Kansas Boy Scouts In the continuing controversy over the exclusion of Atheists and gays fr

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Kansas Boy Scouts In the continuing controversy over the exclusion of Atheists and gays from the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), the BSA has found itself in court again. This time, its discriminatory policies are being questioned in the heartland of America -- Kansas. Brad Seabourn, a member of American Atheists, was an Assistant Scoutmaster for seven years, serving with honor. That is, he was until he questioned the BSA policy that "no boy could grow up to be a good citizen without recognizing a duty to God." In a personal letter to the Council President, he stated that he knew this was wrong because he was an Atheist and was just as good a citizen as anyone else. As a result of his statement, he was expelled in 1991. Subsequently, Mr. Seabourn, who lives in Kansas, filed two suits in Riley County [Kansas] District Court in 1992. The first sought reinstatement as an Assistant Scoutmaster and the second asked for injunctive relief to prevent being barred from participation in a summer BSA event with his son during the summer of 1992. The injunction was denied. The suit for reinstatement was filed under a Kansas public accommodations law requiring all businesses to not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, etc. The judge hearing the case was a former Eagle scout and he dismissed the suit. Seabourn then appealed to the Kansas Court of Appeals, but the Supreme Court of that state removed it to its jurisdiction. Oral arguments in the case were heard on Wednesday, September 14. A decision is not expected until October 28. American Atheists congratulates Brad Seabourn for his activism. Many other members of its volunteer system are taking on the BSA in other ways, primarily challenging public school endorsement or promotion of the organization. @ Origin: American Atheists Online (512) 302-0223 (1:382/1006.0)


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