Berkeley Sea Scouts to berth in Richmond - agree to actively recruit gays&women
Thu Jul 16 13:36:25 1998
Richmond approves berth for Sea Scouts
RICHMOND- The City Council Tuesday night voted to give a free berth at
the Richmond Marina to a Sea Scout troop, despite the Boy Scouts'
controversial national policy banning gays and atheists.
Before the vote, council members asked for assurances that
underrepresented groups including gays and women would be actively
recruited for the Sea Scout Ship Northland, a 73-foot vessel that is
used a part of a youth seafaring program.
Like many local troops, the Northland has its own nondiscrimination
policy that defies the national ban.
"My vote in favor of this is a measure of my support for your defiance
� but if I ever catch you discriminating I will work very hard to stop
this," said Councilman Alex Evans.
The troop had enjoyed free berths in Berkeley for 65 years before the
Berkeley City Council voted in May to revoke their free ride.
The Berkeley vote came after a two-month battle over the Scouts'
policy and a Berkeley law that requires organizations receiving free
city services to embrace nondiscrimination.
Richmond has the same law but it also has a great need for youth
programs, council members and speakers said.
"I just see it as an opportunity for a youngster to make something
productive of his life," Councilman Nat Bates said. "Every young
person that we can get off the street and involved in something
positive is a good.
"This is a very good idea that we get in here," said Samuel Robinson,
a Richmond resident and member of the Northland crew. "We're going to
be the ones who make a difference.
The vote was 6-0 with Councilwoman Irma Anderson abstaining.
Councilwomen Donna Powers and Lesa McIntosh were absent.