Boy Scouts Hub
A bill that would have stripped the Boy Scouts of tax exempt status has stalled in California, the AP reports:
SB323 by Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, would deny state tax breaks to nonprofit youth groups that discriminate on the basis of gender identity, race, sexual orientation, nationality, religion or religious affiliation.
Because the legislation is a tax measure, it requires a two-thirds vote in both houses to pass. The Senate approved it in May, but it was placed on the inactive file in the Assembly on Thursday, which is expected to be the final day of this year's legislative session.
Scouting leaders had objected that the bill would harm local troops that serve 180,000 California children and teenagers. Conservative legal aid groups promised to sue if the measure became law on the grounds that it would punish an organization based on its beliefs.
The Senate had approved it in a 27-9 vote making it the first LGBT rights measure to pass with a two-thirds majority.
NOM, having little to celebrate in their anti-equality marriage crusade, was happy to take credit:
"We're pleased that common sense prevailed in this case. This bill was put forward to punish groups that refused to embrace the radical homosexual agenda including same-sex marriage," explained Brian Brown NOM president. "The failed attempt to pass legislation like this is clear proof that one of the first casualties of redefining marriage is our precious religious liberties."
NOM, with many other state and national groups, urged their membership to contact their representatives in opposition to this bill. Nearly 400 emails, letters, and calls were generated directly by the National Organization for Marriage.
"Like the recent victories for marriage in Australia and Pennsylvania, the tabling of this legislation demonstrates that marriage and family champions can be victorious when their voices are clearly heard in the halls of power," continued Brown. "NOM and its allies will continue to build on these victories as we stand for traditional values wherever they are under attack."
More than 1,000 people including Governor Mike Huckabee attended a launch event in Nashville over the weekend for Trail Life USA, the group formed after the Boy Scouts began admitting gay scouts. If you'll remember, the group was founded by anti-gay Scouting activist John Stemberger and Rob Green, a former BSA executive. I posted a clip of them discussing the group back in July.
At the weekend event, which reporters were not allowed to attend, the group unveiled its name and logo.
The logo includes the words adventure, character and leadership.
"Trail Life USA will be inclusive of boys, regardless of religion, race, national origin or socioeconomic status, and accept boys who are experiencing same-sex attractions or gender confusion," a statement from the group says.
"However, it will not admit youth who are open or avowed about their homosexuality, and it will not admit boys who are not 'biologically male' or boys who wish to dress and act like girls."
Watch their promotional video, AFTER THE JUMP...
Via the group's Twitter are some photos of the event which included, a George W. Bush impersonator:
Huckabee and the Bush impersonator singing a blues duet together:
Watch their promotional video, AFTER THE JUMP...
The Anchorage Baptist Temple in Anchorage, Alaska has kicked out Boy Scout Troop 1316 and Cub Scout Pack 316 over the organization's decision to allow gay youth, the Anchorage Daily News reports:
The church's decision came now, months later, because "we were just hoping there would be enough repercussions that the Boy Scouts might reconsider, and they haven't," the church's chief pastor, Rev. Jerry Prevo, said Thursday.
Prevo said he wasn't worried about backlash. The Bible's message is plain, he said: "No homosexual will enter the Kingdom of God."
Rev. Tom Cobaugh, the Baptist Temple's education minister who serves as liaison with the Boy Scout troop, later clarified the decision:
"Troop 1316 and Pack 316 were ministries of the Anchorage Baptist Temple," Cobaugh wrote. "ABT has not changed its position because the Bible has not changed its position on sexuality (see Leviticus 18:22, I Corinthians 6:9). The BSA has changed. They caved on their position because of political pressure and the threat that it may affect their bottom line financially, through donations and/or their tax-exempt status."
In late June, Towleroad reported on plans by anti-gay activist John Stemberger to create a new, anti-gay alternative to the Boy Scouts. You may recall Stemberger from the time Zach Wahls utterly destroyed him on CNN.
Yesterday, Stemberger made his big announcement:
The splinter group, OnMyHonor.Net, said the new organization will offer an outdoors-oriented character-development program for boys similar to that of the Boy Scouts, while also focusing on “sexual purity” and adhering to “a standard statement of Christian values.”
The new organization, which has yet to be named, stopped short of banning gay children but said it would bar any members who “openly flaunt sexuality.”
“We have heard directly from over 30,000 people that recommended a need for this organization,” said Rob Green, a former top Boy Scouts leader in South Carolina and now interim executive director of OnMyHonor.Net’s new program. “There is an organization existing now that is in line with your values.”
Watch a video in which Stemberger and Rob Green (inset), a former BSA executive who is leading the new organization, talk more about it, AFTER THE JUMP...
Writes Good As You:
Rob Green has vowed to stick by his belief that "homosexuality is morally wrong." Which, of course, will be what this new organization will always be about. This is an organization that they are creating for the sole purpose of excluding gay people and keeping anti-gay teaching in place. That will always be what defines this new organization, regardless of what they call it, how they spin it, or where it goes from here. Its history begins with wanton discrimination against gay minors. That history is already written and forever ingrained.
Boy Scout leaders unhappy with the group's decision last month to extend membership to openly gay youth have been steadily gathering supporters in the hopes of forming a new, antigay alternative. John Stemberger, an Eagle Scout and Florida lawyer, operates a web site, www.onmyhonor.net, that has become the gathering place for scout leaders and families disappointed and angry about BSA's new policy. The Dallas Morning News reports:
Gerry Cates, 62, an Abilene businessman and Eagle Scout, is among the many Texans who allowed Stemberger to use their names on his web site. He said he's willing to support the new group - assuming it gets off the ground - with a little money and personal networking.
"The whole thing makes me angry," Cates said. "I think the scout leadership caved to gay politics and ruined the whole deal."
During conversations with Cates and other critics of BSA's liberalized membership policy, the same issue keeps coming up - How will scoutmasters handle tent arrangements on campouts?
"I've got a 7-year-old grandson in Cub Scouts," Cates said. "When he gets old enough for Boy Scouts, what do you do about a 16-year-old gay kid in camp?"
BSA leaders stress that policy forbids any sexual behavior - homosexual or heterosexual - during scout activities. Violators will be punished, they insist
BSA consultants have reported that BSA might lose 10-12 percent of its 2.6 million members because of unhappiness with the new policy on gay scouts. Nonetheless, BSA's top leaders publicly backed the policy change.
Hundreds of people across the nation have already signed up as supporters on Stemberger's website. While the new group is not yet organized, supporters will be meeting this week in Louisville, Ky to discuss name options and the steps necessary to launch the organization nationwide. Announced name choices for the new organization include American Heritage Boys, American Sons of Liberty, and Patriot Rangers, among others.