Focus on the Family denounces Big Brothers/Big Sisters
While the majority of local chapters of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA) have long had anti-discrimination policies regarding homosexual volunteers, the organization has initiated a new push this month to make sure all affiliates have policies to accept gays and lesbians.

Focus on the Family last week denounced the move. In fact, founder and president James Dobson has rescinded his support of the organization. Dobson endorses BBBSA in his book Bringing Up Boys but he says future editions will exclude the reference.

Bill Maier, Focus on the Family vice president, wrote: "Perhaps BBBSA is fearful that if it refuses to embrace homosexual volunteers it will suffer the same criticism and cuts in funding [as the Boys Scouts of America]. Whatever the reason, BBBSA has obviously decided that the rights of homosexuals are more important than the safety and well being of the children it serves."

It is unclear why Dobson and Focus on the Family are now taking action when a national BBBSA spokesman says that 90 percent of local chapters have had this policy for a number of years.

The Arizona Republic reports that the Phoenix chapter, which has had such a policy since 1989, received 20,000 e-mails in one day after the Focus on the Family protest. Local supporters have also withdrawn support.

BBBSA receives one-third of its support from private donors. "We're looking at a variety of issues and possible impacts, and of course one of those has to be donations," the group's spokesman told the Republic.

In an unscientific poll on the Christianity Today website this week, over 1,600 readers voted on whether that BBBSA should require local chapters to open themselves to gay and lesbian ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.