US: UPS cuts funding for Boy Scouts of America over anti-gay policy

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

UPS, a long time corporate sponsor of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has stopped funding the organisation because of its policy which does not allow gay scouts leaders.

GLAAD reported that United Parcel Service Ltd, will cease to fund the Boy Scouts of America, because the BSA’s anti-gay policy clashes with UPS’s non-discrimination rule.

The company will stop all funding until gay scouts and leaders are allowed into the organisation.

Back in July, after a two year review, the Boy Scouts of America announced it would retain its ban on gay members, volunteers and staff.

Zach Wahls, whose speech to the Iowa legislature on marriage equality and his two gay mothers went viral last year, and who is himself an Eagle Scout, made a statement on the company’s decision:

“UPS showed true bravery today in standing with the 80,000 Americans, including thousands of Scouts and Scout leaders, who oppose the Boy Scouts’ hurtful anti-gay policy,” he said.

“That bravery is what Scouting is all about. Corporate America gets it better than most: policies that discriminate aren’t simply wrong, they’re bad for business and they’re hurting the Scouting community.”

Mr Wahls has been leading a campaign on to push corporate donors to reconsider donating to the Boy Scouts of America.

The UPS website contained a statement referring to the UPS Foundation, the company’s charitable arm which read:

“The UPS Foundation seeks to support organisations that are in alignment with our focus areas, guidelines, and non-discrimination policy.

“UPS and The UPS Foundation do not discriminate against any person or organisation with regard to categories protected by applicable law, as well as other categories protected by UPS and The UPS Foundation in our own policies. These include, but are not limited to race, gender, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran or military status, pregnancy, age and religion.”

The company had given $150,000 (£95,000) to BSA in 2010.

UPS announced in 2007 it would offer health care benefits to all civil union partners of employees in New Jersey.

Intel, another of the largest corporate donors of the Boy Scouts of America confirmed in September that it would drop all funding to troops that apply the organisation’s discriminatory polices towards LGBT children and leaders.

The issue of the policy has been prominent in the media of late, as Ryan Andresen, now 18, who joined the scouts when he was six, completed all of the requirements for the Eagle Scout Badge, but was refused the badge, once the work was completed.