Backlash for Scouts – Curbing public property use

Erosion of support for the Boys Scouts of America is escalating in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling two months ago upholding the Scouts’ exclusion of gay members, The New York Times reported Aug. 29.

Chicago, San Francisco and San Jose, Calif., have barred local Scout troops from using parks, schools and other municipal facilities.

Chase Manhattan, Textron and other companies have withdrawn hundreds of thousands of dollars in support for local and national scouting groups.

Dozens of United Ways from Massachusetts to San Francisco have ended funding totaling millions of dollars a year.

And in a likely test case, Connecticut has banned contributions to the Scouts by state employees through a state-run charity. The state also is considering whether to bar the Scouts from using public campgrounds or buildings.

Gregg Shields, a national spokesman for the Scouts, told the Times the organization respects the right of private companies to donate only to groups of their choice.

But the Scouts are suing Connecticut to let state employees again donate to the Scouts, and Shields said the Scouts would fight to keep access to public schools and other public places in other states as well.

For full story, go to New York Times.

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