United Way in Harrisburg Will No Longer Fund Boy Scouts

This is interesting and perhaps a sign of things to come … 

The United Way of the Capital Region says it will stop distributing funds to the Boy Scouts council for south-central Pennsylvania unless the group allows memberships for openly gay scouts.

The charity’s board of directors on Friday voted not to renew its partnership agreement with Boy Scouts of America – New Birth of Freedom Council unless the council complies with UWCR’s non-discrimination policy by January 1.

The New Birth of Freedom Council follows the directive of its national organization, which last month reaffirmed its policy of barring openly gay scouts and leaders.

“The last time we discussed the Boy Scouts’ compliance with our non-discrimination policy was in 2000,” UWCR president and CEO Joseph Capita said in a news release. “Over the last 12 years our community has changed and although we accepted the ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy as meeting our non-discrimination policy 12 years ago, we no longer believe we can accept that position as complying with our policies.”

Capita said the money distributed by his organization is meant to serve all segments of the community. By deciding not to serve a portion of the community, he said the Boy Scouts are in conflict with United Way’s policies.

In 2011, the Boy Scouts received nearly $90,000 in funding from the United Way. The Boy Scout Council issued a statement expressing sorrow that the United Way is hurting youth and asking the community to fill the funding gap.

Sad. I know that they have to play by the rules, but how very sad that they twist the knife in when someone simply says that they want to avoid hurting LGBTQ children and families.

The United Way of Allegheny County which includes Pittsburgh does list Boy Scout Councils as current partner agencies.

Will we begin to see other funders recognize that they are supporting an organization which openly discriminates against vulnerable youth?