Eddie Kurtz, a former straight Boy Scout, has started a petition urging California to pass Senate Bill 323, which would end tax breaks for youth groups that discriminate against gays, including the Boy Scouts of America.
So far over 9,000 Californians have sign this petition, which is one of many that have been started around the country urging the Boy Scouts to end their anti-gay policy which bans LGBT youth and Scout Leaders.
Kurtz, who also serves as director of campaigns for Courage Campaign, stated:
I grew up in the Boy Scout tradition. I started out as a Cub Scout, transitioned through Webelos, and ended my Boy Scout journey as a Life Scout, one rank below Eagle. My closest friends were other scouts. Scouting stands for the finest qualities of humanity: self-reliance, creativity, and an appreciation of nature. Most of all, we were taught how to act as responsible, respectful citizens. This is why the Boy Scouts’ continued policy of excluding members based on their sexual orientation is so upsetting to me. It flies in the face of the very values that the scouting tradition professes to teach. As a straight ally, I can’t sit idle while the current leaders of the Boy Scouts disgrace this once-proud American institution with their personal bigotry.
The bill was introduced after the Boy Scouts of America last month put off making any decisions about whether to change its policy and start accepting gays into its organization. The issue over Boy Scouts and gays was pushed back into the spotlight last year after an East Bay teen was denied his Eagle Scout award when troop leaders learned he was gay.