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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

rainbowpoptart
Goodness... I see where your mother is coming from: if you eat too much, no matter how healthy the food is, and don't work off the calories, you're going to gain weight. But she's being very obsessive and dramatic about it. There is nothing wrong with eating pizza or a cookie every now and then, and there's nothing wrong with relaxing from time to time either. As long as you aren't constantly eating junk and not burning the calories, then you do not have a problem. Eating unhealthy things every now and then does not make you fat. EATING every now and then does not make you fat. Try explaining this to her, calmly and patiently. Tell her that you don't want to be forced to do all of this exercising - being forced to exercise makes it a lot less interesting. Do not take "This is for your own good" for an answer; if you do not want to do it, it is NOT for your good. (This, of course, would be a different story if you were actually fat.) ALSO tell her that exercising too much and not satiating your cravings is JUST AS UNHEALTHY AS BEING FAT IS. If you were to not eat healthful meals and not snack every now and then, no matter how healthy or unhealthy the food is, plus exercise so frequently, you would not be healthy.  Eating is good for you, even if the food isn't. Eating too little and eating too much is not healthy. Exercise is good for you. Not exercising enough and exercising too much is not good for you. If you talking to her doesn't help, try telling another adult how you feel, and maybe they can help get it through to her. Regardless of what happens, take care of yourself. Moderate how much you eat, but don't limit yourself to less than you feel you need. Exercise, but don't do something you don't want to; working out should be fun. Good luck with everything. I'm really sorry that she makes you feel so badly about this.
reply 1 day
jake495
jake495 posted in Family Issues:
Make sure she knows its your body not hers In a respectful way of course
reply 1 day
ThePaleWalker636
I'm perfectly happy with myself. I'm around 5'6" and somewhere between 140-150 pounds, and I don't feel fat. But my mom is constantly telling me that I am, or, at least, that I'm going to be. She forces me to go to exercise classes because I don't like many sports, tries making me go on diets, but I don't want to. She tells me that if I continue the way I am, having an extra cookie once in a while and only eating cereal for breakfast, that I'll end up fat, and she makes sure to emphasize how horrible that is for a person to live with. She rolls her eyes and sighs whenever she sees me getting a snack, and just in general makes me feel awful for eating the things I like and for relaxing. I've told her that I don't want to do these things and that she makes me feel bad when she says things like that, but she swears it's for my own good and that I should never want to be fat, that it ruins people's lives. How should I deal with this?
reply 1 day
drowning
drowning posted in Friends:
"NS12" wrote: I meet this guy at a festival and we have been talking for the whole week and my mum has noticed I keep texting someone and I know I need to tell her but I don t know how I am going to tell her, I doubt she ll get angry or anything but he lives about 4/5 hours away from me. I know I need to tell her as I don t like keeping secrets from her. I know this was a bit ago, but I truly hope that you were able to be open with your mother. If you feel as if they won't get mad at you, then chances are that your guardian will not. Honesty is the best policy, and if you feel guilt keeping a secret, then it is one you probably shouldn't be keeping.
reply 2 days
drowning
I agree with @rainbowpoptart. You really shouldn't worry about relationships that much given your age. I promise, they're better things to worry about than boys and more secure romances occur later on in life anyways. But, given the situation, you shouldn't worry about either. The boy is unfaithful and so is your friend. If your best friend really valued your friendship, she would not have put it in a position that could end it. Don't waste your time on those who will not put you first just as you do for them; better people will come into your life and they are the ones who you should really worry about.
reply 2 days