Thanks to those who gave their opinions. Issue solved.

I need the help, advice and opinions of InterstateQ.com readers. You can comment in the comment boxes on this post.

Over the course of my blogging existence, many websites have linked to InterstateQ.com (or to my other domains MattHillNC.com and MattHillComer.com). The overwhelming majority of these other websites are blogs maintained by other activists, those writing on LGBT issues and other political issues, religious writers, or just regular members of the public who happen to have websites or blogs in which to express themselves and their opinions.

Link-sharing happens all the time. It doesn’t usually mean that one site owner or editor agrees with another, but only that they are linking to them for some purpose.

I have also noticed, however, that there are blogs with content ranging from somewhat racy or mildly mature content to extremely adult content and mature audiences only. Links to these sites and blogs have never been put on my website (meaning, you can’t access them from the website that I control or maintain).

But, my visitors are coming from these other sites. Which is why I now ask for InterstateQ.com reader opinions and advice:

Should I continue to let websites and blogs with adult and mature content link to my site? In your opinion, is there any valid concern over being associated with their site content if they link to me but I do not link to them? My site has nothing to do with adult or mature content and is in an entirely different category than sites that do have that content; however, I am well aware that there may be people who view both my site and other sites with adult content. If I request to have my links removed, would I be losing readership? If the links remain, do I somehow put myself in association with these other sites? Am I just way too over-concerned?

All opinions are welcome. I’m having a tough time figuring out what to do on this one folks. Thanks!

Again, You can comment in the comment boxes on this post. You can do so anonymously, of course, if you wish (just put in anonymous as your name).

In the Life (ITL), (www.itl.tv) a national LGBT television newsmagazine syndicated to PBS stations across the country is slowly making its debut in North Carolina.

Last month, ITL debuted on UNC-TV’s channel 4 (serving Chapel Hill, Raleigh and Durham areas). UNC-TV has yet to put ITL on all of its transmitters and translators which send UNC-TV programming across the State of North Carolina and into parts of Tennessee, Virginia and South Carolina.

ITL’s program this month will focus on June, Pride Month.

It is kind of upsetting, really. I wish UNC-TV would put the show on all of its network programming. I live in the Triad and according to UNC-TV, our transmitter is WUNL-TV-26.

A year ago or so I emailed UNC-TV requesting that ITL be acquired as a syndicated PBS show on their programming. I guess they finally did it, just only on one station.

If you have the time, please copy and then paste following letter to UNC-TV at their contact page: http://www.unctv.org/aboutus/contactus.html. Urge them to carry ITL on all of their channels across the state:

Letter to UNC-TV, urging the inclusion of ITL in their state-wide programming

Dear UNC-TV:

With the inclusion of many available and worthwhile programs, it is no wonder this station over the years has gained much respect in our local community. Knowing that you rely on the support and recommendations from all of your viewers, I would like to take this opportunity to point out a very admirable and educational program that has not been one of your regularly scheduled
programs.

“In the Life,” the television newsmagazine on gay and lesbian America, has been an available program on the public broadcasting service since 1992, and is a remarkable news and social issues production. Not regularly found on network or public television, the “In the Life” program is an essential resource for dispelling homophobia and imparting to its viewers vital information about the ever-growing lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) presence in our nation.

Unfortunately, “In the Life” does not find a spot in your regular, state-wide program schedule, as it only appears on the WUNC 4, the transmitter for the Triangle area. I am confident that I am not the only viewer who would be very excited and appreciate knowing that the monthly series, “In the Life,” would have a permanent position in this station’s state-wide programming schedule.

I hope that my request affirms your knowing that “In the Life” has a desirable audience and reinforces your knowledge that it can make an equally powerful positive impact in our community.

Thank you.

UPDATE and CORRECTION from an IntersateQ.com reader:

I popped onto your blog and read your post about contacting UNC-TV about airing ITL. I applaud your efforts, but thought I’d just clarify a wee bit. ITL does not air on UNC-TV proper (the network available to 99% of North Carolinians and lots of folks in VA, TN, SC and GA. Instead it airs on UNC-TV digital channel UNC-ED, available to persons with digital sets and the digital tier from Time Warner and other cable companies in our state. So folks should be able to get it all across NC, etc., assuming they have digital cable (or hdtv/dtv).

Either way, as I told the reader (who so kindly emailed to give me the correction), I think ITL should be available to ALL UNC-TV viewers. I assumed that when ITL said UNC-TV Chapel Hill it mean the Chapel Hill transmitter. I was wrong and I stand corrected. Thanks!

Ex-gay and anti-gay activist Stephen Bennett recently put out a press release regarding the joyous occasion of the birth of Samuel David Cheney, the son of Mary Cheney and Heather Poe (h/t Ed Cone).

In the press release, Bennett states (emphasis added):

What is extremely troubling is the official White House caption that appears underneath the photo on the official White House website:

… His parents are the Cheney’s daughter Mary, and her partner, Heather Poe. White House photo by David Bohrer.

Since when have two homosexual women been able to naturally procreate?

Fact is Mary Cheney, the Vice President’s daughter – in one way or another – received a male’s sperm. She is the biological mother, parent number one, and some man, somewhere out there, is Samuel David’s real biological father, parent number two.

Unlike the official White House photo caption, a man and a woman, a Daddy and a Mommy, are Samuel David Cheney’s REAL biological parents.

Then who is Heather Poe?

Heather Poe is Mary Cheney’s live-in lesbian lover. She may act like a parent, she may treat the baby as a parent, she may love this baby with all of her heart, but in this reality we all live in, Heather Poe is NOT the baby’s real parent. She has NO biological connection to the child whatsoever. Some man, the baby’s real Daddy, is the child’s other REAL parent.

Did you get that?

“Heather Poe is NOT the baby’s real parent. She has NO biological connection to the child whatsoever. Some man, the baby’s real Daddy, is the child’s other REAL parent.”

Seems as though Bennett is saying that only a biological parent can be a “REAL parent.”

Well, along with all the children with adoptive parents, I find this statement (well, more like an insinuation) an insult, a slap in the face and horribly offensive.

My male “REAL parent” (i.e. biological father) was never my “father.” He was never a “REAL” father. You know who was? My grandfather. Grandpa was, for all intents and purposes, my “REAL” father. I’m sure most, if not all, children of adoptive parents would say that their “REAL parents” were those who raised them, loved them, took care of them, nourished them, protected them, guided them and so on and so on.

Biology has absolutely nothing to do with who is or is not a “REAL parent” to a child.

Parenting is about a whole lot more than biology and x chromosomes and y chromosomes and sperm and eggs and pee-pees and woo-woos. Parenting is about the love, nurture, care, protection, wisdom and guidance imparted upon a child by loving adults.

I don’t know anything about the personal and familial lives of Mary Cheney and Heather Poe. Quite frankly, it really isn’t any of my business, but if they fit the description of loving, caring and nurturing adults attempting to raise a child to be the best he can be in this insane world of ours, then I think they can be called “parents.”

Just like Grandpa was a “REAL parent” to me, Heather can be a “REAL parent” to Baby Samuel.

End of Story.

And, just in case Bennett decides he’s embarrassed himself too much with what he said and yanks down his press release, here it is in its entirety:

White House Officially Recognizes Homosexual Unions and Parenting?

Contact: The Parents Group National Office, 203-926-6960

HUNTINGTON, Conn., May 30 /Christian Newswire/ — On May 23, 2007, the White House, silently and without any fanfare, released an official White House photo of Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife, Lynne Cheney, welcoming their sixth grandchild, Samuel David Cheney, into the Cheney fold.

The beautiful little tyke weighed in at 8 lbs., 6 oz. and was born at 9:46 a.m. at Sibley House in Washington, D.C.

What is extremely troubling is the official White House caption that appears underneath the photo on the official White House website:

… His parents are the Cheney’s daughter Mary, and her partner, Heather Poe. White House photo by David Bohrer.

Since when have two homosexual women been able to naturally procreate?

Fact is Mary Cheney, the Vice President’s daughter – in one way or another – received a male’s sperm. She is the biological mother, parent number one, and some man, somewhere out there, is Samuel David’s real biological father, parent number two.

Unlike the official White House photo caption, a man and a woman, a Daddy and a Mommy, are Samuel David Cheney’s REAL biological parents.

Then who is Heather Poe?

Heather Poe is Mary Cheney’s live-in lesbian lover. She may act like a parent, she may treat the baby as a parent, she may love this baby with all of her heart, but in this reality we all live in, Heather Poe is NOT the baby’s real parent. She has NO biological connection to the child whatsoever. Some man, the baby’s real Daddy, is the child’s other REAL parent.

If the Vice President and his wife Lynne are joining their daughter Mary in playing this homosexual game of “house,” then all have chosen their roles and designated lesbian lover Heather Poe as the “Daddy.”

Everyone knows there can only be one REAL biological Mommy. We are all grown adults. Playing “house” is a game for children, not for The White House or the Vice President and his wife.

What is so hypocritical of this Administration is its “double-speak.”

President George W. Bush held several presses conferences calling for a Federal Marriage Amendment to protect the God-ordained institution of marriage between one man and one woman, while homosexuals pushed for the union of two men or two women to be equally recognized as real “marriage.”

However, the President’s number two, right hand man, Vice President Dick Cheney, clearly rebels against his superior, makes a public mockery of the President and the current Administration he is supposed to represent, and clearly holds to a different set of moral standards and beliefs.

When President Bush stood on the victory stage several years ago after being elected into office by values voters, Mary Cheney was on stage as well with her lesbian lover, Heather Poe. It was a slap in the face to the values voters who had just elected the duo into office. That wound has never healed.

While this little innocent child Samuel David Cheney deserves every fighting chance at life, the sins of two women, Mary Cheney and Heather Poe, have deliberately denied the Vice President’s grandson one of the most basic human rights of all: the right to a Daddy and a Mommy.

I say shame on the White House, shame on the President and shame on the Vice President for allowing such a caption to be “officially” added onto the White House website and such a beautiful photo of two happy grandparents and their new grandchild.

I guess we can tragically and officially say both the White House and Bush Administration have officially recognized the sinful sexual unions of homosexuals, as well as recognized and embraced the tragedy of the social experiment of homosexual parenting.

Stephen Bennett is founder of www.TheParentsGroup.com, a worldwide support group for parents, grandparents, family members and friends with homosexual loved ones.

Bennett lived the homosexual lifestyle for over 11 years with over 100 partners, until he finally left it all in 1992. Today, Stephen is happily married to his wife Irene of almost 14 years. The couple has two beautiful children, a young boy and a girl.

Bennett has appeared on almost every major network and cable news program, advocating for the traditional family, the protection of children and proclaiming the truth about homosexuality.

For interviews, please call TPG’s National Office in Connecticut at 203-926-6960. Stephen’s bio can be obtained at www.SBMinistries.org/media.html

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I take that back… they already have destroyed our nation. We just haven’t seen the effects yet.

Conservative takeover of America. Any idea when the ball really got rolling? 1980s, under President Reagan. What else happened under President Reagan regal reign? The corporate-conservative takeover of our media.

From Fec (http://fecundstench.com/WordPress/?p=307):

From Sun Valley Online:

“These individuals have entered public service not to serve the public interest but to subvert the very laws they are charged with enforcing in order to enrich the president’s corporate paymasters,” Kennedy charged. “They have imposed tremendous diminution in quality of live for people in this country. Most Americans don’t know about it, they’re unaware of the connections, they don’t make the connection, because we have a negligent and indolent press in this country that has simply let down American democracy.

I’m sorry, but an effective press wouldn’t make any difference at all to the apathetic WalMart people. They just wanna know about the next NASCAR event and Lindsay Lohan.

“The Pew [Research Center] just did a survey which showed that 30% of Americans now say their primary news source is talk radio, which is 95% controlled by The Right. Twenty-two percent said cable news, mainly Fox News. Ten percent [said] Sinclair Network –the most right-wing of them all- which is the largest television network in America and it’s run by a former pornographer who requires all 75 of his local affiliate stations to take a pledge not to report critically about this president on Iraq and other issues.

“Only 11% of Americans now read newspapers,” Kennedy went on, “The rest of us are getting our news from the traditional corporate media, ABC, NBC, CBS and CNN, who have no ideology other than their own pocketbooks.”

Thank you for making my point.

“The decline in American media began in 1988,” Kennedy recalled, “the de-evolution of American media, when President Ronald Reagan abolished the Fairness Doctrine. We had a law in this nation that was passed in 1928, at the dawn of commercial radio. The Fairness Doctrine said that the airwaves, like the waters and the air, belongs to the public. That the broadcasters can be licensed to use them but only if they use them with the proviso that they use them to promote –primarily- the public interest and advance American democracy.”

I knew The Gipper was behind it.

“Ronald Reagan abolished the Fairness Doctrine in 1988 as a favor to the Christian Right, which was already plotting to the takeover of AM Radio and as a favor to the big studio heads, who’d helped him get elected, who were plotting the takeover of all media. As a result of that, today there are five giant multinational corporations that control all 14,000 radio stations in America, all 5,000 television stations, 80% of our newspapers, all of our billboards and most of the large internet content providers.”

The Christofascists were a given.

“People in Washington talk about red states and blue states and the values difference between them. They’re wrong about that. The values are all the same across America. But you know, 80% of Republicans are just Democrats who don’t know what’s going on.”

Ouch.

Seventy percent of the people who said they voted for George Bush said they believed Saddam Hussein bombed the World Trade Center. Seventy percent believed weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq. Sixty-five percent believe that the American invasion of Iraq was strongly supported on the Muslim streets, by Iraq’s Muslim neighbors and our traditional public allies in Europe. Sixty-four percent said that they believe President Bush strongly supported the Kyoto Protocols and had strong labor and environmental standards in our international treaties.

Of the 10% who still read the paper, 50% only read the sports page.

“They went back twice to the same people,” Kennedy said, “the second time to determine where they were getting their news and invariably the people who had all this disinformation said their primary news source was talk radio or Fox News.

Again, ouch.

And they went back a third time to find out was people’s basic values are and they did that by posing a series of hypotheticals. For example, they said, ‘What if there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, what if Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with bombing the World Trade Center, what if the American invasion of Iraq was largely opposed on the Muslim street and by our tradition allies in Europe? Eighty-four percent of Democrats and eighty-four percent of Republicans said the same thing: We should not.”

See… It isn’t the “immorality” of all us ho-mo-sek-shoo-els who are destroying this nation. It is stupidity. Brought on by the watered-down muck we call “news.” And who’s to blame? The Republicans.

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Can the Clintons be trusted?

It is no secret that I’ve made a few enemies over the way I’ve treated the Republican Party, at least publicly and in my writings.

Truth be told, most of my best friends are Republican – some of them more conservative, some of them more middle of the road. What the Republicans have in regard to LGBT equality that the Democrats don’t have, however, is honesty.

I don’t have to guess and wonder where my friends stand politically or ideologically or religiously when it comes to the issues surrounding my civil equality. They don’t lie to me and they tell me what they think without trying to sugar-coat it. Have I gotten frustrated with some of my friends before? Well, yes, but again… I never have to guess what they are thinking; I already know.

The same is not true of the Democrats and especially of the Clintons.

Bob Shrum’s new book has caused quite the stir over supposed comments made by my darling John Edwards. Almost a decade ago back in 1998, according to Shrum, Edwards said he “wasn’t comfortable around” gays. I’m able to forgive this – I hope. Look at how much America has changed in the past decade. And Edwards certainly is the most outspoken Democratic favorable toward our issues.

Shrum’s book, however, now gives us a revealing look into the advice Bill Clinton gave John Kerry:

A version of this story is already in print. In 2004, Newsweek reported, without a named source, that Bill Clinton had suggested Kerry “to back local bans on gay marriage.”

Shrum has more, and different, detail:

“Clinton, Kerry reported at the time, did suggest blunting Bush’s appeal to cultural conservatives with a reprise of Clinton’s Sister Souljah moment in 1992 when he’d denounced her call for violence against whites — and done it as conspicuously as possible in front of Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition.

“Kerry, Clinton ventured, should consider defying Democratic interest groups by endorsing the Bush proposal for a federal constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.”

Shrum reports that “this was a flip-flop too far for Kerry.”

I have never really trusted the Clintons. I don’t know exactly why, but I just never have. There is something about them I just find to come off as untrustworthy.

I understand that under Bill Clinton’s administration in the 1990s, America was so much better-off than we are now, but still: Clinton was also the one who promised to get rid of anti-LGBT discrimination in the Armed Forces and then turned his back and signed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Clinton also signed the Federal Defense of Marriage Act.

I get this little feeling that the Clintons only say and do what is politically expedient for them at whatever time they need to say it or do it. It frustrates me.

But it is just a “feeling.” I have nothing to really back it up. Am I over-reacted? Do I have a legitimate concern? I don’t know.

I do know, however, that I will be voting for John Edwards in the North Carolina primary. I’ll figure out what I’ll do for the General Elections when they hit, because I have a good feeling that Edwards won’t be there. Oh well.

Ya’ll might remember when I posted the Advocate.com article by Tully Satre in “Young activist speaks on the passing of Jerry Falwell.”

Needless to say, the response he has gotten hasn’t been all that great.

I wrote a letter to the editor, now posted at Advocate.com:

|| Letters ||

Tully Satre and Falwell

I read with great appreciation the words of Tully Satre on the passing of the Reverend Jerry Falwell. And I agree with him. I am one of those LGBT activists and bloggers who did not “rejoice” or otherwise greet the death of this man as a victory. I am also a Southerner and perhaps my ideas are based on my upbringing. You just don’t talk bad about the dead, out of respect for their soul and the family of the departed. There is a difference between trash-talking a person and offering intelligent and legitimate discussion on the life and legacy of a public figure. We should, as an entire people – gay and straight alike – learn better how to engage in the latter. America is much too full with trash-talking and non-substantive debate and discussion.

Matt Hill Comer
Winston-Salem, NC

I’m glad to have been a part of the convo.

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Looking for a rare book…

Maybe someone out there can help me.

I’m looking for a rare, out-of-print book published in 1961. “The Descendants of Michael Easter of North Carolina” by Louise E. Easter, published by Genealogical Recorders of Bladensburg, Maryland. This company became Genealogical Publishers, Inc. and is now based out of Baltimore, MD. There is no mention of this book on their website.

The book is of great historic value not only for me and my family, but really… for many in North Carolina and Virginia, as well. Michael Easter is the ancestor of literally thousands and thousands of people, including me 🙂

If you have ever seen this book, heard of this book or know of this book, gimme a holler: matt ‘at’ interstateq ‘dot’ com

From News & Record legislative correspondent and blogger, Mark Binker (src):

In the “you can’t make this stuff up” category, there was an exchange between Sen. Linda Garrou, Democrat of Winston-Salem, and Sen. Tom Apodaca, Republican of Henderson County, at the end of today’s appropriation meeting. I’m not going to transcribe it, but it involves whether the burly Apodaca lost an ear-ring or not.

Click here to listen. (PG-13, I think).

The Guilford Green Foundation has launched its 2nd Annual Straight Ally Campaign and is expanding it this year! Now is your chance to to be a part of this campaign before the first ad is due this Friday!

From Guilford Green’s Straight Ally Campaign:

Last year the inaugural Straight Ally Campaign changed the face of Greensboro for the better with more than 300 straight allies signing up during the month of June. A strong community is one where respect and dignity of all people, regardless of sexual orientation, is valued.

Similar to last year’s campaign, we are asking straight allies to donate $35 dollars that will go directly into the Guilford Green Foundation grantmaking. Last year, GGF granted $60,000 to organizations in Guilford and Alamance Counties. This year, with the attempt to raise awareness in our five county region, we plan to place ads in the Burlington Times News, the High Point Enterprise and the Greensboro News & Record. Ads will demonstrate the importance of acceptance and fairness between the LGBT community and our straight contemporaries. Entitled “Our Community is Stronger When Everyone is Treated Fairly,” the initiative will promote fairness and unity by focusing on the creation of new relationships and alliances, and enhancement of existing efforts.

I encourage all my straight ally friends to donate and be a part of this wonderful campaign and the Guilford Green Foundation! GGF helps many groups throughout Greensboro and Alamance – groups working to create safer, more welcoming communities for all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender-identity.

You can donate online and be a part of this campaign!

You can also see a list of last year’s campaign members and see copies of last year’s ads here.

The Boy Scouts of America – an organization with which I have not only been significantly involved but also an organization with which I have a long history of not-so-happy interaction – is holding its annual conference in Atlanta. The meeting will take place tomorrow, May 30th and May 31st 2007.

Parents and members involved in the national organization PFLAG, Parents Friends & Family of Lesbians and Gays, have sent out a press release. They plan on publicly confronting the Boy Scouts of America and their discriminatory membership policies. Something I’ve done year after year since I was faced with the reality of the Boy Scouts’ membership policies.

In 2000, I was dismissed from Scouting (Troop 715, New Philadelphia Moravian Church, Old Hickory Council, Winston-Salem, NC) after establishing a gay-straight alliance at my high school. To date, I am the only dismissed gay youth member of the Boy Scouts of America in the entire Southeastern United States to have publicly spoken out about his treatment and dismissal. (More background info: boyscouts.interstateq.com.

Parents, from PFLAG chapters all across Georgia, are urging the Boy Scouts to dump their policies:

Dale Merkle of Atlanta, a former Boy Scout who was also a Cub Scout den leader, expressed dismay that the Boy Scouts of America have adopted a discriminatory policy that didn’t exist when he was raising his own
children and was involved in Scouting.

“I don’t know which is worse, that the Boy Scouts of America discriminate the way they do, or that they think it’s okay to flaunt this discrimination in Atlanta, a city that for many people is synonymous with the civil rights movement,” said Merkle, a father of three children, two of whom are gay, and a member of the Atlanta chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). “I would hope that — at the very least — a discussion of this outdated policy would be on the agenda for this important meeting, but it appears that the current Board of the Boy Scouts of America organization simply doesn’t care about fairness.”

“In the name of ‘morals’, the Boy Scouts of America have adopted a bigoted policy that flies in the face of what a majority of Americans believe,” Merkle said. “This hurts every Scout by planting the seeds of intolerance, and there’s nothing moral about that.”

Macon PFLAG Co-President Rene Sanchez, who is the father of a gay son and is also a public health professional, expressed concern that the gay-exclusion policy gives today’s Scouts mixed messages on personal morality.

“Scouting has always been about producing young men of character and integrity,” said Sanchez. “Most young people today understand that anti-gay policies are bigotry, so the Scouts’ policy of anti-gay discrimination must seem tragically out of step for today’s members.”

PFLAG National President John Cepek, a father of a gay son in Indian Head Park, Ill., called on the Boy Scouts of America to change their exclusionary policy against gay participation.

“What better time than an annual meeting for an organization like the Boy Scouts of America to take a bold stand and prove through a change in policy that discrimination is always wrong,” said Cepek. “Atlanta would be the perfect place to begin teaching today’s young men such a profoundly moral lesson.”

The issue of the discriminatory membership policies of the Boy Scouts of America have always been near and dear to my heart. In fact, it was my public outspokenness regarding my dismissal from the Scouting program that carries a large part of the catalyst to me becoming the activist I am today. That, in addition to facing harassment and discrimination within my high school, are the main proponents of why I become who I am today.

In 2000, I was 14 years old, a Star Scout and only 2 community service hours and a scoutmaster conference and board of review to becoming a Life Scout. After that, I’d have about only one more year in which to perform requirements toward attaining my Eagle Scout Award, earning only four more merit badges and, of course, the community service project. I would have been a 15, at most 16 years old, when I earned my Eagle Scout Award – the first boy out of the boys my age to achieve it in my troop. To add to that: I did most of what I had earned on my own. Of course, I had the help of scoutmasters (and in Cub Scouts the always-present help from the fathers of friends), but most of my work was done on my own, without the help other boys got from their fathers.

I was never given the chance to earn my Eagle Scout Award. I was dismissed from the Scouting program by… well, I still don’t know exactly who did it. At one time I was told “they would be voting on [my membership].” Another time, I was told the scoutmaster of my troop made the decision. Still yet, another time I was told the executives of the council made the decision.

Almost every principle of the Scout Oath and Law was broken by those who handled my dismissal from the Scouting program. Not only should my former troop, the church that sponsored it, the council and council executives be ashamed for the membership policy, they should also be ashamed for the sorry way in which it was all handled. They should be ashamed of the lies and plain, outright, un-Scout-like behavior.

In the Scouting program, I was taught honor, loyalty, integrity, honesty, reverence and respect. In return, I received none of these from those who decided that my presence in the Scouting program was no longer needed. Not only did they turn their backs on a fellow Scout, they betrayed his trust, lied to him and tore down their own principles and values.

Supporters of the discriminatory Boy Scout membership policies claim the Boy Scouts are “upholding traditional values.” Tell me, please… what kind of value do these folks put in dishonesty, dishonor and untrustworthiness? Do the supporters of the Boy Scout policy also support dishonesty and disloyal actions toward youth and children? I hope not.

My time in the Boy Scouts of America – from about 4th grade/5th grade to the time I was 14 years old, is a time I will never forget. My activist spirit may have been formed from my dismissal, but my patriotism, reverence for God, respect for my country and the way in which I try to live my life were all formed from the timeless principles taught by the Boy Scouts to thousands and thousands of boys throughout the last one hundred years.

I pray that all young boys will one day be able to take part in this great tradition of learning, growing and maturing. There is no doubt the Boy Scouts are a great and honored institution. Where would our country be without them? How many former Boy Scouts currently hold positions of trust, power and authority in our nation? Many. How many Eagle Scouts are in the same position? Many.

The Boy Scouts don’t realize it yet, but by upholding their discriminatory membership policies they go against the very grain of what it is to be American and what it is to be an organization symbolizing our nation’s spirit of freedom and democracy.