In a ruling issued early last week, US District Judge Warren Eginton backed Connecticut’s 2000 decision to eliminate Boy Scouts from its list of charities receiving donations through state employee payroll contributions. The state argued that the organization’s ban on gay troop leaders violated state anti-discrimination laws; however, the Boy Scouts countered with a lawsuit charging violation of the First Amendment.
The payroll deduction program managed for the State Employee Campaign Committee by the United Way recorded nearly $10,000 in direct employee contributions to the Boy Scouts and a fraction of $200,000 donated to a general charity fund, also went to the Boy Scouts. Gay rights advocates applauded the court’s decision.
Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders attorney Karen Loewy said, “The ruling makes clear that while the Boy Scouts may be allowed to discriminate, they are not entitled to any special privileges from the state.”
Meanwhile, Big Brothers-Big Sisters of America is implementing a rule requiring that all 500 US affiliates allow homosexual mentors. While a spokesperson for the organization said the anti-discrimination policy is nothing new, affiliates may now risk removal for noncompliance. Under the rule, parents will have the final decision in approving their child’s mentor.