Published: Jul 03, 2011 02:00 AM
Modified: Jul 01, 2011 08:04 PM
YMCA says Scouts must leave
Agency severs relationship over sexual orientation stance.
CHAPEL HILL - Boy Scout Troop 505 and other organizations that do not share the Chapel Hill-Carrboro YMCA's non-discrimination policy may no longer use its facilities.The YMCA board decided June 22 to extend its non-discrimination policy, which protects gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees and members, to organizations that meet at the Y's facilities, executive director Jerry Whortan said."This decision was based on the Y's responsibility to represent our organization's values in all of our partnerships and relationships," Whortan said.The Boy Scouts of America is a program that organizations, such as the YMCA and other faith-based organizations, use as a part of their youth outreach, said John Akerman, chief executive officer for the Occoneechee council.Boy Scout Troop 505 has partnered with the Chapel Hill-Carrboro YMCA in Meadowmont for about two years, according to Tyler Perkinson, district scout executive."It's disappointing for me to hear that their board has voted to no longer partner with us, but I also respect that decision," Akerman said.Although the Boy Scouts of America does not allow "openly or avowed homosexuals" to become leaders, it is not something that the organization asks about on its application, Akerman said.The YMCA's new policy has taken effect, but Troop 505 has up to one year to find a new partner."We wish the Boy Scouts great success in their future endeavors and, should they change their stance on this topic in the future, the Chapel Hill Y would certainly entertain hosting a Boy Scout troop again," Whortan said.Merger mulledIn addition to extending its anti-discrimination policy, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro YMCA board is discussing how it can work together with the YMCA of the Triangle to serve the community, he said.In a May board meeting the possibility of a management services agreement and a merger with the YMCA of the Triangle was discussed.A closer relationship with the larger YMCA could help the local Y expand and improve its facilities, according to a press release.The local Y's expansion plan includes doubling its revenue from $5 million to $10 million in the next five years."As we consider the best way for us to grow and serve, it make sense we would consider partnering with the other Y in the area: The YMCA of the Triangle," the board of directors said in a press release last week."That could be one of the directions we go," Whortan said. "There is a wide myriad of things that have happened and could happen, but there is currently no management contract or management agreement."On June 14, the Carrboro Board of Aldermen passed a resolution opposing a merger unless the YMCA of the Triangle adopted broader anti-discrimination policies.Since the YMCA of the Triangle does not have anti-discrimination polices with regard to sexual orientation, the Board of Aldermen is concerned that a possible merger would require the Chapel Hill-Carrboro YMCA to drop or modify its policy, according to the resolution."[Chapel Hill-Carrboro] have gone beyond the state law and have ensured that sexual orientation receives the same protection that other personal characteristics - age, sex, race, ethnicity and religion - have," the local Y's board said in a release."In our talks with Y of the Triangle, we have stressed to them how important it is to us that they too move past state and federal law and offer protections to the [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] community," the release continued.A possible merger or management services agreement will be further discussed at the August board of directors meeting.
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