[UUA-L:345] UU congregation members launch petition drive to lobby Boy Scout
dweiner at uua25.uua.org
Fri Sep 18 11:30:25 EDT 1998
OAKTON, VA -- Eagle Scouts belonging to the Unitarian Universalist
Congregation of Fairfax have a nationwide petition drive underway,
aimed at reinstating religious emblems awarded to Unitarian
Universalist Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts.
Last May the Boy Scouts of America ordered the Unitarian Universalist
Association to cease awarding the UUA's "Religion in Life" emblem to
Boy Scouts and "Love and Help" emblem to Cub Scouts because of
statements critical of BSA policies toward homosexuals and religious
skeptics. The statements were contained in handbooks distributed to
Scouts seeking to earn the awards.
Charter signers of the protest petition include 11 Eagle Scout members
of the Northern Virginia congregation, 11 professional clergy, and
more than 200 people of faith in 27 states across the nation. In
addition to UU clergy, the petition has been signed by ministers of
the American Baptist Churches, United Church of Christ, Unity Group,
and Universal Life Church.
Petition signers "deplore the BSA's discrimination against UU Scouts
on the basis of their religion, which affirms the inherent worth and
dignity of every person regardless of religious belief or sexual
The petition urges the Boy Scouts of America to reinstate the banned
Boy Scout and Cub Scout awards. It also asks the BSA "to reexamine
the impact of current policies on youth and families, especially
Scouts who view themselves as gay, or who adhere to traditions that
regard both doubt and piety as part of faith, or who have ethical and
spiritual principles that may not include a belief in God."
Officials of the UUA and the BSA have tentatively decided to meet this
fall in an attempt to resolve their dispute over the religious awards.
Protest organizers plan to submit their petition to the BSA's
Washington office in advance of the negotiations.
For further information, visit the UUA's web site and click on the
"UUs Petition Boy Scouts" headline, or contact Oakton, VA
congregation directly at: www.bsaprotest.org.
Director of Electronic Communications
Unitarian Universalist Association
617-742-2100 x 104 FAX: 617-367-3237
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