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Boy Scouts of America: Discrimination, Bigotry, and Prejudice

The Boy Scouts have long had an important place in American society, but do they continue to deserve the same respect and deference that they received in the past? If they discriminated against Jews or Asians, no one would defend them. Here you will find news, information, and court cases dealing with the Boy Scouts of America and their insistence on discriminating against gays and atheists without having to pay any social price for their positions.

Philippines Boy Scouts Looking for a Few Good Girls
In America the major debates involving the Boy Scouts are about whether they should continue to exclude gays and atheists. There is no debate over their exclusion of girls. In the Philippines, however, the Boy Scouts may try to bring girls into the organization. The biggest opponent to this may by the Girl Scouts, curiously enough.

Court Denies Scouts' Appeal: No Government Support for Discrimination
For some time now, the Sea Scouts in Berkeley, California, have been fighting the fact that the city has stopped giving them special privileges. The Sea Scouts have lost at most levels of the judiciary. Now, the Supreme Court has refused to hear their case, which means that their loss at the California Supreme Court - a unanimous ruling, by the way - stands.

Boy Scouts & Public Funding: Defending Bigotry as a Public Good
The Boy Scouts of America fought a long, protracted battle to get itself declared a fully private organization so that it could legally discriminate against gays and atheists as much as it wanted. What they didn't seem to realize is that this comes with a cost: private organizations that discriminate cannot expect and do not deserve public subsidies, support, and endorsements.

Christian Right: Boy Scouts Don't Need to Follow the Law
The Christian Right doesn't like the fact that discrimination and bigotry come with a price and have consequences. They fought hard to make sure that the Boy Scouts were declared a private organization and had a right to engage in private discrimination; the price, which they don't want to see paid, is that the Boy Scouts can no longer expect public aid and financing for their bigotry.

Boy Scouts Must Disclose Sexual Abuse History
The Boy Scouts of America like to claim that they need to ban gays from their ranks because of the danger of molestation. Defenders of the Boy Scouts' bigotry and discrimination certainly like to make this argument, but how well can they make it now that the Boy Scouts will have to start releasing all the reports of sexual abuse and molestation in their gay-free troops?

Philadelphia to Boy Scouts: Pay Rent or Stop Discriminating
The Boy Scouts' Cradle of Liberty Council, third largest scouting group in the nation, has been involved in a long-running dispute with the city of Philadelphia over the use of a building which they have had since 1928. Mayor Street has now given the group an ultimatum: either stop discriminating against gays and atheists or start paying rent on the building.

Boy Scouts: Wiccans Not Welcome, Liars Just Fine
The Boy Scouts of America is well known for their bigotry against atheists and gays - bigotry which many defend as fully compatible with American principles of liberty. One Boy Scout troop tried to extend that bigotry to include Wiccans. Curiously, this bigotry was rejected by the United Methodist Church, but supported by Scouting leaders as well as local parents.

Is the Boy Scouts of America a Religious Organization?
The Boy Scouts of America insists on its right to exclude gays and atheists because they would violate the organization's code of conduct and beliefs. This code appears to be religious in nature, however, which would make it illegal for the government to favor or support the BSA. Thus, the BSA wants it both ways: an exemption to anti-discrimination laws without the legal consequences.

Scouts Finally Breaking Ties with Government Agencies
The Boy Scouts of America fought all the way to the Supreme Court for the legal ability to call themselves a private organization and, therefore, be able to discriminate against anyone for any reason. They won, but was it a pyrrhic victory? Now, as a private and discriminatory organization, they aren't permitted access to government funding or endorsement.

Is Jesus an Eagle Scout?
Surely there aren't people who think that Jesus and God are solidly on the side of the Boy Scouts - heavenly boosters for America's scouting program? Yes, unfortunately, there are - it seems to be yet another example of when the deeply and sincerely religious come to believe that whatever they support and like, God must also support and like.

Boy Scouts vs. Taliban
What's the difference between the Boy Scouts of America and Afghanistan's Taliban? Obviously the Boy Scouts don't engage in violence to enforce their discriminatory and bigoted behavior, but the discrimination and bigotry are there nonetheless - and, even worse, they want the government to aid, support, and endorse their discrimination and bigotry.

Berkeley Sued for Denying Special Privileges to Bigoted Scouts
The city of Berkeley, California, has decided to stop giving a Scouting group three free berths at the docks because the group discriminates against gays and atheists. The Scouts sued, arguing that these free berths, a privilege extended to only two other groups, was due to them and that denying them this privilege is a form of discrimination.

Defense Spending Bill Shields Boy Scouts from Consequences of Bigotry
The Christian Right's desire to ensure that the Boy Scouts of America are able to practice bigotry, hatred, and discrimination without social or legal consequences is being given a big boost by Republican lawmakers. They have inserted into a defense spending bill a measure which forces lower levels of government which receive federal money to not shut out discriminatory groups like the Scouts.

Scouts Ask Bush to Step Down from BSA
Most people may not realize that the President of the United States is the Honorary President of the Boy Scouts of America. This gives the BSA an official endorsement from the highest elected official in America. Would the President accept this title if the BSA discriminated against Jews or Asians? Probably not - but discrimination against gays and atheists is OK.

Excluded from the Scouts: Pedophiles and Atheists
Atheists are regarded as so vile, so contemptuous, so far outside the boundaries of civil society that they are one of the only groups automatically excluded from participation in the Boy Scouts. In Britain, even gays aren't automatically excluded.

Christian Right Defending Religious Discrimination
Leaders of the Christian Right continue to insist that there is nothing wrong with the government funding, endorsing, promoting, and favoring religious discrimination. According to them, religious discrimination should not only be legal, but it should be supported and funded by the government.

Oregon: Schools Can't Let Scouts Recruit
In Oregon, a case dating back to 1996 has led to a yet another decision in favor of an atheist family. The Portland, Oregon Public Schools were sued by the Powells who alleged that the schools effectively discriminated against atheists by allowing the Boy Scouts to recruit during school hours.

Illinois: No Government Funds for Boy Scout Trip
A federal district judge in Illinois has ruled that it is unconstitutional for the Pentagon to spend millions of dollars to prepare a military base for a national Boy Scout event. According to the judge, the Boy Scouts are a private religious group that discriminates on the basis of religion and the government cannot show them favoritism in their activities.

ACLU vs. BSA: What About the Legal Issues?
The ACLU has been suing government agencies that support Boy Scout troops. Why? Because government support of the Boy Scouts counts as indirect support of the Boy Scouts' bigotry and discrimination against gays and atheists. Private groups have a right to do this, but government has an obligation not to participate.

Boy Scouts & Atheists in Britain
A few days ago, I wrote about how the Boy Scouts in Britain are admitting atheists and allowing them to take an altered form of the oath. Turns out I was wrong about that - the report in The Times was completely inaccurate and, for some reason, they haven't even issued a retraction.

UK Scouts Admitting Atheists
The Boy Scouts of America continues to defend its discrimination against gays and atheists, but the Scout Association in Britain (where Scouting originated) has dropped its required pledge of loyalty to "God and to the Queen" for alternative options that allows atheists to be admitted.

Protesters Confront Scouts of Ban on Gays, Atheists
In Texas, the Boy Scouts of America is holding it annual national meeting. Critics have also gathered there to protest the Boy Scouts' bigoted, discriminatory attitudes towards gays and atheists. These protests won't cause the Scouts to change, but it will keep reminding people that the Scouts aren't as good and moral as they portray themselves.

American Legion Defends 'Moral Values' of Bigotry, Prejudice
Keeping with recent tradition, the American Legion continues to defend not only the bigotry of the Boy Scouts of America, but also the ability of the government to support that bigotry.

New York: Council to Keep Boy Scout Troop
The Village of Castleton in New York charters a Boy Scout troop and has been told that this opens them to a lawsuit because they shouldn't be sponsoring a group that discriminates on the basis of religion or sexuality. Government is supposed to encourage equality, after all, but the politicians are adamant that they will continue to send messages of exclusion, prejudice, and bigotry.

Boy Scout Official Charged with Child Porn
Douglas S. Smith was the Boy Scouts of America's director of programming. He was chairman of the Scout's Youth Protection League, responsible for alerting scout leaders to the dangers of predators on the Internet. Smith has defended the Scouts' bigoted policies against gays. He's also now been caught with child pornography on this computer.

Boy Scouts to Pull Charters from Government Entities
The Boy Scouts of America will be removing their charters from all public schools and, it seems, all other governmental organizations. The reason is that the ACLU sent them a letter promising to bring lawsuits against schools that underwrite the discriminatory practices of the BSA. Religious conservatives are up in arms over the elimination of state-backing for their private prejudices.

Oregon: Court Backs Atheist Mother Against Scouts
Nancy Powell sued the Portland school district in 1998, objecting to how the Boy Scouts are allowed to recruit in public schools despite discriminating on the basis of religion. Now, Oregon's state Court of Appeals agrees that there is "substantial evidence" that the district discriminated against atheist students by allowing the Scouts in to recruit.

Michigan: Boy Scout Recruiting Challenged
In Michigan, an atheist challenging how Boy Scouts are allowed to recruit in public schools has taken his case to the state's Supreme Court. John Scalise argues that the school's policy favors religion and religious discrimination, discriminating against nonreligious students.

Texas: Sentenced to the Boy Scouts
In Houston, a judge has been sentencing juvenile offenders to spend time in the Boy Scouts. The fact that the group discriminates against gays and atheists doesn't appear to matter to Kent Adams; for all I know, that may be a selling point as far as he is concerned.

Businesses Cutting Ties with Boy Scouts
Government agencies aren't the only ones separating themselves from the Boy Scouts. Many businesses are also cutting ties because they don't want to work with a group that discriminates against gays and atheists like the BSA does. It makes good business sense in a pluralistic culture, but BSA defenders aren't happy.

American Legion Stands Up Against Atheists, Gays
The federal government is being prevented from sponsoring Boy Scout troops because the BSA discriminates against atheists and gays. The government isn't allowed to participate in such discrimination, but those who are bigoted against gays and atheists think that such discrimination is appropriate.

Alabama: Boy Scouts Padding Numbers?
The Boy Scouts, an organization that won't admit gays and atheists because they can't be moral enough, is being investigated by the FBI for having padded the numbers of members. The reason for the lying and fraud is unknown, but may be connected to getting higher funding from groups like the United Way.

Defense of (Boy Scout) Bigotry Act
Efforts to force the government not to support Boy Scouts' bigotry and discrimination is creating the predictable backlash. Senate Republicans are hoping to pass legislation that would assert that no federal law, directive, rule, or instruction would prevent any federal agency from supporting the Boy Scouts.

Oregon: Excluding Boy Scouts from Public Schools
One of the problems facing the Boy Scouts is that their discrimination against atheists and gays makes it difficult for the government to help them recruit or endorse their group. It's legal for private groups to discriminate, but not for the state to help or encourage that discrimination. Thus, recruitment in public schools is made harder.

Discrimination and Bigotry Necessary for Boy Scouts
Why do the Boy Scouts discriminate against gays and atheists? Apparently, it's necessary to do so in order to survive. The Canadian Boy Scouts are struggling right now and may fold; some attribute this to the fact that they are more inclusive and accepting than the Boy Scouts of America.

Protests at Boy Scout National Convention
The National Convention of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) was in Chicago May 19-21. Even as they dealt with business inside, a number of people protested outside. Although they represented different groups, they were united by one thing: they all wanted the BSA to change their anti-gay and anti-atheist policies.

Oregon Republicans Call for Public Support of Scout Bigotry
Republicans are generally staunch supporters of the Boy Scouts of America. Sure, the Scouts bigoted against and discriminate against gays and atheists, but that isn't something that Republicans generally seem to disapprove of. Thus, it's not surprising that the Oregon Republican Party has passed a resolution asking public officials to support and fund this bigotry and discrimination.

Misleading Defense of Boy Scouts' Bigotry
There are a lot of people in America who support the Boy Scouts. When they attempt to support the Scouts' policies of discrimination, however, they almost never do so honestly. This is to be expected because most American's don't want the government to participate in religious or sexual discrimination, even if through outside agencies.

Florida City to Fund & Support Bigotry, Discrimination
Most local governments have stopped funding and supporting the Boy Scouts because of that organization's bigoted and discriminatory policies towards atheists and gays. This is proper because no government agency should send the message that such bigotry and discrimination are acceptable, even if they are legal. Delray Beach in Florida, however, is seriously considering doing just that.

Court: Boy Scouts' Lease is Unconstitutional
Already fighting a losing battle to retain a lease for Balboa Park in San Diego, the Boy Scouts have now been informed by a judge that their lease of an aquatics center on city-owned land on Fiesta Island is also unconstitutional. The reason: the Boy Scouts is fundamentally a religious organization.

Hans Zeiger: Boy Scout for Religious Fascism?
Some of those who defend the phrase "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance do so by saying that it is devoid of any real religious content. Others, however, are more open and honest about the fact that it creates an essential connection between real patriotism and a particular sort of religious belief.

Scout Supports Nondiscrimination, is Kicked Out
It seems that there is just no limit to the bigotry and prejudice at the Boy Scouts of America. Not only will they exclude atheists and gays because such people aren't sufficiently moral and can't make good role models, but they will eve kick out any scouts and any members of those scouts' families who publicly object to the BSA policies and who join groups that want to change the Scouts.

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