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Volunteer - Changing the Boy Scouts

When Steven Cozza was 12 years old, he found out that gay people weren't allowed to be members of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). That meant some of his friends couldn't be scouts and his long time camp counselor wouldn't be able to work as a scout leader - just because of who they are. Scott enjoyed scouting but he didn't like the BSA's anti-gay rules.

Steve Cozza's Fight Against the Boy Scouts

Steven decided to earn his Citizen of the Nation scouting badge by taking on the Boy Scouts of America. He wanted them to end their policy of discrimination. "I couldn't live with myself as a scout knowing my friends were being discriminated against and not do anything. I just had to take this stand," said Steven. He wrote letters to government officials asking for support and he helped found an organization called Scouting For All (S4A).

A Little Help From Your Friends

Steven was facing the largest youth organization in the United States and asking them to change their ways. It was kind of like Mugsy Bogues trying to dunk the ball against Shaq. But Steven actually received a lot of support - from friends, other scouts and all sorts of people who believed the Boy Scouts of America were wrong. One of the people who helped Steven organize Scouting For All was Dave Rice - a man who had been involved with the Boy Scouts for nearly 60 years. But the BSA told Dave he couldn't be a scout leader because he also believed gays had the right to be involved in scouting. Steve's dad, Scott Cozza, was also told he couldn't be a troop leader because he thought gays had a right to be scouts. Thousands of people signed a petition organized by Scouting For All - which asked the Boy Scouts of America to change their ways.

The Courts Rule With The Boy Scouts of America

In June 2000, the US Supreme Court said it was okay for the Boy Scouts of America to ban gays from being involved in scouting. It was a close vote. Five judges said it was okay, four said it wasn't. But thanks to Steven and his organization, a lot of pressure is being put on the Boy Scouts of America to wake up. Many governments and charities have stopped giving the BSA money or letting them use public facilities for scout meetings. But just like it's tough to get your parents to understand why you need money to buy the new Good Charlotte CD - it's also tough to get an organization that's nearly a hundred years old to change its ways.

Steven Says About the Boy Scouts of America:

Steven believes it's important kids take action if they believe something is wrong. "Don't let your fear stop you. Don't turn your back on another person's pain. Reach out to help make the earth a better place. It's the least a person can do in this life."

  • To tell the Boy Scouts of America you want them to end their anti-gay policy, click here.
  • The BSA's official Web site can be found at www.scouting.org.

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1 Comment

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Should Gays Be Allowed in the Boy Scouts?

  • Yes.
  • No.
  • I'm not sure.
  • I don't care.

Dear Dish-It In The Forums

drowning
drowning posted in Style:
  "imtcutiie" wrote: DONT DO IT JUST PLEASE #### #### #### ......... CHANGING EYE COLOR  JUST WRONG   Changing eye color isn't wrong. :^) But, you can't simply change it with "spells" or videos. To change your eye color, you will need to either wear contacts during the day to appear that you have different colored eyes than you truly have, or medically having a doctor perform surgical iris correction.
reply about 8 hours
drowning
drowning posted in Family Issues:
I hope you texted back if you felt that it would be the right thing to do for yourself. I did not have a good childhood due to my birthmother and father. But, in recent time, I have come to enjoy talking to my birthfather and completely cannot stand my birthmother or her new husband anymore. I plan to actually meet him for the first time in 16 years if I can join my fiancé's family vacation.  Point of the matter, do what you feel is right. If you want to talk to him; talk to him. If you don't, don't reply if you don't feel comfortable too. It is purely your choice who you allow in your life, even when it comes down to blood and family.
reply about 8 hours
drowning
drowning posted in Family Issues:
It isn't pathetic in the slightest to seek help. I don't think it is right for your mother and siblings to completely disown you over your choice of living arrangements. If they have pushed you away, remember that it is not your fault and it is purely theirs. You made a choice that you felt would benefit you, and judging from their behavior, it was a good choice. As for your father, I don't fight with my own very much, but when I do it tends to be pretty bad. My mother on the other hand, I fight with constantly so I understand where you're coming from. You shouldn't have to do anything. From the sound of it, it seems more like a personal issue going on with himself, especially a sense of shame or regret with his previous exes so he uses you as an outlet because you're the closest thing he has.  I say find an outlet, a healthy one. Sometimes it is best to let them ramble on until they wear themselves out, but remember that self-defense and "talking back" is not always a bad thing just because they are your guardian. It is important to take a stand for yourself. Be respectful, don't sink to their level.
reply about 9 hours
drowning
drowning posted in Family Issues:
I think it is very important to find a healthy outlet and someone to talk to whether it's a doctor, friend, family member, ect. You can even find a journal to write in, if it will help you. I promise you, it isn't worth it to let families opinions and views affect you. I let the same thing happen to me and I still struggle over things that I wish I didn't.
reply about 9 hours
drowning
drowning posted in Friends:
Personally, given your age, the idea of a crush is a bit cute, but you're a little young for anything serious. I would recommend waiting until you truly know what you're doing. (And, believe me, you may not see it now, but you will when you're older.) But, if you really do want to find out, you need to remember that boys and girls both feel things. Boys aren't aliens, they aren't emotionless, and they aren't always just  dumbieheads.  You'll find it funny later on in life from how nervous you had gotten over a crush So honestly, just be straight forward. If you need a topic starter to bring it up, joke about old rumors that used to spread about you both.
reply about 9 hours