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

Posted on 12 Feb 2013 at 4:12pm

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?

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