Re: 1998.05.06 LA Times: Gay Policy Costs Scouts in Berkeley
Russell Downs (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Wed May 06 07:45:20 1998
Christopher K. Sokolov wrote:
> Wednesday, May 6, 1998
> Gay Policy Costs Scouts in Berkeley
> By RON HARRIS, Associated Press Writer
> BERKELEY, Calif.--The Boy Scouts of
> America's refusal to admit gays and
> atheists has cost a local Sea Scouts
> troop their free dock space at the Berkeley
> The Berkeley City Council voted 8 -1
> Tuesday night to deny the Sea Scouts
> subsidized berthing of two training ships.
> The Boy Scouts, headquartered in Irving,
> Texas, bar gays and atheists from
> membership. The organization says
> homosexuality violates their concept of
> traditional moral values, embodied in a
> provision of the Scout oath in which members
> pledge to be "morally straight."
> But Berkeley ordinances make it illegal to discriminate on the basis of
> sexual preference or religion.
> Council members Kriss Worthington, Margaret Breland and Linda
> Maio have argued against spending public money to subsidize the local
> "If we continue to give them the berths rent-free, it means the
> government is sanctioning discrimination," Worthington said. "We're
> not kicking the Scouts out of Berkeley or off the marina. They should
> just pay for their berths like everyone else."
> But those speaking for the crews of the two boats -the Farallon and the
> Northland -said finding $12,000 for the annual fees would be tough.
> Their major fund-raiser each year is a sponge-toss booth at a street
> "If it was a few hundred dollars, no problem, we'd just dig into our
> pockets and come up with the money," said John Sargent, a parent who
> volunteers with the Northland crew. "We don't get any money from
> the Boy Scouts of America. The free berths makes it possible to have a
> program that only charges the kids $7 a year."
> The local Sea Scouts' mission statement has been rewritten to read,
> "Sexual orientation is a private matter; and we do not ask adults or
> youths to divulge this information at any time."
> But Worthington wasn't buying it.
> "If one of the Sea Scouts were to come out and say, `I am gay,' they
> would still have to be kicked out or the whole group would risk being
> shut down by the Boy Scouts," Worthington said. "And that's still
> Caught in the middle are teen-agers like Kyle Thorton, who said the
> East Bay Sea Scouts program helped steer him away from gangs.
> "If it wasn't for the Sea Scouts, I'd probably be shoplifting and getting
> into trouble," said Kyle Thorton, 15, of nearby Richmond. "Learning
> how to handle a ship in the bay is a lot better than getting shot at."
> Copyright Los Angeles Times
> Christopher K. Sokolov, Quartermaster
> Western Region Area III Boatswain, Sea Scouts, B.S.A.
The more we depend on government at any level, the less independent we
become. Historically, the majority in a morally bankrupt society is
wrong. Freedom outside the boundaries of morality has another name,
anarchy. This article from BERKLEY, CA is the kind of bilge-drippins
that makes me want to get on the fastest boat I can find which is
destined to a place with a different culture and economy. However, in
reality, I would probably be trading down. Even with all the things that
are fouled up in America at this late date, She is still the best deal
on Earth. I know it's trite, but that's why all the immigrants want to
Note: expatriation is not an option for me at this time, though
sometimes it seems appealing.
It is not in the character of Scouting or Godly behavior to shrink and
run from challenges like this. It IS in our character to, as the Marines
say, "adapt, improvise, and overcome". Let's press on ... toward our