February 20, 1992
TO: BOARD OF DIRECTORS
THE UNITED WAY
FR: CHARLES A. LYNCH
RE: THE UNITED WAY BOY SCOUT TASK FORCE
Attached is the Report of The United Way Boy Scout Task Force. This broadly based group of volunteers has been at work on a bi-weekly basis for the last six months. The Task Force includes Boy Scouts of America volunteers, The United Way Board of Directors members, labor, private
and public sectors, gay, youth, religious with broad based ethnic and geographic representation.
The Task Force has done a remarkable job in developing a mutually acceptable Report for the Bay Area and a set of recommendations for Board approval.
In essence, the report has six major conclusions:
1. The Task Force, representing the community, supports and encourages the development inside Boy Scouting of a new policy that makes sexual orientation a personal and family matter. As you read the report, you can see that an approach similar to other youth serving institutions, like the Girl Scouts, is encouraged wherein persons are judged on the content of their character .
2. For over eighty years, The United Way has supported Boy Scouting and many youth have benefitted from the program. A focus on services to youth, with particular emphasis on those who are in greatest need, is the primary concern of the Task Force.
3. The United Way policy on nondiscrimination is appropriate in
its current form and the Task Force expects The United Way to apply our policy in a consistent manner. The Task Force is clear that in a multi-cultural society, The United Way must continue to respond to all of our citizens in a nondiscriminatory manner....and that funded agencies must join us in that effort.
4. The six local BSA councils will be sent the Task Force Report and it is our
expectation that they will be, in the next 45 days, responding in writing to the concept outlined in the report.
Each Scout Council will need proper time to evaluate the Task Force Report before indicating how they wish to join with us in this process of constructive and significant change.
National BSA will take time to change; not everyone sees the world with the perspective of our diverse Bay Area. The Task Force is suggesting that five years be given as the period to either move to a new national policy or receive an exemption from BSA for Bay Area programs. Moreover, as local BSA Councils develop their new approach, The United Way should continue to support young people currently in the program.
6. After the local BSA councils respond in writing to the concept outlined in the The United Way Boy Scout Task Force Report, The United Way will begin negotiating the details of progress measurements. These negotiations will begin upon receipt of response from the Councils and should be completed by late June 1992.
February 20, 1992
Robert A. Bolingbroke
Chairman, Board of Trustees
Golden Gate Scouting Federation
Boy Scouts of America
Oakland, CA 94612
Dear Mr. Bolingbroke:
I am pleased to enclose the final report of The United Way Boy Scout Task Force which was approved by The United Way Board of Directors today. We are proud of the thorough work of this diverse
Task Force which included Boy Scout volunteers, United Way volunteers, and labor, public and private sector, gay, youth, religious, ethnic and geographic representation. The final Report received positive votes from all but two of the 24 Task Force members. It represents our best collaborative thinking on how together we can ensure needed, high quality services to Bay Area youth.
The six major recommendations are summarized in my cover memo
to The United Way Board of Directors, dated February 20, 1992. I encourage you to read the Report in its entirety. I believe that you will find it to be a thoughtful and reasonable piece of work.
Needless to say, we were disappointed by the statements attributed in press reports to the national Boy Scout staff at their news conference on Tuesday. However, our relationship is not with the
national Boy Scout staff. Our relationship is with you and the local volunteers and staff .Our shared interest is the diverse, multi-cultural youth of the Bay Area. In that spirit and in the belief that locally we understand best the needs of Bay Area youth, it is our hope and expectation that your Board will fully review this Report and discuss it with us. United Way volunteers in the area you serve will be phoning you to schedule a meeting to discuss the Report and
its meaning. We expect that following your Board's review, you will respond within 45 days to the concept of the Report.
Attached to this letter is a proposed list of progress steps and timeline to which we hope that you can agree in order for us to move together toward a position of nondiscrimination. We continue to hope that the Boy Scouts of America can also move to a position of
nondiscrimination. Irrespective, we wish to work with you and your Council to take independent steps to ensure that all prospective Bay Area Scouts and volunteers are judged on the content of their "character and that sexual orientation is viewed as a personal and family matter.
The United Way and the people of the Bay Area share a tradition of
inclusiveness and willingness to open our doors to all who want to participate and to all who need help. Our Board wants to work with you to ensure that the opportunities of Scouting are accessible to all youth and volunteers.
Thank you for your consideration.
Charles A. Lynch
cc: Council Board Members
Proposed Progress Steps and Timeline
1. Meet with United Way liaisons to discuss Report.
Within 30 days
2. Respond in writing to the concept of the Report.
Within 45 days
3. Establish volunteer and staff team to meet and determine local progress steps with United Way representatives.
Within 60 days
4. Draft policy alternative using Girl Scouts and Big Brothers/Big Sisters policies as models.
By June 1,1992
5. Appoint local BSA Council Board-level committee to determine action plan to achieve Report goals.
By August 1, 1992
6. Participate in the "Building Bridges" training program to learn about the human service needs of the Gay and Lesbian community.
By December 31, 1992
7. Formalize local Council position of nondiscrimination.
By June 1, 1993
February 20, 1992
Solution to Community Problem Proposed
SAN FRANCISCO (February 20, 1992) -The Bay Area United Way Board of Directors today approved a task force's plan that calls on
local Boy Scout councils to take specific steps enabling them to serve children and include adult leaders in a nondiscriminatory fashion.
Recommendations from the 24-member community task force call upon the six Bay Area councils of Boy Scouts of America to operate in a nondiscriminatory manner and foster a policy change over five years that either allows them an exemption from the national Boy
Scout policy, or yields a change in national policy that would allow gay youth to "'participate in Boy Scouting and allow Bay Area councils to select adults based on the content of their character .
'The work of this broad group, which included Boy Scout and United Way volunteers, gays, and representation of many community groups
, was really very balanced and focused on Bay Area youth," said Eleanor Williams, a co-chair of the task force and director of San Mateo County's Community Services Mediation Program. "The task force asks nothing of the Boy Scouts that hasn't already been accomplished with great benefit by the Girl Scouts, and by Big Brothers/Big Sisters."
Both of those organizations view sexual orientation as a personal
and family matter, not as a screening criterion. The policy of the Girl Scouts of USA, which distinguishes clearly between sexual orientation and inappropriate sexual conduct, was proposed by the Task Force as a reasonable model for the Boy Scouts to consider.
The United Way Board action gives the Boy Scout councils up to 45 days to respond in writing to the task force. report. The plan also
calls for continuing ongoing funding of councils wishing to participate with United Way, with progress in adopting the task force recommendations being reviewed.
"We're very proud of the thorough work of this very diverse task force," said Charles A Lynch, chairman of the Bay Area United Way directors.
"This represents our best collaborative thinking and agreement on how we can continue to work together to provide a high quality Boy Scout program for all Bay Area youth.
"We're disappointed by recent statements of national Boy Scouting
figures," Lynch added, "but we're confident that the six local councils will nevertheless consider the task force report carefully. We hope the national position will in time change, but our relationships are with the local Boy Scout councils and our common concerns are for high quality services for local youth."
"We assume the local councils will want to get as much input as
possible from Boy Scout volunteers, sponsoring organizations and parents," said Dave Wharton, a noted San Francisco attorney and the other co-chair of the task force. "We're about solving problems here, and solutions to highly charged issues don't come quickly. Not everyone sees the world from the perspective of our diverse Bay Area – but we believe the Boy Scouts will be stronger if they can adapt. And we have given them the necessary time and room to do
that if they so choose."
The United Way Boy Scouts Task Force was created in August, 1991 to examine the ongoing relationship between the Bay Area United Way and local Boy Scout councils, and to make recommendations to resolve the conflict between the United Way stance on nondiscrimination and the Boy Scouts policy barring homosexual adults and youth.
The seventh largest and one of the most successful United Ways in the country, the Bay Area United Way raised $59 million in 1991. It distributes funds to more than 3,000 charities, mainly in San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin and San Mateo counties.
Santa Oara, Napa/Solano, Sacramento and other United Way
geographical territories are separate and operate according to local policies as well The task force recommendations are for the six Bay Area councils only.
Those seeking information or wishing to express an opinion on the issue may call (415) 772-7391.
The United Way Boy Scout Task Force was commissioned by The
United Way Board of Directors in July 1991. The Task Force, appointed to determine The United Way's continuing relationship with Boy Scouts of America (BSA) in the Bay Area, was charged as follows:
A. To review and analyze the Boy Scouts of America (1) National policies, (2) local Scouting practice and (3) conduct a special analysis of the "Learning for Life" program.
B. To develop recommendations for the Board of Directors on the administration of The United Way nondiscrimination policy.
C. To ensure high quality, accessible services to all youth in the Bay Area supported by a broad base of donors through The United Way.
The twenty-four member Task Force included broad and diverse community leadership. The Task Force included Boy Scouts of America volunteers, The United Way Board of Directors members, labor, private and public sectors, gay, youth, religious, ethnic and
geographic representation. Attendance at meetings averaged 90%.
The Task Force met at least every other week from September 1991 through January 1992. The Task Force sought to clarify issues, facts regarding BSA and United Way policies and practices and relied on
three major information sources:
A. Written comment from the public received by the Task Force and The United Way;
B. Documents requested and reviewed by the Task Force from both The United Way and BSA;
C. Written questions formulated and submitted by the Task Force to BSA and The United Way senior officials, who were invited to appear in person for dialogue with the Task Force.
The information and documentation from BSA, The United Way and public comments provided the basis for the findings and recommendations of the Task Force. In its deliberations, the
Task Force sought to constructively resolve the issues between BSA and The United Way through consensus to ensure that the diverse and multi-cultural youth population in the Bay Area has maximum access to high-quality service.
IV. FINDINGS: THE UNITED WAY
Task Force findings relative to The United Way policies:
1. The United Way concept was born in 1887 out of the need to create a voluntary community response to growing human needs. Its primary purpose is to raise contributions efficiently and to distribute funds effectively to member agencies.
2. Ten agencies participated in the first campaign, which raised $21,700 in 1888. Today, 2,300 United Ways across the nation raise in excess of $3 billion annually to meet their communities' health and human care needs voluntarily by panial support of over 40,000 agencies.
3. United Way of America is an association of local United Way
organizations. United Way of America provides training and technical assistance, but does not establish policy for local United Ways.
Each local United Way is an autonomous organization governed by local volunteer Boards of Directors who establish policy regarding local agency eligibility and allocations.
B. National and Local:
1. The United Way must appeal to a broad base of contributors as the steward or trustee of donors' gifts. The United Way is responsible to and reflective of the community at large. It is a public service and public interest organization which must reflect and remain current with each community's mores,
standards and viewpoints. It must respect the rights of all individuals.
2. Inclusiveness is one of the core principles of The United Way. This is reinforced by the United Way CREDO developed by United Way of America with the participation of member United Way organizations:
We believe that the dignity and worth of every individual should
be cherished, protected and preserved,
We believe that we are strongest when we are most inclusive. We seek to involve every segment of the community in every aspect of our work. We believe that out of that involvement will grow understanding, commitment and the material support we need.
1. The United Way must remain faithful to its own policies, values and vision, and be accountable to donors and beneficiaries for its actions. As stated in the Values and Vision section of the 1991 Strategic Plan, United Way believes that:
- Every person in our community is of value and has the right to pursue his/her personal goals and aspirations;
- Every person deserves to have access to the resources that will help him/her grow to his/her greatest potential.
2. The United Way's Policies and Procedures manual outlines the relationship between The United Way and member agencies. Criteria for participation on nondiscrimination states:
"An agency must have its internal operations and service administered on a non-discriminatory basis without regard to race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, veteran status, national origin, age or physical disability. " (Policies and Procedures adopted July 24, 1986)
3. The nondiscrimination policy of The United Way represents
one of its most valued tenets. While The United Way believes that this policy must be observed by member agencies, and that clear documented instances of discrimination may be grounds for denial of membership and/or funding, the determination of an agency's exclusionary policy or practice should be made through the agency allocation review process. Targeted services as a matter of policy are not considered discrimination.
4. Sexual orientation is different from sexual conduct. Neither the Task Force nor The United Way supports inappropriate sexual conduct in the context of any programs, including those which serve youth. However, people should not be excluded solely because of their sexual orientation. Adult leaders in all youth-serving agencies should be judged on the content of their
character and their ability to work successfully with youth.
5. The issue of discrimination based on sexual orientation is an evolving area that is especially sensitive in our community and society. Sexual orientation was added to The United Way Policies and Procedures nondiscrimination statement in 1986. (Categories included in 1986 were: creed, disability, marital
status and veteran I s status.) The evolution of attitudes toward sexuality and sexual orientation often involves conflict with highly emotional .and deeply held beliefs, especially in organizations serving youth.
6. The United Way's objective is a greater and more widespread level of enlightenment and acceptance toward sexual
orientation, recognizing that this evolution will require time to process through an agency's volunteer and staff structures. In its relationship with member agencies which provide important community services, but where attitudes toward sexual orientation are evolving, The United Way policy is to work toward an acceptance of its broad policy while maintaining the agencies I vital services to the community.
V. FINDINGS: BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA [BSA]
Task Force findings relative to BSA policies:
1. BSA is one of the most venerated of our nation's social
2. The BSA was chartered by the U.S. Congress, and has, since 1910, contributed to the social development and well-being of millions of boys in America.
3. Many of our nation's citizens and leaders have benefitted from the Scouting experience. A significant value of BSA, a
major part of every troop and unit, and a requirement for advancement in rank for everyone, is community service.
4. BSA is a single national organization with over 400 chartered local councils. National BSA sets policies pertaining to qualifications for membership, volunteers, staff and operation procedures. Individual councils cannot set their own policies in
these and other matters, and are expected to comply with national policies.
5. The "Learning For Life" program separates traditional BSA programs from non-traditional in-school scouting programs. The Task Force reviewed the Learning for Life curriculum and deemed " it irrelevant to the issue of discrimination.
B. National and Local:
1. BSA provides valuable citizenship and character building, training and experience to its members (over four million in 1990).
2. The values espoused by BSA – patriotism, courage, self
-reliance, physical and mental fitness and kindred virtues – are desirable values for all young persons, and none should be excluded from opportunities to participate in programs that promote these values.
3. BSA 's current national position on homosexuality dictates exclusion of individuals on the grounds of" sexual orientation".
This position is inconsistent with The United Way in the Bay Area policy on nondiscrimination.
4. The sole documented local instance brought to our attention of exclusion from Scouting, based on sexual orientation, is the Timothy Curran v BSA Mt. Diablo Council case, pending since 1981.
1. The six local BSA councils make a substantial contribution to youth development, serving about 98,000 multi-cultural Bay Area youth and utilizing 13,200 volunteers. United Way values this important service to Bay Area youth, as evidenced by its unbroken record of support of BSA over several decades.
2. The six local BSA councils received a total base allocation of $849,345, approximately 16% of their total operating budgets, from The United Way for Fiscal Year 1991-92 ending June 30, 1992. Through Donor Choice contributions, local councils receive an additional $326,000.
3. The six local BSA councils participated in the 1991 United
Way campaign just completed and will participate as usual in the FY 1992-93 allocation process pursuant to Board of Directors' action on July 19, 1991.
The United Way Boy Scout Task Force, commissioned by The United
Way Board of Directors, recognizes and applauds the six local BSA councils (BSA, Alameda Council, BSA, Marin Council, BSA, Mt. Diablo Council, BSA, Piedmont Council, Inc., BSA, San Francisco Bay Area Council, BSA, San Mateo County Council) for the important services they provide the youth of the Bay Area. The six local BSA councils provide youth development and leadership services to more than 98,000 Bay Area youth with, approximately 16% of their current
funding provided by The United Way in Fiscal Year 1991-1992.
The United Way and the six local BSA councils have a distinguished shared history and long-standing commitment to working together to improve the lives of people in our community. The Task Force believes this provides the fundamental basis for the successful resolution of this issue.
The Task Force believes that The United Way in the Bay Area must uniformly adhere to its nondiscrimination principles. One of The United Way Guiding Principles in the Strategic Plan addresses the issue of embracing social, racial and ethnic diversity. The United Way should not accept non-compliance with one of the fundamental tenets of the organization by a member, grant, or contract agency.
An agency having a policy that states certain individuals or groups are excluded from service is discrimination. Discrimination by a member agency is unacceptable.
The United Way principles and practices call for issues and differences with member agencies to be resolved fairly and constructively through open dialogue to arrive at a mutually
acceptable solution that best serves the broad and diverse interests and needs of our five-county community (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Mateo and San Francisco).
Constructive resolution of issues takes time. This is particularly true when the starting point for consensus is based on clearly conflicting policies, as is the case with The United Way and the six local BSA
councils it funds. As an agent of social change, The United Way should recognize that fact. With positive planning and guidelines, based on mutual respect, issues can be resolved.
VII. THE UNITED WAY BOY SCOUT TASK FORCE RECOMMENDATIONS
In this spirit of continued cooperation, community harmony, and the
need to serve youth, the Task Force offers the following recommendations to the Board of Directors affecting the BSA and The United Way:
1. The United Way shall work cooperatively with the six local-BSA councils to support them in achieving one of the two following goals:
A. For the national BSA to undertake a process to review,
consider and implement a nondiscriminatory policy similar to that of other youth-serving agencies (e.g. '. Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Girl Scouts of America USA) (See Attachments) that complies with the policy of The United Way.
B. For the six local BSA councils to obtain an exemption from the national BSA position, on a pilot basis, for the
purpose of adopting a local policy that is in harmony with the social diversity , values and spirit of the Bay Area.
2. We recommend that The United Way representatives meet with the six local Boy Scouts councils during 1992 to initiate a policy review. Progress should be reported annually over the next 5 years (1993-97) until an acceptable nondiscrimination
policy is adopted. Annual funding level recommendations should include, as one of the factors considered, progress made toward adoption of an acceptable nondiscrimination policy.
3. Monitoring of the six local BSA councils will occur through the regular United Way allocations process and include progress reports submitted annually by each local BSA council. This
information will be evaluated by the County Leadership Division. The County Leadership Division will forward its annual funding recommendations for each local BSA council to The United Way Board of Directors for final action.
4. The United Way's nondiscrimination policy assures access to services for individuals and groups which have been traditionally
under-served. Organizations which serve specific target populations may be viewed by some as inconsistent with The United Way policy. The Board of Directors should review and modify its policy for clarity, if necessary. Possible modification could include:
The United Way supports (A) targeted services for individuals or groups who have been traditionally under
-served and who have been subject to economic, social, political or other discrimination, and (B) organizations may target specific populations as defined in their mission statement, as long as they do not refuse service to any individual or group as a matter of policy and practice.
The United Way should monitor implementation of its revised policy to ensure consistent conduct by all member
5. The United Way, as an integral part of the annual allocation process, should systematically review all member agencies for full compliance with The United Way's nondiscrimination policy.
6. The United Way Board of Directors made a commitment in
September 1990 to significantly increase by 1995 funding of services for the gay and lesbian community to achieve parity of dollars commensurate with the needs of the Bay Area gay/lesbian community.
We recommend that special emphasis be placed on funding agencies, programs and services which include gay and lesbian youth.
7. In addition to pursuing a solution to our local situation, The United Way should work closely with other United Ways and United Way of America in encouraging all agencies in adopting an inclusive nondiscrimination policy.