Monday, January 26, 2009

Honorary President of Boy Scouts of America may lead to its undoing

OpEd from THE BULLETIN:

Boy Scout Troop 358, one of the oldest African-American troops in the county, participated in history as it marched in the Inaugural Parade in Washington, D.C. as the first African-American became President of the United States.

Truly an honor for any Scout troop, however have the leaders of this troop taken a close look at an issue that will directly affect the very existence of Boy Scouting in America? The American Family Association of Pennsylvania (AFA of PA), a statewide family group, is questioning whether they realize President Barack Obama supports the very policies that are targeting their headquarters in Philadelphia.

Troop 358 is part of the Cradle of Liberty Scout Council, which has been in a pitched battle with the City of Philadelphia to retain the headquarters they built and have maintained since 1929 on property the 1928 City Council gave the Scouts free use of in perpetuity or forever.

Last May, the Cradle of Liberty Scout Council sued the city to prevent their eviction. That case was given a green light to proceed by a judge last fall,” remarked Diane Gramley, president of the AFA of PA.

Why is the City of Philadelphia seeking to evict the Scouts? It is because of their ban on allowing open homosexual leaders and members.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled the Scouts have the right, as a private organization, to choose who they want to be leaders and members. Ever since that time they have been targeted by homosexual organizations and activists who are trying to remold the Boy Scouts of America in their image.

In 1983 Philadelphia added “sexual orientation” to its Fair Practices Ordinance. Two decades later, under pressure from homosexual groups, the attack against the Scouts began.

Pressure on the Cradle of Liberty Scout Council, one of the largest in the nation serving more than 69,000 youth, has been intense over the past six years as they lost hundreds of thousands of dollars of support from Pew Charitable Trust and Southeastern Pennsylvania United Way, in addition to the threat of eviction.

“Yes, it is a great honor to be part of the inaugural parade, but at what costs? Do these Boy Scout leaders fully realize that President Obama supports a wide range of so-called ‘gay rights’ measures. He has said he will use the Office of President as a bully pulpit to advance their causes.

“Mr. Obama, knowingly or unknowingly, may be a part of the end of the Boy Scouts of America as we know them,” Ms. Gramley further stated.

Keep in mind: all US Presidents have the distinction of being named Honorary President of Boy Scouts of America.

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