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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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"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 and Joel Engardio TOM SHEPARD has been directing and producing documentary films for nearly 20 years. His film SCOUT’S HONOR, won two top awards at the Sundance Film Festival and broadcast nationally on PBS. Shepard co-directed and produced KNOCKING with Joel Engardio, which broadcast nationally on the PBS series Independent Lens.  Shepard directed WHIZ KIDS, a coming-of-age documentary about high school youth who find their voice through science. His collaboration with filmmaker Andy Abrahams Wilson is THE GROVE which broadcast on PBS. Shepard’s films have received acclaim in dozens of publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Miami Herald, the San Francisco Chronicle, Denver Post among others. Previously, Shepard worked as an editor at National Public Radio for Linda Wertheimer. He has taught documentary and is the former chairman of New Day Films. He graduated from Stanford University where he majored in biology and film. He divides his time between San Francisco and Colorado Springs. ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// JOEL ENGARDIO (Director/Producer) is the city columnist for the San Francisco Examiner. He has won numerous journalism and documentary film awards, for work that appeared on PBS and in USA Today, Washington Post.com and San Francisco Weekly. His essays have been broadcast on NPR and KQED. Engardio's film KNOCKING is about Constitutional freedoms and was nationally broadcast on the PBS series Independent Lens. It was named Best Documentary at the USA Film Festival. Engardio received a Master in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, with classes at Harvard Business and Law Schools. He attended on full scholarship from the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy. At the American Civil Liberties Union, Engardio developed a process that applied journalism methods to plaintiff finding. Engardio found plaintiffs who had narratives that played well in both the court of law and public opinion. Then he started an online video department to produce short films featuring the most compelling stories. Originally from Saginaw, Michigan, he now calls San Francisco home.

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