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DC Boy Scouts Council Threatens To Oust MD Pack For Refusing To Discriminate

boyscout-jamboreeThe Boy Scouts council of Washington, DC, is threatening to kick out a suburban Maryland unit for posting a statement supporting gay scouts and scoutmasters on its website.

The families of Pack 442, which serves boys age 7-10,  voted unanimously in August to adopt a policy that they “will not discriminate against any individual or family based on race, religion, national origin, ability or sexual orientation.”

The point was to let the Boy Scouts of America know “we will not stand for the discrimination of homosexual minors or adults whatsoever,” said Pack 442 committee chair Theresa Phillips.

The National Capital Area Council, the regional group that oversees Pack 442, caught wind and requested the statement be removed. “At first they [said] they would ‘allow’ us to leave it up, based on our right to freedom of speech,” said Phillips. “Now they are doing a 180 and basically asking us to either conform to BSA’s discriminatory policy or get out.”

The pack has been given a deadline of today, Saturday, to remove the declaration or “they will not be recognized as an organization,” NCAC’s Les Baron told Mother Jones. Although that’s our last resort.”

That means that the troop will lose access to member insurance, rank badges, and scout camps.

The only problem with the statement, Baron acknowledges, is the reference to sexual orientation. “That’s a message that’s against our policy, and we don’t want it continue to be out in our community,” Baron says.

According to GLAAD, which has worked on behalf of lesbian den mom Jennifer Tyrrell, the pack is polling parents as to whether or not it should keep the policy and lose its charter. Parents can vote for either:

A.  “Keep our current non-discrimination policy on the website, most likely not be rechartered by BSA, and continue to operate but as an independent scout group that openly welcomes all families.”

B.   “Remove our non-discrimination policy from the web site, recharter with BSA, and return to a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, welcoming all families.”

GLAAD president Herndon Graddick called the NCAC’s action a “despicable act of bullying intimidation,” and asked, “How many young Scouts is the BSA willing to sacrifice in order to preserve its harmful and discriminatory policies?”

According to Scouts for Equality, 11 councils nationwide, serving over 260,000 Scouts, have taken a stand against the BSA’s anti-gay policies.

 

By:           Dan Avery
On:           Jan 26, 2013
Tagged: , ,

  • 3 Comments
    • rand503
      rand503

      Good job, BSA! You have now taught a generation of straight kids and their families what it’s like to be gay. In the long run, this does more to make people sympathetic to our cause than anything else you could have done. It forces people to think about the issues and make a tough decision. The families should all get a merit badge for having come through the process!

      Jan 26, 2013 at 10:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Charles175
      Charles175

      (copy and paste (opinion section) from the originating article):
      Read the words of Scouting’s founder Baden Powell below.
      The Scouts were meant for ALL
      families, not just religious conservatives. The BSA is not accepting gay teens
      and gay men only because it has drifted away from its original purpose since
      being taken over by the Mormons. The
      Scouts elsewhere (UK, Canada, France, Mexico, etc.) do NOT discriminate. I was
      a Boy Scout in NYC in the 60s and tolerance was the rule of the day – we were
      all sorts of religions and races – and the focus was on nature and the outdoors.
      The problem has been since
      the Mormon Church decided to make the Scouts its official youth group. Today
      Mormons, who are less than 2% of the US population, sponsor more than a third
      of Scouting units. All Mormon boys are automatically enrolled and the Mormons
      even have their own section on the BSA website.
      Corporate funding is drying
      up and membership is declining. The BSA have a choice: They can remain the Boy
      Scouts of America – for all Americans – or become the Boy Scouts of the
      Mormons, Baptists, and the Catholic hierarchy.
      I say take back the Scouts.
      Tell the Mormons that they should play well with others or go back to Utah. We are
      a two-dad family and have no objection to our kids hanging with Mormon parents or
      Mormon kids, so show a little tolerance in the other direction.
      The Scouts in more
      progressive areas should stick to their guns. Texas will not kick out the East and
      the West Coasts. And time is against them: Acceptance of gays and lesbians is
      increasing with every generation. Let the councils and troops make their own
      decisions, then people (and corporate money) can vote with their feet. Wouldn’t
      that be more democratic? The BSA Board in Texas is unelected and unrepresentative
      of the American people.
      Let’s get back to the spirit
      of Scouting as defined by its (gay) founder, Lord Baden Powell:
      “Buddha has said: ‘There
      is only one way of driving out Hate in the world and that is by bringing in
      Love.’ The opportunity lies before us where in place of selfishness and
      hostility we can enthuse good will and peace as the spirit in the coming
      generation. Scouting’s aim is to produce healthy, happy, helpful citizens, of
      both sexes, to eradicate the prevailing narrow self interest, personal,
      political, sectarian and national, and to substitute for it a broader spirit of
      self-sacrifice and service in the cause of humanity.”

      Jan 26, 2013 at 11:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA
      1EqualityUSA

      Parents should think hard before sending their children off to Mormon camps. Creepy as Hell! It’s time for the Boy Scouts of America to fold, if this nefarious sect has glommed onto it. This cult has no archeological nor historical basis and they want to take over the BSA? Talk about a fox running the Hen house. Mormons are a counterfeit cult. They have no business indoctrinating children with their warped pseudo-religion. Parents should be more fearful of their teachings than any LGBT members. Run, Lola, run.

      Jan 26, 2013 at 1:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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