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.
Articles Covering the United Way's Response to the BSA Supreme Court Decision
Boston Globe, August 4, 2000
A BOSTON GLOBE EDITORIAL
When organizations like the Boy Scouts of America and the United Way clash, it can be painful to choose sides.
The Boy Scouts create opportunities for over 3 million scouts. Local United Way organizations put their money where
their hearts are - investing donated dollars in communities and children. Typically the two groups get along. According
to the United Way of America, in 1996 local United Ways gave $84 million to Boy Scout local councils nationwide.
But in a handful of cities, the Boy Scouts' Supreme Court-approved policy of banning gay scout leaders
violates the local United Way's antidiscrimination policy. The decision this week by the United Way of Massachusetts
Bay to cut funding to the Boy Scouts was a tough one to make. It was, however, the right stand against discrimination.
The United Way of Massachusetts Bay will cut $288,000 in funding to the Boy Scouts and redirect $240,000
to ''Learning for Life,'' a Boy Scout program that runs in the schools. ''Learning for Life'' will become an entity
that is independent from the scouts and does not violate United Way policies.
Massachusetts Bay joins eight other United Ways - of 1,400 nationally - that have antidiscrimination policies.
In some cases, such as in Santa Cruz, Calif., the Boy Scouts chose not to be United Way members. By contrast, the
United Way of Southeastern New England decided last month to eliminate funding for the Boy Scouts. The United Way
of Greater New Haven gives money to the Boy Scouts if donors request it, but New Haven does not give unrestricted
funds to the Scouts.
Scout officials say they have had overwhelming support for their policies. Of over 300 local scout councils,
only two - one in Rhode Island and one in Minnesota - have issued resolutions asking that the policy banning gay
troop leaders be reconsidered.
It's time for more voices to join in. Other Boy Scout local councils that disapprove of the policy should
say so, as should other United Ways.
The Boy Scouts have a constitutional right to make their own rules. Others must act on their own right
to condemn discrimination.
Charity Takes Aim At Boy Scouts
By Staff At UPI
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (UPI) - In a new policy clearly aimed at the Boy Scouts, a United Way board in Rhode Island said
it would no longer fund organizations that discriminate for any reason, including sexual orientation. The policy,
which is to take effect next January, could deprive the state's Narragansett Council of Boy Scouts of $200,000,
according to Wednesday's
Providence Journal. The money has funded Scout Reach, a program bringing some 6,900 inner city youths into scouting.
The United Way charity is one of the first to challenge last month's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the Boy Scouts,
as a private organization, could ban gay leaders.
"We concluded that it was time for the United Way to act and to be a leader on this," said William Allen,
an executive vice president of the United Way of Southeastern New England, located in Providence. The organization
sent letters to 65 organizations that receive $7.3 million to spell out its new policy and is asking the groups
to fill out a pledge promising to adhere to the directive.
The Rhode Island Boy Scouts have been involved in a controversy since last August. At that time it fired an Eagle
Scout from the staff of its Camp Yawgoog in Hopkinton when, in response to a question, the scout said he was gay.
The chapter declared the dismissal had been dictated by an oath in the 1910 Scout handbook, calling on a member
to pledge "to keep myself morally
The chapter eventually rehired the Eagle Scout and has since became only one of two chapters among more than 300
urging the national organization to review its ban. Minnesota is the other.
Faced with a cutoff in funds, the Rhode Island chapter claims to be in a difficult position to act precipitously
because its membership practices must reflect the values of mainstream religions practiced by millions of Americans.
If it chooses not to scrap its ban on gays by January, the United Way said it is prepared to divert the $200,000
to a group serving a similar purpose, such as a settlement house in the West End of Providence.
© 2000 UPI All Rights Reserved.
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Discrimination ruling prompts United Way to pull Boy Scouts funding
By Heidi B. Perlman - Boston Globe
BOSTON (AP) The United Way of Massachusetts Bay has eliminated its support of the Boy Scouts, following a Supreme
Court decision allowing Scouts to bar homosexuals from leading troops.
Instead, under an agreement signed Tuesday, the United Way will now provide money to Learning for Life, an educational
organization currently run by the Boy Scouts that will be spun off and turned into a separate entity.
''The Boy Scouts themselves will need to fund-raise elsewhere,'' said Pat Brandes, the chief operating officer
of the United Way. ''But this will help to make sure services are still going to youth, while honoring our policy
United Way officials say the Boy Scouts' anti-gay policy went directly against their own, which requires agencies
and organizations they support to not discriminate against anyone for any reason.
''We have always been assured by the local Scout councils that they do not discriminate,'' Brandes said. ''But
the Supreme Court decision gave them the right to, and it's not acceptable for (the United Way) to be associated
with them in any way.''
The decision will only affect Scouts in Massachusetts whose troops have received funding from the Massachusetts
office of the United Way. Other United Way offices around the country will make their own decisions on whether
to continue funding of the Boy Scouts.
Last year, the United Way gave five local Boy Scout councils about $288,000, or nearly 5 percent of the councils'
annual operating budgets.
Under the new arrangement, the United Way will give Learning for Life up to $240,000 over the next year, once it
is incorporated into a separate organization. Learning for Life was started by the local Boy Scouts in 1983.
The program provides curriculum support, lesson plans and teacher training, and is aimed at improving student confidence,
motivation and self-esteem. The program currently serves about 10,000 students from Greater Boston.
Learning for Life will have its own board of directors, budget and staff. Its new charter will include a nondiscrimination
''This divorces those programs that are perceived to be discriminatory from those that are clearly not,'' said
Richard DeWolfe, president of the Boston Minuteman Council, which oversees Boston-area Boy Scout troops. ''This
will allow the United Way to continue to support positive youth programs without compromising its policies or standards.''
Weymouth Troop 19 Leader Jerry Rudolph, who says he agrees with the anti-gay policy, called the United Way's decision
to pull their funding a disappointment.
''It's too bad,'' he said. ''Scouting is still a worthwhile organization to support.