Petition Closed
Petitioning Mark Nelson, Scout Executive Annawon Council and 8 others

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

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!

Letter to
Mark Nelson, Scout Executive Annawon Council
Chuck Eaton, Scout Executive Boston Minuteman Council
Mike Riley, Scout Executive Cape Code and the Islands Council
and 6 others
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
As Scouts, Scout Leaders, and Scouting-eligible families, we urge the Massachusetts Councils to reject the Boy Scouts of America's anti-gay policy.

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. Massachusetts 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.

Sincerely,