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.
Scouting for All is a 100% Volunteer 501-(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization. Every dollar donated goes toward our education and advocacy programs, and is tax deductible.
Finance Dir. for the United Way of Monmouth County Resigned After She Learned Her UW Was going
to Continue to Fund a Bigoted Organization, the BSA
As a lesbian, Maureen Glover said she was thrilled her first day of work last June as finance director for the
United Way of Monmouth County when she was handed a code of ethics that prohibited discrimination on the basis
of race, creed, age, sex or sexual orientation.
Days later, when the U.S. Supreme Court, ruling in a Monmouth County case, held that the Boy Scouts of America
could bar gays from leadership positions she was deeply disturbed. The agency she works for, the United Way, is
a long standing funder of the Boy Scouts. The United Way funding of the Scouts meant she was subject to a hostile
working environment because of her sexual orientation. The United Way agency emphasized its resolve against discrimination.
But it said the organization would not stop funding the Boy Scouts because, "To do so would restrict our ability
to support a youth development program yielding positive results for thousands of Monmouth County children."
The ignition point for the controversy was a ruling last June in the case of James Dale, a former Eagle Scout
from Middletown. Dale, who now lives in New York, sued the Scouts under the state's anti-discrimination law, and
won when the New Jersey Supreme Court held the gay ban was illegal. But the Scouts, arguing they had a constitutional
right to set leadership standards, appealed successfully to the U.S. Supreme Court. Since the Dale case, between
28 and 30 out of 1,400 independent United Way affiliates nationwide have stopped funding the Scouts or taken steps
in that direction, according to Philip Jones, spokesman for the United Way of America.
Gregg Shields, spokesman for the Boy Scouts of America, said..."It's a matter of tolerance,"
he said. "And we're asking for tolerance of our values just as we extend tolerance and respect for everyone
else's values and opinions, and it's just that simple. . . . We have a set of values, and no one is forced to be
a Boy Scout. If you accept our values, you are more than welcome to join. In the case of United Ways, I think every
United Way allows donors to specify their gifts to specific charitable organizations. . . . That certainly holds
respect and tolerance for everyone to be able to designate your gift." However, Dale's response is..."I
think people should expect more from the United Way," he said. "The reputation of the [United] Way is
now being tarnished by discrimination..."
Glover sides with Dale and expresses the hurt she felt when discussing the issue or trying to raise
the issue to her superiors at the United Way, "I can't tell you that sinking feeling,." she said. Glover
said her sexual orientation had not come up before, and that she generally regards it as a private matter..."It
became like a struggle to go to work." Glover went on to say, "Whether you lose money or not, discrimination
is never OK" she said. "I don't think this would have been an issue if the Boy Scouts said
no more African-Americans or no more Jewish leaders. I think the United Way would have stopped funding immediately...There's
too much hatred in the world.""
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Published in the Asbury Park Press 2/25/01
By ELAINE SILVESTRINI, STAFF WRITER