Posted Friday, February 28, 2014 9:14 AM | Contributed by Jeff
Walt Disney World will no longer subsidize local chapters of the Boy Scouts of America, in response to the national organization's continued ban on allowing LGBT troop leaders. The theme park has donated in the past to the Orlando-area Boy Scouts as part of its "Ears to You" program, which gives money to causes for which its employees volunteer.
Read more from Reuters via The Orlando Sentinel.
I agree that WDW (and other organizations like United Way) have the right to support whatever organizations it wants. And on the underlying issue, I agree with WDW and the United Way.
My only concern is that I suspect that the primary beneficiaries of the WDW funding of scouts in Orlando are kids in poor neighborhoods. That is the way it was in the Cleveland area with respect to United Way support of the Boy Scouts. Troops/packs in wealthier suburbs received little (if any) financial support from the Greater Cleveland Council and thus from United Way. So the withdrawal of funding from the United Way didn't impact scouts in Solon, Westlake, etc. Its the kids in inner city Cleveland who were hurt.
Because of that it would be nice to see WDW try to find other programs for kids in poor areas who help kids in those neighborhoods that also align with Disney's views on the underlying issue. Use the money which in the past has gone to support the Boy Scouts to fund those other programs. And maybe they are doing that. I didn't see anything in the article discussing it though.
I was kind of kicked out of the Boy Scouts when I was about 12 years old, and in hindsight I figured out much later in life that it was probably because the leaders suspected I was gay. The BSoA did decide to allow gay scouts recently, but what happens when those gay scouts grow up and want to become leaders? BANNED! Perhaps someone should start a new organization similar to the Boy Scouts that would include everyone?
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At one point, there was a group called Indian Guides which I had understood to be very similar to scouts but without the anti-gay policy. Not sure how popular it ever was or if it even still exists.
Native American Guides?
What I've noticed about gay leaders in the Boy Scouts is that they tend to be women- moms who serve as den mothers and pack leaders in their son's troops. This discrimination is ridiculous and hurtful to them and the kids- those of us who were scouts remember that our pack members were our buddies from school or church, so we were already hanging out at their houses and with their families anyway, and I bet that hasn't changed. Kids are used to seeing non-traditional families these days.
I've known only one gay guy that was a scout leader. He'd loved scouting all his life, and remained closeted through his involvement. He was a model of decorum, and his conduct was above reproach, and had achieved a faily high rank in the organization. But after the BSA went loud with their declarations his conscience finally got the best of him and, sadly, he resigned.
The Boy Scouts fall back on that age old, tired as hell 'family values' excuse, when what they're really trying to do is assure that predators and pedophiles are kept at bay. Good luck with that- and when they uncover one my guess is he won't be a lesbian mom.
And as far as WDW goes? Good for them. Send the me$$age.Last edited by RCMAC, Friday, February 28, 2014 1:29 PM
And this is big for a company that is so prominent in Central Florida of all places. They can donate to other organizations that support tolerance.
It's been fascinating to watch just how quickly public opinion has changed with respect to LGBTQ folks over the past decade or so. Disney is one of those "family companies" that, historically, has been more worried than average about how it is viewed by socially conservative groups. And, even Disney now is starting to pay attention to these sorts of things.
After working in Seattle, where megacorps like Microsoft and Amazon are sponsoring floats in pride parades, I feel like anything less is backward. And you know what makes the point better than anything? Seattle is a damn nice place to live, and its gayness has not caused it to sink into Puget Sound.
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