United Way of Cleveland, Intel Halt Boy Scout Funding
Officials from the United Way of Greater Cleveland announced this week that they will stop funding the Boy Scouts of America in 2013 because the BSA refuses to change its controversial policy that prohibits gay adults and youth from joining the group, Cleveland.com reports.
United Way is a non-profit organization throughout the country and works with other charitable organizations to pool efforts in fundraising and support.
But the organization’s Cleveland, Ohio, officials say they will no longer donate to the city’s chapter of the BSA starting on June 30, 2013. It will also stop funding nearly $100,000 to the BSA’s Greater Cleveland Council for Scoutreach program, which has about 1,600 members, on July 1, 2013, the start of United Way’s fiscal year. United Way of Greater Cleveland will pull its funding because of the BSA’s anti-gay policy, which bans gay leaders and youth.
United Way opposes the policy because it goes against the organization’s own equal opportunity and diversity policy. In September, the United Way board voted to add sexual orientation to the policy that requires that people will be "valued and given opportunity regardless of race, sex, age disability," Cleveland.com noted.
"The implication is that they’re not going to get funding," said Bill Kitson, United Way’s president and chief executive officer. "They’ve told us they’re not going to change. We’ve told them we’re not going to change."
Greater Cleveland United Way’s board chairman, Paul Clark, said the BSA is the only organization in the local United Way funds that has a discriminatory policy.
"I think they view their policy as one of protection," Clark said. "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."
Top executive at the Boy Scouts Greater Cleveland Council, Barry Norris, told the website that he was disheartened to learn that the groups are going their separate ways, since they’ve been working together since 1913.