Many of those in attendance, including Glendale resident Marjorie
Davis, expressed concern that public money could be going to
organizations unwilling to serve all members of the public.
"How much money do the Boy Scouts get from the city of Glendale?"
Davis asked. "What are we talking about here?"
In fact, said Assistant City Manager Bob McFall, Glendale is not
giving any money to the Boy Scouts of America, although it has given
money to the group in the past.
Glendale does not impose any nondiscrimination rules, besides those
required by the state and federal government, on groups that receive
federal block grant money. Groups taking such money are prohibited in
their hiring practices from more than a dozen categories of
discrimination, including discrimination on the basis of race, sex,
pregnancy and sexual orientation.
But when it comes to groups' distribution of services, the rules are
less strict. Glendale does not prohibit groups from discriminating on the
basis of sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy, parenthood,
medical conditions or disabilities.
Many at Thursday's meeting pushed for the discrimination loophole to
be eliminated, a step that the cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco
already have taken.
"We have a disparity of standards," said Loretta Novak, a member of
the Glendale Human Relations Coalition.
Speaking on a panel at the meeting were representatives of several
groups that provide services to residents: the Armenian Relief Society,
the Girl Scouts of America, the Glendale Assn. of Realtors and Catholic
The groups stressed that although they focus on particular segments of
the population, they do not turn away others.
Given those permissive policies, McFall said they had little to fear
if Glendale opts to enact stricter nondiscrimination rules.
"My understanding," he said, "is that there would be no changes in the
current distribution of funding."