Phone (305) 364-0020 and you'll hear this recording: "You have reached the South Florida Council, Boy Scouts of America, and Learning for Life."
We all know about the homophobic Boy Scouts of America, the BSA. No self-acknowledged gay or lesbian, youth or adult, may participate as a traditional BSA member or volunteer. Official BSA policy forbids it.
But what's that "Learning for Life" about?
Learning for Life Inc. is Scouting's very own but little-known cash cow.
An educational-supplies company created in 1991 by the discriminatory BSA – and still hosted today in BSA offices all across America – Learning for Life has been paid many tens of millions of taxpayer dollars during the past two decades. It reported to the IRS more than $91 million in total revenues, overwhelmingly from public schools' dollars, since 2000.
The BSA's hypocritical secret: Learning for Life openly embraces gay and lesbian members.
Says so right there in Learning for Life's official Position Statement. "Color, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic background, disability, economic status or citizenship is not criteria for participation," it reads.
The BSA is organized into geographic "councils." South Florida Council is one of 280 nationwide, managing Scouting programs in Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. Its office building on NW 82nd Avenue in Miami Lakes is home to traditional Scouting, as well as BSA's offshoot Learning for Life apparatus.
Same has been true at national BSA headquarters on West Walnut Lane in Irving, Texas. Learning for Life's national office was inside the very same building until a couple of years ago, when Learning for Life moved into the National Scouting Museum right around the corner.
Until last month, the Florida Division of Corporations' records showed the same Wayne M. Perry serving as national president of Learning for Life Inc. and national president of the Boy Scouts of America. Today the president of Learning for Life Inc. is shown as Randall Stephenson, a vice president of the BSA.
How can there be such a symbiotic relationship between the BSA – which adamantly discriminates against American kids and adults simply because of their sexual orientation – and its own, self-created Learning for Life affiliate, which has no quarrel whatsoever with gays and lesbians (not to mention with bisexual and transgender persons, either)?
Hint: Follow the money. The more students who participate in Learning for Life – each and every homosexual welcome! – the greater the organization's enormous income. Therein exists a stark and utterly contemptible BSA hypocrisy.
Learning for Life produces and sells copyrighted lesson plans, for grades pre-kindergarten through 12th, to school districts throughout the country. Each lesson has a specific theme, and is taught by regular teachers alongside their traditional classroom instruction materials.
No one is re-inventing the wheel, here. This is simple commerce. The BSA, through companion Learning for Life, peddles curriculum guidebooks and study sheets that allow students "to practice and reinforce core curriculum topics and skills while learning critical character development and life skills," according to its official website.
Who could quarrel with that, especially when gay youth and adult participants are so gladly and completely accepted?