scouts-l Mail Archive for September of 2000: Re: Clinton Attacking The BSA???
Fri Sep 01 2000 - 17:07:08 CDT
OK. No one seems to have read this article. It appeared in the Washington
Times on 8/31/2000. It is excerpted, so as to avoid wasting band width,
Federal agency probes Scouts over gay ban, by Joyce Howard Price
A division of the Department of Interior is gathering information on its
ties to the Boy Scouts to determine whether such ties violate ... Clinton's
executive order  banning discrimination on the basis of sexual
The Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that the Scouts were within
their constitutional rights in barring homosexuals from serving as Scout
The gathering of information is the first known instance of the federal
government questioning ties with the Boy Scouts since that ruling.
The Bureau of Reclamation "will assist [the Department of Justice] by
providing information as it relates to the Boy Scouts of America to ensure
consistency with [EO 13160] signed on June 23....
The memo, sent to the bureau's commissioner and its regional directors,
asked that the agency officials provide answers to seven questions regarding
all the "activities, events or programs" they have in conjunction with the
Boy Scouts by the end of business tomorrow.
Reaction from the friends of the Boy Scouts was swift. "This appears to
be a precursor to a full-throated attack on the Scouts by the Clinton
administration. . . . We're looking for Congress to rein in this
mean-spirited foray against America's premier youth organization," Robert H.
Knight, senior director of cultural studies for the Family Research Council,
said of the Silva memo.
In her memo, Miss Silva specifically requested information concerning
"any such programs related to the Boy Scout Jamboree to be held in July
2001." The jamboree will be held at Fort A.P. Hill, an Army post at Bowling
Green, Va. The event is held every four years — in recent years, always at
Fort A.P. Hill.
[EO 13160] prohibits discrimination on the basis of "race, sex, color,
national origin, disability, religion, age, sexual orientation and status as
a parent in federally conducted education and training programs."
In her memo, Miss Silva of the Reclamation Bureau asks officials of her
• Identify and explain all activities it has with the Boy Scouts,
including, but not limited to, the Boy Scout Jamboree.
• Specify whether each activity is provided only to members of the Boy
Scouts or whether it also is provided to the general public.
• Identify any specific monetary assistance provided directly to the Boy
• Identify any non-monetary assistance provided directly to the Boy
Scouts. Non-monetary assistance could include use of government equipment,
facilities and employees.
• State whether the bureau treats the Boy Scouts as a recipient of
federal financial assistance and makes the organization sign assurances.
• Specify whether the bureau sponsors Boy Scouts of America troops and,
if so, what the sponsorship entails.
• Identify all awards, certificates, patches or other forms of
recognition that the bureau provides to members of the Boy Scouts for
participation in these programs.
Justice officials said Interior's Reclamation Bureau was the first
agency to ask if a specific organization complies with the new order. The
department has not yet made a decision, as it is still preparing guidelines,
one official said.
Mr. Shields of the Boy Scouts of America was unable to say how much
federal financial aid the organization receives. "But it's minuscule, if any.
There might be some money for lease payments or from HUD programs to send
poor kids to camp," he said.
As for the Boy Scout National Jamboree, Mr. Shields said that event is
conducted in partnership with the U.S. military. He said about 35,000
youngsters participate, and the Army makes use of their presence to practice
crowd control and "getting them from one station to another."
Mr. Shields said the Boy Scouts has "made major investments" in the Fort
A.P. Hill property, including construction of a rappelling tower and the
installation of showers.
Yours in Scouting,
G. John Marmet, ASM
Troop 160, Glenview, Illinois
Northeast Illinois Council
Owl, C.19.96, Brotherhood