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Scouts hit with more funding cuts (5981)


Scouts hit with more funding cuts

The Boy Scouts of America were hit with more funding cuts from charitable agencies Wednesday. The United Way of Central Massachusetts voted to withhold funding to agencies that discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. "We are aware that our more than 30,000 contributors hold a wide range of views regarding nondiscrimination policies and practices," said Eric S. Buch, president of the regional United Way, after Wednesday's vote. "At the same time, we know that donors expect United Way to invest their contributions in agencies that meet high standards in financial management and program impact. This new policy is intended to ensure that all members of our community have access to the volunteer opportunities and appropriate services provided by United Way-funded agencies." The policy allows individuals to designate gifts to the Scouts but will cut funding directly from the agency. The Mohegan Council of the Boy Scouts said that it would have to consult with the national organization to determine its next move.

Meanwhile, Orlando Sentinel Communications, parent company of the Orlando Sentinel newspaper, said it would no longer give money to programs run by the Scouts because of the group's antigay policies. Publisher and president Kathleen Waltz announced the change to employees Wednesday, the Sentinel reports. It was a policy decision, not an evaluation of a program, Waltz said, based on the company's commitment to diversity. The decision immediately affects a request from the Scouts for $17,500, $1,500 more than the group received in 2000.

The Scouts did receive a boost Tuesday from the Wisconsin state assembly, which approved a measure commending the group, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports. The version that was passed was a watered-down version of the original resolution introduced by Republican state representative Steven Nass. Nass's commendation noted the Scouts' antigay policy, saying, "The Boy Scouts of America has recently come under attack for its fundamental commitment for building and strengthening the moral character and competence of our youth." Democrats threatened to filibuster unless the language was taken out of the measure. "We're going to march down that road and we're going to have a bloodbath in here in the state assembly because one person doesn't want to compromise on the language," said Rep. Timothy Carpenter. Nass ultimately agreed to remove the language about the Scouts' being under attack but kept a clause saying the legislature supports the Scouts for the "values they instill." The measure now goes to the state senate for consideration.

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