If the ban is adopted by the council, groups such as the Verdugo Hills
Council of the Boy Scouts of America will no longer be able to receive
grant funds for their programs.
The Boy Scouts got plenty of attention Thursday as members of the
Verdugo Hills Council attended the meeting. In June, the Supreme Court
ruled the private organization has the right to ban gay men from its
The local proposal was pushed by coalition member Tricia Roth, who
noted the city probably wouldn't give money to the Ku Klux Klan even
though that group has the right to exist. The coalition needs to take a
stand against injustice, she said.
"Just because it is legal doesn't make it right," Roth said.
"I love the Boy Scouts, but I feel the decision of the court was
inappropriate," coalition member Marilyn Gunnell said.
That started a debate about the role of the Human Relations Coalition
and whether its purpose is to speak out against injustices only or become
more proactive and recommend policy changes to the city. The motion to
adopt the recommendation was made by News-Press Publisher Judith Kendall.
The Verdugo Hills Council received $15,000 in 1999 for an after-school
program designed to keep kids out of trouble.
The Boy Scouts may not be the only group affected by a ban. Catholic
Charities and the Salvation Army also receive block grant funds for their
social service programs.
"This can affect churches or organizations that are acting on moral
principles," former Verdugo Hills Council President Pat Liddell said.
"This vote wasn't unexpected. If we do that program again, we will just
have to look for other sources to pay for it or we don't have it."