Tell President-Elect Obama to Say No to the Boy Scouts' Discrimination sign now

(Background: this petition was originally a letter from a collection of nontheist organizations. I edited it to include references to gay people. If you prefer to print and mail it as a letter, an address is included below.)

The Honorable Barack Obama
President Elect of the United States
Washington Transition Headquarters

451 6th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001


Dear President-Elect Barack Obama:

In light of your campaign promise to bring the nation together in a spirit of change we need, we, the undersigned , urge you to take this opportunity to signify that discrimination against atheists, agnostics, humanists, and other nontheists will not be condoned. Likewise, discrimination against gay people will not be condoned.

Thus we write to urge you to decline the title and role of honorary president of the Boy Scouts of America. The BSA has acted vigorously in recent years to expel members and employees who were atheist, agnostic or gay. This policy expresses the Declaration of Religious Principle, Bylaws of Boy Scouts of America, art. IX, 1, cl. 1:

The Boy Scouts of America maintains that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God. In the first part of the Scout Oath or Promise the member declares, On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law. The recognition of God as the ruling and leading power in the universe and the grateful acknowledgment of His favors and blessings are necessary to the best type of citizenship and are wholesome precepts in the education of the growing members.

The BSA has elected to set itself apart as a private organization that may discriminate in ways contrary to the laws and practices required of local, state, and federal authorities. Accepting the title and role of honorary president of the Boy Scouts of America would thus send the message that institutional discrimination against both gay people and people who dont happen to believe in a god is acceptable.

Many presidents of the United States have taken on the title of honorary president of the Boy Scouts of America. However, this tradition was established when discrimination against nontheists was, unfortunately, socially acceptable. Given that nontheists now make up a sizeable minority of the American populationhaving more numbers than Mormons, Buddhists, Hindus, and Jews combinedthe BSA is clearly out of touch with the spirit of pluralism, tolerance, and inclusiveness that compose todays American values. By contrast, in 1993 the Girl Scouts of the United States of America adopted more inclusive policies.

Therefore, please decline the title and role of honorary president of the Boy Scouts of America until such time as the organization reforms its bylaws and practices to be non-discriminatory.

Yours in unity,

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Glen LucasBy:
SustainabilityIn:
Petition target:
U.S. President-Elect Obama

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