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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

Kirsteeeeen
This thread has been moved. Click here to see the new thread.
reply 2 days
Isabellax
@nrfvltmrdftw06  :p :p
reply 2 days
nrfrvltmrdftw06
 @isabellax same
reply 3 days
Ashleexo
Ashleexo posted in Family Issues:
"Sophieex_" wrote:I'm not afraid of either of my parents. But if I could choose, my mom. I'm also not afraid of either of my parents at anytime.  But when I was 13 and under and in trouble, it would be my dad.
reply 3 days
country_girl19
If you really want to get rid of the romantic feelings for him, just try picturing a future with him, and also asking these questions in your head, "Is he a good guy?" "Would we last?" But maybe he's acting awkward around you, because your friend asked him to Prom, but he might rather go with you, but doesn't know how to say anything about the situation. I would suggest talking to him about it, and if he is a jerk about it, don't bother. But talk to him first, and if he has the same feelings, then talk to your friend about it. I just want to warn you, that if you do this, you and others could get their feelings hurt. Crushes are a risky, scary thing in high school. Anyway, that's what I think you should do. If you don't want to do that, then follow what your intuition tells you.
reply 3 days