Boy Scouts breaks with Iowa United Way

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com February 28 2003 1:00 AM ET

The Boy Scouts of America is severing its affiliation with the Johnson County, Iowa, United Way because of the United Way's antidiscrimination policy. "To remain affiliated with the Johnson County United Way would mean we would have to compromise our core values. This is unacceptable," BSA executive Ed Brandon said in a prepared statement Wednesday. The Hawkeye Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America decided to end its formal relationship because of controversy surrounding "lightning rod" issues of homosexuality and religion, Brandon said. "It was obvious this would continue to present a forum for people to pressure the Boy Scouts and United Way. We decided to step outside of that arena," he said.

The Johnson County United Way last year adopted an antidiscrimination policy prohibiting affiliated agencies from discriminating on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, national origin, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, and age. Beverly Weber, executive director of the Johnson County United Way, said that programming for the Boy Scouts will not change and the local council will still receive donor-designated funds from United Way drives. Johnson County donors usually give between $15,000 and $16,000 to the local Boy Scouts, she said.