University of Arizona ends Boy Scout charity ban

BY Advocate.com Editors

October 15 2002 11:00 PM ET

The University of Arizona, Tucson's largest employer, will no longer use its annual charity drive to take a stand against antigay discrimination, according to the Tucson Citizen.

One year after the university cut the Boy Scouts of America from its United Way workplace campaign because of the group's ban on gay members, the BSA is back in the fold. "This year we are returning to our previous practice of providing on the enrollment form a line where you may write in the names of any community agencies you choose," university president Peter Likins wrote in a letter posted on the university's Web site Monday.

A UA professor who had pushed for the Scouts to be removed from the United Way campaign said that university leaders changed their minds about the policy without consulting him. "I would say that we are disappointed and perturbed that on an issue in which it was quite clear that the interests of our community were at stake, we were not consulted," said Fenton Johnson, an associate professor of English and a member of UA's committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies.

Lou Salute, executive director of the Boy Scouts' local Catalina Council, said UA leaders did the right thing by returning to their previous policy. "I think it just gives back the freedom of choice to the employees," he said.

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