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Scout's Honor

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Scout's Honor traces the conflict between the anti-gay policies of the Boy Scouts of America and the broad-based movement by many of its members to overturn them. The story is told predominantly through the experiences of a 13-year old boy and a 70-year-old man -- both heterosexual, both dedicated to the Scouts, and both determined to change the course of Scouting history. Their challenge is being waged in their hometown of Petaluma, California -- a place more familiar with agriculture than activism. Yet it is here where they began an international petition drive and media campaign to overturn the BSA's anti-gay policy.

"To be physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight," this is the Boy Scout Oath. Since 1910, millions of boys have joined. But today, if you are openly gay, you can't. Witness how Steven Cozza, a 13-year-old Boy Scout, launches a grassroots campaign to overturn the ban on gays. Scouting for All is the movement built by Cozza with the help of a long-time Scout leader, community members, and his own family.

Also included are the stories of ousted gay Eagle Scouts Tim Curran and James Dale, whose legal cases culminated at the United States Supreme Court where a private organization's right to determine its membership was heard against a state's right to protect the civil rights of gay and lesbian citizens.

Moving from Petaluma, California to the Supreme Court, the film chronicles a modern interpretation of the Scouting ideals of courage, citizenship, and honor.
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Running Time:  55:00
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License Period:  21 days (beginning at time of purchase)
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"A brilliant and personal account in the sociology of a modern-day civil rights movement, this film offers lessons that few textbooks could ever inspire."
Estelle Freedman, Professor of History
Stanford University

"Depicts the bravery of ordinary Americans in the face of obvious and disheartening discrimination. This film moves and educates, informs and incites: it should be required viewing for all incoming university students!"
Suzanna Danuta Walters, Director Women's Studies
Georgetown University

"No one, gay or straight, can understand the moral and legal issues raised by the Boy Scouts' exclusion of gay people without viewing Scout's Honor. This is one of the most moving and intelligent documentaries I have ever seen."
Bill Eskridge, Dep. Dean and John A. Garver Professor of Jurisprudence
Yale Law School

"It's not an easy thing to be a heterosexual male standing up for gays, especially at such a young age. As the film illustrates, people automatically assume you must be gay if you're fighting for gay rights. I admire people who take on issues that are not necessarily their own."
Alycia Nicholas, Undergraduate Student
University of Colorado

"Scout's Honor offers a vital and dramatic illustration of democracy at the grassroots level. This film should be a regular feature of courses in sociology, politics, and American studies."
Larry Gross
The Annenberg School for Communication
University of Pennsylvania

"The faces behind Scouts Honor will strike a chord in every locale and provide enlightening commentary on the growth and future of gay/straight alliances across America."
Kevin Jennings, Executive Director
Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network
Tom Shepard Tom Shepard produced and directed Scout's Honor, a PBS-funded documentary about the anti-gay policy of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) and the grassroots campaign to overturn it. Scout's Honor won the Audience Award for Best Documentary and Freedom of Expression Award at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival as well as Grand Prize at the 2001 USA Film Festival and Best Social Issue Documentary by the Council on Family Relations. Scout's Honor broadcast nationally when it opened POV's 14th season on June 19, 2001. Prior to Scout's Honor, Shepard co-produced and edited Camp Lavender Hill which aired on public television, Free Speech Television, and CNN World. Shepard recently finished co-directing and producing Knocking in association with the Independent Television Service (ITVS) about Jehovah's Witnesses and their contributions to medicine and civil liberties. Knocking broadcast nationally on the PBS series Independent Lens in May of 2007. Previously, Shepard worked as an editor at National Public Radio for Linda Wertheimer and the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. At NPR, he co-produced Listening to America, an audio documentary on the history of public radio in America. He graduated from Stanford University where he majored in biology and film. He curently lives in San Francisco and is directing a feature documentary about kids and science.

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