(Undated) -- The group overseeing more than 11,000 Boy Scouts in six midstate counties could lose its funding from a major nonprofit group due to the national ban on gay scouts. The United Way of the Capital Region has a policy against funding organizations that discriminate based on sexual orientation, which might lead it to pull $90,000 in funding from the New Birth of Freedom Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
CEO Joe Capita says other United Way organizations will be watching his group's decision closely. "I'm not sure that they're facing the same direct issue that we're facing, but I think they're interested in what's happening here, and they'll probably be watching to see what action we take," Capita says. "I've been here for 29 years, and I've never seen a more polarizing issue," he adds, saying he's been getting a lot of feedback from people on both sides of the debate.
Boy Scout Council Executive and CEO Ron Gardner says his group is simply following national guidelines. "We're not trying to make social commentary on this, it's that we're trying to do what parents would like us to do," he says. "It's very difficult to generate the type of funds that the United Way of the Capital Region currently allocates to us," he adds.
The council operates in York, Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin and Perry counties and part of Franklin County with an annual budget of about $3 million. The United Way of the Capital Region's board is expected to make a decision by the end of the month. The United Way of Carlisle and Cumberland County says it will continue to fund the scouts.
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