United Way: Denounce the Boy Scout's policy banning gay youth and parents
  • Petitioning Marveen C. Henderson

This petition will be delivered to:

Director of Diversity and Inclusion, United Way Worldwide
Marveen C. Henderson
Vice President of Strategic Communications, United Way Worldwide
Peter Hahn
United Way Worldwide CEO
Brian Gallagher
US President, United Way Worldwide
Stacey Stewart
Chief Diversity Officer, United Way Worldwide
Deborah Foster (Chief Diversity Officer, United Way Worldwide)

United Way: Denounce the Boy Scout's policy banning gay youth and parents

    1. Petition by

      Greg Bourke, Scouts for Equality

My name is Greg Bourke, and I need your help. Recently, the Boy Scouts of America forced me to step down as Assistant Scoutmaster of my son's Boy Scout troop, just because I'm gay. Despite the protest of my troop, my church, and my community, the Boy Scouts message was clear: gay youth and parents are inferior, and not welcome. That's an incredibly dangerous message to send to young people in our community, so I'm asking United Way, which is a major donor to the Boy Scouts, to denounce this hurtful anti-gay policy.

Across the country and around the globe, United Way builds stronger communities by supporting families and children. In fact, my partner of 30 years, Michael De Leon, and I are great believers in the mission of the United Way, and we back it up as members of the Tocqueville Society (major United Way donors). But local United Ways are also some of the biggest funders to the Boy Scouts of America. And when the United Way gives money to a discriminatory organization, it damages the integrity and reputation of the entire organization.

Luckily, many local United Ways have already stepped up and decided that they cannot financially support organizations that discriminate against families and children in their communities. If the BSA won't end their national ban on gay Scouts and leaders, then the United Way should make sure that none of its chapters continue to fund anti-gay discrimination. And they can do just that at their annual national Staff Leaders Meeting this April.

After being forcibly removed in August 2012 from my position as Assistant Scoutmaster with Troop 325 in Louisville, KY, I received unanimous support from my Troop, Troop Committee, Church, Scouts, Scout Leaders and Scout Parents. In September 2012, I received a special "Legislative Citation" from the State of Kentucky House of Representatives honoring me and my dedication to Scouting and service to my community.

My family is not any different from other families in our community. We have been very active members of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Louisville, Kentucky for over 25 years. We have two adopted children, ages 13 and 15, a girl and a boy. I have been a Girl Scout leader for seven years, and was a Cub/Boy Scout leader for over five years -- until I was forced to resign. My son is a Life Scout who should finish up his Eagle Rank requirements in the next few months, and I was with him every step of the way -- at least until recently, when I was told I no longer could. I have been fully trained by both the Girl Scouts of America and the Boy Scouts of America, passed numerous background checks, and have been what many consider a model Scout leader.

United Way has a unique opportunity to help families like mine. By speaking out, they would be joining the American Medical Association, who as far back as 2001 urged the Boy Scouts to end their ban on gay youth and parents because the policy could cause psychological trauma in young people.

Please join me in urging United Way to denounce the Boy Scouts' national anti-gay policy, and pull future funding should the Boy Scouts uphold the ban on gay youth and parents.

Recent signatures


    1. Scouts no longer supported by United Way of Southwest Alabama

      Scouts not supported by money donated to United Way of Southwest Alabama

      MOBILE, Alabama -- The United Way of Southwest Alabama's 2014 campaign kick-off at the end of this month has companies and individuals ready to donate. However, the money isn't going to the same place it has in past years.

    2. Sham Agreement Hides Metro United Way Funding of Lincoln Heritage Council

      Boy Scouts won't have United Way funds this year

      Louisville's local Boy Scouts Council is not receiving Metro United Way funding this year because the organization did not seek the money, skipping a process that would have required it to sign a non-discrimination agreement.

    3. Boy Scouts' gay policy foils Louisville funding

      Boy Scouts' gay policy foils Louisville funding

      The Louisville Metro Council can't provide funding to the Boy Scouts because the organization's ban on openly gay scout leaders violates the city's anti-discrimination ordinance, according to a county attorney's decision. It blocks an attempt by Councilwoman Cindi Fowler, D-14th District, to use $640 in neighborhood-development money to expand swimming for two hours on two nights at Sun Valley Park for scouts pursuing their swimming badge.

    4. Louisville United Way has not decided on continued funding for Boy Scouts

      Metro United Way campaign donations surpass $24 million [online extra]

      The 2013 Metro United Way campaign has passed the $24 million mark, campaign officials announced Thursday. As has been the tradition in recent years, the campaign set a target of surpassing the previous year's total - or the $28.9 million raised in the 2012 drive.

    5. Roanoke Boy Scouts Lose United Way Funding

      Boy Scouts out on a limb after outreach funding cut

      Thursday, November 14, 2013 The first boy climbed into the Boy Scout van talking of gunshots he'd heard the night before. A man had been shot near the middle-schooler's home in Oak Park Apartments. Scoutmaster Melvin Wilson drove the big blue 15-passenger van down Salem Turnpike to pick up a Cub Scout at the Landsdowne public housing development.

    6. Calcasieu Area Council Loses United Way FUnding

      American Press: Your Best News & Advertising Source

      Editorial: United Way, Boy Scouts valued assets in our area Last Modified: Tuesday, November 12, 2013 5:00 PM After haggling for several months over the United Way of Southwest Louisiana's funding of the Boy Scouts of America-Calcasieu Area Council, the Scout's Executive Board voted unanimously in July to cut its ties with the organization.

    7. Boy Scouts Council in Central Kentucky loses United Way funding over gay ba

      Boy Scouts Council in Central Kentucky loses United Way funding over gay ban.

      Boy Scouts council in Central Kentucky loses United Way money over ban on gay adult leaders

      United Way of the Bluegrass has ended nearly $100,000 in annual funding to the Boy Scouts of America's Blue Grass Council because of national scouting policy to not allow gays to serve as adult leaders, according to a letter the council sent to families.

    8. Utica New York United Way discontinues funding to Boy Scouts

      Local United Way decides to not continue funding local Boy Scouts

      It has been a few weeks since the Boy Scouts of America took an historic stand and voted to allow openly gay youths into the ranks of their organization. It is a new step forward for equality, but the scouts are still not allowing opening gay adults to participate as scout leaders.

    9. Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way won't release funds to BSA

      GSVUW won't use discretionary funds for Scouts

      SUNBURY - The Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way Board voted Tuesday not to release discretionary funding to the Susquehanna Council of Boy Scouts of America. These dollars were behind held while the national Boy Scouts of America organization reviewed its policy of not granting membership to open or avowed homosexuals.

    10. Licking County United Way pulls local Boy Scout funding

      Licking County United Way pulls local Boy Scout aid

      NEWARK - The Simon Kenton Council of the Boy Scouts of America, which oversees all troops in Licking County, will not receive funding from the United Way of Licking County for the upcoming year.

    11. Petition to United Way to to stop funding Boy Scouts of America

      Ousted Louisville gay Scout leader urges United Way to stop funding group

      When his then-8-year-old son wanted to join Cub Scouts five years ago, Greg Bourke became an assistant Scout leader. But Bourke, of Louisville, said he was forced out of his son's troop last August because he is gay.

    12. Gay Scout Leader Petitions United Way

      Gay Scout Leader Petitions United Way

      An original draft of this story mistakenly reported the attendees at Bourke's meeting with United Way. In fact, Joe Tolan, President of the Metro United Way of Louisville, was in attendance, not John Lechleiter. Like any good Boy Scout, Greg Bourke arrived in Indianapolis this week prepared.

    13. No Merit Badge for Courage for Boy Scouts

      WANDERINGS: No Merit Badge for Courage for Boy Scouts

      Never willing to lead, the Scout executives decided there needed to be another reconsideration." In 1978, the national council issued a policy memorandum to deny gays membership or employment.

    14. United Way of Greater Cleveland drops funding for Boy Scouts

      United Way of Greater Cleveland moves to pull funding in 2013 for Boy Scouts over group's prohibition of gay members

      CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Officials with United Way of Greater Cleveland announced Tuesday they are moving to pull their funding next year from the Boy Scouts of America after the group recently reaffirmed its prohibition of openly gay youth and adults.

    15. United Way of Carlisle & Cumberland County pulls Boy Scout funding

      United Way of Carlisle & Cumberland County pulls Boy Scout funding

      The United Way of Carlisle & Cumberland County is the latest area branch of the charitable organization to stop funding the local Boy Scouts of America council. In August, the United Way of the Capital Region announced due to the Scouts' national policy denying membership to "open or avowed homosexuals," it would pull its funding of the New Birth of Freedom Council, which serves 11,000 Boy Scouts in south-central Pennsylvania.

    16. Scouts survey members on whether to keep gay ban

      Scouts survey members on whether to keep gay ban

      IRVING, Texas - Faced with a backlash against their ban on gays, the Boy Scouts of America are surveying their members on a potential change in policy. A questionnaire distributed to 1.1 million adult Scouts uses fictional situations to discern where Scouting's membership falls on questions of homosexuality, gays camping with children and gays in church leadership.

    17. Reached 50,000 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Liz Alas NEW BEDFORD, MA
      • 4 days ago

      Because I don't think that this is right! You can't stop someone from being who they are!

    • Mary Ann Fitzharris LOUISVILLE, KY
      • 10 days ago

      The Boy Scouts have been educating gay boys for eons. Now they're doing it openly...or not doing it. Do not send this message of intolerance to our children.

    • Susan Watts PERKINSTON, MS
      • 25 days ago

      We should not make Homosexual individuals feel as if they are wrong or bad for being themselves. With all of the negativity that they have to deal with on a day to day basis I am sure they do not CHOOSE to be gay they just ARE and we should embrace every individual rather than shame them.

    • Bobby Stevenson LOS ANGELES, CA
      • about 1 month ago

      Gay Rights!

    • caroline Grossman DANVILLE, CA
      • about 1 month ago

      This is just wrong in so many ways


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