Massachusetts Councils: Reject the Boy Scouts of America's anti-gay policy
  • Petitioned Annawon Council

This petition was delivered to:

Mark Nelson, Scout Executive
Annawon Council
Chuck Eaton, Scout Executive
Boston Minuteman Council
Mike Riley, Scout Executive
Cape Code and the Islands Council
Dennis R. Prefontaine, Scout Executive
Knox Trail Council
Jeff Hotchkiss, Scout Executive
Mohegan Council
Gary Savignano, Executive Director
Nashua Valley Council
Richard Stritzinger, Scout Executive
Old Colony Council
David Kruse, Scout Executive
Western Massachusetts Council
Kevin Nichols, Scout Executive
Yankee Clipper Council

Massachusetts Councils: Reject the Boy Scouts of America's anti-gay policy

    1. Petition by

      Karin Weldon

      Brookline, MA

We, the Scouts, Scout Leaders, and Scouting-eligible* families of Massachusetts urge our Massachusetts Councils to reject the Boy Scouts of America's anti-gay policy.

I am an MD, a mother of three sons, and (until recently) Den Leader in the Boston Minuteman Council. I regretfully left my leadership position because, though I am not gay,  I could no longer, in good conscience, teach my son and his Den to be good Scouts while operating within an organization which promotes hate and creates an environment of intolerance.

The Girl Scouts, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, the 4H Club, even the Scouts of Britain (from whom we originate) do not find it necessary to exclude people based on sexual orientation. With a growing national awareness of the dangers of bullying and teen suicide, I find it ethically untenable for an organization working for the good of our sons to endorse a policy of exclusion. Our great state owes much to its diversity, and as such we feel it essential to our very identity to defend civil rights for ALL our residents.

We love the Boy Scouts, but we can’t support this policy. That's why we urge our local councils to represent us and speak out publicly against the ban on gay Scouts and leaders -- so the Boy Scouts can maintain its relevancy, improve recruitment in Massachusetts, and truly live by the principles it teaches its members.

*NOTE 1:  Define "Scouting-Eligible":  This term is intended to include people/families not currently involved in scouting but who might have been/would be/ or might be in the future WERE THE POLICY TO CHANGE.  I am hoping to capture the "Opportunity Cost" of this exclusionary policy with this term.  If you intend to have children with your spouse/partner one day and this would effect your decision, if you currently have opted-out of scouting owing to this policy, or if you have kids who are older who did not participate owing to this policy, PLEASE SIGN.  Also, if you do not currently live in MA, but did when you had kids (and this policy affected your decision-making while here), or if you intend to live in MA in the future, feel free to sign.  If you fall into any of these categories, please explain in the "Why People are Signing" section.  Thanks!

NOTE 2: We encourage everyone to join this campaign, but if you're a current or former Scout or leader, please say so in the "Why People Are Signing" section. Thanks!

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Interested in working towards positive change in Western Massachusetts?

      Karin Weldon
      Petition Organizer

      As many of you know, the effort to end this discriminatory policy has recently focused on grassroots level support, and all across the country we are encouraging bravery at the Council level. A Scouting colleague has begun a petition similar to this one to address the Western Mass Councils. Please follow this link and sign in support of his effort!

      Western Massachusetts Council - Boy Scouts of America: Adopt an affirmative policy of non-discrimination toward LGBT membership.

      A passive stance on this issue is morally wrong and does not uphold the tenets of scouting. Other youth service organizations, including the Girl...

    2. Editorial: Restoring Boy Scouts’ honor

      Karin Weldon
      Petition Organizer

      Boys in Brookline are lucky to have a den mother like Karin Weldon who will teach them what the Boy Scouts of America failed to: It’s not important who you love, it’s important that you don’t hate.

      Read more: Editorial: Restoring Boy Scouts’ honor - Brookline, Massachusetts - Brookline TAB http://www.wickedlocal.com/brookline/news/x1405825319/Editorial-Restoring-Boy-Scouts-honor#ixzz23j0rzvvu

    3. Brookline scout leader protests anti-gay stance

      Karin Weldon
      Petition Organizer

      “I think that the Boy Scouts are worth fighting for.”

      Read more: Brookline scout leader protests anti-gay stance - Brookline, Massachusetts - Brookline TAB http://www.wickedlocal.com/brookline/news/x1333901235/Brookline-scout-leader-protests-anti-gay-stance#ixzz23j1VEE3G

    4. Reached 250 signatures
    5. Reached 100 signatures
    6. Brookline Boy Scout Leader Protests Scouts' Sexual Orientation Stance

      Eden James
      Petition Organizer

      "Weldon, a physician, also noted an emphasis in the public health field on anti-bullying campaigns and efforts to decrease the rate of teen suicides. She feels that any policy advocating exclusion or hate will affect the well-being of the boys."

    7. Reached 50 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Gerard Rodgers DUBLIN, IRELAND
      • 10 months ago

      it is about me recognizing that adolescence and young adulthood are critical periods in young people's lives. Schooling is a critical time, it is where significant developmental milestones and sociocultural foundations for knowledge are laid. Anything that complicates this 'sensitive' period' of brain development can result in real negative life consequences thereafter. Because of this, the real losers here are school children/teenagers, and in the above example we see direct attempts being made to sabotage developmental outcomes. I firmly believe no one in their right mind could argue for retention of discriminatory and prejudicial exclusion. It is unnecessary and morally indefensible.We cannot legitimate discrimination. Regarding epidemiology (statistical patterns) it is estimated that 10-15% of our youth can be vulnerable. So in the above example, these teenagers being aware of anti-gay policies and resultant penalties, certainly adds a level developmental insult during a critical time period for identity formation. If this type experience coalesces with existing vulnerability then the hypotheses that some of these youth could be further made vulnerable to development or exacerbation of underlying psychiatric morbidity has particular merit in terms of probability inference. We must avoid this distinct probability.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Morgan Johnstone SOMERVILLE, MA
      • 11 months ago

      I believe that boys should have the opportunity to experience the Boy Scouts not matter their orientation or that of their family.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • matthew hallion SWAMPSCOTT, MA
      • over 1 year ago

      I would really like my sons to enjoy scouting!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Linda Fittante WASHINGTON, DC
      • over 1 year ago

      My sons will never participate in an organization that is bigoted and rejects people for being who they are. It goes against all of the values boy scouts try to foster.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Lori Button NEW YORK, NY
      • over 1 year ago

      human rights.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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