“Decisions like this needlessly place Kentucky children in the crossfire,” stated Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer. “The Boy Scouts of America are already facing hostility for their good decisions earlier this year by permitting openly gay scouts to join. The Boy Scouts National Council voted in May to allow openly gay youth to join but maintained its ban on gay leaders. Radical social conservatives are undercutting the Boy Scouts of America, terminating affiliations, discontinuing support, and trying to establish homophobic-based competing organizations. Meanwhile, the Boy Scouts of America, having made a positive step in resolving inequality issues, are now receiving attacks from pro-equality forces for not moving fast enough. The non-discrimination policy must be a new one for the United Way of the Bluegrass since they continued to fund them even when would not permit openly-gay scouts to join in previous years. This is a knee-jerk reaction that sets a horrible example.
I was a proud Boy Scout, but I never met another gay scout.
Organizations are fostering the very intolerance, anti-diversity, and anti-equality ‘traditional values’ we seek to eliminate, but I am sad to say that some are not practicing the very values we seek.
This is not a new issue, and the timing of this decision actually sets back the equality movement because it allows anti-equality forces to use this as anti-equality propaganda. Now is the time to acknowledge positive growth and support it, rather than to attack groups moving in the right direction, after all, Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will the fight for tolerance, diversity, and equality. The actions of the United Way solidify intolerance to an institution struggling to change.
It is our fear that, in this period of transition, we risk destroying an institution that brings positive value to the lives of children across the country. We ask the Boy Scouts of America to continue their progress. We also ask that progressive organizations not join forces with the radical social conservatives in exterminating the Boy Scouts over this issue. Institutions change over time, but that takes time and work. Now is a time for support and positive growth toward equality, not for using the hateful tactics of radical social conservatives against a group evolving toward modern equality.”
In an email to Kentucky Equality Federation, this parent says it best: “Change takes time, and now is the time. Many conservative groups have disassociated themselves from Scouting because of the progressive movement. It is very damaging to Scouting to also be criticized by progressive groups.”
“We request that United Way of the Bluegrass reconsider its decision in light of the damage it does to the equality movement and the children of Kentucky,” said Kentucky Equality Federation Vice President of Policy and Public Relations Joshua Koch. “While we support defunding legitimate anti-equality organizations, we recognize the advances made by the Boy Scouts, and we hope that they will continue to develop their standards in a more equal direction. We should reward their progress, and help them grow further in the future.”