13 Feb

Ask the United Way to speak out and denounce the BSA’s ban on gay scouts and leaders
The Boy Scouts have delayed their vote to end their ban on gay scouts and leaders. I’m a gay dad who was dismissed as my son’s troop leader, and I’m calling on a major BSA funder, the United Way, to speak out against the ban.
Sign My Petition

The McGlynn

Last week started out as one of the most exciting of my life — it looked like the Boy Scouts of America might finally lift its ban on openly gay scouts and leaders. As a gay dad who was forced to resign from leading my son’s troop, I was thrilled that I might be able to come back to help my son earn his Eagle Award.

But the BSA’s board decided to drag their feet once more, saying now that they will hold a vote this May at their national meeting on whether to end the anti-gay ban.

I was heartbroken to come so close only to be shot down again. And I’m scared, because more than 1,400 people will get to vote at the national meeting, including representatives from every BSA local council. All these people I’ve never met will get to decide whether I can be involved in one of the most important moments in my son’s life. I don’t want to just sit around and wait and hope for the best.

One group that could make a big difference in the vote is the United Way, whose local groups are major funders of BSA councils all over America. So I started a petition on asking the United Way to speak out and denounce the BSA’s ban on gay scouts and leaders. Will you click here to sign?

Two of the BSA’s major corporate funders — Intel and UPS — have already suspended their funding until the ban is lifted after they were petitioned to do so on with the support of GLAAD and Scouts for Equality. But that progress won’t be felt by local councils the same way a message from the United Way would, because a huge number of local Boy Scout councils get funding directly from their local United Way.

As a longtime donor to the United Way myself, I know that if they speak out against the national ban on gay youth and parents it would send a clear message to local BSA councils: If you vote for discrimination this May, there will be consequences.

I have loved scouting, and I have loved the opportunity it afforded me to play such an important role in my son’s life. When I was summarily dismissed after five years of service, Isaiah and I decided that he would stay in Boy Scouts and go for his Eagle Award because in our house, we tend to like to finish what we start.

I’m not done fighting for my right to be treated like every other dad. Not by a long shot.

Click here to sign my petition calling on the United Way to speak out against the BSA’s ban on openly gay scouts and leaders.

Let’s finish this thing.

Greg Bourke
Louisville, Kentucky

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