Scouts Have Different Approaches to Moral Questions

October 12, 2000

Source: The Denver Post

On October 12, 2000, The Denver Post reported that "Rabbi Steven Foster is not alone in protesting the Boy Scouts' policies of discrimination against homosexuals and atheists. Financial support has been dropping, and concerned parents have withdrawn their children from troops in Denver and many other cities. The Boy Scouts' leadership stubbornly insists that the only way the organization can promote morality is through exclusivity. The Girl Scouts of America disagree. 'The Girl Scouts is open to all girls between the ages of 5 and 17,' said Rachelle Trujillo of the Mile Hi Girl Scout Council...As for Girl Scout leaders, Trujillo said there is one requirement: 'to pose as positive role models.' In the Girl Scouts, sexual orientation and religious affiliation (or lack of it) are nobody's business but your own. 'We don't discriminate, and we don't endorse any particular lifestyles,' Trujillo said. 'It's very straightforward. It's not appropriate for our leaders to discuss their sex lives, and we don't permit sexual displays of any sort.' Trujillo said she has received calls from parents concerned about the Girl Scouts' membership policies. 'I tell them the only thing we have in common with the Boy Scouts is the word 'scouts' in our name. Girl Scouts is a nondiscriminatory organization.' Even the way the Girl Scout Promise is presented acknowledges that, she said. It states: 'On my honor, I will try to serve God (optional) and my country, to help people at all times, and to live by the Girl Scout Law.' Girls are instructed that the word 'God' is to be changed whenever appropriate to something that more accurately reflects their personal value system...'Both the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts promote turning young people into responsible, fulfilled adults,' Trujillo said. 'We just have different policies on how to get there.'