YOUTH SERVING ORGANIZATIONS
“Cascade Pacific Council of Boy Scouts awaits national decision to allow gay Scouts.” By Nancy Haught. Oregonian. May 5, 2013. After months of consideration, the Boy Scouts of America has proposed a policy change that would allow gay Scouts but not gay Scout leaders. Within the Cascade Pacific Council of Boy Scouts, which covers 18 counties in Oregon and southwest Washington, more than 33,000 Scouts and almost 12,000 adult volunteers might be affected by the resolution, if it passes during the national annual meeting May 22-24. Caught in the middle are religious organizations that charter Scouting groups. The proposed policy change may not reflect their official positions on homosexuality. Nationally, faith-based organizations charter more than 70 percent of Scouting units. In the Cascade Pacific Council, which lies in one of the least churched regions in the United States, faith-based groups charter 66 percent of the Scouting units. The council includes 1,410 groups, according to Matthew Devore, the council’s Scout executive. Of those, 936 are chartered by religious organizations. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Roman Catholic Church lead in the number of groups they charter (as they do nationally), followed by Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist and Episcopal churches. The formal teachings of the Mormon and Catholic churches oppose gay sexual activity, but leaders of both groups support the resolution when it comes to Scouts themselves. The official statement of the Mormon Church praised the Boy Scouts’ “thoughtful, good-faith effort” to address “the complex and challenging” issue. “Scouting exists to serve and benefit youth rather than Scout leaders,” the statement reads. The church “has not launched any campaign either to effect or prevent a policy change.”
“Gay ban costs NYC Boy Scouts a big donor; The God Bless America Fund has withheld a donation because of gay ban.” By Theresa Agovino. Crain’s New York Business. May 10, 2013. The Greater New York Councils, Boy Scouts of America has lost a long-time supporter because of its national organization’s ban on gay youth and leaders. The God Bless America Fund, which controls the royalties of its famous namesake song, withheld funds in December because it did not receive adequate assurances from the NYC Boy Scouts’ leadership that it was not discriminating against gay scouts or leaders. The fund generates between $100,000 and $200,000 a year, which is usually split between the NYC Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of Greater New York. Bert Fink, a spokesman for the God Bless America Fund, couldn’t immediately say how much money was withheld from the NYC Boy Scouts but noted it was in the five-figure range. The NYC Boy Scouts did get a check last June. Mr. Fink said that the fund has always been very concerned about the Boy Scouts of America’s ban against gay individuals but was confident the local chapter wasn’t discriminating. However, he said that over the summer the NYC Boy Scouts’ leaders “couldn’t unequivocally say that they do not discriminate,” so the fund withheld its donation. He said the group will reconsider the decision after the outcome of a vote slated for May 23 by the Boy Scouts of America on whether to allow gay scouts. The group would still ban gay leaders. “We are truly grateful for the generous support of the God Bless America Fund, which has been transformative in our work, enriching the lives of hundreds of thousands of New York City children,” said a spokesman for the NYC Boy Scouts, in a statement.