Friday, May 30, 2003

Philly scouts deal blow to discrimination. The best thing the Boy Scouts of America could do is drop its ludricrous and offensive policy of discriminating against gays and atheists. But that's not going to happen, given the huge number of Mormon and Catholic churches that sponsor scout troops.

The second best thing is for the BSA to devolve -- to decentralize, to lessen the power of the right-wing executives in Irving, Texas (where did those people come from, anyway?), and to allow local people to make local decisions.

That's why it's heartening to see that scout executives in Philadelphia have decided to take on the hatemongers -- during a national conference in Philly, no less. Here's the latest from the Philadelphia Inquirer, and here's a supportive editorial from the Philadelphia Daily News.

As this earlier Inquirer story notes, Boston's Minuteman Council adopted what amounted to a don't-ask/don't-tell policy in 2001. But Philly's Cradle of Liberty Council, the third-largest in the nation, appears to go Minuteman one better, flat-out rejecting discrimination against gay men and boys.

No such luck for the atheists, unfortunately. But a step in the right direction is better than no step at all.

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