Keller church drops Boy Scout affiliation

KellerA Catholic church in Keller will stop sponsoring a Boy Scout troop in 2014 when a policy allowing gay Scouts goes into effect — mostly because, he admits, many Catholic priests are pedophiles.

Monsignor James Hart, the pastor at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, cited his experience working with the Fort Worth Diocese and the lawsuits against pedophile priests as his reasoning — what he called a “very sad involvement in the various lawsuits filed against the Diocese for violations against the moral law in times past.”

He said these incidents “destroyed lives and caused many to lose their faith.” He blamed the crimes on priests “with a same-sex orientation.”

And he pointed out that those men had “taken an oath of celibacy in the service of a higher good.”

Because these priests had sex with young boys, the pastor concludes, obviously gay teens will have sex with each other.

“Given the facts of this known past, which as a Priest has broken my heart, do you honestly expect me to believe that when the time comes in the life of the Boy Scouts of America that there are 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17 year old boys put together in overnight situations, some of whom with a self-professed same-sex orientation and attraction, that nothing undesirable is going to happen?” he said.

—  David Taffet

Petition calls for United Way to denounce Boy Scouts’ gay ban

UnitedWayThe Boy Scouts of America’s national council is expected to vote during its annual meeting in Grapevine in May on whether to lift the organization’s ban on gay Scouts and leaders. But in the meantime, LGBT advocacy groups are keeping up the pressure on the Irving-based BSA.

Today, GLAAD reported that Greg Bourke, a Kentucky father who was ousted as a leader of his son’s Scout troop in 2012 for being gay, has launched a Change.org petition calling for local United Way chapters to cut off funding for the Scouts.

“Despite the protest of my troop, my church, and my community, the Boy Scouts message was clear: gay youth and parents are inferior, and not welcome,” Bourke’s petition states. “That’s an incredibly dangerous message to send to young people in our community, so I’m asking United Way, which is a major donor to the Boy Scouts, to denounce this hurtful anti-gay policy.”

GLAAD notes that it’s up to individual United Way chapters whether to support the Scouts, and some have already chosen to cut off funding over the gay ban. In Dallas, the United Way of Greater Dallas has continued giving money to the Scouts, to the tune of more than $300,000 in 2011.

“The welfare of the individuals served by United Way of Metropolitan Dallas is always our highest priority,” United Way of Metropolitan Dallas spokeswoman Michelle Frith told Dallas Voice for an article last October. “As an organization, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas adheres to an anti-discrimination policy for its hiring practices. While we require our grantees to comply with all related federal laws, we do not require anyone to adopt our own internal operating policies.”

The strategy of going after the Boys Scouts’ donors has been successful in getting companies like UPS and Intel to cut off funding. Let’s hope that it works with the United Way too. If not, LGBT people should consider cutting off donations to the United Way. After all, would you still support an organization that contributed money to a racist group, even if the organization did a lot of other good things?

—  John Wright

RCD opens new dental suite

United Way provided funding for construction, staffing of new suite being named in honor of Bret Camp

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Bret Camp

Tammye Nash  |  Senior Editor
nash@dallasvoice.com

Resource Center Dallas was set to dedicate a complete new suite in its dental clinic on Friday, Dec. 16, and RCD Executive Director and CEO Cece Cox said the new suite is being named in honor of Bret Camp, former RCD associate director in charge of the agency’s health services.

“We wanted to honor Bret’s 16 years with this agency, and his knowledge and service to our community,” Cox said. “We felt naming this dental suite after him was an appropriate way to do that.”

Camp left Resource Center Dallas last summer due to health issues.
The dental clinic is housed within the Nelson-Tebedo Clinic, located on Cedar Springs Road near the intersection with Throckmorton Street.

Cox also noted that the costs of construction for the new dental suite and the cost of staffing it for one year came to $125,000, and was fully funded by United Way of Dallas. Those funds were part of the $225,000 total RCD received from United Way.

“Dental care is one of the highest priority needs” for people with HIV/AIDS who access health care assistance in Dallas County, Cox said, adding that facilities to meet the growing need were lacking.

“With this new dental suite, we can serve more clients and we can get them in for care faster,” Cox said. With the new suite in place, she said, RCD’s dental clinic will be serving about 1,000 clients a year.

As federal funding priorities shift and funding for HIV/AIDS-related services decline, Cox said last month that RCD is among those agencies looking for ways to expand its clinical services beyond just the HIV/AIDS community. But, she added this week, doing so will be a long and complex process.

“When you have a program funded with federal money, you have to keep that segregated, completely separate from your other services,” Cox said. “You can just lump it all together.”

Cox also said that RCD officials are considering whether some services now housed at the Nelson-Tebedo Clinic on Cedar Springs Road will remain at that location after the center moves into planned new facilities at Cedar Springs and Inwood Road. Construction on the new facility, designed by architect James Langford who was trained by I.M. Pei, is set to begin in 2014.

Cox said that a lot of the work of the Nelson-Tebedo Clinic revolves around HIV/AIDS testing and prevention efforts, and that the clinic’s current location in the center of the area traditionally considered Dallas’ LGBT neighborhood is most advantageous to that work.

“Right now, the clinic is located right in the heart of the neighborhood. It is a good location for those services, and that is a historically important site,” Cox said. “We do see some big advantages to continuing to maintain a presence there even after our new facilities are built.”

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition December 16, 2011.

—  Kevin Thomas