GLAA joins protest by Scouting for AllStatement by Rick Rosendall
Monday, August 21, 2000
[Note: Rick Rosendall represented GLAA president Bob Summersgill at the DC Metro Area event of Scouting for All's National Day of Protest on Monday morning, August 21, 2000. The national protest against the homophobic policies of the Boy Scouts of America included 36 protests and rallies in 21 states all over the country. The DC-area event was held at the National Capital Area Boy Scouts Council in Bethesda, Maryland. Participants included: Robert Rigby of Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network; Rev. Steven Baines of Equal Partners in Faith; Tony Varona of Human Rights Campaign; John Schuppan of Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation; Graham Segroves of National Gay and Lesbian Task Force; David Baker, BSA Protest leader from Baltimore; Alex Annecker of Sexual Minority Youth Assistance League; Christopher Dyer of Youth Pride and Mark Gustafson of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. In the event, the rally and speeches were skipped and participants proceeded directly to picketing and discussing their concerns with local news crews. Many passing motorists and truckers, and even a flock of geese passing overhead, honked their approval. The following prepared remarks are presented for the record.]
You know, there's something strange about an organization that was founded by Lord Baden-Powell adopting an anti-gay policy. That's like Dr. Laura complaining about intolerance.
The Boy Scouts say that being gay is not morally straight. They say that we are not good role models. Well, I have news for them: the kind of intolerance they're teaching should qualify as child abuse.
Let me tell you a little story. Many years ago, I couple I know, Jeff and Eric, became the foster parents of a beautiful baby named Joshua. Joshua had AIDS, and his life was all too short. But he could not possibly have been better loved. Gay couples take children that other people have thrown away, and give them loving homes, and we are condemned for it and called unfit parents and bad role models. Now THAT is immoral. THAT is indecent. THAT is not morally straight.
Until BSA revokes its immoral, bigoted, and un-American policy, it should be treated like a pariah. We must make it clear throughout our country: No group that considers the teaching of discrimination and hate to be part of its core mission should receive ANY government sponsorship, resources, or access to our children. Likewise, we must demand that our employers stop providing funding of BSA through the United Way. Our employers should drop the United Way until it drops the Boy Scouts.
A cultural war was declared against us by ignorant and hateful people. How we respond will be a lesson for our nation's children. I remember when I was a gay child, and how much I longed for encouragement and understanding. Let's keep faith with the new generation. Let's defeat the forces of hate. Thank you.