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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

StephRox
StephRox posted in Family Issues:
Sometimes you feel annoyed with a sibling and you just don't know the RIGHT way to deal with it. I'm telling you right now that all that tension, the trouble, the annoyance can stop. But it's up to you.  LITTLE SIBS  [s:p/1koi] My BEST trick is to ignore. Act like  you have no problem with them. And move on, they'll EVENTually give up, TRUST ME. I've tried on my littles sisters.  BIG SIBS  [s:p/1jmr-en] They can be a bit... SASSY I am one anyway but you need to NOT mess with t hem. Even if this is coming from one herself, act like you have NO problem and be kind to them, surprise surprise! They might listen.   [s:p/1kka] Ya friend and Advisor
reply about 14 hours
StephRox
StephRox posted in Style:
If you've ever thought your style wasn't right or you needd a style change think about how YOU want the new you to be like. It YOU anyway. What do you ENJOY wearing? What do you think will be most trendy? And maybe your parents might be like mine and might not APPROVE of your outfit. Think about you. Don't try to change to someone else but the new you  [s:p/1kk9] Your friend and advisor, 
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lion2a3
lion2a3 posted in Family Issues:
Well I say don't deal with your friend I mean comfort her and all but if she's doing all that I would leave her alone let her parents deal with it you guys are just kids ending your life isn't the solution and you seem like a really caring person but ####### help from the internet isn't to answer Tell her parents or let her see to see an therapist or something But don't let other people drag you down into depression 
reply 1 day
TJStar234
TJStar234 posted in Friends:
everybody at my school don't really like me! :( 
reply 1 day
cocopanda200
cocopanda200 posted in Friends:
I have 3 close friends at school. Outside of school I have one. I'm soon going up to Secondary school. 2 of my friends, Kathryn and Sophie, are quite mean to me and others in the class. They call me names and push me around. I don't like it but afraid to tell them. They are also quite rude to teachers. When it's just me and Kathryn it's fine and I am wondering if it's just Sophie making an impression. I go to a small school (81 pupils) and making friends is hard for me. Please help!!
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