Do the Boy Scouts have the right to disallow homosexual and bisexual men from being Scout masters? Does the Big Brothers organization have the right to prevent homosexuals from participating as companions and mentors for children? Not according to the District and not, apparently, in the view of your paper.

In both a news story {Oct. 15} and an editorial {Oct. 16}, your paper said my amendment to the 1991 D.C. Appropriations Bill, which the Senate passed, was designed to prohibit Big Brothers from allowing gay men to work with children whose parents had agreed to the arrangement.

That is incorrect. My amendment says simply that volunteer organizations should be able to decide their own policies with regard to adult homosexuals participating as companions and role models for minors. The District's Human Rights Act forces certain policies on these groups; my amendment does not.

Last year, for example, the District forced Big Brothers to accept homosexuals and bisexuals as role models for boys under the guise of protecting "human rights." Not the human rights of the boys, but the "rights" of homosexuals and bisexuals to be companions to children.

And this is not the first time the District has gone off the rails by prohibiting the free exercise of religion or traditional morality. Two years ago, it invoked its Human Rights Act, which prohibits "discrimination" based on "sexual orientation," to force Georgetown University to recognize and fund a homosexual student club.

Georgetown challenged the order, arguing that homosexuality is against the teachings of the Catholic Church. Christianity's view of homosexuality is discriminatory, the city responded.

Enter Congress, which the Constitution designates as the legislative body for the nation's capital. Both houses passed my Religious Liberty Amendment, which allows religiously affiliated schools to choose their own policies regarding homosexuality, free of government coercion.

My "Big Brothers" amendment eventually will become law too. Some have condemned it as "gay bashing"; it is not. It is not bigotry to believe a volunteer group has a right to determine the standards necessary to preserve its mission. It is common sense.

It's also common sense to believe the government should not promote homosexuality as an "alternative lifestyle" -- least of all with young people. Though the idea seems to have taken hold that homosexuality is just a matter of "preference," I do not believe it. Homosexuality is contrary to the moral teachings of almost every civilization in history.

The District has influence far beyond its perimeters. The ripple effect of its so-called Human Rights Act can be seen nationwide, as cities and legal organizations imitate its coercive attitude.

In another case, the American Civil Liberties Union is suing the Boy Scouts organization because it will not permit an Eagle Scout turned homosexual activist to remain a Scout. A Boy Scouts spokesman explained that "the Scouts have always stressed family values and believe that homosexuals do not provide proper role models."

The boys and girls of the nation's capital desperately need wholesome influences. And sooner or later -- most likely, sooner -- Congress will pass the Big Brothers Amendment to help these young people find them. -- William L. Armstrong The writer is a Republican senator from Colorado.