Tags: Congress | Moves | Protect | Boy | Scouts

Congress Moves to Protect Boy Scouts

Tuesday, 29 May 2001 12:00 AM

The Senate is soon to take up a House-passed measure that would bar federal funding to public schools that deny access to their facilities of the Boy Scouts of America.

The amendment by Rep. Van Hilleary (R.-Tenn.) was prompted by the actions of some overzealous school officials who are attempting to ban the scouts from meeting in their classrooms.

It seems that, in their book, it is unfair "discrimination” for the Scouts to conclude that a homosexual scoutmaster is not exactly the best male role model for young boys.

On the other hand, as pointed out by Sen. Jesse Helms (R.-N.C.), the sponsor of the amendment on the Senate side, the "very same meeting places at school remain open to over 800 Gay-Straight Student Alliance Clubs.”

In the upside down world of the left, that apparently represents a more wholesome influence for the nation’s youth.

Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Boy Scouts of America has a Constitutional right, as a private organization to set its own membership rules.

Gay rights groups who seem to feel they have an inherent right to force their agenda upon America's families and against parental wishes, were outraged.

They have made it plain they are not satisfied with a "live and let live” attitude. In the name of "tolerance”, they are making demands will harm the Boy Scouts.

In New York City, for example, one district school board directed its 32 schools, with an enrollment of 23,000, to:

*sponsor no Boy Scout Troops.

*Bar all Boy Scout activities in the schools during school hours.

*Prevent the Boy Scouts from recruiting in schools.

*Forbid them to use the school’s name as part of a troop name or display it on their uniforms.

*Suspend all privileges extended to Boy Scouts.

As reported by NewsMax.com at the time, the lawyer member of the board who authored the resolution, pontificated that "discrimination will not be tolerated in our schools.”

The lawyer also said, "We believe our schools should not sponsor an organization that discriminates against our students.”

However, the Scouts policy against gay scoutmasters does not apply to the young boys who are Scouts.

"If a young Scout comes up and says he is concerned about his sexual orientation,” said a Boys Scouts of America official, "he won’t be thrown out of the organization,” but will be told to talk to a parent, a teacher, or clergyman.

Similar actions against the Scouts have been taken by schools in such places as Oakland, San Francisco, and San Jose, Calif.; Framingham, Mass.; Keene, N.H.; and Bethel, Ore.

An indication of the reluctance of leftist politicians to deal with this issue came on the floor of the House last September.

Democrats had complained that the Republican chamber had not brought forth enough Democrat-sponsored bills. So Rep. Asa Hutchinson (R.-Ark,) moved to "accommodate” them by bringing up the politically poisonous legislation to revoke the Scout charter unless the Scouts organization allows openly gay scoutmasters to serve.

Coming, as it did, right in the middle of the presidential election campaign, the GOP was accused by the Democrats of "playing politics.”

Some Republicans took that to mean the left had acknowledged a willingness to take a stand on one of its own issues only after the votes had been counted. Nonetheless, Hutchinson persisted.

The outcome was a lopsided 362 to 12 against the measure. What aroused considerable interest was that 50 Democrats voted present. Among these were 7 lawmakers who would be committee chairmen if the Democrats were to take control of the House.

Earlier this month, in two separate reports, NewsMax.com listed many shortcomings in the education bill, as passed by the House. As we noted, the legislation allows schools to use a federally-backed curriculum that would encourage children to inform on their parents, all in the name of "tolerance.”

Somehow, many of the same people who are willing to countenance this lose their enthusiasm for "tolerance” where the Boy Scouts of America is concerned. The Helms amendment calls their bluff. It says, in effect, that if they’re really concerned about "discrimination”, they should support a measure to deny money to schools that practice discrimination against a respected and wholesome organization.

The Human rights Campaign,, the nation’s largest gay political organization, is mounting a high-powered lobbying effort in the Senate against the Helms Amendment.

Those who support the scouts have no choice other than to share their view with their own two senators. Knowing the reluctance of many liberals to go on record on this matter, it is all the more important that they hear from back home.

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The Senate is soon to take up a House-passed measure that would bar federal funding to public schools that deny access to their facilities of the Boy Scouts of America. The amendment by Rep. Van Hilleary (R.-Tenn.) was prompted by the actions of some overzealous school...
Tuesday, 29 May 2001 12:00 AM
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