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The UUA and the Boy Scouts of America: A Continuing Struggle for Inclusiveness

Since 1985, the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) has voiced its opposition to the discriminatory practices of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). Based upon the principles which guide our Association, we first protested the BSA's discrimination against agnostic and atheist scouts, and then protested discrimination aimed at gay scouts and scout leaders.

In 1998, the BSA withdrew its authorization of the UUA's Religion in Life scouting award and in 2000, the United States Supreme Court upheld the right of the BSA to bar from its ranks gay scouts and scout leaders. Since this time, many Unitarian Universalist congregations that either sponsored or hosted scout troops have reviewed and changed their relationships with the BSA.

The UUA continues to encourage Unitarian Universalist scouts to earn the Religion in Life emblem and to wear it with pride. For younger children of all genders, we offer the Love and Help award. We also continue to support of the Girl Scouts of America, a separate organization which has long supported the rights of scouts and leaders of varying religions and sexual identities.

If you would like to discuss Unitarian Universalist involvement in scouting, you are invited to subscribe to the UUA-sponsored electronic mailing list "UU-Scouting."  

You can read correspondence between the UUA and BSA. This includes public statements, made from 1985 to 1999, by the UUA raising concerns about the BSA’s policies, the BSA's responses, and our efforts to work out mutually agreeable solutions.

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Last updated on Tuesday, January 15, 2013.

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