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Teachers Union Votes to Boycott United Way/Scouts

Chicago Teachers Union Votes to Boycott United Way & Boy Scouts!
House of Delegates votes 2 to 1 to protest anti-gay bigotry by the Boy Scouts, and the Chicago United Way's funding of the Scouts.
By a two-thirds margin, the 600 delegates who represent Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) members in their House of Delegates recently voted for the entire union to boycott payroll donations to the Chicago United Way in protest against that agency’s support of the anti-gay Boy Scouts of America (BSA). This important action is due primarily to the activism of the union’s Lesbian and Gay Caucus, which succeeded in putting the 30,000 strong public employee union squarely behind the campaign to rid the Scouts of discrimination.

Last spring the Chicago Anti-Bashing Network (CABN) and another Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered delegation initiated a series of meetings and phone conversations with the Chicago United Way in an attempt to persuade them to cease funding the Boy Scouts until the Scouts rescinded their bigoted policies against gays and atheists. Nonetheless, the Chicago United Way decided last May to continue to fund the Scouts. In fact the Scouts recently hardened their stance as they wrote the policy into the minutes of a national board meeting when they also refused to allow local BSA Councils such as the one in Chicago to adopt inclusionary policies.

In March CABN met with the CTU Lesbian and Gay Caucus to screen "Scout's Honor," which tells the story of Steve Cozza's campaign to end discrimination in his beloved Boy Scouts of America. The caucus took things from there. Tina Beacock is a delegate to the union's House of Delegates and chair of the union's Lesbian and Gay Caucus (and a CABN member). At a Delegates meeting she spoke convincingly in support of the resolution, and despite some opposition from the floor, it passed with substantial support of the leadership and well as the delegates. Great work Tina!



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