Old Wives' Tales
Radio & TV
Toxin du jour
Claim: The Boy Scouts of America has lost some funding over its refusal to accept homosexuals within its ranks.
Example: [Collected on the Internet, 2000]
Origins: The petition quoted above began circulating on the Internet in October 2000. It calls upon folks to electronically sign a petition in support of the Boy Scouts. (The Boy Scouts of America are not sponsoring this petition; an unrelated entity is housing and administering it.)
The petition (found at the Grassfire site) reads as follows:
PETITION TO SUPPORT THE BOY SCOUTS!!Should you sign it? The answer to that depends on two things: What your views on the underlying issues are, as well as what you think of the validity of online petitions.
As a concerned citizen, I am deeply troubled by the recent attacks which have come against the Boy Scouts simply because the Scouts have taken a stand for faith and moral values. As a private organization, the Boy Scouts has every right to set standards for leadership and morality. The U.S. Supreme Court made this clear! I urge you to cease these hostile attacks against one of America's great institutions.
We think it's not at all likely any Internet petition (no matter what issue it addresses) will have an appreciable impact on anyone in a position to affect policy. It's too easy to cook up lists of fake names and phony
A decision to support this petition should probably be based on what one thinks of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision to uphold the Boy Scouts of America's right to exclude homosexuals from its ranks. The Grassfire petition glosses the question of why support is being sought by saying nothing other than "the Scouts have taken a stand for faith and moral values." This wording leaves those who weren't aware of the core issue in the dark as to what prompted folks to withdraw support from the BSA. We don't find that a fair way to write a petition.
In a 5-to-4 opinion handed down on
Having determined that the Boy Scouts is an expressive association and that the forced inclusion of Dale would significantly affect its expression, we inquire whether the application of New Jersey's public accommodations law [the statute contended in a New Jersey suit involving Dale] to require that the Boy Scouts accept Dale as an assistant scoutmaster runs afoul of the Scouts' freedom of expressive association. We conclude that it does.Grassfire expresses its view of the issues at stake as:
This summer, the Scouts won a hard-fought case before the U.S. Supreme Court called Dale v. Scouts. The Supreme Court affirmed the Scouts’ right to set standards for leadership within their organization. This apparently infuriated the politically correct cultural elites. Almost immediately, the anti-Scout campaign was launched, with the Scouts being branded as intolerant.The standard affirmed by the Supreme Court in Dale vs. Scouts, which recognized the BSA's right to determine how to run its organization, also applies to the groups who would now withhold funding from the Scouts: they too possess the right of association. Some local chapters of the United Way are guided by policies that expressly forbid them from financially supporting groups that practice discrimination. They have discontinued funding of the Boy Scouts of America because their entrenched principles
At this point, only a few chapters of the United Way have withdrawn financial support from the Boy Scouts of America. Some municipalities are also now refusing to allow Scout troops to use municipal sites for camping and rallies. United Way funding to the BSA has not yet been substantially affected, however. A rough estimate of loss of beneficence over this issue places the figure at $500,000 a year out of budget hundreds of times that. (In 1996, for example, United Way funding of the BSA amounted to $83,743,000.)
As to what to make of the core issue behind the petition, it comes down to this: The Boy Scouts uphold their deeply-held beliefs by barring homosexuals from becoming scouts or scoutmasters. That stand, however, impels organizations who have sworn to refuse aid to those who practice discrimination to now recognize the Boy Scouts of America as one of the groups they must turn away.
Barbara "one good turn deserves another" Mikkelson
Last updated: 15 December 2007
This material may not be reproduced without permission.
snopes and the snopes.com logo are registered service marks of snopes.com.