6B; /The Houston Post/Sun., Dec. 20, 1981
Sex bias claimed
Girl, parents sue Cub Scouts
for throwing her out of troop
NORMAN, Okla. AP) — The parents of a 9-year-
old girl who "needs to be taught to be a survivor" go
to court this week to press a suit over her ouster from
the Cub Scouts.
The parents of Marystephanie Constantikes —
"Toffie" to friends and family — filed the federal sex
discrimination suit against the Boy Scouts of America
when she was booted out of the group after nearly a
She won all the main awards and even got the Silver Arrow for outstanding achievement in the Cub
Scouts," said her mother, Joy Constantikes.
When Marystephanie won the Pinewood Derby, in
which the scouts carve cars from wood and race them
down an incline, "that really cemented her place in
the troop," said Mrs. Constantikes.
The ouster came when Marystephanie wanted to go
with her brother, who also was a Cub Scout, to summer day camp this year.
We filled out the papers and sent them in along
with the money," said her father, John Constantikes,
an attorney. "Then we got a letter from the Scouts
and our money back. The letter said they hadn't
known that Marystephanie was a girl.
When she joined she filled out three sets of papers
with her name on them. One went to the national, one
to the regional and one to the local. They are trying
now to say they didn't know she was a girl."
0ier father filed the $250,000 sex discrimination on
Marystephanie's behalf against the Boy Scouts of
America, the Cub Scouts of America and the Last
The Boy Scouts don't see it as sex discrimination.
The issue from our point of view has nothing to do
with sex discrimination," said Scout spokesman
Brantly Hudson. "We are a private membership
organization and as such are able to determine our
Hudson said the decision to bar Marystephanie was
not a matter of local judgment but "is based on national policies and decisions."
He said girls are permitted in the Explorer program, which Is open to youths from high school
through age 20. There are programs for younger girls
similar to the Cub Scouts, he added.
"The Cub Scout program was started tn the 1930s
as a program designed to meet the emerging emotion-
al, psychological and physical needs of young boys,"
Hudson said. "It's been constantly updated and mod-
ernized with the help of nationally prominent psy.
chologists and educators who have advised us the
emerging emotional, psychological and physical needs
of boys differ from those of girls."
Marystephanie was in the Bluebirds, a girls' organization, for a year. "But I didn't like it," she said.
"All we did was learn to keep house, to cook and sew.
I know how to do that."
Her mother said Marystephanie got interested in
the Cub Scouts because she liked the activities her
brother was involved in. Both her mother and father
said Scout leaders on the local level had no objections
to Marystephanie's participation in the Cub Scouts.
Her mother and father say they are not out to
break down all sexual barriers, but that they feel the
old male-female stereotyped roles are outdated.
"We really believe Marystephanie needs the things
she could learn in the Cub Scouts," Mrs. Constantikes
said. "She needs to be taught to be a survivor. There
are many one-parent families, and she needs to know
how to do the things that girls traditionally aren't
Pope rejects pleas
to reconsider ban
on birth control
Chronicle News Services
VATICAN CITY - Pope John Paul II rejected requests from American bishops that he reappraise the
Roman Catholic Church's ban on artificial birth control
or the church's prohibition against giving the sacraments to divorced Catholics who remarry.
However, John Paul said that some Catholics who
have been divorced and remarried can receive the
sacraments of the church — provided that they refrain
from sexual relations with their new spouse.
In rejecting the request from the American bishops
Tuesday, John Paul said the truth "is not always the
same as the majority opinion."
The papal statement was part of a response to 43
secret recommendations made by the church's world
synod of bishops last year.
During the month-long meeting, some of the American bishops asked for a reappraisal of the contraception
policy, saying those who violate the ban on artificial
methods are often conscientious Catholics.
" They cited surveys indicating that 78.5 percent of
Catholic women in the United States use some type of
artificial birth control method and only 29 percent of the
Catholic priests in the United states believe such contraception is immoral.
John Paul, however, rejected granting his approval to
such a reappraisal. He said use of artificial contracep-
tion, such as the birth control pill, "degrades human;
sexuality" by permitting couples to act as "arbiters of
the divine plan-" He reiterated the Catholic Church's
stance that the only birth control favored by the church
is the so-called rhythm method of sexual abstinence
during a woman's fertile period.
On a related topic, John Paul said that the Catholic
Church condemns "as a grave offense against human
dignity and justice all those activities of governments or
other public authorities which attempt to limit in am
way the freedom of couples in deciding about children-
He added: "Consequently any violence applied by
such authorities in favor of contraception or, still worse,
of sterilization and procured abortion, must be altogether condemned and forcefully rejected.
The 167-page document also made these points:
• "Trial marriages" are unacceptable because they
amount to "an experiment with human beings."
• Pastors should not turn down couples asking to be
married In church for motives which are social rather
than religious unless they reject "explicitly and formally what the church intends to do."