We, the Scouting community of Atlanta Metropolitan Area urge the Atlanta Area Council to reject the Boy Scouts of America's discriminatory membership policy.
Here's a statement by an Eagle Scout and medical student about his experience as a Scout.
"I spent eight years as a boy scout. I earned the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest rank and honor within boy scouts. I backpacked over two hundred miles with the scouts. I learned how to make fires. I learned how to make campsites. I learned how to splint legs, make slings, and carry injured people. I learned how to rescue people drowning. I learned how to shoot guns. But not once did I learn that gays are not tolerated. I learned how to plan and implement community projects. I learned to speak to local representatives. I learned to read a compass, tie knots, and scare away bears. I learned environmental awareness. But not once did I learn that I must be of a certain sexual orientation.
The national organization, Boy Scouts of America, has taken a certain stance on allowing open homosexuals in the organization. I do not and have not agreed with their stance. However, I look past this discrepancy and see all the good that the organization has done for myself, other young boys, and the communities served."
Service organizations including the Girl Scouts, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and the 4H Club all welcome gay kids and adult leaders. Also, the American Medical Association has opposed the Boy Scouts' anti-gay policy, saying it could cause psychological trauma in youth.
We love the Boy Scouts, but we can’t support this policy. That's why we urge you to speak out and adopt an inclusive policy like other troops, packs, councils, and lodges across the country have done -- so the Boy Scouts can maintain its relevancy, improve recruitment, and truly live by the principles it teaches its members.
The current proposal to allow charter organizations to define membership policies that are consistent with their beliefs is the correct path that lets Scouts, Scouters, and Scouting Families of all beliefs join in the common mission of youth development in a supportive environment for all young people, regardless of background, circumstance, belief or orientation. Scouting should provide an environment that is designed to foster personal growth, respecting a diversity of beliefs and world views, where children can seek acceptance, a sense of belonging, and have positive role models.. We are united on what unites us - the young people themselves - and our role in helping them grow into capable, caring adults.
NOTE: 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!