Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Man with a Mission: A Former National Leader for the Boy Scouts, the Victory Fund's Chuck Wolfe Now Pledges to Get Gay People Elected to Public Office. (Behind the Headlines)

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Man with a Mission: A Former National Leader for the Boy Scouts, the Victory Fund's Chuck Wolfe Now Pledges to Get Gay People Elected to Public Office. (Behind the Headlines)

Article excerpt

As the poster boy for the Boy Scouts of America, an aide to a former governor of Florida, and the president of his own consulting firm, Chuck Wolfe has had many opportunities to advocate for gay rights in mainstream political circles. But, the 41-year-old says, "there is something special in finally being able to spend 10 hours a day" on something that affects him so personally.

As of February, Wolfe is the executive director of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, an organization that financially supports, trains, and, when necessary, recruits openly gay candidates for public office. Since its founding in 1991, the Washington, D.C.-based group has backed winning candidates in 34 states and helped raise the number of openly gay and lesbian officeholders in the country from 49 to 241.

Still, openly gay people hold fewer than 1% of the elected offices in the United States. And if anybody is up to addressing this disparity, Wolfe is.

He's used to challenges. In 1997 he unsuccessfully tried to dissuade his boss, Florida governor Lawton Chiles, from signing a Defense of Marriage Act. And as a Florida resident he has campaigned against that state's ban on gay adoption. Wolfe's highest-profile battle, though, has been against the antigay policies of the Boy Scouts.

Still the youthful picture of an Eagle Scout, Wolfe used to be the Scouts' National Explorer president. And as the highest-ranked youth member in the organization, he traveled the country to promote the Scouts.

When the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Boy Scouts policy banning gay members and troop leaders in 2000, Wolfe used his former standing in the organization to tell people what it was like being a gay Boy Scout. …

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