LBGT Nation reported yesterday on a Big Brothers Big Sisters of America chapter in Raleigh County, WV, that lost $80,000 in funding, when staff members took LGBT awareness training. The chapter is being forced to not accept any new kids into their mentoring programs–programs that are long-term, proven successes, as an awful lot of people can attest. It’s also well-documented that a great many LGBT kids end up homeless, through family rejection or bullying. Any bit of help that BBBS can give those kids, to maybe help them get through, is desperately needed, and staff need to know how to appropriately respond to those needs.
Maybe I’m just being obtuse here, but it seems breathtakingly callous to me to say, “I support these great programs for young people,” by donating a ton of cash, but then jerking the rug out when they *actually* do so, for a population that needs the help A LOT.
BBBS Raleigh’s not saying so, but it seems pretty likely to me that we have a case of religiously-motivated animus behind this. Some large business or church–or group of them–that regularly donates, has decided that if BBBS is gonna actually do anything for Those Gays, then they can’t have the money. Which proves, to me, that their “caring for kids” was a farce in the first place.
It gives me pause for thought–in the case of the organizations I support, do I really care how they accomplish their mission, or do I want to have some input into how they do their job? I’d like to think that I trust those organizations to do the best things to serve the goals I believe in, but it’s worth reviewing, from time to time. It’s a double-edged sword, in one sense–by insisting, for instance, that programs be inclusive of transgender youth, does that count as “telling them how to do their job?” When the push is toward greater fairness and equality, is that a bad thing?