Ban on bias – Loophole for Scouts

In the wake of controversy over the Boy Scouts of America barring a gay scoutmaster, the board of directors of the Triangle United Way has voted to require member agencies not to discriminate if they want to receive funding.

Local Boy Scout troops and groups that keep gays from leadership jobs still could get funding under the new policy, although local United Way boards in Durham, Orange and Wake counties could toughen their own policies to kill funding for groups that won’t hire gays, The News & Observer reported May 3.

The Triangle United Way board voted to require all member agencies to meet 32 minimum standards to receive funding, affirming non-discrimination on the basis of age, sex, color, religion, national origin, disability or sexual orientation.

The decision “assures donors that no one seeking assistance from a United Way member agency program will suffer discrimination based on sexual orientation,” Vernon Malone, United Way board chairman, said in a statement.

The new standard, which takes effect for funding starting July 2002, will be reviewed by the local United Way boards serving Durham, Orange and Wake counties that make local funding decisions.

The Occoneechee Council of the Boy Scouts receives more than $300,000 through the community investment fund of the Triangle United Way, and as much as $200,000 from individual donors who designate they want their contributions to support the scouts, said Mary Williams Stover, a United Way spokesman.

For full story, go to The News & Observer.

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