Target: The Boy Scouts of America
Goal: To bring an end to the Boy Scouts’ policy that restricts membership based on sexual orientation.
After years of mounting protest against the Boy Scouts of America’s ban on gay scouts and leaders in its troops, the organization has finally reached a boiling point. The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has recently issued a statement regarding membership policy, which states that leaders are currently ‘discussing potentially removing the national membership restriction regarding sexual orientation.’ This discussion, however, is not just taking place within the walls of the BSA headquarters. You can now take direct action by signing the petition below, calling the BSA hotline at 972-580-2330, and sending an email to NationalSupportCenter@Scouting.org to make your support for inclusive scouting known.
Just seven months ago, the BSA reaffirmed its homophobic stance barring gay members from the organization, but the relentless protesting from troops and former members, withdrawal of funds by corporate sponsors, and widespread national support calling for change has forced the organization to rethink its stance. All boys, regardless of their sexual orientation, should be able to participate in scouting activities without fear of bullying or being ostracized. Likewise, sexual orientation should in no way bar adult volunteers and leaders from their involvement in the BSA. By restricting involvement based on sexual orientation, the Boy Scouts of America is participating in a system that promotes and perpetuates bullying, depression, and suicide of young people across the country.
Now is the time to tell the Boy Scouts of America that you will not stand for the exclusion of anyone based on sexual orientation. Pledge your support for inclusive scouting by signing the petition below.
Dear Boy Scouts of America,
We are writing to the BSA to demonstrate our support for the inclusion of individuals, regardless of sexual orientation. We include concerned citizens, supporters of equal rights, and members of BSA communities across the country.
As former, future, and current members and leaders of the BSA, we know the organization offers young people valuable opportunities to grow and learn as an individual and as part of a larger community. Scouts are able to participate in a century-long tradition that promotes personal responsibility and civic duty while, of course, making unforgettable memories and having fun. Over the years, the BSA has afforded many children the chances to learn life skills and make lifelong connections they might not have been able to otherwise. We believe all boys and young men–regardless of sexual orientation—should be able to have these same opportunities shared by generations of scouts. We also believe it is a key responsibility of the BSA to set a positive example for boys across the country, and barring LGBT adults from participating in troop activities shows our youth that it is okay to discriminate against others.
As American citizens and supporters of equal rights, we believe that no boy should be turned away from scouting activities because of his real or perceived sexual orientation. No child should feel forced to stifle his personality and character for fear of being bullied or ostracized. The BSA has the privilege to offer young children and teens positive adult role models, and as such, we believe that no responsible, capable adult should be banned from becoming a leader or volunteer based on sexual orientation.
The Boy Scouts of America has become an American tradition and an integral piece of the childhoods of thousands of young men over the years. Do not further tarnish its reputation by discriminating against people based on sexual orientation.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Paul Lowry via Flickr