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Letters: The Boy Scouts' many faces

February 12, 2013

Re "Scout board delays action on gays," Feb. 7

Scouting originated in Britain, where the Scouts organization welcomes gays. Canada's Scouting organization and most in Europe do likewise.

At the California Supreme Court, the Boy Scouts successfully argued that it is a religious organization.

It later denied that it is a religious organization that would be required by California law to pay full commercial rent for use of government facilities.

At the U.S. Supreme Court, the Boy Scouts argued that it is a private organization allowed to set standards for own members. It also convinced the IRS that it is a charitable organization serving the public good and is entitled to receive deductible donations. The Boy Scouts has also sued local governments whose policies prohibit allowing the use of public facilities by private organizations that discriminate against gays and atheists.

What is the Boy Scouts? A religious organization, a private club or a public charity?

David E. Ross

Oak Park

An assistant Scoutmaster in Texas commented that the Boy Scouts of America risks losing funding by keeping the ban on gays or losing members by repealing it. I don't think that is the case.

When my son was in the Boy Scouts, I felt that the positive experiences he had outweighed the bigotry. That bigotry, at a national level, was never expressed locally. However, I knew other parents who refused to enroll their sons in the organization.

Once the Boy Scouts becomes more inclusive, more families will embrace it and see the good things it does.

Rose Leibowitz

Sherman Oaks

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