Discriminatory Groups Get State Funding

Religious youth associations have received more than six million US dollars in grants from the Swedish National Board for Youth Affairs despite the fact that many such organizations discriminate against homosexual, transsexual, and bisexual people. One third of the sixteen youth groups with whom radio program Kaliber spoke failed to live up to the Board’s requirement that organizations be free from discrimination to receive state money.

Edward Sköllerfalk, national chairman of the Pentecostal youth association, told Kaliber that homosexuals should live as celibates.

“We cannot accept that behavior, but we accept the person,” he said, admitting in turn that an active homosexual “would have a hard time winning trust” in the youth group.

The chairman of the Catholic youth association also told the program that a homosexual person would not be allowed to hold certain posts in the organization.

The National Board for Youth Affairs exhibited concern about the report, and has promised to investigate if the organizations really harbor such discriminatory views.

"Are these the beliefs and values that these members really stand for? Then they shouldn't get state funding, that's completely clear," Youth Board branch head Fredrik Wikström told Kaliber.