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Fast Action Fax Alert
To Educate and Mobilize Pro-Family Citizens
Public Policy Division
September 15, 2000 FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Julie Neils, Paul Hetrick
Ft. Lauderdale Votes to Defund Boy Scouts of America
Colorado Springs—Since their June victory concerning homosexual Scout leaders in the U.S. Supreme Court, the Boy Scouts have continued to battle financial threats and eviction due to a backlash driven by gay activists. The Boy Scouts may have won at the High Court, but the court of public opinion has not yet issued its final verdict.
The Boy Scouts in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., face sustained loss of public funding and support while they endeavor to teach young boys the moral truths of life and to reach out to the underprivileged in their community. Last Monday, the Ft. Lauderdale City Commission voted to deny a $10,000 grant to the South Florida Council of the Boy Scouts for an in-school program to aid disabled and at-risk youths. Despite the hundreds of people who showed up at a public hearing to support the Boy Scouts’ right to exclude gay and lesbian Scoutmasters and leaders, the city commission in a preliminary hearing voted 3-1 to reject the grant. The final vote takes place on Tuesday, September 19.
United Way chapters in Ft. Lauderdale also continue to pull their funding. The Broward County, Fla. Commission had given the Scouts 30 days to "respond to why county money should not be removed" from the Scouts. The county not only proceeded to terminate $90,000 in funds, but also chose not to honor its own 30 day moratorium before yanking the promised money.
Currently, Ft. Lauderdale, Palm Beach, and Miami-Dade County School Districts are discussing excluding Scouts from school facilities. The possible eviction could leave well over 42 Cub Scout groups with no place to meet.
Joined by Ms. Janet Folger, executive director of the Center for Reclaiming America; Dr. D. James Kennedy, president and founder of Coral Ridge Ministries; Robert Knight, Senior Director of Cultural Policy Studies at Family Research Council; the Rev. Larry Thompson, pastor of First Baptist Church, Ft. Lauderdale; Mr. Philip Haslam, former Scout member; the Rev. Jimmy Cox, pastor of West Lauderdale Baptist Church and the Honorable James Naugle, mayor of Ft. Lauderdale, in today’s Focus on the Family daily broadcast, Focus President, Dr. James C. Dobson, spoke out in defense of the Boy Scouts:
"Gay activists come in the name of tolerance, but in a situation like this—you don’t see much evidence of it . . . It is apparent now that the homosexual activists, after losing their case in the U.S. Supreme Court last summer, have launched a campaign to intimidate and punish the Scouts because this organization won’t cave in to the pressure to have gay and lesbian Scoutmasters and leaders. This movement has unbelievable political power that reaches into every area of the culture. We need to sit up and take notice . . . Now is the time to be heard."
On Tuesday, September 19, the Ft. Lauderdale County Commission will hold its final vote on the motion to defund the Scouts. Dr. Dobson encouraged constituents to call Tim Smith, vice mayor of Ft. Lauderdale, a strong opponent of the Boy Scouts on this issue, and to let the Ft. Lauderdale City Commission know that they are concerned about the stand that this city has taken. Smith and other City Commissioners can be reached at: (954) 761-5004. Additional information can be found on our website: www.citizenlink.org.