Scouting For All Fundraiser

Scouting For All is the organization that is trying to stop the discrimination of gays and atheists in the Boy Scouts of America. It was co-founded by 21-year-old Eagle Scout Steven Cozza over ten years ago.

(The BSA is a private organization and can discriminate as they wish, but it seems to go against the very ethos of the group…)

The annual fund-raising drive for Scouting For All is taking place now and your contributions would be very helpful! (The website is temporarily down, but the donation link at the bottom of the page does work.)

Read the letter from Steven here. An excerpt:

The BSA discriminates against my gay and atheist friends. Its policy of discrimination hurts people and teaches my fellow Scouts to discriminate. As an Eagle Scout, I’m actually ashamed of the current national leaders of the Boy Scouts of America. They are ruining a good program that was meant to include all youth, not just some youth… The BSA is not a religious institution. It’s by-laws say it is nonsectarian. We support the right of two people of the same sex who love each other to marry, adopt and should have the same rights that are afforded to all in our society. Our race, religion / nontheist, gender, sexual orientation are differences we should embrace. They make up the beautiful rainbow of the human family.

When Lord Robert Baden-Powell founded the Scouting movement in 1907, and I am sure that he would never have supported discrimination against gay or atheist youth or adults. He wanted Scouting to accept all kids.

[tags]Scouting For All, gay, atheist, atheism, Boy Scouts of America, Eagle Scout, Steven Cozza, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, religion, Lord Robert Baden-Powell[/tags]

  • Matt Hill Comer

    (The BSA is a private organization and can discriminate as they wish, but it seems to go against the very ethos of the group…)

    This is probably one of the largest misunderstandings of the BSA discrimination story.

    The Supreme Court ruled in 2000 (BSA v. Dale) that the BSA is a private organization and can, per their rights to freedom of speech & association, set their own membership and leadership standards. While the BSA is, in large part, private many people are not aware of the millions and millions of public monies which go toward helping or aiding the Scouts.

    The many court cases involving the Scouts since the landmark Dale decision in 2000 have revolved around the Scouts’ special status with local governments and with subsidies of tax payer monies which go to support Scouting programs or the use of public facilities by the BSA for Scouting programs (Berkely, CA is one example).

    Even in North Carolina, the public has lent a hand to the Scouts. In Winston-Salem, NC, the headquarters of the Scout council I was kicked out of (The Old Hickory Council) sits on land that was once – and still may be – leased from the city for a fee of $1 per year.

    The Boy Scouts of America also has a Congressional Charter making it the only officially recognized “Scouting” program for boys within the United States of America. The President of the U.S. serves as the Honorary President of the BSA.

  • Hemant

    Matt– You are right that the BSA receives public funding and that should not be happening at all if they are kicking out boys based on sexual or religious preference, but even if it refused all public funding, it is still a private group that can choose who is allowed in the group, and that is the point I wanted to make. The fact that they kick out boys they deem unworthy seems to go against the very nature of the scouts.
    – Hemant

  • Rakeela

    I was going to say this is ridiculous to object to a private organization setting its own requirements. I was going to say that it is a bit chilling that we want to force private organizations to change.

    Then I read the comment that the government is subsidizing the BSA.

    Although I don’t think I’ll join them, I’ve changed my mind about the organization and I support the Scouting for All group now, where I used to not. No government subsidy should go to an organization that discriminates against homosexuality. Either the subsidies or the discriminations needs to stop.