Tag Archives: change.org petition

Teen girl arrested for relationship with another girl in Florida

The father of a Florida teenage girl arrested for engaging in consensual sexual relations with another teenage girl has launched a petition drive on his daughter’s behalf.

Steven Hunt’s petition at Change.org has collected more than 64,000 signatures in a day. It is addressed to Bruce Colton, Indian River County state attorney, and Brian Workman, assistant state attorney.

Hunt, of Palm Bay, Fla., is campaigning on behalf of his daughter, Kaitlyn Hunt, an 18-year-old senior at a Florida high school. She is facing felony charges for her relationship with a 15-year-old girl.

In the petition, Steven Hunt says, “My daughter Kaitlyn is a wonderful 18-year-old who is not guilty of anything other than a high school romance, but is being prosecuted for 2 felony counts of ‘lewd and lascivious battery on a child 12-16 years of age,’ because she has a girlfriend who is 15.”

He says the parents of the other girl are seeking charges because they object to the same-sex relationship.

Steven Hunt says, “The two girls began dating while Kaitlyn was 17 but her girlfriend’s parents blamed Kaitlyn for their daughter’s homosexuality. They waited until after Kaitlyn turned 18 and went to the police to have charges brought against her.”

He also says his daughter is a “highly respected student” at Sebastian River High School, with :good grades and participation in cheerleading, basketball and chorus. She was even voted ‘most school spirit.’ Now she’s been expelled from school and is facing serious felonies– all because she is in love.”

Kelly Hunt Smith says on Facebook that her daughter’s “girlfriend denies that Kaitlyn ever pressured her and is adamant that their relationship is entirely consensual, but her parents are out to destroy Kaitlyn’s life.”

Florida law treats a 15-year-old as a minor and says that a minor cannot legally consent.

Hunt says that if she is convicted, she faces jail or house arrest, and also could be required to register in Florida as a sex offender.

On the Web…

http://www.change.org/petitions/assistant-state-attorney-brian-workman-stop-the-prosecution-of-an-18-year-old-girl-in-a-same-sex-relationship

Merck pharmaceutical halts Boy Scouts funding

Merck & Company, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, will cease foundation funding for the Boy Scouts of America because the nonprofit discriminates against gays.

Scouts for Equality, led by activist Zach Wahls, petitioned Merck to withdraw its support for the BSA. Scouts or Equality also has petitioned Verizon Communications to discontinue financial support for the Texas-based BSA, which has gone to court in multiple venues to defend its ban against gay scouts, troop leaders and employees.

Wahls said on Dec. 10, 
“I am thrilled that Merck & Company, a Fortune 100 pharmaceutical giant, has announced its foundation arm is immediately withdrawing funding from the Boy Scouts of America until the program ends its anti-gay membership policy. Now it’s Verizon’s turn to join the growing list of political and corporate leaders urging the Boy Scouts of America to end this policy before more young people are harmed.”

Kelley Dougherty, a spokeswoman for Merck, confirmed that the Merck Company Foundation will not provide grants to the scouting group as long as the BSA retains its discriminatory policy.

Merck stated: “Merck Foundation has suspended all funding to the Boys Scouts of America. The Merck Foundation will consider funding the BSA again when the organization’s inclusion criteria has been expanded.

“The BSA’s policy of exclusion based on sexual orientation directly conflicts with the Merck Foundation’s giving guidelines. The Foundation re-evaluated funding for the BSA when the organization restated its policy that excludes members on the basis of sexual orientation. Merck Foundation has notified the BSA of this decision.

“As part of the broader review of funding decisions in 2013, the Foundation is currently assessing all current and future funding commitments to ensure that it is not funding organizations with policies contrary to its own.”

Earlier this year, Intel and UPS also announced an end to funding for the BSA.

On the Web…

Zach Wahl’s Verizon petition: http://www.change.org/petitions/verizon-pull-your-donations-until-the-boy-scouts-pull-their-anti-gay-policy

Cub scout pack would defy Boy Scouts of America’s gay ban

A cub scout pack in Beverly, Mass., says it will not abide by the Boy Scouts of America’s policy that bans gay scouts and scout leaders.

“We have been and will always be open and affirming, and will never turn our backs on a child or adult that seeks to embrace the core values found at the heart of Scouting,” Pack 4 Cubmaster Tony Gangi said.

An 11-member pack committee unanimously voted to reject the policy and has issued a statement of inclusion that says “the benefits of Scouting “should be available to all children and their families, regardless of their sexual orientation.”

Hundreds of thousands of people have signed petitions on Change.org calling on the BSA to drop its policy.

Scouts for Equality.com is mapping the movement against the gay ban and encouraging troops and councils around the country to launch petition drives.

Earlier this year the organization, which says it can discriminate against gays because it is a private organization, issued a finding upholding the policy.

On the Web…

http://www.scoutsforequality.com/our-goals/

Petitioners demand reinstatement of gay Scout leader

A petition drive to reinstate a Louisville, Ky., Boy Scout leader who said he was forced to resign because he is gay has gathered more than 3,000 signatures.

Greg Bourke, who had volunteered with the organization for five years, stepped down recently after the pastor at the church where his troop meets said the facility might lose its Scouting charter if he stayed.

A Boy Scouts policy enacted in 1991 and reaffirmed in July doesn’t allow gays to join. Bourke said after the affirmation, he wrote to Boy Scout executives asking whether he was still welcome was told he didn’t meet “scouting’s membership standards.”

The petition to reinstate him has gotten signatures from state Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, TV and radio personality Terry Meiners and several Eagle Scouts.

On the petition, Meiners wrote that Bourke is an “exemplary person, a doting father and a pious, generous man of integrity.”

Barry G. Oxley II of the Boy Scouts’ Lincoln Heritage Council, declined to comment about the petition, other than to say it is “a national BSA policy.”

The petition drive, started by Bourke on Change.org, says “we love the Boy Scouts, but we can’t support this policy,” and notes that the Girl Scouts, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America as well as the 4-H Club “all welcome gay kids as well as adult leaders.”

Change.org says the petition is one of dozens that take issue with local Boy Scout councils.

Bourke said he disclosed his sexual orientation because he wasn’t comfortable hiding it. He and his partner, who have lived together for 30 years, have an adopted son and an adopted daughter.

Bouke said Monday that he remains active in his son’s troop as a parent and is still a leader in his daughter’s troop.

“The support I have gotten so far has been really great.” he said of the petition drive. “That has helped eased the pain a bit.”

Betty White vs. Clint Eastwood? Petitioners want her at DNC

A campaign is under way to add Betty White to the speaker lineup at the Democratic National Convention. Petitioners see her as the liberal alternative to Clint Eastwood, who made a much-discussed speech at the Republican National Convention.

A Facebook page, Bring Betty White to the DNC, has more than 20,000 likes.

The page suggests, “If you agree that Betty White would be a great addition to the DNC, “LIKE” and share this page! @bettymwhite #BettyWhiteDNC on twitter!.”

A petition to bring actress to the podium at the Times Warner Cable Arena or the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte also exists at Change.org.

The petition, which more than 4,000 have signed, says, “Clint Eastwood, the Republican’s “mystery guest” at the RNC, gave a bad name to older Americans everywhere with his absurd and awkward-to-watch introduction of Governor Romney.

“You know what?

“Governor Romney can have Clint Eastwood and his improvisational skills because President Obama has the one and only Betty White!

“Take action today if you want to see a real [old] Hollywood icon get a political introduction right!”

Eastwood had a long and rambling conversation with an imaginary President Barack Obama and used an empty chair for his prop.

“Mr. President, how do you handle promises that you have made when you were running for election, and how do you handle them? I mean, what do you say to people?” he said at one point to the chair.