Scout battles heat up

BY Advocate.com Editors

February 09 2001 1:00 AM ET

Battles over the Boy Scouts and the group’s antigay policies continue to escalate, with legislation pending in the Arizona state legislature to protect the group and a major United Way agency striking a compromise with the Scouts. Lawmakers in Arizona on Tuesday took up a measure that would make it illegal for any government agency in the state to cut off funds to a group based on their “exercise of rights of association,” the Arizona Daily Star [of Tucson] reports. A house committee voted 5–4 to move the measure to the full house for a vote. The bill is aimed specifically to overturn a Tucson city policy that cut $29,000 in public funds to the Scouts and that also threatens to block $1.7 million in funds to the United Way because the agency funds the Scouts. The United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona dropped the Scouts as a member of the agency last month because of its antigay policies. In Tempe, mayor Neil Giuliano, who is gay, is likely to face a recall effort on the ballot in September for his role in an unsuccessful attempt to cut off funds to the Scouts in his city. “At its core, this drive to recall a great mayor is about prejudice, not principle,” said Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund executive director Brian K. Bond. “It is a thinly veiled attempt to remove an outstanding public servant from office because he is openly gay.”

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