Skip to comments.United Way of Cleveland moves to pull funding in 13 for Boy Scouts over group's prohibition of gays
Posted on 09/26/2012 2:17:07 PM PDT by Las Vegas Dave
United Way of Greater Cleveland moves to pull funding in 2013 for Boy Scouts over group's prohibition of gay members
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Officials with United Way of Greater Cleveland announced Tuesday they are moving to pull their funding next year from the Boy Scouts of America after the group recently reaffirmed its prohibition of openly gay youth and adults.
At issue is nearly $100,000 that goes to the Boy Scouts of America Greater Cleveland Council for Scoutreach, a program that brings scouting to about 1,600 inner-city youth with an eye on physical fitness and citizenship.
United Way is just one of several sources of funding for the program, a Boy Scout official said. United Way will continue to fund the program through June 30, 2013, but likely not after that because of the Boy Scouts ban on openly homosexual leaders and youth.
That ban violates a new United Way of Greater Cleveland equal opportunity and diversity policy.
Barry Norris, the top executive at the Boy Scouts Greater Cleveland Council, indicated he was saddened by the break. He said the two local institutions have been working together since 1913.
"You're talking about a relationship that's almost 100 years old," Norris said.
The 81-member United Way board voted Sept. 12 to add sexual orientation to the policy that requires that people will be valued and given opportunity regardless of race, sex, age, disability, among other things. Though not all board members were present, the vote was unanimous, officials said.
The policy covers United Way and its partner organizations.
"The implication is that they're not going to get funding," said Bill Kitson, United Way's president and chief executive officer. Kitson added that the decision on funding for the Boy Scouts won't come until next spring, but added, "They've told us they're not going to change. We've told them we're not going to change."
At the Boy Scouts, Norris said the Scoutreach program will continue, and hopefully grow as others step forward with funding.
"We respect the right United Way has to make their policy," Norris said. "But we didn't change our policy. They changed theirs."
Norris said the organization's stance isn't meant to be a social commentary and it doesn't inquire about anyone's sexual orientation.
"Keep in mind that most of our youth members are under the age of 12," Norris added. "And the majority of parents we serve do not believe that scouting is the right forum for same-sex attraction to be introduced and discussed. It's just not in our purview."
Paul Clark, board chairman of Greater Cleveland United Way, said the Boy Scouts of America is the only organization in the more than 100 programs that the local United Way funds that has a discriminatory policy. Clark is a regional president for PNC Bank.
Clark said United Way officials met with local Boy Scout leaders Monday and informed them of the move.
"I think they view their policy as one of protection," Clark added. "I think the premise of the protection idea is that anyone who is homosexual is a pedophile. I abhor that. I think it's indefensible."
The announcement came as United Way of Greater Cleveland is kicking off its 2012 fundraising campaign with a goal of raising $41 million, officials said. Clark said his agency was hearing from donors, particularly young people and corporate leaders, who said the Boy Scouts policy on people who are openly gay differed from their workplace policy.
Clark indicated that the move would likely have a mixed effect on donations, with some people cutting their donations and others giving more.
Those who contribute to United Way can still designate the Boy Scouts on their donation form and the group will continue to receive those contributions, which total about $180,000 annually.
But an additional $100,000 that United Way provides through its allocation process --specifically for the Scoutreach program -- is expected to cease July 1, 2013, the start of United Way's new fiscal year.
The decision here follows similar funding cutoffs in a couple dozen other communities nationwide, although other reports are that the Scouts have continued to receive significant money from other sources.
The Scouts have been facing growing opposition after the national organization recently reaffirmed its exclusion of homosexuals from scouting. The Boy Scouts executive board in July had announced it would continue its policy of banning openly gay boys as well as gay adults from scouting.
The policy "reflects the beliefs and perspectives" of the organization, the Boy Scouts said in a news release from its headquarters in Irving, Texas. That policy had been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2000.
The Boy Scouts reaffirming their ban on openly gay members came as the group braced itself for a wave of bad publicity that is expected from the release of decades of records of confirmed or alleged child molesters within the organization across the nation.
About 1,200 files dating from 1965 to 1985 are set to be publicly released in the next few weeks under a June order by the Oregon Supreme Court.
The Los Angeles Times reviewed some of those files and reported earlier this month that the Boy Scouts failed to report allegations of sex abuse of scouts by adult leaders and volunteers to police in hundreds of cases from 1970 to 1991.
In some cases, the Boy Scouts helped the accused "cover their tracks," the paper said.
Paul Mones, a Portland, Oregon lawyer among those who represented the plantiff in the Oregon lawsuit, declined to comment specifically on the Boy Scouts ban, but said that it's a myth that homosexuals pose more of a threat than others to children. Mones has represented children in abuse and molestation cases for 30 years.
"There's nothing to that," he said. "The reality is that we're talking about people who are pedophiles. Unfortunately, vast numbers of [people] want to lump these two groups together. But one doesn't have anything to do with the other."
I pulled funding for the turd-burgling United Way many years ago.
So the United Way of Greater Cleveland supports pedophilia? Who knew?
Ya know these big outfits like Intel and United Way are deep pockets. If some boy scout gets molested because of their pressure to give homosexuals access to children, I’d think that would make them liable in a civil suit.
Make my Chik-Fil-A.
Not only is this an opportunity to support BSA in Clevelandthere's also the chance to damage United Way of Cleveland's ability to get donations by stigmatizing anyone who gives to it as a pedophile-enabler.
I stopped giving to this organization years ago too. There are simply too many good charities to give to.
Never gave a nickel to the united way. If you want to donate to a worthy cause, give to the Salvation Army, and the BSA directly.
Does the United Way provide funds to Big Brothers/Big Sisters? Does Big Brothers ban openly gay “mentors”? Just wondering.
I pulled funding of United Way years ago.
same here. still harangued at work to give to United Gays.
I stopped supporting United Way many years ago over this issue. Apparently, they prefer to cater to the far left, even though leftists don’t donate to charity (ignoring the immorality of their stance, which seems not to even be a consideration for UW leadership), and alienate the rest of us.
I prefer to give directly.
Actually, right now is the season in which the boys are out, selling their popcorn. I wish that they had something better to sell (they'll never match girl scout cookies) because I don't care for their popcorn. It does make a good Christmas present, though. Or you could just drop a few bucks into their hands as a donation without buying the popcorn.
Odds are very high they will lose way more donations than the cost of the scout aid.
IIRC, this all started with Levi’s pressuring United Way to stop funding the BSA. UW eventually relented under pressure. I stopped giving to UW and haven’t wore a pair of Levi’s or Dockers since. BTW, Wrangler has a line of slacks named Riata, the dye and the fabric is much better. They hold a crease and cost a lot less than a pair of Dockers.
I stopped when I left active duty in the Navy in 1973. I started moving my meager contributions to the Boy Scouts when my son was a scout, about eighteen years ago. Indeed, he graduated an Eagle.
I wonder if United Way acn survive with only the 1% of fags supporting them.
Like another poster said , my threat of not supporting them is no threat since I dumped them years ago.
I can't speak for the girl scouts, my girls want nothing to do with them.