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Defund Boy Scouts - Boycott United Way of Kaua'i

The Kaua`i Coalition to End Discrimination will be holding a news conference on Friday, Nov. 2 to announce a boycott of United Way of Kaua`i (UW-K) until UW-K defunds the discriminatory policies of the Boy Scouts of Kaua`i. People are encouraged to contribute directly to the other UW-K charities.

The boycott, designed to block continued funding of the Boy Scouts by the United Way, will be formally announced. A list of the other United Way charities will be available so that people can send their contributions directly to them.

The group will present a pledge and resolution, already signed by a number of Kauaiians, which will be read to attendees at the Garden Island Arts Council Exhibition Hall at Kuku`i Grove at 12 noon. The pledge resolves to withhold contributions to the UW-K until such time as they defund the local Boy Scouts, due to the Scouts' discriminatory policy of excluding of gay scouts and Scoutmasters.

An unfortunate recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling has allowed the Boy Scouts of America to exclude members based on sexual orientation.

The Coalition has been negotiating with UW-K for three years now to help them through the same defunding process that has occurred at more than 50 major and numerous smaller UW chapters on the mainland.

On Nov 1, UW-K will meet and is expected to reject defunding for the third time in three years. Two members of the coalition will be meeting with the UW-K during the meeting before being asked to leave for the decision making process. Both will be present and speak at the news conference the next day.

One of them, civil rights activist Bill Woods of the Hawai`i GLEA foundation, has been heading a statewide effort with Aloha UW and UW-K to accomplish the same goals for many years, and has been in negotiation with them regarding defunding.

The other, co-coordinator of the defunding effort Martin Rice, will also speak about the nationwide and local efforts to secure equal civil rights.

Also scheduled to speak are two local residents, one a former Scoutmaster who was forced to leave the Boy Scouts on the mainland, the other a local parent who is distressed over UW-K's policies despite their claims to refrain from discriminatory conduct.

Andy Parx will read the pledge, introduce the speakers and speak on behalf of those who have signed the pledge to send their UW contributions directly to all the other UW supported charities.

Members of the public are welcome to attend and ask questions along with members of the press. A video tape of the conference will be made available to public access TV.

Copies of the resolution/pledge and other UW charities are available now by emailing and will be available at the conference.

For further information email or call 332-7878 or 822-7171.

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