© 2023 Ideastream Public Media

1375 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44115
(216) 916-6100 | (877) 399-3307

WKSU is a public media service licensed to Kent State University and operated by Ideastream Public Media.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
To contact us with news tips, story ideas or other related information, e-mail newsstaff@ideastream.org.

United Way To End Funding To Cleveland Area Boy Scouts

The United Way of Cleveland's sign outside their downtown office (pic by Brian Bull).
The United Way of Cleveland's sign outside their downtown office (pic by Brian Bull).

Currently, the Boy Scouts of America does not allow gay members or staff. Bill Kitson, CEO of the United Way of Cleveland, says this violates his organization’s diversity policy. After some discussion between the two groups, Kitson says United Way chose to end $100,000 worth of direct funding to the BSA in the next funding cycle.

“When we took a look at all the agencies that we fund and their diversity and inclusion policies, we found that the Boy Scouts were the only ones that discriminate," says Kitson. "If a boy raises his hand and says he is gay, then he is no longer a boy scout, and that discrimination will no longer be tolerated as part of the United Way policy, so we will no longer fund the Boy Scouts come next spring.”

Kitson adds that as a private organization, the Boy Scouts have every right to decide who they serve and who serves them. But he says United Way has the right not to fund an organization that discriminates.

The Boy Scouts of America - Greater Cleveland Council has expressed disappointment in the decision, which ends nearly a century of partnership.

Kitson says those wishing to specifically donate to the Boy Scouts through United Way can still do so, though its regular processing fee still applies.