Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Immediate Action Needed to Help Philadelphia Boy Scouts

This year is the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America. For a century, the mission of the Boy Scouts has been to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.

The Scout Oath states, "On my honor I will do my best to do my duty to God and to my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight."

As part of its core values and dedication to morality, the Boy Scouts have an internal leadership policy of not hiring known or avowed members of the homosexual community. This policy has recently come under attack in the City of Philadelphia.

Serving 87,000 boys and men, the Cradle of Liberty Council, located in Philadelphia, is the third largest local council in the country. Of the estimated 69,000 youth that participate, many benefit from mentoring and educational services, in addition to the traditional service projects and character building activities.

Since 1928, the Cradle of Liberty Council has rented its headquarters from the City for $1 per year. However, the City of Philadelphia made a decision to penalize the Boys Scouts because of its adherence to long-held moral beliefs by raising the rent to $200,000 per year after May 31, 2008.

In response, Congressman Joe Pitts (R-PA) has authored a letter to Mayor Nutter and City Council President Verna asking the City of Philadelphia to reconsider its decision and instead continue its support for the Boy Scouts of America.

Please contact your Representative immediately and request that he or she sign on to this letter by close of business Thursday, July 31. A full list of Representatives is available at www.house.gov.