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Alternative Youth Groups

     Below are some other youth serving organizations that you might want to consider, if you're a parent or a member of an organization which charters BSA units and looking to disassociate your organization from BSA's discrimination.

Groups with Specific Nondiscrimination Policies

B-PSA: Baden-Powell Service Association (USA) - After several years, the organization has developed a non-discrimination policy that specifies what form of discrimination is not permitted: "BPSA offers a choice for those with curiosity, energy and independence of spirit. We are committed to providing an appropriate alternative and community-oriented Scouting experience. BPS welcomes everyone, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion (or no-religion) or other differentiating factors. Our mission is to provide a positive learning environment within the context of democratic participation and social justice. We foster the development of Scouts in an environment of mutual respect and cooperation."

Boys and Girls Clubs of America: "The organization does not discriminate against employees or applicants for employment on any legally recognized basis including, but not limited to, race, color, national origin, religion, sex, marital status, veteran status, physical or mental disability, and/or age…. Regarding youth membership, local Boys and Girls Clubs do not discriminate against members or applicants for membership on any basis. Every club maintains an inclusive membership policy. All youth are welcome."1

Camp Fire USA: "We are inclusive, welcoming children, youth, and adults regardless of race, religion, socioeconomic status, disability, sexual orientation, or other aspects of diversity."1

National 4-H Council: "National 4-H Council is committed to a policy that all persons shall have equal access to its programs, facilities, and employment without regard to race, color, sex, religion, religious creed, ancestry or national origin, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, physical or mental disability."1

Navigators: "The Navigators USA is committed to providing a quality scouting experience that is inclusive and available to all children and families regardless of gender, race, religion, economic status, sexual orientation and social background. The Navigator Moral Compass says it all and demonstrates the founding group's dream of creating a scouting organization that meets the needs of youths, parents, guardians and other adult caregivers well into the twenty-first century."

Spiral Scouts International: Membership is open to children of all ages and backgrounds, including Wicca, Paganism, or other faith traditions. Children are not born with prejudices, they have to learn prejudice and intolerance from others (or NOT!). It is our job to see that they learn acceptance and tolerance as the norm. It is our job to teach them the life skills they will need to have healthy, productive and happy lives and steady relationships during those lives. We can do no less.

Open Youth Organization: The Open Youth Organization is a simple volunteer youth development group that promotes joint youth and adult learning through clubs and shared knowledge on the web.

Groups that have a "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Policy

Girl Scouts of the USA: "The Girl Scouts organization does not discriminate, but we do not endorse any particular lifestyle. We have firm standards relating to appropriate conduct. We do not permit sexual display of any sort by our members. We do not permit the advocacy or promotion of a personal lifestyle or sexual orientation. These are private matters for girls and their families to address. Girl Scout volunteers and staff must at all times serve as appropriate role models for girls." However, as explained in more detail in this web site, the GSUSA have gone to court to prevent atheists from joining and local councils are allowed to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.1

YMCA Adventure Guide Program (formerly the Y Indian Guides): The group follows the YMCA policy, which states that access to members and employees shall be "without discrimination on the basis of race, sex, color, religion, or national origin." Sexual orientation is not mentioned because it hasn't come up, said Arnold Collins, a YMCA spokesman. "We would never ask people about sexual orientation, just as we would never ask them about their political affiliations." To our knowledge, the YMCA has not barred or expelled persons on the basis of their sexual orientation. However, as the YMCA has it's roots in the Evangelical Protestant Movement of the late 1800's, it is possible. If you are aware of any documented incidents, please contact us via e-mail.1

US-based Groups that may be Non-discriminatory

     The following organizations have been presented to this web site as being inclusive, however, there is no specific statement available from the organization's web site which specifically prohibits discrimination on the basis of religious belief or sexual orientation. In communicating with representatives of these organizations, they've been unable to provide any written documents to this web site confirming their policy of being open to youth, regardless of either sexual orientation or religious belief. If you're a member of one of these organizations and are able to provide such documentation, please forward such to the webmaster.


1Quotations were obtained From The Advocate, May 22, 2001

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