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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

bffeaea
bffeaea posted in Friends:
I don't know you and I'm not exactly sure how you act, but being friendly is definitely the way to go. Don't change yourself for ANYBODY. Especially someone who you don't need to impress. Speaking of impressing, don't try, do. If you are telling a story and that happens to impress them than that's great! But don't go out of your way to try to make yourself look awesome because I'm sure you already are. Be yourself. But the most important thug now you can do is not try to make a million friends. Because personally I would rather have one AWESOME friend than a million ok friends. I hope this helped. :)
reply about 14 hours
HoneyHamstern
HoneyHamstern posted in Friends:
Be yourself and most important of all, be kind. You will get great friends by doing so. Being popular doesn't always mean being nice; sometimes people tend to be rude and bossy to be "popular" and that isn't good. But if you participate or even start a group at school, at the library or somewhere important in the community (community service like the Rotary Club is a good way to start for kids and teens) can be a great way to meet friends and share your happiness.
reply about 15 hours
esthery27
"f3rr3tgal" wrote:dear dish-it,        I absolutely love my family but... my dad has these headaches  where if they are really bad i can not say anything right he will get really mad. i don't know what to do i really hate being yelled at by my  dad and i love him soo much !!!! what do i do?  [s:sm3/1jvp]                                                       thanks,                                                            f3rr3tgal Tell him that you love him and you understand he's suffering but you really don't like it when he yells at you. You can write a note or a card to him. I'm sure he'll understand. And of course if needed see a doctor so that he'll know what to do to deal with those headaches.
reply about 15 hours
esthery27
esthery27 posted in Friends:
You won't want to be, it's exhausting. Just be happy the way you are and don't care about what others think or say about you.
reply about 16 hours
GiddyUpGecko
GiddyUpGecko posted in Friends:
What if you just aren't populr, and you want to be???  :(
reply 1 day