Write to the United Way of Central Ohio: Stop Funding the Boy Scouts of America
August 20, 2003
3484 Independence Street
Grove City, OH 43123
Scouting for All
P.O. Box 2832
Petaluma, CA 94953-2832
To the Board of Trustees
Thank you for your timely response to my most recent letter. I am writing once again, however, to urge you to
not become complacent towards the open discrimination practiced by the Boy Scouts of America - Simon Kenton Council.
In your last letter you wrote that the hiring practices of the Boy Scouts do not violate equal opportunity employment
laws, and that the Council has a non-discrimination policy for its staff. While this may be true, it is not enough.
These policies do not extend to the vast majority of involvement in the Boy Scouts of America - volunteer membership
by boys and leaders in the local Boy Scout troops.
Illustrating the open policy of discrimination the Boy Scouts have enacted is the following quote from a resolution
enacted by the national BSA on February 6,2003:
7. WHEREAS the national officers further agree that homosexual conduct is inconsistent with the traditional
values espoused in the Scout Oath and Law and that an avowed homosexual cannot serve as a role model for the values
of the Oath and Law
I suggest substituting the names of other minority groups such as "African-American, " "Jew,"
or "Muslim" in place of "homosexual" in the above quote and considering whether the United
Way of Central Ohio would continue to fund such an organization. The Boy Scouts have a right to discriminate as
such, but the community also has a right to speak out against this discrimination.
Perhaps a sensible approach to the Boy Scouts of American - Simon Kenton Council's role in this policy would
be to require the Council to adopt a Statement of nondiscrimination for membership on the basis of race, religion,
or sexual orientation before funding for the next year is considered.
As Stated in your last letter, the Council runs many beneficial programs for inner-city and at-risk youth, and
it would be a shame to lose these programs. But it would be a greater shame to complacently allow this discrimination
to continue with the funding of the United Way of Central Ohio. Thank you for your time.
Cc: Scouting for All
Letter From United Way of Central Ohio
August 11, 2003
Dear Mr. Underwood,
On behalf of the United Way of Central Ohio Board of Trustees, we are responding to your recent letter expressing
concerns about our funding of the Boy Scouts of America - Simon Kenton Council.
We certainly share your concerns about valuing diversity and have put in place a strong anti-discrimination
policy in our workplace here at United Way as well as offering benefits to those who work here, their immediate
family members and domestic partners.
United Way volunteer and staff leaders have met and will continue to hold conversations with leaders from the
local Boy Scouts and from the gay and lesbian community to foster greater understanding and positions that meet
both individual and community interests.
We currently invest about $500,000 in four programs of the Boy Scouts of America - Simon Kenton Council, which
primarily serve at-risk, inner-city and economically disadvantaged youth. The local Boy Scout Council is in compliance
with local, state and national laws in regard to equal opportunity employment and has a non-discrimination policy
for its staff.
We appreciate your concern and assure you that the United Way of Central Ohio's Board of Trustees is committed
to diversity and believes that our organization is stronger through the inclusion of the entire community without
regard to our differences, including sexual orientation.
Board of Trustees
Jane t E. Jackson
President and CEO