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Activist Groups Urge Obama to Reject Boy Scout Honor

From Fox News:

Activist groups, including Scouting for All, urge President Obama not to accept the honorary Presidency of the Boy Scouts of America until they stop discriminating.

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United Way of King County, Seattle, Washington

United Way of Pierce County, Tacoma, Washington

Tacoma News Tribune, January 30, 2001 Box 11000, Tacoma, WA, 98411
(Fax: 253-597-8451 ) (E-Mail: ) ( )

Editorial: United Way opts for fair treatment

New non-discrimination policy is a good answer to dispute over Scouts and gays

The United Way of Pierce County's new non-discrimination policy is a fair, thoughtful and workable response to a polarizing moral issue.

More importantly, it answers the controversy over gays and the Boy Scouts with a consensus built on months of extensive community dialogue and effort to reach a solution all sides can live with.

The fact that the local United Way's board of directors voted unanimously for the new policy Friday does not mean that local Scouts will be cut off from United Way funding. In fact, the hope and intent of all parties involved in the United Way's decision is that the long and successful partnership between United Way and the Boy Scouts will continue.

But there will be changes. The new policy for the first time declares that services receiving funding from the United Way's community investment process may not discriminate on the basis of "age, sex, race, sexual orientation, national origin, creed, or presence of a disability, and when the denial of service is unrelated to the need for or delivery of the service."

Local Boy Scout programs will continue to receive United Way funding through June 2003. By that time, one of two things must happen: Either the national Scouting organization gives local affiliates more flexibility in devising local policies on gay participation, or the local organization devises Scout programs that meet the United Way's no-discrimination test.

The latter approach was adopted last year by the King County United Way after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Scouts' right to exclude homosexuals. Instead of sending an unrestricted allocation to the Scouts, the King County United Way instead funds a school-based Scouting program called Learning for Life, which is open to all students.

Pierce County contributors who wish their United Way contributions to go to the Boy Scouts can still use the long-established Donor Voice option to direct their gifts or prevent their gifts from going to any group. But United Way's large communal pot of unrestricted funds, allocated by a committee of community volunteers, will be governed by the new policy.

The United Way's new policy may not satisfy the most militant believers on either side of the fierce debate over Scout policy toward gays. But it is a constructive compromise, one that still puts the United Way of Pierce County where it should be -- firmly on the record against discrimination in all its forms.




Scouting For All is not an alternative scouting program.
We are an education and advocacy organization reaching out to gay and nontheist youth and adults in our effort to get the Boy Scouts of America to rescind its exlusionary policy.

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