James Beard Fdn. President Returns Award from Boy Scouts

By Neal Broverman

Originally published on Advocate.com April 20 2012 1:35 PM ET

The president of the James Beard Foundation, which is devoted to preserving America's culinary heritage and is named after a gay chef, turned down an award from the antigay Boys Scouts of America.

Susan Ungaro initially accepted the award, but activist and SiriusXM host Michelangelo Signorile informed her that the Boy Scouts have clear antigay policies that ban out leaders and participants. Upon realizing this, Ungaro rejected the award.

In a note to Signorile, Ungaro wrote, "While I support all the poverty and hunger-fighting programs of the Boy Scouts of America, including sending at-risk youth to camp, your report brought to my attention that accepting the Distinguished Citizen Award implied I support their antigay policy, which I absolutely do not. When I accepted the honor, I was focused on supporting the New Jersey chefs and restaurant community.

I have informed the Boy Scouts of America that I am rescinding my acceptance of the award."

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