National Lavender Green Caucus statement on the Boy Scouts of America’s discriminatory policies toward gay youth and leaders
Background: The Boy Scouts of America has been federally chartered since 1916. While the Boy Scouts do not receive direct federal funding, BSA actually is tied to government on many levels, including contributions of fundraising personnel from the Combined Federal Campaign, dedications of enormous tracts of government land for exclusive BSA use, donations of military equipment, and troop sponsorship by police and fire departments and public schools. Publicly funded agencies must comply with non-discrimination policies in 29 states with regard to religion and sexual orientation. Yet, on July 17, 2012, the Boy Scouts of America reaffirmed its policy of being a private organization that has the right, upheld by the Supreme Court, to set its own member and leadership requirements. The Boy Scouts of America will continue to deny membership and leadership roles to LGBT youth and adults.
The National Lavender Green Caucus, the Green Party's advocacy group on gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer (GLBTIQ) issues, condemns the Boys Scouts discriminatory policies regarding sexual orientation and calls for the following:
1. End direct and indirect support for the BSA by publicly funded organizations (military, public schools, police and fire departments).
2. Congressional revocation of the Boy Scouts federal charter.
3. President Obama should step down as Honorary President of the BSA. Presidents from Reagan to Obama have retained the Honorary President title since the 1980’s when the BSA began to address religion and sexual orientation in their membership policies.
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This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to anyone.
Chelsea Manning discovered in her journey to be true to herself that she could not then be a participant in activities she was against. She feared for our nation's humanity and wanted to initiate dialogue for reform. She hoped that by exposing the truth the dialogue could begin.
The Lavender Greens are grateful that Chelsea Manning will be set free by her captors sooner rather than later. The Lavender Greens work to make our nation one where whistle blowers are not punished but instead the information gleaned is used so that we become a better nation. Gini Lester - Co-chair, NLGC