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This blog is a hate-free place, dedicated to the spreading of awareness and understanding of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) Community, their shame experiences and their potential to be resilient. Our goal is to increase your empathy and compassion.

We do not claim to be experts on this topic, however, we recognize the importance of sharing what we can in the hope that at least one person feels compelled to re-evaluate their thoughts, feelings and perceptions.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Scout Is "Not Gay"

In December of 2007, the City of Philadelphia took a bold stance against their local Boy Scout Council for their policies on homosexuals joining their organization. In doing so, the city has sent a strong message to the community that it is time to stop supporting organizations that continue to discriminate against, and further shame, the GLBT community.

The following story, from The New York Times details the development of this public conflict. From

Read this document on Scribd: Boy Scouts Lose Philadelphia Lease

On May 27, 2008, Fox News reported that the Boy Scouts had filed a federal lawsuit against the city for their decision.
From -

The federal lawsuit seeks to stop the city from evicting the Scouts or from charging the group about $200,000 a year in rent. The Scouts currently pay $1 annually for the space. The city says it cannot keep subsidizing the rent of a private group that discriminates. It gave the Scouts until Saturday to revise their policy or pay rent.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2000 that the Boy Scouts, as a private group, have a First Amendment right to bar gays.

But taxpayers cannot keep subsidizing the rent of a group that discriminates, City Solicitor Shelley Smith told MyFOXPhilly. "They're free to exercise their First Amendment rights," Smith said. "What they're not free to do is get a benefit from the city while violating our policy."

The Philadelphia chapter adopted an explicit nondiscrimination policy in 2003 after negotiations with the city, but was forced to rescind it when the Boy Scouts of America balked, MyFOXPhilly.com reported. The national group said Philadelphia Scout officials could not deviate from national rules barring participation by anyone who is openly gay.

The Scouts say the higher rent would force them to cut programs, and is equivalent to the cost of sending about 800 needy children to summer camp.

As an Eagle Scout, I consider the Boy Scout's anti-gay policy to be more than just shaming and discriminatory for the gay community. It is a policy based on an old way of thinking, and not based in the reality of today's changing culture. When I was a teenager it would have been a crushing blow to be kicked out of my troop or denied the honor of being an Eagle because of my sexuality. The Boy Scouts is supposed to teach young men about being friendly and kind, which this policy is not. It is a time for them to grow socially and mentally, and develop skills to become responsible and honest men. By having a discriminatory policy, the Boy Scouts continue to teach impressionable boys that being different is wrong and that hating is acceptable. --JOSH