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News Archives

     Below are previous news items:

  • One day after the US Supreme Court unanimously upheld the Solomon Amendment, the California Supreme Court followed their lead in unanimously ruling against the BSA in the Berkeley case. In this case, the city of Berkeley passed a law requiring all non-profits that received financial assistance from the city (in the form of a rent subsidy) to ban discrimination. A BSA Sea Scout Ship refused to comply by allowing openly gay youth to join and sued the city. The CA Supremes ruled that governmental agencies have the right to attach strings to any financial assistance, accepted by  organizations. For more information on this story, click here.
     
  • For a consecutive 8th year in a row, BSA membership has seen a decline. In fact, in the last year, membership in BSA's traditional programs has decreased by almost 12%! Since 1997, membership has decreased by almost 24% - this is almost 1 million boys!
         For more information on BSA's current membership and to view the 12/31/2005 national figures, click here.
     
  • A Federal Judge has ruled that the US Government cannot financially subsidize the BSA's quadrennial National Jamboree, starting in 2010. For decades, the BSA -- a self declared private religious youth organization -- has received millions of taxpayer's dollars to put on their Jamboree, despite the fact that the federal government does not provide the same monetary assistance to any other religious youth organization. The ruling striking down the BSA's "special rights," is a result of the Winkler lawsuit. For more information on this ruling, click here.
     
  • As this web site reported in February 2005, the Greater Alabama Council revised its membership numbers downwards by 30% at the end of 2004. Now this "fact" has been published in the mainstream media (click here). Interestingly, but not surprising, the Council is not accepting responsibility for the fraud they perpetrated in the citizens of Birmingham, but blaming the ACLU for forcing public organizations from sponsoring religious organizations -- like the BSA. In addition, the Council has retaliated against a Scout volunteer who blew the whistle on the council's scam. For more information on this, click here.
     
  • The Daniel Webster Council (New Hampshire) has announced that it plans to have an audit of its membership rolls. While supporting their new Scout Executive, it was reported that he had recently been the Director of Field Services in Atlanta was responsible for Operation First Class. The same program that has been proven fraudulently inflated membership numbers to solicit more funds.
     
  • The Atlanta Civil Rights leader who blew the whistle on the Atlanta Area Council's fraudulent manipulation of its membership numbers for money, has rejected the council's report as inaccurate. He contended last year, as well as now, that the number of black Boy Scouts are nowhere near the revised 5,000 number cited in the report. He has challenged the council to identify, by name, at least 1,000 black Boys Scouts in the Operation First Class program. So far, the council has refused to do so. For more information, click here.
     
  • The law firm hired by the Atlanta Area Council has finally released its report, which provides proof that of the Council's fraudulently inflated membership rolls. The Scout Executive has resigned. It should be noted that the report was released the week after the Annual Meeting of the BSA National Council in Dallas. For more information on this story, click here.
     
  • Douglas Sovereign Smith Jr., 61, the recently retired BSA National Director of Programs, was accused of trading several computer images of minors engaging in sexual acts and exposing themselves. Smith, who once led a task force to prevent child molestation, pleaded guilty on 3/30/05 to one count of receiving and distributing child pornography.  For more on this story, click here.
     
  • Another BSA Council is under criminal investigation. This time it is the Gulf Ridge Council (Tampa Bay, FL). For more information, click here. There is also a report that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating BSA Councils in at least six (6) states. So far we are aware of only three states where the FBI is conducting an investigation. This report, along with Williams' letter, seems to indicate that several more councils are under investigation by the US Government for Fraud. The internal audit by the Atlanta Area Council, that was supposed to have been completed by the end of last year, has yet to be completed. For a recent article on the continuing delay, click here.
     
  • We've recently received word that the BSA has terminated the employment of its General Manager at one of its High Adventure Bases. The reason? He was gay! Although this was a well-known fact within the paid professional ranks, why National felt it had to fire this person -- at this time -- is a mystery to all, given his excellent reputation amongst both  volunteers and paid professionals. There is talk of litigation being considered by the former employee. When we get any new information, we'll post it here!
     
  • On 2 March 2004 the Oregon Court of Appeals upheld a ruling that the Portland Public Schools discriminated against atheist students by allowing the Boy Scouts to recruit during school hours.  "Because eligibility to join the Scouts depends on religious belief, there is substantial evidence that the district thus subjects persons to differentiated treatment in a school activity on the ground of religion," wrote Chief Judge David V. Brewer in a 6-3 decision. For more information on this decision and the case, click here.
     
  • "Phantom" troops have inflated Boy Scout numbers and executive salaries in the local scouting council, according to a former employee who is suing the organization. Claiming wrongful discharge from the Scouts' Crater Lake Council, the former western area director said he was forced to resign after uncovering evidence of nonexistent members on the rolls. In his lawsuit, John Mangan is seeking a judgment of $296,000 against the council for lost wages and emotional distress. For more information on this scandal, click here.
     
  • Another BSA council is under investigation by the FBI for alleged fraud. The Greater Alabama Council (Birmingham, AL), like the Circle Ten Council (Dallas, TX), is being investigated by the FBI for falsely inflating the number of active BSA units in the council, for the purposes of obtaining additional funds from the local United Way chapter, as well as other organizations and individual donors. Even a Council Board Member has gone on record as stating that the council has been manipulating the number of units and youth registered in the council. For more information on this developing story, click here.

    What has yet to be reported by the mainstream press is that the Greater Alabama Council has already revised their membership figures. For the end of 2004, the council is reporting a loss of almost 31%, for both members and units. Approximately 21,320 members failed to re-register by the end of last year. This is the largest drop in membership of any council for 2004.

    BSA National has sent a memo to Scout Executives regarding the situation in Atlanta and Birmingham. The memo hints that other scandals will become public in the coming months. To read the memo, click here.
     
  •  BSA's membership numbers for 2004 have been compiled and for a fifth straight year in a row, BSA has experienced a decline in it all of is traditional programs! Even more ominous, Cub Scouting has seen six straight years of decline! For more information and to see the 2004 figures, click here.

    The Atlanta Area Council has reportedly hired an outside audit of a portion of its membership rolls, in response to allegations that the council has "committed a gross fraud in Atlanta by falsifying the registration of thousands of Black boys to raise money." Specifically, a 10-year program targeting minority youth has supposedly resulted in up to 20,000 black boys being registered. According to black community leaders, the actual number is no more than 500! For more information on this developing scandal, click here.
     
  • The Michigan Court of Appeals let stand a judge's ruling that the Mount Pleasant Public Schools' ties with the Boy Scouts of America did not violate the state constitution. For more information on this case, click here.
     
  •  In light of recent publicity regarding BSA's membership scandals, some have suggested that a review of past publicized scandals would be informative. To that end, an article has been written which provides an overview of the many publicized membership padding scandals that have plagued BSA since the 1920's. To learn more of the total disregard BSA paid professionals have for Scouting's first Scout law (A Scout is Trustworthy), click here.
     
  • As has been expected for some time, the Department of Defense has formally agreed, as part of a settlement in the Winkler case, that they would notify military bases around the the world not to sponsor BSA units. The reason the DOD has to drop these units is because BSA has decided that it is a private religious organization. DOD said that it "has long had a rule against sponsorship of non-federal organizations" and BSA's new definition of itself, and its religious test, makes its illegal for DOD to charter some 1,200+ BSA units. If BSA did not require a religious test and adopted a more inclusive religious policy of other WOSM Scouting Associations, then DOD would probably still charter BSA units.

    The case is still ongoing, as DOD spends millions of taxpayer's money on maintaining and running the quadrennial national jamboree. That question, as well as the units chartered by public schools across the country, are next.
     
  • BSA allows Rapists and Murderers to be Scouts, but not gays or atheists!

    A recent article informs the public that BSA allows convicted felons, currently serving time in prisons, to join Boy Scout troops. In BSA's morality, a 14-year-old gay boy or a 16-year-old atheist, are both incapable of living up to BSA's Scout Oath and Law. However, a man who was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment is not only able to follow BSA's principles, but, by BSA's definition, can "be the best kind of citizen!"
    BSA went to the US Supreme Court for its right to keep out those persons it feels are not "morally straight." Now, BSA freely admits that murderers and rapists are "morally straight" enough to join BSA. No wonder BSA is loosing membership. What parent would want to have their child join an organization with this type of mentality!
     
  • BSA has lost another round in the courts. On April 13, 2004, U.S. District Judge Napoleon Jones Jr. issued a ruling declaring the lease of a half-acre aquatics center (Fiesta Island in Balboa Park) to the local BSA council,  violates the constitutional separation of church and state because the BSA is a religious organization. The case, Barnes-Wallace, et al. v. Boy Scouts of America/Desert Pacific Council, involves city-owned land, which was leased to the council for no payment, and with no competitive bidding. Given BSA's numerous court filings asserting that it is a private religious organization -- like the Salvation Army -- the Judge ruled the lease to be in violation of the US Constitution. For more information, click here.
     
  • BSA's new Legal web site has a link to an article in a Focus on the Family (FOF) magazine (Citizen Magazine), which was founded and headed by James Dobson. It is surprising that BSA has finally decided to come out of the closet and associate itself so closely with an organization involved in partisan politics. Dobson, who has been heavily involved with Republican Administrations, uses FOF to push a purely hard-right political agenda. BSA in the past -- because of it's image and non-profit status -- has averred from becoming embroiled in political activities. This public endorsement of the extremist political aims of the FOF will only continue to alienate young parents from Scouting.
     
  • In another stunning defeat for BSA, the US Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal in the Wyman case, thus affirming the federal appellate court's decision allowing Connecticut to remove BSA from a list of charities that receive contributions from state workers because BSA's policies violates the states anti-discrimination laws. BSA's spin on this defeat once again intends to deceive the public. It's press release states that "charities still permitted to participate in this campaign include gay and lesbian groups and numerous groups which discriminatorily limit services to a particular sex, ethnic group, or age group." However, the press release fails to note that none of these other 900 charities practice employment discrimination, like BSA does. This is the first time BSA has ever lost a case on appeal. For more information on this decision, click here.
     
  • The United Way of Central Ohio has announced that it has adopted a policy (as of February 24, 2004) requiring its grant recipients to sign a nondiscrimination pledge. Any group that fails to do so by the end of the year could be cut off from United Way funding in 2005. The Columbus (OH) Council stands to loose $498,000 in funding in 2005. (For more information, click here.) In addition, the United Way of Ulster County (NY) announced that it would end a 40-year partnership with the Rip Van Winkle Council because the council declined to sign a non-discrimination statement that included the words "sexual orientation." (For more information, click here.)
     
  • On February 4, 2004, BSA filed a federal lawsuit against the city of San Diego, charging that the city violated BSA's civil rights by settling the Balboa Park lease dispute with the ACLU. City Attorney Casey Gwinn said there is no legal basis for the lawsuit, which he said "looks like a public relations argument more than it looks like a legal argument." In related action, BSA published a web site to issue propaganda regarding it's current legal battles against both San Diego and the state of Connecticut. Once again, BSA's legal web site continues BSA's tradition of publishing fiction, rather than fact. A careful reading of the FAQ's on the site will demonstrate how desperate they are, that they can't even bring themselves to admit to barring openly gay youth from BSA! Just because they argued in front of the US Supreme Court that they have a right to discriminate on the basis of religious belief and sexual orientation, they continue to deny that their actions are by definition discriminatory! Maybe someone should send BSA a dictionary.
     
  • BSA has once again shown the level of hypocrisy it will stoop too. Recently CSE Williams sent a letter to all Members of Congress, requesting their support for it's Good Turn America program. One letter was sent to openly gay Congressman Barney Frank. Rep. Frank expressed his surprise that BSA requested a letter of endorsement. "Frank noted that the Boy Scouts have characterized gay men as unfit to associate with, and declined to engage in an act of "hypocrisy" by signing the letters." For Franks reply and the William's request, click here.
     
  • The US Navy's Corps Judge Advocate General's office has contacted base commanders and have informed them not to enter "into chartering agreements with  local BSA units." This is in response to the continuing Winkler lawsuit. According to the JAG office, the chartering of BSA units requires "commanders to officially sponsor the BSA unit,  ascribing to all tenets of the BSA."
     
  • The Boy Scouts of America has seen their fourth straight year of declining traditional youth members! Since 1997, BSA has had a reduction in traditional youth membership of almost 12%! For more information, please click here.
     
  • The city of San Diego and the American Civil Liberties Union settled a lawsuit over two leases between the city and the San Diego Council, both sides announced on January 8, 2004. For more information, click here.
     
  •  A federal court dismissed an appeal of a San Diego judge's ruling that declared the council's lease of city-owned land in Balboa Park unconstitutional. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided December 18 that the Scouts' appeal was premature because of a pending, but related, legal matter. For more, click here.
     
  • In May 2003, The Cradle of Liberty Council (Philadelphia), attempted to do what other BSA councils have done - defraud the public's trust. When the council's so-called "non-discrimination policy" was put to the test, it failed. Since then, there have been many developments. In December 2003, the council even adopted the same meaningless "non-discrimination policy" as was passed by the GNY Councils. For more information on the sordid affair in the city of Brotherly Love, click here. For more information on the continued deception by the GNY Councils, click here.
     
  • The United Way in Chicago and the Chicago Area Council are parting ways after the UW slashed the council's funding by more than 90 percent. The council said in a press release that the split was "amicable."  However, gay rights groups say the split was the culmination of boycotts against the UW and relentless pressure. For more, click here.
     
  • On November 13, the United Way Capital Area and the Capitol Area Council are scheduled to make a joint announcement of the pending dissolution of the BSA's "partnership" relationship with the United Way, following the local United Way's adoption last March of an "inclusiveness policy" that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, or sexual orientation. For more, click here.
  • The Redwood Empire Boy Scout Council has chosen not to renew the charter of a local Venture Crew, after the Crew attached a non-discrimination statement to their charter renewal. Once again, BSA has publicly stated that local units and councils cannot adopt a non-discrimination policy that contravenes BSA's discrimination. For more information on this story, click here.
     
  • The United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania, citing its nondiscrimination policy, said on July 31, 2003 that it will no longer fund the Cradle of Liberty Council's Learning for Life program -- funding in excess of $400,000 each year. For more information on this story, click here.
     
  • US District Judge Napoleon Jones Jr. issued a ruling on July 31, 2003, that stated that the the Desert Pacific Council (San Diego) lease of the 18-acre Camp Balboa in Balboa Park violates provisions in the U.S. and state constitutions governing the separation of church and state. For more information, click here.
     
  • On July 13, 2003, the General Synod of the United Church of Christ urged the Boy Scouts of America to change their policy banning gay youth from membership. "Discrimination against anyone based on sexual orientation is contrary to our understanding of the teachings of Christ," delegates said in a resolution adopted with overwhelming support.  For more information, click here.
     
  • BSA loses another legal battle in it's efforts to reap the benefits of a public organization, while still being a private religious organization. In a case brought by BSA against the state of Connecticut, a federal appeals court upheld a lower court ruling that the state can remove BSA from a list of charities that state employees contribute to through a payroll deduction plan. For more information on this case, click here.
     
  • The United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania stated that it may yank its annual funding of the Cradle of Liberty Council, because of its discriminatory policies toward youth.
     
  • The Pew Charitable Trusts has stopped a $100,000 grant to the Cradle of Liberty BSA council because of its policy of discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation.
     
  • California judges who belong to the Boy Scouts of America will have to remove themselves from cases involving non-heterosexuals under a rule approved by the California Supreme Court.
     
  • In May 2003, The Cradle of Liberty Council (Philadelphia), attempted to do what other BSA councils have done - defraud the public's trust. When the council's so-called "non-discrimination policy" was put to the test, it failed. For more information on this sordid affair, click here.
     
  • The United Way of Miami-Dade discontinued its funding for Scouting programs, saying the local Boy Scouts of America affiliate failed to abide by an agreement requiring it to teach scout masters how to help gay youth.
     
  • The Boy Scouts of America will not receive regular contributions from the United Way of the Columbia-Willamette so long as the Council practices discrimination.
     
  • The 19th Judicial Circuit Court has discontinued its Boy Scout troop following concerns raised over the use of public funding to support the program.
     
  • The Hawkeye Council is dropping its affiliation with the Johnson County United Way because of the United Way's anti-discrimination policy. 
     
  • Two recent articles highlight the insupportable nature of BSA's policies. Two volunteer unit leaders have resigned from BSA because of it's exclusionary policies, which has caused a problem in finding replacement leaders. And one of the plaintiffs against the City of San Diego for using taxpayer funds to support a private religious group (BSA), has been chosen as Teacher of the Year in the Southwest region. Ironically, as a lesbian, she is barred from being a BSA leader.
     
  • The Old Baldy Council (San Bernardino County, CA), has been sued for defrauding the federal government in order to obtain federal funds. To read more about this case, click here.
     
  • A federal grand jury is examining evidence and hearing testimony from government witnesses about allegations of membership fraud in BSA's Circle Ten Council (Dallas, TX). This development comes more than 32 months after federal agents raided the offices of the Circle Ten Council. This investigation is only the latest in many others that have occurred in BSA's history. To read more about the current and past fraudulent practices of BSA, click here.
     
  • The California Supreme Court issued a statement on December 19, 2002 saying that it would consider requests by lawyers' groups to prohibit judges in California from belonging to the Boy Scouts of America because of its discrimination policy regarding sexual orientation. For more information, click here.
     
  • On December 11, 2002, the Oregon Court of Appeals affirmed BSA's Special Right to recruit public school students during school hours by ruling that it does not violate Oregon Constitution's requirement for the separation of church and state. The court - contrary to BSA's contention - was not mainly a religious organization. Mrs. Powell plans to appeal this decision, but a separate challenge to BSA's Special Rights is still pending before the same Court of Appeals. That one is based on a state law forbidding discrimination in schools. For more information on this case, click here.
     
  • On November 25, 2002, the California First Court of Appeal handed the BSA another legal defeat. In a unanimous opinion the court found that the City of Berkeley (California) did not violate BSA's constitutional rights when it canceled free marina privileges to a BSA Sea Scout unit,  because of BSA's anti-gay and anti-atheist membership policies. For more information on this decision and case, click here.
     
  • During the November 2002 meeting of the US Catholic Bishops, one of only seven bishops to vote against the church's new policy to protect minors from sexual abuse of priests was Michael Gettelfinger - Bishop Advisor to the National Catholic Committee on Scouting.

    At the meeting, Gettelfinger asked if there were any provisions in the new plan that would allow a bishop to reinstate a priest "after a demonstration of true conversion." When told no, he pressed on, saying that a priest in his diocese had publicly confessed his action to his parish, where there was "enormous support and acceptance that he could continue as pastor." He added that Jesus not only forgave Peter, but he also made him "a leader of the church."

    Responding to Gettelfinger's reference to Jesus forgiving Peter, David Clohessy (leader of the Survivors' Network of Those Abused by Priests), said, "Peter never molested a child." For more information, click here.
     
  • On November 4, 2002, Judge Paul Chamberlain reversed his previous decision awarding damages against BSA and dismissed the case brought by John Scalise against the Mt. Pleasant Schools and the local BSA council on the grounds of religious discrimination. Scalise is intending on appealing the decision. For more information on this case, click here.
     
  • The DC Court of Appeals reversed the decision in Roland Pool's and Michael Geller's case.  They found themselves to be "constrained" by Dale.  It was a unanimous decision with a short separate concurrence from Judge Ruiz. The Washington Post published an article on this decision.
     
  • On November 5, 2002, the Chief Seattle Council notified 19-year-old Eagle Scout Darrell Lambert that it was sending him an official letter revoking his membership, due to his inability to profess a belief in a "Supreme Being."

    In news reports of this incident, the Council Scout Executive insisted that BSA members must profess a belief in a "Supreme Being." This is a curious turn of events, as after the Paul Trout incident - which hinged on the definition of a "Supreme Being" - BSA dropped any and all references to a "Supreme Being" in it's literature. It seems BSA has decided to take aim at non-Abrahamic faiths and start expelling those faiths who have no concept of God as a Supreme Being.
     
  • Another BSA Council and United Way Chapter have conspired to subvert UW non-discrimination policies. This time it is the Milwaukee County Council and the UW of Greater Milwaukee. The UW chapter has agreed to continue providing annual funding (in the amount of $650,000) to the council, as the council signed the UW chapter's non-discrimination policy, "adopted last year, after crossing out the sexual orientation phrase."

    According to the council Scout Executive, if the council learns that a member was homosexual, he stated that he would follow national policy and expel the member. He disagreed that such an expulsion would violate the UW chapter's non-discrimination policy.

    The UW chapter has refused to comment on the council's interpretation of their so-called non-discrimination policy. It seems that agencies receiving funds from the UW of Greater Milwaukee are being given approval to discriminate to persons seeking their services on the basis of race, creed, sex, sexual orientation, or any other basis. To read the August 24th AP story on this travesty, click here.
     
  • The United States District Court for the District of Connecticut ruled on July 29th that the exclusion of the BSA from the Connecticut State Employee Charitable Campaign because of its anti-gay policy in no way violates the Scouts' constitutional rights. The case, BSA v. Wyman, arose after the Connecticut Commission for Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) determined that including an organization in the campaign that discriminates against gay people violates Connecticut state law. Background information about this case can be viewed here.
     
  • San Francisco Superior Court judges and commissioners adopted a policy July 11 saying they would not take part in any organization that "discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation by excluding members on the grounds that their sexual orientation renders them 'unclean,' 'immoral' or 'unfit.' " This policy prohibits the judges from taking part in the BSA. Statewide ethical standards for judges, adopted by the state Supreme Court in 1995, forbid membership in organizations that discriminate against lesbians and gays but exempt "nonprofit youth organizations," an exception specifically designed for the BSA.
     
  • In a recent development in the Powell case, the Portland school district and state officials have been ordered to pay more than $100,000 to Powell's lawyers, who successfully argued that the district discriminated against atheists by allowing the Boy Scouts to recruit during school hours. The defendants have appealed this decision.
     
  • The media is reporting on the growing number of Catholic clergy and laity, who are (have been) involved with Scouting, being accused with the molestation of children. Recently a married Mormon Scout leader has been arrested for molestation. Given that both the Catholic Church and the LDS submitted briefs supporting BSA's position in the Dale Case, maybe it is time for BSA to ban all Catholic and Mormon heterosexual men.
     
  • According to reports from the BSA National Council's Annual Meeting, which was held in New Orleans (June 5-7), no resolutions were proposed to modify BSA's discrimination policies. While there have been several resolutions presented by one or a handful of councils in past years, it seems the February BSA Executive Board Resolution has discouraged opponents from offering any resolutions. Why this is the case is puzzling.

    In 2001, there were four separate resolutions dealing with modifying BSA's discrimination policy. This after BSA had spent millions in defending their discrimination policy before the US Supreme Court. It would seem that the commitment of millions of dollars and a huge PR campaign would far outweigh - in terms of resolve - a simple Executive Board resolution. Besides, BSA members have known since the Curran case where the BSA Board stood on this issue.

    The only conclusion is that previous attempts to change BSA's policy by BSA insiders were merely for show. The "opponents" decision not to attempt change from within BSA this year, while remaining within BSA, demonstrates their clear support for discrimination. History has shown that people who are members of a known discriminating organization are judged to be as guilty as the organization's policy.
     
  • The Boston Minuteman Council is at it again! Now they got an openly gay radio talk show host (David Brudnoy) to emcee their annual fund raising dinner (June 11th) to prove that they have a non-discrimination policy. In an exchange of e-mails with Brudnoy, it became readily apparent that he was willingly parroting whatever propaganda the local council gave him. He refused to either listen to or seek out the truth on his own. Such collaboration and support of BSA's discrimination against gay youth is despicable. If you'd like to express your opinion, you can send him an e-mail with your thoughts. A transcript of the speech he made can be found here.
     
  • In May 2002, the Federation of German Scout Organizations (RDP) and the Union of German Girl Guide Association (RDP), sent a letter to BSA stating, in part, that " no member organisation of the World Organisation of the Scout Movement should make any discriminatory policy against homosexuals"
     
  • On February 6, 2002, in response to a proposed resolution to change BSA's policies, the BSA Executive Committee passed a resolution (to be forwarded to the BSA National Council) reaffirming BSA's 1991 original position statement on gay youth/leaders.
     
  • An attempt to change BSA's discriminatory policies was made by several members of BSA's National Council to change BSA's discriminatory policies.
     
  • An article in the Southern California Law Review entitled "The Constitutional Perils of Moderation: The Case of the Boy Scouts" by Richard A. Epstein
     
  • An article in The New Republic (September 17, 2001), entitled "Big Tent: Saving the Boy Scouts from its supporters," is available on this web site.
     
  • Here we go again! The Central New Jersey Council will receive more than $80,000 in funding from the United Way of Central Jersey after it agreed to abide by the chapter's nondiscrimination policy, which includes sexual orientation. The Scout Executive, Ron Green, said ''We would not sign anything that deviates from the national program.'' About 11% of the council's $1.5 million annual budget comes from UW chapters in the areas it serves. Each chapter has told the council it must sign nondiscrimination policies that specifically include sexual orientation. For more information on this breaking story, click here!
     
  • On August 17th, the Bay-Lakes Council (Green Bay, WI) announced that it will seek other funding sources rather than accept gays and receive United Way of Brown County funds. Last April the UW chapter changed its member-agency policy to ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The agency funds about $79,000 of the council's $3 million annual budget. The UW Fox Cities made similar changes this year that will leave the council without that agency's $184,000 contribution starting next year. Thus, the council will lose $263,000/year for it's discrimination policy.
     
  • On August 9, the United Way of Thurston County (Olympia, WA) board voted to require member agencies to sign nondiscrimination agreements to qualify for funding. The change may make the BSA Pacific Harbors Council ineligible for funding -- except for directed donations.
     
  • The Minuteman Council (Boston, MA) is playing a shell game with the public and the media. After announcing a Policy of Nondiscrimination that includes "sexual orientation," they started to back off. When presented with an openly gay man wanting to register as a merit badge counselor, they rejected him.  For more and up-to-the minute reversals from Boston click here!
     
  • According to recent news accounts, on July 13th at the 10th European Scout and Guide Conference in Prague, a resolution was passed calling on the European Scout Groups not to consider sexual orientation as a discriminatory factor in its membership policies.
     
  • A front cover article in Newsweek concludes that "A growing number of Americans don't approve of the exclusionary policy.....moms and dads, priests and rabbis and teenage boys...are taking a stand on this issue of gay rights simply because they love scouting and want it to do the right thing."
     
  • The DC Commission on Human Rights, ruled in favor of two gay men (Pool and Geller) and instructed the Capital Area Council to reinstate them and pay $100,000 in damages!!
     
  • On May 1, 2001, the Illinois appellate court issued a decision (Richardson v. BSA) which lifted an injunction that prohibited the Boy Scouts in Chicago from considering sexual orientation when hiring staff. The three-judge panel did say, however, that the BSA cannot automatically reject gay applicants for positions that are not high-profile or do not involve policy making. But the panel also asked the commission to provide more information about the kind of job Richardson had been inquiring about.

Press Releases 07/30/2001 Click to go to the top of the page

Public Resists Discrimination by Boy Scouts of America
Lambda points to concerns that BSA anti-gay policy hurts all youth

(NEW YORK, July 30, 2001) — Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund Monday confirmed reports that discrimination by the Boy Scouts of America is drawing unprecedented opposition, especially raising concerns that the BSA's anti-gay policy is harmful to young people.

"We've never seen this kind of opposition to anti-gay discrimination from such an array of people," said Lambda Executive Director Kevin M. Cathcart, adding, " Parents, religious groups, corporations, cities, and schools are sending the message that anti-gay discrimination is un-American and unhealthy for all kids."

Even as 32,000 scouts from around the nation attend the 2001 National Scout Jamboree, news reports describe continued concerns from non-gay individuals and groups about BSA's discriminatory membership policy.

Newsweek (to read the Newsweek articles, click here) reports in its current issue, "A growing number of Americans don't approve of the exclusionary policy.....moms and dads, priests and rabbis and teenage boys...are taking a stand on this issue of gay rights simply because they love scouting and want it to do the right thing."

Lambda has tracked opposition to the BSA ban since the United States Supreme Court last year ruled 5-4 in Boy Scouts of America v. Dale against Lambda's argument on behalf of James Dale. An exemplary and dedicated Eagle Scout, Dale was kicked out of scouting after BSA learned he was gay.

The American Medical Association recently adopted a resolution stating that youth groups should lift bans on membership for gay youth because these bans contribute to health risks including depression and suicide among gay youth and are bad public health policy.

Across the country, charities have cut BSA financial support, parents have sought to put their kids in youth groups like 4-H Clubs and Boys and Girls Clubs that don't teach discrimination, and BSA troops themselves increasingly have called for reversal of BSA policy.

Council presidents and board chairmen from New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, West Los Angeles, Orange County, California, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, and Boston, according to press reports, urged the change at BSA's recent national meeting in Boston.

School systems, religious organizations, corporations, and dozens of United Way chapters also have objected to the discriminatory policy.

Said Lambda Senior Staff Attorney David Buckel, who worked on the Dale case, "The Scouts' discriminatory policy tells gay youth that they are unworthy, that there is something wrong with them – and hearing this kind of message from the Boy Scouts, some might start to believe it. Thankfully, people across the country are countering that damage and helping these young people stand up with pride."

Lambda is the oldest and largest legal organization dedicated to the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, and people with HIV and AIDS. In addition to its headquarters, Lambda has regional offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Atlanta and will open an office in Dallas in 2002.

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