We, the Scouting community of FLAGSTAFF, ARIZONA, urge the GRAND CANYON COUNCIL to reject the Boy Scouts of America's anti-gay policy.
When I was a scout, friends of mine were forced to hide their identity and/or forced to leave scouting because they were gay. These scouts lived the values of scouting and were no less dedicated to the scouting program than I. As an adult leader, I now recognize the discrimination and hypocrisy of the BSA anti-gay policy. The reasons that supporters of the gay ban put forth (gays are predators, pedophiles, and will teach "gay ways") are based in ignorance and fear. Scouting does not teach us what to think, it teaches us how to think. The BSA should lead the way in promoting a culture of inclusiveness and equality among its youth and adults.
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.
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