Psychiatric Association, ninety-nine percent of those persons who are considered pedophiles are heterosexual. So, that pretty much removes that argument. That came up by the way from the inferred attitudes made by some of the posters here.
    The point here is this. Most folks opinions come from hearsay not first-hand knowledge. Do a little research before you make a judgment. And as another who posted here earlier said, May he who hath no sin cast the first stone. You know Jesus was the VERY FIRST to say that.
    Check it out!!

  24. Kevin Backer Says:

    I agree with the Eagle Scout congressmen. It is a shame that many of our membership choose to stand behind “morally straight” to discriminate. As an Eagle Scout myself, I have no trouble with scouting with gay people and as a father of scout age son, I would have no trouble with a gay leader taking him camping. I am certain that the gayness will not rub off. Gang it is 2010, I can not believe what I am actually reading here.

  25. K.George Says:

    If Scouting EVER went open to boys/families of a homosexual nature, how could I trust that my son wouldn’t be seduced on an outing? If people want to maintain their ungodly lifestyle, fine, then let them start their own organization rather then corrupting ours!

  26. Julie Says:

    @Bill. On a blog, it’s highly unlikely. In person, it’s often very evident. btw, your “statistic” is way off – Numbers-wise, slightly over 2/3 of child molestation is committed heterosexually, but the other 1/3 is committed by a segment of the population that is <3%. (source: Mayo Clinic) Ask the homosexuals you know (I have done so) how many of them first had sex before 18 with someone 18 or older. With one exception, every one I've talked to had an older man to show them the way.

    @Kevin. If you have no problem with that, why not pour your talents, energy, and tolerance into BUILDING UP those groups that agree with you rather than trying to force a change (and therefore, destroy) a group that doesn't? I would LOVE to see some of the alternative Scouting groups grow and grow — and leave BSA to those who adhere to their viewpoints.

  27. Kate Says:

    Many thanks to Kevin Backer and George Fosselius for their comments. I hope when Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is repealed it sparks a conversation and change in Boy Scouts.

  28. Kate Says:

    I am happy to see this conversation continue! I disagree with those who think that it is all right to make gays and lesbians “second class” Boy Scout citizens who cannot be role models. I am friendly with three lesbian mother couples who are terrific parents. I would be proud for my seven-year-old Tiger son to use them as a role model! This isn’t even “separate but equal” and is unacceptable in my eyes for the Boy Scouting organization! And I would DEFINITELY vote for all of the members of Congress who signed the letter. Organizations evolve from the inside and I see people on the inside here who join me in hoping that Boy Scouts will evolve–and soon!

  29. Steve Says:

    I cannot believe some of you people. Do as it has been suggested, take the scout program, go start your own gay scout organization, and leave the B.S.A. alone. I personally do not think you mean “evolve”, but “devolve” is more like it. Homosexuality is an abberation and abomination. Where churches are being subverted by the perverted to have gay clergy. There needs to be a turn around from the downward spiral of morales and values. One male, one female, that is the base of family, that is the way it has been since Adam and Eve. Our forefathers must be ashamed of how far we have fallen since they built this great country.

  30. Bruce Says:

    The reality is, sexual orientation does not determine who is and is not a nurturing, loving and committed parent. I will take as adult partners and committee members a loving, lesbian or gay couple over an abusive heterosexual couple or for that matter, absentee parents. The BSA is not seeing the big picture on this issue and is alienating many families, heterosexual and homosexual alike, that if included, would broaden and enrich scouting for all.

  31. Ed Says:

    I’m a Life scout and long-time supporter of the BSA and the experiences it provides to thousands of members each year. It is unfortunate to see scouting fall by the wayside in recent years as a result of scandal and being non-inclusive. When Powell started the scouts there was no mention of homosexuality or even religion. The conservative organization associated with the BSA (e.g. LDS, Christians) is suffocating its ability to support modern times and a diverse population that continues to grow. Either the scouts will have to step up and do what is right for the youth of America (all youth) or another organization will forge ahead with all that the scouts have to offer, but with tolerance and acceptance.

    One example to think about is what about the heterosexual boy who has homosexual parents. Should this boy be excluded because his parents feel threatened by the scouts? I think the BSA needs to focus on its boys and not irrelevant, and dated policies that cater to the conservative agenda (which is also falling to the wayside, thankfully).

  32. "J" Says:

    BSA is and has always been a PRIVATE organization, you join, you follow the rules of that organization. You don’t like the rules, you don’t join, it’s that simple.

  33. Denver Sublette Says:

    Why don’t they leave us alone? why do they call it Boy Scouts? Why can’t BSA foster God and Country without injecting ideas that are contrary to the program? Why demand Youth Protection when someone claims discrimination? They won’t be happy until they can say We did it we closed them down. Now what can we mess up? We have nothing left to mess up.

  34. Heidi Says:

    If people don’t like what the BSA stands for, don’t join it. There are plenty of other groups for youth out there that will fit your values, find one and stop trying to changes groups to fit your values.

    This is so simple: You want your child in an all inclusive group, then join one. Don’t try to change a group to serve you.

    This is like an athiest going to a local Christian church, and being upset that he can’t join the Youth Group because he doesn’t believe in God and then trying to make the group say, “OK, we’ll accomodate you and your beliefs.” Hello! If they let you in, they will not accomodate your beliefs and will try to show you where they believe your thinking is wrong and try to convert you.

    Leave BSA and any other groups you feel don’t hold your beliefs alone and go join the many who do. Geesh!

  35. Mike's Mom Says:

    Scouting in America didn’t make it 100 years because they bent to every wind and whim of society. No, the Scouting Movement that Baden-Powell envisioned and began was established on sound, moral (and yes, Biblical) values or doctrines. [BTW, to post-er Ed, Sir Robert Baden-Powell was a very religious, righteous man.]

    When you build your house on a rock, it will remain strong against every wind of change, no matter how “progressive, diverse and inclusive” they may be.

  36. C.M. Hatem Says:

    I’m perfectly happy to exclude ANYONE who wants to make sex or sexual orientation an issue. there’s no place for it in Scouting.

    If these women want to teach their son about their lifestyle, that’s fine.

    I dont feel any need to explain or demonstrate my relationship with my wife to my pack and I’m not at all sure why others do feel a compulsion to be “noticed”

    I try very hard to never make Scouting about me or consider myself bigger than the BSA.

    If something I do is out of line with the guidelines, (I smoke cigars and like an occasional bourbon) I dont mention it at the meetings PERIOD!

    Why is that so hard for others to understand?

  37. C.M. Hatem Says:

    I’ll explain further for those who dont understand. these women were active volunteers for several years but went to the District director and outed themselves.

    Why? what was going on a pack meeting that they felt the need to talk about sexual orientation at all?

    How many of you who support them have EVER spoken about your sexual orientation at a meeting?

  38. John E. Says:

    First, I do not hate homosexuals. Their decisions are their own. However, my problem with their inclusion into Scouting is that it would send a message…”Homosexuality is right and acceptable and even Scouting accepts it.”. For children of households that do not believe this, it would cause confusion. For a seven or eight year old, copying the attitudes of adults they are supposed to trust is natural. If a young Scout is made aware of a homosexual member’s beliefs, then seeds of doubt are sown before he is old enough to have developed a strong belief in his own values (Many religious), and those of his parents. Parents would have to explain the differences between a homosexual’s lifestyle and a straight one during a time when many parents would never speak to their children about such issues. Scouting is a wonderful organization. One of the only ones that I am aware of where a young man can spend his entire time of involvement without the need to deal with such issues at all. Maybe it is conservative to feel that I want my son to belong to Scouting and to be safe from what I would consider unwholesome or immoral influences. However I chose Scouting because it reflects my own beliefs and values. These values do not include exposing my son to homosexuality at a young age.

  39. Danny Wyrick Says:

    When the Boy Scouts of America was first formed and organized 100 years ago a set of rules, laws, values and motto was established and any boy or parents willing to live by those rules, code of conduct, values, club code or whatever you want to call them, was permitted to join the club. I ask you this simple question, “What is so different about that concept when it comes to the world and society that we live in today?” When it comes to a code of ethics, rules, moral values, conditions and stipulations doesn’t our USA, Constitution, Bill of Rights, governments, military, police force, judges, churches, courts, schools both elementary and college levels, companies, corporations, parents and children, have a reason, a need for and, an obligation to abide by, respect and honor such a thing as codes, rules, laws etc.? If a person working for a company breaks the rules for which that company stands by and breaks the rules for whatever reason call it discrimination or what that person could be terminated and by the same principle that company could choose not to hire that person if he or she was unwilling or able to abide by such rules, codes of conduct etc. So what gives any person the right to infringe upon another person’s right to set forth or defend such rules of conduct, moral values etc. Here is the solution to your own problem. Show respect to others as you would wish them to respect you. START your own CLUB with your own set of rules, codes of conduct, morals values (if you have any)and let the birds of your own kind of feathers flock together. We are just not the birds of your flock and we don’t want to flock together with your kind and we have the right to make that choice just as you have the same right too not flock with us. Given your kind I don’t know why you would want to flock with us anyway??? And, furthermore we have the right to stand up, stand behind, and too defend our own rules, codes of conduct, moral values, religious beliefs and practices etc. We can’t force someone else to believe or live by what we believe and live by but we sure don’t have to compromise our personal beliefs, moral values, rules or laws for living and such things for anyone or anything. And so I politely say, PLEASE leave us alone, respect us for what we believe and for what we live by and go away and go organize your own clubs with your own set of rules etc. I am certain that you will get plenty of moral support and financial backing from your own flock. What is so hard about choosing to do just that? That’s my perspective.

  40. Steve d Says:

    I’m hearing alot of talk here about the BSA being a private institution and therefore it has the right to discriminate. This is absolutely false. The BSA is supported by public funds and has been a charter organization since 1916 when it was approved by congress.This means that if they do not pactice inclusiveness to boys and leaders of all creeds they are subject to a denial of public funding. Of course this has not happened yet. To all the people who say that another organization should be founded there is a major problem with that stance. No other organization has nearly as prestigious an award as Eagle Scout which can create great opportunities with the weight behind it’s name. I consider myself lucky to hold that title even though I do not agree with the organizations politics. I would like my children to someday have the same opportunity as I had to advance through the scouts but that may not be possible since the BSA also discriminates against agnosticism. So I will fight to change the organization that provided so much for me so that my son can be a part of it one day too.

  41. GCW50 Says:

    If this is really important to these politicians, I’d suggest that the members of Congress work and go on record to amend the Federal Civil Rights Act to make sexual preference a protected civil right instead of bothering the Boy Scouts about this.

    The Boy Scouts are a respected private organization enjoying their Constitutional right to Freedom of Association. They are not a laboratory for social agenda that the American people as a whole and that Congress itself hasn’t yet adopted.

    Once Congress tends to its own knitting, then maybe the Boy Scouts will follow. But don’t hold them to be a leader in something that Congress hasn’t done itself.

  42. Nick Ward Says:

    So many people claiming to know what scouting is (Conservative and not liberal) and pointing out that it as a private organization!

    The BSA does NOT have the final say on what constitutes scouting!

    i) Scouting is a world organization that recognizes the BSA as its representative in the US via its charter by Congress.
    ii) Many other world scouting organizations DON’T discriminate in this way – take a look at the scouts in the UK – birthplace of scouting and of course the GSA here in the US. Scouting does not require discrimination

    5% of congress exercised their right of free speech to write to the BSA to end the hypocrisy. Good for them – I look forward to the day when this is a non-issue. If the BSA continues in its discriminatory policy then Congress should look to removing its charter and bestowing it on an organization that fully respects human rights.

    Proud to have been in scouting for 21 years – disgusted by continued BSA discrimination.

  43. Steve Says:

    Ranting here, based on above comments:

    Baden-Powell is credited with starting the Scouting program in the UK and many people like to quote him to justify their own agenda, but if you are going to do that, use everything he said and promoted, not just parts of it. The UK allows gays and girls to be in their Boy Scout program, as do many, many countries. Baden-Powell(B-P) had a group just for boys of a certain age. He did not include girls, nor boys under a certain age, which is now allowed nearly everywhere. You want to follow what B-P said – do it 100% or don’t single out one thing and stand on it as if it was absolute.

    B-P was a terrific leader and a person who solidified the Scouting movement and was the inspiration for the BSA, but he was not the leader of the BSA – ever. The BSA is a separate group. In fact the BSA has a long tradition of being a religiously-centered organization – though many people who believe they should allow gays think they should also be all-inclusive and allow atheists as well. Should Congress dictate that the leaders of a church be required to allow gay, atheists to be ministers, when both are clearly in violation of their core beliefs? Of course not, and nor should they try to dictate a private organization like BSA.

    The BSA was chartered by Congress and in over 100 years of functioning as the BSA, this group has significantly contributed to this country and local communities. Is there some public funding? – yes. Is there more given back to this country than received by BSA in funds – by far! Public funding is also used for a lot of other things, things that tear down this country such as “art” with ants crawling over a crucifix – a pure incitement of religious bias and bullying. However, the artist is not dictated by that government to do only particular forms of art that benefit everyone.

    Girl Scouts have nothing to do with Boy Scouts – they are totally separate. If a boy or parents do not like what the BSA stands for – join the girl scouts and earn a Gold Pin – very prestigious as well. Or do they not accept boys? Join another scouting organization or build one and make the requirements to earn a top award prestigious the same way that the BSA has done – by making the kids earn it! I see a lot of competing organizations that claim they have as much as the BSA or offer more – but I do not see them offering the same character building, citizenship, loyalty, reverence, etc… The BSA is special because the BSA makes it special – not because they go camping or shoot BB guns.

    Members of Congress: Fix this country and leave private citizens and private organizations their personal freedoms!

    I am not anti-gay. I am friendly, courteous, and kind to all people. I am also loyal to my own personal beliefs for me and do not support promoting a gay/lesbian lifestyle to my kids, so we joined the BSA and a church that support the same things as what we believe in for our family. What anyone else’s family decides is right for them, unhindered by government intrusion to dictate personal morals and beliefs, is up to them. Find a group that fits, or form one for yourselves if you can’t get along in this organization – but do not try to change my right to be associated with like-minded people, teaching the principles I have deemed are right for me personally.

    BSA unit leader and district participant with over 500 hours of service to these boys and to our community in the past 12 months alone

  44. JR Says:

    I personally think the boy scouts are the biggest homophobes in the US today. What the scouts commit is in all sences a full-blodded hate crime. The boy scout shouldn’t be so narrow mined. You look at the stats the number of registered scout is decreasing. maybe as the second hundred year begin the boy scouts will move to the future with open minds.

  45. John Says:

    the part in all this the is the most humerous the man who founded the scouting movement was a closet homosexual. owe the irony.

  46. Kristopher Says:

    The reason the honor of Eagle Scout is so prestigious, is because of the values that it symbolizes. The reason that other groups can’t form another group and another award as honored is because it is impossible. Without values, an honor has no value.

    After 15 years of Scouting, after obtaining the honor of the Eagle Scout award myself, after thousands of hours helping young men become better than they ever thought they could be, I have learned that the reason it is so revered is because it is so precious and is actually stands for something.

    When the Boy Scouts of America was established in 1910, there were 4 core elements installed…The Scout Oath, the Scout Law, the 3 Aims of Scouting, and the 8 methods of Scouting. These 4 parts were published in the first Scout Handbook. 100 years later, not ONE WORD has changed in that Oath, Law, Aims, or Methods. In 2010, they are exactly the same as when we first began. This does not make them archaic…it makes them solid, firm, and true. They have not changed, because they do not need to change. They are the foundation upon which the organization, its success, and the honor of the Eagle Scout are built. To change it would lessen the honor of the achievement.

    Organizations, churches, and even religions change to cater to the whim of the “squeaky wheel”, to avoid political incorrectness, or to expand their acceptance. Today, too many subscribe to “al a carte” religion, where people choose to follow only those parts of religion that are easy or fit their lifestyle. Luckily, BSA has refused to cater to social pressures and social “norms”. This shows that it stands for something.

    If the values of the Boy Scouts of America are not consistent with yours, don’t try to change it…stop and consider why you want to be part of it. If you understand the Oath, Law, Aims, and Methods, you will see that it is not the camping, crafts, games, or events that make it great. It is the values outlined in these 4 elements which make it desirable. The historic leaders who have come from Scouting did not become that because of a camp-out. They became leaders because of the Aims and Methods used, and the fact that they internalized the Oath and Law into their lives. Scouting is what it is because of its values and methods. It is revered because of what it has accomplished using those values and methods. This change that Oath, Law, Aims, or Methods would change the very fabric, and the very foundation, of what Scouting is. If you do not understand that, you do not understand Scouting.

    I will continue to teach boys to be kind to all. I will teach them to be tolerant of others’ beliefs while being true to their own. I will teach them the importance of trying to live by the Scout Oath and Law every day. I will teach them the importance of public service and protection of our natural resources. I will teach them to be leaders who can think for themselves, outside of the ideological opinions of the talking-heads. I will teach them to be prepared, to do their best, and to help other people every single day. I will teach them to know their God and find His purpose for their lives. I will teach them to be SCOUTS!

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