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Kentucky

United Way chapter cuts funding to Ky. Boy Scouts over gay scout leader ban

Thursday, October 24, 2013

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Boy Scouts of America’s continued ban on gay Scout leaders has caused ripple effects in central Kentucky, where a United Way chapter has cut off nearly $100,000 in annual funding to a regional scouting council in response to the national scouting policy.

United Way of the Bluegrass, based in Lexington, was the biggest single contributor to the Boy Scouts’ Blue Grass Council until the funding was suspended this month. The two groups had been longtime partners until the United Way chapter suspended the funding, citing the anti-gay ban.

boy-scouts“We’re hoping that the Boy Scouts can resolve this issue because we would love to continue to fund them,” Bill Farmer, president of the United Way chapter, said in an interview Thursday. “So this is not adversarial. It’s just a situation that they’re not in compliance” with his chapter’s non-discrimination policy.

“Our policy is if an organization is not in compliance, we suspend funding until they are in compliance.”

The BSA opened its ranks to gay Scouts but not gay Scout leaders in a sharply contested policy compromise earlier this year.

At least two other United Way chapters — one in Pennsylvania, the other in New York — have cut off funding to the Boy Scouts in response to the continued prohibition against gay Scout leaders, said Felipe Benitez, a United Way spokesman at its Virginia headquarters.

United Way officials likely won’t obtain nationwide numbers detailing how many local chapters ceased funding to the Boy Scouts until next year, he said.

Last year, nearly 90 percent of the 1,200 local United Way chapters across the U.S. provided funding to the Boy Scouts, amounting to a total of $81.9 million, Benitez said.

Following the BSA’s divisive vote last spring on whether to accept gay Scouts and leaders, United Way Worldwide said it was committed to “diversity and inclusion” and encouraged its members “to adopt inclusive polices that create opportunities for everyone. This policy change is a step toward greater inclusion.”

It noted that United Way chapters are locally governed, with local boards setting policy on funding decisions.

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In Kentucky, Blue Grass Council scouting leaders said the lost funding from the United Way chapter would pinch the budget.

“We’re saddened that an old partnership has been dissolved,” said Chip Armishaw, scout executive for the Blue Grass Council.

The United Way chapter contributed about $96,000 annually to the scouting council — amounting to about 5 percent of its $2 million annual budget, Armishaw said.

The lost funding will affect scouting activities involving about 5,000 youngsters in several central Kentucky counties, he said.

The suspended money was used mainly for youth development programs, he said.

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39 more reader comments:

  1. Way to go United Way!

    Posted on Thursday, October 24, 2013 at 11:53pm
  2. Another organization kicked off my donation list

    Posted on Thursday, October 24, 2013 at 11:55pm
  3. I feel bad for the scouts themselves because their leaders are being very un-scoutlike, forcing United Way’s hand.

    Posted on Thursday, October 24, 2013 at 11:55pm
  4. Scouts were basically Christian pre-k soldiers. They were un-scoutlike from the beginning.

    Replied on Friday, October 25, 2013 at 12:45am
  5. No they weren't. Up until the Mormon Church took them over, I don't think they had any actual Christian ties at all. And things such as Atheism and Homosexuality weren't even addressed in the code, even though both existed in society at that time. And by the scouts, I mean the kids. The ones who aren't so blindly fervent in their beliefs and instead use scouts to have fun and hang out with friends while learning new skills. I blame the adults in the BSA for being so un-scoutlike and contradictory to their own code to the point that repercussions like this affect their children.

    Replied on Friday, October 25, 2013 at 12:48am
  6. Well done. Bravo to United Way for standing up against discrimination.

    Posted on Thursday, October 24, 2013 at 11:56pm
  7. I won’t like this just because the kids that suffer, but I do applaud the United Way decision. Perhaps they will take away from this that everyone wins when everybody is included.

    Posted on Thursday, October 24, 2013 at 11:58pm
  8. Hit them in the pocketbook. That will get their attention.

    Posted on Thursday, October 24, 2013 at 11:58pm
  9. I feel sad for the kids but if it is United Way’s policy then they can distribute their funds as they see fit.

    Posted on Thursday, October 24, 2013 at 11:58pm
  10. I don’t feel bad for them. The Boy Scouts are an organization i will never support. They are explicit homophobes and their fellow bigots stood by them. Let the bigots fund them. The Boy Scouts deserve this.

    Posted on Friday, October 25, 2013 at 12:01am
  11. Bloody good for United Way!

    Posted on Friday, October 25, 2013 at 12:08am
  12. more like..gay scouts

    Posted on Friday, October 25, 2013 at 12:09am
  13. This is why united way sucks

    Posted on Friday, October 25, 2013 at 12:15am
  14. Scouting has become more about right wing extremist indoctrination.

    Posted on Friday, October 25, 2013 at 12:15am
  15. Way to go United Way!

    Posted on Friday, October 25, 2013 at 12:32am
  16. Gary you said it! When the Mormons and Catholics took over the Boy Scouts, they doomed the organization. It became more about God and less about what the Boy Scouts really stands for.

    Posted on Friday, October 25, 2013 at 12:34am
  17. My son will never be a boy scout while there is still blatant discrimination in the organization. Good job to UW for standing up to an organized bully!

    Posted on Friday, October 25, 2013 at 12:39am
  18. I was glad my son never asked to join. However, even now, with the BSA "allowing" gay scouts, I STILL do not support them. How can they say it is now OK for gays to be scouts.....oh, but you can't be a leader. So you are OK to be gay as long as you are a kid..... but once you get to adulthood we don't consider you equal anymore? Like you are all of a sudden damaged goods? Bogus BS! And even if they now "accept" gay scouts to join, I don't feel they really believe it in their hearts. It's a false acceptance.

    Replied on Friday, October 25, 2013 at 1:30pm
  19. Ditto what Jeanna said!!!! #equalityforall

    Posted on Friday, October 25, 2013 at 12:44am
  20. good!

    Posted on Friday, October 25, 2013 at 12:46am
  21. F*CK the BSA!!! Either get with the program, or get out!!!

    Posted on Friday, October 25, 2013 at 12:50am
  22. it’s 2013…let’s get with the times people, seriously

    Posted on Friday, October 25, 2013 at 1:14am
  23. Guess I won’t be donating to them (united way) anymore

    Posted on Friday, October 25, 2013 at 1:17am
  24. It is terrible that a person can be excluded from a job due to that organization’s prejudice. It is even worse that those kids will not have the opportunity to learn from a talented, caring and honorable scout leader because of who he is.

    Posted on Friday, October 25, 2013 at 1:22am
  25. Really? I had heard they were anti gay. Glad to hear they aren’t!

    Posted on Friday, October 25, 2013 at 1:23am
  26. They see fit to ban a potential leader because he’s gay? Haven’t heard them come out with a position on the “brainiacs” who destroyed the rock formations.

    Posted on Friday, October 25, 2013 at 1:47am
  27. I don’t donate any more!

    Posted on Friday, October 25, 2013 at 2:09am
  28. There Leaders are being Close minded Idiots.

    Posted on Friday, October 25, 2013 at 2:39am
  29. The boy scout code includes honor of god and country. .and to help others at all times. No where does it say ,and hate gays! I say good deal. Bigotry should not pay.

    Posted on Friday, October 25, 2013 at 2:47am
  30. no more giving to United Way. No Way!!

    Posted on Friday, October 25, 2013 at 3:42am
  31. but they gave all the time the BSA banned all homosexuals. a little late to look like good guys.

    Posted on Friday, October 25, 2013 at 3:56am
  32. This makes me proud

    Posted on Friday, October 25, 2013 at 5:13am
  33. I don’t remember it being religious! I learn to camp & survive in the wild in the scouts.Don’t know what god has to do with it! Besides all men who work for the lord like boys if you know what i mean!

    Posted on Friday, October 25, 2013 at 5:30am
  34. Thank you United Way…for giving me another reason not to donate!

    Posted on Friday, October 25, 2013 at 7:23am
  35. Can’t blame them…
    It’s not as if the BSA didn’t know this was coming. They’ve been warned many times by several organizations. That’s 1 of the reasons for their recent divisive new policy…they were worried about major religious contributions. Some backed out when they announced gay scouts would be allowed, but not as many if they had just ended the ban altogether. They also took into account major contributors who are pro Equality. They say it won’t happen, but I’m still keeping my fingers crossed for another vote on this next year. Their policy is half way there…it’s way past due that the BSA ban bigotry….not give it a house to live in.

    Posted on Friday, October 25, 2013 at 11:54am
  36. They have a choice. Stop being arseholes or make the whole boy scout thing synonymous with right wing extremism.

    Posted on Friday, October 25, 2013 at 12:51pm
  37. My cousin is gay. I am a straight, married woman who has NEVER supported the BSA. I was thrilled that my son (now 18) never asked to join, because I would have had to explain to him why I wouldn’t let him join. Sorry, but you can’t say how moral you are, when your morals instruct you to exclude someone based on not WHO they are, but who they love. That’s like someone sending their kid to a KKK day camp, then claiming they are not racist, the camp just has a great arts and crafts program. Show me who you walk with and I’ll tell you who you are. BSA is a homophobic organization with a “we’re better than you” mentality. And how many boys have gone through BSA accepted, only to be branded less than, after they discovered when they were older that they were gay? Does the BSA really believe that every one of those boys is straight when they sign up for cub scouts when they are five?

    Posted on Friday, October 25, 2013 at 1:24pm
  38. Now that’s standing up for what’s right. Thank you united way.

    Posted on Friday, October 25, 2013 at 2:06pm
  39. Another BAD organization setting the WRONG example of how to treat fellow human beings :/

    Posted on Friday, October 25, 2013 at 4:28pm