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Gay Activists Urge United Way to Cut Ties to Boy Scouts

Activists with the Chicago Anti-Bashing Network, a gay rights group, will meet today with top officials with Chicago's United Way to protest any continued funding for the Boy Scouts of America. While the Chicago United Way claims to "improve lives and build better community," they also gave over $400,000 last year to the notoriously anti-gay Scouts.
Activists with the Chicago Anti-Bashing Network (CABN) will meet with the Chicago United Way/Crusade of Mercy's President, Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President Thursday, March 29 to discuss the agency's support for the Boy Scouts of America. The activists object that while the United Way claims to "improve lives and build better community" in their Donor's Forum filing, they also support the Scouts, who have become notorious for their discrimination against Gays.

"How can they claim to be 'improving lives' while supporting an organization which teaches teens and pre-teens that hate and discrimination against a whole class of people is okay," asked CABN's Bob Schwartz, a former Scout and a participant in Thursday's meeting. "By fighting all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to defend their right to purge Gays from their midst, the Boy Scouts of America demonstrated their intransigent support for bigotry. Any compromise other organizations make to support the Scouts is a compromise with anti-Gay hate. We look to the United Way to demonstrate its commitment to the community by quickly severing its ties with this hateful organization."

According to its Year 2000 annual report, the Chicago United Way/Crusade of Mercy gave $424,866 to the Chicago Area Council of the Boy Scouts.

"While the Supreme Court upheld the right of the Scouts to discriminate, other organizations are under no obligation to endorse that hate by underwriting it," said CABN's Jill Youmans, another participant in Thursday's meeting. "We believe that due to their endorsement of anti-Gay hate, the Boy Scouts organization should be treated with the same contempt as lily white country clubs and all-male social clubs."

Besides Youmans and Schwartz, other participants in the meeting will be the Chicago United Way/Crusade of Mercy's out-going President, Bill Ketchum, its Chief Operating Officer, Hugh Parry, its Senior Vice President, Rich Sewell, and CABN's co-founder, Andy Thayer.



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