Posted 9:33 AM 6/5/2013 : Tucson Boy Scouts see drop in donations following lifting of gay ban
TUCSON - It has been less than two weeks since the Boy Scouts of America lifted a controversial gay ban and here in Southern Arizona the Catalina Council chapter is feeling the impact.
"Our donations are down 10%, about $30,000, from where we were at the same time last year," says Scout Executive Ken Tucker.
Tucker says individual donors are backing out. "It's an emotional issue and I understand people are wrestling with that," Tucker says.
But he says the decision not to donate will only end up hurting the scouts, since the local chapters don't receive any federal funding. "When they with hold their contribution it really only impacts kids in Southern Arizona and the kinds of programs and services we can provide for those kids," Tucker says.
A few programs on the line include ones that serve underpriveleged scouts. Tucker hopes they can avoid the cuts by fundraising this summer. "We're looking at some new things we can do," Tucker says. "We're always trying to get more volunteers to help us with our fundraising efforts."
Whether or not donors step in to help, local gay rights activists say that is only a small part of a much bigger social problem. "I would look to those folks and wonder why?" says Carol Grimsby of Wingspan. "Is this based on discrimination? Is it based on unfounded fear?"
Tucker says since the gay ban was lifted the Catalina Council chapter has also lost a handful of scouts and scout leaders, who no longer wish to be associated with the organization.
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