Intel: No more funding Boy Scouts of America troops that ban gay Scouts and leadersTop Highlights, Breaking News Friday, September 21st, 2012
In a statement released to Think Progress today, Intel’s Chief Diversity Officer, Rosalind Hudnell, said that the company could no longer fund the Boy Scouts of America, so long as the Scouts stand by their long-held policy barring gay troops and leaders from participating in the organization.
This follows a campaign by The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), Scouts for Equality, its founder and Eagle Scout Zach Wahls, as well as thousands of Americans urging Intel Corporation, one of the Boy Scouts of America’s (BSA) largest corporate donors, to stop funding the BSA until the organization removes its ban on gay scouts and leaders.
Wahls launched the petition on Change.org after an American Independent report revealed that Intel gave nearly $700,000 to the Boy Scouts in 2010, despite the organization’s anti-gay policy. Intel Corporation has a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index.
“Intel has not provided funding to the National Boy Scouts of America organization. The $700,000 in funding from the Intel Foundation was donated to local Boy Scout troops or councils where our employees volunteer their time, through our volunteer matching grants program . . . Due to significant growth in the number of organizations funded, earlier this year we revisited our policies associated with the program, and applied new rigor that requires any organization to confirm that it adheres to Intel’s anti-discrimination policy in order to receive funding,” said Hudnell. According to Think Progress, under the policy, the growing number of Boy Scout troops and councils that reject the BSA’s policy would still be eligible for Intel’s funding.
According to the American Independent, the Intel Foundation has a policy that it will not fund “organizations that discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, veteran or disability status.”
“Intel joins current Boy Scouts of America Board Members, President Obama, Mitt Romney and hundreds of thousands of Americans in speaking out against the BSA‘s practice of unfairly kicking out gay scouts and scout leaders simply because of who they are,” said GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. “All of the great work that the BSA does to help young people will continue to be overshadowed by their blatant discrimination until they join other inclusive national organizations like the Girl Scouts of the USA and the 4-H Club. The time is now for the BSA to side with fairness, otherwise they will continue to see sponsors and scouting families drop their support.”
“Intel made the right decision here, in order to live up to their corporate values of diversity, equality and individual liberty,” said Zach Wahls. “Companies that support the LGBT community simply can’t be in the business of funding organizations that discriminate. Frankly, by sending this message, Intel is upholding the true spirit of Scouting better than the BSA is today.”
Intel’s decision to pull funding from the Boy Scouts comes after the CEOs of two major companies – AT&T and Ernst & Young – called for an end to the Boy Scouts’ anti-gay policies. AT&T’s CEO, Randall Stephenson, and Ernst & Young’s CEO, James Turley, both sit on the national board of the Boy Scouts of America.
GLAAD first started calls for the Boy Scouts of America to end their ban on gay scouts and scout leaders after Jennifer Tyrrell, a mom and den leader from Ohio was removed from her 7-year-old’s Cub Scout Pack for being gay. Tyrrell’s Change.org petition has attracted more than 330,000 signatures in support of ending the Boy Scouts’ ban on gay Scouts and leaders.
This week GLAAD also called attention to the Americans who are continuing to be harmed by the anti-gay policy, including Kentucky dad Greg Bourke who was ousted from his son’s troop this summer and launched a Change.org campaign to be reinstated.
Short URL: http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=29233