Homosexual activists jeered and taunted young Boy Scouts at the
Democratic National Convention last week, and today they escalate their
campaign with protests in front of 36 Boy Scouts of America offices
around the nation.
Last week Eagle Scouts from the Los Angeles Council of
BSA participated in a ceremony on stage at the Democratic National Convention. Delegates at the convention waved signs and booed at the six boys and one adult leader. Homosexual activists said such protests against boys who participate in Scout activities would become more frequent until the group of 6.2 million boys changes its policy prohibiting homosexual Scouts and leaders.
“Fair-minded Scouts who have expressed outrage over the intolerant BSA stance toward homosexuals will have the opportunity to renounce their badges, which will be gathered and returned to the BSA in protest of the organization’s biased membership policy,” said Scouting for All in a news release about today’s national protest.
The six boys who participated in the opening ceremony at the Democratic National Convention said they didn’t even hear the protesters because the convention hall was so noisy. Their adult leader and members of the press did hear.
“It’s unfortunate that a few individuals would disagree with the policy and hold it against the kids. We respect their right to protest, but it’s sad that their protest was aimed at the kids,” Los Angeles BSA council spokesman Joey Robinson told WorldNetDaily.
He said he was aware of the plans for a national protest today, but no official response from the BSA was planned.
“They have a right to do it. That’s the way the system is, as long as they don’t interfere with other people,” said Robinson. He said the BSA respects the rights of others who disagree with their policy.
Scouting for All, located in Petaluma, Calif., was formed by Scott Cozza after he was banned as a leader from scouting because of his activist role in promoting homosexuals as leaders and members of the BSA. Steven Cozza, his 15-year-old son, is an Eagle Scout and has become the poster child of the organization. He has been touring the country as a guest speaker at many homosexual activist events. Scouting for All has been gathering signatures for a petition denouncing the BSA policy on homosexuality.
“I don’t know anyone who wants to be discriminated against, the way the Boy Scouts of America discriminates against gays,” said the younger Cozza, who has not revealed his sexual orientation in any of his many news releases. His website says he is the cofounder of Scouting for All and a member of the Petaluma High School Gay/Straight Alliance.
The BSA won a major victory June 28.
The U.S. Supreme Court
reversed the decision of the New Jersey Supreme Court — a court order that would have forced BSA to accept gay Scout leaders. The BSA has a national policy that forbids homosexual Scouts or homosexual Scout leaders from membership in the private organization. The successful appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court was expected to end the debate, but the Cozzas have clearly stated they plan to go to war with Boy Scouts until they get their way.
“The U. S. Supreme Court ruling does not mean Americans must support BSA’s policy of discrimination,” said Scouting for All in a news release. The group repeatedly refer to Boy Scouts as bigots in the many news releases sent to WorldNetDaily in July and August.
|BSA chief Scout executive Roy L. Williams|
“Until we reach a satisfactory resolution with you, we must continue to protest this injustice, until Scouting lives up to its own professed ideals and is truly for all,” warned the senior Cozza in a letter to BSA chief Scout executive Roy L. Williams.
Demonstrations and protests have been scheduled in 20 different states and the District of Columbia at 36 different BSA council offices. The Cozzas have rallied the support of many homosexual activist organizations around the country to support their efforts.
“They’re just a small group with a loud voice,” national BSA spokesman Jeff Reilly told WorldNetDaily. “We are not going to change our position to mollify a small group when there are millions who have supported Scouting all along and who continue to support us,” he explained.
The protest in Philadelphia is supported by the Freethought Society of Greater Philadelphia, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Philadelphia Lesbian and Gay Task Force and the Center for Lesbian and Gay Civil Rights. Protests in other cities have support from similar groups, according to Scouting for All press releases.
“The message Scouting for All supporters is giving through the protest/rally is to counter the horrific message the BSA has given our gay youth. We will be conveying to our gay youth the message that we will no longer tolerate their having to remain invisible out of fear. We will continue to work towards creating a society where gay youth can feel safe, accepted, and loved for the beautiful individuals they have been blessed to be. We will also be giving the Boy Scouts of America the message that all Americans who believe in social justice have been offended and violated by the social injustice perpetuated by them. Their policy of discrimination is increasingly harmful to Scouting and to both gay and straight youth as well as being fundamentally contrary to the precepts and principles for which Scouting was founded,” stated Scouting for All in an invitation sent to homosexual activist organizations.
Cozza sent a letter to Williams demanding that he permit representatives of Scouting for All to meet with him after the protest in Dallas. Williams has received similar demands in recent months from the group but he has not responded to them.
That meeting will not happen, according to Reilly. He also said Williams would not accept an invitation for an interview with WorldNetDaily.
“It just won’t happen, I can tell you that,” said Reilly.
He said that the BSA respects the right of Scouting for All to protest, but he said there are no plans to try to respond to their claims. Reilly also said the BSA has no plans to lobby Congress to prevent the efforts now under way to revoke their national charter.
“Everyone knows we are a volunteer organization and what our stand is on this issue,” Reilly told WorldNetDaily. He said the national and local BSA officials are “well aware” of Steven Cozza and his protest plans. Those plans go beyond today’s protests.
Young boys trying to earn awards at events and camp outs are now being confronted with protests. Homosexual activists plan to demonstrate when the BSA holds events on public land or facilities that are supported by tax dollars.
|This Order of the Arrow group gave a demonstration of American Indian dance at the recent Expo 2000.|
When the National Order of the Arrow Conference, a special honor group of Boy Scouts and leaders, was held at the University of Tennessee July 29 through Aug. 3, activists from the Gay and Straight Political Network conducted protests at the event.
“Our job now is to educate the community that the Boy Scouts is not a public organization and therefore should not receive public accommodations. Certainly, they have no business hosting their conference on a publicly supported state land grant campus like the University of Tennessee. Perhaps they should convene at one of those private country clubs that, like the Boy Scouts of America, openly and legally discriminates against minority groups,” said protest organizer Rob Power.
Power said homosexual activists would be working to end many practices of Scouting.
“Among these are a call for public schools and other taxpayer-supported entities to end special privileges currently extended to the Boy Scouts,” explained Power.
|Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif.|
Scouting for All has appealed to a number of politicians.
Democratic Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif.,
H.R. 4892, titled, “The
Scouting for All Act: To repeal the Federal charter of the Boy Scouts of
America.” Steven Cozza has also written to President Clinton and asked him to resign as the BSA Honorary President. Eleven other Democrats joined with Woolsey and sent a letter to Clinton supporting the request of Cozza. Many homosexual activists have responded to Cozza’s request to send similar letters.
“The U.S. Supreme Court decided that the Boy Scouts’ First Amendment rights granted them the right to exclude gays. We don’t dispute that,” said Woolsey in a speech when she announced her bill.
“This is not a question of whether the Boy Scouts have a right to establish anti-gay policy, it’s a question of whether the Boy Scouts’ anti-gay policy is right,” said Wooley. “The fact is the Boy Scouts’ mission is to educate boys. That doesn’t mean that they discriminate by, say, excluding girls. That’s not discrimination, that’s fulfilling their mission. But excluding some because of their sexual orientation is discrimination.”
“As an Eagle Scout I am asking you to find the courage to step down as the Honorary President of the Boy Scouts of America,” said Cozza in his letter to Clinton. “This courageous act would give a great message to millions of gay kids in this country that they are accepted, loved, and supported by you as the President of the United States. This would mean so much to gay kids. Right now all that my gay friends have heard from the BSA that is, they are no good and are immoral.”
Clinton has not yet responded to the request, although he is the first president to refuse an invitation to speak to Scouts at the National Jamboree, and he is the first president not to sign the certificate given to boys who earn the rank of Eagle Scout.
Steve Frank, president of the
National Federation of Republican
Assemblies said in a news release that the Democrats just don’t get it.
“Bill Clinton lies to a grand jury, has sex with an intern in the Oval Office, lies to Congress, abuses the powers of his office, and the Democrats think that is a good role model for the Boy Scouts and the children of America. The Supreme Court rules that the Boy Scouts may teach, by example, moral values, and the Democrats get huffy. These are sick puppies in Congress who believe the right of association and moral upbringing is bad and that lying, cheating and harassing women is good,” said Frank.
Cozza and his homosexual activist supporters have already found success in their war against Boy Scouts. They found that attacks on financial donations have support from the United Way. They are getting supporters to send letters to United Way organizers demanding the BSA be dropped as one of the groups receiving money from the fund. Many United Way chapters are seriously considering a ban on the BSA.
|A group of Scouts and their leader having lunch at the recent Expo 2000 where they were cautioned to maintain their values.|
“A lot of people are of the opinion that since the BSA is a private organization, they should be allowed to ban anyone they want from participation in their organization. What these same people do not understand, is that our money pays for their privilege of discrimination and intolerance. The money we give to United Way, the money we give to BSA and to BSA chapter sponsoring businesses, the money we drop in the churches’ offering plates, it funds the BSA, it funds their antiquated views of what is acceptable and what isn’t,” explained Joy Renaldo, chairman Mississippi Gay Lobby.
Scouting for All is asking homosexual activists to contact local United Way chapters and demand they stop funding the Boy Scouts. They want the BSA to sign a non-discrimination policy before funds will be restored.
“The UW does a lot of excellent work for the community and provides much needed money, but why give good money to such a hateful and intolerant organization as the BSA, when there are other much worthier groups and organizations needing the money, who will do good with it,” asked Renaldo. He said the donation of millions of dollars to the BSA is an “expensive bigotry habit.”
The financial portion of the war against the Boy Scouts will be extended to businesses that donate and sponsor Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, according to Renaldo and Scouting for All news releases.
The single largest sponsor of the BSA is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The next largest sponsor is the Catholic Church. Both churches are regarded as “chartering organizations” because they pay the cost of chartering Scout units each year. The two churches teach that homosexuality is a sin, and officials from both have told WorldNetDaily that their organizations will cease to charter Boy Scouts if homosexuals are permitted to participate. The two churches represent over 33 percent of all members of the BSA.
“Certain powerful and influential professional Scouters, and certain chartering organizations which donate large sums to Scouting, have hijacked the BSA by trying to impose their own bigoted values upon the whole Scouting movement in the United States. Scouting does not belong just to professional Scouters, or to certain bigoted chartering institutions,” said Cozza in his letter to homosexual activists.
Cozza said in his letter that he believes the BSA has been “taken over” by “religious fundamentalists.” He said they “use the Scout Law and Scout Oath as weapons of hatred, discrimination, and bigotry to hurt people who are gay in the same way they use the Bible, Jesus Christ and God to hurt gay youth and adults. This type of behavior is what is immoral,” said Cozza.
|A typical group of young boys as they participate in a Scouting event.|
Over 25,000 boys and leaders recently gathered for a three-day Boy Scout encampment called Expo 2000 in predominantly LDS Utah.
Gov. Mike Leavitt, R –Utah, and President James E. Faust, second counselor of the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, spoke to the boys about moral values.
Faust told the large crowd that Scouting is not about merit badges. “It’s much, much more. It’s about putting God first and then the country. The purpose of Scouting is to build character and to build leadership,” said Faust. He then had the Scouts stand and repeat the Scout Oath with him.
Leavitt, an active member of the LDS Church, counseled the Scouts to live solid values despite what is happening in the world around them.
He compared the values of the Boy Scouts to glowing embers of a dying campfire. He said as a young man he learned to blow on the embers to keep them glowing. He then told the boys that the values of the Boy Scouts may appear to be dimming, but “it’s important for Scouts to keep them glowing,” he said.
The New York chapter of Scouting for All says the national protest is just the beginning of the war to financially cripple the BSA.
|Every year millions of Boy Scouts attend summer camp activities like this one.|
“This rally will be the first in a series of actions taken to ensure that government sponsors of Boy Scout troops, such as public schools and fire departments; corporate sponsors, which in New York include Goldman Sachs, Bloomberg, Merrill Lynch, Chase Manhattan Bank, and others; and charitable organizations, such as local United Way chapters, withdraw their sponsorship until gay men and youth are given equal opportunities to participate in Scouting. The government should not fund programs that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, because of both the Constitution’s equal-protection clause and any state or local law that might require non-discrimination by public entities,” said the New York group in a news release.
Cozza advises BSA members and leaders who agree with Scouting for All to resign rather than stay in an organization that does not believe as they do. Those who do not resign are criticized.
“If you chose to remain silent, then you are colluding with the discrimination of the BSA. Ethically one should stand up and be counted. If one is not able to advocate from within and is not able to locate a Scout unit that will adopt an anti-discrimination statement then Scouting for All encourages members to resign from scouting. We must look at the message we give to our young people by staying in a bigoted organization and not try to change it,” said Cozza in the letter.
Cozza claims that he supports the BSA in every aspect, except for the policy that excludes gays and those who do not believe in God.
“We would like all boys in scouting who are gay to remain Scouts if scouting can respect who they are. We want all adult leaders who are gay to remain in scouting if they are respected for who they are. We want all kids, gay or not, to be able to become Scouts. We want all interested and competent adults, whether gay or not, to be permitted leadership roles within scouting according to their talents and merit. We want parents and their children to participate in scouting, as long as scouting does not advocate bigotry towards others,” described Cozza.
Lesbian parent Carol Gillingham and her partner Carmen Velez are not putting their boy in Cub Scouts because of the policy.
“I believe that Scouting should be for all children,” said Gillingham, who plans to be at the protest today in Houston. “My son would love to be a part of scouting and wants his parents to be involved with him, she complained. National BSA policy does not prohibit her 8-year-old son from membership, but Gillingham would not be able to participate as a leader.
Scouting for All has a campaign to encourage participants in scouting to defy the national policy banning homosexuals from the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. They are asking parents of Scouts to get their local unit to adopt an “antidiscrimination statement” and send it to the national BSA office. Cub Scout packs and Boy Scout troops that adopt such statements will be added to the “Rainbow Role” to honor them for their stand.
“People are like a beautiful rainbow with many different colors. I’m glad rainbows are not just one color. Life would be pretty boring,” said the younger Cozza in a
statement on the Scouting for All
Scouting for All advises parents to take children out of Scouting if the local Scout unit does not become a member of the “Rainbow Role.” Scouting for All has also begun a letter-writing campaign to BSA officials at the local and national level, as well as to members of Congress and to President Clinton.
“Remaining a member of a Scout troop, which permits open bigotry is contrary to the Spirit of Scouting. Colluding with that bigotry implies agreement with it by association. We hope it doesn’t come to that. But if you do resign, please tell us at Scouting for All. We want to support you in your grief and anger at the BSA,” said Cozza in his letter of instructions to homosexual activists.
Cozza has asked all Scouts and former Scouts who agree with Scouting for All to relinquish their rank and merit badges, particularly Eagle Scout badges. “We will hold it in trust for you, pending the day when you can retrieve it from us because scouting has ceased to discriminate,” said Cozza.
One of the protest organizers has already received a response from the BSA as a result of the letter he sent demanding a change in the policy toward homosexual Scouts and Scout leaders. Eagle Scout Christopher R. Hayes revealed that he is homosexual and was interviewed by Albany, N.Y., members of the press. On Aug. 8 he received a letter from BSA with a refund of his membership fee.
“Due to information currently being investigated, we have decided that your registration with the Boy Scouts of America should be revoked. We are therefore compelled to request that you sever any relations you may have with the Boy Scouts of America,” said Jerry D. Vorse, Scout executive for the BSA Twin Rivers Council in the letter to Hayes.
“We reserve the right to refuse registration whenever there is concern that an individual may not meet the high standards of membership that the BSA seeks,” Vorse added.
Hayes, who is critical of the BSA policy, has organized the protest in Albany, N.Y., to “let the Boy Scouts know that intolerance has no place in Scouting.”
Reilly told WorldNetDaily that the national BSA office rarely gets involved in local decisions. The local BSA council office makes all decisions related to membership and actions taken against those who violate BSA policy.
The plan for today’s protests was to include a demonstration in front of the national headquarters of the BSA in Irving, Texas. Scouting for All moved the protest to the Circle Ten Scout Council in Dallas because it could not find public land on which to protest at the national office.
The group ran into another problem in Dallas — no local homosexual youth could be found to join the protest. Cozza sent out a letter of appeal to Texas homosexual organizations.
“Scouting for All has been unsuccessful in (gay) youth organizations in the Dallas area. We’d like to invite gay and straight youth to both our protest and healing ceremony. If you are interested in attending either of these events please let me know so we can plan on meeting you,” said Cozza in his letter of appeal.
Scouting for All has been writing to Williams at the BSA headquarters in Texas since May. The numerous letters have requested a meeting, but Williams has not responded to any of them, and Reilly confirmed that it is unlikely he will.
“As we see it, the purpose this meeting would be for us to provide you with a better understanding of who we are and precisely what we advocate. Together we could have a productive dialog about the current BSA ‘policy,’ the growing groundswell of reaction against it, and the role that Scouting for All can play in assisting the BSA to bring closure to this divisive issue which is increasingly harmful to Scouting and fundamentally contrary to the precepts and principles for which Scouting stands,” said Cozza in his most recent letter to Williams.
“We are well-aware of the Cozza group and their complaints. There is nothing to add to the BSA long-standing policy on the issue,” said Reilly.
The Scouting for All features a quote from Margaret Mead on the front page of the organization’s website: “Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.”
Cozza has not returned calls from WorldNetDaily requesting an interview. His answering machine says that he provides a “professional counseling practice.”
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