Tags: Helms | Wants | Ban | Discrimination | Against | Boy | Scouts

Helms Wants to Ban Discrimination Against Boy Scouts

Tuesday, 15 May 2001 12:00 AM

He also asked the Congressional Research Service to examine how many school districts have taken "hostile action" against the Scouts because of membership guidelines that exclude homosexuals.

In a message to the Senate on Monday, Helms, R-N.C., condemned school districts that forbid the Boy Scouts from using their facilities for Scout meetings.

"These very same meeting places at school remain open to over 800 Gay-Straight Student Alliance Clubs," Helms noted. "With groups like these welcomed in our public schools, schoolchildren need to have the Boy Scouts stick around."

Helms offered an amendment to the education bill making its way through Congress. He said the measure would give federal civil rights enforcers in the Department of Education the authority to investigate any discriminatory action taken against the Boys Scouts of America, based on their membership or leadership criteria.

Government schools that "adamantly refuse" to provide the Boy Scouts equal access to school facilities, despite warnings, would risk losing federal funding, Helms said.

"The arrogant discriminatory treatment of Boys Scouts of America must not be allowed to continue," he said.

One year ago, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Boy Scouts' constitutional right, as a private organization, to set its own membership rules. The ruling outraged homosexual rights advocates, who wanted the court to force the Boy Scouts to accept homosexuals as members and leaders.

The organization steadfastly refuses to do so, saying that homosexuality goes against the grain of the oath that all Scouts must take: "On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country, and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight."

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He also asked the Congressional Research Service to examine how many school districts have taken hostile action against the Scouts because of membership guidelines that exclude homosexuals. In a message to the Senate on Monday, Helms, R-N.C., condemned school districts...
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2001-00-15
Tuesday, 15 May 2001 12:00 AM
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