You said it: An Open Letter to the Alameda Council, Boy Scouts of America

You said it: An Open Letter to the Alameda Council, Boy Scouts of America

Alamedans Together Against Hate

On behalf of Alamedans Together Against Hate (ATAH), we are writing to urge the Alameda Boy Scouts Council to speak out in favor of ending a discriminatory policy that prohibits openly gay boys from participating or becoming members of the organization, when the Boy Scouts of America takes up this issue at your national meeting in May. ATAH is a workgroup of the City of Alameda’s Social Service Human Relations Board, dedicated to addressing incidents of hate and discrimination in our community that go against the values of inclusion and diversity that are embraced by all Alamedans.

We are reaching out to you in the spirit of the BSA’s call for stakeholder and public input into this issue. We have heard from many in the community, including those currently involved in scouting in Alameda, and those who wish to be involved, that the existing policy of discrimination deeply detracts from the BSA’s mission to "shape and mold the values and characters of youth and adults. Its current policy prohibits openly gay boys from joining, and if a current scout admits to being gay, he is no longer allowed to participate. This discriminatory policy extends beyond gay boys; the current national policy also prohibits gay or lesbian adults from serving as leaders in any part of the organization including Cub Scout dens and Boy Scout troops. This discriminatory policy is unacceptable. Exclusion and ostracism, as currently practiced by the scouts, do not reflect the diverse community in which we live, work, and raise our children.

As other communities have done, we strongly urge that you hold a public meeting so you can hear the same voices we have been hearing, asking for a change in policy, and that you take that message of inclusion with you as you cast your votes at the national meeting. This approach, we believe, would be in line with and respectful of the wishes of the local Alameda community.

We also ask that subsequent to the national vote, and regardless of the outcome, you report back to us so we can support you in moving forward with the implementation of a policy that includes openly gay scouts, and gay and lesbian adult leaders.

From our conversations with several members in the local scouting leadership, we know there is little support among you in adhering to the existing national policy. We also know you have felt constrained in the past to speak out in opposition to the policy for fear that you would lose the sanctioned authorization to continue to provide BSA scouting opportunities. Now is your chance to challenge and call for an end to this discriminating policy. You can do so knowing that you have the support of the Alameda community behind you.

For Alamedans Together Against Hate,

Henry B. Villareal - Chair
Doug Biggs
Jennifer Williams
Jim Franz, Staff to the SSHRB

Comments

Submitted by dick rudloff on Tue, Apr 9, 2013

Here in Alameda the Immanuel Lutheran Church supports a Boy Scout troop by giving free space to meet. I believe the above letter expresses the prevailing opinion of the congregation and the Church Council. Dick Rudloff

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