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GO AHEAD, BUY THE COOKIES.

If the Boy Scouts' antigay policy has you wondering about other youth groups, you're not alone. But don't worry--it's OK to crave those Girl Scout cookies. In fact, the Girl Scouts of the USA and most of the nation's other major youth groups have very inclusive nondiscrimination policies. Here's where they stand, as excerpted from their guidelines:

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."

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."

CAMP FIRE BOYS AND GIRLS "We are inclusive, welcoming children, youth, and adults regardless of race, religion, socioeconomic status, disability, sexual orientation, or other aspects of diversity."

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."

YMCA 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."
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Article Details
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Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 22, 2001
Words:357
Previous Article:SPIELBERG YELLS "CUT".
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