December 29, 2002
OPEN LETTER TO UNITED WAY OF GREATER MILWAUKEE
United Way of Greater Milwaukee
225 W. Vine St.
Milwaukee, WI 53212
Dear Ms. Dragisic:
In a recent article I have found that the United Way has failed to follow through on their anti-discrimination
policy passed by the Board of Directors in reference to the Boy Scouts of America. As a past Leadership Giver
for over five years and committee member of the "Basic Needs" committee I am appalled at the Board of
Directors and the United Way's non-action. While on the Basic Needs committee we looked into the funding and discrimination
policy of a housing non-profit that was discriminating against individuals with criminal backgrounds.
There are two reasons this upsets me. First both organizations are violating their own policies. The United Way
failure to follow its own non-discrimination policy. Also the Boy Scouts of America who violate their own Scout
Oath and Scout Law which I recited hundreds of times and believed in to the effect of achieving the status of Eagle
Scout and later serving the United States in the 101st Airbourne.
A United Church of Christ church, which allows gays and lesbians to serve as ministers, sponsored my scout troop.
This is how I did my "duty to God." I also pledged to obey the Scout Law. The Boy Scouts of America
violate their own laws by discriminating.
A Scout is:
Trustworthy - A Scout tells the truth. He keeps his promises. Honesty is part of his code of conduct.
Boy Scouts of America violate this by banning "avowed" gays and lesbians. If it's a secret its ok.
Violating their own laws.
Friendly - A Scout is a friend to all. He is a brother to other Scouts. He seeks to understand others. He respects
ideas and customs other than his own.
Boy Scouts of America violate this by banning gays and lesbians because they are different.
Kind - A Scout understands there is strength in being gentle. He treats others, as he wants to be treated.
Boy Scouts of America violate this by treating other with disrespect and disdain.
Obedient - A Scout follows the rules of his family, school, and troop. He obeys the laws of his community and
country. If he
thinks these rules and laws are unfair, he tries to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobey
Boy Scouts of America violate this by first in the organization the majority of councils receive funding from
ignoring the non-discrimination policy and then crossing out a section of a valid contract with the United Way.
United Way violates this by allowing them to violate their own laws.
Brave - A Scout can face danger even if he is afraid. He has the courage to stand for what he thinks is right
even if others laugh at or threaten him.
Boy Scouts of America local council violates this law by not standing against the threats of the National Council,
and makes a stand for the rights of all boys.
Reverent - A Scout is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs
Boy Scouts of America violate this law by not respecting the beliefs of others
as I previously stated I grow up and served in a Troop hosted by the United Church of Christ which allows adults
to serve as ministers and youth leaders who are gay and lesbian. My God created gays and lesbians and expects
them to serve in all areas of life.
As a Scout I served as Senior Patrol Leader, Troop Leader Development Counselor, Camp Counselor and Commissioner,
Troop Committee Member and Assistant Scoutmaster from 1973 - 1982, and their discriminatory policy was never released
to the general membership. I am an Eagle Scout and find both the Boy Scouts of Americas policy and the United
Way's non-action outrageous.
When I served on the Basic Needs Committee I found that any organization not meeting 50% (6 of 12 of their own
laws) would have been placed on deep scrutiny and possible de-funding if they did not comply.
Therefore I have to rescind my annual giving of $1300 to United Way organizations and have to pull my volunteer
support from the organization and ask all other individuals to due the same unless the United Way follows its own
1. Then give the money to organizations like Community Shares: Cream City Foundation, Human Rights Campaign, Outreach,
Human Rights League, Lesbian Alliance of Metro Milwaukee or one of over 50 organizations across the State of Wisconsin.
2. Contact your religious organization or school where the Boy Scouts meet and ask them to stop hosting the
organization. 3. All Boy Scouts, past and present, to follow the Scout Law and be Obedient -- He obeys the laws
of his community and country. If he thinks these rules and laws are unfair, he tries to have them changed in an