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Top Stories This Week in the Chronicle.
February 4, 2005

Scouts seek to get around United Way non-bias rule

Columbus--In an attempt to get around a United Way non-discrimination policy, the Central Ohio Boy Scout council is attempting to modify it.

The Simon Kenton Boy Scout Council signed a non-discrimination pledge hoping to become eligible for funding from the United Way of Central Ohio, but not before changing it to reflect a 2000 U.S. Supreme Court decision stating that opposition to homosexuality is a core value of the Boy Scouts�mission.

The Boy Scouts have used the ruling to continue purging their ranks of openly gay members and leaders.

In February 2004, the United Way of Central Ohio adopted a policy which barred it from funding any program that denies services, employment or volunteer opportunity for a list of reasons including sexual orientation.

Groups that want funding must state that they comply with the measure.

The Boy Scout council, which operates in 17 Ohio counties, didn�t do this last year. That caused them to lose nearly $500,000 from the United Way, which serves Franklin County.

This year, by attaching a �clarification letter,� which says they �will not unlawfully discriminate against anyone,� the Boy Scouts want to create a statement �that is clearly reflective of the Boy Scouts,� according to statements made to the Columbus Dispatch.

The United Way board will decide whether or not to accept the modified statement at its February 22 meeting.

Currently, the Central Ohio United Way is the only United Way operating in Ohio with such a nondiscrimination policy. The others fund Boy Scout and Salvation Army programs that discriminate against gays without further scrutiny



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