By Zach Wahls
On 11, Sep 2014 | In Campaign News | By Zach Wahls
Tuesday night’s briefing was an unequivocal success, despite a few (inevitable!) technical difficulties.
We had hundreds of people watch live and are so glad to have your support. You can watch the briefing here:
You can find a PDF copy of the Powerpoint presentation we put together for Tuesday’s briefing here:
We also compiled many of the questions we received during the presentation into a FAQ document here:
As always, if you have any questions, please be in touch at ScoutsForEquality@gmail.com
By Zach Wahls
On 09, Sep 2014 | In Campaign News | By Zach Wahls
Scouts for Equality hosts online strategy briefing
The briefing will start shortly after 9PM ET.
You can watch the Scouts for Equality strategy briefing, hosted by executive director Zach Wahls, using the Youtube video below. Questions can be submitted to ScoutsForEquality@gmail.com
By Zach Wahls
On 24, May 2014 | In Campaign News | By Zach Wahls
A Scout is Brave: Scouts for Equality Demands Robert Gates Leads by the Courage of His Convictions
Nashville, TN—Friday evening, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, an Eagle Scout, announced that he supports full inclusion of gay adults in the Boy Scouts, but that he is unwilling to re-open the debate over the controversial policy that prohibits gay adults (18 and over) from participating in Scouting. In response, Scouts for Equality called on Gates to abide by the Scout Law by being brave and leading with the courage of his convictions.
Gates’ announcement came during a speech following his formal election as President of the Boy Scouts.
In response to the statement from Gates, Zach Wahls, an Eagle Scout and Executive Director of Scouts for Equality, issued the following statement:
“We’re glad to have the support of Mr. Gates, and we hope now that he will do what all Eagle Scouts are charged to do: lead. His characterization of last year’s decision as ‘democratic’ is unfortunate and untrue, as the resolution limiting inclusion to only youth was crafted by a small, unelected committee more concerned with avoiding criticism than with following the principles of the Scout Oath and Law.”
“Mr. Gates expressed that he believes Scouting should be a place where youth should not fear being bullied or disrespected, but I don’t know how else you would characterize being told ‘you are unfit to continue Scouting after your eighteenth birthday.’”
“This is a cop out, and it tarnishes the legacy Mr. Gates has built as a leader who bridged cultural and political divides and led the military—and now the Boy Scouts—into the twenty-first century.”
“Knowing that he’s on our side—and the right side of history—makes us hopeful that he’ll turn away from the small cadre of culture warriors whose message of fear and division has led the Boy Scouts further and further from the American mainstream.”
In prepared remarks distributed to reporters, Gates is credited with saying:
Finally, let me address the membership issue, an issue that has left us divided, distracted and defensive. A year ago, this meeting saw a respectful and civil debate over membership policy. In a democratic process, a strong majority of the volunteer leadership of this movement from all across the nation voted to welcome gay youth into scouting. In all candor, I would have supported going further, as I did in opening the way for gays to serve in CIA and in the military.
That said, I accept the vote of a year ago, and I strongly support it. And, in its implementation, Scouting must provide a welcoming and safe environment for gay youth, a place where they can benefit from Scouting and not face bullying or disrespect.
The Boy Scouts of America have rescinded their promise to include gay youth up to the age of 21 in some of their programs. Now all scouts above the age of 18 will be required to register as adults.
This means that those gay Scouts who were between the ages of 18 and 21 are now no longer eligible.
It’s a sad day for Scouting when the BSA backtracks on a promise. We were taught that “A Scout is Trustworthy”.
Included is a clip where Nathan Rosenberg (BSA Executive Committee) pledges to include gay youth up to 21 in last year’s Membership Standards Livecast:
Twins August and Liam Easton-Calabria have been in Scouting since they were 11 years old. They even earned the exact same merit badges on the trail to Eagle. But now one faces getting kicked out because they have reached age 18: August is straight, while Liam is gay.
Read the full story here: http://mynorthwest.com/76/2517173/One-twin-brother-will-be-kicked-out-of-Boy-Scouts-because-hes-gay
Today, Scouts for Equality called upon the Boy Scouts of America to rehire ousted Eagle Scout Garrett Bryant, who was refused reinstatement as a camp counselor after a rumor spread that he was gay. The move comes less than a month after the BSA revoked the charter of a Seattle-area troop for refusing to fire Geoff McGrath, an openly gay Scoutmaster.
“Bob Gates, the BSA’s incoming President, knows that ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ just doesn’t work,” said Zach Wahls, Executive Director of Scouts for Equality. “A policy of discrimination at any level results in the sort of fear we see at work in the Scouts’ ouster of Garrett. Garrett is an exemplary Scout who should be rehired immediately.”
Bryant, who is 19 years old, is a youth member of a BSA Venturing Crew in Flagstaff, Ariz., where he is attending Northern Arizona University. As a youth member, he falls under the BSA’s recently adopted policy allowing the participation of all youth members, regardless of their sexuality.
“If the Scouts were to call me tomorrow and offer to rehire me, I’d do it in a heartbeat,” said Bryant.
A “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy didn’t work in the US Military and it doesn’t work in Scouting.
If you are having similar issues with the BSA’s policy, Scouts for Equality wants to hear about it. Check out our Guide to Coming Out for Scouts and use the form to tell us about your issues: http://scoutsforequality.com/comingout
Church Pledges to Resist BSA’s Demand and Remain Open and Inclusive; Scouts for Equality Deplores Boy Scouts’ Callous Act as a Discriminatory Attempt to put Politics before Boys
In a startling and discriminatory move, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) revoked the charter of Seattle Troop 98 and Pack 98 for its refusal to remove gay Scoutmaster Geoffrey McGrath. The BSA revoked the charter of Rainier Beach United Methodist Church’s (RBUMC), a Seattle church whose two Scouting units serve a neighborhood with few other positive opportunities for local youth.
“The Boy Scouts’ decisions only serve to hurt a group of boys who need the values and leadership of someone like Scoutmaster McGrath,” said Zach Wahls, Executive Director of Scouts for Equality, a national organization dedicated to ending the BSA’s ban on gay members and leaders. “Unfortunately, the BSA’s decision calls into question its commitment to leadership and values by perpetuating an outmoded policy rooted in fear and discrimination. History will show that today’s announcement is a self-inflicted wound.”
The controversy surrounding Troop 98 emerged in March, when an NBC News report on the inclusive troop prompted the BSA to question the sexual orientation of Scoutmaster Geoffrey McGrath. McGrath, abiding by the Scout’s commitment to trustworthiness, acknowledged his sexual orientation to the BSA, which in turn, responded by revoking McGrath’s status as Scoutmaster.
By Scouts for Equality
On 18, Apr 2014 | In scouting | By Scouts for Equality
Taking away Geoff McGrath’s role in this church’s Scouting program is in contradiction to RBUMC’s religious beliefs and a contradiction of your own policy.
From the BSA’s Charter and Bylaws:
Section 1. Activities, clause 2. The activities of the members of the Boy Scouts of America shall be carried on under conditions which show respect to the convictions of others in matters of custom and religion, as required by the twelfth point of the Scout Law, reading, “Reverent. A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.”
By Scouts for Equality
On 16, Apr 2014 | In Campaign Events | By Scouts for Equality
Scouts for Equality congratulates Hunter Faulhaber, the most recent openly gay youth to be awarded Eagle by the Boy Scouts of America.
Hunter is a multi-sport athlete, plans on going to school to become a fashion designer, and is fighting for equality in Scouting as a member of Simon Kenton Scouts for Equality chapter. The BSA valued him as a youth member, however now that he’s 18 he runs the risk of having his membership revoked.
Stand with Hunter and the 7,478 other Eagles in Scouts for Equality to help us change that. http://scoutsforequality.com/join